Football is changing, although most of the time it doesn’t look like it.

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.

9 Replies to “Football is changing, although most of the time it doesn’t look like it.”

  1. What a load of nonsense. Just enjoy the fact we have our Arsenal back. I see praise for us everywhere and that is because we have a new coach who has shaken things up.

  2. Pray what ‘praise’? You probably meant pummeling. Whatever, the piece is about changes in football from the Blog’s perspective on the masthead.

  3. We had an old coach that won 3 FA Cups, came 2nd 3rd and 4th in the Premier League, as well as winning 3 Community Shields, over a 4 year period.

    So what Arsenal do we have back exactly?

    —The one from 2013/14 in which we came 4th in the Premier League and won the FA Cup ?

    —The one from 2014/15 in which we came 3rd in the Premier League and won the FA Cup and just as a little extra beat mega bucks Man city 3 – 0 in the Community Shield ?

    —The one from 2015/16 in which we came 2nd in the prmier league loosing out to shock winners Liecster City, but somehow despite being so crap finishing above mega rich Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea in the Premier league, as well as beating Chelsea in the Community Shield ?

    —The one from 2016/17 in which we won the FA Cup and came 5th in the premier League, un fortuneatly missing out on a top 4 finish for the first time in 17 yeras by 1 point.

    And lets not forget that Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea went in to that 4 year period on the back of spending in excess of an average £30 to £5o Million, net, per season, for over 10 years, a 10 year period over which Arsenals net spend was zero until the purchase of Ozil.

    Shame we didn’t see many signs of people ‘just enjoying’ that did we.

    As much as I enjoyed Sundays win it is the first time we’ve been really impressive, so despite loving it and watching the highlights dozens of times, and walking around with a stupid grin on my face and an extra spring in my step, I’m not getting carried away just yet.

    But equally I wouldn’t be whinging and whining should results of not gone quite so well.

    But the reason for this post, and what really gets my goat, is the insinuation that for the last God knows how many years, despite all the above, Arsenal have been shite.

    Yes, I know LAST YEAR wasn’t great but at the end of the day we won exactly the same as Liverpool, Spurs and Man Utd……Nothing, because as we all know, top 4 is NOT a trophy.

    And not only did the magnificent Liverpool and Spurs win nothing last year, but they’ve won nothing for over 10 years, and no titles for over 25 and 50 years respectively.

    Shaken things up you say? Well maybe maybe not. But if Emery can give us 4 years anything like the 4 years I have cited above I will be more than happy.

    But more than that, I will be amazed.

  4. Polo

    Thank you.

    Indeed we did, but although mentioning them I tried to avoid actually referring to them as actual ‘trophies’ per se, given the problem we have had even getting the FA Cup counted as a trophy.

    Off hand, throw away comments dismissing Wenger and those successful years as if they never even happened make me sick, especially when they come from the likes of clockerz who’s an Arsenal fan.

    It’s bad enough the media discredit and down play it to the point of it never happening, let alone our own fans.

    I’m still looking forwarding to hearing what ‘old’ Arsenal exactly clockerz was referring to.

  5. Nitram,
    I’m hoping cockerz isn’t referring to the ‘Old Arsenal’ I grew up with.
    Where although we’d have a good try (maybe even some success) every 4 or 5 years, we’d be outside the top 6 for at least a year or two between each run.
    I remember well the depression of being a mid-table team on the down years, although there was a slight comfort knowing that many other teams would suffer relegation in their down years…

  6. @ Nitram, I understand your point and frustration. Most of us here know they were good achievements considering how much the other top teams were spending to win the PL.

    At the moment it’s ‘old Arsenal’ early next year it could be ‘same old, same old Arsenal’.

  7. Despite what has been written about Arsenal’s performance against Fulham. I think our performance against Chelsea was better. The fact that we lost is not important. It was the way we played with guile & skill that showed the quality of Unai Emery’s coaching. Our finishing was unlucky on the day but our performance was exhilarating.

    I like the fact that we do not show mercy after getting to a winning position, but continue to go for the jugular. It is what sets professionalism apart from charitable. I hope we continue with the same mentality against every team we play.

  8. @ Menace – 12/10/2018 – I agree , we should real fighting spirit against Chelsea . Similarly , I was very impressed with our performance against Man Utd at home last season , although we lost. In both games , we did our best , but some bad luck and their doggedness , earned them the points.

Comments are closed.