- As Arsenal prepare to play PSV one might wonder, “Where’s Ajax?”
- Arsenal up the number of players used while Everton’s manager is true to form
By Tony Attwood
There is an amusing little look back at the state of Everton in the aftermath of their defeat by Arsenal in the Telegraph which claims that “Sean Dyche has a significant advantage over his predecessors as he embarks on a three-month audition to impress prospective new owners.”
That advantage apparently is that, “No matter how much worse it gets after four defeats in the opening five Premier League games, no one at Everton has the authority to sack him.”
Now it is not a major story in the media largely because most people don’t care too much about Everton, and if they do finally get relegated after what looks like several years of valient effort so to self-inflict, no one will give the records that are blown away much more than half a paragraph.
For although Everton haven’t won a sausage in the 21st century (the last win being the FA Cup in 1995), they have been in the top division since 1954/5. Indeed they have had more seasons in the top division of English football than anyone else, largely helped by the fact that they joined the league when it first started as a northern and midland league in 1888.
So yes they might go down this season finally, in which case we can expect a lot of mourning by the national media.
Meanwhile, elsewhere Spain’s football association has called up the regular members of its women’s team to play, even though they are on strike over a lack of reform in women’s football in Spain. The ever progressive Spanish FA has said that the women will be fined and possibly have their licences to play football revoked. Still it is good to know that somewhere in Europe there is an FA even more backward than that in England.
As for Arsenal, the media has now seized on the fact that Arsenal have played three games in a row in which the substitute was the scorer. This is now officially a “trend”. Although there is now much concern being expressed over the fact that Arsenal took 28 seconds to take the corner. The things these journalists count!
But back to Arsenal’s men’s squad. On the bench for the Everton game were Emile Smith Rowe, Jorginho, Jakub Kiwior and Reiss Nelson and thus there is a chance that several of these might get a game on Wednesday against PSV at 8pm tomorrow. There is also a suggestion that because the subs are now becoming such an integral part of the game, Arsenal are thinking in terms of “starters” and “finishers” in their matches.
But at least we can approach the PSV game with a certain degree of relaxation, uninterrupted by the raging media – although the replacement of Ramsdale by Raya has led the Daily Mail to tell us that Chelsea and Bayern Munich are looking at Ramsdale as a transfer target. The implication once again is that if another club looks at an Arsenal player, Arsenal are so inept at everything there will be nothing they can do to hang onto the player.
However at least that is just about all the media have to hang on to in terms of knocking Arsenal although the Mail resorts to Alan Shearer questions Mikel Arteta’s faith in Arsenal star despite Everton win – and asks whether he is the ‘elite’ striker to take title challengers to the ‘next level’.
So what of Shearer the manager? He became manager of Newcastle United on April Fools Day 2009 with Denis Wise being kicked out of the club at that moment. The club then played eight Premier League matches, lost five, drew two and won one. During this run they scored four goals, three of which came in one game against Middlesbrough (who were relegated that season). They conceded ten during those eight games – and also were relegated.
And yet “Alan Shearer questions Mikel Arteta’s faith in Arsenal star despite Everton win – and asks whether he is the ‘elite’ striker to take title challengers to the ‘next level’.” Does the man have no shame whatsoever? Seemingly not.
But somehow the media do have to cope with the fact that while four of the big seven occupy the top four places in the league, the other three remain in 12th, 13th and 14th place. It is indeed a funny ol’ game.
The Big Seven League…
- Arsenal continue to make more progress than the rest of the big seven
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t
- Arsenal v Tottenham: different clubs, different managers, different successes