by Tony Attwood
One of the main effects of football commentary on radio, TV and in newspapers has been to make football seem simple. Anyone can see at once what is wrong and how it needs to be put right. And everyone can – except the manager.
As a result of this view, every mistake and every bit of bad luck is interpreted as idiocy. Just as any attempt to re-evaluate evidence or take into account new evidence, and thus change one’s mind, is seen as a lack of morale fibre and a sign that one’s work is useless.
So Arsenal lost 3-0 to Manchester City having had to make two substitutions within the first 24 minutes. Hardly a good result, but given Arsenal’s record this season, pretty much in line with what has gone before. And yet it produced headlines such as
Arsenal register frightening landmark after humbling Manchester City defeat (
“It was the first time that the Gunners failed to register a shot on target in the Premier League this season, an alarming statistic with nine games left to play.”
That is interesting because it is a typical FoLo comment – as it doesn’t tell us if any other club had failed to make a shot on target in a season, nor if any other club had to make two substitutions within the first 24 minutes of a game this season.
The suspicion must be “no it is not the first” because they continue “According to Opta, Luiz is the first player to be sent off, concede a penalty and commit an error leading to an opposition goal in a Premier League match since Carl Jenkinson for West Ham vs Bournemouth in August 2015.”
Now if they have been searching stats as obscure as that then they most surely would know which other teams had failed to have a shot on target. But they choose not to say.
The fact is that having to make two substitutions in 24 minutes would be highly disruptive to any team, and I am not sure that it was anyone’s fault at the club. To assert that it was we would need to know a lot more about the training situation at Arsenal. (Remembering that for year after year Arsenal were said to have more injuries than any other team, all because of Mr Wenger’s training methods – and that was all a fantasy too).
In short this is a typical piece of anti-Arsenal rhetoric from FoLo, a website that devotes a significant amount of its time and resources constantly to knocking Arsenal.
So I wondered just how many other weird anti-Arsenal headlines there were in the immediate aftermath of the match. And unsurprisingly there were quite a few. Too many in fact to put in one article…
Arsenal news live: Gunners slammed for Man City travel plans, (Talk Sport)
So even the transport manager is an idiot. (In what way is that news live?)
Arsenal told Aubameyang talks could lead to contract situation similar to Ozil’s (Talk Sport)
This headline had nothing to do with the game, but TalkSprout decided to run it in the immediate aftermath of the game.
Arsenal transfer blow as Serie A target signs a new deal with his club (
Luiz disaster is symptom of a bigger, more expensive Arsenal transfer error (HITC)
“Arsenal panicked on deadline day by buying him. It was a cheap stop-gap deal, and Arsenal truly got what they paid for. But the real fault here lies not with Luiz, but the decision to spend £72 million on Nicolas Pepe. Few knew Arsenal had that kind of money to spend last summer, and when they did, there was hope and belief that he may emerge as a superstar. Pepe has talent, and might eventually come good, but he hasn’t so far. He was not even in Arsenal’s starting line up last night, which says it all.”
Of course there is no evidence that Luiz was a panic buy – unless one argues that every deadline day deal is a panic buy. But it is interesting to hear that he was a “cheap” since Talk Sport said “David Luiz has cost Arsenal £24MILLION in one season…” Is one of these “outlets” simply making it up?
However it seems Untold’s pieces showing that the £24m story was a total fabrication has sunk in occasionally, and HITC have dropped that and gone to the opposite extreme. But then Pepe not playing “says it all” does it?
Pepe has found it hard to adjust to Arsenal and Premier League football and its referees, that is true. But he’s hardly the first player to run into difficulty. Henry, Bergkamp, Pires…
But hey, that’s history, and why bother with historical insights when there is a chance to knock Arsenal again?
- Who is suing whom over the Newcastle / Saudi affair? Answer: everyone
- The transfer paradox: how expert knowledge in football became worthless
- Just how wasteful has Arsenal’s transfer policy been? Here’s the answer.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP