Spurs Pre-Match. Slightly biased.

December 2, 2018

Let us start here. This is an Arsenal blog,

if you expect a balanced view go elsewhere. If you expect me to be anything less than scathing towards our trophy-less neighbours from Wembley you will be disappointed. If you think I am going to write about Harry Kane being the best striker since Jimmy (not good enough for  the ’66 WC team) Greaves, think again.

Why? Because where I went to school you had a choice, you were either a Gooner or a Spud, and once you made that decision it was for LIFE. This was the beginning of my understanding of Yin and Yang, of the balance between good and evil, right and wrong. And for me and millions of others Spurs have always been wrong’uns.

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When I was blessed with Goonerdom it was a time of total THFC dominance (I know … to you younger chaps it is inconceivable!). Spurs were the best there had ever been and I can still recount the entire Spurs team of the early ’60’s. Sadly, but inevitably, a long slide into obscurity followed.

Do you know the last time Spurs won a proper trophy (not the Carabao/MilkToblerone/Disney Cup)? It was in 1991 – 27 years ago. And the one before that? In the early 80’s!!

And they think they are as big a club as the Mighty Arsenal 😀 😀

Their fans are so short of ammunition that they resort to 100+ year old history and complaints about our elevation to the top rank, from which, unlike Spurs, we have never fallen.

Enough of the past, how about today? It should be an enthralling encounter. Spurs on the back of 6 wins including two against decent opposition, us on a run of 18 unbeaten.

We go into a home game as underdogs, a rarity against the Miscreants, especially as we have lost just 2 of the last 14 (thank you GN5).

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I could spend the next few minutes writing about their players, but where is the fun (for me) in that? We know – their fans tell us often enough. Of all of their players the only ones I would want at AFC are Eriksen and maybe a CB to replace Mustafi. The others are all too ugly.

I could also write about their manager, David Wagner, who as an Argentinian is well versed in the dark arts.

As to their fans … they are the only visitors to our ground who regularly damage the stadium, one has to question why they smash a toilet or rip up a seat in the away end – it is not as if a Gooner uses them!

Of course many Spurs fans are reasonable people, and I count many amongst my friends but they have a rotten core, they have been misguided into an awful decision to follow the skinny cock. It has affected them – generations of “almost” would affect anyone.

I think it would be remiss of me not to remind them that “4th is not a trophy and nor is 2nd or 3rd”. A refrain we heard every season for almost 20 years.

So, in a big game who starts for us? Ozil is straight in, as is Terrier and Xhaka. As always we have problems at the back and I would not be surprised to see us line up with the back 3 which won at Bournemouth.

My Team:

Bent

Catwalk    Mustafi   Greek Bloke     Wardrobe

Terrier   Xhaka    Iwobi

   Mesut

Laca   PEA

Emery has a choice and it will be very interesting which direction he takes with the team; will he be pragmatic and look to control the midfield, including an extra MF/CB or will he attack?

I hope he gives it the beans.

As I am sure you know, we start slow, not leading at half-time at all this season, a strange stat. Could we please score early, pretty please?

As always this is a game between Good and Evil, sometimes twice out of 14). Given Spurs excellent form we have cause for concern but we have the tools to win. No place for feint hearts. For Harry, England & St. George etc

A tense afternoon ahead and we can win this.

Let it Be So.

COYRRG

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Arsenal FC – Our home record v the Potato Men

December 1, 2018

The two teams met for the first time in the United League November 9th 1896. The match took place at Woolwich Arsenal’s Manor Ground in Plumstead and Arsenal won, 2-1. The United League was founded in 1896 to provide additional mid-week fixtures for teams drawn from a number of leagues including founder members, Woolwich Arsenal from the Football League, and Tottenham Hotspur from the Southern League.

The teams first met in a Division 1 Football League match on December 4th 1909 it was watched by a crowd of 18,000. Woolwich Arsenal won 1- 0 with Walter Henry Lawrence scoring their first league goal against Spurs.

