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The five things we have learned about this season’s reporting of Arsenal, so far

By Tony Attwood

We’ve now had four games in which Arsenal have been involved, which is enough time to give us an idea as to where the journalists are going to take the issue of Arsenal on TV, in the newspapers, and in the various bloggettas that newspapers have now set up to try and cash in on the interest they think there is in this fruitcase web sites.

So, using the journalists own favourite phrase of “Five things we learned from” (which always follows the equally silly, “All you need to know about…” before any game,) what have we learned?

1: Arsenal are of no interest

The Daily Telegraph has been running “Man U in the USA” and they are already on episode 10.  Arsenal matches have virtually nothing ahead of each game and little in the way of post-match report – at least until we got to the Chelsea match.

The whole tour was treated in such a derisory way that as far as I know only the last game was shown on a mainstream TV station.

2: The five things from one match is still with us

What made the reporting of the sequence of four games so pathetic was that only the final game got any coverage and immediately the papers chimed in with “Five things we learned from” as if they could, from that one game involving a range of players who were clearly still suffering from food poisoning, and including a collection of youngsters, instantly say, “Arsenal urgently need to sort out x”.

I really don’t believe anyone can take a look at a team in one match and decide at once exactly what needs to be done.  And yet day after day the press continue to pretend that football is so utterly simple that one can do exactly that.

As a result we have this vast array of people who believe that if only they were in charge of the club things could be sorted out because “any idiot can see that what we need is…”

What they don’t seem to get is that bad runs can turn into good runs at the drop of a hat – or the change of a formation.  And yet it is so obvious from last season’s results that this is the case.

3: Journalists don’t really have any grasp of the players that Arsenal are bringing in and why

With the commentaries we did have in English on the games thus far it was quite clear that the commentators really didn’t have a full grasp of the range of youth players available to Arsenal.  Lots of ill-informed talk about Alexis, but nothing about how the team is going to be balanced, who is going to be in reserve etc.

Indeed when the transfer of Alexis (or not) is discussed the options are still not examined.  There is still a suggestion that if another club comes knocking Arsenal have to give in and let the player go.   We’ve been having that line fed to us by the media all summer over Bellerin – and yet he hasn’t gone.  Indeed as the “Out Index” shows (listing all the players who are going to leave before the end of August) just like last year everyone is leaving.

Except last year they didn’t, and this year they won’t.

4: The notion of the 25 and the way of handling it is beyond them

Neither in the commentaries nor in the written previews and reviews did I read any serious analysis of the issue of the 25 players and who leaves to make room for newcomers – at least until a few days after we had started going through the permutations.

And when you have people claiming to be experts on the subject suggesting that x y and z needs to be lined up when in fact to do so, others have to leave (which they forget to mention), it shows how limited is their knowledge.

But then I suppose they have to remain stultified in this way of reporting because it is all they have.

5: Thoughts of what happens to the Premier League when UK leaves the EU in 18 months are considered too difficult.

No mention at all of what happens to players who are not UK citizens when the UK leaves the EU.  And as things look, with the EU insisting that disputes become a matter for the European Court of Justice and the UK demanding that the Supreme Court in London makes the rules, it is still looking as if there will be no settlement.   But no, that is too complicated.  Let’s pretend it isn’t happening.

I have heard the argument that it clearly is the case that no one knows, so what is the point of writing about it – which rather ignores the fact that something is going to happen, even if we have no idea what that something is.

It is all rather depressing.  Another season of the same old same old when it comes to reporting.

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9 comments to The five things we have learned about this season’s reporting of Arsenal, so far

  • Phil Cowie

    As bad as the match day tripe has been…
    I have to say, the most transparently bs headline I’ve seen this summer (and I’ll paraphrase) was…
    “Arsenal lose £50 million in the space of an hour”
    This because we refused to sell Bellerin.
    There really are some tw@’s out there.
    Can’t help but think that had Arsene never admitted to being a socialist, the media wouldn’t be so publically willing is to fail!

  • nicky

    Re 5 above puzzles me.
    Surely after Brexit is concluded, EU footballers will be treated exactly like
    (say) Alexis…..?

  • BFG

    With us dropping out of the top four and CL we are logically degraded by the media which will be the norm unless we get back into the top four. The competition for these places has never been greater and the media are keen to have say Everton as a one to watch and keep the readers amused.

  • colario

    Speculations about the outcome of Brexit are just as plentiful and boring as transfer speculations.

    The ordinary voter (so called man in the street) doesn’t know anything about Brexit and its problems. Those who commentate know little more.

    The football fan knows little about the player transfer and its umpteen complications. Those who pontificate on the subject know little more.

    Its bucket and spade time, enjoy it!
    Having said that! I notice that Arsenal has finished its long distance travelling (others are still travelling) and are embarked upon what we used to know as ‘Austria time’.

    Ignored by the media Arsenal go on getting their priorities right.

    Arsenal ignore the media. It time we all did – even here.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    All things considered, I would be happy were the media to ignore us for the first 3 months of the season. Let them get everything wrong with the other clubs.

    It would be OK, IMO, were they treat us as underdogs, leave us alone and let us get on with our business of winning matches. I am able to watch the games and after the games I can get a pretty good idea of what other people think by visiting the various blogs that I find interesting.

