Ban the Banner and the Banner … Or Not? ….. Your Vote Counts

March 9, 2016

This is just my opinion ……

The gloss was taken off yesterday’s excellent victory for me by the decision of one/some of our away supporters to hold up a banner at the end of the game which called for Arsene Wenger to resign.

I was particularly sad for our players who were making their way over to celebrate with the fans when the banner was raised and then had no alternative but to turn around and walk away dejectedly for fear that the Press would have a field day …. you can see the headlines …”Arsenal players celebrate in front of Arsene Out banner”

No one is going to complain about a banner that is positive in its message, but do we have a right to display negativity in such a public way?

Of course freedom of speech says we do, so let’s qualify the question a bit in this poll.

You can tick multiple answers if you choose.

Rasp


Wembley! Wembley! We’re the famous Arsenal and we’re going to WEMBLEY!!!

March 10, 2015

Arsenal’s romance with the FA Cup continued last night after an epic quarter final win at Old Trafford to finally put an end to the hoodoo at the stadium which has cursed them in recent times.

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A journey with three friends and my nephew was very fun indeed and we were all in good spirits despite our concerns about our record at Old Trafford. I was also buoyed by Bangladesh’s win in the cricket World Cup! But football was the focal point now.

Little did I know at this point I would witness one of the best games and atmospheres (only the Arsenal end) I have attended. A quick mix grill and off we were to the “Theatre of back passes” a term used to malign the Manchester teams style of play this season.

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The game started with Arsenal giving away cheap possession and Fellaini putting his weight about much to the annoyance of the Arsenal supporters. In the East Stand where the Arsenal supporters were placed, there was a feeling of injustice when Hector Bellerin was booked for a foul on Ashley Young who seems to have been taking more diving lessons from British swimmer Tom Daley. This infuriated supporters with almost every Arsenal fan pondering why referee Michael Oliver booked the young Spaniard so early in the game for his first tackle.

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The fans though rallied behind the team and there was a feeling of togetherness between the travelling faithful constantly singing in tune. Then the other Spanish full back, Nacho Monreal, who has become an unsung hero, was played in by Alex Chamberlain after a fantastic run, and there was Nacho to finish emphatically beating De Gea at his near post.

The joy amongst the Arsenal fans was short lived. Only moments later Di Maria found Shrek with a cross whose header found the back of the net. The Arsenal fans were seething and the inquest began between supporters about why Shrek was left with so much room and venting their frustration at Koscielney and Mertesacker.

Chesney then kept out Di Maria’s effort saving with his legs and then half time came and Arsenal were able to re-group.

The Arsenal fans were in fantastic voice mocking the hosts and hurling constant abuse at Manchester United supporters. This stemmed from the rivalry between the clubs and supporters even took a trip down memory lane in the stands by talking about past encounters where Arsenal got stuck into the dirty Mancs, notably the infamous brawl in 1990 and Keown’s swipe at the cheating Ruud Van Nistelrooy in 2003.

Arsenal came out in the second half and stood firm and then in the 61st minute a moment which stunned the Manchester United supporters. A back pass by Valencia was seized upon by the tireless Danny Welbeck. The forward rounded the hapless De Gea and slotted home to send 9,000 Arsenal supporters into absolute raptures.

The fact Danny scored against his former employers made it so much sweeter for the Arsenal fans. A few supporters began the chant with everyone then taking part –

‘He left coz your sh*t! He left coz your sh******t! Danny Welbeck! He left coz your sh*t!’

Security officers and stewards were called into Block E233 by this point as a section of Arsenal fans were standing on seats and on top of walls, causing havoc, such was their delight. The stewards had a difficult job to contain them during this jamboree but who could blame them?

The Arsenal fans were really now enjoying themselves and constantly taunting the Manchester United supporters which would last until the final whistle and outside the ground. There was still over 30 mins left and Arsenal weathered the storm.

Di Maria was then sent off after putting his hands on the referee and then Arsenal absorbed many attacks, mainly long balls. Fellaini was up to his usual tricks of using hands and elbows and was finally booked, cue the sarcastic applause for Michael Oliver who finally brandished a yellow card to him. Arsenal then hit United on the break with Santi Cazorla drawing a fantastic save from compatriot De Gea, who then denied Alexis.

After 5 long minutes of injury time the final whistle came and the night belonged to the North Londoners. Arsenal booked another trip to Wembley but it was not over there..

Have that Fergie !

Have that Fergie !

This was one of the best results in recent years and despite there being a split fan base over the season there were no signs of it on this night. The Arsenal fans went mental, singing, mocking Manchester United fans, dancing in the stands and then outside the ground much to the anger of the police who could not usher the Arsenal fans away.

Nine thousand fans who made a long trip despite the fixture being on a Monday night causing chaos for people who had work, school and other commitments.  Miserable Manchester United fans walked past the dancing Arsenal fans singing “WEMBLEY” and the look on their face was priceless, knowing that Arsenal ended their season.

Maybe now these United fans were off to the supermarket to get those sour grapes before going home. Arsenal players, Manager and fans can be very proud after their performances on this night. Everyone associated with the club played their part.

Victoria, Concordia, Cresit.

Next stop.. WEMBLEY!

UTA!

by @SirAHussain


The FA Cup history of Arsenal vs Manchester United

March 9, 2015

I havespent many hours researching the history of the games played between the two clubs and different sites had different records. Based on my research I believe that the results that I’m using are reliable however the records go back 121 years so it is still possible that there may be some minor discrepancies.   ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The first game between the two world famous clubs took place away at North Road, Manchester. It was played on Saturday October 13th 1894 and the game ended in a 3-3 draw. Both teams were in League Division 2 and at the time – United were known as Newton Heath and Arsenal as Woolwich Arsenal.

During our years in Division 2 we played United on 20 occasions with a winning record of W10 L7 D3, both teams had dominant home records.

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Arsenal finished 2nd in 1903/4 with 49 points and gained promotion to Division 1 beating out United who finished 3rd with 48 points. United gained promotion the following season and our first game in Division 1 took place away on Nov 10th, 1906 we lost 0-1 and won our home game 4-0.

We were relegated back to Division 2 in 1912/13 but due to some back room shenanigans by Sir Henry Norris we “popped” back up 1919/20 and have remained in the top flight of English football to this day – much to the dismay of those who remain in our everlasting shadow.

Our overall Division 1 record was incredibly close with United coming out on top by 2 games out of 126 played with a record of W50 L48 D 28.

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The Premier League was formed in 1992/3 and there have been many classic encounters between the two teams but for a variety of reasons that have been (repeatedly) debated over the years we have invariably come out second best. United have dominated the Premier League winning 13 championships and only finishing outside of the top 3 on 1 occasion in 22 seasons.

Like most clubs we have a poor PL record against United with a record of W11 L21 D13 we have an awful record at Old Trafford with a record of W3 L14 D5 our home record is more positive at W8 L7 D8.

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 Here is our complete record.

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Although I have not researched other teams records against United our overall record may well be the best with only a 13 game difference in 212 total games played over our 121 year history.

Finally let’s take a look at our FA Cup record, but first here are brief reports on some of the more memorable clashes –

Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal 2011 FA Cup – Quarter-Final

Neither side came into this clash high on confidence with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United having lost their previous two matches against Chelsea and Liverpool, while Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal had recently lost a League Cup final to Birmingham and been dumped out of the Champions League by Barcelona. Despite Ferguson naming an extraordinarily defensive side on paper, with seven defenders and Darron Gibson accompanying Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez, it was United who ran out 2-0 winners. Fabio da Silva opened the scoring and Rooney sealed it with a second soon after the break. The joy was short-lived however as United were beaten by rivals Manchester City in their Wembley semi-final.

Arsenal 0-0 (5-4 pens) Manchester United 2005 FA Cup – Final

History was made in Cardiff when the FA Cup final was decided on penalties for the first time with Arsenal beating Manchester United 5-4 on spot-kicks after a goalless draw. United had enjoyed by far the better of the game itself with Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy each hitting the woodwork and when Jose Antonio Reyes was sent off in the final moments of extra-time their dominance was confirmed in numbers as well as chances. But the Gunners showed extraordinary resilience and were blemish-free from 12 yards, while Paul Scholes saw his penalty saved by Jens Lehmann. The winning kick was taken by Captain Patrick Vieira in what was to prove his final game for the club.

Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal 2004 FA Cup – Semi-Final

Arsenal had won the FA Cup in each of the previous two seasons and the Invincibles were en route to going unbeaten throughout an entire Premier League season when the sides met at Villa Park in April 2004. However, it was Manchester United who progressed to the final against lower-league Millwall thanks to a 1-0 win. Edu and Patrick Vieira both hit the woodwork for the Gunners but with Thierry Henry omitted from the starting line-up and Ruud van Nistelrooy injured for the Red Devils, it was left to Paul Scholes to provide the incision, firing home from close range just after the half-hour mark. United held on to end Arsenal’s 18-game unbeaten run in the competition and claimed the trophy when they defeated Millwall 3-0 the following month.

Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal 1999 FA Cup – Semi Final

This famous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs had enough drama for five classics. David Beckham opened the scoring by curling into the far corner – the first goal Arsenal had conceded in over seven hours. But Dennis Bergkamp equalised midway through the second half with a great turn and shot and the Gunners could’ve gone ahead when Nicolas Anelka had a goal disallowed for offside. When Roy Keane was sent off shortly afterwards, Arsenal were in the ascendancy and looked set to win it when Phil Neville conceded a last-minute penalty by bringing down Ray Parlour. But Peter Schmeichel saved brilliantly from Bergkamp and when Patrick Vieira surrendered possession to substitute Ryan Giggs, the Welshman scored one of the great solo goals. “The luckiest team won” said Arsene Wenger

Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal 1983 FA Cup – Semi Final

The 1983 FA Cup semi-final was the second domestic cup competition in which the two teams had faced off that season, with Ron Atkinson’s United already 6-3 aggregate winners over two legs of the League Cup. England international Tony Woodcock gave the Gunners the lead at Villa Park but Bryan Robson came up with an equaliser just before half-time. A 17-year-old Norman Whiteside was the hero for United when he thumped in the winner. “It was a great moment,” Robson told the official Manchester United website recently. “To have won the semi-final and be on the way to Wembley was fantastic.” It was to get better for Atkinson’s team when they beat Brighton at the second attempt to lift the trophy with both Robson and Whiteside among the scorers.

Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United 1979 FA Cup – Final

The old cliché about never being more vulnerable than when you’ve scored a goal ought to have been written for this game as Alan Sunderland ensured United’s comeback counted for nothing. The Gunners had gone ahead through Brian Talbot before Frank Stapleton doubled the lead just before half-time with Liam Brady once again the architect. But Gordon McQueen pulled one back from a set-piece with just five minutes remaining and a late equaliser by Sammy McIlroy, wriggling free from his markers, seemed to complete the comeback. However, just as the momentum seemed to be with Dave Sexton’s side, Sunderland popped up at the far post to turn in Graham Rix’s cross and win it for Arsenal. No wonder it was dubbed the ‘Five Minute Final’.

Our FA Cup record against United is very close with the exception of games played at Old Trafford where we have a record of W2 L4 D0. Our complete record is-

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I acknowledge that stats don’t count for anything on game day but they show that it takes a brave person to be confident of a win at Old Trafford – the writer is one of the brave but I once read that a coward dies a thousand deaths while a brave man only dies once, oh boy – am I prepared to die for the cause……………??

GunnerN5

 

 

 


Boro Buried By Buoyant Arsenal

February 16, 2015

Here are a few AAers’ comments after the game …………………. 

LB said

I think I would describe that as the perfectly executed plan.

Who would have thought that Wenger would have started with a 4.2.4 line up? The idea was clearly to go at them, all guns blazing, get ahead and by doing so would force them onto us, before bringing Walcott on in the latter stages to run riot with his pace. And that is exactly what happened.

If Boro were hoping for a lift from Wenger opting to field a weaker team they were disappointed. 

Welbeck, Giroud, Ozil and Sanchez up front, wow that is some front line.

Gabriel didn’t have that much to do but there were some very encouraging signs. His professional foul was a South American master class.

https://twitter.com/BBCSport/status/567228008227160064

stevepalmer1 said

I felt we gave a good account of ourselves, pretty on the eye, plenty of possession with some nice quick passing. I would like to see us making challenges earlier on forward running attackers as i feel we open up and give them chances but apart from that not bad at all. 

My MOTM would have been Gibbs the lad ran up and down all game and made his self a nuisance but also did his defensive work well. Very happy with that effort but have to say expected more goals but 2 goals is still blinding. Don’t want to leave Chambers out another fine days work son.

Boro2

Gooner In Exile said

Gibbs had a very positive game obviously showing he wants his shirt back.

But I think I loved watching the front three of Ozil, Santi and Alexis, they were walking into little spaces and making gorgeous passing. Past their way out of the press with ease.

Also has anyone noticed the skill Welly uses quite a lot, where he kind of allows the player to commit a sliding tackle before he touches the ball and he kind of picks it up with his trailing leg, it’s very effective and useful because he seems to break away more often than not using it.

Let’s not forget this was Boro and we are going to face better less gappy buses than this in the remainder of the league campaign.

Ratings

Szczesny 8 – Not much to do – Great having him as second choice keeper! 

Chambers 8 – Hungry and competent without being tested too much

Koscielny 9 – Needed a rest and got one by cruising through the game

Gabriel 8 – Fitted in straightaway. Took one for the team in the right area of the field

Gibbs 9 –  Excellent throughout  

Flamini 8 – Very effective against limited opposition

Cazorla 9 – His performance was as tall as his hair

Ozil 9 – A world class player able to show it against a disappointing ‘Boro

Welbeck 8 – Just finding his form again. Could have a great end of season

Sanchez 9 – Love the man almost as much as he loves playing

Giroud 9 – Two crackers. The first a team goal, the second opportunist 

Cobbled together by chas

 

 


South Coast Shenanigans …… Ant ‘n Duck on the road to Brighton

January 30, 2015

We set off from Nottingham at 8am to make sure we’d get down to Brighton for midday, though early on a Sunday is usually a good time to travel anyway. A punk soundtrack and only three hours direct to the multi-storey car park meant that the journey flew by and we’d have plenty of time for a few sherbets.

Hotel check-in couldn’t take place before 3pm which meant that’d have to wait until after the game, so straight to Wetherspoons and first pint of the day. The pub proved to be a good choice as it seemed to be a meeting point for stacks of Gooners. Plenty of hugging back slapping and ‘how’s it going?’ followed which launched us into the away trip feel very nicely, thank you.

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After a couple we moved on for a more traditional taste of Brighton, an Irish pub! The Fiddler’s Elbow had been recommended and happened to be less than 100 yards away. We just caught them opening at 12, so were their first customers and had a choice of any seat in the house. The next two and a half hours flew by and is now a little like a time lapse video in my memory, twelve o’clock pub empty, half past two rammed to the rafters. Shed loads of Gooners again, chatting to Brighton and Arsenal alike, just as it should be. The first sorties into the packed lunch helped to absorb some of the Guinness.

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As usual we’d worked out the best way of getting to the ground, the 25 bus from just round the corner in Churchill Square. This was before the main central area where the train station sits, so we had more chance of getting on. The Amex is several miles outside Brighton and transport is problematic (more of this later). We went past Brighton Pavilion which meant we could get the required amount of sightseeing under our belts.

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After a couple of stops the bus was full with the driver operating a one off one on policy, so we’d guessed right about where to get on. The 20 minute bus ride took about 45 but after a half dozen beers, proved to be a diverting experience. Arriving at the stadium with a half hour to go to kick off, allowed plenty of time to watch the warm up and for one of the mascots to have his photo taken with a muppet.

