Arsenal under unprecedented attack. To survive it is time to join the Resistance

By Tony Attwood

Over the years when it comes to football, newspapers, broadcasters and most recently bloggers have merged their own thoughts and prejudices with the facts, to produce their version of reality.  And for years  that version of reality has been one in which Arsenal make more mistakes than anyone else as well as fail more than anyone else.

Poor training methods lead to more injuries, good players are allowed to leave where other clubs hold onto their stars, obvious errors in playing style are ignored by managers who by implication are not fit for purpose, fixed managerial views mean the opposition know how to take us out, poor tactics leave us exposed at the back or failing to score at the front, poor players with limited skill or talent are played over and over again when they should be replaced, obvious transfer targets are not brought to the club.

And so on.

At the heart of all that there is a total ignoring of reality.   The recent headline, “We’ve got our Arsenal back – But what about our defence?” suggested that the defence is a hopeless mess, which is a bit odd given the recent run of form and the fact that we have the seventh best defence in the league, and we have brought in Torreira to play in front of them.  Of course it would be great if we had the best defence in the league but given that Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Real Mad, Barcelona etc can always outspend us, that is unlikely to happen.   Besides, we brought five players in, in the summer.  More than that and the team would have had a difficult time in learning how to work together.  Seventh best at the moment looks, under present form as if it will be fourth best soon, and thereafter possible further improvement.

Meanwhile we get the distractions.   For example, day after day, often several times a day, Football London is running the headline “Transfer news live recap: Arsenal seal £70m deal, star confirms Man United ready to make bid” yet if you take the time to scroll down the piece there is no such transfer as implied.  It is an exaggeration of the new kit deal.  Reading this leads to disappointment and the feeling engendered not that Fooball London (the Daily Mirror’s 40 a day habit) that is letting us down, but Arsenal.

In the background there is the constant questioning of Ozil, and whether he really is injured or ill (there is no evidence that he is not, and the club says he is, but such club statements are the last thing being believed in this environment).   There is the endless Ramsey story, with the thought that it is happening again, although last time it happened with a star leaving it seems to me Arsenal came out the winners.

Endlessly Xhaka is rubbished, and the problems within Arsenal are so obvious, it is suggested, that amateur critics can see them often without even going to the game.   Take this headline, “Emery has only corrected 2 out of 5 weaknesses needed if Arsenal are to sustain current form”   A question then arises: with this level of insight why is the writer not managing – at least in the lower leagues since he knows what to do.

Of course sometimes you do have to laugh.   As with “‘We’ve got our Arsenal back’ – What those chants during the Fulham win really mean.   Pundit Craig Bellamy does not understand the fans’ singing.”

That really did give me a chuckle.  Next he will be saying, “What does Oo to Oo to be Oo to be a Gooner” mean?”  Or what about the old favourite “You are my Arsenal” which ends “please don’t take my Arsenal away.”  Chants don’t have to mean anything you plonker.  They are like flags – a symbolic representation of unity.  God almighty, how dumb do you have to be to be a pundit?

Now we have the fanciful expected goals to tell us that Arsenal are not doing as well as we think they are, despite what the scoreboard says.  Or (and here is one that really amused me) the current run can be explained because “either our goalie had an exceptional game (which may not last for ever) or the opponents forwards were not in goal scoring form (which may also not last for ever) or both.”

And of course if a latent volcano under Arsenal Stadium erupts that could bring the run to an end also.  Or a Russian attack with a nerve agent on the Arsenal dressing room.

And another… not playing Lacazette and Auba together for the whole game is a major failing.   Which is I suppose why we have lost so many games of late.   The fact is you can play both together, which worries the opposition from the start, or you can play one of them and bring the other on as a sub as the defence is tiring with 20 minutes to go.  Both seem to work, and until one hour before the game the opposition have no idea what they are going to face.

One of the articles highlighting a set of changes proposed by the writer ended, “Make these changes Mr Emery and we will be challenging for the title” and yes it is so amazing that once again we have a manager who can’t see the bleedin’ obvious, just as Wenger before him.  That is almost as weird as the writer seemingly not being employed as a manager himself since he knows it all.  Or George Graham not knowing how to get the team to score goals in the league in his last couple of seasons.

Here’s another: “High profile pundits dismiss Arsenal’s title chances”   Well yes, they tend to, just as they were saying until the very end that Arsenal would not go unbeaten all season in the unbeaten season.  Personally I’d be surprised if we seriously challenged for the title this season, because of the money available to Man City which they can spend in January if they are not miles out in front, the fact that they don’t have 25 players in their “25” and the abject failure of the PL and Uefa to impose any sort of financial regulation on a club like Man City.

Meanwhile Arsenal is being set up for all sorts of January signings that are not going to happen, so that the club can be blamed.   Adrien Rabiot, Miguel Almiron, Nicolas Pepe…  Fail to sign them all (even if the manager had no intention of signing them) and we will be failing yet again.

Thus there is, in my view, a constant attempt to manipulate the reality that football fans perceive, for the benefit of the broadcasters and writers.  And when they get it wrong, as they so obviously have this season, they just tell us it can’t last because of expected goals or lucky goalkeepers.  And as a last resort they will bring back “Lucky Arsenal”.

