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You want to see media bias and inaccuracy? Try this.


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by Sir Hardly Anyone

“You have to feel desperately sorry for Arsenal fans. Their beloved club has been slowly drifting into their greatest period of thundering irrelevance since the 1960s, when the team became such a mid-table non-event that at one point they got rid of their famous white sleeves and nobody noticed they were playing in plain red shirts for two years. Eventually they snapped out of their collective trance, got their gamefaces on (as well as the old classic kit) and by 1971 were champions of England again.”

That is from the Guardian, and it is written as a form of humour.

Now the problem is that to be funny, the basis on which the piece is written either has to be accurate, or so inaccurate that it is obviously a wind-up, but this isn’t either.  So I decided to look up the relevant information on the internet, assuming that I didn’t know what I was looking for.

First, the 1960s.  “A thundering irrelevance”.  In fact Arsenal’s league position ranged between 7th and 14th, so yes a very mid-table team, but a team that even then had been in the top division for over 40 years.

And, actually, if a certain “Scott Murray” had actually done any research at all he would have known that in the 1970s although Arsenal won the double, soon after that Arsenal finished up 16th and 17th in consecutive seasons, which for the mathematically challenged is actually lower than 14th – the low point of the 1960s.   And indeed Arsenal were looking like relegation candidates for a fair old time in both those 1970s seasons.

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“Point being,” to use the Guardian’s phrase, facts are pretty much irrelevant when it comes to the Guardian reporting on football (we might remember Amy Lawrence’s cackhanded attempt to knock the club in which she said that Arsenal “only” had two players scoring in double figures, omitting to tell us that only one club in the entire league actually had more than two players scoring in double figures).

Still, as the Guardian continues in the recent piece, “the light at the end of the tunnel is always closer than you think,” not least when anyone can be arsed to check the “facts” and innuendos their ragingly anti-Arsenal correspondents come out with.

Continuing the remorseless daily assault on the club the paper says, “As things stand, they haven’t made a successful managerial appointment since 1996,” which I guess is supposed to be funny what with Mr Wenger being appointed then, and having to bear the brunt of the rancid journalistic attack on the steps of Highbury soon after his appointment.  For the reality was that within a few weeks of his appointment the journos were doing everything in their power to have Mr Wenger removed from office.  That he out manoeuvred the petty scribblers has never been forgotten by the media, and they attacked him daily ever since.

Amazingly later in the article we get the phrase “but you can’t rewrite history,” – amazingly because that is what this whole piece of journalism is all about, as it drifts inevitably onto phrases such as “Arsenal continue to faff about. However, there’s been no such dithering at Everton”.

“Their no-nonsense appointment of Carlo Ancelotti – to be ratified once he gets assurances over January transfers – may help the Toffees regain their former lustre. He is into the habit of winning trophies pretty much everywhere he goes, after all. Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid, Bayern …

So the story continues.  Arsenal messing about.  Arsenal in a mess.  The Guardian following the regular simple approach, “never let the facts get in the way of bias.”

And in case anyone is interested, Ancelotti’s win percentage at Napoli was 52.05%.  As you will know, if you read our earlier article today Unai Emery’s win percentage was 55.13% at Arsenal in a league that most commentators find has more strength in depth than the Italian league.   And as for Mr Wenger’s win percentage, across 1235 games, that was 57.25%.

But then, these numbers.  They are so confusing.

8 comments to You want to see media bias and inaccuracy? Try this.

  • Bernard

    I thought that Ancelotti had just been sacked for not performing well enough as manager of Napoli.

  • Chris

    Well, so Ancelotti is the proof Arsenal are just too stupid. As far as I am concerned, reading his record, before being in Napoli, he was manager of Milan, Chelsea, PSG Real Madrid and Bayern. So he had means with no end or just about. I doubt he ever had budget worries there.

    At Chelsea he is the only foreign manager to have won a double. And is fired 2 seasons later for not winning a title.

    For the record he left PSG after coaching them to their first title since 1994 – a season where Beckham was hired… He has stated the reason was that he was criticized after one of the only 2 defeats of that competition. Now just tell me, how long would he last at Arsenal the way the public, the blogoshpere and so called press are acting ? He’d get fried after the first problem.

