By Tony Attwood
The headline in the Guardian reads “Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action“.
Below that there are pictures of three players: one from each of Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
After that the article starts…
“Manchester City are starting to get back on track, Jessie Fleming is in flying form for Chelsea and Spurs’ planning is paying off.”
Thereafter we go through five sub-headings and over 750 words plus a photo of Tottenham Hotspur players celebrating their late equaliser against Manchester United, before getting to a sub-heading which tells us that Captain Kim reaches half century, and we get a bit about Arsenal.
You might well be forgiven at that point in thinking that Arsenal, having changed their manager last season, have been having a rough time of it. One big headline maybe about a drubbing in Barcelona, and not much else.
So how has it been? Mid-table after last year’s promise which resulted in coming third and getting into the Champions League via the summer play offs? Oh yes and wasn’t there something about getting into the much delayed FA Cup final as well?
Actually there has been a little more than that. Including such minor details as being top of the league, having a perfect start of six wins out of six, just two goals conceded in those six games, a goal difference of +21…
|3||Tottenham Hotspur Women||6||4||1||1||8||4||4||13|
|4||Brighton & Hove Albion Women||6||4||0||2||11||5||6||12|
|5||Man Utd Women||6||3||2||1||11||10||1||11|
|6||West Ham Women||6||2||2||2||8||8||0||8|
|7||Man City Women||6||2||1||3||11||12||-1||7|
|8||Aston Villa Women||6||2||1||3||4||10||-6||7|
|11||Birmingham City Women||6||0||1||5||2||15||-13||1|
So why is Arsenal left until the end with details of their perfect start tucked away almost apologetically after mini-articles headed
- Patience is a virtue – but how much is there at Everton?
- City win for first time since opening round, (this one rubbing salt in the wound as it begins, “The main talking point this season has been Manchester City’s poor form.”)
- Chelsea’s Fleming continues good form
- Spurs show the importance of a plan
- Birmingham still without a win
In short the crazy press negativity about Arsenal that resulted in the men’s game with the media conspiring not to mention Watford’s illegal assaults on the club at the weekend. I think it’s called gender balance; after throwing mud over the men’s team there is now a desire not to mention the women’s team – sailing away at the top of the league – at all.
One might even think that Gerard Piqué is behind all this. Some years ago he took over FC Andorra, and through a series of promotions has now taken them to the edge of competing in the second division of the Spanish league.
Their crowds is measured in the thirties – that is actually 30 people, not 30,000 but it is a great romantic story with their aim at the moment being not to get a better stadium as many third division clubs in England suggest is their aim – but rather to get a stadium. Their first stadium in fact.
It is a nice tale, but really, what on earth is behind this attempt to blot Arsenal out of the media landscape. Rising from bottom of the league after three games with no points, up to fifth in the league after 11 games, while playing Watford, the fouling kings of the league, with no mention of the fouling in the reports… three points clear of the sainted Manchester United… I am starting to think we could be better off in the Spanish League third division with Andorra.
Oh yes and would anyone care to comment upon Arsenal’s home record this season? And do remember that after three games the media was talking about this Arsenal side being the worst Arsenal side since before the Flood.
Anyway just in case anyone is interested in our home form here is the home table.
But should you dismiss all the above, let me give you the headline this afternoon from Football London – the online backup mouthpiece of the Daily Mirror.
“Sir Alex Ferguson agrees with Pep Guardiola on one major criticism of Arsenal supporters”
And that is
“Sir Alex Ferguson has said that Arsenal fans should be ‘ashamed’ of their treatment of Arsene Wenger during the Frenchman’s final few seasons in charge of the club.”
Well yes, they should, but who was it who encouraged them to be that negative? Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and Arsenal Fans TV were of course a major part of it along with the Black Scarf Movement. But who encouraged them by telling us constantly how awful Arsenal were? Why, it was none other than … the Daily Mirror.
Now there’s a thing.
- Arsenal v the team that will present a giant toothbrush to our captain
- Arsenal squad for Europa League game
- The abuse of female footballers is appalling, but there is a wider context
- Why Arsenal v Glimt might be tougher than the game against Tottenham
- Is the team that passes the most, the team that gets the best results?