by Bulldog Drummond
The knocking copy continues day after day, hour after hour, and the effect on the club, its players, its supporters and its manager can only be negative – I find it hard to see how any of the stuff written say how useless the players are, how out of his depth the manager is, and how it will be a total disaster if we bring in this or that specific new manager, can do anyone in the club any good.
Nor can it encourage any outsiders to come to the club. They must be thinking, “if that is what it is all about at Arsenal, what is the point of getting involved?” I am sure they will be thinking it would be better simply to wait until a more stable, less fractious and above all less angry club comes along with a vacancy.
Indeed I suspect many managers who are looking for a new club would sooner go to a club further down the league than come into this sort of negativity.
Of course those who perpetrate the negative stories by repeating them add to the problem and this is the issue that so many writers fail to appreciate. For example Football365 said recently “Whatever faith is placed in idle, media room chit-chat is secondary, though. What matters is that Arsenal’s performances seem to confirm those suspicions.” They won’t consider the possibility that the “idle media room chit-chat” is a cause of Arsenal’s problems. Virtually no writers and publishers ever do.
But then that site, looking at our opponents today, Manchester City, say of that club, “What’s wrong with them? Who knows,” which doesn’t take us much further forward in our quest for understanding.
Well, maybe it is our job as commentators to try and come up with an answer to questions like that, rather than just say that this team has this problem and that team has that problem.
Indeed the question “Why?” is one of the most important in the language, and has been at the heart of most of the progress our civilisation has made across the last 500 years – at least when people answer it and come up with evidence or theory to support their answer.
But meanwhile the games go on and have to be played, and the reality is that not too much is wrong with Manchester City. To assume otherwise could be dangerous. Here are their recent results.
|06 Nov||Atalanta v Manchester City||D||1-1||Champions League|
|10 Nov||Liverpool v Manchester City||L||3-1||Premier League|
|23 Nov||Manchester City v Chelsea||W||2-1||Premier League|
|26 Nov||Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk||D||1-1||Champions League|
|30 Nov||Newcastle United v Manchester City||D||2-2||Premier League|
|03 Dec||Burnley v Manchester City||W||1-4||Premier League|
|03 Dec||Shrewsbury Town v Manchester City||W||1-1 (5-6)||FL Trophy|
|07 Dec||Manchester City v Manchester United||L||1-2||Premier League|
|11 Dec||Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City||W||1-4||Champions League|
Actually the results don’t look very bad to me – yes a home defeat to Manchester United and away to Liverpool, but otherwise, it looks very solid.
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Our concern of course is their away form and this record is good by any standards – five wins out of eight and a goal difference of plus 11 – that is no mean away performance. Here is the top of the league table with away games only.
Our home record has of course slipped, not helped by the dismissal of the manager, and the ceaseless sniping of the media and alleged “supporters”. Here is Arsenal (and the rest) with thee league table for home games only…
The four draws is just what one would expect from a team that is nervous playing in front of its own supporters, as the players increasingly worry about getting booed and jeered by their own fans.
Players can of course avoid watching or reading the media, but the one thing you can’t avoid is the sound of the crowd.
Indeed a goal difference at home of +2 at home shows just how nervous Arsenal now are at home. In this regard (goal difference) we are equal with the likes of Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion.