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Is our record in Europe that bad? Is playing in the Europa such a climb down? Is it cold?

By Tony Attwood

Much has been made about the fact that after reaching the second highest consecutive run of entries into the Champions League in the history of the competition, we are now out and playing in the Europa League.

But it is worth pondering what that achievement meant, both positively and negatively.  If we take a look at the long runs of clubs in the Champions League the chart reads, for the top five clubs.

21 consecutive seasons: Real Madrid (1997/98–)
19 consecutive seasons: Arsenal (1998/99–2016/17)
18 consecutive seasons: Manchester United (1996/97–2013/14)
14 consecutive seasons: Barcelona (2004/05–)
13 consecutive seasons: Chelsea (2003/04–2015/16)

After that it gets a bit more crowded, but you might notice that not in that list is Bayern München – they are only on their 10th consecutive season (starting 2008/9).   They have another nine years to go after this one just to equal Arsenal’s appearance record.

That achievement of all those years consecutive appearance was barely recognised by the media except as another way of knocking Arsenal, as if getting  to the round of 16 and going out, was worse than not qualifying at all.

Of course clubs like Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea have a long way to go to get to our record – mostly 18 years in fact.  So with a fair wind and a bit of luck they might be approaching the Arsenal record by around the year 2036.

But was it good to get those defeats and disappointment year after year?  Given the fuss made about the fact that we are not there this year, the answer would seem to be yes, but having been at all of the the home matches except one that saw us knocked out, I am not really sure they rank highest in my memories of good times at Arsenal.

None of which is to say that I expect us to win the Europa League.  We might, but with Cup competitions you never can tell – but I have hopes of a good run.  And if we do get a good run I’ll enjoy that more than being defeated in the round of 16.

As for tonight’s game what is perhaps being forgotten is the fact that we’ve been scoring quite a few goals of late.  Not in the last game, of course, but in the last few.

Date Match Res Score Competition
20 Jan 2018 Arsenal v Crystal Palace W 4-1 Premier League
24 Jan 2018 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-1 League Cup
30 Jan 2018 Swansea City v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
03 Feb 2018 Arsenal v Everton W 5-1 Premier League
10 Feb 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League

12 goals in the last five games is quite a decent return.  It suggests that we can score goals – 2.4 goals per game in fact, in a sequence of games which included two matches against clubs above us in the league – clubs that have qualified for this years Champions League and expect to qualify for next.

None of this is to say that I would not prefer us to be higher up the league, just as I would have preferred us to finish last season in a superior position, but the “disaster” of ending the run of consecutive top four finishes is very heavily mitigated by not having to worry about an upcoming trouncing by Bayern or Barcelona.

I suppose it is a reflection of the fact that I can enjoy Arsenal victories and successes no matter what the competition.  I’m pleased at the success of our under 23 and under 18 sides, I’m pleased at the fact that we’re in the League Cup final, and I shall be pleased if (as I hope) we get through this round of the Europa.

What bemuses me however is the ability of many journalists and bloggers to change their vision in the blink of an eye as the Telegraph continues to run its “Tedious trophy talk” headline about Tottenham.   While for years we heard the “Fourth is not a trophy” commentary, now the fact that Tottenham and Liverpool have not won very much for several years is not an issue.  Just as Chelsea’s two drops down the league table in recent years have not seemed to matter nearly as much as our recent decline in league form.

Even at the end of this season we will still be in a position in which only four teams have won the Premier League more than once: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City.   The likes of Liverpool and Tottenham are not in that list of winners at all.  So in that regard they are not only behind the four clubs just listed, but also behind the mighty Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers.

Indeed even if we were to be generous and suggest that coming runners’ up in the Premier League was getting close to being a trophy, Liverpool and Tottenham wouldn’t be that high up the charts…  This is what 25 years of the Premier League looks like…

Pos Club Premier League Wins Premier League runners up
1 Manchester United 13 5
2 Chelsea 5 4
3 Arsenal 3 6
4 Manchester City 2 2
5 Blackburn Rovers 1 1
6 Leicester City 1 0
7 Liverpool 0 3
8 Newcastle Utd 0 2
9 Aston Villa 0 1
10 Tottenham Hotspur 0 1

Three Premier League title wins in 25 for Arsenal – is that enough?  No, of course I would have liked it to be more.  But on the other hand I did have the chance to see us win the PL three times, which is more than can be said for every other club except two.

