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How the media is manipulating supporters’ thoughts before the Cup Final

By Bulldog Drummond

As we have often noted, the constant negatives run by the media against Arsenal, constitute a prolonged and deliberate attack on the club.  The media does it because…. well, the rest of the media does it.  Like smoking or taking heroin, it becomes a habit.

Such has been the case with Arsenal, and of course in the run up to the final this is hardly going  to stop.  Thus we have the headline from the Mail

Arsenal may be forced to play Kieran Tierney at centre back against Chelsea

You will notice the word “Forced”.   It implies matters are out of the club’s control, and because of other articles published in the Mail, this will suggest to readers that it is Arsenal’s incompetence that has led them to this position of being “forced” to play players out of position.  Bad preparation.  Lack of foresight.  Carelessness.  If only Arsenal had organised themselves properly they would have had enough players to cover such incidents.

In the past of course this story would have continued with an insistence that the “plague of injuries” that befall Arsenal was entirely the fault of Mr Wenger and his crazy training programmes, but now having moved on both Mr Wenger and his successor, and found that the injuries continue, it’s harder to push that story.

The media absolutely will not consider the fact that Arsenal are refereed in a different way from other clubs, so we are back with “forced to play” with the implication of poor planning in the transfer market.

And yet there is no force about it.

Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers all injured that is true, but we still have choices for central defence; Tierney is not the only one.  The official list of Arsenal centre backs includes Saliba, Holding, Sokratis, and David Luiz.

But leaving “forced” aside, why then even consider Tierney playing hopeless out of position, liable to make mistakes…. another Arsenal cock-up.

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But, no, just as the newspapers failed to report on the Infantino scandal unravelling in Switzerland, until Untold had run the story about half a dozen times so, the Mail is being economical with its reporting.  (And incidentally it is amusing that the media in reporting the Infantino story, have restricted themselves to the bits of the story Untold Arsenal revealed before the media even knew there was a story.

What does make that rather funny is that there’s another major part of the tale that we have been saving until the season is over – and oh, what a surprise, the media has not picked up on that.  They couldn’t be nicking the tale from us could they?)

But back to Tierney.  What the Mail has “forgotten” to tell us was that on 8 August 2017, Tierney played as captain of Celtic as a central defender in a Scottish League Cup game against Kilmarnock. Celtic won the game 5–0.  Tierney was credited with an assist and scoring with a “wonderful strike” from 40 yards.

In the following November Tierney was selected as Scotland captain for a friendly match against the Netherlands playing once again as a central defender.

If Tierney is playing as a central defender it was not be anything to do with being “forced”, but because it is a viable option to use a defender in that position who has already played there for his country.

The piece in the Mail was by Sami Mokbel who ought to be ashamed of himself but possibly is not.

Anyway, let’s move on to Arsenal v Chelsea.   We have played them quite a few times across the centuries, and by and large come out on top.    We have won 77, they have won 65, and we have drawn 58.

Yet there was a time when we feared playing Chelsea – that was virtually all the way through the 1960s.  Just look at this record…

Date Game Res Score Competition
09 Apr 1960 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-4 League Division One
12 Nov 1960 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-4 League Division One
15 Apr 1961 Chelsea v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
04 Nov 1961 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-3 League Division One
24 Mar 1962 Chelsea v Arsenal W 2-3 League Division One
16 Nov 1963 Chelsea v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
14 Mar 1964 Arsenal v Chelsea L 2-4 League Division One
26 Sep 1964 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-3 League Division One
06 Feb 1965 Chelsea v Arsenal L 2-1 League Division One
04 Sep 1965 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-3 League Division One
19 Feb 1966 Chelsea v Arsenal D 0-0 League Division One
24 Sep 1966 Chelsea v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
04 Feb 1967 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-1 League Division One
26 Dec 1967 Chelsea v Arsenal L 2-1 League Division One
30 Dec 1967 Arsenal v Chelsea D 1-1 League Division One
23 Nov 1968 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-1 League Division One
14 Apr 1969 Chelsea v Arsenal L 2-1 League Division One
27 Sep 1969 Chelsea v Arsenal L 3-0 League Division One
17 Jan 1970 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-3 League Division One
29 Aug 1970 Chelsea v Arsenal L 2-1 League Division One

I am rather surprised that the media has not been running that sequence all day long in the build up to this game.  16 defeats, two draws, two wins.   Fans who have joined more recently have no idea what it was like to be a supporter in the 1960s.

Fortunately things improved, as we shall see in the final cup final preview in a short while.

 

 

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