    Unfortunately, given the Arsenal fan internet footprint and the ability of our in-house naysayers to shout their doomsday predictions on the net, it is unlikely that the media click circus will leave us be. It is a bit like watching Question period in parliament – questions are actually statements and statements are actually questions with no answers. It is all about getting you name and face recognition so you don’t lose your job.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    I am of the thinking that on the very day Brexit comes to effect, and except where it has been formally agreed during the Brexit negotiations on certain issues and matters to the benefit of both the UK and the EU, the UK should no longer be subjected to comply or obey any standing Laws passed or passed after Brexit by the EU court of justice. Otherwise, what will be the essence of the Brexit?

    As regards to the EU professional footballers and the none EU/UK ones who will caught up by Brexit as they are still plying their trades in the UK when the Brexit comes to effect, for the EU footballers and EU managers, to me, of course they should automatically have their former status of freedom or rights to play/work freely in the UK as if they are UK citizens forfeited and should be henceforth be treated as foreigners subjected to comply with the new UK laws so reviewed by the London Supreme court and passed into Law by an act Parliament.

    I think the Arsenal FC manager, Mr Arsene Wenger and that of his Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte, must have foreseen what this Brexit problem could cause for them. Hence, their decisions to limit the extensions of their contracts appointment deals to only 2 years instead of the 2 – 3 years we been seen managers extending. If should in case, under the new UK citizenship Law, they will have to apply for resident permit and work permit which have to be approve by the Homes Office before they can continue to play or work in the UK, they will not be caught unprepared for the aftermath of the Brexit.

    As for our dear Arsenal FC, despite the heavy defeat we suffered at the hands of Chelsea yesterday in far away China in a friendly match, there is no cause for any alarm by any Gooners. Because Arsenal play these matches as a test for their youngster players to see who and who among them can make the grades to the senior team squad next season. And also use these friendly matches to give match fitness to the senior Gunners in the first team squad ahead of their playing matches in next season’s campaign.

    I believe if Le Prof can successfully concludes the signing of Thomas Lemar and try by all means to sign a top grade holding midfielder. So that we will be having 2 DMs for options and cover during our season campaign, and very importantly resist all the overtures from any quarters to dispossess of our Sanchez. I believe Arsenal will rule the Premier League as the King of it next season irrespective if any club signed many Jupiter players from the celestial places will not count.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I am of the thinking that on the very day Brexit comes into effect, and except where it has formally been agreed during the negotiations on certain issues and matters to benefit both the UK and the EU, the UK should no longer be subjected to comply or obey any standing Laws passed before and later by the EU court of justuce after Brexit has come into effect. Otherwise, what will be the essence of Brexit?

    As regards to the EU professional footballers/managers and the none UK/EU ones who will be caught up by Brexit as they are plying their trades in the UK when Brexit comes into effect, for the EU footballers and the EU managers playing and managing clubs in UK, to me, of course they should automatically have their former status of rights to play/work in the UK as if they are UK citizens forfeited. And should henceforth be treated as foreigners who are subject to comply with new none UK Laws as being reviewed by the London Supreme court and passed into Law by an act of Parliament.

    I think both the Arsenal FC manager, Mr Arsene Wenger and that of his Chelsea counterpart Mr Antonio Conte must have foreseen what problem Brexit will cause for them. Hence, their decisions to limit the extension of their current contracts appointments by only 2 years which will lapsed when Brexit comes into effect in 2 years time instead of them to have extended into 3 years as usually the case when PL managers are extending their deals. If should in case under the envisaged new UK citizenship Laws passed, the managers and players will have to apply for resident and work permits which will have to be approved first by the Homes Office before they will be allowed to continue playing and managing clubs in the UK. Both Mr Wenger and Conte will not be caught unprepared for the aftermath effect of Brexit as the duo have already prepared for it..

    As for our dear Arsenal PL title win prospect next season, there is no cause for alarm to raise any alarm by any Gooner despite the heavy defeat we suffered at the hands of Chelsea yesterday in far away China in hotly contested friendly match we played between ourselves. I say this because Arsenal play these friendly matches as a test for their youngster players to see who and who among them can make the grade to be promoted to the senior Gunners first team squad next season. And also use these friendly matches to make the senior Gunners gain some match fitness ahead of our next season’s campaign.

    Furthermore, I believe if Le Prof can conclude the signing of Thomas Lemar this summer and also signs a top grade holding midfielder this summer too. So that we can have 2 DMs available for options and cover during our season campaign. And very importantly, resist all the overtures made by some quarters to dispossess us of our own Alexis Sanchez this summer, I believe Arsenal will rule on the Premier League throne next season aa they become the King of it.

    Sorry, I’ve to repost my comment again after seen the mistakes and errors I made in the typing of my first comment.

  • Oludotun

    Trained journalists dare not report stories or write columns without in-depth thought but only present facts after thorough study of the subject/situation. This however not the case in football – how I wish football writers and those running blogettas can show just 20% of professional journalists – that’s why I appreciate Untold (evidence based writing).
    Brexit will definitely affect football and teams must plan for it…. I hope Arsenal is really working at it.

    @Samuel… Brexit should not affect Arsene – he has an OBE I believe; that should count for something.

    When are the guys involved in summer cups coming back – Mustafi, Alexis and Co…. I hope soonest so we can have Laca-Sanchez-Ozil training together.

    I hope the club moves on guys like Gibbs, Jenkinson, Campbell permanently so that we can have space in the first team to the youngsters.

  • nicky

    Re the Emirates Cup, just spotted that Quest(Channel 144) is broadcasting all the games. Free.
    Never heard of them before. 😉

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