Ever since the Unbeaten Season journalists have been knocking Arsenal. (In fact in the case of the Observer they were knocking Arsenal the day after we beat Leicester to complete the Unbeaten).
They have been saying how awful the club is, how it is going down the table, and will ultimately collapse and Wenger will be kicked out.
I thought it would be interesting to look at exactly what one journalist said in the past and in relation to Everton 1 Arsenal 6. I chose the Sunday Times report on Everton 1 Arsenal 6.
“This was, after all, a team that only spent £10m on one defender this summer, Thomas Vermalelen, and which many had prophesied would struggle to retain fourth. Let alone claim the title.”
Article, page 4, Sunday Times sport section, 16 August 2009.
Nick Townsend at Goodison Park
Consider the phrase, “many had prophesied.” You will hear or see it, and variations of it, over and over again in the coming year. It suggests that I, the writer, wasn’t one of those. It was others. Nasty silly folk who don’t know what’s what in the world of football.
That silly berk on Match of the Day with sticky out ears does it all the time. He did it on the 15 August edition – no one here has ever doubted Arsenal, he seemed to say, but others have.
The Sunday Times piece was written by Nick Townshend – who used to be with the Independent. He proclaims (well to be fair he implies) that others have doubted Arsenal – but not him. Which others have knocked Arsenal during the last four year project, we might wonder.
Well if you were ever to click here you will find this self-same journalist talking of Arsenal going down to “Fifth, or wherever they plummet to ignominiously by the season’s end”.
He is of course exactly one of those people who has it this way, that way and every other way, just to stay in with the in crowd. In short he is a writer who makes himself and his reputation more important than the story.
I mention this man particularly because in the Sunday Times of 16 August he excells himself. He was, it seems “At Goodison Park”. Well I never. Obviously somewhat lacking in glasses. Or maybe those early evening drinks were taking their toll. Or maybe Goodison Park, Skegness.
Because apart from giving a very clear implication that it wasn’t him what said the bad stuff about Arsenal, he also says this…
“Arshavin netted the Gunners sixth.”
Now that it is – the entire sentence. No cutting and pasting by me.
Utter gibberish of course. Total tripe. As will be clear from my earlier posts I wasn’t at the game – I watched it on ESPN and I knew exactly who scored that goal even before the replay. The two of us in the room both burst into spontaneous applause not just because of the goal, but because of who scored it.
The Times is of course famous for telling us about the top 50 young players and then running an article about a player who doesn’t even exist, and telling us Arsenal were about to sign him. So maybe we should see this as an improvement. After all, Arshavin and Eduardo do both exist.
Unfortunately Nick Townsend and the Sunday Times exist – and that’s the problem.
While we’re at it, there was another this weekend…
“But Arsene Wenger’s men are arguably more vulnerable now than they ever have been during the Frenchman’s 13-year reign.”
That was from the Sunday Mail in Scotland 16 August who predict Celtic will win what they call the “Battle of Britain”. (Actually guys that involved the British and the Nazis, not one Scottish team against one English team).
So that’s one prediction. More to come.
PS I have received a number of really good articles of late, but because of my excitement over the weekend and in the build up to the game I have not run them yet. The coverage will start shortly, and we’ll be running more articles on here for a while – maybe one at around 8am and one at around 6pm. Not exact times – but something like that.
Thanks for reading. Tony Attwood
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