By Dr Billy the Dog McGraw, senior psychiatrist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.
The stories below appeared within a single 3 hours 30 minute spell prior to the Manchester City game being called off. Of course not every blog followed this approach, but there appeared to be a concerted attempt to attack Arsenal from a number of sources – an attack which in the end tells us more about the writers than about Arsenal and its players.
1: ‘Wasteful’, ‘Another Sanogo’: Some Arsenal fans desperate for club to avoid £40m-rated hotshot (
2: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta sent £45m transfer warning over major summer decision (
Implication: Arteta and his team are simply not up to the job of selecting players to buy and they need journalists who have no experience at all of running a club or buying players, to show him what is obvious to others but clearly not to him.
3: From one of Arsenal’s worst-ever signings, to Spurs’ Mr Reliable (
Implication: Even when Arsenal get a good player they are so inept in training and preparation that he turns into total rubbish. Other clubs however never make such mistakes and can pick up players we have rejected and find their real potential.
4: Players that Mikel Arteta can sell this summer to fund a new top-class defender (
Implication: Arsenal’s purchasing policy is terrible. While other clubs manage to make sure they just buy decent players and so don’t waste the £m that Arsenal do, Arsenal are reduced to selling past rubbish to get the player they desperately need. It is also implied that despite being so awful a club, and a club criticised at every turn, Arsenal can clearly buy anyone they fancy. Quite why players would want to come to such a useless club is not explained.
5: Arsenal loanee criticised after costly error, manager says it was his ‘fault’ (HITC)
Implication: Yep, even after having three managers in the space of a couple of years we are still bedevilled by being run by men who just don’t know what football is all about.
6: Mikel Arteta told three Arsenal stars who are only ‘average’ Premier League players (
Implication: They might be stars of Arsenal but on the broader football stage these guys are rubbish but Arteta is such a bad manager he can’t see it, so has to be told.
7: How many years will it take for Arsenal to match Liverpool? (Just Arsenal News)
Implication: Liverpool are not just good now, they will go on and on and on being very good. So the normal rise and decline of clubs is now over, and Arsenal will be in the mediocre pool for years to come. Quite how other clubs can catch up with a team that only loses one match all season, without that team declining is not actually explained.
8: Arsenal ace frozen out after breaking important Mikel Arteta rule (
9: Is Kieran Tierney about to become another Matthieu Debuchy? (
Implication: Forget about the hope that new players bring. We just buy player after player who gets injured. (This article might well be a prelude to a return of the old favourite that Arsenal get more injuries than everyone else because of the bad training method of the manager – a story that served the media well for years during Mr Wenger’s time, even though Arsenal’s injuries were average in PL terms).
10: Mikel Arteta’s first Manchester City return comes at the worst possible time for Arsenal (
Implication: Had the game been played we would have been stuffed.
11: Arsenal Want PSG’s Champions League Left-Back on a Free Transfer This Summer (
Implication: Yes, we will be scratching around for free transfers again.
12: When is the best time to cash in on injury prone Hector Bellerin? (
Implication: The story says that Bellerin may never be fit again, so we should sell him. And the evidence that he won’t be fit again? None.
13: He could be done for at Arsenal’ – David Ornstein shares what he’s heard concerning 22y/o
Implication: Whatever else we have the one thing we don’t have is a settled squad.
These of course were just a few taken in one snap-shot moment. The point of all this is that it is relentless – it is the essence of Arsenal that is put out by these blogs minute after minute day after day. And because the assault comes from many different quarters (although four of the 13 do all come from one source) it feels all the time as if Arsenal clearly is the one club in the country that is screwing up.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if these stories came from blogs run by supporters of other clubs, but the fact that they all pour out from Arsenal blogs shows just how unified a campaign it is.
Why do they run this ceaseless negative speculation? To the psychologist, the answer is to gain a feeling of power – a feeling that they are revealing the awful news – that they have the inside information – that they are important.
As such they serve their purpose to their owners, but they sure as hell don’t help Arsenal.
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