Arsenal v Tottenham. Objectivity and perspective, not quite the same thing

By Bulldog Drummond

It seems many of us have different definitions of fairly ordinary words.  “Objectivity” I take to mean working hard to take out any sort of bias.  “Perspective” I think means in the context used, “a point of view”.  Which is how one person can say to another, “You’re approaching the problem from a completely different perspective.”  It is harder to say “You’re approach the problem from a completely different objectivity.”

Unless you believe in alternative realities I suppose.

“But my little piece Arsenal v Tottenham: a little bit of perspective” brought loads of comments such as “why do you choose an arbitrary point in 2013 to go to?” (in relation to analysing club spending).  Well, that was the perspective (although to be honest, I didn’t actually choose 2013 – the statistical data base I was using chose that date, so I took it, as it seemed a fair enough starting point.)

There was also the comment, “There’s nothing quite so funny as an Arsenal fan pretending to be objective while patently twisting facts and figures”, which really means I suppose that the humour in one’s life must be fairly limited.  Personally I found the recent TV dramas like “Upstart Crow” and “Quacks” more amusing.  And I quite like “Have I got news for you”.

Anyway, what is so often noticeable is that people write in and tell us scribblers how we could have made our articles better, but then never submit articles themselves.  Unless they run their own blogs.  But if they do, why not confess it.

Still, we seem to collect more advisers than doers.   Collecting this sort of data and then trying to bring a consistent perspective to it does take time though so maybe they are very busy people.

So, to move on with some more perspectives, using perspective in the way that I think most people tend to use it, and in the way that my Oxford English Dictionary uses it, and not suggesting it means “being objective”… Arsenal are four points behind Tottenham with both sides having scored the same number of goals in the League.

Arsenal’s last six games read

Date Game Res Score Competition
19 Oct 2017 Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal W 0-1 UEFA Europa League
22 Oct 2017 Everton v Arsenal W 2-5 Premier League
24 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Norwich City W 2-1 League Cup
28 Oct 2017 Arsenal v Swansea City W 2-1 Premier League
02 Nov 2017 Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda D 0-0 UEFA Europa League
05 Nov 2017 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League

while Tottenham come up with

Date Game Res Score Competition
17 Oct 17 Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1  Champions League
22 Oct 17 Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool W 4-1 Premier League
25 Oct 17 Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham L 2-3 League Cup
28 Oct 17 Manchester United v Tottenham H L 1-0 Premier League
01 Nov 17 Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid W 3-1 Champions League
05 Nov 17 Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace W 1-0 Premier League

It is interesting that there has been quite a different level of games – Arsenal playing a completely separate Europa League team while Tottenham’s first team are engaged most of the way through because of matches against Real Mad, who I suspect must have been really miffed with that defeat at Wembley.

However if there is a worry it might be for Tottenham with the regular injury tables:

# TEAM Men down Last man down What happened
1 Tottenham Hotspur 8 H Kane Knee Injury
2 Watford 8 H Gomes Head Injury
3 Everton 7 T Davies Hamstring Injury
4 Liverpool 6 S Mane Hamstring Injury
5 Bournemouth 6 J King Back Injury
6 Arsenal 5 O Giroud Thigh
7 Crystal Palace 5 R Loftus-Cheek Back Injury
8 Manchester United 5 P Jones Knock
9 Huddersfield Town 5 S Malone Knock
10 West Ham United 5 J Hernandez Hamstring Injury

However matters are alleviated with Physioroom’s club by club analysis – most of the wounded will be fine for saturday it seems.

PLAYER What happened When’s he back? Saturday?
H Winks Ankle Injury November 18, 2017 Slight Doubt
H Kane Knee Injury November 18, 2017 Slight Doubt
M Vorm Knee Injury No Return Date No
D Alli Hamstring Injury November 18, 2017 Slight Doubt
T Alderweireld Hamstring Injury No Return Date Major Doubt
H Lloris hip flexor strain November 18, 2017 No
V Wanyama Cartilage Knee Injury No Return Date No
E Lamela Hip Injury No Return Date No

Arsenal’s deadmen list looks like this…

PLAYER What happened When’s he back Saturday?
O Giroud Thigh No Return Date Slight Doubt
R Holding Thigh Strain No Return Date Major Doubt
D Ospina Groin Strain November 18, 2017 Slight Doubt
S Mustafi Thigh Strain November 18, 2017 Slight Doubt
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury No Return Date No

My usual protest here at Physioroom including Santi Cazorla when he is not in the 25 list and so could not play anyway.

