By Tony Attwood
As you will know we have won seven League, Europa League and League Cup games in a row. Or just in case you didn’t know here’s the list…
|25 Aug 2018||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||3-1||Premier League|
|02 Sep 2018||Cardiff City v Arsenal||W||2-3||Premier League|
|12 Sep 2018||Coventry City v Arsenal||W||0-3||Football League Trophy|
|15 Sep 2018||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|20 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava||W||4-2||UEFA Europa League|
|23 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Everton||W||2-0||Premier League|
|26 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Brentford||W||3-1||League Cup|
|29 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Watford||W||2-0||Premier League|
OK, so now you have just seen that this actually shows eight wins because I have included the Checkatrade Trophy game, largely because Ian and I were there with the shaking hands with Tony Adams and Per Mert.
In fact, we are hoping to go to the Leicester under 23 game on Monday and if we win that I might include that as well. (Although if we don’t win I’ll say that was a silly idea and obviously shouldn’t be included.).
Taking out the Trophy game we have scored 19 goals in seven games. And conceded seven.
Not bad going, so I am sure you expect the media to be fully appreciative of this upturn and expect also this change in newspaper and bloggetta bot attitude to continue in the weeks to come. But no, that would be silly. The Guardian for example says…
“The feeling persists that Arsenal’s attacking groove still needed some polishing, with most of their recent results dependent on flashes of forward play rather than a clearly defined strategy.”
That is of course just their feeling, but cleverly presented in a way that makes it look like established fact, as they continue, “Blending the talents of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – with Aaron Ramsey and Özil playmaking behind them – sometimes feels a bit too freeform.”
So no strategy then. Except signing creative geniuses who make this happen. But whoever heard of that??? No it must be just pure chance.
And they were not alone in putting down Arsenal’s seven in a row. As the Telegraph chimed in with “Unlucky Watford undone by two late goals as Arsenal continue winning streak”. And a mention perhaps of the penalty that Arsenal should have had right near the start.
Actually yes, although the Guardian, resolute in its utter anti-Arsenal style and approach ignores that penalty claim, yet as the Telegraph says, “The game would surely have been very different if Lacazette had been awarded the fifth minute penalty he deserved. The Arsenal striker had run beyond Christian Kabalese and clearly been impeded by the Watford centre-back but, having stayed on his feet and attempted still to run down the ball, did not have his honesty rewarded by referee Anthony Taylor.”
Well no, of course not. Had he done so it would have been headline news for a month.
The Mail focuses on the flop that is (in their view) Ramsey announcing, “The game developed around him and, for the most part, without him entirely.
“Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira pulled the strings, and Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil tried to unpick Watford’s tight backline, Ramsey occupied the centre of the pitch yet operated almost exclusively on the game’s periphery.”
That isn’t a bad review, but less we get carried away there is the Daily “baby’s toy spotted on Mars” Express with the headline, “Mustafi and Ramsey infuriating, Holding and Leno shine.” They do however have another word of praise for Rob Holding saying that he, “Took his chance with both hands, providing a calming presence in central defence alongside the erratic Mustafi.”
(That would have been handball, so best not take it literally).
Of Xhaka, the man who was so successful with his number of passes last season, they added, “Showed a much better range of passing than has been on display recently, and brought the best out of Ben Foster with a fierce drive. Kept trying to push Arsenal forward as the game drifted and one of the Gunners’ better performers on the day.”
Blimey. Mind you they gave Ramsey 3 out of 10. And no one mentioned that we were playing a side that was currently in the top six, and who had themselves gone on a five match winning run, including beating the unbeatable Tiny totts who as we know from the media cannot be beaten because they are the Tiny Totts.
So how does this leave the table? Here’s the top ten.
Two goals behind the Tiny Totts in fourth. Not too bad as we were being written off after two games with some people publishing league tables at that point.
Mind you the Nomads have only played two home games, and have won one and lost one. And no one is mentioning the wholly false promises made to the League about the completion date of wonderful New WHL. Their punishment for not meeting their obligations? Nuffink.
Of course the Tinies are top of the away game league because they have played so many away games. But more to the point, in three games away from Arsenal Stadium we have won two, which is half the number won last season.
Now if you recall, Untold’s prediction was that we would enter the top four if we could return to our average away performance of previous years. And we are sure on the way to doing that…
Away matches only
As for Ramsey, Caught offside (a web site) writes that, “This certainly does seem like poor organisation from Arsenal, who have a habit in recent times of allowing players to get into the final year of their contracts, thus harming their negotiating position significantly.”
Well, what examples do you have, and how do they compare with the transfer of shall we say Robin van P? In the real world, not the make-believe fantasy of Caught offside, the situation is fluid. We got Bellerin and Fabregas from Barcelona for nothing because of the way the system works. We exchanged Alexis for Mkhitaryan and got by far the better of that deal. What makes them think we won’t do the same again?
But of course there are always multiple worries about Arsenal. Foot Lond, bot users supreme with their 40 posts a day, state that, “With the wage bill at over £200 million a year and without Champions League football, Arsenal are struggling to be a profit making business right now – unless they sell players.”
And the evidence? Oh, they seem to have forgotten to print that bit. Much be a technical blip.
Let’s try another one. “Morgan reacts to Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Watford on Twitter”. That is an actual headline in Red London. And what did the old farrago P Morgan say? “Seven consecutive League/Cup wins for Arsenal. Nice work.” Wow. I am so glad they made an entire story out of that. (Actually guys, you need to re-program those bots of yours, they have a mind of their own.)
One more to finish? OK here we go:
The Daily Star.
You know it makes sense. Or not as the case may be.
New today from the Arsenal History Society…
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences
- Arsenal v Lens: they had a poor start but are now flying