So yep, I’m looking forward to tonight’s Europa match maybe more than if we were playing Barcelona or Bayern, as we have been doing at this time of year for quite a while.  And yep, I shall be in my seat for the return game in a week, no matter what the result.  And I shall be at the League Cup final against Manchester City.  It’s just what supporters do.

Arsenal in Sweden

34 comments to Is our record in Europe that bad? Is playing in the Europa such a climb down? Is it cold?

  • Oludotun

    Victories are way way sweeter than any form of “prestigious” defeat that leaves you wondering when we’ll have better fortunes.
    I however believe we belong to the UCL and we should do well to get back into it and hold our own as one of the best clubs in the world.
    We have ruled there before and I believe we can do it again and again.
    In the mean time, let’s have a victorious run in the Europa…. another trophy for the confidence and mentality of the players.
    Looking forward to seeing the youngsters doing justice to what we think of them.
    It might be a bit tough or rather straightforward victory, depending on how seriously we attack them and put them to the sword.
    Wishing the team all the best tonight.
    COYG

  • ron

    interesting this talk of not mattering that spurs have not won trophies -the odious journalist in the guardian stating talk of not winning trophies is tedious, particularly when arsenal although not wining anything were playing better football than the current spurs side

  • rupert cook

    I don’t really care if we’d been in the CL for five hundred years, if you haven’t won it it’s nothing to brag about. Makes us sound like Spurs fans clutching at some semblance of dignity. Chelsea. Manu and Pool may not have as many consecutive years as us but they’ve all won the damn thing and I’d much rather have that statistic than 19 consecutive years of qualification. I do wonder if I’ll ever see us win it in my lifetime. I’m sure we’ll win it one day but it might take 100 years. And it’s difficult for me because I do not like the competition as it’s devalued national leagues so it sounds a bit like sour grapes on my part. To be honest winning it once would be enough for me. Bring back the European Cup.

    Those recent years in the CL were purgatory; it was all too predictable what would happen when we met a really good club. The Europa is our level at the moment. It’s also painful to watch teams like Pool and Spurs acquit themselves so well in the CL this season, at least so far. I just hope Spurs get a hiding at Wembley but I could actually see them winning the whole thing; they really do have an energy and a game plan which we, at times, appear to lack.

    We’ve had little real success in Europe, two trophies since 1970, and I think 4 defeats in finals. We need to win a European tournament again to improve our international profile and as we do that every 24 years we should win the Europa this year! It would also be great to have a trophy of a European tournament that still exists.

    I had a good feeling about the Europa, but that was when we had Sanchez. Without him I think we’ll struggle. Plus we seem to have numerous injuries. I can see us losing to the Swedes tonight but doing the business at home.

    Anyway COYG.

  • Jjgsol

    In the context of the other epl teams having great results against good teams this week, are we going to see us on the other side of the spectrum falling to what might be regarded as a lower class team?

    I wish I could say the potential is not there?

    Ignoring the weather aspect, which is likely to be crucial and very beneficial to our opponents, our injuries and otherwise reduced playing staff will also mediate against us.

    Am I the only one to notice how many if our players have been ill this season and missed games?

    What can the cause be?

  • Minesy

    “And yep, I shall be in my seat for the return game in a week, no matter what the result. And I shall be at the League Cup final against Manchester City. It’s just what supporters do”

    Me too … with the added benefit of not having to listen to expert commentary or opinion while doing it !!! 😀

  • para

    Of course clubs like Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea have a long way to go to get to our record – mostly 18 years in fact.

    Is this a different ManU?

    18 consecutive seasons: Manchester United (1996/97–2013/14)

    Or is this a genuine mistake? 😳

    //
    Anyway, hope the lads have been in the freezer for a few hours a day to get acclimatized for the match tonight, as UK weather is not what it used to be, and we have all grown a little “soft” in the “almost” tropic weather we now have here.

  • Josif

    @para

    Our record is 19 seasons in a row. Manchester United had had a streak of 18 seasons before David Moyes happened to them. Then they missed out on the Champions League 2016-17 (they were in Europa League) so this is their first season of a new streak. To match our record of 19 seasons in a row they have to do it 18 more times without missing out once.

