By Tony Attwood
Oh how the pundits love Arsenal defeats because it means they can justify the notion that Arsenal are now going to bring in a whole new group of players which gives them more and more stories. As the Mirror put it a little while ago after the defeat to Everton, “Arsenal have been dealt yet another reality check after an impressive unbeaten run.”
Which is what makes it hard for them when we are on another unbeaten run. The Guardian now lead with Police make arrest over alleged racist abuse of Arsenal substitutes at Leeds which is of course important, but the Arsenal victory yesterday was actually headlined Another stodgy defeat weighs heavy on Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa.
It is up to the Telegraph to bring a greater reality to the commentary, saying “As the rest of the Premier League went into covid-enforced abeyance, Arsenal took advantage to strengthen further their position in the top four. More to the point, their victory over Leeds – mature, intelligent, with a perfectly executed game plan – suggests their presence there is no fluke.” That is a bit closer to reporting the situation, not finding something that fits we an agreed agenda.
In fact through the build-up to the game the lead point in the media was that Arsenal were going to change their squad again, the Mirror for example suggesting that “Arsenal are among those chasing Lille’s Renato Sanches but AC Milan too are keen on the midfielder,” – which is clearly a set up so that if Arsenal don’t buy Sanches, there will be no thought that maybe the club never wanted him, but rather a story saying Arsenal were too slow. Indeed the Mirror paves the way for this with talk of Arsenal having “been dealt yet another reality check.”
What they don’t ask is, where are the new players going to fit into this squad?
Indeed it is worth looking back just a few days to see what the media have been saying. Take the Mirror for example which ran Arsenal told they risk repeat of Mesut Ozil contract saga in “no win” dilemma
This relates to the Aubameyang story and it links to Darren Bent who announced, announcing, “I said at the time Arsenal were stuck in no-win situation. At the time, Aubameyang was playing fantastic, one of the best strikers in the Premier League, single-handedly won the FA Cup for Mikel Arteta. They started off the following season against Fulham, scored a good goal, got the contract and he has been a shadow of himself ever since.”
So what happened to this no win situation?
|11 Dec 2021||Arsenal v Southampton||W||3-0||Premier League|
|15 Dec 2021||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|18 Dec 2021||Leeds United v Arsenal||W||1-4||Premier League|
By my reckoning that is nine in the last three and one against which suggests the Bent story is rather off track. And here we might consider the past of Darren Bent. He was the man who when playing for Villa was photographed apparently out shopping while his team were losing to Liverpool and when he should have been at home recovering from injury. He later apologised.
So Bent, who also once appeared on BBC’s Celebrity Mastermind and scored a total of three points over two rounds, tells us, “When you have a centre-forward like Aubameyang, I’ve always said ‘you’ve got to play him, you’ve got to play him’.” The phrase “mindless gibberish” springs to mind for some reason.
Indeed what would be nice would be for the media to explain how they and their scribblers could get it so wrong. But they won’t.
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