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September 2019
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How sometimes a football blog can have some influence on the game

In 2014 BT Sport had the rights to the Emirates Cup, and spent much of the studio time during the competition making fun of the competition’s organisation and its points awards, with a point awarded for each goal scored.

Quite what BT executives were thinking when they encouraged their anti-Arsenal commentators to laugh about their own inability to add three points for a win to 1 point for a goal, was never really understood, but the incompetence of their commentary team reflected more on BT Sport than on Arsenal.

Untold Arsenal hammered home the point about the inability of the BT commentary team to comprehend the simplest of mathematics, and undoubtedly other blogs and web sites expressed their outrage that a supposed partner of Arsenal should be making fun of the club.

Then suddenly it all stopped, the “experts” as they were laughingly called, found they could understand the simplicity of adding sums such as 3+2, and the criticism stopped.  Indeed it was reversed as the station started to praise the quality of the games and the interest that was aroused by the competition.

A very minor victory for us, but more importantly it showed that a concerted campaign against a station could result in a change

Here are the anniversaries for today.

 

3 August 1914: Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, made a speech in the House of Commons expounding the need for war with Germany, and subsequently made his remark that, “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

3 August 1920: While rioting continued in Belfast, there was growing talk about Britain declaring war on Russia in order to “rid Europe of the scourge of communism” 

3 August 1968: Continuing the tradition of playing Rangers pre-season as initiated by Herbert Chapman, Arsenal drew 2-2 at Ibrox.

3 August 1998: Scott Marshall transferred to Southampton having played 26 games for Arsenal.  He only played twice for Southampton, and one match on loan for Celtic before moving to Brentford, for whom he did play 75 games.

3 August 1999: Thierry Henry signed for Arsenal for the first time, from Juventus for £11m.  He played 16 games for Juve and it is said that Arsene Wenger and Henry had regular phone chats in the season before Henry signed for Arsenal.

3 August 2010: Sanchez Watt loaned to Leeds for a season.  He had six different loan spells, including two at Leeds, before signing for Colchester in 2013, but was released in 2015.

3 August 2012 Benik Afobe loaned to Bolton all season scoring two goals in 20 games.  It was not until his sixth and final loan (to MK Dons in 2014) that he found national acclaim, and signed for Wolverhampton W.  He most recently moved to Stoke City.

3 August 2013: Arsenal drew 2-2 with Napoli in Emirates Cup

3 August 2014: Arsenal beat Benfica 5-1 in the Emirates Cup with four from Sanogo.  Following an anti-BT campaign by Untold Arsenal and others (after BT Sport had made fun of the competition’s points allocation system in 2013 and knocked Arsenal mercilessly in their pre-tournament ads) the corporation suddenly reversed their policy and praised the competition and Arsenal’s quality.  It was also the moment when Bellerin shone as a star of the future.

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