This Day In History

ah, the good old days

In 1896, Utah became a state.
In 1896, the US government was still officially racist.
In 1896, WIlliam McKinley became president, defeating William Jennings Bryan.
In 1896, George Burns, Rogers Hornsby, and Howard Hawks were born.

In 1896, Arsenal conceded eight goals in an away game at Loughborough, in their worst ever defeat (8-0).  In the intervening 115 years, Arsenal have had some heavy defeats, some just plain annoying defeats, and some very close defeats.  But it has been 115 years, friends, since Arsenal have surrendered eight goals in a single game.

I did not see the game - I had a grainy li'l stream that was very skippy and messed up, so I only saw the first goal.  But this is one of those rare games that I didn't need to see to know how it went.  

It went badly.

Let's face it - no one seriously thought Arsenal would beat the reigning champions.  The best I was hoping for was either a narrow defeat or a somewhat lucky draw.  This, though?  This was beyond anybody's wildest expectations - even, I would guess, the Manchester United team and its fans.  This was hot-knife-through-butter easy.  This was roll-over-and-die easy.  This was candy-from-a-baby easy.  Shall I go on?  Probably not.  There's no point.

Much will be written in the next few days about the crisis at Arsenal.  And it is rapidly becoming a crisis.  I can accept losing, as long as a team plays as hard as it can - but conceding eight goals is beyond what anyone would consider acceptable.  If Arsenal just plain didn't show up, I guess that might be one thing - it can be shrugged off, and they can refocus for next week.  If Arsenal did play as hard as they can, though, and still conceded eight goals, it's worse than I thought.  If what we saw today is the level at which Arsenal are capable of playing against the top few sides in England, though, this could be a very interesting season - I know, there are injuries and suspensions, some kid named Coquelin who has never played before started, and there was another dismissal today, but this was ugly.

You have three days until the window closes, Arsene.  Do something.  Or be prepared for many, many people to start calling for your head.

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