By Tony Attwood
Very unusually, the BBC picked no less than three Arsenal players for its team of the weekend.
First off was Santi Cazorla, of whom the Corporation said,
“After last week’s somewhat inept performance against the Hammers, the Gunners suddenly looked something like title contenders against Crystal Palace.
“At the heart of their resurgence against the Eagles was Cazorla who was superb throughout and dominated the play. If they can play with the same authority and intensity as they did in the first half then Arsenal, with their array of talent, must have a chance of lifting the title.”
Second it nominated Ozil.
“Every so often we see a player that is so gifted that he can change a game in an instant and Ozil is one of those players.
“His assist for Olivier Giroud’s opening goal was so inviting the striker was compelled to make the volley. If there was an opening to be found against Palace, Ozil would find it: Another Arsenal player that is crucial to the title hope of the Gunners.”
And the third: Nacho Monreal
“Playing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park is never easy these days, especially when your hosts have two speed merchants like Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie playing for them. Arsenal’s full-back Monreal handled both players brilliantly.
“Even when they occasionally switched wings (as they do from time to time) the Spaniard never looked fazed and in the end both players left the field totally disheartened by the looks of things as the Gunners secured their first win.”
No other team had more than one player in the BBC XI. Which suggests that maybe things are moving a little at the BBC. The team was selected by Garth Crooks, as usual. In their match review Patrick Jennings gave man of the match to Ozil.
It was all an interesting contrast to the Metro last weekend in which Rob Devine said
Surely the £42.4 million squandered by the north London outfit for the German international [Ozil] can now safely be deemed the worst purchase in Premier League history?
But throwing the Metro in the bin (at least for a moment) there was further good news as Arsenal Ladies won 2-0 at Chelsea to go three points clear at the top of Continental Cup Group One, making up for the disappointment of last week’s defeat to Man City, which leaves Arsenal two points off the top of the league table.
But of course when it comes to a Monday morning the press can’t really leave their old habits behind. The Telegraph runs today with “Wenger prefers a half-fit Sanchez to Walcott” which is just plain daft. He wasn’t half fit, and he was preferred for this game. (Note to Telegraph – you cannot generalise a season out of one game).
Mind you, back with the BBC I did rather like
Mourinho – deluded or distracted?
Unfortunately the article is rather dull and doesn’t live up to the headline, but they made the point that “Chelsea’s performance at City was so bad that it unwittingly did the job Mourinho required, pushing the debate [about the medical team] off the agenda and on to on-field matters.”
To be fair I think Tottenham knew a long time ago that relying on Kane for another season was going to be a risk. But the press are not in the business of admitting that top strikers willing and able to move are hard to find. Especially when it comes to moving to a non-Champions League club.
The Independent on the other hand went with Five things we learned as Mesut Ozil becomes Gunners’ star – a headline that was rather deflated by the lack of any mention of Ozil in their article, but instead was followed by a link on their web site to a different article which had the headline “Ozil relentlessly trolled”.
Back in the Telegraph, there was a more organised attempt at humour with
Parking the bus? Chelsea couldn’t get it started
Elsewhere The Metro is clearly running out of puff because today its web site still has the same old same old “Arsenal transfer news: Superstar signing imminent, huge offer for Man Utd target, midfield deal on,” as it had before the weekend. One starts to wonder what “imminent” means in Metroland.
Their report on Ozil has the headline “Stats show just how good Mesut Ozil was for Arsenal against Crystal Palace as he proves doubters wrong”.
But wasn’t it the Metro that just called him the worst purchase ever? Yep it was.
Back in the Telegraph we have, ‘Unsettled Gotze could be heading to the Emirates’ The German attacker has reportedly fallen out with manager Pep Guardiola, we are told.
Well, that’s nice to know.
PS: Perfidious: deceitful, untrustworthy, treacherous, duplicitous, deceitful, disloyal, faithless, unfaithful, traitorous,treasonous, false, untrue, double-dealing, dishonest, two-faced.
Just so you know.
Anniversaries of the day
17 August 1960: First league appearance of Geoff Strong in a 5-0 win over Newcastle. His impact was instant, playing 19 league games in 1960/1 and scoring 10 goals.
17 August 1970: Match 2 from the first Double season. WHU 0 Arsenal 0 thus making it played 2, drawn 2, showing that one should never draw too many conclusions from the opening games.