The appalling suggestion which is taking hold and could derail Arsenal completely

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal are under attack on all sides in an unprecedented propaganda campaign that has nothing to do with reality but everything to do with de-stabilising the club and bringing it to its knees.

The campaign is continuous, is repeated by numerous outlets, and is so simple that its aim can only be the of convincing readers that the huge improvement that took place during the final two thirds of the 2020/1 season didn’t happen!  

Of course the people who initiate and have run this campaign know its basic premise is false.  And indeed the whole concept of the piece is so wacky there is no chance of arguing it with logic.  It is total fantasy, make-believe.

And yet it is taking hold!  Here are its five parts


This approach also suggests Mr Arteta is a rookie manager, who can’t see what is self-evident to the media.  The argument ignores the phenomenal upturn in results in the last two thirds of the season and the tactical changes that brought this about.

This argument started out as a way to give the media a chance to write simplistic childish copy suggesting the club needs to buy, buy, buy in order to rise up the table.  But the “terrible season” idea has now become a statement in its own right.


Mr Arteta pulled off a brilliant tactical masterstroke last season and delivered a sensation in the last two thirds of the campaign.   But the media tale is that he was out of his depth, and without wholesale buying and selling Arsenal will be even worse next season.   This will encourage the card waving sloganeers to turn on the team, which will demotivate the players and possibly the club will sink lower and will give the media more to write about.


Having defined Arsenal as being in need of new players, the transfer window will be defined as a terrible failure, with Arsenal on the edge of the precipice.  Again, more simple writing for journalists with no need for any research.  Or indeed any thinking.


Arsenal Supporters Trust have demanded a seat on the board, a golden share and basically a major involvement in the club.  They’ve accused Arsenal directors of financial incompetenc and of taking funds for their own private use.

I can’t see the board of Arsenal giving AST a seat and a golden share, so in return AST will start the negative campaigning again, with another season of planes flying over and cardboard slogans demanding “Kroenke Out”.  More easy stories for the media.

This will most certainly stimulate the return of the Anti-Arsenal-Arsenal (the AAA) who hounded out Mr Wenger.   Black Scarf have announced that they will hold no more demonstrations, but that will be for nothing if AST take on the mantle of playing to the TV cameras, with TV directors liking nothing more than an anti-Arsenal-Arsenal demonstrations.   If that happens AFTV will have hit the main stream courtesy of AST.

Stories that cost nothing to research: every newspaper editors and blog writers dream.


The campaign cannot be argued against because is has not logic or evidence.  The story the anti-Arsenal writers and broadcasters are adopting is one that doesn’t take into account any evidence, is unrelated to reality, and has nothing to do with reason.

Take the case of Hector Bellerin, with the Mirror and multiple other sources saying he must be sold, only for them suddenly to include him in their selected team for next season – without any explanation.  It was as if all their anti-Bellerin ravings of the past two months were not there.

Or take multiple sources shouting that we were selling Leno (clearly considered by some to be good enough to be in the Germany squad) to replace him by Andre Onana who is serving a nine-month ban for drugs offences at the moment!

Or none of the writers who were bringing up list after list of players we were buying and a few we were selling, realising that if what they said took place we would have very few of our squad members who were over 21 who were home grown, thus limiting us to a squad of around 20 or fewer players.

The whole story of a poor season, the need to buy and sell, and a manager out of his depth, is created entirely for the benefit of the media.


7 Replies to “The appalling suggestion which is taking hold and could derail Arsenal completely”

  1. Whilst i agree with the basis of this article re the media, it cannot be denied that 8th and early cup exits point to a need for vast improvement. Plus lets be fair you haven’t come up with any counter evidence/argument

  2. If you are saying a second 8th place in a row and not reaching the Europa final is not a terrible season you are deluded. Never ever judge a season on the second half of a season.The keeper had a iffy season thats why Arteta is after Onana. We ended up playing Saka and Xhaka at LB.In midfield we ended up relying on a midfield of Xhaka Partey Elneny and Ceballos.Aubameyang had a disastrous season. Admit it the season was poor and it needs us to have major surgery if we dont want another season of mediocrity

  3. I don’t think that the media could be blamed for negatively predicting result preempting events. The facts from Arsenal do not suggest otherwise, except one is trying to be academical about Arsenal. Common knowledge is Arsenal is not currently competitive, and the suggested improvements has yet to face the test of time. Defence, for instance, will have different players next season, with Bellerin rumored exit, of course, Luiz is gone. These two played more frequently than others.

