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Why is the Arsenal news always so negative, minute after minute, day after day?

by Tony Attwood

Here are 10 headlines from stories that all appeared within about two hours of each other.  All have strong negative connotations.  All are about Arsenal.

And I wonder why – why are we getting all these stories (most of which are either untrue or highly convoluted with the clear intent of giving us a negative impression of Arsenal’s management and players) all the time?  Hour after hour.  Even when the story after the headline is not itself particularly negative, or in some cases is just plain daft.

Here we go…

1:  Nigeria players reportedly want Alex Iwobi dropped Daily Cannon 

This story isn’t actually totally negative – as in so many cases it is a negative headline over a very ordinary tale.  It is about the choice of forwards for Nigeria and whether in forthcoming matches the side needs a winger who ploughs down the wing or one who actually comes inside.

But of course the use of the word “dropped” is what makes it sound negative.  Players are “dropped” because they are not performing.  What is being discussed here is a tactical change, but a rather misleading headline is being used.

2:  ‘He is dead to us!’ – Lots of Arsenal fans still divided over ‘underrated’ striker Gunnersphere

This is a rather convoluted story about Giroud, and his attitude towards Arsenal fans, his performances while he played for us, and his performances at Chelsea.

But I must admit the negative is so convoluted I can’t quite follow it.  Giroud played 180 games for Arsenal and scored 73, a rate of 41%, but has played 40 games for Chelsea and scored five, a rate of 12.5%.   Besides which selling Giroud was part of the arrangements that brought in Aubameyang and Lacazette, so what is their to moan about?

3: ‘Sold a lie’ – Some Arsenal fans bemoan state of club after rival’s ‘monster’ signing Gunnersphere 

This story from the same source as article two, relates to “Arsenal’s relatively bleak standing within English football” which the writer claims “became clearer overnight as rivals Spurs edged closer to a £65m signing.”

The first point to make is that Arsenal are also being touted by those who make up transfer tales, of making big signings themselves – as anyone reading Untold knows, only 3% of transfer rumours are true.   Second, Tottenham also made transfer news big time last summer by spending nothing.  And this transfer is, at the time of writing, just a rumour.  Although the comment mentions the lack of signings last year, they seem to be saying something else in the follow up comment which is all a bit odd…

“As supporters lamented Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium – which subsequently saw a period of restricted investment at the club – Tottenham’s first signing for over a year comes just months after belatedly moving to a new stadium of their own.”

Yes, Arsenal did have a period of austerity after the move, but didn’t stop spending.  What really caused the problem was Chelsea’s arrival as big time spenders which meant that they not only overtook Arsenal but forced up all transfer fees.

But really there are two issues here.  One is that the writer has taken one transfer rumour of Tottenham and ignored all the rumours of players moving to Arsenal (over 60 players rumoured so far this summer), and the other is that nothing has happened yet.

It is in fact a case of such systematic selection of fantasies to fit a desired negative outcome one really begins to wonder about the logic of all this.  Maybe we should look at the trophy record of late and compare Tottenham’s pots with Arsenal’s since 2006 when Arsenal moved and took on all their debt.

Arsenal have won the FA Cup three times and Tottenham have won nothing.  Is that worth mentioning?

4: ‘We’ve spent more than Arsenal!’ – Chelsea fans delighted at shock Mateo Kovacic deal. Football.London

This really is getting odd.  This is the rumour that Chelsea have signed Mateo Kovacic on a permanent deal, having had him on loan last season.  He played 32 times last season and given that Chelsea are currently banned because of their misdemeanours from signing anyone, it seems a bit of a weird thing to celebrate even if true.  But that’s FootLond for you.  Chelsea good, Arsenal bad.

5:  Ornstein update: Lucas Torreira and Jason Rosenfeld Arseblog

In fact this isn’t a negative story at all, but other blogs (not Arseblog I hasten to say) have been churning out so many negatives about Torreira and him leaving Arsenal that any update seems like a negative.  Not Arseblog’s fault at all, but the fault of the endless “Torreira leaving” stories that have been circulating.  It just shows the cumulative effect.

What Arseblog actually says is of Torreira is, “We’re told contrary to some reports, [he] is not unhappy and Arsenal have no desire to sell him, although every player has their price.   Milan who he’s been heavily linked with are keen on him, but they are not pursuing him because they have other targets.”

My point then is that having read the previous five pieces one starts to assume this is going to be another negative, and that “every player has his price” comment then feeds into other pieces, as we shall see.

