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What happened after the 8-2 defeat to Man U?

When Arsenal lost on 28 August 2011 to Manchester United 8-2, a moment of modern history was written.  Not a wanted moment from an Arsenal point of view, but still a moment of history.  It was a most terrible defeat and one that the Anti-Arsenal movement claimed that they had “seen coming” for a long time.

So big was the event that what happened thereafter is often forgotten, yet it is an interesting footnote to the remembered match, simply because it reflects on how quickly things can change.

On 10 September 2011 Arsenal beat Swansea City 1-0 at home with a goal from Asharvin.  Hardly a matter of huge celebration in the context, but nevertheless a win.   But the defeat one week later to Blackburn on 17 September 2011  suggested that the letting in of large numbers of goals was the norm, and the Swansea win, the aberration.  Blackburn won 4-3 with Arsenal’s goals coming from Gervinho, Arteta and Chamakh.

Thus what had been a terrible start to the season (the opening two games were a 0-0 with Newcastle away and 0-2 home defeat by Liverpool, was looking ropey indeed.  After the Blackburn game we had won one, drawn one, lost three.

Pd W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester United 4 4 0 0 18 3 +15 12
2 Manchester City 4 4 0 0 15 3 +12 12
3 Chelsea 4 3 1 0 7 3 +4 10
4 Newcastle United 5 2 3 0 4 2 +2 9
5 Stoke City 4 2 2 0 3 1 +2 8
6 Liverpool 4 2 1 1 6 3 +3 7
7 Aston Villa 5 1 4 0 6 4 +2 7
7 Everton 4 2 1 1 6 4 +2 7
9 Queens Park Rangers 5 2 1 2 4 6 -2 7
9 Wolverhampton Wndrs 5 2 1 2 4 6 -2 7
11 Norwich City 5 1 2 2 5 7 -2 5
12 Swansea City 5 1 2 2 3 5 -2 5
13 Wigan Athletic 5 1 2 2 4 7 -3 5
14 Blackburn Rovers 5 1 1 3 7 10 -3 4
15 Arsenal 5 1 1 3 6 14 -8 4
16 Bolton Wanderers 5 1 0 4 8 13 -5 3
17 Tottenham Hotspur 3 1 0 2 3 8 -5 3
17 West Bromwich Albion 5 1 0 4 3 8 -5 3
19 Sunderland 4 0 2 2 2 4 -2 2
20 Fulham 4 0 2 2 2 5 -3 2

Next up a 3-0 win against Bolton and then a 2-1 away defeat to Tottenham.  It looked like it was going to be a long and bumpy ride

But then something strange happened.  Here are the results that followed that opening sequence.

  • 16 October  beat Sunderland 2-1 at home
  • 23 October beat Stoke 3-1 home
  • 29 October beat Chelsea 5-3 away
  • 5 November beat WBA 3-0 home
  • 19 November beat Norwich 2-1 away

So the revival was created from utter disaster, and Arsenal eventually finished the league in third place – something utterly unthinkable at the moment when we were 15th.

Here is the final table…

Pd W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 38 28 5 5 93 29 +64 89
2 Manchester United 38 28 5 5 89 33 +56 89
3 Arsenal 38 21 7 10 74 49 +25 70
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 20 9 9 66 41 +25 69
5 Newcastle United 38 19 8 11 56 51 +5 65
6 Chelsea 38 18 10 10 65 46 +19 64
7 Everton 38 15 11 12 50 40 +10 56
8 Liverpool 38 14 10 14 47 40 +7 52
9 Fulham 38 14 10 14 48 51 -3 52
10 West Bromwich Albion 38 13 8 17 45 52 -7 47
11 Swansea City 38 12 11 15 44 51 -7 47
12 Norwich City 38 12 11 15 52 66 -14 47
13 Sunderland 38 11 12 15 45 46 -1 45
14 Stoke City 38 11 12 15 36 53 -17 45
15 Wigan Athletic 38 11 10 17 42 62 -20 43
16 Aston Villa 38 7 17 14 37 53 -16 38
17 Queens Park Rangers 38 10 7 21 43 66 -23 37
18 Bolton Wanderers 38 10 6 22 46 77 -31 36
19 Blackburn Rovers 38 8 7 23 48 78 -30 31
20 Wolverhampton Wndrs 38 5 10 23 40 82 -42 25

Looking at the two tables one might note the decline of Stoke and Aston Villa, and suggest perhaps that their positions of 5th and 7th were false in the first table and that they were bound to fall back.   But I recall that the suggestion that Arsenal were bound to climb up were far from acceptable at the same time.   The notion that we might even make it to the top half of the table was considerable risible in some quarters.

And who would have predicted that Wolverhampton, having been ninth after five would finish up 12 points adrift of safety?   Maybe a lot of people, but then, maybe more should have had faith in Arsenal’s recovery.  Why can we only see false dawns, and not false midnights?

Amazingly Arsenal even ended up with a goal difference of +25.  Way below the league winners it is true, but equal third best in the league – and that after such a defeat and such a poor start.

It just goes to show.

I’m not sure what it just goes to show, but it just goes to show something.

Tony Attwood

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The books…

 

 

2 comments to What happened after the 8-2 defeat to Man U?

  • Chris

    NOT anti Arsenal … that’s rubbish. You mean anti Arsene – due to all those wasted years. Obsessed by a failing philosophy which had (eventually)to be abandoned – indeed reversed. Or haven’t you noticed ?

  • Chris – it is not a case of noticing but a case of evidence. Assertion does not make evidence – and Untold Arsenal has produced a mountain of evidence to counteract your assertions. If you would care to provide evidence too, rather than more assertions, I’d be pleased to publish it.

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