By Tony Attwood
“The Arsenal and The Arsenal” theme suggests that there are two different groups of people interested in the club, and each sees what is going on, and considers what is important, in ways so different from the other that there is just no connection between the realities, except that they are all supposedly about The Arsenal.
Part of my argument is that the stories of the dominant side (“the media”) never change. As I’ve noted, during the late summer and early part of the season, every single Arsenal first team player was described by different pundits and writers as being not just useless but a danger to the side and who needed to be moved at once.
Now that Arsenal are doing ok in the league, the story has changed. This, we are told, cannot continue because Arsenal are scoring more goals than they should (I know that sounds weird but that is what the xG argument says) and (bringing back the old old old approach) they are just dead lucky. “Oh Lucky Arsenal; lucky lucky lucky lucky Arsenal”. How long since we heard that song?
So in this regard nothing changes at all. The more we win, the more we are told we should not be winning, it won’t last, it’s a trick of the light…
And yet, and yet…
Football does change. I mean who would have predicted that someone in Chelsea would have the insight and imagination to try something other than banning orders on the racists in the Chelsea support? Not me, for sure. But we are told Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, has announced that they will be saying to their racist supporters, “We can ban you or you can spend some time with our diversity officers, understanding what you did wrong.”
It seems Chelsea had a delegation at Auschwitz for the annual March of the Living back in April, and the plan has developed. The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust and the Football Supporters Federation’ are supportive of the idea, I am told. And let’s hope it works. With such mentalities anything is worth a try.
So yes, change can happen. But here it happened because people took an initiative. What doesn’t change is the crass reporting of football by blogs, TV, radio and the press, which just follows the same old same old approach all the time. I can remember Merson ranting against Arsenal when he first joined Sky. He’s still saying much the same.
The media don’t even learn when they get it wrong. Just look at
- “Thierry Henry favourite to take over as Aston Villa manager” Guardian
- “Thierry Henry & John Terry ‘perfect pair’ for Aston Villa” BBC
- “Aston Villa: Thierry Henry and Rui Faria on shortlist” BBC
- “Thierry Henry set to be offered Aston Villa job and take John Terry with him” Daily Mail
In a sense I wouldn’t mind too much if the media that ran such false news then apologised and put the source of their fake reports in the stocks. I know we don’t have many of the old stocks left but there are a few – there is one in the village of Brixworth about 15 miles from my house, so there must be a few others about.
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- Womens Champions League Arsenal Women v Juventus – the match preview