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June 2021

Jack against Cologne, Kos is out, crowd trouble worries, and doping in German football.

By Tony Attwood

We’ve had the story that Jack Wilshere will be brought back against Cologne abut 20 times, which can only mean he probably won’t start, but if he is in the squad, he’ll be on the beach.  And I write that because normally when the same story goes around and around and around with very similar wording in each case, it means no one has much in the way of real news, and each is just copying from the other.

And Koscielny is banned for this match because of an indiscretion (that is to say a red card) in the final Champs League game of last season.

But wait, there is more, because we are seeing a series of reports that use the words “Arsenal are braced” and “according to reports” which are journalist code for “here’s something I just made up”.  In this case the story is from the Journal of Hate (ie the Daily Mail, sponsors of a rather nasty anti-Arsenal blog that I prefer not to name) which says:

“Arsenal are braced for a mass invasion by thousands of fanatical Cologne supporters.”

Well, yes, I do see the two lines of security men every time I enter the stadium, although whether I would call them “braced” I’m not sure.  Anyway, we are then told “The German club have an allocation of 3,000 tickets for the Europa League opener at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday,” which by and large does not count as news in my book.  More like the standard allocation at the Ems which goes back to the moment we moved in, in 2006.

So nothing to worry about in the first two sentences but then we have, “But there have been reports that as many as 20,000 are preparing to travel to London to savour the atmosphere of their first European campaign for 25 years.”

I suspect that “reports” and “preparing” are the key words here.  Three guys in a bar having a chat maybe.

It goes on to tell us that Arsenal have warned visiting supporters that buying from touts is a risky business, and that they don’t sell tickets to Euro games to members who have joined after the European draw has been made, in order to avoid people becoming members simply to buy a ticket for one Euro match.

There is a message on the Arsenal website saying, “Please note visiting supporters that purchase a ticket in the home end for this fixture are likely to be ejected from the stadium.   We have made this decision following consultation with the police and to ensure we are in line with crowd segregation requirements.”

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The Mail quotes this although what the Mail failed to point out (maybe because their journo was down the pub or slipping stories to the rather nasty blog they sponsor) is that the self same message appears for each European game – so if you go to the Arsenal v Red Star page on the Arsenal site it says exactly the same.  It’s not really news about Cologne.

Anyway, moving on…

While the English media continue to make the point that Arsenal players get injured more than those of other clubs and it is all the manager’s fault, in Germany the matter of injuries does get a propoer serious analysis and debate in the media.

And it appears that the number of injuries in the Bundesliga is increasing season by season, but at the same time the players are coming back faster and faster – a finding that has come as a result of a data analysis over the past eight years. (Can you imagine the English media doing that?)

According to the survey muscle injuries are the most common type of injury, but they are actually the easiest to prevent.

Their analysis also shows that as one finds in England, some players are significantly more common than others (the Bender twins, for example).  In case you are interested the journalist Fabian Siegel has been collecting the data for the website since 2009, with more than 10,000 injuries listed.  Oh for such data in England – instead of “Arsenal have the most injuries – official” which we get most seasons.

Meanwhile, as players in England think that drugs testing is so unimportant that they can do as they please with them (resulting in Phil Jones being banned for two matches and Daley Blind fined by Uefa after they were found guilty of breaching doping regulations after the Europa League final) in Germany we find a somewhat different approach to drug testing in the media.

The rules of the German Football Federation (DFB) are clear as to how a player proceeds to a urine test, and what happens if he urgently needs to go to the toilet between the timing of the final whistle of the game and the taking of the test.  On the first week of the season in Germany a player from Hannover apparently had such a need but did not have permission and did not follow the correct procedure in terms of having two people with him (to ensure there is no swapping of samples between players etc).

And there is indeed a touch of outrage in German clubs about such “petty” rules – as one can imagine in England.

But in Germany, as soon as the “petty” argument is raised the rest of the media strike back.  As one said, “​​what would happen if a similar case had occurred in another sport? Cyclists or rowers are regularly (and rightly) challenged in the event of violations of the control rules. Once again, football thinks it can be different.”