Some key games between the clubs

Tottenham 0–1 Arsenal (3 May 1971) The final match of the 1970–71 league campaign, with Arsenal needing a win or a goalless draw to take the First Division title (a score draw would have meant Leeds United won on goal average). The game was tight with few real chances on goal, until the very end. With three minutes to go, John Radford’s shot forced Pat Jennings into a good save; George Armstrong got to the rebound and chipped the ball across goal and Ray Kennedy headed home the winner. Spurs desperately tried to get a goal back but to no avail; Arsenal held on to win the title (the first half of the Double that season).

Tottenham 1–2 Arsenal (4 March 1987) Arsenal and Spurs had drawn 2–2 on aggregate in the League Cup semi-finals; with no away goals rule in force, the match was replayed at Spurs’ home ground of White Hart Lane. Spurs went 1–0 up through Clive Allen but Arsenal substitute Ian Allinson equalised and David Rocastle scrambled home the winner to send Arsenal through to the Final, where they won their first trophy since 1979.

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Arsenal 1–0 Tottenham (4 April 1993 at Wembley) The second FA Cup semi-final between the two, in which Arsenal sought revenge over their North London rivals for the 3–1 semi-final defeat two years earlier. Tony Adams scored with a header from a Paul Merson free kick for the Gunners in the 79th minute; Arsenal prevailed despite Lee Dixon’s sending-off, and went on to win the FA Cup in May and complete the first ever domestic cup double.

Arsenal 2–1 Tottenham (8 April 2001 at Old Trafford) – the third FA Cup semi-final between the two. Gary Doherty gave Spurs the lead, before Patrick Vieira equalised for Arsenal. Robert Pires scored a second half winner to send Arsenal through to the first FA Cup final to be played outside England, where they lost 2–1 to Liverpool in Cardiff.

Tottenham 2–2 Arsenal (25 April 2004) Arsenal were unbeaten in the Premier League and only needed a point to secure the title. The Gunners were 2–0 up after 35 minutes thanks to Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires’ goals. A famous win looked to be on the cards, but Spurs restored some pride by denying Arsenal victory; in the second half Jamie Redknapp scored from long-range, then Robbie Keane converted a 90th-minute penalty to give Arsenal their second and, as of 2018, last league championship won at their rivals’ home ground.

Arsenal 3–1 Tottenham a.e.t (31 January 2007) Arsenal booked their place in the 2007 League Cup Final, for the first time since winning the competition in 1993, after this extra-time victory. The teams drew the first leg 2–2 at White Hart Lane where Tottenham threw away a 2–0 first half lead, eventually drawing the game. The return leg game was goalless until the 77th minute when Emmanuel Adebayor gave Arsenal the lead, before Mido equalised for Tottenham five minutes from time. Jérémie Aliadière restored Arsenal’s lead in the 105th minute and the game was eventually won by Arsenal after a 113th minute own goal by Tottenham’s Pascal Chimbonda, sending Arsenal through to the final, 5–3 on aggregate. Arsenal, however, would eventually lose the final to Chelsea.

The February 10th, 2018 North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal at Wembley officially drew the biggest-ever Premier League crowd. No fewer than 83,222 fans flocked to watch the clash – ultimately won by Spurs 1-0 thanks to a Harry Kane header. In fact, the turn-out was just 38 fans short of the English league record of 83,260, set at the former home of Manchester City – Maine Road – in 1948.

The last time we lost a home game to Spurs was on November 20th 2010.

We peeled the Spuds 2-0 on their last visit to the Emirates Stadium.

GunnerN5

Recommended reading (Recommended by LBG)

https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/news/ian-wright-what-arsenal-legend-15471315

 


Support the Enemy…….come on you spurs

March 29, 2010

Yesterday was the weirdest of days in blogland. Some serious ranting took place on a  few blogs but here it seemed we were mostly stunned into silence, except for one or two who clearly wear their hearts on their sleeves.

