33 Comments

When The Going Gets Tough, Arsenal Gets Going

big canon

I may be a minority of one but I am not having it. How could we join with our enemies in the Scouser-loving media and declare the top-4 battle all but over. The totally defeatist attitude of many brings shame to our club and its spiritual ancestors; the working men and women who were the makers of cannon and artillery who brought their fighting spirit to the football club they founded.

The wisdom of the great American New York Yankees team manager, Yogi Berra, is tried and tested; “It ain’t over ‘til it is over”.

For those who are mathematically challenged, the tables show Liverpool may have their head in front but they are far from safe.

Position Club Played Won Lost Drawn GF GA GD Points
1 Chelsea 36 28 3 5 76 29 47 87
2 Tottenham 36 24 8 4 73 24 49 80
3 Liverpool 37 21 10 6 75 42 33 73
4 Manchester City 36 21 9 6 72 38 34 72
5 Arsenal 36 21 6 9 72 43 29 69

Arsenal has two games in hand and can finish with a maximum 75 points. Should Liverpool fail to win their final game vs Middlesbrough and Arsenal do the business in the next two games, the Gunners will pip them to 4th place. Simples.

I don’t disagree. Middlesbrough is already relegated, a broken team, unable to score goals. But stranger things have happened in the modern history of Arsenal football. Take the 2005-06 season for instance. History records that Arsenal Football Club showed the heart of a champion taking our feckless neighbours down to the wire until they succumbed to the pressure. Below are the the results of those last 10 games.

Date Opponent Venue Result Pos Pt
12.03.2006 Liverpool home W2-1 5 47
18.03.2006 Charlton Athletic home W3-0 5 50
01.04.2006 Aston Villa home W5-0 5 53
09.04.2006 Manchester United away L0-2 6 53
12.04.2006 Portsmouth away D1-1 5 54
15.04.2006 West Bromwich Albion home W3-1 5 57
22.04.2006 Tottenham Hotspur home D1-1 5 58
01.05.2006 Sunderland away W3-0 5 61
04.05.2006 Manchester City away W3-1 5 64
07.05.2006 Wigan Athletic home W4-2 4 67

The cocky Cockerels and their bedfellows in the media had Arsenal written off in the run-in. Prior to facing Spurs on April 22nd The Observer in a preview by one Anna Kessel did its best to big-up the Spurs manager at the time:

“It is a measure of the man that Tottenham head coach Martin Jol appears unfazed whenever the subject of Arsenal rears its head. And so it may just be that the race for Champions League qualification will be decided by a contest of cool, with Jol the slight favourite.”

She signed off stating:

“….the pressure is all on Wenger.”

Up to the ultimate game of the season Arsenal was 5th when Spurs season literally went to the shitters after a meal of lasagna, losing their final game and Arsenal putting 4 past Wigan.  Lesson learnt, anyone?

Since that near-death experience Arsenal has consistently proven it is a team that generally refuses to roll over and die in the struggle to retain its average top-3 position in the League. The following is a summary of results of the last 10 games from the past 11 seasons:

Year Wins Draws Loss Pts Won Final Pts Pos Start  Pos End
15-16 5 5 0 20 71 3 2
14-15 6 3 1 21 75 3 3
13-14 6 2 2 20 79 3 4
12-13 8 2 0 26 73 5 4
11-12 4 3 1 15 70 3 3
10-11 2 5 3 11 68 2 4
09-10 5 3 2 18 75 3 3
08-09 7 2 1 23 72 4 4
07-08 5 3 2 18 83 1 3
06-07 3 3 4 12 68 3 4
05-06 7 2 1 23 67 5 4
Avg 5 3 2 19 73 3 3

Except for three seasons (06-07, 10-11 and 11-12) the club has put down some impressive late surges. Seven out of 11 seasons the club has earned 20 or more points. The last four seasons in particular have been the most consistent averaging 22 points in the last 10 games of the run-in.

This bodes very well for the next two games. Everton and Sunderland may be difficult opponents but Arsenal has a habit of coming through when Champions League qualification is on the line.

Results from the last 8 games indicate 6 wins and 2 losses. History shows Arsenal is fully capable of making it 8 wins. The club did it in 12-13, earning 26 points. With two games to go, 24 points are fully within reach in 2017.

