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Found 5 results

  1. Arsenal v Liverpool part 2 They would never have dreamt of the heartbreak they would have that season Scouse made us sick If you were to look only at the early part of our life with the Scousers, it would make you despair. League division 2 was unkind to us. 4 defeats including 5-0 in the first match. They showed us who is boss straightaway. All other league matches were in Division one. As Woolwich Arsenal we had 4 wins to their 11 and 6 draws. We did pay them back for their 5-0 in 1909 with one in return but overall we didn’t seem to like eating Scouse. But if you take away the Woolwich Arsenal days it becomes 82 to 77 wins in their favour. Not so much better. It seems we developed a taste for Scouse. The emperors of Scouse I am going to kickoff with the FA cup. We beat them in this one without any arguments, we have 8 wins to their 5 and 4 draws including one tie which took 3 replays. We also have more trophies. 14 to their 7. We have 2 final wins to their 1. They will probably never pass us out in my lifetime so that is one area we are the kings of eating Scouse. Ah, I like it. But it looked bad at the start. 1-4 at home both times. Then we had 3 in a row which we did twice. They never managed that. The matches, though, were extremely tight after their first 2 wins. Truly we would have needed a sharp blade to separate the 2. We won by 2 goals 4 times, the rest either draws or one goal difference. Magic games But what about the famous games? The first final meeting was in 1950, well before my time, and we had the final score 2-0 by 63 minutes. Bob Paisley, Liverpool’s greatest ever manager, then a player, was dropped for the final. But my greatest memory was the double year. I was a kid and Liverpool in all honesty were ranked higher than us. We had just beaten the Spuds at whatever cabbage patch they play at to claim the title and that seemed a miracle by itself. To win the double was considered almost impossible. And so when Steve Heighway scored on 2 minutes of extra time with nothing being scored in normal time, it seemed like it truly was impossible. My head dropped. But Arsenal are Arsenal, we came back with Eddie Kelly and the iconic Charlie George goal still shown everywhere. It was the greatest moment of my young footballing life. The Spurs match wasn’t shown on TV. One of my favourite Arsenal pics: Charlie George wins the 1971 final The next great tie was in 1980 and the semi-final. 3 draws led us to the final match. Bob Paisley, Liverpool’s manager was famous for mixing up player’s names. Before every match he said, “watch out for Osborne coming through from midfield”. The players were puzzled as we didn’t have an Osborne. He clarified that it was the player from Ipswich. And hey, it was the player from Ipswich who sent maybe the greatest team ever in English football home crying – Brian Talbot scored the vital goal to send us through to the final after a very tight fought series. Scouse made us ill The next time was the Wengerball era. 2001 and most of you remember this one. Freddie Llungberg won it for us on 72 as we were outplaying them and they couldn’t come back. Except Michael Owen didn’t read that script, he scored on 82 and 88 to snatch it away from us and I ended up very upset. Always disappointing to lose a big match when playing better. Michael Owen: Broke my heart The next 3 times we played them we won in 2002, 2007 and 2014 in the earlier rounds. So no matter what metric you look at for the FA Cup, we are their daddies. The best league games And so to the league. Now I covered in depth the greatest match ever here, 2-0 to the Arsenal and I won’t talk too much about it here except to say that when Michael Thomas scored very late on, I was sent to an area I never experienced before, I was up high, watching down as magic unfolded before me, the Liverpool players slumped, devastated, their eyes glazed, and Arsenal celebrated like crazy. Oh, what a night for Michael Thomas Other fantastic league matches? Well, I have to mention Andrei Arshavin to give a good mention to a Russian at this time. In 2009, Liverpool looked like winning the league but we drew 4-4 to give the impetus to Man Utd to win the league. They only conceded 7 goals in their final 10 games and four of them to Arshavin. Some Russians are good guys: Andrei Arshavin Also notable was the 3-3 draw at the Emirates in 2017. They went 2-0 up with Coutinho and Salah, then Sanchez, Xhaka and Ozil put us ahead only for Firmino to get them the draw. Score again tomorrow, Granit Liverpool push on ahead There have been many tight games but also many good wins for the Scousers and our latest results in the league have not been good. Since 2014 they have won 9 times to our 2 and 5 draws. They have 19 League titles to our 13. I have to concede the metrics on the league to them. But we have 3 doubles to their one so we are well ahead on that one. The thing is, we have played them almost 250 times over 3 centuries. They won 93 to our 81 and 62 were drawn. I can’t begin to cover all these matches and I am left with a sprinkling of games to mention and the broad statistics which show a long and tight rivalry. Lots of difficult games and the numbers close enough that Arsenal could potentially overhaul Liverpool with a good spell. They have pulled away in the past years but I hope that a win this week will see us move a little closer. Our young team need to attack and defend like demons against them but that we can do. A little luck could see us do it. Are they our biggest rivals? Only Man Utd are the other claimants to that title and I will get to them in due course, but as you can see, sometimes we could eat Scouse and sometimes it made us sick. If London Colney could serve it up for lunch every day up to this match I think we have a chance. Where can we finish 2022 update: 87 if we win all. Second place probably. Realistically we have 4th place for us with a reasonably good run. Beating Liverpool makes all the difference. We can’t afford many losses. They will be desperate to win to give them a chance of the title. Arteta seems to have form with Klopp and will want a win for Pep. He has double the incentive. However I am not sure he would stand much chance in a boxing match with Klopp. Concentrate on winning on the pitch, Mikel.