So there we are a few more perspectives, not much in the way of being objective – but then, I doubt that many fans of a particular team could ever be objective about their team in relation to others..  Funny that so many people expect those of us who write Untold to be that.  Not the funniest thing, not as funny as some of those TV shows, but odd funny.  If you know what I mean.

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31 Replies to “Arsenal v Tottenham. Objectivity and perspective, not quite the same thing”

  1. I had read that Giroud left the France team early due to having picked up an injury in his last game with them. There have been a few reports saying that Aaron Ramsey did not pick up an injury with Wales, even though he did not play in their last game.

  2. Well I’d say those criticisms are fair. Untold writes 3 articles per day, everyone criticizing someone else’s behavior, from the media to fans of arsenal and every club on earth, to other clubs to the FA to FIFA, the list is endless. But most importantly it criticises the media, claiming bias, while vaunting the blog as an epitome of fact and objectivity, case in point being the ref reviews. That being said, I think it then shouldn’t be strange to expect the writers of untold to practice what they preach and be unbiased

  3. I meant it shouldn’t be strange for commenters to expect the writers of untold to practice what they preach and show objectivity, shunning bias.

  4. It is darn near impossible to be unbiased. One can try to be less biased. Some people are better at this than others.

  5. We could miss Giroud for Spurs as a substitute for the match but not as a starter because by and large, he’s more or less now a team 2 Arsenal striker leading the line in the Europa League games for Arsenal. I think his role as a striker leading the line for Arsenal in the Caraboa Cup has come to an end when Arsenal qualified for the semifinals of the competition with a Wembley semifinal game against David Moyes’ West Hammers first team side coming up next month which Arsenal team 1 leading striker, Lacazette should spearheaded for Arsenal in that match.

    But talking of perception, as Gooners, we all know it has become imperative for the Gunners to beat Spurs in the Premier League week 12 encounter coming up at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday if Arsenal are not to seriously fall behind Man City in the table who are currently topping it and leading Arsenal with incredible 12 points.

    Therefore, the Gunners should not make the mistake in the match but collect all points in the game to improve on their placing in the table and wait to see what has happened or will happen in their rivals games before they go Burnley. Hmmm.

  6. My question about Tottenham “injuries” is: why FA didn’t check Kane, Winks and Alli themselves?

    Can you imagine what would have happened if three Arsenal players had skipped the international car theft and played the very next match for their club?

  7. @ Josif

    It does of course depend completely on which club you play for. Hence Giggs didn’t play a friendly for about a decade. Similarly Beckham among others was often rested/injured. Kane, Alli and Winks are being given similar treatment. It’s hard to know why but I have a theory…………..wouldn’t want say what though and upset Amos though who is, of course, completely objective and unbiased with his wholly unsubstantiated diatribe………………. I can’t wait for him to print his own 160 ref reviews with evidence to prove UA’s wrong…………………….no breath holding though!

  8. OT

    I see the BBC have just published their ‘Price of Football’ report again. This is the seventh time they’ve done this and for the seventh time they have misrepresented the facts. Yes some Arsenal season tickets are more expensive than those of other clubs but because of the additional cup games they are actually cheaper on a game for game comparison. Why do they persist in trying to deceive people about this? This is not objective reporting since it is wholly misleading and it really pisses me off.

  9. One rule for us another for everyone else – was ever thus. Personally I think that all clubs players withdrawn from International matches should be ineligible for club games for an equivalent duration – or in the case of Spurs players shot. But that is only my perspective at the moment and I’m in a foul mood!

  10. Tony (I’m assuming that it is Tony writing under the nom de plume of Bulldog Drummond, since the style and tone is so similar?),

    True, perspective and objectivity are not necessarily the same thing. But they can be. In the right context. “Objectivity” is, after all, one of a number of synonyms for “perspective”. Your original piece, “Arsenal v Tottenham: a little bit of perspective”, is very much such a context. And what makes it so is your use of the word. Perhaps you meant to title your piece, “Arsenal v Tottenham: a different perspective” or even, “Arsenal v Tottenham: various perspectives” – both of which use the specific meaning of the word and neither of which, as you are so keen to stress in this follow up article, imply any kind of objectivity.

