Tag: Arsenal

Back To The Eighties, 1980/81 Part Fifteen: The North London Derby

The start of the 1980s had brought differing fortunes for the two giants of North London, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. Spurs had been largely concerned with rebuilding, both on and off the pitch. Having finished the 1979/80 season in a disappointing fourteenth place, the club had started the new season with a new attack, in the form of Steve Archibald, signed from Aberdeen, and Garth Crooks, brought in from Stoke City, whilst one side of the pitch at White Hart Lane remained a building site as the club spent a fortune building a new West Stand, a project which took fifteen months to complete and severely overran its budget. The club’s moderate improvement on the pitch meant that its biggest hope of success for this season would come in the cups. Arsenal, meanwhile, remained on the fringes of the championship chase in January 1981, though the prevailing opinion was that this was turning into a three-way battle between Liverpool, Aston Villa and Ipswich Town. Having won the FA Cup in 1979, there had been great things predicted for the team that Terry Neill – formerly the manager of Spurs, somewhat ironically – had built, but the team had finished the 1979/80 exhausted by a marathon season which saw it finish the season in fourth place in the First Division whilst losing in the finals of both the FA Cup...

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Jack Wilshere In ‘Is Twenty-One Years Old’ Shock

It often seems as if, whenever a professional footballer opens his mouth in public, there is one phrase, varyingly attributed to Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln and others, that springs immediately to mind: it is better to remain silent and be considered a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove any doubt. This week’s outrage du jour concerns the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who has had a busy few days, first being caught smoking a cigarette outside a nightclub in London and then offering his opinions on who should and who shouldn’t be allowed to play for the England national team. Since there’s an England match at the end of this week, a predictable mass hysteria has descended upon a player who has previously been reasonably well protected from the worst excesses of the media, but this week Wilshere has likely learnt a couple of harsh lessons about the nature of the glare of the media spotlight. Getting caught en fumant might be looked upon as a youthful mistake, as might the compoundment of this mortal sin by apparently fibbing about what was going on at the time. In our current climate with regard to smoking, Wilshere might scarcely have been more greatly castigated had he been photographed with underage prostitute sitting on his knee whilst holding a crack pipe in his hand, but this is neither here nor...

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The Friday Cartoon: Dotmund’s Clubs In Crisis – Arsenal

This morning’s Friday cartoon is part one in a series of “as many as Dotmund can be bothered to draw before he forgets what he was doing and wanders off to look at something shiny”, and features that well-known most hard done by club in the entire history of professional football, Arsenal, and their ongoing crisis, as seen through the viewpoints of their supporters. The full-size version of this cartoon can be seen here. You can follow Dotmund on Twitter by clicking here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Staring Into the Post Champions League Void In England

Farewell, then, to Arsenal in this year’s Champions League, and by extension to England’s involvement in the competition. Given the apocalyptic nature of many of the predictions that were proffered for the club’s two-legged tie against Bayern Munich, perhaps emerging from the competition with their heads held high was about as much as the club could hope for. Bayern are clearly an excellent team, amongst the favourites to win this year’s competition and miles clear at the top of the Bundesliga, and after the first leg of the tie at The Emirates Stadium went about as badly for the home side as many – if not most – had expected it to, it was strongly suggested in the build-up to the match that Arsene Wenger was going to rest some of his first choice players in preparation for some critical forthcoming Premier League matches. As things turned out, however, his team gave a very good account of themselves in Germany last night and came desperately close to achieving what surely would have been the greatest result in the history of the club. If this Arsenal team was able to put in that sort of performance consistently, the large metaphorical cloud with the word “CRISIS!” etched into it which so often seems to be hovering over or near The Emirates Stadium might finally dissipate a little. In some respects, this...

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