By Tony Attwood
If ever proof were needed that the media really does like to knock Arsenal but finds it nigh on impossible to be positive about the club we only have to look at the coverage of Arsenal these last few weeks.
By way of background we might remember that last season when Arsenal lost the first two games, everywhere one turned there was shock and horror followed by raging stories about how Arsenal were 17th (league tables endlessly printed) and more than likely to lose the third game (against West Ham) and that the last time Arsenal lost the opening three was…. Well, different writers disagreed as to when it was that Arsenal lost the opening three, but it was maybe 50 years ago. Or perhaps 70. Or maybe 90. Anyway it was lots.
Of course as it happened, Arsenal did not lose the third game at the start of 2018/19, and instead went on a rather nifty unbeaten run that lasted almost until Christmas. The shock-horror stories had to be set aside for another day.
Then having put the club down week after week after week, the media waited with festering anticipation for the start of this season. For having been made to look utter mugs by giving mass publicity to the story from the Arsenal Supporters Trust, Black Scarf, Arseblog and others, that Arsenal only had £40m to spend on transfer fees they have been desperate to let people forget how wrong they had been. And two straight wins at the start of the campaign was the last thing the anti-Arsenal Arsenal wanted.
They did have another bash at Arsenal with the Iwobi tale, in which apparently Arsenal let him got for £25m less than they should have got (forgetting that some negativists had been saying Arsenal should just give him away as the player was so awful.) At first it was suggested that deficit had only £20m, or was it £15m, or maybe nothing since the whole story was based on a notional value for Iwobi, nothing more. And besides we really had been told he should be sold for nothing. But based on the notion that their readers are idiots with the memory span of a gnat, same papers took our loss up and up.
Also there was the ongoing story that we were stupid in not having sold Mustafi. And then suddenly it appeared that we were crazy for letting Reine-Adelaide go when any moron could have seen that he was worth £millions… With as ever, no one ever bothering to research how many players other top teams have let go from their youth setup who later became superstars elsewhere.
Oh and in case you missed it, the result was Aston Villa 1-5 Arsenal U-18s
And that is the point – no one does proper research. That is the point that we raised concerning the AST moaning and whining about the empty seats at the stadium, as much as we did about their nonsense of a £40m budget for transfers which was researched by their accountant – who I trust has now been sacked. How many empty seats are there actually, and how does this compare with other stadia? They haven’t bothered to do the research, but well, maybe that’s for the best as the answer would probably have been 65,000.
Then the point is raised – why does Untold bang on and on and on about it? And the answer is simple – because very few other people do – it is why we are “Untold”. The negative stories are here day after day after day – often with blogs and papers running two or three such tales a day (or in FoLo’s case one every half hour), but when Untold runs a positive story, we are the ones who get rubbished!
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So with Arsenal winning the first two games of this season, it was perhaps not surprising that no one in the media or on the blogs made much of it. Two wins, so what?
Of course there might be a temptation to say that this season was easy – we have played teams we were expected to beat. Well, ok. But if that is the case, surely there was no excuse for the mass celebrations in the media for our two defeats last year. We had a new manager who had no previous experience of the English league and who was struggling with the language. And we were playing two teams that were, at the time, seemingly stable top four clubs with access to absolute mountains of money, the likes of which Arsenal had never had.
If we lose next weekend it will come as a great relief to the media, for they will be able to forget the embarrasment of those childish “only £40m to spend” and change the tale to the fact that Arsenal spent £95m but still haven’t got a decent defence. If we win away to Liverpool, even then it won’t be a joyous rebuilt Arsenal that is commented upon. We will have ground out a result, and Liverpool, having played deep into the end of season with their Champions League final, and then being “forced” to play the traditional extra game for the winners, at the start of this season, were “tired”.
Also they didn’t spend as much in the transfer window as we did (forgetting what they spent the summer before).
It’s a lose-lose situation for Arsenal.
So, it seems, nothing much has changed. Except this season we won the first two league games. Which I rather enjoyed.
The top four…
|4||Brighton and Hove Albion||2||1||1||0||4||1||3||4|
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