As ever, with all things Arsenal, the camps were divided. Are we still in the race for the title or did the draw at Birmingham bring an end to our chance of winning the Premiership? Obviously, mathematically, we are still in the race as there is the possibility that the teams above us will drop points against sides that have their own goals to achieve.

In this important week, when we play Barcelona at home in the Champions Leaugue, those three points would have given us the security of knowing we are still in with a  realistic chance of landing the Premiership title. If only Almunia had pushed  harder and that ball had sailed over the bar …. as it is, we all need to push in the same direction…… or as the club motto puts it Victoria Concordia Crescit ” victory comes from harmony”

Undoubtedly, the pendulum has swung against us and in favour of the other two. Ironically we may well have to wish success on totnum, citeh and fat sam’s blackburn when they play our rivals even though they collectively represent everything we detest about the Premier League – delusions of grandeur, obscene money without class and blatant organised thuggery. For these games only, we will support the enemy.

We’re all gearing up to roast the spuds at ‘The Lame’. They think they deserve Champions League football and while they have been annoyingly persistent in holding on to 4th place thus far, I really don’t want them to get the idea that they are in any way deserving of a place in the top four.  They play the three title aspirants in succession, starting with us at the Lane followed by the chavs and then a trip to Old Trafford. Whilst I don’t want to us to drop any points against them, it would be useful if they drew the other games and take points off of the mancs and the chavs even if it meant their chances of finishing fourth were helped in the process.

Citeh will also play us and the mancs. They believe they should be playing Champions League football and when you consider the money thats been lavished on that squad – including the seriously overpriced Lazybayour – they probably have  a point. We must exact revenge for the game at Eastlands earlier in the season, but we should hope they triumph against the red mancs.  They’ll want to stamp their authority on the City of Manchester, and we’ll be the winners in terms of the title race. Are they more deserving of a top four place? I would prefer anyone but the spuds.

The chavs were held to a draw last week at Blackburn. Arsenal and the mancs will travel there in the coming weeks. Blackburn are nestled safely in 10th place so, who would Fat Sam be more likely to want to help out? Not us I reckon so we should expect a tough game from them. How important will the points be to us by then? – only time will tell

There are still a lot of twists and turns to come. This title race is destined to be one of the most exciting yet.  Arsène was clearly rattled after the game on Saturday and uncharacteristically gave the press a mouthful of very flowery language.

If only he’d bought a world class goalkeeper in the summer, he would probably have been smiling all the way home.

Think how bitter sweet it will be for spud supporters to beat the chavs and manure and in doing so help us win the title. So through gritted teeth, everything crossed, for those two games only  ………… come on you spurs…

By Rasputin and peachesgooner


WHO DOES YOUR SON SUPPORT?

March 15, 2010

In my last post, I let it be known that I was that most that unlikely of things a Gooner residing in a spud household. How did that happen? Well, bloody mindedness and if the truth is told, the love of a good argument, combined to lead me down the path to salvation. I was a Walthamstow boy – you would have thought a natural spud. The back page of the Daily Express had a leader writer named Desmond Hackett, who threatened to eat his hat (a brown bowler I believe) if the Arsenal should win a certain game? This they duly did.

Whether or not he kept his promise I know not, but the very thought of such a hilarious conclusion was enough to put a then 7 year old reprobate at odds with his family and on the road to Highbury, if not quite ruin.

Later I was to learn this was a routine expression of Hackett’s. At a time when sports reporters had tremendous influence over huge circulations their utterances were perceived by a far more innocent readership to be based on some kind of knowledge and truth. Oh that we could dare to think that today

The upshot of this deviation from the collective family wisdom was not viewed as it might have been by some, as treason, but rather that the boy had a mind of his own which should be encouraged and challenged. Thus began many happy years of verbal jousting. But more than that, it helped lay down the vocal skills which were to prove such a boon through my business life.

Eventually I had two sons of my own, one born in Manchester and the other near Liverpool. Thinking back to the benefits of my defections from the family cause, I decided that they should do the same. Thus one was encouraged to support City and the other Liverpool and still do today.

