By Tony Attwood
Just having a quick scout around the interblogwebnet thing this morning I found this little gem on a Liverpolo site
“The shot that led to Granit Xhaka’s goal had a xG of 0.02. Which means that it had a one in 50 chance of going in. One. In. Fifty. And instead of catching it, Mignolet decided to punch it into his own net, earning him an Opta approved “Error leading to Goal”.”
Yep, it was like that. That comment captured the moment. It was that extraordinary. It was Xhaka. But, in my view, not many commentaries after a match do manage to get the essence of the game into a few words.
I have often thought that people who don’t go to matches but only watch them on TV don’t really get what’s going on, and that I think is a great shame for them.
Because I have, in a modest way, got to know the guys who sit either side of me at the Ems a little bit, we share a lot of chat, despair and explosions of happiness between ourselves during the game, and this becomes part of the event. Because I travel to and from the ground with Blacksheep we chatter about what we expect, and what we then found, and overall we become part of the match.
This is all part of the experience, and it is an experience which makes the games so different from watching them on TV, even on TV with friends in a pub. It can on occasion be completely insane and manic.
And all this experience seems to lead me to a world that is so utterly different from the world inhabited by the bloggetta writers who appear, as far as I can tell, not only not to have been there, but not to have been to any games.
And I don’t just mean they haven’t been to Arsenal matches – but rather their writing suggests to me that they don’t even go to support their local team. Which is a shame for them because being there, whether it is Arsenal or (for me in the years when I couldn’t go to see Arsenal) Poole Town, or Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic, or Torquay United or Rushden and Diamonds or Brighton and Hove Albion. Yes I’ve moved around a lot in my time, and sometimes a lack of money, sometimes family responsibilities, sometimes work requirements all made it impossible to go and watch a game, but I did it when I could, and shared the local passion. I went to watch games because being there does gives you an utterly different perspective on football.
Of course the newspaper journalists are there, although in a detached “we are journalists” and “we have our own special box” and “look at those silly little fans getting all excited” sort of way. As a result of their isolation, they don’t get it either.
Last night was a great experience. Painful at times but overwhelmingly exciting at others. I suppose if you think that grown men jumping up and down with their arms around each other shouting their heads off is too demeaning for you to enjoy, then of course you won’t go to any match and won’t support your local team either. But if that is the case you are, like journalists, missing out on the sheer fun, horror, enjoyment, and despair of being a football supporter and being there.
Hence we get headlines like these this morning, which in most cases must have been written by people who absolutely not only were not there, but appear not to go to matches at all. And yet their opinions are pumped out to us hour after hour, trying to tilt the judgement of other people who were not there.
Just look at these headlines this morning.
That one is just so unlikely as to be bonkers – as if a player is actually going to do this, especially when surrounded by agents and managers..
Really? Can you define exactly what is going on and what is needed from just one match?
Clueless Arsenal Somehow Draw 3-3 With Liverpool
“Ever Arsenal”? and the headline is “clueless”??????? No, this was football. This is what happens. OK it doesn’t happen when you go out and buy all the best players on the market like PSG, Man C or Bayern, but it happens in the rest of the world.
I’ve no idea if Clopp said this but it was certainly not the way those people near me saw it. “Clueless” is nonsense. I read through the “report” and that quote isn’t in it, so that doesn’t help either.
Iwobi is still growing and developing and evolving as a player. Anyone who went to watch a side regularly would know how players change and develop, especially at his age.
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