Wolverhampton v Arsenal: the huge factor that all the media have missed

By Bulldog Drummond

The story so far

And so after our little saunter around the diatrbies and the news we come to the choice of the team for tonight’s game.

As noted previously, whatever team we put out, the BBC pundits make us certain to lose 2-0, so it hardly seems worth playing the game.   But still, we have to put on a show – and point out below why we think this is nonsense.

However what none of the websites that want to tell us so much about what will happen take any notice of is, the form of the two clubs.  And that is really weird because the form really is the best guide we have to what has been going on and what is happening.

Plus doubly so for this game when we look at where the two clubs are in the “last six league games” table.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 6 5 1 0 13 5 8 16
2 Arsenal 6 4 1 1 15 3 12 13
3 Wolverhampton Wands 6 4 1 1 7 3 4 13
4 West Ham United 6 4 0 2 12 7 5 12
5 Liverpool 6 3 2 1 13 7 6 11
6 Manchester United 6 3 2 1 10 6 4 11

In fact the story they are all missing is that this is a game between the second and third best teams in the league based on the last six league matches.  Each side has won four, drawn one and lost one.  What separates the two teams is Wolverhampton’s inability to score.  They have got seven goals in the last six matches.  Instead the media focus on Arsenal’s alleged inability to score!!!!!!!

Now since Arsenal have conceded only three goals in the last six, that would make it very unlikely that Wolverhampton will get more than one goal, and in fact quite likely that they won’t score at all.

Arsenal on the other hand are knocking in 2.5 goals a game, and with the full team available upfront we can hope for more of the same.

So why are people suggesting that Arsenal will fail?   Largely, I suspect, because of sheer bias and the fact that they are confusing cup form with league form, and instead are just looking at recent games, rather than recent league games.

Of course, if we were to go back a bit further and look at the last 10 league games the situation is slightly different – but still interesting.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 9 1 0 28 6 22 28
2 Liverpool 10 7 2 1 23 8 15 23
3 Manchester Utd 10 6 3 1 16 9 7 21
4 Tottenham Hotspur 10 6 2 2 19 11 8 20
5 Wolverhampton Wands 10 5 3 2 8 4 4 18
6 Arsenal 10 5 1 4 20 12 8 16

Arsenal’s goal scoring is still way above Wolverhampton (20 for us, eight for them), but three of the extra four games now counted were defeats.

It is interesting however that even going back over 10 games Arsenal were still the third highest scoring team in the league.  Interesting because of the total upsurge in panic of pundits (the PP) over Auba leaving and who is going to score the goals.  As if he had been scoring any recently anyway!

The story propagated in fact is that Arsenal cannot score because Arsenal don’t have a scoring centre forward.   And yet in the last ten, we are third top scorers in the whole league, and in the last six league games, we are… wait for it, the top scorers in the whole league.

Isn’t it strange that this little detail is missed from every single preview (or at least every preview I’ve read)?

As for the line up, Sports Mole offer us the thought that it could be a 1-1 draw and provide a lineup of


Soares, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Xhaka, Partey;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;


Meanwhile the Standard offer


Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;


They do however note Tomiyasu as a doubt.

Pain in the Arsenal offer


Soares, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard;

Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli

The players are the same but the positions are slightly different, emphasising Saka and Martinelli in a more forward-looking role – which in fact is what Martinelli always takes up.

And it is interesting that none of these publications fancy Smith Rowe in the starting XI, although if this is the case he will undoubtedly come in as a substitute.

And by and large this is the sort of lineup we are seeing in all the predictions.

So there we are.  A decision by one and all to ignore Arsenal’s recent league form.  Funny ol’ game this football journalism.



40 Replies to “Wolverhampton v Arsenal: the huge factor that all the media have missed”

  1. It seems to me like the media is getting under your skin. The only team in the Premier League they care about is Man U. Wolves have been flying under their radar for the last three seasons and rarely get a mention apart from local papers or outlets. As for the BBC they are the worst of the lot. Look at their football feed and Man U, Liverpool and Man C are always top of their stories and match of the day programming. I’m obviously a Wolves fan and i can say we are excited about the way we are playing, but we are not going into this game thinking we will win, only hoping. In my opinion if you score first you will win by two or three goals. If we score first we will hold the lead and will win by one goal possibly two if you are pressing hard at the end.

