More positive stories about Arsenal: what is going on?

By Tony Attwood

We have hinted at this already, but there is now growing evidence.  The sports media is turning away from its staple diet of attacking Arsenal, and actually starting to say positive things about the club and its players.

Take for example the article that is headlined Paul Merson uses 2 words to sum up Arsenal signing Fabio Vieira by HITC.

OK the two words are hardly revolutionary – Merse described the new Vieira as an “‘exciting player” – but even so, that’s more than we normally get from Merse that publisher.

But that is only the start.   The Boot Room offers ‘You are the man’: Gabriel Martinelli truly blown away by £34m Arsenal star this week in which the article says “Gabriel Martinelli impressed by Arsenal star Fabio Vieira this week.”

OK they are not going over the moon, saying later, “Vieira wasn’t incredible on his full debut on Thursday, but he definitely showed why Arteta and Edu were so keen to sign him this summer.

“The Portuguese midfielder started in his natural number 10 position against Zurich, but he can play in a whole host of positions. At Porto, he featured on both flanks, as a box-to-box midfielder and also a number nine.   Vieira’s versatility is one of his biggest assets, and he will give Arteta plenty of options in the coming games.”   And that is positive by any normal media standard.

Then we get the Transfer Tavern who have the headline Arsenal hold new talks to sign ‘outstanding’ midfielder in January; he’s told friends he’s keen which goes on to say “Gunners hold new Douglas Luiz talks ahead of January”.

Mudryk signs, Kieran Tierney sold – Arsenal £50m January transfer to-do list shouts Football.London speculating that Arsenal will again be buying in January, with the sale of Tierney being because of his injury issues is not the main story.

The Daily Mirror, which spent much of Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal suggesting that he ought to leave at once have nothing negative to say about the plan to bring him back in the story Arsene Wenger told to re-join the Gunners as Alex Grimaldo plan emerges. Grimaldo is a left back who plays for Benfica and who was said by the media to be coming to Arsenal in the summer.   So quite how a transfer plan now emerges is unclear.  But I’m sure the Mirror means well. (!)

And so it continues as Football London has a very positive piece about Jonas Wind joining Arsenal in the near future.

Then the Mirror plays up the theme even more suggesting that rather than the decision of Brazil to leave Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes out of their squad for this month’s internationals does not show that the players are in reality rubbish, but is “good news for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard will be happy Jesus, Martinelli and Gabriel – each of whom started the first six Premier League games – will get a two-week rest later this month.”

And so it continues; the most negative thought is that things are moving in Arsenal’s favour not by chance or luck, but most of the time because Arsenal are indeed getting it right.

Now you might think that this is obvious given that the club is top of the league, but in the past even achievements like this have been repeatedly knocked by the media.  Now however everything is glorious.

So with no knocking to do the Mirror has turned to other targets.  “Alexander-Arnold told how to address Liverpool slump as World Cup spot at risk” is one such story.

Ten Hag already facing up to difficult Man Utd reality is yet another.  And moving to the other bit of the north west, Klopp facing up to Liverpool obstacle as Elliott drawback becomes apparent

And they are even having a go at other aspects of the media with Sinclair issues grovelling apology as talkSPORT take him off air over Queen tweet.

Of course we can’t expect it to last but this dramatic change in the way Arsenal are approached does show just how willing the media can be to dump its own long-term vision of the club when a) the approach becomes utterly risible in the light of results, and b) when they have got someone else to knock for a while.

They naturally will be back in due course, bashing Arsenal yet again as a means of avoiding discussing issues such as referee home/away bias, and the fact that consistency in refereeing between the ways clubs are treated is an absolute myth.   But for the moment, we get a bit of relief.


2 Replies to “More positive stories about Arsenal: what is going on?”

  1. Tony. For a long time I have thought that football pundits copy each other’s opinions because other pundits then agree with them. Some of the attacks on Arsenal came out of all of them repeating what was viewed as perceived wisdom. If this is right, a lot of the previous criticism of Arsenal, and the present praise, comes out of the pundits’ insecurities and fear of being derided, rather than out of malice.

    I exempt the Guardian’s football writers from this excuse as they are all, clearly Spuds supporters.

  2. We’re not there yet…Pool! down 4-0, score 1, one, goal and the commentator shouts gleefully, “That’s staging a comeback”

    No, that’s cheering on your team.

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