Saturday evenings and Sunday breakfast times in the years before Sky became a war zone, when all the matches were played at 3 o’clock on Saturdays. But the kids quickly learnt to hold their end up, when dealing with me and one another. Consequently the verbal attacks of opposition fans among their school friends proved no problem.

These days, as I have all the football channels, we still congregate here and watch our own local derbies and the emails and texts in between are still as sharp and pointed as ever they were.

In fact my youngest the Liverpool fan said this weekend, bugger, if you lot win the league and city come fourth I am turning my phone off and not coming round again

So my question to you all is. Who do your offspring support and why, and if it different to you, do you care?

By our  Guest Writer dandan


May 1971 – A week in the life of a Veteran Gooner

March 8, 2010

Morning all, todays post is from guest writer dandan. It’s a really good read, we hope you enjoy it.

Monday 3rd May 1971.  Just one day in a 66 year long life. Five children, 10 grandchildren and a couple of wives ago. A working life, a happy life, a fulfilled life, yet in all that life, that day, that Monday 39 years ago stands out clearly, a milestone, a marker to excitement, expectation, pride and above all friendship, togetherness and achievement.

It began early, after working the morning and fidgeting away an hour of the afternoon it was time. I climbed into my car, picked up my mate, one of four of us that travelled to all Arsenal games together. The other two plus my brother were travelling in the Ford escort that was our real communal football vehicle. Our plan was simple we would meet up inside the ground.

We travelled the back doubles avoiding main roads, but it was soon abundantly clear that something was up; mid afternoon and even the side roads were busy. Eventually at about  4 o’ clock we found a road full of parked cars, with a police no parking cone at the end, quickly we parked the car with it’s front against the cone, jumped out, moved the cone to the back of the car and walked off.

White Hart Lane was where all my family’s loyalties lay, only I was the rebel, a gooner among all those spuds. We were on enemy territory, god and what a sight a queue of people 5 or 6 deep all round the ground and into the distance. We knew immediately, absolutely no chance to get in there by normal means. What to do? We headed for the front of the queue, passing thousands of people, hundreds of coppers. A plan was needed this was serious. Finally the main iron gates into the ground were reached, luckily they were still closed, 50 yards beyond them the turnstiles stood mockingly empty, inviting, waiting for the hordes in the endless queue. A line of police stood turning away anyone trying to join the queue.

Right by the main gate stands the White Hart Pub from which the ground gets its name. It was open, we went in and got a couple of half’s (part of the plan –  couldn’t waste money) and then stood outside casually leaning against the pub wall right by the gates, sipping our beers. At 5.30 the gates are unlocked and pulled open inwards. Immediately the people at the front of the queue, who have waited there overnight, rush forward scattering the line of police. We drop our glasses literally, join the rush, and sprint to the turnstiles, pay our money and we are through and in. We must have been two of the first 50 in the ground, as the man says don’t you love it when a plan comes together.

Not only are we in the ground, but also in the enclosure, people were pouring in. We felt desperate for our mates, knowing they had no chance of getting in as they had intended leaving work a bit later.

Then amazingly there they were, pushing through the crowd to join us, I had reckoned they’d be without my brother, a spud, although he knew this ground like the back of his hand.  In those days there was a press gate in one of the side roads, he was a regular there, a few quid in the attendants hand and he and they were through. 52,000 thousand locked out and we had all made it. They had just abandoned the car in a traffic jam, if it got towed, tough. It wasn’t they found it after the match and drove home.

The game was a blur with chances at either end, gradually we got on top, a 0 – 0 draw would be enough to win the league. Then with 3 minutes to go, Geordie Armstrong centered, Ray Kennedy leaped and headed home. Pandemonium, the stadium muted with tension till then, erupted. White Hart became Red and White Hart, every Spud seemed to disappear under a sea of scarves, hats and frantic, cheering, hugging, jumping Gooners.  The Spurs team went berserk kicking all and sundry the intention seeming to be that we would not field a full team in Saturdays cup final to take their ‘double’ record away. The referee saw what was happening and sensibly blew the whistle early. Where and how all the spuds disappeared to has puzzled me over the years, but the stadium from the moment the goal went in belonged to The Arsenal.