    I think its going to be tight and most likely 0-0

  2. @Mewis,

    I have no idea if you’vecome visit Untold regularly.
    Fact is that the bias the so-called press has been proven.
    Apart from that, I do agree they have positive bias for some teams amongst them Man U.

    As for Wolves, you’ve stated it I believe as it is : under the radar. And a team that does produce games and results on a regular basis and has carved itself a place in the PL. Good for them and good to read an intelligent and cancid comment – nice for a change !

    Good game !

  3. Yep I thought that.

    Nice post.

    I think you sum it up perfectly. If we start fast and get a goal we will hopefully go on to win by 2, I’d be surprised if any more.

    If you score early I think you’ll almost certainly hang on. The longer it’s 0-0 will favour you as well.

    The key for us is an early goal

    Very tough night ahead

  4. In it goes… ! Good one from set piece.
    Surprising we are not seing a VAR review….but then one can see the goalie being the one leaping at laca and making him fall.

    Our counter game will be even more called upon I think

  5. Slightly lucky lead – our passing was worryingly sloppy. I liked our goal a lot. The great Johny Rep used to call those “goals scored with the teeth”, all teammates involved have to be on the same belligerent wavelength for the ball to end up at the back of the net. We have often failed to score the second “cushion” goal this season; let’s hope we won’t tonight: they’re a good side, organized, physically strong, and I wonder their Hazard-lookalike n° 10, and their excellent CF haven’t scored more goals so far. To say that Partey worries me is an understatement … time for Elneny, maybe?

  6. That was stupid-young of Martinelli. My worry is Gabriel. Not sure he won’t get a second yellow…..

  7. laca … that’s 3 horrid misses ina row (‘pool, burnley, and now that one)
    there are many things i like a lot about him, but that’s just not acceptable for an arsenal CF

  8. @Le Gall,

    yes and no. Martinelli screwed up BIG on this one. And in the first half Oliver did card a Wolves player after having giving Arsenal the advantage, so he was being consistent this time.

    I would say that if there is a Ramsdale evening this is it….let him shine !

  9. The ironic/cynic in me will say we have gotten a lot of experience playing with one less man on the field….we ought to have gotten better at it….

  10. well, yes, we know how to play with 10 men on the field….maybe there’ll be a stat that shows not only red cards but games not lost after a red…

  11. Silly of Martinelli…but it reminds me of the RvP card at Barcelona…you could give a yellow…but should you?…only if they have cannon on their chest.

  12. @GoingGoingGooner,

    I’ll repeat my comment:

    yes and no. Martinelli screwed up BIG on this one. And in the first half Oliver did card a Wolves player after having giving Arsenal the advantage, so he was being consistent this time.

    I think the youth of the squad makes us more liable, particularly so that the refs are now piling silly yellows accross each game to replace the non-existent tackles.

  13. Looking at the table, I just have to laugh.
    Arsenal are such a bad team when you read the scribblers.
    No idea how to play, no players bought, no strategy, etc, etc
    Yet we are in 5th and have a shot at 4th….

    Ah yes, our defence is so bad, so hopeless…right ?!!

    Gonna serve myself a nice whiskey.

    Keown saying : I thought the referee was pedantic… interesting to see him suddendly take Arsenal’s defence.

  14. @ Chris 100% on that mate we ain’t tackling so lets book every little perceived (key word that) seemingly petulant indiscretion as its Arsenal and we are a young team so you expect that blah blah blah which will be used to cover for what the ref has done.

    Although it does not mean I condone what Martinelli did but I know it won’t be a consistent showing if we see that again in a game that is none Arsenal.

  15. Again it’s these 50/50’s going against us.

    Moments before the Martinelli incident there was a possible red for a Wolves player. Could easily of been red but it went in Wolves favour and against Arsenal.

    Martinelli’s first offence, yep possibly a yellow. Possibly not. Again went against Arsenal.

    Martinelli’s second offence, yep again possibly a yellow. Possibly not. Again went against Arsenal.

    Hard to argue with any, but if the Wolves guy had seen red it would also of been hard to argue that as well.

    If both Martinelli’s incidents in isolation didn’t see a card a doubt anyone would of said much.

    And this is the point I keep making. If the ref has any chance at all to meter out the maximum punishment possible to us he will do it. When with others a word or lesser punishment will do.

    I’m sick of it.

    Still very proud of them.

