How one journalist decided to turn the truth about Arsenal upside down.

By Tony Attwood

Yesterday we published a piece Arsenal’s results are on track for top four finishes – from next season.   In case you missed it, it shows the extraordinary difference between Arsenal’s results in the first half of the season played thus far, and the second half.

The dividing line is Christmas Day – and although I hope you might have time to read the whole article (linked above) in case not, here is the key table…

2020/21 P W D L F A GD Pts
Games up to Xmas Day 14 4 2 8 12 18 -6 14
Games since Xmas Day 15 8 4 3 28 14 +14 28

And indeed if you don’t want to look at all the numbers there, just look at the last column.  Since Christmas we have done almost twice as well as we did before Christmas.

Now that is interesting because these are not just “last six” game figures, which as we have looked at before, are also showing us doing well, but they are over, self-evidently, the first 14 and last 15 games – so that shows a consistent improvement.

In a situation where journalists did the two fundamental elements of their job (researching information and reporting in an unbiased manner) it wouldn’t be down to Untold Arsenal to come up with data like this.

But of course journalists don’t do their job – which means the situation at Arsenal is clouded rather than illuminated.  Thus the Mirror deliberately ignores this fact and instead runs the story “5 questions facing Mikel Arteta”

The sub-heading of that story is

“The Gunners have had something of a rollercoaster season and with little indication of the direction they are headed as the campaign heads to its conclusion Mikel Arteta has much to ponder”

This is of course absolutely false and untrue in every regard in the light of the comparison of the first half of the season so far, with the second half.

There are only two explanations for this piece by ibrahim mustapha – either the journalist does not know anything at all about this season, or else he is deliberately writing a negative piece about Arsenal in order to get fans worked up, while (without having to do any research at all) fulfilling his contractual requirements to knock out a piece for the Mirror.

Now I didn’t know anything about Mr Mustapha when I started looking at this data, so I looked him up on Muck Rack.  They tell me he contributes to…

Sunday Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star (UK), Yahoo Sport UK, Yahoo, Birmingham Live, Wales on Sunday, Liverpool Echo, Manchester Evening News, Rochdale Observer, The Chronicle, AllAfrica, The Nation (Nigeria), East Riding Mail, Daily Trust, Football.London, Yorkshire Live, The Sentinel (Stoke), Nigerian Tribune, Leeds Live, LancsLive,, Blueprint, Elombah News, The News Chroncile, Headlines News Nigeria.

Two things stand out.  One is that his work is all over the place (what a busy fellow he is) and the other is that tucked among that list is – a place he would not be working without being a Liverpool fan.

In short we have here a Liverpool fan spreading anti-Arsenal propaganda that is based on fake news.

Let’s look at his five points

1. How can he get Aubameyang firing again?

Certainly if Auba was knocking in more goals we would all be happy. In 29 games we have scored 40 goals, which is exactly the same number as goals as we scored last season after 29 games.  It is way down on the season before after 29 games when we had 61 goals.  This suggests that this is not a short term problem as the writer says, but rather a long term decline in the working of the forward line under a different system of playing.   There is a problem but it is not simply Auba suddenly going off form.

2. How to cut out all the errors?

“The last few weeks have seen this ramp up to almost befuddling levels of incompetence where ridiculous goal-costing errors are happening in every single game.”

What mindless gibberish this is.  Since Christmas Arsenal have been performing twice as well as they were before Christmas and are performing better over that period of time than most of the other clubs in the table.

“At full time, Arteta is constantly left to explain away the latest absurdity”.  No, the truth is if the Mirror and its scribbler had any decency they would come out and explain the befuddling levels of incompetence in this article.

3. What is going on with the defence?

Here is a simple answer.  Arsenal have the fifth best defence in the league.  Only Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Villa have let in fewer goals, and Villa has managed that by playing fewer games.  A better question is “What is going on at the Mirror.”

4. What is the priority for the rest of the season?

“Of course, there’s absolutely no predicticting what this erratic side will do from one game to the next…” says the wild and wacky journo, (and its his spelling mistake not mine) but us grown ups tend to use trends to make predictions.  And since Arsenal have been doing twice as well in the second half of the season as the first half, the priority must be more of the same.  A bit better if possible, but let us not listen to mindless gibberish which is created by a writer at just to knock Arsenal.

5. How do you fit two into one?

“Salvaging anything from this season is more than likely going to be aided by the current jewel in Arteta’s team – the on-loan playmaker Martin Odegaard.”

I think Smith Rowe and Odegaard can play well together.  It’s as simple as that.

Overall however this article is what we get every day: turning the truth upside down and presenting nonsense as fact, hoping the readers are so incredibly thick that they won’t even notice.

And that is really the point.   We are all being treated with utter contempt with stuff like this.  And it goes on day after day.

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4 Replies to “How one journalist decided to turn the truth about Arsenal upside down.”

  1. The unfounded negative themes are shared across broadcast media and seek to perpetuate a number of myths;-

    eg Arsenal defence is weak, Arsenal lack leaders, Arsenal players lack bottle and will to win, Arsenal players don’t care, Arsenal fans are furious, Arsenal legends are constantly dismayed etc. Arsenal need to sell all their players, Arsenal need to buy a whole new squad. Arsenal have never replaced Seaman, Dixon, Bould, Adams, Vieira, Pires, Henry etc. Arsenal cannot keep their best players and so on.

    Whilst we can and do ignore such rubbish, it does appear, unfortunately, to influence a lot of “supporters” and other commentators.

    It is on a par with the insidious tabloid journalism which distorts the political reality in UK.

  2. I actually commented in the Mirror on this article and my comment was “deactivated”. The reason was my comment “appears to violate our community guidelines”. The funny thing is, I merely quoted your figures for the first 14 games and second 15 games, mentioned and then quoted his comment “befuddling levels of incompetence”.

    So the Daily Mirror is clearly thinks that the general public should not make such statements but that it is acceptable “journalism” even though there is no justification for their statement, whilst there clearly is for mine!

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