By Tony Attwood
Much of the time the press work as one. They find an enemy and go for it. Or him. If this can be linked with a solid bit of doom mongering and some praise of Liverpool!!! so much the better.
Thus Jonathan Liew of the Telegraph, always one for a good bit of mongering as he rambles recently had the announcement that
Wenger’s exit from Arsenal would not end Emirates civil war
continuing in his normal curious non-evidence manner that
“Wenger Out” is a political faction in all but name. The ideological dimension is evident in everything from its slogans (“TIME FOR CHANGE”; “SUPPORT THE TEAM, NOT THE REGIME”) to its vitriolic hatred of the AKB (Arsène Knows Best) loyalists, to the fact that its leading supporter group is called the Black Scarf Movement, as if they were Serbian fascist paramilitaries rather than white-collar professionals from Hornsey. They genuinely fancy themselves as latter-day Bolívars, liberating Arsenal from the imperialist yoke of Wenger’s 4-2-3-1.
He may be bonkers, but it can be quite amusing.
Elsewhere the rumblings about the Chelsea Tottenham outbreak of war rumbles along with recent headlines including
Fabregas accused of sparking brawl by slapping Spurs players in groin
The Independent went down a quite different route with
If Colonel Gaddafi had any sense, he’d have told Kelvin MacKenzie he was just about to order free and fair elections when Liverpool fans without tickets broke down his door
Make of that what you will.
Equally entertaining (or not depending on your point of view) was the way in which the papers fell over themselves this week to point out that just about anyone and everyone in the Premier League could qualify for Europe next season. Or at least all the way down to the team that ended up
(Yes they really did print it that big)
Apparently the eighth placed team will qualify for the Europa League IF Liverpool win the Europa League AND finish seventh AND Manchester United win the FA Cup and finish in the top six AND Manchester City qualify for the Champions League (by whatever means). That was in the Daily Mail.
And all this before the Fair Play League winners.
Now we’ve been reporting the Fair Play League off and on this season, a league which Arsenal has topped most of the year, but I wanted to know exactly what happens to the Fair Play position if Arsenal were to win and qualify for the Champions League via their league position.
No one seems to know but I did find a piece by ESPN which didn’t tell me the answer at all but did tell me that
“…in some southern European countries, … an official who allows lots of physical contact between players is referred to as an “English” referee.
“The difference is supported by the numbers. In last season’s Premier League there were 1,363 yellow cards, whereas La Liga had a whopping 2,036 — which means, without even considering the other factors, there’s little chance of Spanish clubs ever winning a fair play spot.
“That would be entirely justifiable if Spanish football was extremely dirty. But that’s not the situation; in fact, it’s the opposite. Spanish referees are extremely strict, discouraging opponents from committing hard tackles.”
Well I never did! There is something odd about English referees. Has anyone ever noticed that before?
Anyway, back to headlines. The Mail entertained us with…
Leicester must invest or risk ending up like Blackburn… they cannot afford to drink in their success too long
and then in case we had not had enough told us that
Eriksen believes Arsenal, not Chelsea, cost Spurs the Premier League title
And the blaming of referees for not being on top of their game is being stepped up (although of course in in relation to Arsenal).
GRAHAM POLL: Tottenham’s title charge could still be on if Clattenburg had got his cards out early
plus the recognition that our neighbours are not just noisy but also dirty.
Spurs break record for most yellow cards in a Premier League fixture after NINE players were booked
So having had a fill of the Mail it was over to the Metro who of course were up to their normal anti-Arsenal anti-Wenger tricks with
It’s on: Mata reveals how Man United can still catch Arsenal and Man City
The Express however decided to go elsewhere obviously wanting to wind up a few fellow travellers…
Arsene Wenger offered three-year deal to stay at Arsenal
After that I rather thought they lost the plot by announcing “Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand makes hilarious statement about this European giant” followed by an “explanation” that “RIO FERDINAND has revealed he’s ‘turned on’ by the way Atletico Madrid play.”
They were also playing catch up TV quite a bit of the time with the rather late announcement about “The Tottenham ace who made a ‘threatening gesture’ that angered Chelsea star”. Apparently “ERIC DIER lost his cool and made a ‘threatening gesture’ towards Cesc Fabregas in Monday night’s…” Well you know.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino holds secret talks with Chelsea ace
Barcelona officials jet in to Liverpool for talks (which rather amusing leads to “BARCELONA officials have visited Anfield to gain some advice on continuing to play football”…
Ian Wright got in on the act with “This Chelsea star should be ashamed of himself this season.”
Arsenal handed triple boost ahead of crunch clash against Manchester City
Arsenal’s Real Madrid agreement hijacked by Manchester United
Bayern Munich star favours move to Roma (Arsenal deal snubbed)
Southampton fear Arsenal and Everton target will reject new deal
Spotted: Vardy leaves his house (Lucozade in hand)
All in all its just another week in the media. Liverpool are wonderful, Arsenal are in turmoil, everyone will play in Europe except Arsenal for reasons that are not clear.
Still, the light at the end of the tunnel is normally the express train travelling in the opposite direction.