By Tony Attwood
Thus we approach the end of days: the very last Wengerian game. Let’s see where he left the injury list
|#||TEAM||No. down||Last man fallen||What he done|
|2||Leicester City||9||D Simpson||Groin Injury|
|3||Everton||7||W Rooney||Knee Injury|
|4||Burnley||6||A Barnes||Arm Injury|
|6||Tottenham Hotspur||6||V Wanyama||Thigh|
|7||Crystal Palace||5||J Ward||Ankle Injury|
|8||West Ham United||5||J Hernandez||Knee Injury|
|10||Chelsea||4||T Courtois||Back Injury|
|11||Swansea City||3||K Bartley||Knee Injury|
|12||Huddersfield Town||3||E Kachunga||Ankle Injury|
And so our four men down are…
Koscielny, Santi Cazorla, Elneny, Ozil. The slight hope that Elneny might be back for this one has gone. Huddersfield have Kachunga and Williams definitely out and Hefele a doubt.
And here’s an interesting twist from the BBC preview of the game. “Laurent Koscielny heads a long list of injury absentees…” Now how is four a long list? Not least when one of them (Santi) has been out all season and has never been in contention for anything more that a five minute kick around at the end at the very most, and now we find not that.
If four injuries is for the BBC “a long list” then what does the nine injuries of Watford get counted as? Well, wouldn’t you know it, there is not a single mention of their injuries in the BBC preview of the Watford game.
Meanwhile in the papers there are the usual looking back and forwards bits and here’s one that really made me smile. Eleven years ago before starting Untold Arsenal I would have exploded, but now, well, it’s just every day. It is of course from the Guardian who chose a blogger who would say, “There were a few tantalising hints that Aubameyang might deliver.”
Obviously I have been going to different games. “A few?????????” This guy has come newly into the team in January, a team that lots of commentators say is appalling, the worst ever etc etc etc, and he has scored nine goals in 12 games, and that is “a few tantalising hints…” Well, one of us is on a different planet, and I know a lot of people say that it is me. Maybe they are right, but “a few tantalising hints…” And that is before we consider what Mkhitaryan has brought to the team, the evolution of Elneny, the fact that Jack has stayed fit, the return to his previous goalscoring form of Lacaz. Goodness me.
I do like to make comparisons of these things, as when newspapers talk about the number of red cards Arsenal get – it is meaningless unless we know how many red cards other clubs got, and how many of them were rescinded. And with this “a few” comment here is something the Guardian chose not to reveal, or maybe couldn’t be arsed to look up.
On the issue of Aubamayang, only one player in the entire Premier League has got more goals than Aubamayang and that is Mohamed Salah. Now when you take that fact and add the points that
a) Arsenal have been having an utterly appalling season (in the words of most pundits) with
b) a team made up of jokers and idiots (according to Martin Keown),
c) and Aub came in on transfer was complicated and prolonged and Arsenal have been having a torrid time away…
to be the second highest goal scorer since arriving is, in my book at least, amazing. It is beyond “a few tantalising hints…” just like the centre of the galaxy is a a little way beyond the moon.
And the reason I bang on and on and on and on and on about these tiny details in the media is because this approach is incessent. These are very minor points but they appear every single day against Arsenal in a way that I don’t see them appearing against any other club and together they deliver a programme of commentary that is designed to undermine the club and all its players.
Of course the Guardian can say, “it’s not our fault – we asked a blogger and that is what he said,” but it is just one example – they asked a totally 100% anti-Wenger blogger who wrote “For the first time in two decades, we’re going in to a summer feeling eager anticipation” as part of his commentary, and that is the view they take all the time. I can tell them that after the third FA Cup win in four years there was some eager anticipation among some of us. Yes, we slipped back thereafter, but that is not the point. It is how you feel at the time. That is what “anticipation” means.
So it goes on across broadcasters and writers, a bit like the low-level noise that children make in classrooms as a way of undermining a teacher with the occasional Martin Keown type who will actually say outloud to the teacher “it’s all crap.”
They are just a bunch a naughty children. The problem is they have taken over not just the classroom but the whole school.
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- Luton Town – how do they play the game. The tackles, fouls and cards.
- Luton Town v Arsenal: Grim football, fewest goals, lowest possession rate