The media turn on the fans; an interesting twist after two defeats

By Tony Attwood

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My general view after games is that with Walter’s coverage of the game pretty much most possible angles of what happened in the match will be covered, so I have, over the past 10 years, tried to find something quite different to write about in relation to what has gone before, once the match is over.

What I am fascinated with is different solutions to the Arsenal “crisis” and yes it is a crisis because we are now back to the days of George Graham to look for a similar bad start, and Terry Neill and Bertie Mee to look for starts that went on and got even worse.

One really interesting approach, and I am not criticising it, but rather just expressing surprise, comes from the Transfer Tavern who have suggested that Cohen Brammall, (who as far as I remember has not played in the warm ups) should now play for the first team as a left back.   They also suggest that Emile Smith Rowe should be given a chance in the first XI, although I am not sure who he would replace.  Ozil I suspect.

An interesting vision.

But most commentators are worried that most Arsenal fans expect it all to come right in the end – and probably starting with the home game against West Ham next weekend.  After that our international players go off once more to be injured or depressed or jet lagged for another round of pointless games.  Seems like ages since we had the last round.

I’m not sure who we are playing but it is probably Andorra or Gibralter or the European Union – no sorry that’s Mrs May.

There is of course a lot of chatter about ludicrous things, as the Metro has a headline about who shook whose hand (there’s a real shock horror), and Firstpost calls the start “Ominous” – a word that suggests the whole season is going to be one of failure.  Where’s Private Fraser when we need him?

And overall there is not much awareness of history.  Yes there was a little belated recognition that George Graham was the last manager to give us two defeats at the start of the season, and even in one or two places the knowledge that he followed that start up with the FA Cup and the League Cup Double – the first time it had ever been done.  The media I recall, hated that, and announced that the cups had lost their value.

What they don’t tell us (because the Arsenal History Society didn’t tell them, and journalists don’t have time to look things up, not even on Google) was that in that season of two opening defeats and then two cups at the end, Arsenal scored 40 goals in the league under Graham.  The only times we have scored fewer was in 1900-01 with 39 goals, 1909/10 with 37 goals, 1904/5 with 36 goals and 1912/13 with 26.  In that final year we were relegated to the second division, and left the Manor Ground for Highbury.

The reason for the paucity of goals then was that in those days (until 1925/6) to be onside the attacker had to have three opposition players in front of him when receiving the ball in the opposition half.  No wonder goals were low.

Anyway, at least we are scoring, and indeed we could have had six yesterday had the wind been blowing the other way.

But with the growth of realisation over the last few years that the media does not report football but rather manipulates reality in order to breed trouble, strife and discontent, within the theory that when the fans are angry they will engage more with the media to express their anger, there appears to be some anxiety therein that us fans are not angry enough.

So we are told that Rio Ferdinand reveals what’s wrong with Arsenal (because we, as fans, can’t see it ourselves) in the Express, “Unai Emery criticised for key Arsenal decision” says Sport Review, urging us to see it the same way, “Arsenal had an obvious tactical weakness v Chelsea” says 101 Great Goals and we are morons if we can’t see it.  And the Star reports that “Ian Wright slams Alexandre Lacazette” and Wrighty knows stuff, so why are we being so stupid as not to see it?

The fans indeed have lost it.  “‘Disgusting’ … These Arsenal fans go to the extreme following another defeat” says FootballFanCast – as if to say that is the way to go.  Speak out.  Tell them your mind.  Blame the players because the Media is Always Right.  You know it makes no sense but do it anyway.

Of course we have had bad starts before, but nothing like this under Mr Wenger, so it takes a bit of remembering.  Terry Neill did give us three defeats and a draw in the first four in 1982 (a year we got to both cup semi-finals) and Bertie Mee (who when not winning his three trophies really was fairly awful in what he tried to do to the club) managed in 1974/5 to open with two wins, three draws and eight defeats in the first 13.  By September we were playing home matches in front of under 22,000.

The good news is, Mr Emery is no mug and it is about to get a lot better, but as it does, the media are going to give us hell.  They’re rather enjoying is – even if it means at the moment they can’t talk about Wenger being even worse.

Remember, George Graham, having the most atrocious season, gave us two Cups.  And Mr Emery is the absolute Cup expert.  Europa Triple.  Winning both French cups year on year.  He knows how to do Cups.

25 Replies to “The media turn on the fans; an interesting twist after two defeats”

  1. Arsenal vs Man Ciy 2-0 and Chelsea vs Arsenal 3-2 exposed and more so exhibited the amazing potential within the existing squad that Unai Emery will horn and fine tunein the coming weeks.
    Team selection where Aubameyang and Lacazette must be played together from outset in a 4231 where where Torreira & Guandouzi must occupy in front of the back 4 which must include Lichsteiner & Sokratis.

