By Tony Attwood
“Are Arsenal shedding the condescending tag of ‘neutrals’ favourite’ and becoming a team people love to hate again?”
So asks an article in the Telegraph. It is a bit of an odd question because as far as I can see Arsenal are the team that journalists love to hate. Not people; journalists. There is a difference.
Let’s see how it goes. From the same article that asked that question about “love to hate” we also get this:
“Unai Emery’s Arsenal earned a creditable seven points from fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Huddersfield last week, but also collected a startling 11 yellow cards.”
“Startling” is the key word.
Here is the yellow card chart for the season, not for a three game run…
|Rank||Club||Yellow cards totoal|
West Ham United
Brighton and Hove Albion
So Arsenal are fourth. If that makes Arsenal the club that people love to hate presumably the same is true of the other clubs in the top five at least – which are separated by one card. The 10th club in the table – Bournemouth, the club journalists love to love have only had five fewer cards than Arsenal.
But is this noted? No – this is a journalist who often (not always but often) only counts one game at a time. No investigation as to why that game was so heavy with cards, but instead we are back to Sky Sports of 15 years ago when they used to say “That is Arsenal’s 30th card of the season” and the puppet panel members would sit their shaking their heads saying “shocking” without ever asking how many cards any other team had.
Actually though, the whole piece is rather funny, as it says “Suspensions to Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis give Arsenal a very real problem in the short-term, with ring-rusty Laurent Koscielny their only available centre-back for a trip to Southampton.”
I would refer the honourable gentleman to my previous article for Arsenal have so many defenders it is hard to give them all a game.
Anyway the gent in question is “Sport social media editor” for the Telegraph Daniel Zeqiri. His last two articles for the old rear admirals daily have been
How Arsenal rediscovered their bite and embraced the dark arts
Arsenal suffered Granit Xhaka cold turkey at Old Trafford – the imperfect midfielder they now rely on
and just before that
Unai Emery: ‘Arsenal were in decline and had lost defensive structure’
These are not exactly positive in any regards, the most positive thing he’s said about Arsenal is that “there will be those who welcome some bellicosity,” in relation to the number of recent yellow cards.
He adds, “‘Arsenal’s red card SHAME’ was once a staple headline in the early years of the Arsene Wenger era, when they made a habit of winning points with 10 men.
“There were even stories, possibly apocryphal, of Arsenal training with 10 players such was the likelihood of a sending off.”
Possibly apocryphal??? And any thought on the referees and PGMO???
Or shall we go back and see how many reds Arsenal actually got during the Wenger years compared with other teams? Shall we just once talk about the strange doings of the PGMO during that era and their rulings about what journalists must not talk about? Perhaps not. But here’s an interesting thing…
“Their reputation shifted dramatically post-2006, but are Arsenal shedding the condescending tag of ‘neutrals’ favourite’ and becoming a team people love to hate again?”
Now why did the reputation shift? What happened around 2006? Of course I don’t make connections without any solid evidence, but one thing that happened was that Untold Arsenal started writing about perfidious journalists and their awful newspapers.
- Arsenal – the “monster” Manchester City created (according to reports)
- Manchester City v Arsenal: The Big 7 Stats, and comparisons of the last 6 games
- Manchester City v Arsenal: surprising statistics and a result prediction
- Arsenal’s 25 man squad – is it already full?
- Yet another example of the way the media tries to put down Arsenal