By Tony Attwood
There is little as dispiriting or come to that sickening and nauseating, as the anti-Arsenal Arsenal, that disgraceful combination of alleged “fans” and half-beat journalists with nothing better to do than knock the club, coming together to destroy yet another Arsenal player.
Goodness knows how many times they have done this over the 130 years they’ve been in operation – but the methods have remained much the same as we all saw with the recent Granit Xhaka affair. Only the technology has changed.
No sooner had the media encouraged Arsenal “fans” to boo and jeer Xhaka than they were telling Xhaka how to sort himself out – often in the most bizarre and ludicrous fashion – before moving on to wholesale abuse and suggestions that he had to leave at once.
And some of the commentary was odd in the extreme.
Football London, for example, ran the headline “The one thing Granit Xhaka must do to get the Arsenal fans back onside” and then they turned to Harry Redknapp for advice on how to do it! (Honest I kid you not).
The Metro came steaming in with “Granit Xhaka must apologise to fans immediately to save Arsenal career, says Alan Shearer” this time adding “and the player needs to come out and apologise sharpish to the fans.”
The Express were in next with “Unai Emery told Granit Xhaka must be sold in January” and they cited (you might want to sit down at this point) “former Leeds United star Noel Whelan.”
Whelan was talking to anyone who would listen as can be seen by him turning up on Football Insider allegedly saying, “The sooner they get one in the better, as Xhaka has to go in January. That might be on loan, as I can’t see Arsenal getting back the £35m they paid for him. He is just embarrassing. I have no sympathy for him. His conduct towards the fans was a disgrace. It shows he’s a big baby.”
Many “outlets” (sewers would be a better word but “outlets” is what they like to call each other), demanded that Xhaka issue an apology, and then marched back in on the attack offering no apology for their own behaviour. The Bleacher Report was at its most Bleachery with the claim that “Xhaka’s “apology” was so “fake and forced. If the guy general gave a shot he would of come out straight away. Your not fooling me granit….” [For “of” read “have”; for “Your” read “You’re”].
And so it rambled on. The Sun then gave us, “Three reasons Arsenal fans don’t want Xhaka to be captain,” once again trying to develop the myth that the wretched rag actually speaks for Arsenal fans.
They also went with “Piers Morgan leads calls for Granit Xhaka to be stripped of…” well you can imagine the rest.
Soccer on Sunday went way out on a limb with “Xhaka Refuses to Apologise for Spurs Tattoo on Forearm” saying in the article “Granit Xhaka has infuriated Arsenal supporters by tattooing the crest of London … “Every time they boo me, I’ll get another Spurs tattoo. … “People say that a captain must be one with the fans, but I’d be lying if I said that I don’t hope they all die.”
Did he say that? Well, Soccer on Sunday was the only place to run the quote so I somewhat doubt it. Does he have a Tottenham tattoo? Maybe he does, although after a bit of a search the only two I have seen pictures of look different from each other, and horribly fake.
But the negatives went on and on and on and on, as with “Granit Xhaka must cut out lazy habit if he wants long Arsenal career” (that from Squawka).
Gooners World and Online Arsenal then went to town with comments from supposed Arsenal fans on a supposed Arsenal website saying,
- ‘£0 would be a great price to get for Granit Xhaka and a super deal for the club. However, I think ambitious thinking we won’t have to pay someone to take him. We’ll likely need to offer a club £10m to take him.’
- ‘Agreed, that’s the trouble with these players who never perform who are on high wages it’s a struggle to shift them, sometimes the only way is to loan them and pay some of the wages. So as far as I’m concerned if we lose him for nothing without having to subsidise his wages that’s a great deal for the club.’
- ‘Our players bar a few are rotten to the core, they come here for high wages and the easy life, which is why they’re getting turned over by lower skilled players simply because they’re more competitive.
- The only players who are worth fk all in our squad are …………Leno, Sokratis, Chambers, Tierney, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Ozil, Lacazette, Auba, Pepe.
- Players like Bellerin, Mustafi and Xhaka etc are literally against the fans, just because they’re so hurt that they copped a bit of criticism once in a while.’
- ‘Xhaka the cu.. can fu.. off, playing the victim card lol.’
- Let’s be honest, we wasted our money on this guy, noone is going to pay good money for a player who hasn’t performed in 4 years for us, these kinda players have no market value, plus his salary is an issue.
- Ironically had we not given him a new contract in Emerys’ first season he’d most likely be gone by now (what an odd decision that was, we let all out top player run down their contracts and yet re-sign this guy up!)’
- ‘Sooner he is gone the better for everybody, taxi for Xhaka.’
- ‘This Xhaka saga is so tiring. He’s more like Bendtner, much ado about nothing. A rank mediocre, should leave quietly. End of.’
- ‘I’m actually surprised the fans have finally found a pair and seem to have so much power over the club, it’s power we haven’t had for donkeys years. I’d much rather this than no control and wrist slitting, slow death like the wenger years.’
- And yes, I am saying loan because like Mustafi, we won’t be able to get rid until his contract expires.’
Thus speaketh the AAA. Always lurking in the shadows, always knowing that they have allies in the media feeding into AFTV and the rest. They are out there, and the media panders to them.
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