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
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
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?
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3: ‘Sold a lie’ – Some Arsenal fans bemoan state of club after rival’s ‘monster’ signing
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.
6: Arsenal to reject loan offer for star player: Reportedly demand €50m to complete sale
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’
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.
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
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?