- Games against each other: the big seven
- Dean removed, but referee bias just continues unreported and unabated
Are football websites biased?
By Tony Attwood
I have often made the point that some writers in the media appear to have an agenda of denigrating Arsenal. And I must admit I don’t have statistics to show how often this happens, or whether it happens to Arsenal more than other clubs, but I do know that journalists and blog writers like to knock Arsenal and its players simply because such tales get good readership numbers among fans of other clubs. And in the bad times, from the AAA. It’s been going on for a long time – Positively Arsenal covered this nearly ten years ago.
And of course, if the reader wants to believe Arsenal is staffed by gross incompetents who wreck players’ careers, then the anti-Arsenal media will run such stories.
Take today’s piece “Arsenal: Calum Chambers rinsed the club” in Football Fancast. The article is summed up in the lines, “Calum Chambers … arrived at the Emirates with a big reputation and an even bigger fee for the calibre of player purchased, yet completely failed to live up to the hype. Such was the underwhelming nature of his time in north London, which spanned 302 permanent weeks, the 28-year-old has already left for pastures new.”
And so it is worth considering exactly what happened, because this type of journalism is something that has been hitting us for years and years. It is cheap and easy to write, draws on only limited amounts of reality, and appeals to those who want anti-Arsenal propaganda.
Chambers had only played 22 games for Southampton over two seasons when he came to Arsenal in 2014 and immediately went into the team – but not in his usual position. Instead, he moved from right back to centre back in the Community Shield game.
So good was he that he was nominated for the 2014 Golden Boy award, and all looked good, except that soon after Hector Bellerin, started to emerge in the team. And as anyone who actually watches football knows, this sort of thing happens. PL clubs have very large youth squads, because so many young players don’t actually develop to their full potential – so quite often they end up with two players of quality competing for one position.
And this is what happened to Chambers: Arsenal had put together an interesting back four, which was limiting Chambers’ appearances – Bellerin, Gabriel Paulista, Koscielny, Monreal. Quite simply he had not developed as well and as quickly as Arsenal had hoped and others had overtaken him. It is a story that happens in every club at least two or three times a season.
And then he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee and was out of the game for the whole of 2018/19 and the first part of 2019/20. Arsenal brought him back in December 2019 and kept him as part of the squad. On 21 March 2021 he was named man of the match in a game against West Ham.
But his long time out of the squad meant that Arsenal were forced to bring through other players and by the time Chambers was back in contention, Arsenal’s team had moved on. So Arsenal then did the most honourable thing: allowing Chambers leave in January 2022 on a free transfer to Aston Villa. He played 10 times for Villa in the second half of the season and 11 so far this season.
Now my point is that what happened to Chambers at Arsenal is quite common; young players come through very quickly, and with enormous talent, and push another player aside. Players get long-term injuries and are themselves pushed aside. Arsenal had Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker and Coquelin in the back line by the time Chambers returned from injury.
None of this is mentioned in the “Arsenal: Calum Chambers rinsed the club” article, but the truth is that Arsenal stood by a player who suffered in two ways. One was a horrific injury, the other was the evolution of a back line where other players overtook him in terms of ability. Yet still the club still did the right thing by him – allowing him to leave on a free, so that he could pick up a big signing-on fee with his new club.
Of course, this is just one little piece knocking an Arsenal player – but the problem is that this sort of activity is commonplace. There’s no particular reason for the “rinsed” article to appear today – it is simply there as part of a constant war of attrition against Arsenal, a way to demean the club, by certain journalists.
None of this can be stopped, but when I am asked why Untold regularly writes about the media, articles like this are the ones I cite. Someone needs to point out that they are just part of a never-ending campaign against Arsenal. And perhaps we should also note that FootballFanCast today is also running…
- Spurs: Daniel Levy freezes season ticket prices
- Spurs: Oliver Glasner “admired” by Tottenham chiefs
- Spurs: Alfie Dorrington could displace Dier
- Spurs: Tottenham now targeting Luciano Spalletti
- Spurs: Talks ongoing over new Romaine Mundle contract
- Spurs: Oliver Glasner set to quit Eintracht Frankfurt
- Spurs: Hutton thrilled by Brendan Rodgers links
- Spurs: Pochettino open to talks, but still no contact
Yes, all of those. At least Untold Arsenal, by its title, makes it clear which side we are on.
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