By Tony Attwood
“One goal – a penalty – in their previous four Premier League matches paints a depressing picture.”
That is one of the miserable headlines from the media today. So what can Arsenal do to put things right. Here are some solutions:
1: Play Joe Willock
That comes from the Guardian who point out that he has “two man-of-the-match performances in as many Europa League starts, has not yet played a minute of league football this season.”
2. Go back in time
Go back, and instead of giving Auba a new contract, sell him and use the money wisely. This highly impractical suggestion (given that time travel does not exist) comes from the Untold Arsenal office rather than a newspaper or blog. 10 out of 10 for inventiveness, minus several million out of ten for practicality.
Silly though it is, however, it does raise the point that Aubameyang has scored just two Premier League goals this season.
3. Let’s turn on the players
The blogs need no encouragement to do this as headlines such as “Get him out of my club – These Arsenal fans turn on summer signing” from
The unfortunate thing here is that simply getting rid of players doesn’t actually make anything good happen. We have after all just got rid of Ozil, at least until January.
4. How about a meaningless phrase?
Football.London are of course always ready to oblige in this regard, and this time they have “Time for excuses is over – National media react to Arsenal’s defeat against Aston Villa.” But what does “time for excuses is over” actually mean in this context?
I don’t recall Arteta being a man of excuses, but even if he were, so what? Excuses are explanations for things that have gone wrong. Stop talking about them and… what? Say nothing? I can’t work out what they think is supposed to happen. The phrase actually means “stop making excuses” but Arteta isn’t making excuses, so it is meaningless.
5. Let’s make up a statistic that is wrong.
Give me sport are at the forefront once more saying, “For the first time in years, Arsenal are struggling to score goals.” Not quite GMS. Here is the number of goals scored by Arsenal season by season both for the club and the top scorer, throughout this century.
|Season||Goals scored||Lge pos||Top scorer||Goals|
|2006–07||63||4||Robin van Persie||13|
|2008–09||68||4||Robin van Persie||20|
|2010–11||72||4||Robin van Persie||22|
|2011–12||74||3||Robin van Persie||37|
*The figure for Auba this season is based on his scoring rate thus far this season. But what can be seen is that the collapse is, on its present trajectory, going to give us our worst season since 1976.
6. Let’s buy some more players
We used to have people writing into Untold all the time saying “The definition of madness is doing what has failed before over and over again in the hope it works this time.” That is what they said about Mr Wenger as he went through his long and tedious 20 year period of taking us into the Champions League year after year. But buying new players is what we have been doing. Apart from whether there is more money to invest in the club, why does anyone thing it will happen next time when it hasn’t each time we’ve done it so far?
7. Change manager
We’ve had three in three years and each has been doing worse than the one before season by season, so having another one each year until we hit on another Mr Wenger (3rd in 1996/7, his first season, double winner in 1997/8) is possible but a) expensive and b) liable to drag us ever lower if it takes time to find Wenger II.
8. Bring back Ozil and apologise to him
That will have to wait until January but it could work.
Overall, we could try any or all of these, but unfortunately most of the strategies that don’t work (such as endlessly buying players and constantly changing managers) actually drag us down, lower and lower.
The sad truth is the club, allied to some of its supporters, has boxed itself into a position from which there is no way out. What we need is a time machine to allow the club to go back and undo the mistakes of the last few years.
- 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