“The jury is still out on Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, he’s done a decent job, but not a great job, says Danny Mills.” So pronounced the Sun on 28 April 2022. With a total refusal to take any statistical evidence, as ever, the paper focussed on a nay-sayer, as always. And was wrong, as always.
And of course they won’t the only ones.
Mikel Arteta sack deadline revealed was the headline in Team Talk on 23 August 2021.
“Mikel Arteta had a NIGHTMARE start, fell out with the captain HE picked and failed to replace him, while his players lacked discipline and imploded… how Arsenal fell to pieces” the Mail told us.
And it continued. Arsenal should replace Mikel Arteta with Patrick Vieira said the Mirror on 7 March THIS year. (See Daily Mail, we can do sudden bold caps too within a sentence, not just you.)
So it goes. The vitriol, and at times the pure hatred of Arsenal and everything it does, poured forth day after day from the media.
And sometimes it was even a bit funny.
“Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal make worst start in their 118 year history”. said the Sun on 22 August 2021 while after another defeat it became “Arsenal slip to WORST start to a league season in 67 years” Not quite sure why the date changed, but then, it’s the Sun so it happens.
In fact one could feel the glee pouring from the media a year ago as all their dislike of Arsenal was given an outpouring.
But to return to today, and just to add a little more fun to the moment here’s something most outlets won’t mention: the league table for Premier League 2 as of this day.
But to return to the Premier League it is really not just a turn around THIS season. (OK that’s enough Daily Mail thank you). Here is the last 10 games table:
|6||Brighton & Hove||10||6||3||1||18||9||9||21|
And that’s including the end of last season when Arsenal “fell apart” according to the media.
And yes of course Arsenal have had easier fixtures than some clubs. And one can commiserate with Bournemouth having had games against Manchester City and Arsenal as the second and third games of the season. But curiously I can’t find anyone pointing out that with a completely new defence installed last summer, and the rebuild continuing as the season began, Arsenal had a tough start in 2021/22. No it was all “worst start in xxx years”. (The number was variable).
And I mention all this because at this moment apologies from a wide range of commentators would be in order, but no, all we get is a denial of what was written before, as if it never happened.
But Untold will always go its own way (as it has done since we began in January 2008) because it reports what is untold elsewhere (that was after all the reason for the blog’s title being chosen). So let’s compare with the last time we had a really flying start – although it is largely forgotten that we lost the opening game that season on penalties.
That Unbeaten season started with that defeat in the Community Shield and the BBC report of the match said, “It was Arsenal’s defensive frailties that were once again highlighted” And remember we were about to start the Unbeaten Season! “Once again” indeed!
That season the first three league games gave us eight goals for and one against…
|10 Aug 2003||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||1-1 (4-3)||FA Community Shield|
|16 Aug 2003||Arsenal v Everton||W||2-1||Premier League|
|24 Aug 2003||Middlesbrough v Arsenal||W||0-4||Premier League|
|27 Aug 2003||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||2-0||Premier League|
Here was the top six after three games
This season it is
So yes we have scored more this season in the first three league games than in the unbeaten season, although we have also let in two goals as opposed to one in 2003. Interesting though how some other clubs have slipped a bit since then. Whatever happened to Portsmouth and Blackburn?
Although in one sense it is interesting how few of the clubs have changed. For also in the PL that season were Bolton, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Charlton. In total just six clubs in all who are not in the PL this campaign. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
And for that we can be thankful. But of course, we don’t know where this season is going, and we may still not get what we want, but at least all those people screaming for Arteta to be sacked will be quiet for a little while, probably pretending they never said what they did. And we sure know they won’t apologise.
- How the media always knocks Arsenal, but ignores England’s failures.
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- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 1 the head to head record and comments on Spurs summer signings