Oh for a media that took such things seriously in England.

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14 comments to Jack against Cologne, Kos is out, crowd trouble worries, and doping in German football.

  • Pat

    ‘Aggressive but artistic football’ – that’s how Adrian Clarke described Arsenal’s performance against Bournemouth. Let’s hope we have more of the same on Thursday!

  • Pat

    I just watched the interview with Danny Welbeck on The man next to me on Saturday kept muttering about Danny Welbeck so I was extra pleased that he scored two goals.

    In the interview Danny points out that the last two seasons he hasn’t had a pre season because of injury so is glad to get a proper pre season this year. Adrian Clarke in his analysis also emphasizes how hard Danny works for the team. I really hope he has a great season! He always comes across as a decent and honest man as well in interviews.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebksin

    I have no doubt in my mind Arsenal have the strong standing 2nd senior team tier on ground that can put FC Klon to the sword in the Thursday night’s Europa League 1st leg 1st round match at the Emirates Stadium if Le Prof will decide to play his 2nd tier senior team for the match and not have to unnecessarily plays his 1st choice senior teamers for the match but allow them to have a full week match free rest to save their energies for the next Sunday big PL game at the Bridge against Chelsea who Arsenal MUST beat in that their 2nd away big game of this sesson.

    My 3-4-3 starts and bench for our Klon match:

    Holding Mertesacker Elneny
    Nelson Wilshere Maitl’d-Niles Kolasinac
    Walcott Giroud Iwobi.

    Cech Debuchy Chambers Monreal Bellerin Willock Akopm

  • Chris

    Apparently we at UA are not alone.
    Others are starting to think about the media and draw their conclusions

  • Pat

    Apart from Untold, Positively Arsenal is the only Arsenal site I ever look at! It is exactly what its title says.

  • Pat

    Thanks for the link, Chris. I might have missed it. I laughed my socks off!

  • Flares

    On another note, Liverpool are to challenge the length of Mane’s ban. That headline today looked fantastic next to a photo of the goalkeeper’s stitched-up face. He looks like Frankenstein. Absolutely despicable club, Liverpool. That goes for the whole city too. Entitled, arrogant and perpetually the victims in any situation. Can’t accept full responsibility for their role in anything, and I include Hillsborough and Heysel in that. I like Mane – sold player – but his ban needs to stand.

  • markyb

    Should get extra ban for failing to leave the field of play in a timely manner.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Chris…thanks for that link! 🙂

  • Polo

    Thank you for the link Chris, excellent article.

  • Polo

    “I’ve always thought of Arsene Wenger as a fantastic manager,” says Horn.

    If only some of our fans thought the same.

  • Nitram


    Another big thanks for the link. It’s at least nice to know there are others out there with a balanced take on things.

    I honestly find it unbelievable that people cant see the anti Arsenal bias in the media. It is way way beyond deniable.

    I could at least understand if they conceded it was a fact, but thought we deserved it. I mean that would at least be a start.

    But to just deny that the bias even exists, undermines everything they say before they even start, and indeed, does just make them look stupid.

    I found the following paragraph from the article particularly relevant as it applies to my Brother:

    “Most of these journos, pundits, Arsenal-bloggers, tweeters and podcasters are eminently “handshakeable” people. Some are from the professions, many have advanced degrees and diplomas from eminent institutions and others are self-made. Yet many are singularly united in their stupidity, at least when it comes to the football club.”

    He is intelligent. Dependable. I have always looked up to him. He is a rock for the family. I love him tobits.

    But it has to be said that almost everything he says about Arsenal he emits from his arse.

    Honestly, for a clever bloke he can sound like an absolute idiot at times.

    It’s weird.

  • Nitram


    Thanks for the link.

    If only some of our fans thought the same. And Similarly:

    “He picks out Olivier Giroud as “a player I admire in terms of his style of play”.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Chris – Thanks for that fine link. Had a good laugh at the aptness of the stupidity of our so called fans.
    As one of those non stupid ones , I have always laughed at their silly attempts to subvert others.
    Pity of course that many cannot see through their subterfuge.
    If they did they too would laugh their heads off !