By Tony Attwood
The Mirror newspaper has published the result of a survey in which it says, “Arsenal fans seem to have faith in most of their squad ahead of the 2021/22 season.”
Now I would argue that is perfectly reasonable given the dramatic turn around in tactics and the extraordinarily powerful final two thirds of last season. But that finding gives the Mirror a problem, for they have never admitted just how good Arsenal became nor what a dramatic turn around in the season they had.
Indeed now their favour excuse for Arsenal’s improvement (that we only played lower grade teams in the last two thirds of the season, and so had an easy run in), has been blown away with a review of the actual matches: Arsenal only did well after Xmas because the fixtures were much easier, they have faced a difficult choice…
Either ditch their own research because its results were not what they wanted, or admit they were utterly and totally wrong (which would be honourable). Ultimately they went with. “Despite what many Arsenal fans would consider a rocky season, they believe they only need a few changes in their squad ahead of the start of the Premier League.”
And there is an interesting juxtaposition there – because part one of the sentence asserts that many fans consider this to have been a rocky season. But their own survey shows that this is not true. So we find what we have always suspected: they value their assertions and fixed beliefs above not only other people’s research, but even their own surveys!
They continue, “In fact, many Arsenal fans think they already have some stars who can help them climb the Premier League table next season.
“Bukayo Saka (99%), Kieran Tierney (99%), Gabriel (97%), Thomas Partey (97%), and Emile Smith Rowe (97%) all topped the vote for the players fans think Mikel Arteta should keep…”
But the real killer, the really wonderful, amazing, incredible statement on the whole evolution of last season comes from that amazing outlet, the Express.
“Arsenal finished eighth last season, a disappointing end to what started as a promising campaign.”
So when was this a promising campaign? After just six matches Arsenal were 11th. Across November / December Arsenal had seven league matches in a row consisting of five defeats and two draws. Arsenal hit 15th by match 11 and stayed there until finally coming out of the run on Boxing Day with a 3-1 victory over Chelsea.
Ahead of that Chelsea victory the league table looked like this…
|16||Brighton and Hove Albion||13||2||5||6||15||21||-6||11|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||13||1||4||8||10||26||-16||7|
Arsenal were 17 points behind the leaders after just 14 games, while being four points off relegation and the Express calls this “what started as a promising campaign”.
The Mirror of course also gets it wrong saying, “Arsenal endured a disastrous first full campaign under the inexperienced Spanish boss, failing to build on the high of their record 14th FA Cup triumph.” In fact Arsenal did build on that FA Cup victory, through the last two thirds of the season where they outperformed every other team in the League except Manchester City.
The Mirror then plays its old trick of quoting its own website by way of backup…
“As reported by football.london back in May, the Gunners have aspirations to sign a minimum of five players this summer, all of whom would strengthen an array of different positions within the squad. FoLo”.
Sadly, but inevitably, some blogs believe all this gibberish. But some go even further into negativity as when the blog “She wore a yellow ribbon” comes up with the headline, “Arsenal have to sell before they buy”.
One wonders with that what happened to the claim that Arsenal had a quarter of a billion pounds to spend which was reported in HITC, Star, Just Arsenal, Express, Caught Offside, Football London, Arsenal Insider, Team Talk, Goal, and so many more.
But of course you know, that’s journalism for you, if it doesn’t fit your prejudice, ignore it.
We are truly in the era of Newspeak in football. Facts are not just ignored, but the opposite of what they show is reported as the truth. And this summer has shown that the menace of Newspeak is everywhere.
- The great Arsenal untruth, and does it matter?
- Arsenal’s problem of late? Shots, goals, and (last season) accuracy
- Amazingly, in 2020/1 the more clubs tackled, the more goals they let in!
- The stupidest thing said about Arsenal this week
- WSL North London Derby – reflections on the game at the Emirates
- Arsenal have not got the youngest team in the PL. Or have they?
- Arsenal are the most fouled team in the Premier League. Why?
- Partey setback, AFC man hauled off, new C Ronaldo signing, Arteta desperate