  16. @Chris

    Technically, he was in his rights to give two yellows BUT you never see it…except today. THe fact that he played the advantage and gave the yellow later is not the point. How many times do you see a player with a whiff of the red mist committing several fouls in a row BUT they only get given ONE yellow?

    And, I agree. Martinelli has to gain a bit of control. Wolves were frustrated and they were fouling us and getting away with it. With a bit of maturity, one hopes that he will learn to wind up the opposition instead of the reverse.

  17. GoingGoingGooner

    Good points, similar to what I was saying.

    You also have a point when you say “Wolves were frustrated and they were fouling us and getting away with it. With a bit of maturity, one hopes that he will learn to wind up the opposition instead of the reverse.”

    But would We/Martinelli of got away with all those niggly fouls ? I doubt it. It’s like the time wasting. The first hint of it from us and out comes the card. How many teams have we seen time waste against us at the Em’s from the first half yet rarely do we see a card until the last minute, if at all.

    Again tonight we saw the laws of the game, not abused necessarily, but certainly applied to us in ways they aren’t to others.

  18. Martinelli – yellow and yellow. Don’t like the ‘but what about what they did?’s. Or he didn’t call them. Immaterial. Here’s what’s important: Arsenal played a good match away from home against a difficult opponent, held on with 10 for the clean sheet and 3 points. Real show of guts from the group aside from #35. Holding a steady, calming influence from his entrance. Satisfying win.

  19. I came late to the game when we were 1-0 ahead. I was watching with a Leeds supporter and I said that Oliver would give one of our players a red card.

    Sure enough!

    It will soon be headline news if we finish a game with 11 players.

    All the commentary is about Arsenal discipline. It should be about referees

  20. @John L,

    Well, there is discipline and discipline…
    Down to 10 men the defense, or should I say the WHOLE team showed discipline.


    I fully agree. Thing is that the few referees we get should now be known INSIDE-OUT by the Arsenal players (the way a goalkeeper knows how the players shoot penalties), down to how they blow the whistle, where they keep on running, etc…… And thus our COURAGEOUS Young Guns must adapt and be better then the referees. There will come no positive change to the refereeing. So Arsenal have to play better, smarter, faster, whatever. It is a fact of their life. Refereeing will not change in Arsenal’s favour.

    As for the game, well they showed guts, stamina, and cohesion. They are growing as a unit. And Kos has a successor : Gabriel. He gets on the scoresheet and this is very good news.

    A strategy maybe would be for Arsenal to change club and shirt colours. Not use red and yellow anymore. So the referee cannot Arsenal colour in his pocket and may not then draw one out…
    Maybe play in black or green….

  21. Chris

    “And thus our COURAGEOUS Young Guns must adapt and be better then the referees”.

    I know what you are saying but I think that is not only unrealistic but a little unfair.

    What I saw from Martinelli was what I want to see from our young guns.

    He felt he got fouled, maybe he did maybe he didn’t, but he was a little frustrated and as a result of that he put his hand on the throwers arm in frustration. I’ve seen it hundreds of times without a card. He then did exactly what we would want. He charged back after the ball and put in a desperate challenge. The exact kind of effort we want to see from our boys. Was it a foul ? Certainly. Was it a bookable foul ? Well if it was it was extremely soft. I had seen a few worse in the game not even getting a word from the ref. But as John said you just knew Oliver couldn’t wait to pull out the red card.

    It’s got to such a point that the only way to avoid these cards is for our guys to give up challenging the opponents altogether.

    I have no issue with our ‘discipline’ what so ever. I have a big issue with how strictly the rules are applied to us in comparison to everyone else.

  22. Oliver was itching to get the red card out. His decisions toward the two teams were unbalanced from the start of the match. Kilman should have received a yellow for a deliberate foul early in the first half.

    He then went after Xhaka and Partey with one card apiece, waiting for a subsequent red opportunity. When that didn’t appear to be working, he dished another yollow out to Gabriel (Mag), to increase his chances.

    The “Martinelli incident” was the opportunity Oliver had been waiting for.

    But wait a minute. Oliver did not apply the law correctly. The first foul occurred before the ball came back into play from the throw-in, so the referee must punish the foul at that point. There can be no question of advantage here because the ball was out of play when the offence was committed.

    PGMOL. What are they good for?

    Answers on a postcard.

