It’s the anti-Arsenal drip and the false “facts” that are so insidious

By Sir Hardly Anyone

It is not each individual attack on Arsenal and its manager that is particularly frustrating and annoying, especially when it is not backed up by the facts – or indeed based on utter falsehoods.   But it is also the overall effect that is so worrying, for the newspapers by and large (and I stress not all the time but generally) run a constant anti-Arsenal campaign.

And it is not just against the players and the managers (although they get the brunt of it).  It can be against the crowd, the pitch, and now even the stadium.   Take this one

Arsenal’s home record certainly hasn’t been as strong since they moved to the Emirates.

Yep that is the actual headline from the TBR website, and they write, under the bold headline Home form worsening

“Arsenal’s home record certainly hasn’t been as strong since they moved to the Emirates.   The Gunners used to have an air of invincibility at Highbury, but their form, particularly in recent seasons, at home hasn’t been massively strong.”

Now we moved in 2006 as I am sure you will remember and for no particular reason a measurement was taken on 14 December 2020 after the home defeat to Burnley to see if the Emirates could be blamed for the poor run of form.

After that match the league table showing our home form was unimpressive to say the least – although we have to remember this was the season without fans, and so throughout the league, away form was generally better than home form.   This is to do with referee bias which was researched in depth by London School of Economics academics. 

You can read all the research via that link above, and the links within that article but basically here is a summary of Arsenal’s form showing what happened in 2020/21

Season Home percentage of points Away percentage of points
2018/19 57% 43%
2019/20 58% 42%
2020/21 44% 56%

So home form collapsed and away form went up in the season without crowds.  Quite how bad this got we can see from an extract of the foot of the table on 13 December 2020 showing home games only.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
13 Arsenal 6 2 0 4 5 9 -4 6
14 Leeds United 6 1 2 3 7 11 -4 5
15 West Bromwich Albion 6 1 2 3 5 12 -7 5
16 Manchester United 6 1 2 3 3 10 -7 5
17 Burnley 5 1 1 3 2 6 -4 4
18 Fulham 6 1 1 4 6 12 -6 4
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 0 3 3 6 10 -4 3
20 Sheffield United 6 0 1 5 2 8 -6 1
So one might begin to think that the air of invincibility went because of playing behind the doors which were very much closed, but in fact that’s not right either.And we know this because, somewhat randomly, a measure was made after 272 at the Arsenal Stadium, and compared with Highbury.  So the first 272 at the new ground and the last 272 at the old ground.

According to the ever wild, whacky, and downright inaccurate Daily Mirror, the Highbury numbers should be way out ahead of those at the Ems.   And the 272nd game at the new ground was indeed a defeat (that horrible 0-1 against Burnley).

But in fact the chart at that point showed a remarkable similarity between the old and the new ground

Games Highbury “Ems” Ems difference
Played 272 272
Won 171 178 +7
Drawn 66 59 -7
Lost 35 35 0
Goals for 538 562 +24
Goals against 226 234 +8

Now of course the Mirror isn’t the first paper to try this sort of thing – in fact the Mirror is never the first paper to try anything, but instead tends to take everything that others do, just that bit further, whether there is any evidence or not.

Although even on that score they are not alone in this.  The Sun which also has done a piece on the Emirates v Highbury comparison, but actually got the figures right, said, “Barring three FA Cup wins, Arsenal have struggled to replicate any major successes at the Emirates.”

OK so let’s look at this “three FA Cup wins”.  So to start, it is actually four FA Cup wins (2014, 2015, 2017, 2020. 

And between 2006 and 2021 only one team has bettered that: Chelsea have achieved five wins.   And as David Dein famously said, “Roman Abramovich has parked his Russian tank in our front garden and is firing £50 notes at us.”

The Sun adds, “Arsene Wenger once remarked that the club left its ‘soul’ behind at Highbury.  But it wasn’t until the Frenchman came along that they were a serious force in the Premier League.”

In fact there were only four Premier League seasons before Mr Wenger arrived, in which Arsenal came 10th, 4th, 12th and 5th.  The 10th was the Cup Double season, so there was an excuse for the club taking its eyes off the league, and the 12th was when George Graham was sacked for his financial dealings half way through the season.


16 Replies to “It’s the anti-Arsenal drip and the false “facts” that are so insidious”

  1. You are so right. This is prime gaslighting; they create an aura of negativity which creates a bandwagon which people love to jump on.

    I get particularly angry at former Arsenal players queuing up to put the boot in.

    Probably the worst is Martin Keown. In HITC this week, he claims “Pepe was simply not ‘at the races’ today (Saturday)”. Every other outlet said that Pepe was impressive and Arsenal’s chief creator.

    Merson is at the same level as a doomsayer. According to him, every aspect of Arsenal is worse than every other club. Last year he wanted Arteta sacked and replaced with Chris Wilder – you know, the guy who was sacked by Sheffield United.

