By Tony Attwood
1. Wenger is working
In a press conference recently Mr Wenger told the press that over the summer, “I had a few days off, but I spent most of my summer at the training ground. Not the whole holiday, but most of it.”
2. And he’s got the measure of the media even more than before
In a recent press conference Mr W said in answer to one question, “When I go on the beach I am in the press the next day. Where do you want me to go?”
He also said, in relation to the press and Mourinho, “I will leave you and your love story with him to continue without interference,” he said. “It’s all about love.”
3. Now even the press concede Arsenal might win something.
For me, this season any of the three major trophies would do. The Champions League, because we have never won it, the Premier League because we haven’t won it since the Invincibles, the FA Cup because it would be the unprecedented three in a row in modern times. I’ll take any of those.
This summer the media story is that Arsenal are stress free, no one is poaching our top players, others are scrabbling around trying to buy players they desperately need, and we’re looking good. I think we could do it.
4. Confidence is high
“Before, we always lost big players and then everyone would quickly question us,” Wenger said at a press conference, adding, “This is the first time for a long time we have all had confidence in our environment.” He also noted that this is the most experienced team since the Invincibles.
“We have always had talented teams but most of the time, after 2006 when we moved into the stadium, they were very young. We have the better balance between talent and experience now. And when you go into April you need that experience.
“Have we enough talent? I believe so, yes. And the expectations are very high. You cannot win the Cup and finish third in the league and then say: ‘Look, next year we want to do nothing.’ So the ingredients are there but I am long enough in the job to know we have to prove that with points.”
5. Everyone loves our goalkeeper; everyone forgets their wrong predictions.
There’s talk of calmness and organisation, having finally got the keeper that Arsenal first spotted years back at Rennes, and all that stuff you’ll already have read.
Mr Wenger’s view was, “He is very serious, he trains well. He has a good combination between quality, agility and size and he always looked like he was built for English football. I think he is a very bright goalkeeper as well and he has an intimidating presence, that is for sure. He makes the goals look small. That’s the kind of charisma he has.”
And all that helps the media and blogettas forget the weeks and weeks of telling us that Ooooospina was on the way out. How wrong can they be over such a long period? How much time does a writer need to admit he got it wrong?
6. We can win every pre-season game
As Untold reported, it has only happened once before, and of course it is not a guarantee of further success, but we won the lot. And given the choice between losing a few and winning them all, I know which one I prefer. Singapore, Everton, Lyon, Wolfsburg and Chelsea have all been seen off, in only the second perfect pre-season in the club’s history.
7. Transfers out have continued but mostly under the radar.
- Abou Diaby to Marseille
- Ryo Miyaichi to St Pauli
- Semi Ajayi to Cardiff
- Jack Jebb released
- Austin Lipman released
- Brandon Ormonde Ottewill to Swindon
- Josh Vickers released
- Lukas Podolski to Galatasaray
- George Dobson to West Ham
Here’s what Slapshot Scotland said in an open letter to the wannabe journo.
Thank you for your critique after watching half an hour of a sport you’ve never seen before. From the responses you’ve had on Twitter, you will be well aware that your opinion has been duly noted.
You may band around your “Young Journalist of the Year” award from 2011 as some kind of police warrant card to justify your approach and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling things as you’ve seen them, which you clearly have here, you have done so like a gale force wind through a house of cards.
Or as the Chasing Dragons website said
So, an article has appeared in the Telegraph today about ice hockey. Written by Jonathan Liew…it considers ice hockey on TV.
So, is it positive? Um…no. But it’s also clearly written by someone who hasn’t looked beyond a football pitch for his sporting fix in all his life. Or, probably, darkened the doors of a changing room in any other capacity then maybe a twenty-minute session on the running machine.
Aside from the fact that a quick Google reveals fans across three sports (football, golf and cricket) being more vitriolic than anything about both his writing ability and knowledge of the sports he claims to write about, the whole article (which you can read in full here) is basically a journalist saying “I don’t understand a sport, therefore it’s crap”.
Or to take the quote that we ran
Diaby is the player who best sums up the last nine years at Arsenal, which is a strange thing to say because he was there for so little of it.
The Diaby years have also been the Bendtner years and the Almunia years and the Andre Santos years, but no player has quite expressed the beauty and the curse of late-Wenger Arsenal like he did: a man trapped in the bubble of his own unfulfilled talent, a hostage of his own misfortune, and yet the very embodiment of a heartbreaking and fundamentally human optimism.
It is nice to know that we’re not the only ones who find this sort of writing distasteful. But then he’s now with the Telegraph, so I suppose that is about right.
But apart from Mr Liew, it’s been a decent pre-season. Now let’s see what the real thing holds in store.
Anniversary of the day
7 August 1999: Thierry Henry’s first appearance – as a sub in Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1 on the opening day of the season. He had scored 3 goals in 16 for Juventus, and 20 in 105 for Monaco and did not consider himself a natural goalscorer.