  2. 23 trophies over ten years We need an awful lot more trophies, Mikel, for me to be happy That’s what we need, Gooners, to become the best team in England. The best ten years ever in English football was achieved by Liverpool from 1975 to 1985 and if we equalled it we could certainly argue with Manchester United and Liverpool as to who is the greatest. We are unfortunately, well behind those 2 and we have strong rivals to overtake us in Chelsea and Manchester City. What did Liverpool achieve in those ten miraculous years? 4 European Cups (Champions League) 7 First division (Premier League), 1 FA Cup, 4 League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup, and 5 Charity Shields. The quiet man, Bob Paisley did it Where would that leave us if we did the same? 20 Premier league - at the top with Man Utd 15 FA Cups – at the top 6 League cups – behind Liverpool and Man City on 8 21 Charity Shields – at the top as we have only one shared and Man Utd have 4 4 Champions League – behind Liverpool on 6 2 UEFA Cups – behind Liverpool on 3 Add the European Cup winners cup which we share on one with Man Utd and Liverpool have never won. So that is the benchmark, an astonishing standard to be fair. And we would need our kids all to become major superstars and stay with us for it to have a chance of happening. But dreams are the hallmark of fans and without them a fan’s life is not worth living, I think we all agree on that. And because this was actually achieved, we can say it is possible. Yes, these are different times, and many teams have incredible resources to ensure a dream like mine would never happen. But if Saka, Smith-Rowe, Tierney, Ramsdale, Martinelli, White, Gabriel, Odegaard, Tomiyasu, Lokonga all improve as they mature, and say Tavares, Balogun and Saliba also come into the reckoning, we potentially have a frightening team coming through. Amazing young players These two conjurors could become the world's best These are all young players with so much prospects, who could learn to play together as a dazzling unit exactly like the Lacazette wonder goal against Southampton at the weekend and could eclipse the giants that will oppose them. The 2 Manchesters, Liverpool and Chelsea, maybe newly rich Newcastle and even the hapless Spuds or West Ham with their fabulous grounds and extensive fan base are all hoping for their ten years, too. Leicester, Villa and Everton also. We will need saves like this Is this the real life, or is it just fantasy? I say my dream is possible, despite all these teams. Of course, those of you of a practical bent will say that Liverpool and Manchester United would also need a lean ten years for us to be able to make a strong argument that we are the best. That’s true. But if we win all those trophies, there aren’t all that many left for them, are there? Anyway, let’s say I am right and these players stay and become better, and let’s say that we also do well on transfers, what else do we need to make it happen? I will first go through what we have and not what we potentially have. We have a fine big stadium that gets filled regularly, comparable to the top teams. We have a large amount of corporate boxes to generate huge sums. We have a worldwide fanbase and are particularly strong in Africa. We have an attractive image well suited to kickass marketing campaigns. We have training and medical facilities equal to anyone. We have an academy system which is superb and surely as good as any worldwide. We have the tradition of winning trophies as our position in English football proves. We are 3rd but best in FA Cups and not hugely behind the 2 beasts of Liverpool and Man Utd in that my magical ten years would push us right up there. This noisy man also had ten great years Do we have a great manager? So, we have these things going for us, what do we potentially have? Is Arteta the right man to take us forward? We would need a top manager for sure and at this moment I am not sure Arteta is that man. I would like to believe he is. In fact, I would love to believe that he is, because I like him. He has undoubtedly got great football knowledge, he has won trophies at Arsenal and Man City, the players seem to like him and most play with a smile on their face. He has brought through superb young players and he has been a disciplinarian, which is necessary in a manager as players can never be bigger than the club. The exquisite ten years will only happen with a great manager, though, and the verdict on Arteta is unproven. The 2 teams which have had a great ten years in my lifetime, Liverpool and Man Utd, both had managers who had a lot of critics before going on their great runs, though. Bob Paisley was reckoned to be only a lieutenant and Alex Ferguson considered to be out of his depth after several years of failure. Without their trophy hauls, Arsenal would now be the greatest team in English football, let’s not forget