    But how you actually titled your article was, “Arsenal v Tottenham: a little bit of perspective”. And in that context, the word is employed generally, not specifically, and very much implies that the author has taken a calm step back in order to enable him to form a less emotionally charged – or less subjective – point of view. That is to say… enable him to form an objective point of view. So whether wittingly or not, the title of your piece did imply objectivity.

    Consequently, anyone who might subsequently have questioned it had every right and reason to do so.

  11. Josif,

    You might have had a point if Kane, Alli and Winks had all played full games for Spurs on the weekend prior to the international break. But none of them did. Alli missed the game altogether, through injury; Winks went down injured for a considerable time just before half time and didn’t come back out for the second half; and Kane had been carrying an injury for a few weeks (missing the Utd game altogether) and was very quiet and clearly struggling against Crystal Palace before being subbed off with 15 minutes to go, despite the game still being very much in the balance.

    Spurs aren’t in the habit of weakening their own team for important games by feigning injuries. Nor do they have a reputation for spuriously withdrawing players from international duty, unlike some other clubs. So you can put your tin foil hat back in its box until the next time.

  12. Wilshere was immediately crucified for pulling out of an England match a couple of years ago and then went on to miss several months.

  13. MickHazel

    What would have helped was to put a date on this. Better yet, a reference to Wilshere getting crucified. But I do believe you, it is something that resonates with me.


    OT: Karma

    If any of you believe in karma and have “brownie points” to spare, I could use some help tomorrow (Thursday). Or rather, my Mom could use some help tomorrow. We live together, so her problems are my problems.

    Live Long and Prosper

  14. Objectivity and perspective, not quite the same thing:

    I seen an article about the USA choosing youth in a football game. Arsenal has a USA youth player (Zelalem). I look at 3 articles picked out by Google News. Two of them with similar messages:
    _1. From May 27: ARSENAL youngster Gedion Zelalem is facing up to nine months on the sidelines after rupturing his cruciate ligament in his knee.
    _2. From May 24: Midfielder Gedion Zelalem, an Arsenal prospect from the Washington area, will undergo surgery soon for a knee injury suffered while playing

    And from about a month ago, some part of 442 has:
    _ See, when talented types go elsewhere, there is always the chance they get lost in the system. Gedion Zelalem was 15 when he left for Arsenal.

    It’s not even 9 months since Zelalem was injured. But some part of blog space has already started bashing Arsenal, for ruining Zelalem’s career.


    And was sung a long time ago, Good Night Irene.

  15. @JimB

    Kane – he picked an injury v Liverpool on 22th October. He played a big role in thrashing Real Madrid on 1st November.

    Dele – scored two on 1st November.

    Winks – played the first half v Palace.

    Now, Palace are the worst team in the league so Pochettino probably thought he could beat them without Dele and with limited inclusion of Kane and Winks. That made their withdrawal from the national team much easier.

    I don’t blame Spuds for doing that, I blame The FA for not making a medical check of their injuries.

    And you know where you can shove that tin foil hat you mention.

  16. Josif, what part of Alli missing the Crystal Palace game altogether through injury and Winks missing half the Crystal Palace game through injury do you not understand? The fact that Alli scored two goals in the previous game is utterly meaningless, as is the fact that Winks played the first half of the Palace game before turning his ankle over badly (as video would show you, if you care to find it).

    The Kane injury does look more convenient, granted. But knowing what I know of Kane, there is no way that he pulls out of any international selection. Not a chance. Especially not when he is captain. He loves representing England; is on a mission to prove himself one of England’s greatest ever strikers. Nor is there the slightest chance that Spurs or Pochettino would risk upsetting him by forcing him to pull out.

  17. JimB
    Looks like you’ve touched a nerve or two?
    Arsenal’s lack of international class English players (Wilshere when fit excepted) does make it a bit pointless to bitch about this.
    Not sure what other FA’s do about players pulling sickies, but overseas footballers always seem to be more enthusiastic about representing their countries anyway.