  • JimB

    Tony,

    With respect, I really do think that it would be beneficial to you and others on Untold if you all changed the record a tad. There are surely many other interesting and pertinent things to talk about concerning Arsenal than near daily (or twice daily) complaints of victimisation at the hands of the fourth estate? And whilst frustration at Arsenall’s treatment by the media might well be legitimate, the repeated comparison with the treatment of other clubs (and the conclusion that they are as unfairly praised as Arsenal is unfairly criticised) is neither accurate nor helpful. It merely fosters a misplaced sense of persecution.

    As I’ve tried explain to Nitram on numerous occasions, merely citing articles in which Arsenal are criticised or in which other clubs are praised isn’t evidence of a media agenda against Arsenal. It is merely him randomly (or not so randomly!) choosing a collection of articles to substantiate his point of view. Anyone, if they could be bothered, could just as easily come up with another collection of articles in which Arsenal are praised and other clubs are criticised.

    If you go on to any other ‘big club’ fan forum on the internet, I guarantee that you will find complaints about the media. There is a tendency for all fans to think that their club is unfairly treated. And that’s simply because of a combination of the media loving to sell bad news and fans naturally reading, watching and listening to anything about their own clubs and comparatively little about others. The bad news narrative at any one time is different for each club. For instance, I’ve seen Untold posters protesting bitterly that when Arsenal experienced a recent trophy drought, Talksport (I think) came up with a clock counting the days since they had last lifted silverware but that the same treatment hasn’t been meted out to Spurs or Liverpool. There is a very simple reason for that, of course, which has nothing to do with bias. It is simply that that joke has been done. It is past its sell by date.

    Ah, you might say, but what about yesterday’s articles in the Guardian and the Telegraph, defending Spurs despite their failure to win a trophy of any sort thus far under Pochettino? Surely that is evidence of favourable bias? Well, no, it isn’t. It is actually evidence that the overwhelming narrative about Spurs currently is that while their progress over recent seasons is admirable, it means nothing unless they win trophies. Whatever praise comes Spurs’ way, it is almost always tempered with that caveat. And with it comes the repeated claims that Spurs’ manager, and all their best players, will move to other clubs – indeed that they need to move to other clubs – to win trophies. It is only because of this overwhelming narrative in the media (which Untolders have undoubtedly missed or ignored) that two separate journalists writing for two separate papers separately took it upon themselves to come to Pochettino’s and Spurs’ defence.

    Lastly, we shouldn’t overlook timing or context. Arsenal are currently falling below the phenomenally high standards that Wenger first set for them while Spurs are exceeding all expectations. Naturally, the media are going to reflect and magnify that. Go back 10-15 years, though, and both Arsenal and Wenger were routinely lauded while Spurs were mocked and vilified. And that’s why we should all learn to take the rough with the smooth and understand that the media are just doing their job (however badly and however frustrating and distasteful it may seem). Ultimately, what they say and write amounts, to plagiarise the Bard, to ‘a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’.

  • Pat

    Glad you pointed that out, Josif.
    I was flummoxed for a minute.
    What a great article Tony. I agree so much. Most enjoyable matches I’ve been to – against Cologne in the Europa League, and when we pipped Spurs in the league on the last day two seasons ago.

  • Thank your your comment Jim B. If I may take one sentence from that, in which you say, “merely citing articles in which Arsenal are criticised or in which other clubs are praised isn’t evidence of a media agenda against Arsenal” I would agree with you totally that this would not be evidence.

    But that misses the point that I have set out time and again, which underpin this site. The name Untold was chosen because I wanted to focus on the things other sites did not focus on. About a dozen themes were selected, and in some we have had success, and the old ways of journalists (such as saying that Arsenal got more injuries than anyone else and that it was the fault of Wenger) have been set aside.

    But one of the main issues I set Untold up to explore is the fact that the mainstream media and their spin off blogs choose the news and interpret the news. What’s more it is clear (and we have presented clear evidence) that the media has agreed with the PL not to cover certain topics which again distorts the reporting. It is a hard message to get across when 99% of the news follows this pattern.