that. Ah, but the owners, the Kroenke’s, they are the imponderables in my wonderful dream of a fantastic ten years. Could it happen with them? Hands up any Arsenal fans who think so? Please put up your hands, I can’t see any. Sorry, let me put on my glasses. Ok, my sight is good now. Can you put up your hands again? There must be something wrong with my glasses, I still can’t see any hands up. Make it real So is that it? My daydream, or it can become a reality? I will take you back to the Arsene Wenger magic years of 7 FA Cups, 3 Premier Leagues, and 7 Charity Shields and an Invincible year over more than 20 years. I was ecstatic with that and I truly never expected it when he took over. Still a long way short of Bob Paisley’s achievement, though. And if Chelsea or Man City have such a ten years I would have to listen to them shouting in my face. My face doesn’t want that. Wenger gave me reason to dream C’mon Arsenal. Give us the Liverpool 10 years from 2022 to 2032. Or even 2023 to 2033. But don’t leave it too long, I am not getting any younger and I would love to be able to argue that my team is truly the best, better than all the rest, better than anyone. And Arsenal are the greatest football team.
  3. Liverpool (a), Newcastle (h), Man u (a), Everton (a), Southampton (h), West Ham (h), Leeds (a), Norwich (a), Is this really back in our sights? 8 matches to halfway and 24 points to be won so we are halfway to paradise and 44 points. Regular readers will remember that I did a very early Where can we finish? After 3 games, all of which we lost. I was feeling bleak, and pointed out that Arteta has only one currency to trade in – wins. He needed a huge turnaround, but not just in results, in how we played. The defence, and particularly Leno, White and Holding were badly bullied by Brentford. We were outplayed by Chelsea and totally and utterly outplayed by Man City. On the back of that abject City display, I predicted that Arteta will face his marching cards from Kroenke sooner rather than later. The chinks of light were that our next matches were winnable and if we then beat the Spuds, Arteta would have breathing space. Although we haven’t won all our matches since then, we haven’t been beaten, Arteta has answered his critics for now, and, as fans, we can dream again. Even of Champions league. From bottom of the table, that is a good height. We brought in Mourinho’s bus The biggest change has been in the defence. Tomisayu, Gabriel and especially Ramsdale are not there to be bullied and all 3 have been outstanding. Tavares has come in for Tierney and done a great job. If you remember previous blogs I said without Tierney, who gets injured, we probably lose. That is no longer true and while I rate Tierney higher than Tavares, particularly for attacking, there seems little between them. Well done to Edu and Arteta there. A big part of our new defensive bus I still hold to my assertion, though. Those 3 losses will be a sword hanging over Arteta’s head till the end of the season. He has to continue winning and notching up points or we could tumble again. Fans are very fickle, the Kroenke’s are not liked, not seen as part of us, and they have been a bigger target than Arteta, who is seen as one of us, and a good person with a lot of knowledge who has promoted our young players. So they will get the blast from the fans first and another bad run may see the end of Arteta. A banana skin on an ice slide And this run we have now till Christmas is exactly the type of run that could go very badly. But in some ways we are potentially facing teams at their worst time, so it could be good for us. Don't look at him, boys The first one up is the hardest - Liverpool away. Klopp’s demons give every team nightmares. But a draw against Brighton and a loss to West Ham, shows their vulnerabilities. I say we have a chance if our defence plays at their best, our midfield holds their own, as we will get chances that we will have to take. It is hard to see beyond a draw, though. I will go for 1-1 and a tight game but still with chances for both sides. I would love to see better than that but Klopp will be anxious to correct his slide. Newcastle at home is a must win. Eddie Howe won’t have a transfer window to help him. They could be a different proposition in the second half of the season. So we must beat them now. Our players are better than them and we are at home. The new manager bounce might help them but I am going for 2-0 with the second goal coming late in a nervy match. Give us another fine mess, Olly Scratching your head won't help, Olly Ah Solskjaer, let’s hope you are still there and Utd are still a shambles. This one we can win as long as we win the midfield. And we should. They don’t look like a coherent team and if we play to our best, outrun them and out tackle them, we will win. A rare win at Old Trafford. This is a match I was scheduled to go to but smashing