25) SATURDAY FEBRUARY 2ND : ARSENAL (HOME)
A Saturday home game, but guess what, yup brought forward to 12.45 pm kick off for TV.
Formed in 1886, promoted dubiously to the first division in 1915, stayed their ever since. Team of the 30’s, (when we did quite well against them) not team of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s but pretty formidable since, winning everything except the Euro Cup.
They’ve a few famous fans, notably Roger Daltry and Ray Davies, plus that big fat bastard Rory McGrath. There’s been a few high profile connections between the clubs, notably Joe Mercer, Nic Anelka, Niall Quinn, Kiddo, Tommy Caton, David Rocastle, and currently Paul Dickov, again etc.
Arsene Wenger’s squad, includes: Aluminia, Gallas, Senderos, Sagna, Flamini, Fabregas, Clichy, Hleb, Adebayor, Eduardo, Rosicky, Lehmann, Hoyte, Diaby, Gilberto, Walcott, Denilson, Van Persie, Djourou, Eboue, Song, Toure, Freeman
This season so far : At Highbury it was the customary 1-0 loss in August, though we put in a good performance and Kasper saved a penalty. Crowd was 60, 114 (2,990 Blues)
Currently they’re in 2nd spot with 57 points from 24 games and 6 wins 4 draws and 1 loss away from home.
They’ve lost to Spurs in the Carling Cup semi-final, a Wenger clanger of massive proportions, but have just beaten Newcastle again in the league,and Cup and will visit O/T in the next round.
Our form in Manc v Arsenal : Last season we had a rare win at COMS, in August, 1-0 Joey Barton scoring a 41st minute penalty.
Prior to that we won 1-0 in ’92 and then it’ was 8 league losses and one draw (’94 0-0). Plus a Carling cup exit.(to their youth team)
Best win 4-0 in 1907/08. Worst defeat : 5-1 in 2002/03
Recent attendances have ranged from 18,072 in 86/87 to 48,367 in 51/52
Biggest game was the ’32 semi final which we lost 1-0 at Villa Park (50,337) and we lost the Charity Shield at Highbury in 1934/35
Comment : No real wind ups come to mind, tho’ they hate Spurs., and we usually join together with a few ‘we hate man u chants
STATS: 64 pre-war and 95 post-war make it our (massive) 160th league meeting, and post-war in Manc it’s:-
Played: 47 Won 11 Drawn 14 Lost 22
Last Pot: FA Cup 2005, beat rags on pens.
Last Att: 40,699 (2846 Gooners)
Where were they when they were shite? Av 23,824 in ’85.
Current Av: 60,049.