    Yes I hammer the message regularly, because I think it is important, just as I think the issue of referees is important, the issue of where the money from the Community Shield game actually went to is important, the lack of coverage of the sex scandal in football is important, the secrecy and highly dubious rules and structure of the PGMO is important and so on. And the way I get my message across is by hammering it home day after day. I can’t do so much on refs at the moment because Walter has other commitments and I am struggling to get information about the sex scandal in football, which to my mind is greater than the sex scandal in the field of charities. So I do more on the media. And I do it because aside from half a dozen sociologists, very few people are touching the story.
    The exposition of fake news and how it works is important to me and so I do my best to publicise it.

  • jet

    Let’s us pray it’s not our 1st knockout round syndrome tonight!!!

    What a great record that is!

  • AFC Nemesis

    Jim B.

    Every early evening there is a Radio show where the presenter spends EVERY day finding a way to slag Arsenal. Every day. His name is Adrian Durham. There are many media outlets that are anti-Arsenal but what is most disturbing is there ability to fabricate the. Am I paranoid? Yes Is the media anti-Arsenal? Yes.

  • AFC Nemesis

    Re: Spurs.

    Anyone notice the lack of coverage of the fact Dybala and Matuidi were missing from the Juventus team? Arguably Juves best players, certainly Matuidi is a Wolrd Class Defensive Midfielder who plays a vital role in the waythey play. I would love him at Arsenal.

  • AFC Nemesis

    *their

  • Andy Mack

    I’d point out that pretty much every single one of us supporters would prefer to have won the CL just once than to merely state that we’ve been in it for X years, but we haven’t. So it’s better to have been involved so consistently than not be involved.
    The money raised through participation has stopped us being even more financially constricted.
    Although the score-line in some defeats is depressing, the win/lose result against the big teams could have been predominantly expected knowing the financial restraints on our squad.
    On top of that, we’ve been rather unlucky on a few occasions (like RvPs sending off against Barca and quite a few other odd officials decisions and in-game injuries), but the one thing that really hurts is the games where we just didn’t perform against the ‘lesser’ teams. When we didn’t turn up against Monaco is the one that really sticks in my craw.
    We need this team to start turning up for all games, not just the odd game where the stars align.

  • Josif

    @AFC Nemesis

    You should have read Barney Ronay’s article where he openly admits that he is biased with Tottenham. Of course, you should prepare a bag (make it a big one) because it’s impossible not to puke when you read how the most talented writer among the Guardian journalists glorifies a team of divers and a manager who openly admits diving is a legitimate tactics.

    Here is a bit of statistics no journalist has dived (pun intended) into: do you know who is a leading diver in Premier League since the beginning of 2011-12?

    Gareth Bale (Tottenham) – 6 yellow cards for diving.

    And he has been outside Premier League since 2013!

    Also, one of those seasons was under that bloody foreigner ‘Arry Redknapp (then again, Redknapp pretty much qualifies as a non-English speaking manager).

    Anyway, back to your point about Matuidi and Dybala.

    Back in 1999 Juventus played Manchester United in the Champions League semifinals. They had a decent result from the first leg – 1:1 at Old Trafford with an away goal scored by Antonio Conte and Ryan Giggs scored a late equalizer to save Manchester United. In the second leg, Juventus scored two quick goals through their No. 9 Pippo Inzaghi before Manchester United made one of the most glorified come-backs ever.

    What journalists have always managed to avoid is to mention Juventus 1998-99 were the worst Juventus ever. A bit like Chelsea 2015-16. They only qualified for Europe through Intertoto Cup and for most of the season they played without their No. 10 Alessandro Del Piero, one of the hottest forwards of that time, a free-kick specialist. But British journalists needed heroes. They glorified Manchester United 1998-99 and their victories over Inter (played without Ronaldo in the first leg, finished 8th) and Juventus (played without Del Piero, finished 7th) without ever diving into the context.

    Juventus played without Dybala, Cuadrado and Matuidi two nights ago. They didn’t have a single attacker that could have turned the game around if Tottenham somehow had taken the lead. Dybala is their most talented player and probably the one that will make the best career. I didn’t always rate him due to his one-footedness in Palermo but he is a really special talent.

  • Josif

    @Andy Mack

    “When we didn’t turn up against Monaco is the one that really sticks in my craw.”

    But, Andy, we did turn up against Monaco. We just couldn’t score from big chances. Giroud had a nightmare game with six missed chances but I was always more shocked how Welbeck managed to hit Walcott on the ground while having whole goal at his mercy. I can’t recall of a more one-sided tie that finished as a defeat of the dominant team.