    As evidence showed in the match against Chelsea,the back 4 failed time and time again having moved forward to nearly halfway line when Arsenal had possession in attack then palpably failed to foresee/anticipate and lacked pace to cover, Chelsea runs with pace behind them with a long pass by Chelsea when Arsenal had lost the ball in attack; leaving Cech exposed by himself to 2 Chelsea attackers! which led to Goals!

    Totally in contravention to what Unai Emery has been asserting; move forwards as a unit with high press when in possession of ball but run back to defence when not! This is primarily the responsibility of the back 4 and Lichsteiner will keep this orderly defence in place.

    It is difficult to see hoe Emery will not have Arsenal in the top 4 by end of January. Given that Chelsea paid £71m for GK Kepa Arrizabalaga then on this evidence Petr Cech must be worth £100m !

  2. Wow this is strange.
    Arsenal lose 2 matches in a row and non of the abusers of past seasons has come to tell us how useless we are. No this is not an invitation 😉
    But still last years each defeat we saw them coming and telling us that if we just would get rid of Wenger all would change and be fine.

    Well it wasn’t that easy it seems.
    And no I am not criticising Unai for anything. He has to learn, so do the players. But the simple: sack Wenger and all will be fine did not happen to realise so far.

  3. Honestly, after seeing them together I pre-season I think the Greek Gods should be the CB pairing, everything else around them would coalesce.

  4. Although Walter, we are receiving quite a bit of abuse from supporters of other clubs saying “so you thought if you could get rid of your manager you’d win everything ha ha”. I don’t publish it, as it is very boring, but that’s the main activity!

  5. Unai is on to a good trajectory, yesterday was another avoidable blip, but we need not pay attention to them lot. If AFC is brilliant or dross they would still hate the Club. There is still plenty of room to make up for lost ground and not time for reacting to the nay sayers.

    Of course we knew getting rid of Arsene would not immediately translate into footballing excellence but the Board of AFC was more concerned about the cash till than the trophy cabinet.

  6. How many times during Wengers reign did we begin the campaign against the current champions and another top 5 club? And if we beat West Ham next week it’s exactly the same as last season 1 win and 2 defeats,or lets just take the first game of the season as the start of a campaign ( I think most people would agree that the first game is the start not the first 2) I seem to remember us getting beat by Aston Villa at home 1-3 and more recently West Ham 0-2 and remind us all of the manager at the time? so I think your point is moot,unlees you are going to set some parameters for how many games constitutes the start of a season!

  7. Things are never simple. Mr Emery has arrived two weeks ago and he was handed the most difficult start I can think of.

    Our defending is still a reason to be worried. We are yet to show full focus on defending and that’s why Cech – despite conceding 2.5 goals per game – deserves a positive rating. On the other side of the pitch, Aubameyang was bought to score goals but he is yet to score one v Top 6. For his price tag, experience and reputation, he has to finish better than he did yesterday. Same goes for Lacazette who had his big miss last week. And, at 350k per week, I expect Mesut to take games like the one yesterday by the scruff of the neck. Like Hazard, who is a diving bastard yet the best player in the league by a countrymile, does.

    Guendouzi is such a bright prospect though. He has something special in himself that suggest he might become a star one day. Not today or next week but in a year or two. He skipped a few steps, you know. He has heart and intelligence and that’s something you can’t train.

    Hopefully, we’ll start a 8-game winning streak next week.

  8. Our U18s won their second game of the season yesterday away st Brighton. Cohen was on the bench last week for the U23s!

  9. Tony

    “”We are receiving quite a bit of abuse from supporters of other clubs saying: “so you thought if you could get rid of your manager you’d win everything ha ha” “”

    I get it that fans of other clubs will be enjoying our poor start to the season, and I accept they are going to enjoy rubbing it in, but surely, given Untolds unwavering support of Wenger to the end, this is the last place they should come a gloating ?

    A lot of us didn’t even want Wenger to go, let alone expect a change of manager to bring us instant success.

    I think any gloating of that nature would be much better aimed at certain other sites, wouldn’t you agree Tony ?

  10. ha the media having a go, at the arsenal. going on as long as I can remember it will never change so just let them go on and on and on. our job is as always to get behind the team. and forget about the media.

