Arsenal: Not even the best team in London? Well, today and historically, we are.

by Tony Attwood

Jonathan Wilson in the Guardian on 1 October wrote a diatribe against Manchester United, in which he proclaimed that the game between Man U and Arsenal  was of little consequence.  The heading was “Manchester United v Arsenal felt and looked like a mid-table game.”

Now if you have been reading my rambles over the years you will know that I take the view that the football media deliberately set up articles (or at least encourage their writers and the freelancers they use, to write articles) which follow a particular approach.

One of the main approaches is one in which the facts don’t matter if the mainstream vision is pushed.  And this vision is one in which (among many other things) there should be no continuous reminder of the fact that something very dodgy may be going on in terms of the financing of some football clubs in the Premier League.  Another vision is the refusal to point out that fans endlessly demanding that managers should be sacked, rarely helps a club.  Another is the fans booing or regularly writing negative commentaries about their own clubs’ players doesn’t help matters.  Another is that there is nothing amiss with PGMO being a highly secretive organisation in contrast to some referee organisations in Europe.

With these approaches established, the writer can then get away with saying pretty much anything, as with the line in that particular article that “Manchester United and Arsenal aren’t even the best sides in their respective cities any more”.

That gave me a little shock as I drove home in the early hours of Tuesday morning because even in my bleary state I will still able to calculate that Arsenal were indeed the top club in London.

And yes, it seems that is so….

Club P W D L F A GD
1 Liverpool 7 7 0 0 18 5 13 21
2 Manchester City 7 5 1 1 27 7 20 16
3 Leicester City 7 4 2 1 13 5 8 14
4 Arsenal 7 3 3 1 12 11 1 12
5 West Ham United 7 3 3 1 10 9 1 12
6 Tottenham Hotspur 7 3 2 2 14 9 5 11
7 Chelsea 7 3 2 2 14 13 1 11
8 AFC Bournemouth 7 3 2 2 13 12 1 11
9 Crystal Palace 7 3 2 2 6 7 -1 11

OK only top in London by goals scored, but even so.

Of course the argument can then be put – well, it hardly matters if Arsenal is above WHU, the Totts, Chelsea and Palace or not, given we are seven points behind Liverpool™   But actually it does, because the ceaseless misrepresentation of Arsenal by that newspaper through countless minor inaccuracies is what builds up the whole picture of Arsenal as a club in dire straits.

Indeed if you have been here for a while you might recall (with a very good memory as well as a long service award) the time I had a go against the Guardian’s most esteemed football writer because she slagged off Arsenal for having only two players who reached double figures in terms of goals one season.

Yes she was right – except for the fact that only one team had three players in double figures, and they did it by having three players with 10 goals each.  Arsenal were in fact, in terms of goalscorers, in an elite group of half a dozen who had two or more players getting above nine goals in the season.

It is this drip, drip, drip negativity which is quite unnecesasry, and serves only one purpose – to cast Arsenal as a hopeless case and create more and more negativity among the fans.

Why knock Arsenal so much with these little falsehoods?  It is because Tottenham have a bigger and newer stadium or a better press box with more hospitality offerings and because it helps patch over results involving the Tinies conceding seven goals in one game?   Or do they have some hidden reserves in their youth team we haven’t yet fully seen?  Or is Chelsea superior because they have a Russian owner and new no stadium?   Or Crystal Palace because they still have Zaha.  Or to cover up West Ham’s defeat to Oxford Utd in the League Cup by 4-0 (and of course Tottenham’s exploits in the same competition).

Of course we don’t know but Barnay Ronay stayed on the official script with his line, “Highlights fail to hide plight of two fallen giants lost in transition”

Yes Arsenal are fourth not first, but have suffered the disruption of a forced change of manager – forced upon the club by the prolonged Wenger Out campaign and the same groups’ invented stories about only have £40m to spend in the summer.  They’ll probably do the same next season as they are already trying to blacken the name of Emery, despite the obvious logic that by protesting against Mr Wenger all they did was made things pretty much the same.  So they decide to do it again by protesting against Mr Emery and the result will be….  well you can guess.

16 Replies to “Arsenal: Not even the best team in London? Well, today and historically, we are.”

  1. Another interesting presentation were the various headlines regarding VAR rescueing a point for Arsenal at old trafford. I could have sworn by watching the game that Aubameyang had scored he did not however make very many headlines. I now try to watch streams in foreign language to avoid this constant negativity.

  2. I truly believe Unai Emery did something great at Liverpool by playing short passes off to neutralise modern pressings. He continued with some success and as well failures. But once the Arsenal players get hold of it, they will be force to be reckon with. We are fourth with only Aubameyang and Guendouzi on form. Imagine if other first team players get things on track. Pepe is improving and will only get better once Lacazette comes back.

  3. I too have obsessed to friends several times about the “only two players who reached double figures” accusation to the extent where I even bore myself now! What frustrates me so much with that argument is that over the last couple of weeks I’ve been hearing the media and others banging on about we’re too reliant on PEA. Talk about rock and a hard place. As one of the few teams with two strikers who can actually hit double figures, as soon as one of them is injured there’s suddenly a new criticism to contend with. I would bet a months wages that if we had all strikers and midfielders with ten goals each we’d be criticised because our defenders weren’t contributing enough………………..and a section of our “supporters” would then start calling for new defenders, a new coach, a new defensive coach etc etc etc. It’s hugely frustrating.

    On a separate note I was hugely amused Psycho Keane claiming that PV4 wouldn’t have got into the Man U team, I chuckled a lot about that gem from a bloke with the IQ of……..well a football pundit

  4. @ Gord

    Not only a media background…..a media background with Tony’s favourite Guardian 🙂

  5. Yep, the Guardian lads are still at it … or the bot they give many names too … no human could indeed pile up that many clichés about arsenal week in, week out, without feeling like giving his gun a bj.
    funnily enough, they do not have a word to write, either about the disgraceful way mesut is being treated by our headcoach, or about this other fact: benching özil (or leaving him home) + parking the bus in our box from the get go, is exactly what they reproached AW for NOT doing … fortunately, bots don’t have to look at themselves in mirrors.

  6. OT:

    My problems with with the temporary computer have resolved themselves. Seamonkey was not running NoScript, and the add-ons manager would not “find” it. Manually installing NoScript is stopping from using javascript to hide the News URL, so I can again see the News. Why do these IT dorks continue to screw around with so much? 🙂 Is there some reason they don’t want us to click on the “News”?

  7. OT: Carabao Cup

    Liverpool just get the wrist slap. A 200,000 Pound fine, half deferred as seems typical.

  8. OT: Carabao Cup

    So the reason Liverpool!!! didn’t re-register their player again in time for this Carabao game, was because
    CF Extramadura folded in 2010? Extramadura UD was the team that Pedro Chirivella was loaned to.

  9. and the football authorities tell us everything is above board and fair. For some it is!

    You couldn’t actually make this stuff up.

  10. Nitram, I was hoping you could find good reply. Maybe time zones caused you to not see it? 🙂

  11. Hi Gord

    I’m a bit confused, which isn’t unusual, but not sure what you mean ☹️

  12. I was trying to fabricate a reason for Liverpool to blame something else. Oh well, it didn’t work.

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