  • finsbury

    “So in that regard they are not only behind the four clubs just listed, but also behind the mighty Leicester City and Blackburn”

    “But but but what about Vengarrrrgggghhhhh” Wrote Young Master Ronay on his part-time ‘How to write a successful novel’ classes. Perhaps if we consider that his employer the owners of the esteemed Manchester Grunt have been done for defrauding British Taxpayers and Citizens, and worse, we can appreciate why the content from such mighty pens would embaress Alan Partdridge.

  • Nitram

    JimB

    “As I’ve tried explain to Nitram on numerous occasions, merely citing articles in which Arsenal are criticised or in which other clubs are praised isn’t evidence of a media agenda against Arsenal. It is merely him randomly (or not so randomly!) choosing a collection of articles to substantiate his point of view.”

    That is an absolute distortion of what’s been going on.

    My opinion is that Arsenal get far more negative press than ANY other team. Not only from the media hacks but from ex players, both Arsenal and others.

    But that is JUST my opinion, which at the end of the day means nothing, because opinion without evidence is just that, opinion.

    So in support of my ‘opinion’ I provide evidence in the way of links to support that opinion.

    There is in fact no other way for me to support my opinion that we get tons and tons of negative press than to show that tons and tons of negative press.

    How can you criticise me for trying to provide supporting evidence?

    On the other hand your ‘opinion’ is that everybody gets the same amount of negative press as us.

    Fine, so I have requested that similarly, in support of YOUR opinion, because like me it is just your opinion, you to provide similar evidence, or links.

    You persistently fail to do so, insisting that your opinion is sufficient.

    It is not.

    Bellow is an example of your logic.

    In support of the current media exaltation of Spurs you say the following about them:

    “Spurs are exceeding all expectations. Naturally, the media are going to reflect and magnify that.”

    Why do say “Spurs are exceeding all expectations” ?

    FFS they’re only 5th in the table for crying out loud.

    Were on earth did you expect them to be for that to be ‘exceeding expectations’ ?

    So they’ve qualified for the last 16 of the Champions league.

    Did you not ‘expect’ even that FFS

    So come on, you tell me.

    WHY ARE SPURS EXCEEDING ALL EXPECTATIONS ?

    and why do you say “Naturally, the media are going to magnify that” ?

    Why is it natural to ‘magnify’ what Spurs are doing?

    Surely that is an example of exactly what I am saying ?

    Spurs have won one League cup in 17 years, sit 5th in the league, are very unlikely to win anything this year, yet the media are bigging them up.

    Why is that do you think ?

    Actually you do try to address this ‘Magnifying’ of Spurs achievements (I use the word ‘achievements’ in the loosest possible way you understand) with the following:

    “Go back 10-15 years, though, and both Arsenal and Wenger were routinely lauded while Spurs were mocked and vilified.”

    Note:

    Actually its a bit further back than that because prior to 2014 our last trophy was 13 years ago in 2005. From then on we’ve been criticised.

    1 year without a trophy.

    2 years without a trophy.

    3 years without the trophy

    And so on and so on, I’m sure you remember.

    So the following would actually be more accurate, but your point is valid:

    “Go back 12 to 19 years, though, and both Arsenal and Wenger were routinely lauded while Spurs were mocked and vilified”

    Quite understandably I would suggest, given that during that 7 year period of ‘Lauding’ we won 3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, got to numerous other finals, including one Europa and one Champions League.

    I think that actually warrants a bit of ‘lauding’ don’t you, or is that just me?

    Were as Spurs 1 League cup in 17 years. 5th place in the table. Come on.

    Takes a bit of ‘magnifying’ that don’t you think?

    Given the facts, any attempt to big up Spurs, or Liverpool for that matter, is ridiculous, and trying to justify it with some kind of warped logic, as you have done, is actually quite embarrassing.

  • finsbury

    Josif

    To be entirely fair and reasonable if that writer had any talent then he wouldn’t be scribbling non-rhyming gibberish for a loss making rag that is on it’s last legs, that is owned by less then impressive entitites.

