Arsenal v Wolverhamtpon: I will remember that night for a long time

By Tony Attwood

I have had the good fortune to go to Cup Finals Arsenal have won, and indeed to watch games in which Arsenal won the league, and of course each was a great joyous and memorable occasion.  But really that game last night was up there with those matches for the intensity of the crowd from at the end.

And that with a stadium that was not full – there were probably more empty seats at Arsenal stadium last night than for any league match I’ve been to since the stadium opened.  (Of course my memory might be faulty, but there were a lot of no-shows).

Added to which a lot of season ticket holders around me had sold their tickets on.  I’ve the good fortune to sit in the front row of the upper east and both to my left and right in maybe seven of the seats around me of the nearest ten were occupied by non-season ticket holders.

Nothing wrong with that of course, if people choose not to come out on another very cold night, that is up to them, but it just shows the change in the way Arsenal is perceived.  Maybe 45,000 in the stadium, maybe 50,000, but not more I would guess.  And yet the noise and the passion was utterly overwhelming. A bit like Highbury for the final match of the Unbeaten Season, when we were 1-0 down to relegated Leicester at halftime.  (And then won).

Of course, the “temperature” was raised (figuratively, not literally, it was a bloody cold night) by the appalling, disgraceful tactics of Wolverhampton W, one of the worst teams for pushing, fouling, niggling, and underhand behaviour that I have seen in a long, long time.  The way the referee let that pushing go was outrageous – and indeed his behaviour was unacceptable all the way through the game to the last when one of the Wolverhampton players simply refused to leave the pitch when he was substituted and the ref did nothing.

The argument it seems was that the wrong number was put up on the but his actions toward Arsenal players really need to be considered by the League – as indeed does the whole disgraceful Wolverhampton performance.  How good it felt, therefore, when that final goal went in, off a Wolverhampton player.  Serves them right.  Noise and delight beyond belief.

Only Burnley and Norwich have scored fewer goals than this disgraceful team, and only two teams have conceded fewer, which at least means their little band of travelling fans have seen far fewer goals than the followers of any other club, and  maybe that deserves them right.  If this club were to get into Europe they would shame the whole of English football.

Never before have I seen a player utterly refuse to leave the pitch, just to let time drift by to hold on to a 1-1 draw.  Never before have I heard such noise in the stadium, and then continuing after the final whistle and as we walked away from the stadium.

What it did do however was bring the Arsenal team and Arsenal fans much closer together than we have been for years.  We felt part of the same movement, part of the same drive to get this club back on track.  They appreciated us, you could see, just as we appreciated what they had done to turn this club around.

And if ever there was a moment when it felt that the whole Arteta project was creating its final polished work; the move from being the most carded to the least carded team, the use of the youngsters who are now such an integral part of the club, the rejection of the hysteria around Xhaka, the refusal to be held up to ransom by Aubameyang who felt who could do what he pleased… all of that swept aside in one amazing night.

Plus even the return of Nicolas Pepe to the team, and yes some really smart moves by him – plus a goal and an assist.  Who would have thought it?

And we even had the news that PGMO, that rabid bunch of no-gooders, have accepted Arsenal’s request to meet with them to discuss the red card shown to Gabriel Martinelli in the earlier match between these two clubs.

Plus the league table looks rather smart this morning

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 26 20 3 3 63 17 46 63
2 Liverpool 26 18 6 2 70 20 50 60
3 Chelsea 25 14 8 3 49 18 31 50
4 Manchester United 26 13 7 6 44 34 10 46
5 Arsenal 24 14 3 7 38 27 11 45
6 West Ham United 26 12 6 8 45 34 11 42
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25 12 4 9 24 20 4 40
8 Tottenham Hotspur 24 12 3 9 31 32 -1 39

Sorry about that defeat to Burnley, Tottenham.  Do try to keep up.  No on second thoughts, don’t bother.

Fifth is no more a trophy than fourth, but just look, one point behind Manchester Untidy and two games in hand.   Up next is Watford away and Leicester at home for us.  

Tottenham have Watford at home and then a little game against Manchester City away.

Where are those people who sneered at Wenger with that “fourth is not a trophy” jibe?  I just hope a few of them were at the game last night to see what real support is all about.

Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the tackling, the team predictions, the result

23 Replies to “Arsenal v Wolverhamtpon: I will remember that night for a long time”

  1. Tony, I think you misread the fixture list. The Spuds next two games are Leeds away and Everton at home. I think they may have played their “little game” against City last weekend after which the media more or less declared Kane as the World Golden Boot 🙂

  2. I prayed and hoped Arsenal find an equalizer after their goal as I believed it was what we deserved. At a point, I felt the god of soccer was watching other games tonight and resigned myself to the miserable night I would have after the game as I felt this was an opportunity missed after the shame of Spurs last night.

    To say I was relieved when Pepe scored was an understatement.

    My joy was complete with the last-minute goal. Such was my joy that I was still celebrating 4 hrs later. I believe Arsenal extended my life span by at least 6 months last night. What a wonderful night of football.

  3. yes, what a night indeed. night full of passions,fighting spirits, keep on pushing until the final whistle against the team of time wasting and play acting. the energy from the crowds is phenomenal as they keep pushing and urging the team forward. even after the equalizing goal the players reaction was we’re not settling for a draw, we’re going to win this match. Arteta decision to switch for a back three to puts more bodies into the midfield to win the ball back quickly inside Wolves half is really a tactical genius if not masterclass. we easy to forget that Nicolas Pepe is a clinical finishers even from back when he was at Lille. maybe he can be the answer for Arsenal striker question next season. who knows, only time will tell

  4. Tony

    “one of the worst teams for pushing, fouling, niggling, and underhand behavior that I have seen in a long, long time”.

    Just shows you the difference from being there to watching on TV. As I said in the last article, as negative and boring as Wolves obviously are, they have not struck me as particularly dirty, at least not in the way Allerdyce and Pulis teams were.

    As for time wasting, that’s up to the ref to deal with, as it is the fouls to be honest.

    But this is what we have faced for years now. Teams know before they kick a ball, or a player for that matter, exactly what they will get away with against Arsenal, so they do it.

    –“What it did do however was bring the Arsenal team and Arsenal fans much closer together than we have been for years. We felt part of the same movement, part of the same drive to get this club back on track. They appreciated us, you could see, just as we appreciated what they had done to turn this club around.”

    Regarding the support, again as I said in the previous article, it is obvious Arteta and the players are working very hard to re connect with the fans, so lets hope last night went a long way to cementing that bond.

    The problem is Tony, despite what you say, and of course I don’t doubt for one second you felt and heard what you say, even last night as we battered away relentlessly at the door, the commentators were continually suggesting ‘discontent’ in the crowd, picking out random miserable faces to back it up.

    The thing is Tony these bridges shouldn’t have to be ‘re built’. Both Liverpool and Spurs have endured barren spells as long as we have, and Spurs still are, but I never saw or see planes flying over Anfield or WHL. I never heard of bridges having to be re built between Liverpool and their fans.

    Why is that ?

    Three things. 1) The endless media onslaught. 2) The endless negativity from our ex players. And last but not least, 3) A way too large a proportion of our fans buying in to it all, and subsequently turning on their own club.

    Unfortunately Tony No’s 1 and 2 haven’t gone away and will be back at the slightest hint of a downturn in form.The question is, on the back of that, will No 3 be back ?

    Alas Tony, despite the emotion and the connection you felt last night I suspect it will. As we ourselves witness here on Untold, time and again, it doesn’t take much for them to re appear with their endless criticism of every aspect of the club. Reading all the chat on here from last night we haven’t as yet (or at least that I have seen) heard a peep from the usual suspects, but do you really think they’ve changed their tune ?

    I think you know the answer to that as well as I do.

    Still, as they say, Hope Springs Eternal and I’m still buzzing !!

  5. It is always amusing to read the views of the so called fans of the ‘big six’. The football tourists there did make a lot of noise I agree, it was a very good home crowd for a change, but to describe Wolves in the way you have is just laughable. All teams employ tactics that give them the best chance of winning. If Wolves were awful last night how bad were Arsenal at Molineux? and have you seen White bringing down Jimenez as he ran towards goal? a clear sending off. Arsenal are very unpopular with neutral fans for a reason. A club with a poor attitude catering for people who just want to watch Premier League football to see the visiting celebreties. You know you will fail to qualify for the CL – again. You know you are a pretty awful club, so why not make unfounded attacks on others. I am not a Wolves fan but they appeal to me a thousand times more than your sad club.

