A few little facts you might not know as we celebrate yet another semi final

By Billy the Dog

1:  Mr Wenger did not invent the notion of Arsenal playing reserve teams in Cup games.  Newspaper reports (soon to be reprinted on the Arsenal History site) actually called our cup side Woolwich Arsenal Reserves in 1893/4.

2:  Although the press like to make the point that Mr Wenger no longer puts out his reserve side for the league cup “in order to win his first trophy since Hadrian built a wall” or some such rubbish, the fact is that the squad is now so strong we can make 9 changes from the previous league match and have a “reserve” forward line of Theo, Van Persie and Bendtner.

3: So desperate did the BBC get in its attempt to have a bash at Arsenal on Radio 5SX during the commentary of the game, that when the crowd was announced the spluttering commentator got more excited than at any other time in the game and said that was totally untrue.   The co-commentator tried to calm him down by saying, “ah but it is a season ticket match and a lot of season ticket holders are not attending.”    The truth is that it was NOT a season ticket game, and 59,000 tickets were sold.  But a lot of people found it hard to get to the match both because of travel disruption, and because of snow.   In my village for example…. (rest of this paragraph is cut out of sheer boredom by deputy editor).

4:  Arsenal, who refuse to take this competition seriously, and put out derisory teams in it, have been in the semi final more times than any other club.  I think if Villa get through tomorrow they will equal our number of semis.

5:  The match saw the first ever pitch invasion at the Ems.  Arsenal’s ground has been closed once because of crowd trouble in the 19th century, and thanks to the dedicated researchers we have now got a newspaper report of the problems (the crowd surrounded the away team dressing room and wouldn’t let them – or the ref – out).   It will appear on the history site soon.  As far as I know, Highbury was never shut for crowd trouble – although I can remember in the 1950s how at the end of each game hundreds of children would run onto the pitch and jump around.  Old men would stand with their arms out trying to stop them, and in fact it became a game of jump around the old official.  Had the old boys not been there the invasion would have been far less fun.

6.  The League Cup was invented as a way of making money for little clubs by guaranteeing them a home and away tie against whoever they were drawn against.   Unfortunately six biggish clubs decided not to enter such a childish competition.  So in 1966 it was decided that the winner would get a place in Europe and everyone had to enter or else they would get told off very seriously and put on the naughty step.  Tottenham in fact did suffer this punishment and were sent to that dread location.  In fact they are still there since no one ever told them they could get off.

7.  The early finals were over two legs, but in the 1960s the final moved to Wembley.  However there was no live TV nor even live radio coverage of the final – I suspect this was because of the league’s fear that no one would turn up to watch such a silly competition.  When Arsenal lost to Swindon Town 3-1 at Wembley the pitch was so bumpy it was impossible to pass the ball along the ground at all.   This is not surprising since the horse of the year show had been held on it the day before.  Or maybe the day before that.

8.  Arsenal have appeared in six finals.  In the 1988 final Gus Ceaser played.  I would like to find a film of the end of that game to show those people who write to this site saying “I have been an Arsenal supporter for a long time, and I have never seen such a bad Arsenal side.”  I would like to show them the last half hour of this match, and then make them sit through it again, and again, and again, and again.  And when they scream for mercy I would like to show it to them again.  I was there, for that game, and I suffered, so I don’t see why anyone else should have an easy time of it.

9.  If you want to enter Carling’s official web site of the league cup, you have to enter your age to prove you are over 18, and thus entitled to drink in the pleasures of the little site.  Don’t worry though – nobody checks.  On the site you can vote as to whether you think Man U will retain the cup this year.  (Here’s a clue – they lost 4-0 to West Ham today).

10.  Carling also have a league cup special site which says this

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The League Cup, But Were Afraid To Ask

The complete guide to the history of the League Cup

According to this site, Tottenham are the current holders.

funny old game.

25 Replies to “A few little facts you might not know as we celebrate yet another semi final”

  1. Important victory indeed I am sure its annoying the heck out of the Arsenal doubters with Manure defeated tonight they must well and truly feel sick indeed.

    Decent performance from what I have seen of the match even if the finishing could have been better.

    Still no time for looking we have a run of 6 matches all equaly important right now lots to look forward to and hopefuly lots to further stick in the throats of those BBC commentators.

  2. Yeah that complete guide is very complete. LOL.
    And what a funny article again. I had a very bad stream of the game but the sound was rather good and I must say that I heard the crowd signing on several occasions even when it was still 0-0.

  3. I think more than Arsenal’s victory, we are feeling more happy that United lost its match, which clearly gives us an easier chance at the Carling cup title. Finally a good chance to earn a Silverware!!!!

