13 games in six weeks! Chelsea’s hard luck story; Arsenal have been there done that



By Tony Attwood

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One of my arguments against the way the entire media in England presents Arsenal is that the media has a “standard view” into which all the facts are twisted to fit.

This view says that anything that is negative that surrounds Arsenal is normally totally Arsenal’s fault.  Many of the things that happen with some other clubs (Chelsea for example) is really hard luck and unfair.

Indeed we have a perfect example of this with a hysterical headline from the Daily Mail that recently appeared in which they effectively ask for sympathy for poor Chelsea while ignoring the fact that Arsenal have suffered the same fate.

Here is the current “poor Chelsea, it’s not fair” headline…

And it does indeed sound pretty dramatic and unfair, so that in reading the statement we don’t actually take in what “up to 13 games in six weeks” means.  But the boldness of the heading (which in the Mail was about twice the size as I have presented here) and the emphasis on THIRTEEN (which cleverly stops us taking in the meaning of “up to”) means we just think “oh, wow, that’s ludicrous”.  Poor Chelsea.

The piece was written by CHARLOTTE DALY (always as block caps in the Mail, for reasons which will not become apparent at this time) who presumably is not the Charlotte Daly who is Head of Policy and Strategy at London Borough of Islington.  (Be funny if it were though!)

Anyway this Charlotte Daly is a one-woman typing machine, as in one day (and yes I really do mean one day) she produced not just this “13 games” story but allso five other earth-shattering football articles for the Mail.

And if you find it hard to believe that one journalist can produce six researched, detailed and checked-for-accuracy articles for a national newspaper in one day, these long links are the actual headlines of her stories in the Mail…

Article 1

Now my point here is that it is not just the writing of the story that takes up the time of the journalist, it is also the research, the phone calls, the checking, the editing, the following up on anything that doesn’t quite ring true…

Even on Untold Arsenal, which of course is just a blog run by a few friends and without any pretence of having lots of contacts in the world of football who we can call up and get information from, it normally takes several hours to research, create, type up, check and publish a story.  And we’re just an amateur blog.

The Mail is giving us the pretence of being a newspaper bringing original stories to us through the day.  Stories that its team has researched.

But instead, it seems like it is one lady knocking six of them out AND doing all the research, day by day.

So how could this be?  Well, one way would be that the lady in question is simply not doing any research or checking at all.  But no, that would be too shocking!  No checking of facts???

And I ask this because back in 2020 I did a little bit of counting myself, and I found Arsenal playing 13 games between 17 June 2020 and 1 August 2020.  10 in the league and three in the FA Cup including the final.  13 games in 43 days.  And she is making a fuss about UP TO 13 games in 42 days with no mention of Arsenal having suffered in the same way.

Really this is not news – it’s just an old story.  The key issue is how many Chelsea will win.  Arsenal won eight, drew one and lost four.   But most of all, we won the cup playing this ludicrous schedule.

Date Match Res Score Competition
17 Jun 2020 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-0 League
20 Jun 2020 Brighton and Hove v Arsenal L 2-1 League
25 Jun 2020 Southampton v Arsenal W 0-2 League
28 Jun 2020 Sheffield United v Arsenal W 1-2 FA Cup
1 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Norwich City W 4-0 League
4 Jul 2020 Wolverhampton Wands v Arsenal W 0-2 League
7 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Leicester City D 1-1 League
12 Jul 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 2-1 League
15 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Liverpool W 2-1 League
18 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Manchester City W 2-0 FA Cup
21 Jul 2020 Aston Villa v Arsenal L 1-0 League
26 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Watford W 3-2 League
1 Aug 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-1 FA Cup Final

Poor Chelsea?  No, Arsenal had it that bad, and quite probably so did other clubs but it does raise a question.

In reality it looks as if none of these stories that pour out from the Daily Mail hour by hour is actually researched at all.  Maybe they are all created by people just sitting at computers making things up.  Now there’s a thought.

The media’s take 

One Reply to “13 games in six weeks! Chelsea’s hard luck story; Arsenal have been there done that”

  1. Actually when the league and other competitions (FA cup/CL ) started up following lockdown Chelsea likewise played the same number of games 9 league games, 3 in the FC cup but Chelsea had one further game albeit in the CL were we got hammered by Bayern Munich

    The difference this time around is no other club this season will have any where close to the same schedule

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