The overwhelming arrogance of journalists is destroying football



By Bulldog Drummond

By and large football journalists know little about football tactics, and less about football supporters.  But still they go on pretending that they know exactly what clubs should do, in the vague hope that this will then stir supporters into criticising their clubs, which will then give the journalists another story without doing any work whatsoever. 

Take the Guardian’s piece, Ten signings Premier League clubs should target in January   The implication is clear – the clubs SHOULD try and sign these players but they probably won’t because they don’t have the insight of the journalist who wrote the piece.

For what it is worth Arsenal SHOULD try and sign Dusan Vlahovic of Fiorentina and Andrea Belotti of Torino.  So now we know.  Such a signing (or two) will then push Martinelli and Balogun further down the list, encouraging each of them to leave.  Did the journalists think of that?  Well most likely yes, because if Arsenal do sign one of those two players suggested, then the club will be blamed for not supporting its own youth players and the journalists will have another tale to write.   It was ever thus.

Manchester United come to the match what journalists like to call “the back of a positive run” – they have not been beaten in two games, after beating Villareal and drawing with Chelsea but before that it was one win in five games – a victory over the not very mighty Tottenham Hots.

The BBC, as it generally does, is predicting a Manchester United revival, with the entity known to the BBC only as Lawro saying, “United still don’t look right at the back but a point at Stamford Bridge was a step in the right direction and, if Aaron Wan-Bissaka hadn’t had a rush of blood, they might have taken away all three.  Surely they will build on that improvement and I am sure we will see more of the same against Arsenal.”

However if it is a draw or we win it will be the first time in history that we have gone through seven games without a Manchester U. victory.  Also if we stop them scoring then it will be the first time we have gone through four games in succession against them without conceding a goal.  A 1-0 win would make it the seventh match at very old Trafford that we have won by a single goal in a row, which would be rather jolly.

And I must admit the BBC do come up with some fine statistics.  Take this one for example.  Manchester United in their league games last month delivered 17 shots (an all time Premier League low).  Against them they faced 60 shots, more than any other club.

That seems hard to believe.  Here are the matches that gave those totals…

Date Match Res Score Competition
6 Nov Manchester United v Manchester City L 0-2 Premier League
20 Nov Watford v Manchester United L 4-1 Premier League
28 Nov Chelsea v Manchester United D 1-1 Premier League

And another one; between April 1958 and March 1959 Manchester United failed to record a single match in which the opposition failed to score across 21 home matches.   They have not reached that monument yet, but are on 14 consecutive games. 

Countering that, this season, if we score, we don’t get beat.  Look…

Date Match Res Score Competition
25 Aug 2021 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal W 0-6 League Cup
11 Sep 2021 Arsenal v Norwich City W 1-0 Premier League
18 Sep 2021 Burnley v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
22 Sep 2021 Arsenal v AFC Wimbledon W 3-0 League Cup
26 Sep 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 3-1 Premier League
18 Oct 2021 Arsenal v Crystal Palace D 2-2 Premier League
22 Oct 2021 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 3-1 Premier League
26 Oct 2021 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-0 League Cup
30 Oct 2021 Leicester City v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
7 Nov 2021 Arsenal v Watford W 1-0 Premier League
27 Nov 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 2-0 Premier League

So an early goal would be welcome.

More shortly… although if you missed the previous comments you might like to flip back…

5 Replies to “The overwhelming arrogance of journalists is destroying football”

  1. About Balogun: he scored – again – last night, as our u21s knocked Plymouth out of the EFL trophy
    What does he have to do to be on the first-team bench – at least – I wonder?
    Reading articles about arsenal often has that kind of effect on me
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L_pvdDtD_g&ab_channel=Hearts4TV
    … I guess I’m not the only one, especially on this blog.
    Having said that, there’s one journalist I keep reading, one I … well, respect
    Guardian’s Barney Ronay is as anti-Arsenal as the next man (actually he’s more of a Manchester (Utd and/or City) fan – how could i blame him for that?), but there’s something worth reading in each and every one of his articles
    He’s knowledgeable, has style, humour, and a genuine passion for the game and its history: his latest piece about Utd’s new guy (Rangnick) is excellent; I particularly enjoyed his mention of Valeriy Lobanovskyi’s Dynamo Kyiv; Lobanovskyi hasn’t gone down in history as the coaching genius he was, probably because it is forbidden to say/write anything positive about Soviet Union. Ronay has – even if it’s only (very) indirectly – so kudos to him.
    Well, that was the Arsenal’s fans’ compliant moment of the day; bracing myself up for tonight now, COYG.

  2. @LeGall,

    considering how well ESR and Saka have been integrated, how well martinelli does when on the pitch, I think Arsenal know what they are doing and are avoiding throwing the kids under the bus. The ‘escalation’ from youth teams to first team is a big one and many players are being lost on the way.
    Look at Willock. He was firing on all cylinders last year and suddendly, nothing works anymore.

    So Baolgun will probably need a couple of years to become a regular, as ESR and Saka have needed. Arsenal know the value of theyr youg guns and I believe are not trying to waste the opportunities. And too many youngsters in the team is not a sure fire recipe for success.

  3. Yes @Chris, you’re right, there is a risk … there always is
    There also is one when you buy a player, even a very expensive one – just think of Pépé
    The fact is Folarin has already played for the first team (last year in Europa League) and not only was he not intimidated, but he actually did very well (and scored)
    Now this year Auba, Laca (even if he has excuses imo) and Pépé have underwhelmed, to say the least. On the other hand, Marti, Eddie, Folarin seem to be working hard, improving, all three of them are in full bloom, so I keep asking myself “when do the children play?” and I don’t find any satisfactory answer to that question, all the more so since, as you say, the youngsters who do play tend to be our outstanding performers.
    As for Joe … well you’re 21, you’ve been at the Arsenal ever since you were five.
    Even though your goalscoring stats were the best of all midfielders at the club, you were never really given a chance, and you end up being loaned out, probably under the “do-well-there-and-you-will-be-given-playing-time-next season” pretext.
    Up there in the north, you break an all-time goalscoring record, you save the club from relegation. So you’re back at the arsenal, full of confidence, you score the only goal a midfielder scored during pre-season (against chelsea, wrongly disallowed) and as a result well you’re shown the door, and realize you had been sent on a fool’s errand last season, that your lifelong club has deceived you, let you down
    It’s true, Joe hasn’t been at his best this season, but once he’s got over what the Arsenal have done to him (and it might take some time) he’ll do well again; I actually found him very good against us last Sunday – I have a feeling Howe’s doing a great job with him.
    PS: we don’t agree, nothing less, nothing more, I totally respect your pov – I always read your post-match comments and couldn’t agree more with what you say about French commentators in particular
    Have a nice victorious night tonight!!

  4. @LeGall,

    I don’t disagree completely.. ;=) just add my nuance…. which is what civilised discussions are about are they not ?

    As far as tonight, I just hope we kick their south poles for good.

    As for french commentators, they are priceless in their ignorance and sometimes stupidity…..Guess they are not the only ones !

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