We left deliriously happy, found the car. No ticket, moved the cone and moved off listening to the radio singing and laughing. The normal 1hr journey home took 2 hrs but we never really noticed, what a day, what a night and the cup final still to come just 5 days away.

I had intended to end this post right there, with the championship won and the first leg of the 1971 double secured. But the act of writing it down after all these years, set me to thinking just how immense the events surrounding The Arsenal of the double year and that week in particular were in my life. Enlightening me above all to the importance of friendship and loyalty in a changing world.

First some background, as I said earlier I came from a family of Spuds, my earliest football memories are of being taken to WHL by my father (I saw Stanley Mathews play there, for Stoke I think) and the cup finals on TV. In those far off days the Cup Final was the only game live on TV, although before that you could see short highlights of it on Pathe News at Saturday morning cinema.

We then moved from London to Hertfordshire about a mile from what is now Beckingham Palace the home of David and Posh. So a trip into London for a carless family was an expensive undertaking and not taken often. For this reason as we got older the annual BBC Cup Final broadcast became a big event in our house. My 2 mates from school both Gooners would come along together with a gaggle of friends and family of the Spud variety.

Mum would move back and forth recharging cups and glasses and topping up the buffet she had provided, whilst we huddled around the TV. Then came the 1961 final when Dads dreams came true and Spurs did the double and the family partied long into the night. Us three Gooners of course the butt of every joke going. We were 17 at the time, apprentices or trainees, just able to afford to go to the home games at Highbury by train. Later I got a car and all games became available. But always the Cup Final at my parents home for my mates and I was mandatory.

Fast forward to 1971 double year, my parents have moved to Southampton, as Dads progression through the company required him to relocate. Then a week before Christmas the world changed, whilst travelling the dual carriageway that predated the M3 my dad’s car was hit by a lorry that came through the trees that lined the central reservation, he and his passenger died instantly.

I was devastated, my Dad and great mate gone. But my three Arsenal mates took over and made sure that I was accompanied to every Arsenal game that season and as they moved inexorably towards the double the sadness and realisation of the leg pulling and verbal I was missing with Dad grew.

Came that final week in May, Spurs on the Monday a euphoric, poignant day safely negotiated. Now because we had saved our programme vouchers, we also had our cup final tickets. But as the five days past I realised that I could not go to Wembley leaving my Mum alone down in Southampton, I needed to go and watch it with her. I gave my ticket to my mates and told them to give them to a Arsenal fan outside the ground.

They said nothing until Friday, our snooker night, when we met up they dropped the bombshell, they too had given their tickets away, and the faithful Escort all ballooned and ribboned up was parked outside and  bound for Southampton in the morning.

Needless to say it was a marvelous day tinged with sadness of course, Liverpool were overcome. Willow missed one on  the near post, Charlie lay on his back and waited his adulation, GG claimed a goal he never touched, whilst Eddy the real scorer couldn’t give a monkeys at the time, Frank at the final whistle, told the world we had xxxxxxx done it. Whilst we in the smart bungalow in Southampton watched it all on the big new colour Television that Dad had brought for my mum just 6 months previously.

It helped a lovely lady start to come to terms with her loss, but it taught me the meaning of true friends, enriching my life beyond belief and now all these years later as retirees, we still meet and greet and talk about our Arsenal days.

So I owe the Arsenal a great deal. Remarkably just that one word conjures up memories, of triumphs and disasters, but most of all it reminds me, that a common interest cemented four young men into lifetime friends.

Finally, may I say, as a newcomer, that as I read your posts, I sense that same feeling of comradeship, and respect for each other. Great game football, great club the Arsenal.

By dandan