Tottenham supporters seek to help Arsenal, although they might not know it

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By Tony Attwood

The fact that spending money on transfers generally reduces rather than enhances the club’s league position was published here.   Here is the updated list showing how much was spent, the current league position and last season’s league position…

  • Manchester United £148m (currently 5th, last season 6th)
  • Aston Villa £144.5m (currently 18th, last season promoted)
  • Arsenal £138m (currently 10th; last season 5th)
  • Manchester City £134.8m (currently 2nd, last season champions)
  • Everton £118.5m (currently 11th, last season 8th)
  • Tottenham Hots £101.5m (currently 8th, last season 4th)

This finding – that spending more on new players does not result in a club rising up the league – is of course counter-intuitive.  We have all been told by the media for so many years that spending money on more and more expensive players is good that it seems odd that the effect of it should be negative.

But such a finding also totally screws up the entire approach of the newspaper and broadcast industry.   Virtually their entire basis of daily “news” is based on potential transfers in and out of the club.

What makes it worse is that as we have shown for the past five years, 97% of the predictions that football media make as to which player is going to which club, are totally wrong.

In other words the media tell us who each club is going to buy – and get that overwhelmingly wrong, and suggest constantly that buying players is good for the club, getting that wrong too.  It is hard to imagine two basic elements within journalism that are more wrong.

Now the question arises: given that the entire basis of media reporting on football is utterly false in both its main features (that spending money on transfers takes a club up the league table, and who the clubs are going to spend their money on) are utterly wrong, what should the football media do?

They might of course present counter evidence showing that our figures are wrong.  But in fact the figures are very simple – there is no doubting the fact that Arsenal spent £138m last summer and are now five places worse off than they were at the end of last season.

But no, they ignore the facts and go on running transfer rumours that are unlikely ever to happen.

Let’s put this simply.  The media makes up tales of transfers, knowing that they are never going to happen, and they keep telling us that these transfers are a good thing, knowing that if they did take place they would be much more likely to send the club down the league rather than take it up.

And the most amazing thing about all this is that some people still take the media seriously!!!

If we look at what they are saying now we can see just how inverted the reality of the media has become.  Take the headline from Football.London

Tottenham fans slam Daniel Levy over financial findings

Of course that is false since clearly not all Tottenham fans “slam Daniel Levy over financial findings.”   But according to the make-believe tale “Fans were angry with the club for the refusal to back Pochettino in the transfer market, as they went two full transfer windows without bringing in a single player – the first time any club had done so in England.”

What they ignored is that Tottenham’s decline started after it started spending money.  And the reality is that if these Tottenham fans can persuade Tottenham to buy more players in this window, that could take them further down the league – which would obviously please Arsenal fans.

Meanwhile the media continues to give us “news” of Arsenal’s buys.

According to the Metro the president of Athletico Paranaense, Mario Celso Petraglia, has “confirmed” Arsenal are interested in signing Bruno Guimaraes.  The only salvation for Arsenal is that almost all of the Metro’s transfer reports are utterly untrue, so he probably hasn’t.

The Express tell us that “Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to make two signings before January transfer deadline”, which looks like a disaster, although it is slightly mitigated by the fact that if this is true (which is unlikely given that it is in the Express) they will be loan signings.

And we are not the only ones going down this line as the Boot Room says, in relation to John Stones, “Arsenal must avoid signing experienced Premier League defender.”

Indeed by and large the media is still ignoring the fact that this season’s transfers across the top spending clubs have been disasters, as with the HITC headline, ‘Would be one of our smartest signings in recent years’: Some Arsenal fans rave about 22-year-old”.  They speak, as do most headlines at the moment of Bruno Guimaraes.   Although we might be saved since the Mail tell us that Chelsea and Benfica are more likely to sign him.

Apparently we are also going to get rid of Torreira and replace him with Wilfred Ndidi, thus adding to our turmoil and taking us further down the league.  I just wonder if the media will ever catch up with reality.

11 Replies to “Tottenham supporters seek to help Arsenal, although they might not know it”

  1. Tony,
    Your argument is spurious; let me take this assertion of yours “They might of course present counter evidence showing that our figures are wrong. But in fact the figures are very simple – there is no doubting the fact that Arsenal spent £138m last summer and are now five places worse off than they were at the end of last season”

    This is false and fails to give a full account of all the factual inputs but selectively pick evidence to corroborate you falsehood. Arsenal’s net spend last Summer was £25m. Lest you forget, Nicolas Pepe accounts are spread over the term of the contract of 5 years.

    Further Arsenal began the current season with one of the strongest “Attack Force” in the EPL, strong enough to challenge both Man. City and Liverpool; with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe upfront with Ozil as No.10. With Ceballos as a No.8 and Torreira as a No.6 for which he was bought in the first place.

    The demise of Arsenal is directly due to Stan Kroenke slumbering and prevaricating in Not instructing the AFC Board to SACK Unai Emery in October 2018(when I posted and nmnessaged that Emery should be sacked} and even as late as Summer 2019.

    Unai Emery and his diabolical team selections and constantly playing the wrong players and players out of position, like Torreira as a No.10? and Further insisting in always “playing fro there back” even against “High Pressing“teams like Liverpool and Watford; when common sense dictated that “long ball” over the high pressing attack to your own attack force was the best option.

    Arsenal lost “top 4” 2018/19 and are in 10th spot from being “top 4” is directly due to Unai Emery not being Sacked Early and has Nothing to do with “spending money on New signings” In fact Arsenal needs to spend More Not less as she needs marquee CB and defensive Midfielder.

