By Tony Attwood
So now we know, if we manage to beat Oxford it will be Manchester City away as a reward at the end of the month. I suppose that seems fair enough especially as Tottenham will also be worrying about Preston North End away.
But at least with Manchester City away, (if we beat Oxford United) then if we win it will show our strength and how far our reserves have come, and if we lose then it will leave us free to focus on the league and not get distracted by talk of a fourth double. And we will be able to focus on supporting Boreham Wood.
However, first of course, there is Oxford, with one win in their last six in the league. For them much of the commentary has been pretty much what one would expect. ” This is the FA Cup and we know that anything can happen.” is actually reported on the BBC website as a comment by Karl Robinson, and really one wonders why.
And just to add to the focus they point out, as do others, that Arsenal are unbeaten in the last nine league games. They could also say that we have qualified for the next stage of the Europa by being top of our group, we are top of the Premier League having won two more matches than any other club, we have the lowest number of defeats in the league, have scored the second highest number of goals in the league, and were predicted by virtually everyone in the mainstream media to finish outside of the top four this season, largely because the club’s recruitment policy was deeply flawed and Arteta should be moved on.
But what is mentioned is, as the BBC tell us, “Arsenal were eliminated at the first hurdle last season, losing to then-Championship club Nottingham Forest in the third round.”
Yet what is not mentioned (except by Untold) is that Arsenal have the best record of any team in the universe in this competition.
But to be fair that BBC article does give us a bit of interesting background, which is that “It is the first meeting between Oxford and Arsenal since the third round of the FA Cup in 2002-03, which Arsenal won 2-0 with Dennis Bergkamp scoring his 100th goal for the club in the game.” We won the cup that year.
And also Arsenal “could welcome back England forward Emile Smith Rowe from a groin injury.” That “could” turns to “will” in some other articles.
In a separate article the BBC also tell us that “In January 2016 Oxford, who were in League Two at the time, dumped Premier League Swansea out in the third round,” and a year after that as a League One club they knocked out Rotherham and Newcastle United as they “marched on” to the fifth round.
But there was one bit of information that I didn’t know before: the lease on Oxford’s ground runs out in three years’ time. Now there’s a thing.
However much of the focus has been taken away from this match due to the exploits of Match of the Day pundits in terms of wearing moustaches or not. Pundits eh? What can you do with them? (Actually, remove them and show more of the matches on TV with just the crowd noise is one thing).
Still, I am sure Arsenal will have been reviewing the video clips from Oxford’s last home game – a 0-1 defeat to Exeter City who are currently 11th in the league.
And just because no one else wants to publish it, here is the entire League One league table covering only home games. (Oxford are 19th, if you don’t want to work your way through the whole list. They have won four, drawn three and lost five.)
|21||Forest Green Rovers||13||4||0||9||10||23||-13||12|
|24||Milton Keynes Dons||12||2||2||8||10||20||-10||8|
Next up, the Arsenal team.
- How Arsenal’s multiple goalscorers is greatly increasing their chance of the title
- Oxford United v Arsenal: the past and the present and what they foretell
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias
- The real live facts that the media won’t ever touch (part 2)
- Could this be the best PL season ever for Arsenal in terms of goals?