Football Round Up – Ronald Atkin (Observer 9 November 1969 p.28)
There was no shortage of people – or goals – at Highbury. Nearly 50,000 saw Arsenal go utterly berserk by this season’s normal, non scoring standards for the second week.
West Bromwich were another side who picked the right day and the right opponents to improve a dismal home showing. The runaway championship leaders, Everton, fell for only the second time this season.
Everton are still six points clear of Leeds, but the manner of the Yorkshire side’s four goal win over Ipswich is a portent of much trouble for Everton in the long, wearing, muddy months ahead.
Arsenal 4 Derby 0 – Hugh McIlvanney (Observer, 9 November 1969, p.28)
On a day when Derby suffered a remarkable collective loss of form, a blight of uncertainty that spread from McFarland in the heart of the defence to Hinton on the far left of the front runners, the surprise was that Arsenal should wait until the second half to show their revived appetite for goals.
They were aggressive enough in the end to deserve even more than the four they took against a team who had conceded only seven in their previous eight away matches.
West Ham 2 Crystal Palace 1 – Tony Pawson (Observer, 9 November 1969, p.28)
West Ham, often on the verge of greatness, are never less than attractive. It was not untypical that they should reduce Crystal Palace to total impotence, yet win by the narrowest of margins.
Their football flowed and sparkled in a stream of delightful moves. Yet the finishing was always faulty, with Best and Peters stealing into scoring position, then squandering the opening.
A team can play only as well as the opposition will allow and at present Palace are generous opponents.
WBA 2 Everton 0 – Cyril Chapman (Guardian 10 November 1969 p.18)
The wind, a fitful sun, and an Albion team coming to the full flush of power proved all too much for Everton at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Everton seemed more blighted by anxiety and lack of concentration than by physical incapacity.
Coventry 1 Manchester United 2 – David Lacey – (Guardian 10 November 1969 p.18)
Manchester won their first match at Highfield Road since Coventry City were promoted with a minimum of fuss on Saturday.
Pitching their game in a low key and forsaking much of their familiar flair for simple efficiency and economy of effort, they were masters of the difficult, windy conditions where their opponents were more often the servants.
Yet again Coventry showed that while their football has certainly improved in terms of speed and understanding, they still need to acquire the skills necessary to offer a serious challenge at the highest level. Ability to retain possession and dictate the pace of a game, along with alertness, both physical and mental in the penalty area; these are essential elements of success and Coventry quite clearly lack both.
Manchester City 1 Southampton 0 – Paul Fitzpatrick (Guardian 10 November 1969 p.18)
A majestic goal by Colin Bell illuminated an otherwise undistinguished game at Maine Road. Where Manchester City, who have now only lost one league match in the last 14, added Southampton to the lengthening list of victims.
The first heavy pitch of the season in Manchester was probably responsible for much introspective play and a high number of unforced errors, but Bell’s goal transcended all and was so good that most spectators would have considered their money well spent for that along.