Exclusive, read all about it – Arsenal in crisis
Media reporting has always been short on facts and agenda driven but since the advent of the Internet it has gone from bad to worse. It seems anyone can write an online article; all you have to do is have something negative to say because that drives page views. If you can knock Arsenal or Arsene Wenger then you have just increased your chances of getting published. That’s it in a nutshell – if you want to get published then knock the Arsenal. To make it easier for the writer, there are a few key topics that should always be included and those that should be avoided at all costs.
Topics to be mentioned:
- Arsenal cannot defend
- Arsenal need signings
- The transfer window
- Arsenal Wenger is stubborn
- Mourinho is better than Wenger
Topics that must not be mentioned:
- Arsenal had years of austerity
- Arsenal built a stadium
- Arsenal have turned their club into a behemoth through astute management
- Arsenal were at a financial disadvantage to Chelsea & Man City
- Arsene Wenger has over achieved
- Arsenal’s approach is good for football
So now we know the rules, let’s take a look at some of the inaccurate reporting about our club.
…Arsenal can’t defend
Arsenal have a poor defence and no amount of evidence that contradicts that view will be aired. Watch any of the football shows or live games and count how many times our poor defending is mentioned. When we drew 0-0 draw with Chelsea in April, it was our seventh clean sheet in 14 games and we were top of the ‘defence’ league table for having the best defence. Up until that point we had conceded just 9 goals in 2015. Was that mentioned?
Last season we had the second best defensive record in the Premier League. This was despite the fact, we had so many defensive injuries at the start. Did anyone hear Liverpool, Man Utd or Man City being named as being poor defensively as regularly as Arsenal are?
Exclusive, read all about it
Before I move onto the current reporting, I would like to look at one ‘exclusive’ that stands out in my mind. This article went viral (new word I learned) and sent some Arsenal fans into a frenzy, especially the Wenger Out crowd. This was music to their ears. This ‘exclusive’ was written by Jeremy Wilson and appeared in the Daily Telegraph, on 19 September 2014, almost one year ago.. The sensational headline read: “Arsenal’s annual wage bill moves ahead of Chelsea’s for first time in more than a decade”.
The content was based on Arsenal’s published accounts, which Jeremy Wilson claimed were, “expected to show that Arsenal are now actually only third behind Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League for spending in salaries”. This story was milked for all it was worth. This was gold dust. Just what those queuing up to take pot shots at Wenger wanted to read. Radio Stations, TV shows, the written media; all mocking Arsenal for paying their players more than Chelsea and still not being able to win the Premier League Title. This was proof that Arsene Wenger was a poor manager.
But despite all the anger was the story true?
No, it was a lie.
Yet despite this story being untrue, the article was recycled so many times you may have thought you had landed in an Environmentalists wonderland., surrounded by people wearing sandals. No doubt Jeremy Wilson was full of smug satisfaction watching twitter and the social media lunatics having a good day out at the office. A certain blog and it’s activists would have been venting more anger than a WOB winning a free tour of the Emirates Stadium and lunch with Wenger.
Jeremy Wilson just laughed the lie off. He said it was just a guess. These journalists really don’t care, the truth has no relevance.
But Jeremy Wilson wasn’t the first to decide to go to print carelessly and he won’t be the last…
Read all about it, Ozil’s nicking a living
Earlier in 2014, on 11March to be precise, that other Arsenal detractor, Neil Ashton, went to print in the Daily Mail, with a damning assessment of Mesut Ozil. His headline read: “The Lost and lazy Ozil might have cost Arsenal £42.5m but he isn’t worth two-bob… and he’s nicking a living”.
Now everyone is entitled to an opinion but this article really is an example of the type of abusive articles we see too often. Ashton has made it clear that he dislikes our club and our manager. He seems to also dislike our players. He’s a member of the Daily Mail, a newspaper that rolls out anti-Wenger bile on a regular basis; from such well known commentators as Adrian Durham and his twin brother, a certain Peter Wood. Ashton also chairs the Sunday Supplement show on SKY, where he is never slow in presenting and encouraging, anti-Arsenal comment.
The aim of the article is nothing other than an attempt to obtain ‘page views’ or ‘clicks’, the factual nature of the content is irrelevant. They know fans are gullible and let’s face it, nobody likes an anti-arsenal article more than a member of the Wenger Out Crowd. These guys would believe the Moon was made of cheese if it provided more ammunition for their cause.