Arsenal can only do what is in their power and hope Middlesbrough is willing and able to spoil Liverpool’s party on May 21st.

If we the Arsenal are going down to the Europa League, lets go down fighting.

Come on You Rip-RoaringGunners!

(PS: I dedicate my ultimate piece of the season in the memory of Frank, a co-founder of this blog, who taught me and many of us to support the best values Arsenal Football Club over the treachery, fickleness and cowardice of many, whether they be owner, administrator, player or fan. Cheers to you [and Zim Paul] wherever you rest. Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click. )

 

33 comments on “When The Going Gets Tough, Arsenal Gets Going

  1. It may be “hard” to see Boro getting anything at Anfield, as Rich said earlier.

    But as I said to the children when they were little, and still occasionally say now, “if you don’t believe, you wont receive”.

    Santa Shotta strikes again

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Click, Click, Click, Indeed,
    To be honest, I never knew what Frank meant by that.

    Like

  3. well looking at the stats I see if we win our two games we get to 75 pts, a total we have only bettered twice in the last ten years, and yet I’m told we are going backwards.

    of course Middlesboro can get a draw at Anfield, they got one at the Emirates, and at Old Trafford too(or was that a win)

    and why are we dismissing WBA and Watford from doing the same or better v Man City, its not like they don’t have a history of it this season.

    the only thing we have yet to consider in all this is what have the PGMOL up their sleeves. It’s clear to me that they have rolled out their big guns in our recent games, Oliver, Atkinson, Moss and Dean, who have we for Sunderland and Everton. We were kicked all over the pith at goodison, and had a clear penalty not given, so who will be given that task on Sunday.
    We seen on Saturday the level of “Director of Football” the PGMOL employ, and lets not pretend its only the man in the middle that turns a blind eye, two big big incidents in the game, and each linesman had cataracts, the Crouch handball goal, and we all shouted about how did Dean not see Bellerin taken out of it right at the start of the build up to the handball goal, but the linesman was right there, full unhindered view, even the Stoke players stopped it was that clear of a foul.
    Not only have AFC being on the wrong end of the PGMOL, but our two top 4 rivals have been getting friendly calls from them, we seen in citys last few games, clear red cards not given, offside goals to them allowed, fouls in build up to their goals ignored. I mentioned how EFC got the favors v AFC earlier in the season, lets not forget that the following game MCFC got two, yes two, offside goals. There is your top 4 right there.

    Sunderland and Everton games could be very tough, and tougher still if the PGMOL have their way, and as the media are happy that the AFC in crisis theme is being followed there will not be a word about it.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. ” I mentioned how EFC got the favors v AFC earlier in the season, lets not forget that the following game MCFC got two, yes two, offside goals. There is your top 4 right there.”
    Worse than that, There was the end of a title challenge, right there.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Arsenal reportedly are given unsold tickets for tomorrows game to local schoolchildren

    Jan the Ginger‏ @DzonAFC 25m25 minutes ago

    Terrible news. Club Supporting & encouraging future generations of fans. Some of those kids could be immigrants as well😡 #TweetLikeBrexitWOB

    Liked by 2 people

  6. yes pg, those two defeats heaped massive pressure on the lads, and we struggled for some time, and till our current 3 game winning run, our best bpl winning run was two in a row since that double whammy

    Liked by 2 people

  7. from london.football, quotes from wenger’s press call today

    Injury news

    Wenger: “We have a little bit of a problem with Koscielny but we should have everyone available.

    “Gibbs should be available but Oxlade Chamberlain is out.

    “Alexis should have a test today. It didn’t look good but with him he is always so eager.”

    “I would say it’s 80-20 (that Oxlade Chamberlain will play in the cup final)“.

    Are some Arsenal players playing for their future?

    “No because we have no one out of contract”.

    On the back three

    “Because we like to attack and it is a defensive philosophy. We were not sure it could hold the team when things were going well.

    “People like Rob Holding were lacking experience. I think (we started thinking about it) in November.”

    On a possible fan boycott tomorrow

    “My message is always the same – to support the team”.

    On the stadium not being full tomorrow

    “Of course, we are always sold out so I don’t know where you get that impression.”