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The game was very enjoyable after Walcott’s early strike settled nerves. Mine and Ant’s eyesight were severely tested with Arsenal’s second as we both thought that Giroud had scored. Big lad in the area scores with his left foot, what were we to assume? Perhaps this was evidence that Mesut has bulked up somewhat while out with injury, or maybe proof that you always see more of the game if you watch on TV (or that we both need new or replacement glasses). Ant had some knobheads to his right who were abusing Szczesny throughout the game in one form or another. Even after the fans sang ‘ He smokes when he wants’, they seemed to fail to grasp the fact that it was intended to support a player in an Arsenal shirt.

The second half was a little more scary after Brighton’s early reply but Tommy’s crisp volley proved decisive in the end. Sanchez coming on as sub provoked numerous renditions of his (fairly) new song, ‘Alexis Sanchez, baby, Alexis Sanchez, wohhhoooh’ to the tune of ‘Don’t You Want me Baby’. Not sure about that one but it seems popular.

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Cue celebrations at the final whistle and Little Mozart throwing his shirt into the Arsenal section.

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My previous attempts at coronation chicken have always involved Sunday’s leftovers, so I’m back on familiar ground with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for cold cooked chicken. The dressing is simplicity itself: 2 tbsp “good spicy fruit chutney” (I use mango, in keeping with the Anglo-Indian theme), mixed with 1 tbsp “good Madras curry powder” and equal parts Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise and tossed through the meat, which is then left to marinate for a couple of hours and finally garnished with toasted almonds and chopped coriander. The sandy colour looks the part to our modern eyes, and the assertively fruity, spicy flavour wins fans too – everyone loves it, although my mum points out quite rightly that the raw curry powder adds a harsh note to the dressing. The yoghurt stops the mayonnaise from taking over the dish, without imparting the slightly buttery flavour of creme fraiche. A solid, crowd-pleasing recipe for anyone in a hurry – and I love the crunch of the nuts.

Getting away from the ground was tricky to say the least with the majority of Brighton’s record attendance heading back towards the town centre. There were a few incidents where frustrated supporters from both teams became a little fractious both with the transport arrangements and with each other. We stayed in the ground for a pint after the game but still had to queue for a fair time to get a train back to the city centre.

Having finally arrived back in Brighton, we checked into our salubrious accommodation at the Travelodge on Brighton Seafront and set off back to the ‘Spoons for a cheap meal and a couple more celebratory beers. Then, back to the room for 10.30 to see MOTD2 and hear some dubious words of wisdom from Phil Snivel.

All in all a great trip.

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Up The Arse.

Written by chas

 


The Mods defeat the Rockers …. Brighton 2-3 Arsenal

January 26, 2015

Firstly, the result. A 3-2 winning scoreline can only be bettered by a 4-3, a 5-4,  and so on.

Seven changes from a side that went away to beat the current League Champions, and with that, the current Cup Holders marched on into today’s draw.

When so many changes are made, we’re looking at squad depth, and players returning from injuries.

Recently, Mozart and Santi have been the heartbeat of the side, and yesterday Thomas continued his incredible run of form, coming out by some distance as Man of the Match.

Mixing up centre back pairings is always an excellent idea if you want a little excitement when taking on some lower league minnows, and yesterday the plan worked to perfection. From 2-0 up, the changes had the desired effect with Brighton twice scrambling back into the game to give us the exciting climax we all enjoyed so much.

Most Arsenal eyes will have been on the returning Mesut and Theo, and mine were no exception.

Really, there were no great surprises. Theo continued to blow away a few cobwebs, and began with a typically clinical finish. As far as I’m concerned, the thought of Alexis suffering a long termer without the goals of Theo is terrifying, so great to see Theo back on the score sheet.

Mesut: looks stronger for sure, but as with last season, I don’t believe we will ever see the best of him without a fast striker through the middle.

As for the rest of the side, well, ok performances, nothing outstanding but enough to provide an enthralling encounter. RC78 said more or less the same thing in his player ratings, but the most accurate for me was on Ollie: industrious but not dangerous. We played some wonderful moves during the ninety yesterday, and if I was going to be critical it would be the finishing.

This should have been a less exciting 5-2.

MickyDidIt89


An Arsenal Blast from the Past No. 14 Arsenal’s FA Cup Final History

May 16, 2014

Original FA Cup 001

Tomorrow Arsenal plays Hull City in their record eighteenth FA Cup Final appearance; they are tied with Manchester United. Hull City will be making their first appearance.

Here is a brief accounting of our Cup Final appearances.

 

1926-1927 – Arsenal vs Cardiff City

Arsenal’s first final, but sadly we lost 0-1 and it’s the only time the FA Cup left England.

This was also the first time that there was community signing at a FA Cup Final.

The tradition of signing “Abide with Me” which was written in 1847 by a vicar from Devon also had its debut performance.

FA Cup Song Sheet 1927 001

 

1929-1930 – Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town

Our first FA Cup victory, and first ever trophy, we won 2-0 on goals by Alex James and Jack Lambert. This was the start of one on our most successful decades, we were led by Herbert Chapman undoubtedly the greatest Manger of his time and arguably Arsenal’s best ever Manager. The Final was interrupted by a fly over of the German airship Graf Zeppelin.