But it is funny how you don’t read the same criticism aimed at players of other clubs. Players like Falco and Di Maria; £100 million worth of talent who performed so badly they were moved on after one season. There are plenty of other examples too.
I guess highlighting expensive signings who flop isn’t what the media want to promote. Unless it gives them an opportunity to have a go at the Arsenal.
Arsenal and the transfer window
Wenger is to be criticised because Arsenal are the only club not to have bought an ‘outfield’ player. The signing of Petr Cech has prevented them from really having some fun. The fact that this statement is factually incorrect, does make you wonder why it is repeated almost daily.
So who are all these players that Arsenal should have signed and who have been scouted by the experts in the media? Read on.
…Arsenal need a CB – spend some money they scream
Now this narrative exposes the ignorance of the media and sections of our fan base. Arsenal did need a centre back – so we bought one. Okay we didn’t go all guns blazing and buy a star player for £30m but we did buy a centre back. The fact we bought Gabriel last season, didn’t break the bank and sat him on the bench, means he can be ignored as a ‘new’ signing. He doesn’t count.
…Arsenal need a DM – spend some money they scream
The defensive midfielder narrative is even more interesting. Not only is Wenger supposed to replace Coquelin with a £25m plus player like Schneiderlin but Coquelin’s emergence in the first place was pure luck.
You will not find it written anywhere that Arsene Wenger scouted Coquelein and bought him to Arsenal as a 17 year old. You also will not find it written that Wenger had so much faith in the lad, that he only released him on a short term loan to Charlton. No, it was pure luck. The media do not want to give Arsene Wenger any credit for not spending £25m and keeping faith in a young home grown player, so they have to find ways of discrediting. Instead of being applauded for his judgement and his loyalty to young players, Wenger is admonished like a naughty child.
…Arsenal need a striker – spend some money they scream
The final attack on Wenger is that he failed to buy a striker. Apparently we only have two and they are rubbish. (Alexis Sanchez is not to be called a striker, perhaps because we spent £35m and he’s good).
Olivier Giroud is routinely abused, apparently because he has very nice hair but can’t run 100 meters in under 10 seconds. I suspect the real problem is that some people have a lack of understanding and cannot appreciate what he brings to our team. The fact he only cost £12m is another reason, the media and the AAA really take offence when Wenger doesn’t spend £30m on a player as they demand.
What is more annoying is the fact that his ‘actual’ goal-scoring record is never mentioned, presumably because it flies in the face of the narrative. 43 goals in 102 starts is a good return. In fact, Giroud has a record hovering around 1 goal in 2 games, which is impressive. Okay, it’s not comparable to Henry but who does?
According to the experts in the media, a World Class striker was available to buy, you just have to try. The fact Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd were unable to sign one, with the latter forking out £36 million for a young prospect, is conveniently ignored. So too the fact that Falcao was a £20m loan flop at Man Utd but even so Chelsea dug deep. Why? None of this suggests World Class strikers were available but that doesn’t suit the narrative.
The fact Wenger didn’t buy any of Benzema, Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez, Neymar or Lewandowski is a disgrace. This from the same critics who wanted us to sign Balotelli or Falcao last year.
…Oh Danny boy
I have read that Arsene Wenger has been accused by some of hiding Welbeck’s injury.
Wenger should be applauded for putting the players care before anything else.
Unlike breaks, ligament and tissue injuries become weaker after surgery. Therefore, it is always best to let these type of injuries heal without surgery. This is what Arsenal Football Club does. The downside is when the player breaks down at the final stages of recovery and surgery is needed, the player’s return is delayed.
Another example of Arsenal being criticised when in fact they should be praised.
But it doesn’t fit the anti-Arsenal narrative.
The fact is that Arsenal is a class act. It has tried to grow the club organically and through sensible financial planning. Wenger’s vision and his loyalty to the club is to be complimented, as too his ability to maintain the clubs Champions League status, despite the financial muscle of the oilers.
He gives youth a chance. He chooses to develop players and tries to compete against Managers who use the cheque book to buy success.
Wenger and Arsenal are the good guys. Unfortunately, not in the eyes of our media.
- 15 September 1953: Chelsea 0 Arsenal 2. Having won the league the previous season Arsenal had to wait until this, the 9th match of the season for their first win, by which time they were bottom of the league. Both goals came from Lishman.
- 15 September 1971: Arsenal’s first European Cup game: Stromsgodset IF 1 Arsenal 3. Simpson, Marinello and Kelly scored in Norway in front of 23,000.
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