  18. Didn’t the English FA introduce a rule some years ago that all selected players reporting in as injured had to attend the FA for medical assessment to check the validity of the ‘sickie’?

  19. In the end i think that one’s perspective is determined by the knowledge one has gained/learned of a person or subject. Others with different or more/less knowledge of the subject matter will have different perspectives. Much like, the one higher up the mountain will generally see much further.

    English is such a mish-mash of a few different languages.

    Anyways, 2 days to go.
    Come on Arsenal, you know the goal to reach for, heartless demolition of the Spuds.
    That will bring the supporters out to sing your glories for a while to come. 😆

  20. All clubs players (arsenal included) pull sickies for internationals. I think goonermikey and co are just complaining about the extent to which we do this compared to other clubs. Personally I don’t see why that is even an issue worth discussing. Most footballers want to represent their countries, it takes a great degree of club loyalty to turn down an opportunity to play for your country just so you can be fresh for your club. So in my opinion, at the end of the day, its more of a decision by the player. If a player would rather not be involved in a meaningless international, so he can be fresh for his club, he knows he’s risking his standing in the national team and I believe for most FAs that is enough deterrent. If the player would rather jet off to play for country in every meaningless friendly in far away places, he risks his standing in the club team, which also is enough deterrence. Thus an international player knows he needs to find a right balance

  21. @JimB

    Which part of: “Tottenham can beat the worst team in the league without their best players” YOU don’t understand? Tottenham knew Kane would be ready for Arsenal before England had played Brazil.

    I’m glad that you have forged a bromance with Jax. Hopefully you are from England and won’t steal his job or he might fall out with you.

  22. Tony,

    Fair enough. I don’t know for certain that Kane hasn’t feigned injury in order to miss these latest internationals. But it is revealing that you didn’t ask the same question of those who equally seem to know for certain that Kane (and more laughably, Alli and Winks) did feign injury in order to miss the internationals. For my part, I can only say that Harry Kane is a fairly easy character to read. He seems to be consistent in everything he does. There seems to be nothing complicated about him. I know this from having watched him and listened to him closely over the past five years or so. I think it’s fair to say that I have likely done so far more than any Arsenal fan on here.

    Additionally, where there is an unknown, I tend to go with Occam’s Razor. So given what I know of Kane – that he loves playing for England; that he is incredibly proud to be captain; that he is acutely conscious of the legacy that he will leave – I opt for the most obvious answer: namely, that he pulled out of the England squad with injury…..because he was injured. It is only because the regulars on UA have been conditioned to see everything as a conspiracy against Arsenal that they can’t help complicating any explanation of Kane’s absence with accusations of perfidy.


    I’m glad you brought up Crystal Palace. I intended to mention something about them in my previous response to you. If you think that they are currently the worst team in the Premier League, then you haven’t been paying attention. Certainly, they had an appalling start under Frank de Boer. And it took Roy Hodgson a few games to stem the haemorrhage. But they are now a far more solid unit and pose some threat on the counter. They beat Chelsea. Deservedly. They recovered from a bad start against West Ham to dominate utterly and equalise. They only lost at Newcastle to a late goal in a game that they could just as easily won. And they would likely have got at least a deserved draw from Spurs had Gazzaniga not made a number of good saves and had Zaha not missed an open goal.

    So could Spurs have beaten Palace without some of their best players? Yes, of course. But was it a cast iron certainty that they would? Not at all. And Pochettino is not a man known for taking unnecessary risks. Couple that with his and Spurs’ previous exemplary record of providing players for the national team and your argument, such as it is, has no rational basis.

    As to Jax, I enjoy reading his posts. A beacon of sense within a sea of paranoia.

  23. Yet again, Arsenal “suffers”

    Waiting for Tony and Co. to dig up 100 years of evidence to back their conspiracy theories.

  24. Talking to paranoids is a sign of… well, I will have to work that one out, but I suspect for your own sanity you had better debate more with those who you do not feel are paranoids.

  25. Jax – Judging by the way in which you type, there is not a chance in hell that you are old enough to be retired. Jesus Christ, it really is quite bamboozling to see some of the lies that people make up about themselves over the internet.

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