my ankle a while ago made it difficult to commit so I forewent my ticket. I would have loved to be there especially if we win. I am going to say 2-1 for us but a bit easier than that scoreline looks. Everton away. I like Everton as I have friends I grew up with in Ireland who are big fans. But I hope Benitez is still there and he hasn’t quite managed to correct their slide. It is a game we can win and we have a good record there. Another 2-1 but a more nervous one than against Man Utd. Southampton at home. There is no question about it, these are the games we have to win. Yes, they are on an uptick but they are still Southampton. A clean sheet and a 2-0 which we get in the first half. We allow them to come back at us in the second but we hang on. This could be our hardest The next match I feel we have to hope for a West Ham slide by then as I feel they are set up to give us a hard time. Their defence and midfield give nothing away and they attack with speed. They don’t have a weakness although we have a better goalkeeper. We might need to be lucky. Honestly I would take a draw here particularly if they are still playing well. The last time I was at this match a couple of years ago at the Olympic stadium it was 0-0 and a terrible match. And may be again. Leeds away? Bielsa’s team are always a difficult proposition. However they rarely play well for 90 minutes. We must capitalise on those times we are in the ascendancy and we have been a bit lucky against them in recent years as they have outplayed us for long periods but we managed to get results. This time I am going to say 1-1 but with our defence playing well. 2 draws in a row means we have to win our last match for halfway. 'Arry is the relegation specialist - hire him, Norwich Norwich away? Surely there is no banana skin here? I don’t know who they will have appointed but surely not someone top drawer? Sam Allardyce maybe? Why does Harry Redknapp not make a comeback? I am going to say 5-0 with Norwich eating too many of Delia Smith’s pies over Christmas. The only true easy win of this period. Surely we can see the top even if we can’t get there? And where does that leave us? On 38 points and if we can repeat that we have 76 which is probably enough for second place and definitely Champions League. However it is an optimistic scenario with 5 wins and 3 draws and no defeats. Possibly too optimistic. But I hope I have shown you a fairly realistic portrait of the task ahead of us. If we win all we have 44 points and double that to get 88 will probably win us the league. But nobody believes that. If we manage to do as well as I have shown here we have a good chance for Champions league. Be under no illusions, top 4 is going to be a big challenge, we need to win or draw matches we don’t deserve to, and win the ones we do. I feel that the 3 losses, the young team, the African championship, and good runs in the League Cup and FA Cup will consign us to fighting for a Europa League place but that, I think, we will achieve, on a much better points total than last year. Fighting for this one is realistic
  4. A Tale of Two Cities part 2 Liverpool has always been intertwined with Arsenal. Probably our greatest ever match was beating them at Anfield 2-0 in 1989 to win the league. But that is a story for another day. In 1979-80 we played Liverpool teams (there is a blue team as well) 9 times. How did we get on? Well read on. As I said last time, Liverpool beat us 3-1 in the Charity Shield. As I also mentioned last time, they were consistently the best team in Europe for a long time, before and after this season. They sent us home crying, telling us we weren’t Arsenal. Could we get revenge against the best team in Europe? Well read on. In November, we played Everton at Highbury and beat them 2-0 and set down a marker to the city. Next week we played Liverpool, also at Highbury, and drew 0-0. With the logic of home advantage, that meant Liverpool were marginally better, but we were getting closer to them, I felt. At the end of March, we played at Goodison and won 1-0. Another warning for Liverpool. An Oliver Twist in the Cup We were the Cup holders, could we do it again? 2nd division Cardiff, surely was easy in the 3rd round? Ah, I don’t think so. 0-0 and then 2-1, another replay. Then Brighton, as I mentioned last time 2-0 and they must have hated us by then. Then Bolton, who liked kicking people, 1-1, again a replay but we at least beat them 3-0 to go through against 2nd division Watford, surely this time an easy match. A struggle 2-1 and then we come up against Liverpool in the semi’s. They had never done the double in the 20th century, only teams from London. Us and the Spuds. They were very hungry to do so, and us beating Everton twice meant nothing to them. They were the kings. Everton were playing 2nd division West Ham in the other semi. They would surely win. They wanted to win the double by beating