6: Arsenal to reject loan offer for star player: Reportedly demand €50m to complete sale Daily Cannon

And immediately we have another Torreira story, which starts, “Arsenal aren’t interested in a loan-to-buy deal for Lucas Torreira and they’d want at least €50m to sell him, according to reports.”

So the implication is that Torreira might go if the price is right.   Which then takes us back to the Arseblog comment “every player has their price”.  Leaving aside the grammatical inexactitude (which is always a good idea given the number inexactitudes I come up with) the fact is that we have no indication that Arsenal will now let Torreira go, or that the player would want to go, no matter what the price.  But the suggestion is, they might.

And that shows weakness.  Other clubs, we might be told, would not bow to such pressure, but Arsenal… well Arsenal can be pushed around.

7: Borussia Dortmund ‘tell Arsenal asking price for Julian Weigl’   Daily Mail

In this tale the point is made that “The £27m asking price would represent as sizable chunk of Unai Emery’s budget” – so poor Arsenal might not be able to buy even at this price because “Unai Emery faces competition from PSG to land £27m-rated defender.”   It’s more of the same.  Arsenal being pushed around.

8: Arsenal transfer insider reveals what he was told about Shkodran Mustafi’s Gunners future Daily and Sunday Express

And what he was told is, “ARSENAL insider David Ornstein insists Unai Emery has run out of confidence in Shkodran Mustafi and could sell the German this summer.”   So here again it is all a disaster – the players we have got are no good.  The manager has run out of confidence.

9:   Watch: Ornstein makes us feel sorry for Mustafi in Arsenal transfer update Planet Football

It is the same story as number 8 above.

10: Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles leaves fans fuming with revelation – Traitor.  Daily Star.

And so it goes on and on.  Here, the Star presents a video of Maitland-Niles playing a game of Favourites and is asked what he favourite stadium is.  He replies “Old Trafford.”

OK if you think that is important, then that’s your way of seeing the world.  I am not sure one answer in a children’s game tells us anything, and certainly not something to make the lead in an article, but I suppose if the agenda is totally “Let’s knock Arsenal” and “Let’s undermine Arsenal” then you do write it.

But here’s a thought… “Why is this remorseless knocking of Arsenal going on minute after minute, hour after hour?   The effect is easy to see – it makes those who have a limited amount of resolve and no sense of perspective get agitated.  In that regard it is very effective.

But why?  Why do it all the time hour after hour, day after day, to Arsenal?  I mean if Arsenal are that naff, why the need to keep telling us about it?

13 comments to Why is the Arsenal news always so negative, minute after minute, day after day?

  • Les Martin

    Very likely the media outlets suffer from journo dementia this type of disease is related to spuditis a form of malignant delusional behaviour .

  • AKH

    It would appear that much of what is written is merely recycled garbage, containing little or no actual real information or analyses concerning the current state of play at Arsenal FC, both on and off the pitch.

    Arseblog suggests that the following twitter account: SwissRamble (https://twitter.com/SwissRamble) could be of interest to those who are keen to review the changing patterns of Arsenal finance since 2009 up to the current time.

    Looking at the presented data from SwissRamble, there might well be be strong positive correlation between the state of current financial planning of Arsenal F C with KSE controlling interest. Bearing in mind that the Kroenke family are major property developers, for me the future on the field is looking bleak.

  • gee

    Good post.
    I always knew that the MSM had an interest in keeping Arsenal news negative and agitated but thanks for pointing out the role that Arsenal bloggers have in all of this. From AFTV, Le Grove, Arsenal Truth they all seem to use this tactic at different levels. Real shame. Its good to be critical with the hope that you may be able build something constructive from that criticism but it seems these Arsenal bloggers are in it for the hits. Now we have this overly negative cloud that follows the average Arsenal supporter and even influences their moods as they see no sunny outlook, all grey clouds.
    So from now i am going to try to find the positive and concentrate on those.

  • goonersince72

    Here’s the negative news about Arsenal, Tony. KSE are still the owners. They will not spend. Period. That and it seems those they have in charge of the club are just not up to the task. I’ve been a supporter for a long time and have gone through the many ups and downs. That’s what it’s like for long term supporters. I accept it.
    What I don’t accept is dishonesty from the owners and management. AFC are barely a top six team. They will not get into the top four with this squad and apparent funds available. And yet they insist they are ambitious for titles, home and in Europe. That is just a lie. KSE are in it for the money. They’ll stay as long as there is profit to be made. Arsenal being an established PL team with somewhat of a global brand, they can eke out a profit for a while yet until their penury and disinterest undermine 125 years of respectability.