 

1931-1932 – Arsenal vs Newcastle United

Our second loss we were beaten 1-2 with Bob John scoring our only goal.

In the thirty eighth minute with Arsenal winning 1-0 Newcastle attacked down the right wing, a long pass appeared to go over the line but it was hooked into the middle and they scored an easy equaliser. The linesman was ninety feet away and the referee sixty feet but the referee still gave Newcastle the goal. Newsreel confirmed that the ball had crossed the line.

 

1935-1936 – Arsenal vs Sheffield United

Our second victory we won 1-0 with Ted Drake scoring our goal.

Having won the League Championship three seasons in a row we now added our second FA Cup to our trophy collection. Herbert Chapman had died suddenly two years earlier and George Allison was now our manager. It was our sixth success in League and Cup in seven seasons.

 

1949-1950 – Arsenal vs Liverpool

Our third victory we won 2-0 with Reg Lewis scoring both goals.

This was the era of the Compton brothers, Denis and Leslie, both were famous footballers and cricketers. They played in both sports for England with Leslie not making his football debut for England until he was thirty eight years old.

 

1951-1952 – Arsenal vs Newcastle United

Our third loss we were beaten 0-1.

Newcastle became the second club to win the Cup in successive years after Blackburn Rovers in 1890 and 1891. Arsenal was down to ten men in the thirty fifth minute after Wally Barnes was injured, Newcastle scored the only goal of the game six minutes from time. Winston Churchill made the Cup presentation to Newcastle; he is the only Prime Minster to have made the presentation at Wembley.

 

1970-1971 – Arsenal vs Liverpool

Our fourth victory we won 2-0 with goals by Eddie Kelly and Charlie George.

Bertie Mee Double 001

This was indeed Red Letter day for Arsenal, having won the League Championship at White Hart Lane the victory secured our first League and Cup double. We were drawn away in every round of the competition and needed a replay to beat Leeds United in the semi-final. Charlie George scored his unforgettable winning goal from twenty five yards out in the twenty first minute of extra time.

 

1971-1972 – Arsenal vs Leeds United

Our fourth loss we were beaten 0-1.

This was a disappointing day for Arsenal but it set up the first stage of the “Double” for Leeds. They went to Wolverhampton just forty eight hours later needing only a draw to clinch the League Championship but to their disappointment they lost 2-1.

 

1977-1978 – Arsenal vs Ipswich Town

Our fifth loss we were beaten 0-1.

This was the fiftieth Cup Final and Arsenal was the odds on favourites to win their fifth FA Cup but Ipswich, managed by Bobby Robson, had other thoughts. They reduced Arsenal to nothing more than a supporting role and won the game with a goal in the seventy sixth minute but they also hit the post or bar on three other occasions.

 

1978-1979 – Arsenal vs Manchester United

Our fifth victory we won 3-2 with goals by Brian Talbot, Frank Stapleton and Alan Sunderland.

The game was described as the “Five Minute Final” a routine heavy weight bout with a finish that matched the “Matthews Final” in raw excitement. Arsenal led 2-0 with less than five minutes remaining when Manchester United scored two goals in 115 seconds. Extra-time appeared inevitable until Liam Brady, who was the architect of Arsenal’s first two goals picked up the ball straight from the re-start. He passed to Graham Rix, on the left, who centered to Alan Sunderland and he slid the ball into the net for the winning goal.

 

1979-1980 – Arsenal vs West Ham United

Our sixth loss we were beaten 0-1.

One of the most disappointed Arsenal fans on this day was GunnerN5 – I drove, on my own, four hundred miles through the mountains from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho to Cranbook, British Columbia. I had booked a hotel room in Cranbrook as the game was not being shown in the USA. Even a bottle of Macallan could not mask my disappointment and the return journey, the next day, was one of the longest and loneliest drives of my life.

 

1992-1993 – Arsenal vs Sheffield Wednesday

Our sixth victory we won 2-1 with goals by Ian Wright, Wright, Wright and Andy Linighan.

Arsenal became the first club to win both the FA Cup and the League Cup in one season but Sheffield United would prefer not to talk about that as they were the team that lost to Arsenal in both Finals. Andy Lineghan headed home the winning goal from a Paul Merson corner kick in the last minute of extra time

 

1997-1998 – Arsenal vs Newcastle United

Our seventh victory we won 2-0 with goals by Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka.

arsene-wenger_double

Arsenal finally beat Newcastle in a FA Cup Final having lost to them in both 1932 and 1952. This was Arsene Wengers first full season as Arsenal manager and he ended the season with a fist full of silver after winning both the FA Cup and The League Championship to secure Arsenals second “Double” season.

 

2000-2001 – Arsenal vs Liverpool

Our seventh loss we were beaten 1-2 with Freddie Ljungberg scoring our only goal.

Arsenal dominated the game but Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1, thus winning the FA Cup for the sixth time. It was the second trophy of their treble-winning season of 2000–01: they had won the Football League Cup in late February and would win the UEFA Cup four days later. As well as being the first FA Cup Final to be staged outside of England, it was also the first in which the managers of both teams were from outside the British Isles – Liverpool’s Gérard Houllier and Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger both coming from France.

 

2001-2002 – Arsenal vs Chelsea

Our eighth victory we won 2-0 with goals by Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg.