  2. Your account might be valid if the figures only applied to Arsenal, but they apply to the other clubs shown in the table. Swapping the story to net spend also takes us into a different argument. I am simply saying that there is a correlation between spending and slippage in the table, and the evidence is there.
    Of course it might be that the high spending is itself caused by other factors, but you’ve not put forward any evidence to show a relationship between those factors and slippage in the league.

  3. Tony
    The problem with your “facts” is that you do not know what would have happened without the transfers,probably could have been a lot worse.

  4. Nuttn that is called reality, and is always the case. We only know what happened not what might have happened in any other circumstance. It might have been far worse without the transfers, or might have been better, we simply don’t know, so there is nothing to be made of that.
    What we do know is that Arsenal and the other clubs listed, spent lots of money, and ended up in a worse position.
    Quite why you choose to put the word facts in inverted commas is a mystery to me – although I know many people do this sort of thing. If you are suggesting that the money spent is not a “fact” then please do correct me and give the correct “facts”. Otherwise the inverted commas are rather a waste of two key strokes.

  5. To cut the story shut and not pretend that all is well with the Arsenal Premier League team whether it was the gross spent of £138m or the net spent of £24m that the club have committed to signing new players last summer transfer window dealings or not. But nevertheless, as things stand now in the the club’s PL team, it has become necessary during this January window the club sign a defender preferably a top notch centreback. And a proven top League regular goals scorer who will start scoring goals in the PL matches for Arsenal immediately he is signed. But not first go through the adaptation period at the club to adapt before starting to score goals for Arsenal in the PL. Which if gotten will reduce the overdepending by Arsenal on one striker Aubameyang’s goals scoring prowess in the PL for the club but enhance Arsenal goals scoring capacity in the PL to a greater effect.

  6. Tony, as you’ve probably guessed from my comments, my own hatred of the media is not dissimilar to yours but I do think there’s an element of framing the narrative to suit the conclusion here.

    You state, “The fact that spending money on transfers generally reduces rather than enhances the club’s league position,” is not actually a fact at all. Your assertion is that the six highest spending teams of the summer are now sitting in a lower position than they were in April. That may be true (although possibly not in Villa’s case but that’s unimportant). However, as you have persistently argued in the past, more often than not it takes a player half a season or more to adapt to the premier league. You have argued, quite rightly, that to judge a new signing on half a season is a nonsense. On that basis, it is far too early to draw any conclusions based on last summer’s spending. Indeed I would suggest that drawing a conclusion based on the spending in any single transfer window is slightly odd since it takes no account of the spending in previous transfer windows, changes in personnel etc, etc. I would also suggest that even if there were some potential validity to this approach, comparing last season to this season when this season is has yet to be concluded means that it is impossible to make any such judgement until May.

    Not withstanding this, as I say Villa are actually higher than last season, three of the other five have new managers and the other two are just one place lower than last season.

    Just another thing to throw in the mix is something else you and I do see very much eye to eye on; refereeing. Two of the six clubs you list are the two that your very recent articles have identified as being extremely harshly treated by referees so surely you believe that has some impact on their league position too?! Whilst I do not agree with everything Omar says, his claim that your argument is spurious is pretty close to the mark. It’s highly dubious to say the least.

    Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that the media are completely full of bull and that their constant implication that they are experts is absurd when they know little or no more than you or I. Their record on transfers, as you quite rightly say, is evidence of that. However, to suggest there is a direct correlation between higher spending and lower league positions is far from proven by your claims.

    I find myself almost always in total agreement with your conclusions and they are usually, in my opinion, well thought out and evidenced as best as one can without limitless resources. I 100% agree with your conclusion that the media are rubbish and make all this stuff up but, in my opinion, this line of argument detracts from the fantastic work you have otherwise done.

  7. I find it suprising that many times Untold Arsenal talk about how referees seem to have their own agenda and do Arsenal and or other teams damage, most of the comments this generates can be put under the category : sore loser.

    Yet now that it does fit another narrative, the argumetn becomes valid…

    The other thing Untold Arsenal has shown over the years is that this relationship between money spent and league position does not AUTOMATICALLY translate into a better league position – same as changing the manager. The simple fact that Mr Wenger was able for a decade to keep Arsenal in the top 4 is simple proof that it does not always apply, is it not ? Same could be said for Sp*rs in the past years. What the figures that have been shown here have proven is that spending 100 million or so mostly does little impact to the league position unless you are a freshly promoted team in fight against relegation. Spending a billion over a few years does have an impact.

    So, one can say, just spending money is not enough, unless you are filthy rich and can spend loads of money over a long period, can ignore FFP rules, your chances of making it to the top are good, with the outlyer being Leicester.

    As for refereeing, if I am not wrong, this will be the fifth time we have the same referee since the beginning of the season this coming week-end. Can anyone tell me how that is to be considered fair and regular appointing of referees ? Or does it all even out at the end because this season we are playing each team 5 times ?

  8. Imagine that, spuds got a slight reduction in Son’s red card suspension, but we don’t on Aubameyang’s.

  9. The media fiction generally follows an established pattern. Arsenal are reported to be signing a certain player – if this turns out to be true (it hardly ever does), then the experts say that the player is a poor choice, claiming “Arsenal fans furious at ……”. If, as is more commonly the case, the rumour proves to be untrue, then the narrative is along the lies; “Arsenal miss out…,” ” Player snubs Arsenal,” “Arsenal fans furious…” (they always seem to have to be furious about something).

    Same old media anti-Arsenal rubbish.

  10. Gord
    More than a slight reduction, Son’s red card was actually overturned on appeal.
    There is a perfectly straightforward reason for the difference in the way we are treated compared to the Spuds.
    The Son one only resulted in a broken leg whereas Aubas resulted in…………..

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