    But then, Real Madrid were calling, so he moved to Spain. He then was sacked for not winning trophies wowards the end of the 2014-2015 season, yet had won all of them in the first one (Liga, Copa, Supercup, Club Worldcup. Guess once you’ve won it all, you can’t do any better.

    At Bayern Munich, he wins the title in his first season, and gets fired a few weeks into his second season after a 3-0 loss to PSG

    I cannot believe there had been no contacts, and personnaly I am convinced that Arsenal were not on HIS short list – why would he put up with all that BS ? Everton is a far safer bet. No one will expect from him to win the PL this season or next and he won’t get lambasted if he does not.

  • Mikey

    ““Their no-nonsense appointment of Carlo Ancelotti – to be ratified once he gets assurances over January transfers”. So he hasn’t been appointed because until reassurances are in place it won’t be ratified. So that’s an example of not dithering about is it?!!!

    Just as with any football “journalist” I have no inside information on anything happening at any club so that makes me eligible to make anything up that I like and claim that it’s a fact. Well on that basis, I would suggest that it’s highly likely that Arteta will be announced in the next day or so once the City game is out of the way……..well I’ve got just as much chance of being correct as the idiots in the media.

  • Nitram

    Mikey

    The problem we have, and have had for some time, is that way too many of our fans, and excuse me here for plagiarising our absent friend, BILL FROM MANATTEN, ‘lap this sort of thing up like titty milk’, and well the media know it.

    You can rest assured the usual suspects will be all over this like a rash, endlessly bashing their own club.

    As you say, how is it ‘decisive’ to be in an unresolved position regarding ‘transfer assurances’ ?

    With regards to ourselves:

    It sounds like we identified who we want.

    Got permission from his club to speak to him.

    He got assurance from his manager he would not stand in his way.

    We went to talk to him immediately after our match against his current employer.

    Sounds pretty bloody decisive to me !

    The media just get worse and worse and worse, and still we have people come on here denying we get treated any differently by the media.

    It begggars belief.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Hmmm. What will be Mikel Arteta’s winning percentage at Arsenal If at the end of the ongoing head coach appointment saga at Arsenal, the club danced to the tune of the media hype of Arteta to appoint him the next Arsenal substantive head coach position to succeed Unai Emery in preference to patiently wait to keep Freddie Ljungberg to continue as interim head coach coaching the Gunners. Who I personally want to see left by the club’s board (particularly on the side of the influential Josh kroenke who looks to be sold on employing Arteta) to continue coaching the Gunners interimly to end of this season before final decision is taken whether to leave him and upgrade him to the substantive head coach position of or replace him next summer with a full fledged head coach appointment.

    During this short period of few months that Ljungberg will be incharge of the Gunners, I am of the belief believing that Ljungberg will improved considerably on his interim coach head capacity at Arsenal to do his possible best by giving it whatever it takes in head coach coaching to coach the Gunners to a PL top-four place finish and also coach the Gunners to win the Europa League Cup (a big external title) for Arsenal this season. But on the conditions that the club do give him the necessary tools in human capacity to discharge his job effectively. Such as having his own choice support coaching staff and acquire for him the 4 – 5 new players whom he said he has identified for signings.

  • Gord

    The twits that twit are twitting down. Apparently the AAA are writing so many ArtetaOut twits, that it is twitting higher than ArtetaIn (or whatever the opposite of out is). But, if you are only allowed to use 140 characters, the word twit can be used for noun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction and all those other parts of a sentence.

  • Wynne

    I have a solution to all this media bias – stop reading rags like the guardian and just make up your own mind?

  • I don’t quite understand that Wynne. My comments about the Guardian and other papers are criticisms of the way they approach Arsenal, to illustrate the notion that the media has its own agenda – its way of seeing the world which is reported over and over again. The instruction to people not to read the Guardian or any other paper is unlikely to work because it is a simple negative. By showing people the counter argument it gives them a chance to see the alternative vision. I choose the Guardian because it has won the award of Newspaper of the Year for the last seven years, and so seems worthy of investigation.