Ljungberg, having also scored in the 2001 final, became the first man to score goals in successive FA Cup Finals since Tottenham Hotspur’s Bobby Smith, who scored in 1961 and 1962. The match took place with one week remaining in the Premier League calendar for the 2001–02 season. Arsenal were in first position, but still needed a point from their final two games to secure the championship, which they achieved in their next match with victory over second-placed Manchester United. It was Arsene Wengers second and Arsenals third League and Cup double.

 

2002-2003 – Arsenal vs Southampton

Our ninth victory we won 1-0 with Robert Pires scoring the only goal.

The Gunners won their second Cup in 2 years with a dominant performance over Southampton. The gulf in class between the 2 teams was not evident in the score line as Arsenal won by the single goal, a scrambled shot by Robert Pires. The last 7 minutes of the game saw Arsenal retain almost constant possession accompanied by a string of cheers from their supporters. Southampton had a mere 2 chances to score. the last of which came in the dying seconds as Ashley Cole saved the day with a goal line clearance.

 

2004-2005 – Arsenal vs Manchester United

Our tenth victory we won a penalty shootout 5-4 with Patrick Vieira scoring the decisive penalty.

The game was dominated by Manchester United who did everything but score a goal, Arsenals defence was stubborn to the end and forced the game into a penalty shootout.

Van Nistelrooy took the first penalty for Manchester United, in front of the United fans, and sent Lehmann the wrong way to give United the early advantage. Lauren then converted the next penalty for Arsenal, before Scholes stepped up to take United’s second, only to see it saved by Lehmann, diving low to his right. The next six penalties were all scored – Ljungberg, Van Persie and Cole for Arsenal, Ronaldo, Rooney and Keane for Manchester United – leaving Vieira with the opportunity to win the FA Cup for Arsenal in his last match for the club before moving to Juventus. Although Carroll guessed the correct way to dive, Vieira’s kick was just out of his reach, giving Arsenal their 10th FA Cup. Manchester felt aggrieved to have lost a game where they outplayed Arsenal – but frankly who gives a damn?

 

2013-2014 – Arsenal vs Hull City

The game is still to be played.

The Cup is still to be raised.

The story is still to be written.

FA Cup Trophy

 

GunnerN5


An Arsenal Blast from the past …… The birth of the FA Cup

May 9, 2014

Original FA Cup 1872 - No.10 001

Although there are no official records it is thought that The FA Cup was a concept first proposed by Charles Alcock after official business had been concluded at a Football Association meeting on July 20, 1871 – Alcock proposed:

“That it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association, for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete”
last blast 1
The FA’s first minute book records that the proposal was approved unanimously. The seven man committee that approved the resolution included the captains of the first final, Charles W. Alcock and Francis Maridin its referee Alfred Stair and the games only goal scorer Morton Peto-Betts. The idea was generally well favoured and at a subsequent meeting on October 16th, 1871 the rules for the competition were drafted. The original committee could never have imagined the time when their concept would become one of the most loved sporting events in England and would be seen by millions of people around the world. Nor could they have foreseen that it would become the forerunner to all knock out competitions including the World Cup, which has a worldwide audience of over one billion.

FA Cup Resolution No.10 001

Fifteen clubs entered the first competition: Barnes, Civil Service, Clapham Rovers, Crystal Palace, Hampstead Heathens, Harrow Chequers, Hitchen, Maidenhead, Marlow, Reigate Priory, Royal Engineers, Upton Park, The Wanderers, Queens Park of Glasgow and Donnington School. It was a somewhat erratic affair with Harrow Chequers, Reigate Priory and Donnington School scratching without playing a single game. Queens Park was given an exemption to the semi-finals due to the distance involved and the cost of travel, sides which drew were also allowed to move on to the next round. Queens Park received public donations which allowed them to travel to Kennington Oval for their semi-final against Scottish pioneers the Wanderers and played to a draw, a lack of funds ruled them out of a replay at the Oval so they were forced to withdraw from the competition.

The Wanderers faced the Royal Engineers in the final which was played at the Oval on March 16, 1872. Two thousand spectators paid a shilling each when the average weekly wage at the time was under twenty shillings. The crossbar was either a piece of tape or rope, teams changed ends after each goal and the field was unmarked inside the touchlines. The Wanderers, who were captained by Charles Alcock, won the game on a single goal scored by Morton Peto-Betts of West Kent, he was a member of the FA committee that had approved the birth of the FA Cup. Wanderers went on to win five out of the first seven FA Cups.

Morton Peto Betts was the scorer of the games only goal and the very first FA Cup Final goal but early reports indicated that the game was won with a “well placed shot under the tape” by A. H. Chequer, however this was actually Betts who played using the pseudonym of A. H. Chequer because he had started the competition as a member of the Harrow Chequer side, who had scratched without playing a game.

Here is a picture of Betts which was taken at Bickley Park Cricket Club in Kent.
Morton Peto-Betts 002

The president of the Football Association, Ebenezer Cobb Morley was the first man to present the FA Cup. The cup presentation took place four weeks after the Final at the Wanderers annual dinner at the Pall Mall Restaurant at Charing Cross.

Ebebezer Cobb Morley No.10 001

Fast forward to May 17, 2014 for the one hundred and thirty third FA Cup Final – the game will be between Arsenal and Hull City. Arsenal is appearing in its record eighteenth Final and has won the trophy on ten occasions, the last being in 2005, while Hull City will be making their first ever appearance in the Final.