  6. “it was a very good home crowd for a change” – Change from what, exactly?

    “Jimenez as he ran towards goal” – pity he was nowhere near the ball, in fact Wolves had just given away possession.

    I would hardly describe Coady as a visiting celebrity.

    Incidentally, Keith Hackett has described the first minute penalty shout as “nailed-on”, and questions Mr. Brookes’ VAR-wielding ability.

  7. Pewis
    It always amuses me to see a post such as yours, critical and downright insulting to Arsenal whilst praising and sympathising with our opponents, in this case Wolves claiming to be from a neutral. They very frequently finish up like you by saying, and I quote – ‘I am not a Wolves fan but they appeal to me a thousand times more than your sad club.’
    It’s as if claiming that your comments, because they supposedly come from a neutral observer with no vested interest, somehow gives the opinion much more weight and credibility. It’s an old trick and easy enough to see through.
    I would bet a pound to a pinch of s**t that you really are an ardent Wolves supporter.
    Any rate we beat you really easily, didn’t even have to get out of second gear, and boy did we celebrate, no doubt much to ‘sour grapes’ Neve’s frustration and annoyance.

  8. If you go to the BBC’s football page on their website you won’t a report on the Arsenal/Wolves match. Instead you have to dig for it via the scores page.

    If Lacazette didn’t score the winning goal, then surely he should be credited with an assist. Without the assist, Sa would not have been able to claim the goal.

  9. I find it fascinating that the big scandal brought up from 2 Arsenal wins agains Wolves is that the team celebrated. Dear Lord, how dare they ? Should they have cuddled the Wolves players like a nanny and told them to go to sleep because tomorrow is another day ?
    I mean, WTF ?


    As for visiting celebrities, you are right. Tony is a celebrity by himself and he visits his club each time he can. As for other ‘peoples’, well, I was not aware they were personae-non-grata in the PL. Then again, Arsenal being a club with a worldwide following, a very large stadium and based in England’s capitalwhich has a few airports and Eurostar train station does make it easy for any visiting person to come and see a game. And frankly, from an economic perspective, as an Arsenal fan I’d rather have their money end up in the Arsenal bank account then in that of the other clubs.

    The one thing that does stick out is your rant. You’ve obviously not read the entries in the blog much. Otherwise you’d be aware that there is a certain level or reasoning, logic, factual argumenting expected of readers and commentators. Your rant is out of place, insults our intelligence and belongs on blogs for fans just looking for a place to vent their frustration, anger and jealousy.

    If you’d read some comments, you’d have found out that some of us were rather positive about Wolves who are not at fault when refereeing is a joke of utmost incompetence.

  10. I thought I’d just wind Mr Pewis up a bit more.

    As I mentioned in the other article, not only did Atkinson fail to give us our ‘nailed on’ penalty he quite patently failed to add on the requisite time at the end of the match for what Mr Pewis classes as Wolves legitimate time wasting.

    I timed the relevant incidents and looked up what the FA recommend to add per substitute, which is 30 seconds each. So we have:

    The Hamstring injury:

    Play stopped at 57:30 and resumed at 60:41 = 3 Minutes 11 Seconds

    4 Substitutes were made up to the the 76th minute = 2 Minutes minimum.

    Then we had the ludicrous 90th minute substitution where the ball went out of play at 87:10 and play resumed at 90:05 = 2 Minutes 55 seconds.

    That’s a minimum of 8 minutes 6 seconds.

    I thought it was so obvious that 6 minutes wasn’t enough. Perhaps in all the excitement Atkinson just lost count ? He certainly lost the plot !!

