By Bulldog Drummond
“The worst ever start to the season” is one of the most common phrases that one reads about Arsenal at the moment, but why is it important?
It would be important if losing the first two matches in a campaign meant that we then got relegated, but this is not so. The last time we lost the first two matches (which again was heralded as the worst start ever) was August 2018 – just three years ago, meaning these worst starts to a season come round quite often.
We lost the first two games of that season and then went on an 11 consecutive match winning streak and a 22 match unbeaten run. Also showing the lack of importance of the worst start to a season, is the fact that in our relegation season we drew our first game of the season with Manchester United, thus making it not the worst start to a season (although it was the worst season).
But we are going to have endless “worst start to a season” comments if we don’t at least get a draw – except of course League Cup matches can’t end in draws so we will have to have a penalty shoot out.
On top of this, the habit of the media of publishing headlines that are quite simply false is growing, and I for one find it annoying. West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal live score, H2H and lineups is one such, and within that article (at least when I looked this morning) there was nothing to indicate the lineups.
This habit of headlines that have nothing to do with the article is something that of course cannot be stopped and I wonder if we might start creating headline with the words “True headline” to indicate that it is not a made up one. Or “May contain fantasies” for the contrary.
Our injury epidemic table published earlier showed Nketiah, Partey, Gabriel, Bellerin and White all out with Lacazette, Tierney and Martinelli recovering slowly. But some of the media are reducing the number of injured down to just Gabriel, Partey and Bellerin, presumably in the hope of making the matter look even worse if things don’t go our way.
The Independent gives us a line up of
Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tavares;
Maitland-Niles, Odegaard, Saka;
And they actually predict we’ll win.
Sportsmole go for a 2-2 draw with Arsenal winning on penalties and offer a starting XI of
Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Mari, Tavares;
Nelson, Smith Rowe, Pepe;
I think in the issue of the centre forward I would go for Aubameyang myself because he needs to get himself fully up to speed, and the propaganda fall-out from another defeat would be rather damaging, not to say annoying.
The Evening Standard has a variation on the theme
Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tavares;
Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;
So thus far we can conclude that Ramsdale will play in goal, Chambers, Mari and Tavares will play in the back line, Xhaka and Elneny are going to stay as the solid wall in front of the back wall. Which leaves the attacking line as the debating point.
Anyway, back to the issue of Arsenal’s worst start to a season. It was, as far as I know, the relegation season, and in case you want to compare how badly things are going with that campaign, here are the opening results…
|2 Sep 1912||Woolwich Arsenal v Manchester United||D||0-0||Division One|
|7 Sep 1912||Liverpool v Woolwich Arsenal||L||3-0||Division One|
|14 Sep 1912||Woolwich Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers||L||1-2||Division One|
|16 Sep 1912||Woolwich Arsenal v Aston Villa||L||0-3||Division One|
|21 Sep 1912||Sheffield United v Woolwich Arsenal||W||1-3||Division One|
I doubt it will get that bad, but with the rampant negativity from the media and some “supporters” these days, you never know. And certainly if it isn’t that bad, they will pretend it is.
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- The last five years proves one big thing: nothing is guaranteed.
- Injuries Time to sack Tierney according to one part of the media
- Next season starting lineup and the new Financial Fair Play rules