  4. Woke up to see the desired result and the goals.Have to agree with DP that the other score cheered me more.But a word of caution -Arsenal have a weird record in this cup ie losing to Swindon Town (3rd division )to beating Mighty Leeds 7-0 in 1974(I think) and I usually dread the worst but still hope for the best.Do hope to win this year.

  5. @darkprince
    he talks about complacency creeping in players, what about complacency creeping in u????

  6. @critic- yea, we shudn’t be complacent for the semis. Aston villa, West Brom or even West ham should not be taken as easy opponents in the Carling cup. Infact this is probably the closest these teams can get to winning a Silverware, so expect them to fight like hell in the semis. I hope we have Cesc back by then.

  7. WestHam might be tricky Bexxy in a one off final they played well against us at the emirates.
    I think they all deserve respect looking at how close the league table is this season.
    I hope you get your wish though with Arsenal winning naturaly !!!

  8. “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The League Cup, But Were Afraid To Ask”

    Why would anyone be afraid to ask?

  9. Tinwear here we come! I’d take it as a dummy just to shut up the ‘no trophy’ spouting retards.

    Other than that – a final will be a grand day out for the fans – so let’s hope we can get there!


  10. A Casual Observer wrote:

    “Tinwear here we come! I’d take it as a dummy just to shut up the ‘no trophy’ spouting retards.”

    My sentiment exactly! Thank you pal for calling the morons exactly what they are!

  11. Point 2 is a good one, we have good squad depth that’s why we are putting out a stronger squad, the squad is still young, just we have to give some players games cause are squad is so strong they are lacking game time, we still made many many changes from the previous game and had quite a comfortable victory, Arsene has built a very good squad, we have plenty of options.

  12. And BTW, I don’t give a crap about the Carling cup or any trophy for that matter. I totally agree with Lord Wenger when he said that good performance is more important than trophies because team producing consistently good performances will win trophies eventually. It is that simple.

    I love Arsenal (especially under Arsene) for the good football they play. Winning trophies is a bonus for me – one you will always get ultimately by playing good football.

  13. It really is insulting hearing the moronic media and the retarded AAA talking about AW taking the CC serious because of desperation to win trophies. Can any sane fan believe these idiots? Arsene’s approach has not changed – not one bit! He has always used a careful mix of (1) youth players, (1) squad players and (3) 1st teamers in need of games. The proportion of the mix is determined by the quality of the opposition e.g. compare the team that thrashed Sheffield United 6-0 with the one that lost 3-0 to Shitty.

    What has been changing is the players maturity as AW keeps giving them chances to play. While it is always painful for us fans when they falter, one can only imagine how bad Arsene must feel with the pain of the loss and the bile from the know-it-all brigade. Now that the project is bearing fruit resulting in the best squad in the country, rather than raise their hands, admit they were wrong and give credit where it is due, they changed the tune to “he is now taking the CC serious”. Bunch of jokers!

  14. Exactly, first they insult Arsene for playing a “weaker side” now they insult him for playing a percieved “stronger side2, he can’t win in these peoples eyes.

  15. I think it is interesting to look back at our CC side from 2 years ago. With the exception of Ramsey (injured) and RvP (who needs games) it is virtually identical to the team we put out last night. So where on earth is this supposed change of policy from AW we keep hearing about??????? Bendtner, Walcott, Vela, Denilson, Wilshire, Gibbs, Eboue and Djourou have been playing together in the CC for three years now.

  16. Hold on you lot! Monkey Cup? WTF? Don’t you lot realize the importance – for this team’s development – to win ANYTHING at this stage of their evolution? I can tell you that Chelski and United didn’t, and still don’t, take this cup lightly! We need to win this to give our boys a sniff of what it feels like to win something…we need this because all we have at the moment are near-misses and bitter disappointments in our collective consciousness’ – I put us Gooners in there as well as we are part of the collective psychology of the team. Winning this first trophy will release our perennial fears and give us all the confidence to move forward and claim our destiny…

  17. Botoomee and Paul C you have hit the nail on the head.

    The carling cup team is practicaly the same. What has changed at Arsenal right now is these youngsters have the experience from playing in these competitions for the past few seasons and are now at a level where they can step up in the league or carling cup and show they have developed into serious squad members despite their ages.

    Its just the next phase in a lot of their developments the youth system showing its rewards. Its possibly even hindering JET and a few of the others Hence the ammount of young players we have out on loan these days.

    I wonder would Bolton be willing to take JET like they did wiltshere for us and make him the finished artcile I think he needs games.

  18. RedGooner – I wouldnt be surprised to see JET go out on loan in the New Year after the CC is over in order for him to get a few months of experience playing every week. I think the PL might be too high a level for him right now however. A good Championship side would be perfect for him. It is fitness and stamina he needs more than anything.

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