By Tony Attwood
It has taken Arsenal.com quite a long time to realise that it is a website used by Arsenal supporters in a media environment in which everything Arsenal does is considered to be appallingly awful, mismanaged, stupid and quite often pathetic.
The media achieve this of course by focussing on Arsenal slips and errors as if the club was the only one that makes slips and errors. A poor Arsenal performance is seen as symptomatic of the club in contrast with every other team that always prepares better and does better. The implication is always clear – Arsenal were rubbish, and everyone else is brilliant.
So it was rather refreshing this morning to read on Arsenal.com this comment after it had published the draw for the quarter finals of the league cup.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup… or maybe even in Europe later this season. Arsenal v Spurs is always a huge game.”
Yes indeed, maybe even in Europe because Tottenham the wonder team’s position in their champions league group is
which might well mean we could meet in the Europa.
Still, Tottenham will at least be grateful that the quarter final of the League Cup will be played on grass (in that it is to be played at Arsenal Stadium) and not on mud and bumps at Wembley.
Last night at the Stadium we did our usual ploy of changing seats, given that season tickets aren’t valid for the League Cup, taking up a position in the third row dead centre in the East Upper.
It’s interesting how different is the behaviour in each part of the ground. Where I sit in the East (front row in line with the 18 yard line at the edge of the penalty area) when a goal is scored everyone leaps to their feet and cheers. Here, dead centre in what are normally the more expensive seats, people don’t even have the energy to get up when the ball goes in.
Ah well, each to his own. We certainly did get up and applaud. Scowls all round.
As expected the Blackpool fans numbered around 1500 and had the smallest segment of the away section possible. Some of them had done their homework and found the one really decent pub in the area for a meal and drink before the game – joining us in the Swimmer, and being suitably amazed at the size of the portions of food. It’s normally just an Arsenal pub, but of course no problem given the small number of people coming to the game.
And the game… not one of the best by any means, but I wonder, in years to come what people will think of our current run. Will they imagine how excitedly the newspapers and blogs commented on the games as the unbeaten run continued? If so, and if they ever looked up the commentaries, they would be bemused.
|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|
|15 Sep 2018||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|20 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava||W||4-2||Europa League|
|23 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Everton||W||2-0||Premier League|
|26 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Brentford||W||3-1||League Cup 3|
|29 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Watford||W||2-0||Premier League|
|04 Oct 2018||FK Qarabağ v Arsenal||W||0-3||Europa League|
|07 Oct 2018||Fulham v Arsenal||W||1-5||Premier League|
|22 Oct 2018||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||3-1||Premier League|
|25 Oct 2018||Sporting Clube v Arsenal||W||0-1||Europa League|
|28 Oct 2018||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||D||2-2||Premier League|
|31 Oct 2018||Arsenal v Blackpool||W||2-1||League Cup 4|
13 games, 12 wins, one draw. Not too bad.
But no, the rule is don’t reflect on anything beyond the negatives in the last match. Not even the league table. Come to that not even the fact that we have a stadium that looks good, that works, and which didn’t see us playing on a mud heap or travelling to Milton Keynes for matches. Here’s the table just in case you have forgotten. Not perfect, but still, not too bad considering the predictions made by the media at the start of the season.
What we had confirmed last night was the fact that Smith Rowe is going to be the most sensational of players as Maitland Niles already is showing with his calmness and willingness and ability to play anywhere. And to keep players of that ilk we need to win a few things. The League Cup, although not the most important of competitions by any means, would be a good place to start.
And mentioning Tottenham as I have done in passing, it is intereting that now, for the first time, a commentary is opening up on the dispute between Tottenham and the local council about the development around the Tottenham ground and the sense of fear that some local residents have.
The argument comes from the fact that in 2015 the local council took the decision not to allow Tottenham Hotspur to be in charge of the development around the ground. What Tottenham wanted was to knock down a whole council estate to create a walkway between WHL train station and the ground. But the council has been moving homeless people into the houses that others have left. I won’t go into details, but if you know the area or are interested in the bits surrounding Tottenham’s development tactics and plans you might find this article of interest. It is one of the articles that shows that when a newspaper wants to dig deep and give some real insight it can. It just doesn’t bother to do it much when it comes to reporting football.
Anyway, its them we play next in the League Cup. Let’s hope its a better game than last night. At least the stadium ought to be fairly full, especially at tickets from £10 each. Even for Tottenham supporters. I bet they can’t believe their luck, given the prices they normally pay.
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