This is the last Blast from the Past.
GunnerN5.

 


Friday on My Mind

January 24, 2014

FA Cup on a Friday night? What is the world coming to?

Actually I like it. Mrs. Raddy likes it and therefore the local retailers are delighted.  Do you think this is the future or will too much football on television lead to a mass turn-off? We shall see how this experiment works, but an evening kick-off at the end of the working week ticks all the boxes for me. Especially a game in which Mr Wenger will have the opportunity to experiment – though not too much because the FA Cup remains a valuable trophy.

And what of Coventry? Gone are the days of fat Micky Quinn ruining my day at Highbury on a sunny August afternoon in the season Quinn scored 4 times against us (1993). No Sirree,  We are top of the PL and Coventry languish in the dark depths of League One and we don’t have a midfield of Morrow, Hillier, Jensen, Selley or McGoldrick,

Unknown

Micky, old Style Player. Beer gut, moustache, short shorts and dreadful kit

Coventry no longer play in their hometown. Blues fans have been boycotting  “home” games which are played at Northampton, as such they will be in their thousands at THOF tonight. Their team is made up of mainly local young chaps who are doing well despite a 10 point deduction for financial irregularities.

Last season in the CC Cup we beat Coventry 6-1, they will do better tonight. Coming to THOF with just one loss in their last 12 away games Coventry will be quietly confident of  creating an upset. They have a fully fit squad which I would like to tell you all about, giving detailed assessments of their strengths and weakness, a short description of their significant players, a tactical analysis of Coventry’s recent games and an interview with their manager, Steve Pressley.

Sadly, that will have to wait for another day …..

Arsenal: Who plays? Well we know who won’t play – Ramsey, Rosicky, Arteta and the rest of the long-term sick.

Given the opposition I expect Mr Wenger to play an experienced defence and then some of the younger fellows further up the field. Nik is sure to start with Gnabry on his right.

Fabianski is the cup GK  and with Koscielny and Podolski in the team we will be “Poled Up” which will make Evonne happy! Thinking of which, did you know that Mertesacker’s nickname in Germany is “Die Abwehrlatte” which means The Defensive Pole 😀

My Team:

arse v cov

Ox and Gnabry make very young and inexperienced “inside forwards” but I think they are our future and it will be interesting to see how they cope.  Perhaps we will see another outing for Myachi who has been on the sidelines this season, or maybe a cameo from Park. I expect Mr Wenger to have OG and Ozil on the bench in case it all goes tits up (sorry, Peaches Mum).

Coventry. The name comes from a Bronze age tribe who lived in the area, the Corieltauvi, who lived all over the Midlands before the Romans arrived and gave them a severe spanking. The Romans gave way to the Saxons who had their trousers removed by the Danish Vikings in 1016. They founded a Benedectine monastery which was run by the famous stripper Lady Godiva. By the middle ages Coventry was the biggest town in the Midlands. During the English Civil war Royalists were imprisoned in the city which gave rise to the expression “Sent to Coventry” (which means to be ostracised)

Fascinating. Well, it is to me!!

Back to football.  As we approach the end of the transfer window is anyone confident of a signing? Do we need one? Tonight will be an indicator. It is an important night for Bendtner, a man who has fluffed his lines so often. Play well this evening and who knows, he may earn another contract – if not at Arsenal then another high profile club; play a stinker without effort and a massive reduction of wages plus a gig at some sorry ignominious club like THFC awaits ……….. It happened to Adebayor.

Losses in last season’s cup competitions to Bradford and Blackburn are proof that lower league teams can and do beat us if the attitude and team selection is wrong.

Mr Wenger says he would love the club to win the FA Cup again.  So would I.

written by Big Raddy


One week for Arsenal …….. Six months for Walcott

January 10, 2014

Last Friday:

Le Professeur had little good cheer to offer on the injury situation at his Friday news conference. Giroud 90% out, Ozil, Bendtner, Ramsey and Gibbs definitely out. The one bright spot was that Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to resume normal training next week.

Gilberto Silva was training with the first team, the last ex-Arsenal alumnus to do so was a certain French mid-fielder who then signed a contract and has been an important part of a successful first half of the season, could the “Invisible Wall” be back?

One important bit of news, whilst not exclusively Arsenal related was worthy of note, Mr. Blatter opened his mouth, and for once didn’t immediately put his foot in it, when he launched an attack on cheats.

In his FIFA Weekly column he urged a global crackdown on the “cheating” players who dive in football and even suggested “time penalties” to stop those feigning injury from immediately rejoining the game.

Blatter also reminded referees to continue with play “unless there is a serious injury”. “The ball is in the referees’ court” he said “The instructions are now clear on this matter: if a player is lying on the floor, the opposing team are not required to put the ball in to touch.

I don’t know about other AAers, but I for one would love to see a crackdown on the diving cheats and on the spurious injuries that waste so much playing time. I’m sure one of our stats fans could tell us how much of the ninety minutes playing time is taken up by such antics. I feel sure it doesn’t all get added on to the “injury time”.

Saturday:

Not even a hint of speculation about who we might buy, and Arsene ruled out any approach for Berbatov.