    He’d better get himself on some podcasts! Soon. 🙂

  • Josif

    @finsbury

    I usually like Ronay’s style – points he makes in his articles are something else, like that idiotic call for Omerta on the referees three or four years ago – but I did write a few comments under Guardian articles in which I pointed out it’s no wonder they have been forced to ask for a charity from their readership. I guess when the financial crisis hits the media their workers become what people in Serbia call “burek-novinari” (literally: “meat-pie journalists”). Journalists write articles in which they praise or attack someone after they were taken out to eat a meat-pie. A journalist writes a piece, his “protege” gets a call-up for a meaningless international friendly and his price is suddenly up once he makes a transfer. A journalist, of course, gets a reward either by a player or his agent after the transfer is done.

  • Gord

    Maybe he doesn’t know how to cast anything finsbury? He can’t cast a pot (paper mache’) or a fishing hook?

  • Menace

    Nitram – your response to JimB deserves a drink. In fact I’ll drink to every point you make & perhaps drink several to your opinion which is almost the same as mine.

    Oh yes and then pass the drink on to JimB once it has been processed ….. & magnified!

    & to you Josif – jiveli. Your dive into British humour is excellent.

  • Andy Mack

    Josif, whilst HFB did have a particularly awful game, the rest of the team were poor ; http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/31608951

  • Nitram

    Menace

    Thank you.

    Alas I know I’m wasting my breath because despite tons of evidence to the contrary, he simply refuses to accept his ‘opinion’ is wrong.

    Perhaps it’s time Tony reminded him how Untold Arsenal actually values ‘Evidence’, rather than just relying entirely on ‘opinion’.

  • JimB

    Tony,

    Thank you for your polite and measured response. I have no argument with your continued criticism of the media. I actually agree with much of what you say and admire your eloquence, persistence and dedication to the cause. What I find less helpful, though, is when that criticism deteriorates into accusations (or implications) of a media agenda specifically against Arsenal – a commonly recurring complaint among posters on Untold. Such sense of persecution serves only to rob the argument of gravitas; to make it seem like mere self-interest.

    Nitram,

    With respect, the problem in this instance is that you haven’t yet properly understood what constitutes evidence to support your argument. As I’ve repeatedly told you, merely showing me articles in which Arsenal are unfairly criticised is insufficient. Sure, it might well prove a point about the low standards in journalism and about the media’s tendency to sell bad news but it doesn’t tell us anything specific about their treatment of Arsenal relative to other clubs. You are familiar with the concept of scientific control, I presume? In which case, you ought to know that merely citing a select sample of articles about Arsenal and asserting that that is evidence of a media agenda specifically against the club is an experiment (or rather, research) without a control. In other words, worthless – to put it bluntly. In order to come to a meaningful conclusion, you would have to sample a vast number of articles and broadcasts, covering all clubs, over a long period. Come back to me with your conclusions when you’ve done that and then I’ll willingly listen.

    You ask me for my evidence. Once again, I have to remind you that I am not the one making an outlandish claim. I haven’t conducted any research or experiment. I don’t have a theory to prove. You do. Could I furnish you with ten links to articles in which Spurs are criticised for not winning trophies; or accused of being bottlers; or in which their manager or any of their best players are said to be about to leave Spurs for Madrid or Paris or Manchester? Of course I could. But those articles in isolation wouldn’t prove that you are wrong any more than your articles prove that you are right.

    As to my having written that “Spurs are exceeding all expectations”, I can’t see why you should be so outraged by it. It’s simply how the vast majority of Spurs fans feel about the club right now. And if you’re being honest, you wouldn’t have predicted three years ago that Spurs would by now have been involved in two (albeit distant) title challenges and still be in the mix for a potential third consecutive top four finish. All while having by far the youngest team in the league (at least, in 2015-16 and 2016-17) and operating on a fraction of the wage budget of other big six clubs and a comparatively minuscule net spend in the transfer market. A Tottenham team that can actually defend…..a Tottenham team that is consistent……Harry Kane’s remarkable rise……….anyone who tells you that they ‘expected’ these things is lying. So yes, Spurs are exceeding expectations.

    When I say that the media reflect and magnify, that is a generalisation. It is not something that they do specifically with reference to Spurs. They do it with reference to almost anything. They take the zeitgeist and make it their own. So if Spurs fans, for instance, are feeling good about their club, they big the club up. If Arsenal fans are feeling bad about their club, they dig the knife deeper. It’s what they do. It sells. That is their raison d’être. Never forget it. There is a sting in the tail, though, of course. The media might well currently big Spurs up but their articles and broadcasts are littered with caveats – they haven’t won a trophy; they’re bottlers; their manager and best players will all leave….should leave etc. And nothing delights them more than a fall from grace. You could liken it to fattening the calf for the kill.

