By Tony Attwood
Tottenham Hotspur supporters gave Arsenal a real boost this weekend through the simple expedient of booing their own team. The Tottenham manager responded by arguing, “Spurs deserved a point” and added that Tottenham fans have to understand that their side are a work in progress.
But more than that he argued that, “I continue to repeat since from the start of the season that we have just started a process and I think after one year we made a lot of improvement.”
Which really is a little bit strange. For apart from multiple managers, for eight consecutive years they have had a goalscorer who has always knocked in 20+ goals and on three occasions has scored 30+. Once in addition to that he scored 41 goals. All they had to do was build a team around him. Instead they have a manager who attacks other managers.
Yet during all that time (2014/15 to the present day) Tottenham have won nothing. They have been runners’ up in the Europa League (twice) and in the Premier League and Champions League (once each). Thus they have their all-time glorious scorer and their super new stadium and… an empty trophy shelf.
Over the same period of 2014/15 to today Arsenal have won the FA Cup three times and been runners’ up once each in the Premier League and Europa League, with five different players taking the top goalscoring spot. In three of those seasons we haven’t even had a scorer who has got 20+. and yet we have won three pots, and built a team that is at the moment top of the league.
So looking at it from without, Tottenham clearly have had a more powerful squad in terms of goal scoring, and indeed they do keep getting to the edge of success but then slipping away at the end. And they have a bigger stadium than we do – and by and large, a media far less prone to attack them, than they are to attack Arsenal.
But I wonder, perhaps today’s news that some Tottenham fans have been booing their manager is part of the explanation of their failure. For which players want to stay at a club where the local fans boo, and where the manager changes so often the players will never know if they are part of the plan or not?
Certainly, when the negativists at the Arsenal Supporters Trust and the Black Scarf Movement were rampant and had no hesitation of condemning the activities, motives and achievements of directors, we found it ever harder to recruit and keep players – something which must have given enormous pleasure to our rivals as they watched alleged Arsenal supporters tear into their own club.
Thankfully all that nonsense has now stopped but we now have a new enemy, although fortunately, this is a buffoon enemy from without not within as we have had in recent years.
This is non-other than the infamous misogynist Richard Keys who was sacked by Sky Sports when his well-known views were broadcast by mistake.
He is now back attacking Arsenal yet again – and in particular, demanding PGMO take action against Mikel Arteta. because he moves around too much in and occasionally out of the “technical area”.
Fortunately, Keys’ previous antics mean that even an organization as weird as the mega-secret PGMO is unlikely to take any notice of Keys who is generally seen as a man whose toxicity is only rivaled in European football by Nasser Al-Khelaifi (of whom more in a moment).
The allegation is that “Arteta has been jumping up & down all game – way outside his technical area.” And later, “Arteta is clearly in comms with the officials and right now, it seems they have no issue with him doing as he pleases.”
This is the man who infamously said of Sean Massey, “Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her,” to which the even more obnoxious Gray replied, “Female linesman…. they probably don’t know the offside rule,” In fact, a quick subsequent examination of the incident showed that Ms Massey was correct in her call and Gray and the idiotic Keys were completely wrong – it is they who don’t know the offside rule (as their commentaries have so often revealed).
Although this does not stop Gray and Keys working on the atrocious beIN Sports, which is owned primarily by Nasser Al-Khelaifi – president and chief executive of PSG and a senior operative in Uefa. It is he who has led the charge against Super League – I suspect not because he is against it, but because the rest of the big clubs didn’t want Uefa and PSG involved because of… well, that’s not for me to say.
Anyway, back to Keys who in another incident made a comment about West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady saying: “The game’s gone mad. See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love.”
So now Keys and beIN are attacking Arteta match after match. I rather think that is par for the course with these two. I wonder what incredibly crass, idiotic and stupid thing they will say about him next. One can only hope PGMO ignore them. If they don’t that will tell us quite a lot.
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