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There might be a clue here as to why we shouldn’t trust the media

By Tony Attwood

You might recall that I have often passed comment on the way that Football.London – the Daily Mirror’s website, churns out an Arsenal story every 10 minutes.  I meant that as a warning, but sadly some have now taken it as a blueprint.   This is the log this morning from the bloggetta This is Futbol…

The timings shown at the end of each line are interesting in their regularity…

Don’t trust him’ – BBC pundit savages Arsenal player who has ‘a problem’ after defeat to SpursThis Is Futbol 07:09

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What was he thinking? – Redknapp claims Emery made huge blunder in Arsenal v Tottenham clash
This Is Futbol 06:29
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These Arsenal fans drool over ‘World class’ ace after ‘Obscene’, ‘Sensational’ display v Spurs

This Is Futbol 06:09

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‘Worst…I’ve ever watched in Arsenal shirt’ – Many fans slaughter ‘Fraud’ for display v Spurs

This Is Futbol 05:29The world class display they refer to came from Ramsay – the player who is of course about to leave – thus the praise is a way of going on the attack from a different front.

It is not just that they are republishing the story over and over again with different headlines but an analysis of the most read stories on one of the news accumulator sites shows that all four of these stories are in the most read stories on the news accumulator site.

It is, in short, a deliberate and seemingly very successful attempt to sway public opinion against an Arsenal player and spread anti-Arsenal propoganda.

During the last couple of years of the Wegner era I made the point on a few occasions that one possible way to read the anti-Wenger rhetoric that was published day after day, was to see it not as a genuine reflection of the view of the majority of fans but rather a way to destabilise the club through removing the manager.  Worse, since it was seemingly successful, it could be tried again.

Obviously it was hard to run such a tactic when Arsenal were on a 22 match unbeaten run, although some blogs and newspapers did stop referring to the run after a while and instead talked of imagined problems in the club, but now with two defeats in a row, the opportunity is there and is seized.

The charitable view of This Is Futbol is that they are publishing the same story over and over because it gets readership and they are simply interested in getting clicks on their adverts.  Maybe that is so and maybe they don’t have any interest in Arsenal at all.   But the range and persistance of the attacks that we saw over a number of years against Mr Wenger (who was let us not forget Arsenal’s most successful manager ever in terms of League titles won, FA Cups won and win percentage across all games played) suggested that the bloggettas and newspapers felt they were onto a good story.

Of course if Mr Emery can turn the team around after two defeats and build another solid run everything will be fine, but otherwise I suspect we will see the Football London and This is Futbol tactic being used in multiple places.    Even if we don’t see demands inside and outside the stadium for the present manager’s removal, the forces that like to destabilise Arsenal will be on the move once again.

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All runs in football come to an end, of course.  But that is not really the issue.  It is how quickly the club recovers from a couple of defeats after a good run that is the real measure.

As we all know we have had 22 unbeaten, and now two defeats.   If we then pick up the run again, that’s great and there is still the FA Cup and Europa to play for plus the fourth is not a trophy spot.   And this picking up after the run will be a measure both of where the club is and how effective the anti-Arsenal campaigning is at the moment.

Last December Arsenal went nine games undefeated.  There were a number of draws in the run, but still it was an undefeated run.  But then we had seven defeats in the next 13 games including losing the League Cup final, and the media assault on the club was overwhelming.

Such runs of defeats can occur for many reasons, but one of them is psychological.  Just as players get into the “winning habit” and never have any doubt they will win, so they can go into the reverse, stop playing naturally and overthink everything.

We then had six successive wins in March last season, and despite the media suggesting that Burnley would get sixth place either forcing Arsenal out of Europe or at best making us play preliminary matches in July, there was never really any chance of that.

But those suggestions, which were published day after day, were oft repeated and were clearly aimed at stirring up more and more trouble for the club.

The question is, will the “This is Futbol” approach, which as I say, has been picked up from Football London, now be picked up by others.   Will the anti-Arsenal attacks that so marked last season resume full time?

If so, the club is going to need to be incredibly strong, and be able to hold its nerve.  And it wouldn’t be a bad thing for the club psychologist to be put on overtime to explain to the players that they are not just up against the opposition but also a continuous stream of attacks on the club.