    Like

  8. if the people bought the ticket and chose to stay at home, their loss and not the clubs

    Liked by 3 people

  9. PG at 10:16am:
    One thing I know if Frank was around he would be on this blog shaking his fist and raising his voice at the quislings and cowards who have given up the fight. As someone who was on the terraces in the bad old days and still went to games he had the authority to put all the psuedo bloggers and opportunists in their place. I have no idea what it meant, maybe it was the sound of Lady Nina on the streets but it was his signature.
    Click, Click, Click, Click indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Shotta this is so well written as per usual and my sentiments exactly… it is never over until mathematically over. Boro common. U can finish on a high for your fans…

    All the contributory writers and commenters.. well done one and all of making this an interesting and mentally stimulating place to be… Well done and keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. click click click click click

    Liked by 2 people

  12. meanwhile, has any1 tracked down frank? he is missed… didn’t any admin – PG and co have his email address?

    Like

  13. TS, no stone was left unturned in the pursuit of Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. trust U, PG… continue the great search… tis for a worthy course to bring back our FRANK

    Like

  15. TS, I was in touch with him, But,,,,,,,, The last I heard from him was a worry, and that was almost 3 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It is a hard life;

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Am I allowed to say I hope it is broken – or is that beneath me ?

    Liked by 4 people

  18. AndyNic2:55pm
    Let’s simply say “what goes round, comes around.” Life is a bitch.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. PG… hmm… Still hopeful…. though 3 yrs is long for Frank to stay off but who knows… send him another mail…

    Like

  20. Brilliant stuff Shotta. Already relegated sides have a habit of playing above themselves in their final match. But first it is for us to win tomorrow. And I couldn’t care what anyone else says or thinks, I still know I support the only side worth supporting in the league.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sead Kolašinac has chosen to sign for a managerless club (or a club with a “finished” manager) in preference to Pep or Conte (on higher wages no doubt), how has that come about do you think?

    Like

  22. I expect it because he is ‘lazy’

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Good article Shotta. Would be so much better if your DRAW and LOSE headings were correct leaving us 4 points better off than the ‘Pool. Banned smiley.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Cheers Shotts, Im with you in thinking this can still be achieved. Sure is pretty exciting run in. Shame the Irons got all rusty and couldnt be bovvered.

    And that thar cup final is in view now. Hope we stay injury free.

    Creepiest moment in EPL football this year: Mou trying to be cunning in his presser after losing to AFC.A truly baffling and odd moment..?

    COYG!

    Viva Las Wenger!!

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Unfortunately, out of our hands, but if we beat Sunderland and go ahead against Everton, pressure will be on Liverpool if they don’t score early. Hopefully, Boro will play for pride and to get a memorable result at a famous ground. Yes, Liverpool will be buoyed on by their fans, pundits in their masses and the media in general……but this is not over

    Liked by 2 people

  26. alexis was in full training today

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Well it is going to be fun…at the very least….

    Like

  28. journos suggested to wenger today that afc would need a bigger squad next season if we are in the EL and not the CL

    why
    really why would europes second competition leave a team needing a bigger squad than for their premier competition.

    Like

  29. eduardo

    I can only think of the lack of rest since matches are on Thursdays, and the possibility of travelling larger distances. Maybe they are also thinking we’ll go deeper in the competition so more games.

    We may or may not need a bigger squad. But we’ll need a fitter squad. However, if the likes of Bielik, Toral, Akpom, Niles, Jeff, Willock(?) maybe even Bramall, and a few others can be mixed in here and there, we should have enough.

    Like

  30. well shard you can only have a 25 man bpl squad, and isn’t there a similar quota for europe too, youths etc extras in both. So how do you have a bigger squad of senior players

    Like

  31. Ed

    We hadn’t filled our entire 25 man quota this year because Bellerin and Holding counted as U21s, and we included Sanogo, Debuchy and Jenkinson in the first team squad list as well when they hardly (or never) played. So there’s room to improve there.

    Not saying the media don’t talk nonsense. I doubt they even think about such issues and are only interested in reviving the spend some f***in money narrative. But we can and should do more with our squad. As it is though, we’ll have too many players once the loanees come back and will have to cut some players from the list, if not the club.

    Like

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