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Arsenal II hit six as the sneering and sarcasm from the Guardian drones on and on

There was more, but that gives you the flavour in the anonymous sarcastic Guardian “minute by minute” report (something of a misnomer since there are often gaps of six minutes or more between the negative snarlings),

The media including the Guardian has been doing a lot about the allegations of bias from supporters, and by and large laughing at their readership for even daring to suggest a media bias, and so it continued yesterday.  Of course we know Arsenal were already through as group winners, and the only thing hanging on the game was the notion that BATE could qualify if they won and the other game in the group was a draw.  Neither was likely, but it added a milligram of spice.

The team, as Walter reported, was pretty much as expected by us (although apparently not by the all-knowing all-seeing anonymous Guardian correspondent).

Ospina, Debuchy, Holding, Chambers, Maitland-Niles,  Coquelin, Elneny, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

On the beach  Macey, Reine-Adelaide, Akpom, Nelson, Nketiah, Sheaf, Willock.

Good to see Le Jeff returning.

As it turned out the Guardian’s minute by minute (well, perhaps one should say occasional and anonymous) report only mentioned Coquelin once, as in “Coquelin breaks up the play and finds Wilshere in acres of space.”  No catastrophes, no awful tackles it seems.  A job well done perhaps?  Well, don’t look for that comment in the Guardian.

Elneny however did get a few more mentions:

Mention 1: “2 min Elneny hits the post. I was almost eating my words. A Walcott flick on was knocked back by Giroud and Elneny swung his left foot at the ball. It was an awkward connection from the edge of the box but hit the outside of the post.”

Mention 2: “17 min Nice football from Elneny and Wilshere sets Maitland-Niles free down the left.”

Mention 3: “57 min Great save! Welbeck is played in in the inside right channel by Elneny and turns inside his man with a typical body swerve.”   (A typical body swerve???? Hang on, this man is part of the worst defensive duopoly in the history of the universe and he does a “typical body swerve”?  What is happenning here????)

Mention 4: “Elneny scores only his second goal for Arsenal, and it’s a beauty. Wilshere picked up the ball on the edge of the box, shimmied and threatened to shoot before laying the ball to his left for Elneny. The Egyptian, who I may earlier have suggested was not very creative, strikes the ball first time, arcing it beyond Scherbitski and into the far corner. Fine goal, fine player. Needs to do this more often.”   (So having got the prognostication about the player utterly, totally and horribly wrong, the anonymous writer now wants to tell Elneny how to play?   Surely the name of the reporter should be given to us so we can at the very least put him in the stocks and throw rotten fruit at him.  It is after all the least we can do).

Mention 5: “GOAL! Arsenal 6-0 Bate Borisov (Elneny 74) What a player this guy is!”

Of course this isn’t just rampant bias, it is also inept and stupid reporting, deliberately saying that Arsenal has rubbish players, and then laughing a little at oneself when once again the prognostication turns out to be wrong.  It goes on all the time.

The issue of bias is twofold:

First how often is the knocking of players like this done against Arsenal, compared with other clubs and second, why is it done at all in this way?  I don’t know the answer to either question, but I do think the knocking is pointless, not to say childish and I have the impression that there is far more of this sort of thing against Arsenal players than against those of other teams – knocking them all the time and then saying something along the lines of “ho ho I was wrong” as if that is enough.

If a player is poor a reporter of any merit ought to be able to point out how and why, and give an analysis of what is wrong with (in this case) the Coquelin Elneny combination in the centre.   Then that analysis can be held up in comparison with what happens in this match.

But this endless knocking of certain Arsenal players, followed by the silly little comments that we got here as it became patently obvious to even the most biased writer that the player has considerable quality, is really rather dopey.

But to move on… who do we play next?

There are only two groups in the Europa: the 12 group winners and the four best third-ranked teams in the Champions League group stage are seeded in one group, and they each get drawn against one of the 12 group runners-up and the remaining third-placed sides from the Champions League groups.

The only exception is that we can’t play Red Star Belgrade at this stage as we have already played them.  That gives us any one of

Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Celtic, Spartak Moscow, Astana, Partizan Belgrade, Ludogorets, AEK Athens, Lyon, FC Copenhagen, Steaua Bucharest, Marseille, Ostersunds, Nice, Real Sociedad.

Dortmund, Napoli, Marseille, Real Sociedad and Nice all look to be the tougher teams to take on.

Here’s how the table in our group finished using the official Europa name for each club.  A fair enough conclusion and superb experience for the Arsenal II players.

Teams P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal FC
6 4 1 1 14 4 10 13
FK Crvena zvezda
6 2 3 1 3 2 1 9
1. FC Köln
6 2 0 4 7 8 -1 6
FC BATE Borisov
6 1 2 3 6 16 -10 5

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19 comments to Arsenal II hit six as the sneering and sarcasm from the Guardian drones on and on

  • Alex

    Why did u leave Atletico Madrid out? Pathetic!

  • ron

    i agree about the guardian -a recent article trying to suggest media/match of the day bias is in the eye of the beholder when it seems to me a more relevant article would be about the increasing level of bias – in the past i did not perceive anything like the bias that exists today

  • Jonny Martin

    Well if you will buy that left wing pile of tripe newspaper you’ve only got yourself to blame. Go out and buy the Times or Telegraph for more quality reporting. The guardian will no doubt blame brexit for Arsenals annual capitulation, like it does everything else.

  • timo

    Napoli not now. BVB Nice Lyon are beatable. The Europa league squad will now be according to who we get.

