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April 2021
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Who is Arsenal’s best player, and who should definitely be sold? The stats?

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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Position Index Player Club Minutes
1 89.5 Jorginho Frello Chelsea 799
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
6 81.7 Thiago Alcantara Liverpool 979
7 80.9 Granit Xhaka Arsenal 1154

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.

The media’s mistakes, misrepresentations, and misdemeanours and the bit they got right

3 comments to Who is Arsenal’s best player, and who should definitely be sold? The stats?

  • Nitram

    For about 15 years now I’ve been saying that the way we are treated in the media has a net negative effect on our club, team, and ultimately our players.

    As much as I accept it may affect a players mindset as to whether he may or may not come to Arsenal, may or may not push for a move away, I don’t believe that is the worst effect it has on us.

    My argument has always been that this relentless assault on our players has had the biggest impact on the pitch. This has been done by way of fostering various negative notions regarding individuals and the team/club as a whole.

    For example.

    Our players are soft.

    We have no leaders.

    We are always whinging.

    Our players are all diving cheats, just look at Pires.

    Arsenal players don’t like you getting in their faces.

    And so it goes on.

    All this creates an atmosphere where by kicking Arsenal is okay because they’re just a bunch of softies, and no only that, when you do kick em up in the air all they do is moan. What a bunch of whinging foreign cheats that lot are.

    It’s my argument that the referees all know this, after all they read the same things in the media we do, and referee us in a way that is pre ordained by all these notions.

  • Menace

    I think we as supporters can make a stand together with TH14. Boycott social media. I colsed my twitter account a year ago because it didn’t give me the freedoms I want.

    The reality is TH14 got it right. Close our accounts because the media morons allow racists and abusers to thrive.

    No more Twitter.

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