By Tony Attwood
Arsenal v Tottenham was a truly wonderful experience inside the stadium. The club has done more than ever before to bring supporters together and get a belief in the side going. The singing of “North London Forever” immediately before kick off, the re-invention of the clock end as a hub of noisy bouncy ecstatic support, both overlaid the normal passion of the Tottenham game.
And who knows perhaps this time the lunatic messaging in the media about Arsenal having had an easy run up to the game which made the league table in some way a false record of what had happened so far, spurred on our players (if you will excuse the expression) to greater glory.
For let us not forget the way that during the summer the usual suspects who gave their predictions for this season’s ultimate top four all predicted a top four without Arsenal. And indeed so ingrained is that vision that Arsenal simply can’t break into the cartel, that even now some of the media can’t and won’t see what is going on.
So having told us that Arsenal had had the easiest of rides thus far (total nonsense, Tottenham for one had it easier) the Telegraph proclaims today, “There is always a danger, much recent Arsenal history will show, that this flourishing of the Mikel Arteta era may just lead nowhere when pitted against stronger forces,”
Thus the last 35 games of last season, which if created into a league table have Arsenal third in the league, are as nothing – unless of course somehow in that run of 35 games Arsenal conspired only to play lower league teams.
Arsenal we are now told, didn’t win the game for “Their old rivals handed the game to Arsenal on two occasions,” Next we’ll be told that the place was “strangely quiet”! But in fact, as anyone who was actually there will attest this was the noisiest of matches against the potatoes (or spuds as some call them) in many, many a year.
Approaching the ground over 90 minutes before kick off, every pub was packed to overflowing. What’s more the overflow accommodation was itself overflowing into the street, as the sound of Arsenal songs rang from one drinking venue to the next. Before the match the biggest ever banner to be displayed at the stadium was arranged over the heads of around two thirds of the lower north bank, and almost everyone joined in the singing of North London Forever.
As for the match, “Up to the sending off they were still in this game, a shadow cast over the relentless optimism of the Arsenal approach,” says the Telegraph. What gibberish! The sending-off cast no shadow because before it, it was utterly clear that Martinelli could run rings round the entire Tottenham defence on his own and that Saliba is a defender of such staggering magnitude he could probably take care of most Tottenham attacks while sitting on the grass reading the programme.
Indeed prior to the game the entire media attitude was one that stressed that Arsenal’s squad was thin, and because of injuries, stretched as far as it could be pulled.
A penalty always looked as if it was going to be Tottenham’s only way to save the day, not least because last season they scored each and every one they were granted by PGMO, and so they duly got one and scored it. Afterwards, the Tottenham manager asked why Premier League officials did not get together each week to review what they had done. The answer of course is they don’t need to. The statistics which Untold reveals week after week, month after month, show that they know very well exactly what they are up to.
Arsenal had 65% of the possession which tells us a lot about where this team is, and where it is going. Remember once more, before the season started, Arsenal were seen as no-hopers for a top four finish in this campaign And yes I know things can still go wrong but as I suspect rarely do they go completely wrong from a position as good as this, although the media and their chums in PGMO will do their best.
And as the Observer says, “Win or lose the Gunners are enjoying themselves and it showed”.
But let us not kid ourselves that the media accepts what Arsenal are now achieving. The Mail’s headline is “Spurs boss Antonio Conte suggests referees should go back to school.”
He won’t get banned or even reprimanded for that comment, which tells us much of what is going on in football today.
Here’s the top of the league in case you missed it.
|4||Brighton and Hove Albion||7||4||2||1||14||8||6||14|
- Arsenal the most penalised by refs among the current top four teams
- Mykhaylo Mudryk now listed in 17 different articles as coming to Arsenal!
- Arsenal attacking problems… what attacking problems?
- Men’s football returns at last: Arsenal in action this afternoon
- Is the injury to Gabriel Jesus equivalent to the assault on Eduardo in 2008?