  11. Reading some of the commentary from the ‘experts’ in the media and blogetta’s lately, one would have thought that AW had left a squad so dysfunctional and useless that it would take UE many transfers and seasons to fix up, even though looking at last season stats it is not as bad as it is claimed. Granted the away form was atrocious but is it necessary with all these AW bashing even after the man has left?

  12. Congratulations to the women’s team, 3-1 over West Ham. Two goals to Katie McCabe and one to Beth Mead.

  13. TBF, Walter, most of us hoping Wenger would leave are also realistic about the ridiculous opening fixtures that we had. A point out of that start would have been a success.

    I’ve seen enough so far to make me fairly happy. We’re nowhere near as good as City or Chelsea on paper, but didn’t look that bad against the champs, and probably should have won yesterday despite looking awful at the back. There’s work to be done, for sure, but I’m happier with what I’ve seen early on than with most of what I’ve seen over the past 5 years. Progress.

  14. No Peter I think it is more a case that you haven’t got my point – and that is to some degree my fault for not explaining it in a way that you would get.

  15. We were completely outplayed by City but yesterday we had flashes of coherent play and as has been mentioned we could have scored a few more (though, so could have Chelsea). For me, the good part is that though we were having difficulties playing the ball out of the back and were pinned back for minutes on end, the team didn’t give up and eventually created opportunities. Things are coming together but the boys need time.

    I am reading very little of the media coverage because they are not being honest nor charitable to Arsenal. It is all about criticism to get clicks.

  16. I an sure the manager and the players will eventually get it right , There were flashers of it at the end of the first half , where some of our play was breathtaking . And at breakneck speed ! And so many chances created .

    Sadly we slowed down in the second half , and they deservedly won. Am not too perturbed with that loss , and am looking forward for a better display against the hammers.

    Up the Gunners !

  17. What good VAR when all the CCTV & evidence gets a serial brawler off ‘not guilty’. Then to make things worse straight into the England team as though all the TV replays are not worthy of the truth.

    Shame on this corrupt society.

  18. Scuba,
    I rather enjoyed 3 Fa cups and 3 CS in those 5 years. I wonder if we will see progress on that in the next 5….

  19. It really is quite sad how many of our own “fans” love to ignore those 3 FA cups that we won in 4 years. It’s a wonderful testament as to what their personal agendas are.

  20. I enjoyed the 3 FA Cups as well, Walter (don’t care about the CS though, it’s a friendly). Being honest, though, I just can’t really get very excited about either domestic cup anymore. Most clubs play backups until the semis, because it’s just lost a lot of the luster it used to have.

  21. With 0 points from 2 matches we have a poor start since decades.
    Wonder what the Wobs got after getting their prized, objective forcing Wenger to leave.

    In fact we drew with CFC in the corresponding fixture last year.
    And now we are beaten by a unsettled CFC team also with a new manager.
    I expect a poor campaign this time and a poorer finish than last year.

    Let’s keep the WOBs happy…..

  22. Rosicky @Arsenal………..if after only 2 difficult games, you can boldly state that you expect a poor campaign and a poorer finish than last year, you are merely adding to the media BS and aaa hyperbole. Back up your expectations with hard and understandable facts like shots on goal, defensive stats and errors, tactical and positional date, etc. I expect a gradual and impressive improvement as the team chemistry gels, the understanding and positional awareness between the old and new players, the better form players like Ozil and Ramsey will start to show, the clearer understanding of what Emery wants begins to penetrate the players’ awareness, the fitness improves and
    the new players get used to the PIGMOB robbing AFC whenever they can. We will see who is a better analyst by Christmas.

  23. Omg Arsenal

    Pls see stats comparison as well

    Last year CFC vs Ars

    Possession 51 : 49
    Shots on Target 11: 6

    This year

    Possession 62: 38

    Shots on Target 4: 2

    Clearly shows we have regressed in keeping possession and creating chances.

    Also my prediction that we will be poorer than last year is based on the fact that everyone knows Wenger is a better manager than Emery so how could he produce better results than the great. Man.

    Maybe the AAA know…..

  24. @Scuba. CS was not considered a trophy for as long as Wenger won it but go and read the reports of the match between Chelsea and Man City, Guardiola was reported to have picked up from where he left off last season by adding to his trophy haul. The CS was counted alongside trophies won by Alex Ferguson but not for Wenger. This I see as a manipulation and a lot of Arsenal fans has fallen for it.

    The media make us believe that both Liverpool and Tottenham are far ahead of Arsenal but they also say you’re judged by the number of trophies you won. I request that you make reference to an article where the last time either of these two teams won the League was mentioned or that it”s now 6 seasons ago that Man United last won the League.

    Don’t allow them to think for you.

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