Arsenal dancing as the media kicks England instead




This article first appeared earlier today on the Arsenal History Society site, while Untold Arsenal was down following a technical fault.  We’re now fully back and operational.

By Tony Attwood

If you are a regular Untold Arsenal reader – and have been for quite a  few years – you will know that occasionally we do upgrades that go wrong.  Just like now.  Our site is all set up on its shiny new server, it stops responding.   And then it went down.  But now it is back.

“The media always need something to kick – and today it is England”

We are of course used to the media hitting Arsenal.  They do it a lot.  In fact even in the last two seasons when on a quarter of the budget Arsenal have seriously taken on Manchester City, Arsenal get attacked.

One or two players are singled out as useless, and the manager is blamed for having wasted all the club’s money on Rice, no ok not Rioe but then Havertz.  OK not Havertz cos he came good but… well choose your target.

We’re used to it   Even in the Unbeaten Season we got it.  And when the 49 came to an end Wenger most certainly was blamed for not having varied the team enough to be ready for this moment.

And now England get it.   The only difference is that while the media spend time knocking Arsenal by and large they are supportive of England, until the performances get so bleak that they need to find something to say.

The Guardian today has come up with, “Of course great catharsis comes from moaning. And it is objectively hilarious. This is supposed to be fun and yet no one is having a good time.”

Which is a bit rich when most newspapers moan about most clubs most of the time.

As in, “There is a section of the England following – fans and media – who are too quick to anger; for whom fury is a currency. All that noise. The noise that must be blocked out. The worst thing you can do is add to the noise – and yet you want to make the point that your noise is worth listening to.”

I am sorry Max Rushden but no.  The problem is they have been reading the English media and listening to the bickering on Talk Sport and Five Live’s phone-ins.

That’s what we get all the way through.    A celebration of the most points in 20 years?  Forget it.  Joy and special commemorations at the most goals in over 70 years (even with playing four games fewer than in the old Division One days). I don’t recall a mention, except here.

Fewest goals conceded since 2004?  Didn’t see that mentioned although It was five fewer than anyone else.  And of course the best-ever goal difference of any club ever in the Premier League.  Six consecutive away clean sheets for the first time in the club’s history….  The media don’t really want to know.

After that came the reactions, such as “Why do people overhype Arsenal’s invincible season? It’s not nearly as impressive as Man City’s 100 point season.”  And elsewhere, “Were the Arsenal Invincibles OVERrated?”

So it goes with England and without any sense of irony.  Irony because most England players play in what is widely considered to be the toughest league in the world and then without a rest are whisked off to play in Europe.

But the fact is that Arsenal get a battering all the time from the media as we are told that great wins were fortunate, and defeat is always an option in the next match.  While with England the attitude seems to be England are certain to win because all the people England are playing against are foreign.

And we all know about foreigners.  And that fact that England will insist on using Arsenal players.   “Bukayo Saka has contributed, but not a great deal. Ditto Rice…”

The Guardian’s response to all this is amusing… “we want to dance, we want to be the fun ones, we just take ourselves a little too seriously to lose ourselves in the music without looking around to see if anyone is pointing at us.”

And there is something in that.  For besides being an Arsenal season ticket holder for the last infinite number of years, I am also a dancer in the modern jiven style and I’ve been doing it for about 30 years, and most of my non-dancing friends think I’m bonkers.  Well, they think that anyway, but doubly so about dancing three or four nights a week.

I tell them how much fun it is, how people look on in admiration because they can’t understand how we know what we are doing, and how easy it is, and they all say “no, can’t do that, two left feet,” without trying.

And there’s the point.  They’d love to be able to do what jivers do but most people just won’t try it, claiming that there is something genetic that stops them.

But that’s rubbish.  There’s nothing genetic about English people not being able to dance or not being good at football.  It’s just England managers don’t get them to believe.

Just watch England and then watch Arsenal.   Arsenal under Arteta believe in how to do it.   I rather think he actually dance, can even though in this video he’s only larking about.

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