  23. Nitram spot on. I even said here comes the yellow cards boom martenelli got fouled twice they got a throw in he tried to stop a counter and as he thought he was hard done by. But when do refs give out double yellows like this? When it’s double standards. It’s tiring trying to play this was Chris easy to say mentally challenging to play with shackles on especially in a high pressing games. Keep that discipline up next time breathing is exempt too when they up the standards against us.

  24. Is this some EPL record of some sort .? Two yellow cards in succession ? One for the books , and future bashing ! It could only happen to the Arsenal !
    But glad we held on , kept a clean sheet . And kept the rest of our players on the field !
    WOO HOO , HOO !
    Up the Gunners !

  25. PGMOL & Wolves v Arsenal and still they cannot win. Saiss should have been carded for bearhugging Saka and again for his stud first tackle on Laca. In fact using Olivers standards, Saiss should have been red carded for both. The number of cards Wolves should have had in the first half would have reduced them to 9 players.

    Gabriel getting carded for time wasting when Wolves players were less than 8 yards away. There was time added on at the end, so booking was only to satisfy Oliver and to prime Arsenal for a red card. The double yellow to Martinelli is unlawful and cannot be tolerated in the professional game by so called qualified officials.

    Podence was doing a good job retaining the ball but was quick to go down simulating a cannon shot.

    The ball hitting the Referee must be bounced back to the player that last played it, but yet again Arsenal do not have that entitlement. It would waste time that Wolves needed to get the better of Arsenal. The reality is that even with a whole 90 minutes it would not be enough.

  26. The poodits said it shouldn’t have been a foul on Saka the BT shite was just so annoying all game. The yellow for Gabrielle I was fuming he truly was taking the piss. Double standards once again zero consistency

  27. @VaCong, @Nitram,

    I am disgusted as you are with the refereeing. No question about it.
    bt IMHO, there is nothing tht will change in the short term. So Arsenal have to live with it and adapt.
    They need to invent new strategies, get better off and with the ball, quicker at releasing it, more cunning and smarter.
    Yep, they are young and tempers flare. And I like to see them being motivated.
    But they need to do it the way my coach in Wisconsin used to say : don’t get mad, get even.
    The faster they can transform anger into performance, the better the results will be.

    What I found very interesting in the aftermath of the game is that now the conversation has suddendly not been focused on ‘bad’ Arsenal, but refereeing no one can really understand.
    As Tony pointed out in this morning’s piece, the subject is front and center : something incredible, an outlier, happened. And it was a referee who did it. And how can that have happened.
    And everyone scratches their head – instead uf lauding the Young Guns who did resist and came home with 3 points.

    No one understands because no one is willing to state the obvious : the referees are incompetents arrogant morons, totally out of their depth, incapable of officiating ina neutral and balanced way and systematically letting the personal preferences/bias/grievances towards a team transpire by the way they do their work. As Tony once said : we’d have better refereeing by a robot deciding it haids or tail.

  28. Chelsea v Leeds Pitch brawl:


    No red cards.

    Despite this being Chelseas 2nd pitch brawl in the last year I don’t believe there was even any retrospective punishment, which according to our resident “Chelsea never do anything wrong and Arsenal get everything they deserve” Chelsea fan, was because they waited over 3 months to have this brawl following the one in June against Leicester City…..

  29. Spurs West Ham


    Bad foul. Spitting. Brawl.

    Resulted in ONE yellow card. NO REDS. No retrospective punishment.

    FOUR pitch battles resulting in just 5 yellow cards and not a single red. We got more than that last night and made just 17 tackles for 13 fouls. Even with 1 yellow for time wasting, (even though the Wolves player hadn’t retreated the full 10 yards) that’s a yellow for every 3 fouls.

    How anyone can suggest we get treated the same as everyone else, (well I know one who does as he does insist on hanging around here simply to back up the referees no matter what, but hey he is a Chelsea fan and we all know they are paragons of virtue) I simply don’t know.

  30. @Nitram,

    I’m with you. All the way.
    Just proves the point : Arrogant Incompetent Morons. IAM

    And it won’t change. So our team has to adapt. Darwin : survival of the fittest.
    Not that it is fair. Just the way it is.

  31. Chris

    Not sure if it’s true but in an attempt to keep 11 men on the pitch I understand from now on we’ll be playing in ballet shoes woollen mittens.

    Personally I don’t think that wil.

    I think the best chance we have of keeping out of trouble is playing in Chelsea shirts.

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