By Sir Hardly Anyone
“Man United will finish in the top four but Arsenal are battling for sixth’.”
Quite well known for being arrested in 2008 for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill his wife and mother of his children, he has since left such matters behind and subsequently focussed on the more legal and less frightening task of attacking Arsenal instead.
Indeed he is the symbol of the AAA, as he provides the anti-Arsenal propaganda that just keep on rolling day after day, hour after….
He first rose to fame as a commentator of outrageous bonkersness not to mention offensiveness as the Sky Sport pundit who compared Arsenal’s defending to Nazi genocide. That comment came out in August 2011 and even the fanatical right wing press in that had supported the rise of the far right in England before the second world war, felt that despite heir degraded standards, that was now going a bit too far.
Since then, day by day, if you read a headline concerning an “explanation” as to why “Arsenal fans should be worried” you can be pretty sure there is a Cascarino behind it.
One of his constant mindless meanders concerns Bernd Leno whom he considers to be the weak link in Arsenal (that is when he is not deciding it is someone else, like the manager, or the board, or the rest of the team). Headlines emerge such as “Tony Cascarino has identified Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno as a potential weak spot for the Gunners heading into the new Premier League season.
You’ll notice the use of the word “identifies” – suggesting some sort of analysis and insight, the looking at all the options and possibilities, the study of statistics perhaps… but no there is none of that. Cascarino doesn’t do analysis. Suddenly it is all Leno’s fault. That’s it. Said and done.
One can only hope that Leno has someone near him who can explain that the Cascarino output is not that of a normal person. Or quite probably even a person.
Because negatives is all we get. HITC for example came out just recently with “Tony Cascarino criticises Arsenal defender David Luiz…” Way back in the past he did a similar sort of hatchet job on Theo Walcott.
He often criticises Mr Emery for his “naïve” tactics, forgetting perhaps that Cascarino has never been involved in setting up a team to play, in his life.
Of course I am not the first to notice this wild, ceaseless tirade. The Daily Cannon’s Lee Hurley did a piece under the apposite title “He’s got to be better: Tony Cascarino talks nonsense about Arsenal star…” But Cascarino (who claims to be Irish, but if he were, surely his name would be “O’Cascarin) has been at it for some time. Back in January the Metro had him saying he “felt sorry” for Leno. Mind you he also said that Cech should not be played by Arsenal, and that Emery should be sacked for playing him. In fact, in Cascarino’s world, everyone should be sacked.
Koscielny was another one of his hates and the little “c” came out with some pretty awful comments on Kos when he left the club. Talksprout loved those and gave him full coverage, of course.
His problem with Kos was summed up in the statement, that the player had “been one of their problems that has got away with it.” I am not quite sure what that means, and indeed that is a constant problem with Cascarino as he struggles with the language, but I am sure it is not meant to be complimentary.
Cascarino is also a correspondent for the Times, which if you have not seen that paper of late, might surprise you, given its reputation. Indeed they had Cascarino doing a piece predicting how each team would do this season, hilariously called a “club-by-club guide to the news season” which was in fact an excuse for another anti-Arsenal rant. Cascarino used his space there to predict Tottenham will make the top four but Arsenal will not. The Tottenham blogs quite liked that, but I suspect even they know what kind of correspondent they are dealing with here.
But it is not only Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United who will finish above Arsenal, for the Express had a piece in July from Cascarino saying that Chelsea “will have no excuses if they do not finish above Arsenal” in the forthcoming season.
But it is with Talk Sport that Cascarino gets really carried away, regularly criticising Emery for misjudging players in a most simplistic manner. “You can’t play a back four with Luiz” was one of his all-encompassing remarks.
Occasionally he tells us who we should sign – earlier this year it was Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi although the reasons did not come clear. But he has repeatedly said that since moving to the Emirates Arsenal has become a small club.
Between 2006/7 and 2018/19 Arsenal has been in the top four 10 times, been runners’ up once, won the FA Cup three times, runners up in the league cup twice, and community shield winners three times. Now not all of those are particularly great moments, but I am not too sure that makes us a small club. After all, I don’t recall any headlines about “Small club wins FA Cup three times in four years.” Odd that.
To be fair to Cascarino, he attacks pretty much everyone perhaps on the basis that if he lashes out enough he will get at least one of his predictions right. But much more to the point is the fact that he is constantly employed by the media. Which tells us as much about the media as it does about the rather weird world of Cascarino.
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