By Sir Hardly Anyone
Each monday, the Guardian runs a column on 10 talking points from the weekend’s action, which this monday manages to include nothing at all about Arsenal. There was, it seems no talking point. At least none concerning the club that is now second in the league.
So if the Guardian have no talking point to contemplate after two wins out of two (while of course they like every other outlet couldn’t stop talking after last season’s first two games which were both defeats) I thought I would take a peek at what Reach plc are saying. They own Football.London, the Mirror, the Express, the Record, the Star, and dozens of regional papers. Thus they have the ability to create an infinite number of stories which in each case is credited to another outlet in the group, thus sending the reader who wants to know the real source, round and round in circles.
They have “William Saliba ready to upset Arsenal ‘chemistry’ after latest Mikel Arteta plaudit” which tells us that the centre-half looks set to be a regular, which could upset the centre-half duo of Benjamin White and Gabriel. In short, not a benefit to the club but rather a worry. An “upsest”.
In another piece we are told that the boss “knows they need reinforcements if the Gunners are to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2015/16 campaign.”
So what we’ve now got is NOT enough although having the extra player in defence was likely to unsettle players (in the previous story) and “A move for Villarreal wonderkid Yeremy Pino is close, while Arsenal fans made it clear on Saturday they want to see Youri Tielemans join Arteta’s side.” (Actually I thought that chant was simply a jibe at a bunch of very miserable Leicester supporters.)
But elsewhere the Mirror is certain that Tielemans is not coming to north London because the club left the making of an offer “too late”. There’s no evidence of that at all. Indeed no evidence that any bid has ever been made or that Arsenal actually want the player.
Then there is the suggestion that Kieran Tierney, “is believed to be on Manchester City’s radar.” The implication is that Arsenal are far too weak to hold onto players.
On the positive side the Mirror did give a mention to those of us who were at the game, quoting Arteta as saying, “I think the crowd was special, especially after Saliba’s own goal. The way they reacted was something I’ve never seen in football; the amount of support and connection they are showing with us, and especially with William, lifted the team straight away. I have to thank them so much for that.”
Meanwhile they tell us that the hunt goes on for more players as “Arsenal sporting director Edu has been spotted boarding a flight to Valencia amid suggestions the Gunners are ready to move for Yeremy Pino.” He’s a 19 year old who plays for Villareal and will cost £33m, and it gives a new twist to the old “spotted at the airport” story.
Now I’ve never travelled first class, but I have for work made a few business class trips and really, the customers for the expensive seats don’t hang around in the queues much. Spotted at the airport as you are whisked into the first class lounge? I doubt it.
Mind you some of these commentaries are getting pretty desperate. For example there is a whole article on how Piers Morgan has allegedly changed his mind about Mr Arteta. As if that mattered in any way!
There is also a whole article based around the simplistic observation that “Smith Rowe is relying upon one of his teammates to be absent so that he can, across 90 minutes.” And?
The Mirror also spends a lot of time on the Amazon Arsenal show, quoting Arteta as saying, “Auba is an exceptional player. He did so much for us. He was our captain and I think we have to be grateful, very grateful as well, for what he did for this club.” Since they never utilise the concept themselves the Mirror has no notion of diplomacy and don’t seem to be able to understand it.
Elsewhere they note that “Mason Mount has labelled Aaron Ramsdale’s FIFA 22 rating as a “disgrace” after the goalkeeper was downgraded from a 75 to a 74 following his move to Arsenal.
Of course some of their sources are people who make a living out of having an pointless opinion. As with “Mikel Arteta should ditch his current formation and switch to a three-man defence in order to accommodate William Saliba, Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes. That’s according to former Gunners midfielder Paul Merson.“
So it goes on. It’s as if they were expecting to fill their columns with another “Arsenal disaster” story about losing the first two games of the season, and now can’t cope with the notion of winning instead.
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