By Tony Attwood
There is a little article in the Guardian today. It is by Daniel Harris. He has apparently written two books, On The Road, a journey through a season (currently unavailable through Amazon – although that doesn’t say much as most of my books are the same) and one on cricket.
And he opens his article with this.
“Arsenal were dreadful for significant parts of last season, and a lot of that was down to Mikel Arteta and his players.”
So, “significant parts.” What is a significant part of last season? The first third, I guess was a significant part, because at the end of the first third Arsenal were 15th in the league. You might remember that. We’ve written quite a bit about that.
But that was the first third. Then came the next two thirds. And if the first third was a significant part, what were the remaining two thirds? The two thirds in which Arsenal were the second most effective team in the league. Was that a super-very-extra significant part of the season – but one that we don’t want to mention?
Now the next bit of that opening sentence is right – a lot of it was down to the manager and the players. And that is true for the next two thirds too – because, well, who else is there?
That was the bit when the club decided to stop tackling, having realised that they were being penalised far more readily than any other club for their tackling. In the end the club cut the number of yellow cards they were receiving almost in half.
As a result of that they became the second best performing club in the league. Just like now – over the past 10 games (last four of last season in the league, first six of this season, in the league)
So what does this mean…
“Arsenal were dreadful for significant parts of last season, and a lot of that was down to Mikel Arteta and his players”
The bit that is all wrong here is the “s” at the end of “part”. It was one part. The first third. And of course a lot of that was down to the manager and the players. There were other culprits – the massively negative media and the referees association (PGMO) ought to be mentioned too for the way it picked refs, but yes, a lot was down to the players and the manager.
So why write this? Presumably just to knock Arsenal.
And for the Guardian, why publish this? Presumably just to knock Arsenal.
And why does the media like to do this?
Well, to answer that let’s have a look at another article in the paper today. “Masterful Granit Xhaka the living embodiment of Arsenal’s dream derby”
This is a piece about Thierry Henry and Daniel Ek sharing a box at Arsenal Stadium, in which there is talk of “Those stormy days in May, when Ek sought to exploit the fury surrounding Arsenal’s decline.”
Which is weird because May was the height of Arsenal’s revival, not decline. And I wonder how someone like Nick Ames, a professional football writer, doesn’t know this.
Here are Arsenal’s results for May…
|2 May 2021||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|6 May 2021||Arsenal v Villarreal||D||0-0||Europa League|
|9 May 2021||Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion||W||3-1||Premier League|
|12 May 2021||Chelsea v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|19 May 2021||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|23 May 2021||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove||W||2-0||Premier League|
Decline Mr Ames? DECLINE???????????
Those five league games in May included one against one of the old-time top six, so it wasn’t as if it was an easy run.
Now by chance this morning we were looking at the end of last season and the start of this season, and wondering what Arsenal’s record is like compared with other clubs over that same period of time. The article was “Across the last ten league games Arsenal are second best in the premier league.”
You might remember the piece and the league table:
And maybe you will realise why we have just published it again. Because the media are ceaselessly making up stories about Arsenal. Two negative articles about Arsenal today in one paper.
Will we, tomorrow, for balance, see two articles extolling the brilliance of Arteta and co in turning everything around? Or will they just sail on looking for more ragingly negative anti-Arsenal propaganda?
The latter I imagine.
So now that funny chappie who writes in complaining we always write about the media and how boring it is might write in again. And in case he does let me explain.
This is a constant anti-Arsenal campaign and some Arsenal supporters buy into its mindless, factless, tripe. That’s why someone has to point out just how factually wrong the media is.
Arsenal were the second best team for the last two thirds of last season. Arsenal have been the second best team in the league across the last 10 rounds of Premier League action.
Someone needs to say it.
Guardian: stop gaslighting. It is beneath you.