Everton like we had by beating the Spuds. Arsenal were never going to stop them. But we were Arsenal, we like winning. We had 6 fighting Irish, we had Liam Brady and we had got a taste for the Cup last time against Man Utd. However, every time we came up against Liverpool in those days, I was nervous, I have to concede they were better than us. We went to Hillsborough hoping and got nothing 0-0. In the meantime we played them in the league and drew 1-1 at Anfield as well. So then across to Villa Park and 1-1 after extra time then again Villa Park and the same result. Then across to Coventry and finally Brian Talbot gets a header after a mistake by our old favourite Ray Kennedy. Hey, hey, hey, we had beaten them, the kings of everywhere. We were Arsenal. We were like a boxer finally getting on top late on in the fight. We were the better team. And we only had 2nd division West Ham to beat in the final. Easy peasy after beating the kings. Trevor Brooking stoops to score with this head. The twist came in the final. Trevor Brooking scored the only goal with his head, as he never stopped saying, and Arsenal were flat. Too many games, hard games, mental attitude, various things came into play, but we didn’t do it. West Ham should have scored a second and Willie Young should have been sent off for a cynical foul on Paul Allen, then the youngest player to play in a cup final, who was through on goal late on. But they won anyway to become kings of London that season. The Old Curiosity country We still had the Cup Winners Cup. A curious thing was the Germanic flavour of our campaign. First up was Fenerbahce from Turkey, who have a huge population in Germany. 2-0 at home and an intimidating 0-0 away saw us on to the next round. FC Magdeburg from Germany next which again was a struggle 2-1 at home and 2-2 away. Then IFK Gothenberg of Sweden where we finally had an easier time, beating them 5-1 at home, making the next leg a formality. A bit tenuous, but Sweden is a Germanic country. Then Juventus from Turin in the semi’s, and southern Italians refer to the northerners as Germans. A big club, at the same time as we were playing Liverpool 5 times. We were up against the big boys, with a tiny squad by todays standards. We drew 1-1 with them at Highbury in the first leg, they had the vital away goal and nobody had beaten them at home in European competition in a very long time. We played 3 times against Liverpool between first leg and second, tough draining matches, we had no hope of going to Juventus and winning. Watching the match in Allen’s pub that night, it felt like a formality, the noise from the Juventus crowd was deafening, and we huffed and puffed but were never going to win. Paul Vaessen silences the Juventus fans Terry Neill decided to throw on Paul Vaessen, an 18 year old striker (with a tragic story for another day), with 15 minutes to go. I heard afterwards that Don Howe had told him “Get on there and score for us”. The poor guy had said yes, but somehow he did, with a couple of minutes left, he was on the end of a cross from Rix and we had done it. I couldn’t believe it. Juventus fell silent. We had beaten Juventus and shortly after beat Liverpool, two of the biggest names in world football. We were Arsenal. We could do it. Finals were a Bleak House for us So the final and Valencia, then a top team from Spain. They had a superb German midfielder, Rainer Bonhof, who had won the World Cup in 1974. They also had the sublime Argentinian Mario Kempes, also a World Cup winner from 1978.They had the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano as manager, one of the greatest footballers of all time. We didn’t have that calibre but we had Liam Brady and the fighting Irish, seven if you include the manager. I wrote about it in a previous blog so I don’t really want to go too much over it again, but it was a tough slog of a match, coming towards the end of a 70 match season. It went to penalties and the 2 stars Brady and Kempes both missed first time. Bonhof slotted home the fifth and John Hollins ours. On to the players who don’t really want to take penalties. But Ricardo Arias whacked his home and Graham Rix, often the guy who provided a late assist for us, missed the sixth. Beaten in 2 finals. Heartbreaking. I find shootouts almost impossible to watch when it is Arsenal or Ireland. I keep expecting our players to miss. Rainer Bonhof scored the vital fifth penalty Game 69 against Wolves and somehow we won 2-1. Then game 70 Middlesbrough and they destroyed us 5-0. I really believe we could have won the league that season as we dropped lots of points towards the end with so many tough matches against top teams and so many replays. But next year surely was our year? We had beaten the big boys. Our young team was nearing its peak. The Irish team was going to make the next step. We were Arsenal and we were on our way. The 80’s would be Arsenal.