    Hey KSE! Just admit you’re a mid table team. Everton with a bit of flair if you will. You won’t compete financially with the oligarchs and oil money or teams leveraged to the max. Just admit who you are and will be for the foreseeable future. At least then the supporters can take pride in your honesty. There’s little else at this point. Yes, the past is glorious. The present is frustrating and the future, demoralising.

    I’m a supporter and always will be. This too shall pass. I’m just concerned I might not be alive to see it.

  • markyb

    Everton with flair? Not sure where you saw the flair at the end of last season. I feel it could get worse under this Management.

  • goonersince72

    PEA and Lacazette

  • omgarsenal

    Goonersince72…..I don’t see where all your pessimism is justified! We are in a period of readjustment and integration of new youth and academy players, as well as major changes to playing style and tactical adjustments as well. KSE take almost nothing from the club compared to other owners but they don’t add much either. I’d prefer that situation to what Chelsea and City may face in the immediate future. At least we don’t depend on the magnanimity of distant, almost invisible owners to maintain our competitiveness.

    I cannot guarantee you’ll be alive to see the Arsenal win the CL, the EPL and everything in between but you’ll definitely be alive to see them play the beautiful game for many years to come.

  • Gord

    OT: Corruption in Sport

    LawInSport has a summary (list) of corruption news across a lot of different sports. Sort of interesting to see how discipline is treated in different sports. An Aussie Rules player was suspended for 22 games (12 suspended) and fined $20,000 ASD for making 3 bets totalling $36ASD. The (sweet) FA probably would have done nothing.

    https://www.lawinsport.com/sports-law-news/item/interpol-integrity-in-sport-bi-weekly-bulletin-18-june-2019-1-july-2019?category_id=136

  • Gord

    OT: Tactical Efficiency in Football

    https://phys.org/news/2019-07-women-mentactical-efficiency-football.html

    I don’t know when this study will be finished, it would be nice to see a write up then.

  • Gord

    OT: Womens’s World Cup and Arsenal Women

    Nice article, which talks about Arsenal and why you might find many players from a single league team on a national side.

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/football-dutch-arsenal-connection-gunning-for-world-cup-glory-11681886

    Sorry that some of those Dutch players are no longer with Arsenal Women. But, best of luck to those who moved on; as as to those that stayed here!

  • Onyi Onyekwere

    It seems the amount of negative stories, or headlines aimed at Arsenal increases on a daily basis. Most seems to target the fans with the underlying purpose of demoralising them; but a lot are directed at players. One minute, you would think Torreira and Aubameyang were itching to leave the club, the next its a fire sale of all the first team players. And don’t get me started on our transfer budget (mentioned a gazillion times for effect). Despite how irritating all this negativity gets, I take solace reading Untold. Now let me go gear myself up for all the crap that will be said about Yacine Brahimi to put him and the fans off.

  • colario

    @ Gord. Thanks for the links.

  • goonersince72

    omgarsenal –

    Thanks for the cheer up on my mortality! My pessimism comes from the ownership. As I said earlier, KSE will not put any money into the club. I’d guess one of the reasons Kroenke bought the club was the self-sustaining guidelines under which they operate. “Gee they won’t even expect me to invest” I can hear him say. But even the staggering amount of TV money can’t keep a club successful when a bang average player costs 50 million, FFS. Even the most optimistic supporter would agree Arsenal need more than one player this go round. Replacing Ramsay is a big ask. And yet, with a purported budget of 45 million or so, the club tells you they’re competing for trophies. Which ones exactly? The League Cup perhaps. ‘We’ll raise money by selling players’, you might say. That’s a laugh. The clubs largest sale to date, I believe, was Oxlade-Chamberlain and I don’t think that was more than 35. The only players that might attract a large fee are the ones you need to keep. AFC does not have an excess of talent today.
    So, I feel as if the owners and management are lying to keep supporters. Just say “this is what we can afford”, “this is what you can expect”. So, they won’t win the PL, or the CL or anything for that matter. I can live with that if they adhere to the self-sustaining model. Even respect it. But I have no respect for this lot of liars that leach money out of the club and reap the benefit of owning an AFC they had no hand in building or sustaining.

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