  4. Arsenal finished in 8th place after a season where they spent a big chunk of the time in the lower half of the table. Those are two facts.

    Another fact is, despite the 8th place finish, the club were two games from 4th. Arsenal were 8th on 61points. Chelsea were fourth on 67. That’s two wins. If the Gunners had been 4th, the entire fan base would be doing back flips and lauding Mikel Arteta the best manager since Sir Alex retired.

    Two wins between utter disaster and back flips. That’s not logical. Pundits and supporters demanding a complete rebuild of the team are accepting an overly simplified narrative (as the author suggests) of how the team played. Yes 8th is bad, but 6 points from 4th is not (or should not be) panic stations.

    Arsenal, as a club, have definite needs. They need a central midfielder who scores and provides assists and an attacking midfielder who does the same. They need a dependable left back for squad rotation and cup games. They need either a capable reserve keeper or someone to compete with Leno for the number one slot. That’s four players; two for the first XI and two for the bench.

    That is, of course, assuming that the current team remains intact.

    There is no reason to add first-team defenders. Arsenal’s defense surrendered fewer goals (39) than all but two teams (Chelsea (36), and Man City (32). The club has a solid back four in Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, and Tierney; with depth in Chambers, Mari, and Saliba. Konstantinos Mavropanos is still on the roster, as is Cedric Soares.

    Holding midfield is adequate, with Partey not quite as good as he was for Atletico and Elneny better than he was before he left on loan. Center midfield is an issue, not because Granit Xhaka is poor, but because he doesn’t score goals or provide assists. He is a good player, but a starting central midfielder for a top team needs to score 5-8 goals and provide 5-8 assists. Xhaka passes, defends, organizes the team, leads, and moves the ball, but he is just not productive enough to be on the pitch in the central midfield role.

    In the attack, Arsenal have plenty of good players. emerging stars Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Emile Smith-Rowe are growing into top players, while Pepe was Arsenal’s most productive winger. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang are top forwards who were less productive this season mainly because they did not get the ball in scoring positions.

    While Smith-Rowe was improving, he was still not productive enough for Arsenal to make top four. Neither was Martin Odegaard, which makes it difficult to understand why he is seen as a “must sign” player.” 2 goals and no assists is not ‘mist sign,’ it’s ‘I hope he improves!’

    Lacazette had one of the highest shot to goal ratios in professional football; and scored 13 league goals as a part-time striker. Why anyone would want to sell the guy is a mystery. Aubameyang was starved for the ball. Adding a forward would be silly, as would selling either player.

    These are the facts.

  5. Quite a few points here Kieran. Having a simplistic definition of a person being deluded is rather extreme and dangerous and I am glad I’ve not had the fortune to be resident in a country governed by you. Your simplistic unidimensional vision of the world is of course your choice, and it is the approach the media are taking because they like simple data. But if my one of my companies was running at a £1m loss in the first third of the year, and during that time I took steps to change things, and then my company delivered huge profits in the next two thirds of the year I’d be rather happy. And this is what Arsenal have done.
    Put it another way, if Arsenal had had great success in the first third of the year and were top of the league, and then had two thirds of the season performing badly, I’d be miserable.
    Some of us have sufficient intellect to see trends and movements, some don’t. I wish that were not true and that we could all read trends, but sadly that is now how it seems to be.

  6. Tony

    Exactly, which is why even though we finished below Spurs, given their 2nd half capitulation in the league, compared to our revival, we have far more reason for optimism.

    It’s a truism that if you want to predict a persons, teams or animals chances in it’s next competition, match or race, you look for one that’s ‘coming in to form’, ‘hitting a good patch’ or ‘running on’.

    If you cannot this basic principle of how these things work in all forms of sport then you simply don’t understand a fundamental rule of performance.

  7. Correction:

    If you cannot grasp this basic principle of how these things work

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