  • JimB – what comments to publish and what not is perhaps the greatest and most unexpected challenge of running Untold. All my natural instincts and political views make me want to publish every comment, but ultimately I had to decide not to. But it is indeed true that some commentators will take an article and send it in a different direction.
    One of the key points about the media and the little blogs is that they tend to follow each other’s tails round and round the same circuit until one of them gets an EXCLUSIVE!!! and that kicks the whole thing off in a different direction, but sadly, rarely one that is based on evidence.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I still am trying to understand why any sane person proffering to be an Arsenal fan , coming on to this , the most pro-Arsenal /pro- AW site to defend some shit stirring and crappy English journo.
    Patriotism ?
    Nah !

    He who defends the guilty , accuses the just .

    And as Fins has noted , there will be many a unemployed journo soon as newspapers become passe . Do you think some kind soul would buy them a round when they are down and out ?

    You know , seeing that because of their inherent myopic bias, and copious and bilious rantings , they will probably not be able to kind suitable and sustainable stable employment.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Dear people who type in all lowercase ,

    We are the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse, and helping your uncle jack off a horse .

    Sincerely ,
    Capital Letters .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And here is an useful to communicate (and write) better.If you cared a shit , that is !

    https://funnyshit.com.au/swearing-at-work.php

  • Arsenal_62

    menace: “Oh yes and then pass the drink on to JimB once it has been processed ….. & magnified!”

    Is that some kind of a family tradition you have? It’s weird, that’s for sure

  • Nitram

    Jim B

    😂😂😂

  • AFC Nemesis

    Jim B

    “Spurs are exceeding all expectations” AND “you wouldn’t have predicted three years ago that Spurs would by now have been involved in two (albeit distant) title challenges and still be in the mix for a potential third consecutive top four finish”.

    This may be a fair assessment however it is short on facts. You see, the much criticised and “under achieving” Arsenal have won 3 (THREE) FA Cup Trophies in the last 4 (FOUR) seasons, while the team that is ‘exceeding all expectations’ does not even have a losing finalists medal.

    Could you imagine if Spurs had managed to win just one FA Cup?

    This is an example of the disingenuous narrative where Arsenal are concerned & deliberate obfuscation from the media.

    But you asked for ‘evidence’:

    FINISHING 2ND
    In 2015-16 Arsenal finished 2nd. Ahead of the big spending Man City, Chelsea & Man Utd yet the media were claiming it was a massive under achievement by Arsenal without acknowledging their league position. There was no criticism of the big spenders under achieving or recognition that finishing above the financial advantaged, was an achievement in itself. Yet when Spurs finished second a season later, we are told how great they are.

    TOP 4
    The same is true of finishing in the top 4. When Arsenal did it year after year, 20 years including the period of austerity when he had no right to finish in the top half let alone top 4, the media sniggered and would bring out the ‘top 4 trophy’ insult. Finishing top 4 was no great achievement apparently, it was just caused ridicule. Yet when Spurs finish in the top 4, it’s some great achievement. Arsenal have one season in the Europa compared to Spurs perennial appearance and it’s humiliation.

    It is inconsistent and hypocritical narrative.

    EMBARRASSING SPURS
    Perhaps that is because Spurs have been a complete and utter embarrassment for the last 50 odd years. For a self proclaimed big club it has been hilarious to listen to the gloating and bragging from the supporters of a team who celebrated a last league title 57 years ago and a last FA Cup trophy in 27 years ago. Seriously, that is nothing short of pathetic.

    Yes Spurs do deserve credit for where they are, absolutely. However, all I think we ask for is a stop to the hypocrisy and a recognition that colour of shirt you wear does not impact on media reporting. As it clearly does.

  • Nitram

    AFC Nemesis

    Thank you for your input. Points well made.

    But having read his last post I’ve decided that’s enough.

    His logic ? His reasoning ?

    Well let’s just say it’s beyond me.

    Anyway, Tony seems to get on quite well with him so i think ill leave it to him to just keep banging his head agaisnt the wall, because it’s giving me a headache.