By Tony Attwood and Christophe Jost
The Athletic is in no mood to compromise, and indeed in no mood to back off the gaslighting. They say, “Despite getting their first semi-proper pre-season under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal began the 2021-22 Premier League season as they ended the last…”
So let’s consider this “as they ended the last” bit.
I am not sure how many games “as they ended up the last” actually includes. But let’s keep it simple: the last ten in the league, or maybe the last five in league. (The Athletic is always vague when it does its full-on gaslighting thing, so we have to cover all angles).
Now gaslighting means refusing to enter a debate with real facts, and that is exactly what the Athletic does. Just as when they told us that “Disgruntled Arsenal fans to launch breakaway phoenix club based in Surrey – Dial Square FC”
That was an unfortunate article to say the least, in that it opened with the assertion that Arsenal were called Dial Square until 1893, which if you have ever read any book on Arsenal, or indeed looked at the Arsenal History Society’s daily blog, or our series of articles on 1886 (the year of Arsenal’s foundation) you’ll know this is completely untrue. Arsenal only played one game (and that in 1886) as Dial Square.
But anyway, the Athletic is still out there Arsenal bashing and gaslighting.
The truth about the “where they left off” comment is that with their last ten league games last season Arsenal won six, drew two, and lost two. And in case the next argument is that we only played teams in the bottom half of the league, these games included West Ham (sixth last season), Liverpool (third), and Chelsea (fourth).
And just to help a bit further: 30% of the Premier League came in the top six last season. And 30% of our last ten games were against top six clubs. And we won 60% of those games, and lost 20%, And scored 18 goals conceding ten. Mostly we won during the last ten games. This time we lost. So the same as how we finished last season. So obviously not, it is hard to imagine how anyone ever thought it was true.
But when you are gaslighting, denying reality is the first concern.
There is another interesting issue: the opening games of the season tend not to be very good at predicting what happens at the end of the season.
Last season the early league table was a bit confusing because not all teams played games at the same rate, but even so you can get an idea of how it went. Here is the table on 26 September last season. The penultimate column (“Final”) shows what position the teams ended up in, while “Variance” shows how far away each club was at this early stage, from where it ended up.
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||3||1||0||2||3||16||-5|
Of course we may ignore the fact that Manchester City have spent a billion or so in 10 years, and still, they are still totally incapable of equalling Mr Wenger’s record of an unbeaten season, achieved on a fraction of the cost. What is wrong with them?
Certainly, if the press has any ‘balance’, they ought to start questioning Guardiola’s tactics – after all he did not lose his top three strikers just before the game as Arsenal did.
But most of all, we wonder this: where are the conjectures about the owner calling Guardiola right after the game to remind him of his obligations and express his anger, deception, despair, (choose whatever you want), about selling half the players and not getting Messi and Haaland before the transfer window closes ?
Eventually the media will catch up, although we fear it could take them a little while. There will, in the meantime, be much use of a Supercomputer (there is always a supercomputer, even though those are strictly reserved for somewhat more serious matters), and so much use of cloud resources that the FBI will go onto red alert with the thought that someone has hacked the Amazon’s server hosting infrastructure.
But yes, we can be sure, eventually the truth will out and it will be confirmed
No team that has lost it’s first game of the season has ever been able to go Invincible !!!
Incredible, is it not ? Can you believe this statistic ? We’ve checked, double checked, called in experts from all over the world. Still, our first findings were confirmed. We know how to count.
So now we await the inevitable: the “spotted at the airport” report in which Messrs Guardiola and Arteta are seen being put on a plane to… well where?
Somewhere hopefully where the real football news can be published seriously without invented comments about Arsenal starting this season as we ended the last. We didn’t. We had two forwards ill and their first replacement injured.
Here’s another thought. After just one match, half of the Premier League have given up the quest for an unbeaten season. Given the reporting we have been seeing we’re surprised no one has mentioned that.
- Arsenal transfers: Gnabry return, White a disaster, Martinez a loss?
- Why do journalists get so fixated on scoring in double figures?
- Buying players does not mean success as last season shows…
- All change with PGMO and the refs.. But what change?
- The last five years proves one big thing: nothing is guaranteed.