My Five Favourite Matches From Arsène’s 1K

In case you hadn’t noticed, Arsène Wenger manages his 1,000th match for the club. A fair number of tributes have been printed, committed to film or the airwaves. It would be easy to pick the matches which won titles or cups, those you will find elsewhere. It hasn’t been easy to crop it down to five from those nine hundred odd either. I did wonder about pivotal matches and during his time, there have been some crucial games with adverse results driving positive outcomes but frankly today didn’t strike me as one to watch five defeats!

Amid the deluge of tributes of which some of good and some are well-intentioned, Jeremy Wilson has an excellent piece this morning on Peter Hill-Wood.

Blackburn Rovers, April 1998 at Ewood Park

The defeat at Christmas in the reverse fixture was the last Arsenal would suffer that season in the Premier League until after they had been crowned champions. The opening salvo in this match was possibly as good as any Wenger team has ever started a game.

Deportivo La Coruña, March 2000 at Highbury

With a Spanish wife, I tend to enjoy victories over teams from the Iberian peninsular a little more. This was one of the best.

Bayer Leverkusen, February 2002 at Highbury

One of the finest home performances in a European match during Wenger’s first thousand games.

Middlesbrough 5 – 3, August 2004 at Highbury

At 1 – 3 down, many sides would have lacked the “resilience” to salvage a point let alone take all three. The unbeaten run continued thanks to this and it is worth viewing just for the gradual puncturing of the commentators enthusiasm for the day.

Everton, May 2005 at Highbury

The final choice which was an excellent early birthday present

’til Tomorrow.

128 thoughts on “My Five Favourite Matches From Arsène’s 1K

  1. @Henry

    I know you were just debating and making a whole bunch of really good points there mate.

    Rotation is such a tricky thing because there are so many different reasons as to why rotation and when to rotate is necessary whether it be lingering knocks, long training sessions and so on and so on.

    Having watched you debate others and found you to generally be really good at it, I figured I had to pull a wild card. Asking non-rhetorical questions and then answering them generally makes the person your debating either frustrated, baffled or gives them a good laugh but either way allows you to win the debate ;).

    I will allow you to use it, just make sure not on me because that would be a fairly boring debate.

    Cheers though mate ;)!

  2. Northbank,

    Will I ever lose an argument again? No, I won’t!

    Am I the best looking dude to have learned, from you,the meaning of the phrase, ‘Mademoiselle, peux-je lécher ta chatte?’ Oh, yes, I am!

    See NB, I am quick on the uptake. 🙂

  3. You are a good sport, C,

    And if I did not enjoy your committed and interesting comments, I would not bother!

    We all have opinions otherwise it would be pointless and boring.

    There is a phenomenon known as Crowd Wisdom, and although I will not bore you with the details, it holds that if enough people say the answer is {something} it often turns out to be correct.

    Keep on rotating! 🙂

  4. Henry

    I can see your next visit to France is going to be very interesting 🙂

    I try not to get into long discussions on here, I prefer to read, so I just make short generilizations which can’t lead to long drawn out debates. You, C, Bill and a few others enjoy them. I believe less is more and follow a very simple philosophy in life:

    Fill a glass when it’s empty, empty a glass when it’s full, and scratch your arse when it itches.

  5. @Henry

    I try to be and its also good to chat with you.

    I try to be committed and offer a bit of a different opinion, at least I try :), but I do enjoy your post because there also very committed but also thought provoking.

    Well then I guess I will keep banging on about rotating and needing to rotate until somebody can get word back to Arsene lol

  6. Anyway, that’s me done for the day on here, I love this blog. But have to shave and shower ready for a date who has told me she’ll stand the rounds for a poor, starving artist 🙂

  7. We have heard a number of comments over a period of time about Wenger not resting players.

    A lot of that is subjective and not necessarily based on fact, but here is a couple of facts that show that is perhaps overstated.

    1997-2000; 118 appearances, 11 goals

    We were travelling by train from London and I had a big problem in my personal life.

    My second wife was pregnant and she didn’t want to keep the baby for difficult reasons.
    I was very quiet and Arsene came to me on the train as he’s known me for a long time.

    Then he asked me what was my problem and I told him the truth.

    He said: ‘Life is more important than football so if you have to go and miss the game, I give you the permission to go back to France’.
    I really appreciated that.

    He said: ‘I’ll let you go and take all the days you want. If you want to stay for one week, two weeks, you regroup your problems and you come back with a free mind’.

    That was an emotional or mental exhaustion — but the solution was typically Wenger, some might say.

    As we all know, Mesut Ožil has been struggling, and also has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury, but he has been given time to recover from both the physical and the mental trauma – seems that Wenger has been unfairly castigated for not paying attention to ‘burnout’.

  8. I’m sure that I could have bought oysters in ‘Stein’s Fish, Emporium’, Northbank and probably some of the better restaurants had them but I only like to eat oysters where they are harvested. A hangover from living in Whitstable for several years. Incidentally, another lovely town ruined by those moving in from London.

    Just a few good layers this time, Jonny. Too many of our hens are now old girls and any self respecting smallholder would have knocked them on the head years ago. Not all hybrids though and interesting in their own way. Guarenteed over 300 eggs a year for a couple of years. One type lays eggs coloured variously from brown through to plum.

  9. Just to say that there have been some truly wonderful posts on here over the past few days. A fine collection of bloggers. Knowledgable, polite and not without a modicum of wit.

    Bloody good show.

  10. Hi ConsolB,

    Unfortunately, I am departing as you arrive which is a pity, although missing my rubbish is no hardship. 🙂

    Tomorrow — the big day and a Yogi Special to read!! See you then.

  11. Henry

    Telling people that they aren’t qualified to talk about training, injuries, etc., is dangerous ground. I mean, you don’t have to be an economist to know that the UK is still fucked no matter what Gideon tells us. It is just an opinion we give on this, it’s the same with everything in life. I’d hate to see that creep in here because it’s a pet hate of mine and generally I find the people who use that argument have lost before they’ve even started.

    My flip side of the argument is how do you know he isn’t cocking it up?

  12. Yogi,

    Having returned to close down my machine, I saw your admonishment of my debating style.

    Starting at the end, this is what C said;

    “I know you (HB) were just debating and making a whole bunch of really good points there mate.”

    I responded; “You are a good sport, C, And if I did not enjoy your committed and interesting comments, I would not bother! We all have opinions otherwise it would be pointless and boring.”

    I am not sure why you are intervening in something neither C nor I thought was a problem.

    It was a thoroughly enjoyable and happy day’s blogging, until you unaccountably decided to accuse me without justification.

    It’s your blog, if you do not want me to blog on here, just say so and be done with it.

  13. Thanks Henry – yer too kind.

    LSG – I agree (I thought the same with Ramsey and I think AW did too).

    To add weight to your argument, I recall reading, in one of the papers before Ozil got injured that he was being overplayed and that he should have been given a short winter break.

    He also said that often German players playing in different leagues (or maybe just the Prem) were given rests at that point as a precautionary measure – given that their bodies had been conditioned differently.

  14. Well said YW @ 6.38 – I feel the same.

    I once got told off for commenting about a third parties parenting style and the person I was with got irked and said let’s be honest here, Jonny –

    “What the fuck would you know about parenting? You’ve never even changed a fucking nappy”.

    i said, “Sure thing, but then you’ve never managed Liverpool and you’re scarcely able to actually even kick a football but it’s never stopped you having an expert fucking opinion on that has it?”

    I recall his spluttering for a response was deeply, deeply satisfying.

  15. Henry

    “Now that seems to put you in the position of someone without, I presume, any medical qualifications and certainly without any first hand knowledge of the injury problems of the players, and yet you issue, in an authoritative way, a condemnation of Wenger ….. based on what.

    OK, you can say it was just an opinion, and of course that is what footie blogs are all about, but any discussion based on opposing opinions can become sterile, as it is impossible to prove whether any or either are correct without supporting evidence.”

    I have no issue with your contribution, I hate the “”Now that seems to put you in the position of someone without, I presume, any medical qualifications” line. Opinions are only sterile when everyone agrees and is inflexible in their views. You will find that those here are flexible but dismissing arguments because of qualifications is not something I like.

  16. Hear, hear Bob! Enjoyable reading the discussions recently.

    Jonny, well observed and helpful remarks.

    Henry, enjoy your remarks though I seem to have been mildly disagreeing with many of them, I think. But I must wholeheartedly agree that different opinions over the last several days make for more interesting conversations. We know we aren’t experts, we just try to use logic and whatever evidence we have without being too dogmatic in our judgments. A bit of humour and humility never goes amiss as Cbob noted!

  17. …..and then we see a bit of edge which makes any concourse interesting.

    Those plums, YW, will not be ripe for many months and, of course, point of lay pullets, aren’t actually in lay yet. Still, you are an accountant and not a landsman.

    So, given that the economy is fucked, what should I do with my pension fund?

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