The Gooner - Issue 218
Smells L i ke Arsenal Spirit
One of the ingredients which seems to have been missing from the team in recent seasons is what is often referred to as the “Arsenal spirit”; the all-for-one and one-for-all, never-say-die approach which has typified so many of our teams in the past. Maybe the current team could learn from some (but perhaps not all!) of these confrontations and the next time one of their team mates finds himself in a sticky situation, as Robin van Persie did recently against Bolton, they will be a bit quicker to come to his aid.
Stick Your Two Points 20 October 1990
The seeds of this ruck were sown two years earlier when Nigel Winterburn mocked Brian McClair for missing a last minute penalty in an FA Cup game at Highbury and there had been bad blood between the two ever since.
attendance, tempers boiled over instantly and suddenly twenty other players became involved in a lot of pushing and shoving with a few sly kicks (by McClair on a prostrate Winterburn, mainly) and punches thrown in for good measure as officials from both sides rushed from the benches to join in or, if you believe the after-match excuses, try to restore some order.
Although the referee opted not to flash any red cards, the FA took a dim view of proceedings and threw the book at both clubs, docking Arsenal two points, and United one, for their players’ behaviour. As it was the FA and United we were dealing with, I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise we came off worse.
So, when Nigel went into a full-blooded tackle on Dennis Irwin in this game with McClair in close
Publicly Arsenal expressed their regret and fined five of the players involved, as well as the manager, George Graham, but behind the scenes George was delighted with the spirit and camaraderie his troops had shown on the pitch and used it to galvanise the team as they stormed to their second title in three years. Mike Francis onlinegooner.com 7