The dreaded sickness bug struck again, this time Giroud is suffering, is it time to buy the player’s lunches from a different kebab shop?

The pre-match entertainment on AA was supplied by Ant and Duck, on their alcohol fuelled  peregrination to the Emirates.

 

Sunday:

No question who has the NLD bragging rights, firmly fixed in the Arsenal camp!

There was a feeling of inevitability about the game from the very start.

Watching at home, it soon became obvious that the poor old Spuds were considerably less than the sum of their very expensively assembled parts. I had spent the early evening watching an excellent performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Little Theatre in Sheringham, a traditional Christmas pantomime, and later watching Spur’s twin strikers floundering and failing I felt I was again watching two traditional Panto characters, the Ugly Sisters.

One rather sour note towards the end of the game, as Walcott was being stretchered off he, and the para-medics carrying him, were pelted with coins and bottles and subjected to dog’s abuse by the Spurs “fans”. The selfsame “fans” who, last season, had jeered at Bacary Sagna as he lay pitch-side with a broken leg. Walcott’s response, a two fingered reminder of the score, was more than justified in my opinion. The FA would need to be entirely witless if they decide to take action against him.

Two more injuries to contend with, both Walcott and Vermaelen could be out for a while, while the latter is a cut shin, the former could well be a longer term ligament injury.

Hey Ho! Coventry at home is a good draw for the 4th round and will present le Professeur with more chances for squad rotation.

Monday:

There was no definitive news on the Theo Walcott injury, If it’s a knock he could make the Villa game, if it’s ligament damage he could be out for a month. Olivier Giroud is expected to be fit to play next Monday, as will Jack Wilshere who took a knock on an ankle. The scan on Thomas Vermaelen’s knee will be assessed this week.

One piece of definite news, we will not be signing Lewandowski either in this month or in the summer, he’s going to Bayern at the end of the season.

The FA are to consult with Police and “look into” the behaviour of the Spurs fans who hurled not only abuse but also missiles at Theo and the medics as he was carried off on Saturday. Obviously Arsenal were correct in reducing the Swamp Dweller’s ticket allocation for the game. If that’s the way they are going to behave the allocation should be reduced to zero.

The FA announced that they would be taking no action against Theo following his gesture towards the obnoxious crowd of loons purporting to be Spurs supporters.

Tuesday:

On a cold, wet and windy morning what could be worse than to wake up to the headline:-

MY WORLD CUP DREAM IS OVER

world cup over

Theo Walcott sidelined for six months with serious knee injury

Yep! The news we had all been fearing turned out to be worse than we thought, a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament means that Theo misses the rest of the season and almost certainly the chance to play for England in the World Cup Finals.

Dare we hope that Theo could emulate Roberto Baggio who, in 2002, returned from a similar injury in just 77 days? That entailed half day re-hab sessions eleven times a week.

At the moment the plan is for Theo to have surgery in the next week or so, depending on how quickly the swelling goes down, to be back running by June, complete a full pre-season programme and be ready to play when the new campaign kicks off.

Wednesday:

The FA Cup fourth round tie against Coventry City will take place on Friday 24th January, kick-off 7.45pm and will be live on BT Sport.

Coventry have already complained about the Friday evening spot, claiming it will make it difficult for their fans to attend, are so many of them subject to curfews?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in full training, could he feature in Thursday’s U 21 game away to Fulham? Another run out in the following week’s U21 match away to Middlesbrough and all being well, he could be ready for the FA Cup tie against Coventry.

Arsenal U18s thrashed Peterborough 6 -1 in the FA Youth Cup on Monday evening.

Thursday:

Our midfield maestro

Mesut Ozil has been named Germany’s national player of the year following a fans’ poll conducted by the German Football Federation. Mesut has won the award for the third time in a row, beating Bayern Munich pair Phillip Lahm and Thomas Muller.

Theo Walcott has been voted December Playmate I’m sorry PLAYER of the month.

In transfer speculation it has emerged that although both Arsenal targets Diego Costa and Jackson Martinez have release clauses in their contracts (£31.4 million and £33 million respectively) they do not come into effect until the end of the season. The Daily Mail seems to think that we are in with a chance of getting Real’s Alvaro Morata if we pay a £1.7 million loan fee.

Niklas Bendtner may be back sooner than expected, he could resume training in the next few days.

One piece of truly World shattering news, (not Arsenal related) is reported by Sky Sports, Fulham have not made an enquiry for Man City’s Joleon Lescott and, in case any doubt remains,nicole
I can report that I am not dating Lewis Hamilton’s ex,

Nicole Scherzinger.

Bayern Munich received 18 thousand requests for tickets to the Champions League clash at the Emirates despite the price of £62 each, Bayern are to subsidise each ticket to the tune of €30 thus reducing the price from €75 to just €45. Perhaps other clubs could take a leaf out of the German club’s book and help out the away support. What about it Arsenal?

According to The Metro Arsenal teenager Serge Gnabry is a summer target for Borussia Dortmund as they seek to rebuild following Robert Lewandowski’s agreement to join to Bayern Munich. Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has been impressed by the attacking midfielder and is ready to splash out on his services as he transforms his side following the departure of the jewel in their crown. Well Herr Klopp Serge is one of the young jewels in Arsenal’s crown so keep your sticky fingers off!!!

That’s it for another week, enjoy the relaxing weekend.

Norfolk Gooner.