By Bulldog Drummond
The BBC is showing itself to be at its worst in its preview of this game saying, “Arsenal kind of reverted to type in their defeat by Crystal Palace on Monday because they didn’t just lose, they got taken apart.”
“Reverted to type,” indeed. And what is exactly is Arsenal’s “type”. Here is the league table for the last 26 games, which is a period long enough to give us the current “type”.
Of course, it is not the first time we have had to deal with nonsense like this. We’ve looked at it from different angles in articles such as Nothing is gained by teaching a parrot a new word and Outrageous attack on Arsenal as recent games. Then again we had Are really Arsenal in as bad a state as the Mirror suggests? not to mention Are the media trying to unsettle Saka and force a transfer?
Arsenal’s “type” as the BBC put it, is seen statistically from the fact that across the last 26 games Arsenal are the third best team in the league, two points ahead of the fourth club, eight points ahead of the fifth. Funny the BBC didn’t notice, especially as a little later they say, “Arsenal have suffered two defeats in three league games after a run of one loss in 11 (W9, D1).” And again elsewhere, “The Gunners are undefeated in 14 Premier League home games against teams below them in the table (W10, D4).”
Or yet again, “Arsenal have lost one of their previous 28 top-flight games at 3pm on a Saturday (W23, D4).” That is three examples of “Arsenal’s type” to which the club seems to have “reverted”.
In effect, it is simply a mindless smear and a thoughtless sneer of the type that we see hour by hour, day by day. The most accurate comment would be that the BBC sports unit reverted to type in knocking Arsenal without any reference to the facts.
Still they do manage to admit that, “Brighton have won just three of their last 25 league games.” But I wonder if maybe the piece was written by two co-writers who didn’t quite get round to talking to each other – although more likely it was just a sub-editor who only has four headlines at his command and all four knock Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Swiss Ramble has by chance published its excellent (as always) review of Brighton and Hove’s accounts showing “another substantial loss” of £53m, though this was better than [the] prior year’s £67m. Revenue rose £19m (14%) from £133m to a club record £152m and profit on player sales increased £7m (£1m loss in the previous season), but expenses were £15m (7%) higher.”
So, they’ve got an owner who will pour money in, but even so… These figures were helped by broadcasting money deferred from the previous year, but hindered by a lack of income because of covid. Of course, it is nothing like Arsenal’s or Chelsea’s loss (£156m) (these being the top two loss-makers in the league for the last financial year) but even so, quite a hammering to take.
Especially as, by Swiss Ramble’s reckoning, they have lost almost a quarter of a billion pounds in ten years – something that cannot be sustainable without a Russian oligarch hiding under the bedclothes (or in a yacht, or most likely, both). Swiss Ramble’s conclusion is “gross debt increased by £68m from £306m to £374m, mainly from owner Tony Bloom in the shape of an interest-free, unsecured loan of £337m (up £33m in 2021). It also includes a £37m bank loan against future TV money (up £35m).” “Unsustainable” I think is the word.
So moving on what about a team prediction? Or failing that a score prediction.
The Standard could not muster up a team for Arsenal, but while the BBC goes for 2-0 to the Arsenal, the Standard is more miserly with 1-0.
Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares;
Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;
and they go for a 2-0 win as well.
Pain in the Arsenal have the same team and also go for 2-0. And this is pretty much the team that everyone is opting for, with the thought that Smith Rowe will come on as a sub just as the defence is tiring.
We’re all toddling off to the game from our hideaways in the East Midlands so that’s it from us for the moment. More either later today, or Sunday morning, depending on when we get back.
- Arsenal injuries, the size of the squad, and past matches against Brighton
- How Brighton can put in more tackles than Arsenal without having a foul called