If we want our Arsenal back, the only way to do it is to support the team ceaselessly, and counter the alternative reality propaganda of the media.  As Untold said once before, there is “The Arsenal and The Arsenal” and one can choose which Arsenal one wants.




12 Replies to “Arsenal under unprecedented attack. To survive it is time to join the Resistance”

  1. Very well written. A true fan stays true to the club, regardless of what happened – whether there are changes to players, managers or even ownership. I supported the Gunners since 1983, and will stay true to this club till my last breath.

  2. Kind of circle the wagons and hold out for a siege? It just may happen if these ‘pundits’ do not relent. AFC can only do their jobs as thorough professionals and leave them with eggs on their faces. That is the way to go.

  3. Got to figure the Odious Mikey Riley and his PIGMOB Gang into it as well unfortunately, with all yonder pundit puppets to back em up

  4. Tony, like you I find it amusing that these pundits need to have every little chant explained.

    ‘We’ve got our Arsenal back’ might have sounded like the Arsenal fans singing but it was the Fulham fans assuring themselves that 5 wouldn’t go past them when Chambers (the Arsenal back) is playing!! 🙂 😉

  5. Really wish the facts yoù present got through to all the naysayers,perhaps a concluding sentence to every item .Dear media,
    try doing research it really helps you gain respect not derision

  6. OT: Ralls red card

    Apparently The (sweet) FA has rejected Cardiff’s appeal to rescind Rall’s red card. I think they couldn’t stomach the idea that the spud players might have badgered the PGMO’s finest into giving the card. After all, the spuds are one of the most wonderful teams in England, the the PGMO are 102% correct.


    In other fake news, the Express (and other sites) have labelled Arsenal the dirtiest team in the EPL.

    Obviously none of these sites have followed a game, as what we get called for is such things as breathing on opposition players.

  7. O thought Craig was moreover stating that he never thought Arsenal had gone anywhere, questioning the Arsenal fan base as O have over the last couple of years.

    It seemed to me as if he was thinking why aren’t you more grateful and why don’t you understand football better.

    Since his appointment UA has not given any credence to the suggestion that AW was made a scapegoat and that much of the success now achieved is due to the former custodian.

    In fact as long as we are winning the issue is closed.

    That is exactly Stand intention. Have you never heard of something being too good to be true.

    We are in the new manager bounce, but playing the same as before, just with a bit more optimism and higher intensity. The acquisitions made are what matters. And Matteo was coming before HE, as was Lucas, as was a CB likely SP and also do you think you snap up SL by deciding you are after him as the season starts?

    Oh I know it’s because Gazidis and Kroenke are footballing men do upon the restructuring of the club to suit Stans vision, Wenger ever the pragmatist went out and had a few chats with footballing men. Or is it that the media are not to believed except when they suggest Sven was at pdfs with Arsene.

    Comedy, do you know o have unrivalled respect for Mandy, Sam, Brick and a couple other rare quality contributors, and then we have a slight tailing to the next group, Walter heading up the one with Tony and Buldog, Andy in.

    If o like you I will say, if I fodloke aspects of your character, I’ll say. My honesty is the highest respect I can give you.

    Banter is one thing, but if you must criticise then do it with substance.

    Bellamy always played with total commitment and played at Enfield where the moto actually stands for something.

    Even the United fans can tell the difference between the manager being the problem and the hierarchy being the issue.

    But let me add perspective, Lesson said what I touched on, the team aren’t cohesive defensively and it’s nothing to do with time spent together. It’s based on no central defender being fast enough to cover Monreal if he’s caught higher up the pitch. It’s based on Ballerina instinct and ability going forward vacating space on the right and Sokratis being good as a stopper but what is required is a sweeper, Koscielny could play as this as with Per but with that experience came age.

    Someone is going to highlight all these, but not until we have established our credentials at contenders.

    The mark of greatness is how you second to set backs. Lesson is hating but he’s also not talking out of his ads. And o don’t begrudge him a little money, if rather it was his laughable suggestions than accurate in-depth analysis. I know exactly how yo be at our team, just as I can see the pattern against City and Liverpool. 3 of the hardest teams that you will have to vest in the league are actually United and Chelsea. They just needed to gel in the new key elements.

    It’s folly yo overstate ones own ability or even dismiss a fool. And Lesson isn’t so stupid, easy job for a start.

  8. “Since his appointment UA has not given any credence to the suggestion that AW was made a scapegoat and that much of the success now achieved is due to the former custodian.”
    That is one of the oddest things I have ever read on this site.

  9. There’s some waste written here with yo & o that makes no sense. If you cannot write sense in English then try kicking a ball.

    Bellamy at Enfield – now there’s something. Was that net ball?

  10. What is so hilarious is the bargain basement quality of the pundits/experts who get dragged out to make comments on the Arsenal.

    We’re all entitled to our opinions, but to have your views taken seriously they need to be based on real solid experience.

    So Mr. Bellamy how many Premier League teams have you managed and how many trophies did you win. If the answer is none then your opinion is no more valid than the famous “man on the Clapham omnibus”!!

    There are a handful of reasonably knowledgeable pundits, but also a whole tribe of second or third rate motor-mouths who as Manuel in Fawlty Towers used to say “I know nothing!!”

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