    Now we have Seaman, Kevin Campbell (who is occasionally positive), Ray Parlour, who recently called for Dean Dyche to replace Arteta. And so it goes on……

  2. i don’t even watch talksport or sky anymore the lies they spread and the casual way they do it is insane i feel like your the only one that tells it like it is.

    man city produces Phoden and suddenly they are applauded for producing young talents when arsenal’s squad is made up of our youth.

    i am starting to think journalism isn’t about telling the truth but provoking emotions

  3. AJ
    Look on the bright side. At least Stewart Robson, who was the most prolific anti Arsenal contributor appears to have disappeared from the scene. I have not heard anything from him for a while.
    Incidentally Adrian Durham, Talk sports chief Arsenal hater has started an Arsenal Monday feature during which he insults, mocks and generally makes fun of any aspect of Arsenal, be it owner, manager, players, coaching staff and even supporters plus anything else he can think of to sling mud at. It is utterly disgraceful broadcasting of the lowest order. He is nothing but an arrogant, loudmouth radio bully boy and should be kicked (hopefully literally) off the airwaves.
    The sad thing is that there is little doubt that a lot of listeners will believe the crap he comes out with and form a completely distorted image of Arsenal. Hi is in my opinion doing a lot of damage to Arsenal FC and the club should take the matter up with the radio station responsible for letting this continue.

  4. I can’t help thinking that it goes right back to when Arsene Wenger (who?) arrived at the club as a complete unknown & not only turned the team into serial winners but changed the face of top flight football in England. They didn’t like being proved wrong & hated the fact that his impact was so big without having to brown nose the footy establishment. Oh, did I forget that he was also very intelligent and French! Plenty to hate there!

  5. mick Shelly

    He did this for years and was one of the many reasons I stopped listening to TS and eventually just about all football broadcasting years ago. I didn’t know he’d even stopped doing it.

    I asked back then whether Arsenal could/should do something about it.

    My point was would any broadcaster doing a demolition job on say Lloyds Bank, or Virgin Airlines or something owned by say Alan Sugar, get away with it. Surely it’s libellous at the very least ?

  6. Nitram
    Durham would counter any argument against him by claiming that he does say something positive on the odd occasion. That is kind of true except that his so called positive contributions are so laced with sarcasm and innuendo that they convey the exact opposite of positive.
    He is a devious, slimy and lower than a snake.

  7. As you suggest I believe this actually does our club harm and one of the biggest reasons is that so many of our fans actually buy into this garbage.

    And if they don’t buy into they claim it’s all just harmless fun.

    To those who say that I say ok then if this type of inaccurate journalism isn’t harmful why do we have such laws as libel and slander?

    Of course it’s damaging

  8. Although the media hostility certainly got worse in the Wenger era, it existed in the time of Bertie Mee (mainly Press in those pre-Sky, pre-internet days.)

    They never forgave us for the 1971 Double, no doubt because we beat Spurs and Liverpool in winning it.

  9. Ignore Mr Durham – he is a wind up merchant – he is so shallow he could walk under a snake while wearing a top hat! Then we arrive at the two slimy squids on Sky Sports Transfer Show .- Kaveh Solkehol and Damesh Sheth These two have , no doubt, learned their trade from the reticent Jim White who, incidentally, could hype up boiling an egg. They ply their trade on rumour with no substance at at all. Their favourite arrogant statements seem to be “it is my understanding” ” I hear from one of my contacts”. This brings me to our latest aquisition Tomiyasu, who, I thought, had a decent debut Saturday. According to Mr Solkehol “he was offered to a number of Premier Clubs”. Please Kaveh tell us which Clubs they are. While I am in full flow let’s mention the disgraceful Mr Atkinson at Goodison Park last evening. If he deemed Xhaka’s indiscretion at Man City worthy of a red card it is utterly incomprehensible that he failed to punish Tarkowski’s demolition of Richarlison
    with any sanction at all. One wonders what the assessor said to him post match. I recall Mr Pawson failing to caution Jorginho for a second time for a blatant pull on Lacazette’s shirt pre pandemic. Pawson was excluded the following weekend. The same fate should await Atkinson – we wait with bated breath!

  10. The best way to counter them is to laugh at their stupidity . There’ll be plenty of laughs to go around !
    We can vote for the Prattler Of The Day on this site . It might catch on on Instagram or somebody can makes funny memes of these . Some of these stay forever dormant on the internet. Only to resurface when new people discover it again .

    Like this one –

    I have given up explaining who the player in the photo was !

  11. It gets worse –

    ” And finally , the Metropolitan Police in London reported on Monday finding a man’s body floating in the river Thames . His name won’t be released until his family have been notified.
    The victim apparently drowned due to excessive marijuana consumption.
    He was wearing black fishnet stockings, a red garter belt, a pink G string , purple lipstick and an Arsenal T-shirt. He also had a cucumber stuck up where the sun don’t shine.
    The police removed the Arsenal shirt to spare his family any unnecessary embarrassment !”

    This must have been before the Norwich game !

  12. There are 2 morons working in the football punditry world. One is Gary Neville and the other is Jamie Carragher. Lack of factual analysis, misplace predictions, all doom and gloom for the teams that they hate. Their constant disrespect towards Arsenal and cringe worthy back licking of wealthy clubs and the clubs they like makes me puke in front of the TV screen. They make me feel that I can be the Prime Minister of England. And I’m not even English.

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