By Tony Attwood
As we have been noting the media absolutely will not touch the story concerning Arsenal’s dramatic tactical switch which reduced the level of tackling by the club last season and so reduced the yellow card level for the season by 45%.
To achieve this Arsenal were engaged in a major change in their approach, which again has never been mentioned by the media. Instead they plough on hour after hour with transfer tales of which we know from previous years, will be 97% or more inaccurate. Arsenal will then be blamed for being too slow in acting in the market.
As part of this we are now seeing the introduction of stories in which Arsenal are supposedly asking every club going for any player who can move. In response the player is saying “no”, he doesn’t want to play for Arsenal. It’s becoming quite a dominant Arsenal theme.
Attached to this we are now also seeing daily put-downs of Arsenal, which as we’ve seen from the various statistics presented here, have nothing to do with the truth. Here are a few samples for our new section which (until I think of a better title) I’m calling
Gibberish of the day
The Gunners face a crucial summer transfer window after a largely dismal season under Mikel Arteta. (Team Talk).
New signings with similar quality from elsewhere are a must if Arsenal are to progress. (Team Talk)
You can genuinely get better odds on Arsenal being relegated than winning the Premier League… (
Premier League grades: Chelsea, Leeds, Man City top of the class as Arsenal flounder (ESPN)
A run of five straight wins to close the campaign can’t mask another very disappointing season for the Gunners. An eighth-place finish means no European football for the first time in 25 years, which will serve as a huge blow to the finances and reputation of the famous club. Mikel Arteta will not survive another year like this, while fans continue to hope absentee owner Stan Kroenke sells the club or finances some major signings to change the mood. Grade: D+ (ESPN)
Xhaka: Quality? Or the Most Overrated Player of Recent Years (and That Says Something!)? (
Premier League grades: Arsenal’s season to forget (
Bundesliga Side Indifferent Over Arsenal’s Interest In Star, Gunners Face Forking Out Big Fee (Inside futbol)
Arsenal transfer chief Edu facing £20m Tiago Tomas heartbreak despite talking for ‘months’ (
This is the coverage Arsenal are now facing hour after hour as the media try to cover their own backs, having told us how awful Arsenal were, only to find that the stats say the opposite. It’s total denial and deliberate distraction.
And of course it might have an effect. Agents and players might well be influenced in terms of where they want to go, but the chances are that Arsenal actually are not looking to buy very many players, given the way they performed after Christmas. So a transfer window of a couple of purchases could be all that Arsenal are actually after. The media can then portray it as a total disaster, exactly as they predicted.
Then if Arsenal do ok next season it will all be put down to pure luck.
There is also one other factor that the media choose never to look at – the balance of the squad in terms of “home grown” and “non-home grown” players within the limit of 25.
In this regard Arsenal are being helped enormously by having several players in the squad who are home grown and will thus not take up the places normally filled by foreigners.
The rules for next season have not changed: clubs are only permitted to include up to a maximum of 17 foreign players, although as ever this only applies to over-21 players who can be used by clubs throughout the season.
Arsenal were short on the home growns last season, and as a result had a squad that had a full complement of foreign players, but had spaces in the home grown list. From that list Bellerin is tipped to leave, but Chambers, Holding and Iliev will probably stay. Even with Bellerin staying that still leaves four places for home growns. I suspect Willock will be one and I think Smith-Rowe will be old enough not to be in the under 21s next season.
So assuming I am roughly right in this counting we are going to have two home grown places available without selling anyone. After that it will be one in one out.
Arsenal against the Media
- The challenge facing Arsenal fans is to disregard the fairytale and follow the facts
- If this is an explosive rant from Arteta I’m a Martian
- Arsenal are once again a top four club, and the figures since Xmas prove it
- Arsenal are back to being a top four club – so why change the defence?
- How the media is trying to destroy Arsenal: the perfect example
- Proof that the media is inventing statistics to show there’s no ref bias.
- How one journalist decided to turn the truth about Arsenal upside down.
- Why the media is always so negative about Arsenal
- Are we unique in doing so well after Christmas, and why 8 goals would sort it
- The four reasons why are the media so very much against Arsenal
- Have Arsenal always been a team of two halves?
- And so the anti-Arsenal tales continue, but here is the truth…
- Which 4 Arsenal transfers are being mentioned the most by the media?
- Beyond any doubt Infantino is getting his way. Next: Fifa will leave Zurich
- World Cup chaos: the bits you may have missed
- Fifa establish their unchallengable right to change football rules as they go
- Extraordinary report claims Arsenals’ FA Cup win was not a major trophy!