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October 2016
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The Arsenal Golden Triple, double victories, perfidious journalists

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,

“Only team-mate Mesut Özil (five) created more chances this weekend in the Premier League than Cazorla (four).

“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.

“Ozil found a team-mate with all but one of his passes against Crystal Palace (98% pass completion)

“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.”

Elsewhere we also had the oddity of a certain Mr Kane being taken off the pitch rather early at Tottenham because he was tired.  The press, that has been so pro-Tottenham through the summer, praising their profits and their stadium plans, without considering where the money is coming from or whether they are now going to sell Kane to balance the books, suddenly turned, as only the British press can.   The Guardian ran

Spurs toothless without Kane and on hunt for another striker

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

Ho ho.

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.

9 comments to The Arsenal Golden Triple, double victories, perfidious journalists

  • All I wanna say is Congratulations to Gunnerdom and no thanks to Metro the Troll tottering like a totem hanging on a cliff shouting for help and abusing itz rescuers simultaneously.

    Thank God we are back.
    unleash the Ox like Legolas against the the disorganized mob from Liverpool.

  • Clockendrider

    Garth Crooks? Generally speaking I would put more weight on the footballing opinions of Garth Brooks but on this occasion the Toad of Toad Hall lookalike seems to have found a way to get over his more usual myopic anti Arsenal bias.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting points from the metro on ozil, but surprised no mentions for mandala, soldado and his fellow bale squanderings, also, Luke shaw, balotelli, and the daddy of em all, Di Maria?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Above, meant to write mangala , not a combination of the great South African leader and the shite City defender, though he did do ok yesterday.

  • nicky

    I was given a salutary lesson after yesterday’s game.
    I have watched most of Arsenal’s games over the past 30 years, mainly on TV, and thought I was fairly experienced on detecting quality performance on the field.
    Two alternative MOTM emerged, on Sunday, Messrs Cazorla and Ozil, neither of whom I’d noticed throughout the game.
    I feel suitably chastened. 😉

  • Al

    Watching the match one would’ve been excused to think Ozil was on the bench, smith and parry barely mentioned his name…so it comes as a bit of a surprise to hear a few so-called pundits/football experts thought he put in a motm performance.

    In my view, that combination of Carzola and Ozil could be our best weapon this term, if both can stay fit( more like if they don’t get hacked to pieces), they’re just too versatile and can, and will, unlock many defences this season. And thanks to Palace for trying to play football, don’t think I saw any malicious tackle yesterday.

  • Nonny

    Whatever is reported, my weekend is made sweeter by the fact that ‘THE ARROGANT ONE’ was shown what it means to play football.

    His defeat yesterday and another lame excuse goes to show that the man has no shame. In his post match interview THE ARROGANT ONE said City was better in the first half and Chelsea in the second and labeled the result “a fake result”

    It even got worse at the Chelsea website where there description of the match is so hilarious, it seems it was borrowed from Mourinho’s handbook. The site portrayed the match as very close and Man City won on fine margins with City using WWE tactics to bully Costa and Harzard. The last paragraph of the report reads “Diego Costa hit the post in time added on and Hart was in the right place to block Hazard’s follow-up effort. It epitomised what had been a game of very fine margins.”

    Definitely, the arrogant one and his team are becoming deluded.

  • OlegYch

    can’t stop thinking that Santi is terribly ineffective in final third..
    misplaces an awful lot of passes and can’t get a decent shot, and that’s been going on since the start of last season
    quite good in the middle of the park though
    i fear that he’s past his best
    agree on Ozil and Monreal, magnificent performance as usual
    Arteta surprised with great tackling and determination, seems like he’s been getting lessons from Coq 🙂
    what really bothers though me is how Koscielny allowed the same kind of goal for second match in the row, didn’t even try to block the shot, can anyone explain that?

  • Chris

    Great readings guys….these Yanks may not have much of a football/soccer culture but they do see some things right…at least I do think so !