“You need seven.”

Happy New year to you all! Mike Dean gave me a reason to have a sore head this morning and I hope I wasn’t alone. It was at the end of the game against West Brom, watching the reaction of players, it got me thinking back to a quote from Tony Adams.

“You need seven” was the rather cynical sounding statement from the captain, when discussing incidents in the tunnel at the end games. It’s the idea that if it kicks off with opposing players/coaching staff or even to query a refereeing decision, you need 7 players capable of “holding their own.”

Throughout those years, you could name Adams, Parlour, Merson, Dixon, Bould, Winterburn, Wright without even thinking. In 98 you could go Vieira, Petit, Adams, Keown, Wright, Dixon, Winterburn and Bergkamp (famously as nasty as he was talented). And in the best footballing side of all at the Arsenal, the invincibles infamously had no trouble dishing out the other side of the beautiful game, with Lehmann, Cole, Vieira, Parlour, Gilberto, Campbell and Lauren all capable of holding their own.

What I suppose worries me is you wonder where our “seven” are for when it does get rough and nasty and it’s hammering down with rain and Mike Dean is Mike Dean? Cech, Koscielny, Wilshere were all visibly annoyed at the end, and I’d throw Kolasinac in too, but do we have 7 to “mix it” physically/mentally? I’m not entirely sure.

While Chelsea and Man City have great footballing sides, they also have teams full of players that will fight. Until that’s addressed, I will carry on feeling nervous every time we play away from home and it starts to rain…

Up the Arsenal


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