  11. Nitram,
    I enjoyed Tony’s very police and atmospheric piece .
    Can I tell you that the morale at Tottenham is extremely low as they are continually in transition and there is far more unrest there than at Arsenal. But they are a much less significant club than us. They haven’t won the league for over sixty years and the FA Cup for over thirty years ( we’ve won it four times in the last seven seasons);. So Arsenal unrest is a bigger story because we are a bigger club and that’s why planes flying over ( and that doesn’t happen often) got reported .
    What is wonderful at Arsenal this season is the refresh in the attitude of fans attending. The support is louder , better and more sympathetic. They get what the club is trying to do and the AFTV element is marginalised . The toxicity of latterday Wenger has gone and fans are taking a positive view of events . It’s wonderful to see

  12. Bertie Mee

    It’s wonderful to hear and as I cant get to matches I take yours, and Tony’s, word for it.

    As for the planes, I know it was only once, maybe twice, I realise that, I really just use it as a metaphor for all the ‘neg-heads’, AAA, Arsenal TV, Black scarf, etc. etc.

    If I’m not mistaken those guys, including the ex players I mentioned, and the media, were all screaming for Arteta’s head after the first 3 games ? That wasn’t that long ago was it, and don’t forget we’d just come out of the last two thirds of the previous season as the 2nd best team in the Country. That didn’t stop them.

    But if you say it’s all gone and all the fans are on board, fine.

    Personally I think I’ll wait until we have a couple of set backs and see what happens then before I will be completely convinced.

    So okay for now, good to hear, but it never should of been any different really should it ?

  13. And with regard to the time added on by Atkinson, or more accurately NOT added on, I forgot the goal which I understand is 45 seconds, which makes a grand total of 8 Minutes 51 seconds, or 9 minutes all but damn it, that should of been added on, and that’s without any other time wasting or injuries that may of happened.

    People might say it’s trivial, but that’s 33% less added at the end of the match than should of been. And don’t say it doesn’t matter because if I’m not mistaken Spurs have scored 2 winners in the 7th minute of added time this season, earning them an extra 4 points.

    Those added minutes can be crucial, just ask Fergie !!

  14. Pewis
    How embarrassingly wrong can you be!
    You said-
    ‘Arsenal are very unpopular with neutral fans for a reason. A club with a poor attitude catering for people who just want to watch Premier League football to see the visiting celebreties. You know you will fail to qualify for the CL – again. You know you are a pretty awful club’
    A survey to find the most popular club amongst all footie fans just published by Sports Direct, taking a number of different factors, including online mentions, social following, and fan engagement have found Arsenal to be top of the list.
    Not ‘very unpopular’ as you claim but the most popular club in the Premier League.
    Just shows how much your opinions are worth.

  15. mick shelley

    Well done finding that. I was going to respond to him by saying that from my experience, many of the guys I speak to quite like Arsenal. As I have said here a few times, they often tell me they think our eternally whinging fans are mad, and that they don’t know how lucky they are, but my limited experience is hardly proof either way so I left it.

    That survey suggests my experience is not unusual.

  16. I couldn’t find it either.

    I did however have a look around and found tables representing ‘popularity’ of clubs Worldwide that by and large went:

    1 or 2: Liverpool
    2 or 1: Man Utd

    3: Chelsea

    4: Arsenal

    A few things.

    Firstly, I’m not sure what they mean exactly by ‘popularity’ ? Do they mean the amount of fans they have or do they mean which club a fan likes ‘outside’ their own club, which are two different things altogether ?

    Secondly, either way I’m not surprised to find Man Utd and Liverpool at one and two. Arsenals problem is they’ve not done enough in Europe. That is a massive plus when it comes to Worldwide popularity.

    Which leads to my third point. That can be the only reason Chelsea are third on this list, as outside Chelsea fans I’ve never met a neutral that has a good word to say about them, ever. From my experience they are by far the most unpopular team in the premiership, followed closely by Spurs.

    And finally about us.

    Given the endless ridicule we receive from the media, aligned to the fact we cant deny we have not done much in Europe, aligned to the fact we haven’t won the league for a long time, maintaining such popularity is testament to how much we are admired as a club throughout the World.

    Okay, Northern Neanderthals such as Pewis, who much prefer blood sports to football, might not like us, (after all we are Southern Softies and it is ‘tuff up Norf’), but they’re hardly a great loss are they ?

  17. “From my experience they are by far the most unpopular team in the premiership, followed closely by Spurs”.

    Sorry, doesn’t make sense. Should read just:

    “From my experience they are by far the most unpopular team in the premiership, followed by Spurs”.

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