Wenger set to play 10 nine-minute matches against Lincoln

Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley has revealed that his team plan to use a unique approach to Saturday’s FA Cup match against Arsenal by breaking the match into 9 different ten-minute games. It’s a formula which Lincoln used against Burnley, where they practiced to play six, fifteen-minute periods and won the match 1-0.

The idea behind the tactic is to mentally reset his team after each period. Admitting his team are 1000-1 underdogs, Cowley hopes to give his team achievable goals and see how many of those 10-minute stretches his team can compete with Arsenal.

“We’re going to play nine 10-minute games against Arsenal. We’re playing 10-minute training games so they get used to this mentality. We understand that Arsenal could blow us away. We could play our very best and still get beaten 5-0 but we want to train the players’ minds for these 10-minute games. We might go three down in the first 10 minutes. If we do, then the players must draw a line and start at 0-0 for the next 10-minute game. How many 10-minute games can we be competitive? If winning at the Emirates is the only definition of success the likelihood is we won’t be successful. We’re trying to measure success differently using achievable goals. But we’re also professional and prepared. We might surprise some people.”

Wenger was asked how his team would prepare for the match and responded,

We originally planned to have one 35 minute period where we warm up, followed by a ten minute period of panic where we look at the scoreboard and realize that we are not crushing this team. In the second half, we usually start with another 15 minute rest period, followed by 10 minutes of attacking play. Then I will introduce some substitutions, perhaps Perez, and Alexis will spend the final minutes of the match either waving his arms furiously when he doesn’t get the ball, or sulking at the corner flag in his Michelangelo’s Thinker pose.

Instead we are going to one-up Lincoln’s plan and play 10, nine-minute matches. It’s one more match than them, innit? Plus, 10’s are a much more easily divided number, rather than 9’s. No one based the metric system, the best system, on 9’s. It’s based on 10’s. I mean, who does base 9?

Wenger was also asked about his contract situation.

In the match against Burnley, Lincoln’s best player was right back Bradley Wood. Wood had more touches than any other Lincoln player, attempted more passes, and lofted more crosses than any other player. Wood’s job is to link up with Arnold on the right, who crosses in to Rhead in the center. Rhead attempted 16 aerial duels in the last match, though he didn’t create a single chance off those headers and only managed one shot for himself.

Lincoln’s only goal in the match came from a corner. A left-footed in-swinger from Habergham was played to center back Luke Waterfall. Waterfall headed the ball back across the goal where his center back partner Sean Raggett was waiting and scored.

Arsenal typically struggle defending set plays and I expect Wenger to start Gabriel who is a right bastard in the air.

No word on what the odds are that anyone will eat a pie in this match. Arsene’s contract situation will also be asked about after the match.

Kickoff is 9:30am local time and the match is being played live on Fox Soccer 2.

Arsene’s contract situation is being played out live from now until May.



  1. Is Donald Trump going to be our manager for tomorrow’s game? His latest tweet:

    “The metric system is the best system in the world. Too bad the failing NY times and fake news CNN doesn’t understand it. Sad.”

  2. My prediction is Arsenal win 4:0 .
    Refs make no controversial calls, and Arsene will use this as proof positive of what could’ve been done against Bayern if the ref wasn’t Greek.

    1. I think it will be worse than that even, a massacre which will only anger people more; look at the bullies beating up on poor little Lincoln. I bet you Ozil plays and scores twice.

  3. Yeah he is definitely managing us tomorrow. He just tweeted this:

    “Just learned Crowley tried tried to tapp my office in the white house of south London to learn about my plans for tomorrow’s game. Haha, joke’s on him. I don’t have a plan. What a bad (sick!) guy!!”

  4. It’s funny… I remember back in the 90’s I had these tapes, “The Winning Formula” that was put out by the English FA where they were big proponents of Direct Football i.e. they had the stats to prove that the vast majority of goals resulted from passing movements of 6-passes or less.

    Anyway, in those tapes they cited another fact, that the vast majority of goals were scored/conceded in either the first or last 5 minutes of a half, or within 5 minutes of another goal i.e. they tended to come in bunches (which we saw on Tuesday with 4 goals in 17 minutes).

    So, when coaching these days I tell players we have the “5 minute rule”; for the first and last 5 minutes of any half we buckle down and control the tempo and if we score I shout “five minutes!” and the concentration levels go up. It’s been working for 20 years. I think this Lincoln coach is an astute leader and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Arsenal to adopt.

  5. I am going to watch this match as ninety 1-minute happy hours. Every minute I’ll take shot or sip of something, of course if we score, that’ll be another shot or sip as well.

    If I pass out before half-time I hope that means we’ll have scored lots of goals. If not, it’ll be a nice afternoon nap. The game here is a 12:30 pm kickoff.

    1. I guess that should be “happy minutes”. That’s how to be a happy Arsenal supporter these days, anyway: minute by minute.

  6. Judging by the scoreline, the gap between Lincoln and us is slightly greater than the gap between us and Bayern. Happy for that!

  7. Confession. For 2 brief seconds I wanted Lincoln to put us out of our misery. Then I though, nah.I’d never, even if you put a gun to my head, root or silently hope for Arsenal to lose. Besides, the case against Wenger was made long, long ago. A game that tell us not very much, cept it proves that we too can dish out 5 — but unlike Bayern (boo!) we didnt have one scored against us.

  8. That’s very interesting to me.
    I used think rooting against your own team to facilitate a change was kinda strange, but I guess I can see certain logic in it now.

    I don’t care enough to ever get myself into such a dilemma anymore, which is probably even more sad than rooting against Arsenal.

    1. Key words/phrases…

      “For 2 brief seconds” and
      “I’d never, even if you put a gun to my head, root or silently hope for Arsenal to lose.”

  9. Although to be fair this sort of a game in current Arsenal situation is a kinda no win situation.

    Start fast and blow them out 8:0, and all the critics would say flat track bullies beating up on lowly Lincoln.

    Score less than 4 and the critics would say couldn’t even score as many as Bayern did against them.

    But like you said , the case against Wenger has already been made I think.

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