By Tony Attwood
Ask any of the journalists and fake news peddlers who write about Arsenal while urging Arsenal to change everything, simultaneously ignoring the enormous progress that the club has been making since Boxing Day) and the chances are they will start writing about the players we MUST MUST MUST sell because they are an absolute liability.
So, listening to the journalists, the chances are, the person you might nominate if you took their advice, s would be Granit Xhaka. Articles such as “Xhaka sacking a blessing in disguise for Arsenal” (Football Whispers) and “Ex-Gunner says Xhaka should be sacked and offers to play…” (Just Arsenal) or “Xhaka should offer to leave Arsenal” (Metro) or “Granit Xhaka’s error sums up the biggest problem Mikel Arteta has to fix at Arsenal” (Football.London). And on and on. Day after day after day.
This is what, in any other context of life would be called brain washing. An attempt by the media to influence Arsenal into getting rid of a decent player. In fact it is brain washing, and we should call it as such.
Now you might say, hang on, “decent????” “Everyone knows Xhaka isn’t a decent player!!!” And how do they know? Well because the media say so.
But what about a neutral observer of football? Or maybe a team of people who work on statistics rather than emotions. One who is not swayed by the rancid rhetoric of Mr Mustapha who (as we highlighted earlier) writes for Liverpool.com and then moves on to attack, attack, and attack everything Arsenal does, without any evidence at all.
Well, in football there is such an organisation, run by serious statisticians and recognised by serious analysts of the game. It is the CIES Football Observatory.
Here is the opening of their latest analyses…
“The CIES Football Observatory has developed a unique methodology to compare the performance of players irrespective of their position.” Their post highlights “the outfield footballers with the highest score for domestic league matches played since the 1st of January 2021 for each of the 98 big-5 league clubs.”
So with interest we turn to their Premier League figures, and this is what they find for the Premier League The top seven players in the league this year…
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|2||89.4||Ruben Dias||Mancheseter City||1335|
|3||85.3||Wilfred Ndidi||Leicester City||852|
|4||83.4||Luke Shaw||Manchester United||1133|
|5||83.1||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hots||1022|
The profile of each player is taken over six metrics which in Xhaka’s case come out as
- Shooting ≤ 10
- Rigour 45
- Recovery 58
- Distribution 83
- Take On 29
- Chance creation 52
Now of course every time we use statistics here people write in and say “you can prove anything with statistics” and “you must be a ****** ****** to believe that”, commenting also that they believe the evidence of their own eyes. And saying that “Everyone knows that…”
But the fact is that one’s own eyes simply cannot take in all those nuances in the six points above. So instead what most people believe is the evidence of bloggers and journalists opinion. Xhaka is rubbish because everyone says so and I can see it. That’s how it goes.
This can happen in other clubs as well, and indeed when clubs are looking out for a player to get on the cheap, this is what clubs look out for – a player who is maligned by the alleged fans of his own club, who then is forced to move on because of the way fans have taken against him. The next club picks up a bargain and says thank you very much.
Then of course when that player starts to shine in his new club, the media go deathly quiet, and slowly fans turn around and blame the club for selling someone who could become so brilliant elsewhere. The manager is blamed primarily, and so the call is made for the manager to be sacked and the journalists join in. But in fact the people who are to blame are the journalists and bloggers with their allegations.
Now I know I go on and on and on against about journalists, but it is factual evidence such as this that proves yet again that it is the journalists who are ceaselessly and remorselessly damaging Arsenal. They are the ones knocking us all the time, forcing players out, and making available player not want to come to Arsenal.
Does anyone actually think that players don’t see what is said in the media? They know the players who are maligned like this in the media, and they know clubs that get most of it. They know they could be next – no matter how good they are.
So when they see a club like Arsenal which gets far more than its fair share of player demolition, is interested in them, they think, no not Arsenal. Let’s wait for another club. And when Arsenal don’t get the player the fans turn again on the club and say they are always too slow.
Arsenal does have an enemy out there. The journalists. It really is time to notice, and do something about it.
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