  5. Great Expectations 1979-80 was also momentous. So many things happened that I will need 2 columns again. I should say that I was now 21. I had been to England to watch many games but mostly Man United as a weekend trip by ferry was only the possible option at the time. My brother was a Man U fan and I never fancied going by myself. Some years the Arsenal match didn’t work out for us. What were our expectations that year? Liam Brady didn’t leave as rumour had had it. We had won the cup. We had been competitive in the league. We had some great games where we scored 5 goals. We were the kings of London with the draw against relegated Chelsea our only loss of points. Our young team was one year older and surely better? We liked Terry Neill and Don Howe. We were looking good. Liverpool were the big barrier. They were scary in a way that Forest weren’t. Clough’s teams always out performed themselves, Liverpool, we felt, were the real deal, they dominated English football in this period with 11 titles from 1973 to 1990, plus 4 European Cups (ask your dad), 2 Uefa cups, 3 Fa cups, 4 League cups and lots of other things like Charity Shields. They were incredible. A Tale of Two Cities We were the cup holders. We had to face them in the Charity Shield. So it was an early test for us. Could we beat them and set down a marker for the season, show them we are Arsenal this time? Well, no we couldn’t. They beat us 3-1. They had a team full of superstars, none better than Kenny Dalglish, we had Liam Brady as our talisman but Dalglish played superb, scoring a great goal, and laying on 2 for McDermott. Sunderland got our consolation. Second best this time. Perhaps Liverpool's best ever player, Kenny Dalglish Now, you may be wondering why I am talking so much about how good Liverpool were? It is because they were the best in Europe at the time. And we were to play them 7 times this season, yes, 7. So, if you were a boxer, and you had to face the champion 7 times in a year, do you think you would be drained? It gives a crucial background to this season. We were in the Cup Winners Cup as well to give us more matches. And, as I have said a few times before in this column, teams played the same 11 all season, whenever possible. Including the Charity Shield, we played a staggering 70 matches in total. Nowadays, players get rested, then, they didn’t. A Bleak House for Brighton We still had the same side as in previous years, more or less. John Hollins at 33 came from Chelsea and was a great addition to the squad, becoming a regular and staying 4 years. Neill was very good at taking a veteran, and giving them a new lease of life. It is not working out so good for Arsenal at this moment, with Luiz and particularly Willian not showing very much. Footballers always have dodgy haircuts and Brighton were no exception But because we are playing Brighton later today, I should mention that this was a good year against them, we played them 5 times, twice in the league. The first time was the first match of the season. We won 4-0, then 3-0 in the second. We faced them in the League cup 4th round and dispatched them 4-0 after a replay, our first replay of the season. Then we played them in the FA cup and sent them home crying 2-0. Can we do so tonight? Brighton have proven themselves a hard team to beat but we need to beat them. I would love that 4-0 that we did against them then twice. Hard Times to start So, in the league, we started well with that score. But then we were beaten 2-0 by Bobby Robson’s superb Ipswich side, becoming a real force in English football with the addition of 2 top class Dutch players, Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen. Then drew against Leeds and Man utd, then lost to Derby. One win, 2 draws and 2 losses. 4 points after 5 matches. Relegation form. So then we sacked the manager and won all our matches after that. Only joking, Arsenal has a history of not sacking managers easily and I don’t remember any talk of firing Terry Neill. But I was disappointed. We weren’t going to challenge. The only hope was the 3 cups we were in as we were now in the Cup Winners Cup as well as the normal 2. So the League Cup. First up but second round was Leeds and a draw 1-1 in the first leg. They weren’t the frightening Leeds of old and we destroyed them 7-0 in the second leg at Highbury. This happened just before the loss at Derby so probably contributed to us not feeling too down when that happened. Then we beat Southampton 1-0 in the 3rd round. Then as mentioned, Brighton took us to a replay and 4-0. Our Mutual Friends again Then our old friends Swindon took us to our second replay and beat us 4-3. We gave them 2 own goals and it went to extra time to add to our gruelling schedule. Nothing was easy for us in the 70’s. Replays after replays. Swindon again beat us in the League Cup Out of that but let’s get back to the league. We did ok, we came 4th on 52 points with Liverpool on 60 on top. Man U 2nd, improving nicely after we had beaten them last year. And Ipswich 3rd, really starting to challenge. Robson had made them good, with his Dutch buys, and they played attractive football. And the Tale of One City We beat the Spuds 1-0 at home and 2-1 away to get a nice double. Palace, the only other London team, won and drew with us so our position as London’s top dogs was under threat. Another London team, West Ham, were to play a big role in the second half of the season. Next week. The Cup Winners`Cup, and playing against some big teams, and the marathon FA Cup with some amazing games.
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