  • John L

    If Ozil were to score a hat-trick and provide 3 assists in a match, the media critics and the pundits like Wright and Shearer would criticise him for not having done it in every previous match.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    To our delights, us the Gooners, Arsenal team II played very well yesterday night at the Ems to our admirations as their taking apart BATE in the game became refreshments for us whuch we had after we’ve been subjected to panting in our home PL game against Man Utd last Saturday. With this remarkable home performance which Arsenal team II has had against BATE, I believe the team will not rest on their oars and slumber. But will mentally, physically and technically ready themselves to answer Le Boss’ call correctly when he calls on them. For, the journey to capture and recapture the Europa League Cup and the FA Cup this season for which they’ll be called upon by Le Boss when the time comes has just begun. But as our Caraboa Cup quarterfinal home match against the West Hammers team I, Le Boss has already called on his Arsenal team I to be in state of readiness to play the match so as to avoid overloading his team II and also prevent any possible embarrassment occurring in the match against Arsenal. Good morning.

  • Leon

    The sneering sarcasm isn’t confined to The Guardian though is it? it’s what your blog is based on.

  • Using references to simplistic sayings as a way of trying to put across a point of view really doesn’t help explain that point of view very much.

  • One could also say Jonny that writing to a blog with a negative comment without going back to check whether we do also write commentaries about the reporting in the other papers you mention, does not actually show a firm grasp of what is going on in the blog you have chosen to criticise.

  • The full, absolute, complete, and truthful answer Alex is that I was writing that little piece at 5.30am, and needed to complete it quickly because I had to start work on some material for a client soon after. So I tried a short cut, and copied the list from the Daily Mail. But of course I leave it to each individual reader to work out which is more pathetic, calling a blogger pathetic for making a simple mistake, or making the mistake. However if you really are interested, there are over a quarter of a million comments published on this site, and they are all still available to read, so I am sure you can find quite a few more that you could label if you wish. And that’s before you even get to the 7000 plus articles.

  • Al

    Jax 11:24am
    Come on man, I see you’re here already posting as Leon again, thought we agreed on the other thread to stick to one identity? 😉

  • markyb

    Spot on Al

  • On the issue of Leon/Jax and the integrity of the site, every extra level of protection against spammers, people wanting to wreck the site for their own personal reasons, and criminals who want to steal data, adds to the chances of legitimate people being excluded. Indeed every month I am dealing with people who have got caught up in the protection systems through no fault of their own and I try and resolve it.
    So it is always a balancing act.

    But to anyone who likes Untold and supports what the site is about, or indeed is simply a believer in my right to run the site, the best thing to do when you spot something amiss is to write to me personally and quote the date and time of the comment that is being questioned and I can look into that one specifically.
    As things stand we publish a lot less than half of the comments we get, and controlling the flow is a mind bogglingly boring issue which takes me away from my work, trying to make this site and the History site interesting, and having the occasional glass of Merlot. So any help is welcomed. Jax and Leon were the same person, of course, and we often get this sort of behaviour. It seems rather silly to me, but there it is, some people like to do that. Where I spot it, I stop it but your help is always welcomed.

  • Al

    Sure Tony, will flag this directly with you when I/we spot this behaviour next time.

    It’s sad actually, that you have to deal with this sort of thing, and why anyone would ever want to do this is beyond me. Strange. Guess it shows you’re doing something right when people have to resort to this kind of weird behaviour.

  • Andy Mack

    “So Wenger has put his faith in experience for this dead rubber”; How many other PL teams played and international U21 defensive pairing of Chambers and Holding?

    The football hack writers at all the main media outlets should be sacked under the trade descriptions act.
    The news content of the ‘broadsheet’ papers has always been horribly slanted in whichever direction the paper leans, so reading a Left wing, Right wing and preferably non-UK paper (from one of the international cities like Singapore or Dubai etc etc) is the only want to gain sufficient info on the subject to make your own opinion of each story.
    Football shouldn’t require this amount of research to find out what actually happened…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Al – 08/12/2017 at 4:59 pm – For me it’s not sad , but actually quite amusing, and wonderful and rich fodder for my humour ! And bashings !
    But I guess it must be a total pain for Tony , having to read so much drivel. wine always helps .
    Why, even some of the regulars posters here too are long winded and so meandering that I often skip their postings .

    Anyway thanks Tony et al for your commitment to maintaining an intelligent , truthful and thought provoking site . And of course going where no one else want to go – the search for the truth.
    Keep up the good work , and fight the good fight .
    Cheers !

  • Oldham Gooner

    Ever since I found this blog, I’ve remained a constant reader and hope that continues far into the future. I hope I can express what the silent majority feel, much appreciation and gratitude for all the effort and the content!


  • Flares

    Introducing the ITV Champions League highlights show was Mark Pougatch, an odd little creature who’s married into the landed gentry despite resembling Jeremy Kyle’s illegitamate half brother after a spell in rehab for amphetamine addiction. His opening shot across the bows was to describe Arsenal’s Europa league group phase as ‘patchy’; pray tell, how is one defeat in six with a whopping 14 goals scored (topping the group with a game to spare) in any way a patchy bit of form? He then spent the rest of his time discussing the future of Theo Walcott with Glenn Hoddle. Riveting, and hardly important when weghtier matters are at hand.

  • Al

    You’re absolutely right, Brickfields, they’re a funny lot these clowns. An unenviable task for Tony et al though having to deal with these trolls.