By Richard Morgan
With plenty of reasons to suggest that maybe, somehow, Arsenal are treated differently or singled out for special negative treatment by bloggettas and by the national media I volunteered to check whether this is the case.
So, I undertook a two day search of news now and media online stories. I also decided to compare articles about Arsenal with articles about Manchester City and Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea over a two day period.
I was staggered at what I found: a massive total of 1,073 articles about those clubs online from the two aforementioned sources.
Now these break down into 256 articles on Manchester United, 215 articles on Arsenal, 193 articles on Manchester City, 198 on Chelsea, 211 on Liverpool. I was surprised because the number of articles jumped for Arsenal in a six hour space when the Per Mertesacker injury story broke and pushed us above Liverpool and closer to Manchester United.
Manchester United had 14 articles and headlines that were negative about the club, Mourinho and or the clubs’ hierarchy in particular Woodward. The typical blog or story about Manchester Utd concerned the Chinese pre-season tour and the cancelled derby clash. Moaning Mourinho one such article claimed wanted the game cancelled because pitch was poor and could lead to his players being injured. The only negative transfer issue was around Pogba and the feeling Woodward could not pull off the highest calibre signings.
Liverpool with just a few blogs less than us had six negative articles written about them in the same time period. The articles concerning Liverpool were mainly about past transfer strategy and flops such as Benteke, Borini and Carrol. “Has club finally sorted out its transfer policy or will we see More Benteke’s or Borini’s come to our club?” Klopp is seemingly still enjoying a honeymoon period and has not had a negative article about him.
Chelsea had a similar number of articles that were negative about them, seven in total; most were mundane gripes about the defensive side of the team. Conte had one article that questioned his credentials claiming “though winning three titles with Juventus is good on the CV, his time with Italy could be considered a failure, and would he be able to return Chelsea to the top of the English league?” Now not necessarily a negative story, but could be considered an incisive question just from the way that the article was written, and it seemed more of a negative view on Conte.
Now we come to Manchester City, who had the most negativity of the other clubs, with 16 articles. That is a lot, and considering its “Guardiola a footballing Managerial messiah” it seems surprising.
On careful inspection most of those comments stories relate to the cancelled Derby and point more towards Mourinho than Guardiola. “Guardiola backs Mourinho’s claim that the pitch for upcoming Derby match is unplayable and likely to cause injury to players.” The only real negative Guardiola received was regarding transfers, “Guardiola has brought in Gungodan and speed demon Nolito and these are solid acquisitions. However, he has yet to bring any defensive re-enforcements a mistake that could come back to haunt him.” Of course not surprising as Guardiola is new in his position and just getting used to his new job.
Now to the Arsenal. With 27 negative headlines and 68 negative stories Arsenal beat every other team researched for negativity. That for the record is over 30% of articles having negative headlines or comments from bloggeta’s or media outlets. With the majority of the stories aimed at Wenger, Gazidis or Kroenke. I will list a few below and you can get the idea.
- Per Mertesacker out injured.
With the recent injury to Per Mertesacker will Wenger finally loosen the purse strings and buy more players or will he repeat the same mistakes he makes every year.
- Higuain to Juventus.
Wenger needs to sign Higuain if you want these top players you have to pay for them, Wenger needs to stop treating Arsenal’s money as his own and give Napoli whatever they want to sign Higuain.
- Wojech to Roma .
Greedy Wenger is putting the deal in jeopardy by asking too much money for the keeper, as such Roma are looking at other candidates.
- Mahrez to Arsenal.
Wenger has to spend and spend big. His reluctance to pay the big transfer money means Arsenal’s perennial top four trophy will be in jeopardy.
- Higuain, Icardi,Laczette.
Wenger has to loosen purse strings and buy on these targets to add quality to his squad.
My personal favourite is Stan Collymore’s article saying Wenger will have to bring in a much needed striker and that Sanchez, Ozil and Xhaka are not of the highest quality. There are others saying Wenger’s time is up he no longer has what it takes to win the English premier title and will struggle to get into top four this season with Koeman, Ponchettino, Conte, Klopp, Mourhino, Ranieri, Billic and Guardiola; in fact Arsenal could if they don’t invest end up out of all European competitions.
From what I have read and seen over the last couple of days I would suggest even dare to state as a hard cold fact that Arsenal, Wenger and board in particular are hyper criticised in the bloggettas and media outlets. In fact the amount and nature of the articles could be considered hypercritical, especially if you compare that to the articles of our title rivals.
So the question has to be why there is this hypercritical approach to Arsenal, Wenger and the board? It would be easy to say lack of success or titles is why, but then surely Liverpool would have a greater number of negative blogs or stories about them.
I think it is part of the issue but not the sole factor. Part of the problem I believe lies in the perception of bloggettas and media of what success is. For me I use this definition of success the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Of course it can be victory or winning as well but in its purest form it’s the achievement of ones goals. Now we know Wenger and board have a set of playing related targets each season set out below.
- Win the league
- Win the champions league
- Win the FA cup
- Top four finish qualifying for next season champions league
- Win league cup
On that basis just finishing in the top four and qualifying for next season’s champion’s league is a success because they have achieved one or two of their goals. Not an overwhelming success, but successes nonetheless. But of course if you use winning titles as the meaning of success then Wenger and the board have been unsuccessful.
However I believe the issue is not just this simple and that other factors also figure into this but it is certainly, in my opinion, one of the contributing factors to the negativity surrounding Wenger and the board and Arsenal in particular.
It could be claimed winning the league would lessen this criticism of Wenger and the board as would be the spending of money. However, I would question that theory as £42 million on Ozil and £35 million on Sanchez and £30 million on Xhaka and we still see Wenger refuses to spend big stories appear. So it could be assumed that if Wenger won the title this year that he would still be a failure because he has never won the champions league or like Rainieri and Leicester last season he got lucky as other teams underperformed.
I would like to leave this final thought here from a few banners flyers around the Emirates: “I support the team not the manager.” Surely the team is the players, coaches, physios, kit man, manager and to a lesser degree the stewards office staff and match day caterers. So you have to support all of them not just the players. If there was more support for the team as I define it maybe those negative comments would come down.
Now don’t get me wrong Wenger and board have made mistakes and they admit to that fact and deserve to be questioned and criticised when they do that. And yes it’s okay to be disappointed and frustrated when we lose or play poorly. However, at the end of the day we willingly pay money to go and see our team play football and that’s the only guarantee we get for our money, that we will get to see 90 mins plus of a football match between two teams. No one forces us to spend to support our team that is our prerogative our desire our choice.
SO MAYBE JUST FOR THIS SEASON SUPPORT THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Untold Arsenal is a pro-Arsenal site set up to counter the regular unsubstantiated attacks on Arsenal by “fans” and journalists, using evidence rather than opinion. We do publish comments and articles which contain a counter point of view, but normally only where these also contain evidence. We don’t republish every piece of evidence uncovered by Untold in its 6000+ articles to back up each point made in each subsequent article, as that would be tedious in the extreme, but it is all on this site, and we are working on an index to make it easier to find it all.
Other articles in the series on the treatment of Arsenal in the media
- Why the media is so critical of Arsenal: it all goes back to the two Arsenal men who were banned from football for life
- Do other clubs get the same level of constant sniping and negative reporting or is it just Arsenal?
- Why are people so negative about Arsenal? The first answers