By Tony Attwood
Anyone who reads the English newspapers and their blogs on a regular basis will be used to the endless attacks on Arsenal. We all know what this summer’s campaign has been, and although the attacks have been different in the past there have always been attacks.
Indeed I can remember when Mr Wenger first came to Arsenal and did quite a bit of transfer activity in his first year he was constantly criticised by the press for buying too many players! Now it is not enough. If only those journalists could run our club, then we’d win trophies every year.
Then there are the issues of buying the wrong players, persisting with players who are not up to it, not buying because we are too dozy… Oh if only the blogetta writers could run our transfer room, then we’d get everyone we wanted.
So it is moan, moan, moan, and all that was before they started making up their constant little tale about Arsenal being the most expensive football club south of the planet Neptune.
And thus it has come as a surprise to me, and indeed must be a surprise to some supporters of other teams, as the media has started to expand the attacks to take in other clubs.
Chelsea has not been on the front foot in media terms since Mr Mourinho’s spat with his club doctor. Indeed the Independent is still running the story that Dr Carneiro is going to sue. Chelsea due to face legal proceedings if they refuse to reinstate doctor demoted last month is the headline.
But this is mild stuff (for no one who wants to come out of it with his press pass intact plays fast and loose with Chelsea or Man C) compared to what some other teams are now suffering. Martial almost the ‘worst player’ on pitch for France ahead of Manchester United debut was a recent gem from the Indy.
They also came up with
which was a warm up for
Hazard and Benteke displays for Belgium slammed…
Another trick learned from the Arsenal baiting days is never to lay off a player once one has delivered the first punch.
Anthony Martial fails to make impression for France ahead of possible Manchester United debut
This is justified on the basis that “he was statistically the second worst player for France during their 2-1 win over Serbia”.
Rory McIlroy ‘not convinced’ Louis van Gaal is the right man for Manchester United
Moussa Sissoko risks infuriating Newcastle fans by admitting they are not a big club like Manchester United, PSG and Crystal Palace
Victor Valdes latest: Iker Casillas blasts ‘ungrateful’ Manchester United over treatment of goalkeeper
Mind you some papers are now looking to put the boot in, in all sorts of places, as with the Telegraph’s gem… Southampton reluctant to deal with Spurs.
That story continues
Like several other Premier League clubs, Southampton have grown exasperated with Tottenham during various recent dealings
And then there was Spurs regarded West Ham as a more direct rival and so felt that it was sensible to alter their approach. If that is not a put down I don’t know what is. Next week Leyton Orient will reveal they refused to sell to Tottenham as they see Tottenham as a “direct rival”.
But mostly the Telegraph, like the Indy, are in full blast mode against Man U. I recently reported on Man Utd have wasted more on transfers than any English side since 2013, but just in case you didn’t get the full message they also ran
United ‘dull and functional’ under Van Gaal
Rooney and Carrick ‘complain about Van Gaal’s Manchester United training methods’
McManaman laments ‘lost identity’ of LFC and United
Not to be outdone the Telegraph is quickly on the counter with
Revealed: United players angered by Van Gaal axing Rafael and role of video analyst
Forget history – the sad truth for United and Liverpool is they are shunned by top talent
Now the point about this little meander down the backwaters of two newspaper publishing houses is that the headlines all turned up within a couple of days of each other. Bash, bash, bash mostly against Man U but with a bit of Tottenham and Liverpool on the side.
I think this is quite different from me having the occasional go against Liverpool with examples and data, in relation to their transfer policy, their owner’s story telling and boasting and the like. This is just bickering and knocking over and over without any real story to base it all on.
Of course the TV companies who are running the forthcoming Man U v Liverpool kick around are all full of the old make believe about it being the biggest game in the world and all that stuff. But the papers seem seriously unimpressed. They’ve even started running tales about how the police are redoubling their numbers because with a kick off as late as 5.30pm there could be alcohol induced poor behaviour. Haven’t heard that in a while.
Anyway, at least it gives us a bit of a breathing space. But almost certainly anything short of a 7-0 home win on Saturday, and we’ll be back in the firing line. And even at 7-0 you can never be sure what they will say.
From the anniversary files
- 10 September 1947. Arsenal beat Bolton 2-0 to complete six straight wins at the start of the season for the first time ever. Arsenal were not beaten until game 18 on November 29.
- 10 September 1958. David Jack died, aged 60. After retiring from playing, he became manager of Southend United, Middlesbrough and Shelbourne Utd, retiring in 1955
The Untold Books