 

7 comments to There might be a clue here as to why we shouldn’t trust the media

  • Pat

    Thanks for alerting us and geeing us up, Tony. We have to remember even about yesterday’s match, where our playing had a number of weaknesses, partly because of our defensive injuries, we could still easily have won if one of our shots had gone in. We were definitely unlucky in that respect. Lots of neat misses, and of course the one where our player was held back and Moss ‘missed’ it.

    I am worried that we are still on the end of poor refereeing decisions and that this could affect player morale. There were a few yesterday.

    Our players need our support!

  • Pat

    Should be near misses!

  • Yiannis

    I have hidden ‘This is Futbol’ and ‘Football London’ as well as others from my News Now Arsenal accumulator long time ago. After I send them a mail complaining of their habit to put an Arsenal player on the firing squad after every game and I received no answer, I just send them to hell.

  • MickHazel

    Alan Smith was his usual self last night, full of enthusiasm in his praise of anything good done by the Spuds but finding it extremely difficult to do the same when Arsenal did something praise worthy. He had a willing accomplice in the main commentator whoever that was who shouted exitedly every time Spuds got near our goal. I am sure he wet his pants when they scored. What is it with Smith, he is the same one who used to play for us isn’t he! Also someone should explain to him the fact that just because the ball is won does not rule out the possibility that it was a foul tackle. He is supposed to provide expert comment but does not even know the rules.

  • Bobome

    The AFC fan sphere needs to hold strong and resolute in the face of such attacks. A good team doesn’t suddenly go bad. Emery and the boys need a lot of time to really understand the new philosophy of playing. Let us be patient, really patient and know that we would be delusional if we believe AFC would go from 6th on the table last season to 1st or 2nd this season.

    If we manage 4th that would be a bonus. Time is on our side to build on what Arsene left behind. 2 seasons of hard work will get us to the ‘4th is-not-a-trophy-zone’. Until then we should keep supporting the team no matter their travails in the buildup to it.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    There is no doubt that the Gunners are currently looking to have fallen into the state of slumbers at Arsenal in their last 2 matches in the PL and in the Carabao Cup during which us Gooners had seen them got beating twice in succession, at away and at home in the PL to Southampton last Sunday. And yesterday at the Ems, they lost to Tottenham Hotspur in this season’s Carabao Cup quarter final match. This is a sad result for the Gunners and us Gooners.

    Consequently, Unai Emery, the Gunners head coach should go back to the drawing board to take another look at his training sessions regime for the Gunners at London Colney, and reaccess his training regime for them holistically. So that the inefficiency or should I say the profigancy in front of the opponent teams goalmouth by the Gunners that characterized their Carabao Cup match at home against Tottenham Hs can be eliminated with immediate effect with positive effect from their match home against Burnley on Saturday in the PL. So that on our own part as Arsenal supporters, we will stop going through the kind of anguish we were subjected to go through yesterday by the Gunners as Arsenal lost 0-2 to Tottenham at the Ems watched by thousands iipon thousand Arsenal fans at the Ems and on the TV worldwide.

    Arsenal are big North London club who should be winning matches more especially when playing at home in any competition, Arsenal should be playing big tp leave up to their name and win big.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    There is no doubt that the Gunners are currently looking to have fallen into the state of slumbers at Arsenal in their last 2 matches in the PL and in the Carabao Cup during which us Gooners had seen them got beaten twice in succession, at away and at home in the PL to Southampton last Sunday. And yesterday at the Ems, they lost to Tottenham Hotspur in this season’s Carabao Cup quarter final match. This is a sad result for the Gunners and us Gooners.

    Consequently, Unai Emery, the Gunners head coach should go back to the drawing board to take another look at his training sessions regime for the Gunners at London Colney, and reaccess his training regime for them holistically. So that the inefficiency or should I say the profigancy in front of the opponent teams goalmouth by the Gunners that characterized their Carabao Cup match lose at home against Tottenham Hs yesterday can be eliminated with immediate positive effect with the positive taking effect from their home match against Burnley on Saturday in the PL. So that on our own part as Arsenal supporters, we will stop going through the kind of anguish we were subjected to go through yesterday by the Gunners as Arsenal lost 0-2 to Tottenham at the Ems which was watched by thousands upon thousands of Arsenal fans at the Ems and on the TV worldwide.

    Arsenal are a big North London giants club side who should be winning matches more especially when playing at home in any competition, Arsenal should be playing big to leave up to their name and win big.