It never rains but the journalists want Arsenal to drown in a mess of their own making




Will Arsenal win the league this season?

By Tony Attwood

The news about Gabriel Jesus needing an operation means that the regular anti-Arsenal media have something to get their teeth into with discussions about just how long he is going to be out, how Arsenal don’t have a replacement, and all the players they need to buy now.

Of course there is the fact that Eddie was given a new contract, which is generally reported to be a five year deal with an annual salary of £2.34m

Now if we consider the purchases that Arteta has made during his time at Arsenal, then I think we can have some positive thoughts about that new contract.

The purchase of Martin Odegaard for £29m, the nurturing of Gabriel, plucking Takehiro Tomiyasu out of nowhere, the way Saliba was allowed to mature fully then to walk into the back line, the nurturing of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, the development of Martinelli, all these factors give one a sense of faith in what the manager and Edu can do.

And indeed thinking of Edu and centre forwards we might suddenly find ourselves yet another Brazilian forward who can be given time to develop.

But also there tends to be a view at the moment that Martinelli would have developed for anyone naturally and so Arteta had nothing to do with his emergence, but, that would be to forget that Martinelli went on to trial after trial at Manchester United and was turned down.  It wasn’t Arteta who signed him of course, but he is there and only just starting to show us what he can do.

But Eddie doesn’t score enough goals is the cry so we need to buy.  Martinelli is a winger you can’t rely on him.   Smith Rowe isn’t a centre forward etc etc.

But let’s have a quick look at last seaon’s top scorers who are still with us


Player Position Games Goals
Bukayo Saka Defender/Midfielder/Forward 40 12
Emile Smith Rowe Midfielder 24 11
Eddie Nketiah Forward 13 10
Martin Odegaard Midfielder 36 7
Gabriel Martinelli Forward 26 6


And let us not forget that these players have been developing their games at Arsenal then, and since.

So I am not saying that Arsenal are not going to buy another goal scorer, but rather if that is the route that Arsenal go down, there will be howls of derision from the media because… well, that’s because what they do.  But in fact we might well have enough in that group of players of last year to find the goals we need, and the sort of playing re-arrangement that has been brought into the side of late.

For what we should not forget is the fact that a player of some note brought into the team now, will be seeking an assurance that when our injured man is back on his feet, the new guy will not automatically be relegated to the bench for the rest of the season.

And if such an assurance were to be given we would then find that the players in the squad would all get in a panic as to what would happen if they were injured.  For it is this sort of psychology and player assurance that those who invent new transfers that Arsenal are supposingly after never investigate.

If Arsenal did get a reputation for buying players and then bringing in a replacement if an injury comes along, that would mean players would demand ever higher salaries in order to secure their position in the club.

Now of course Manchester City do that because first, they can call on the money, and second because there seems to be absolutely no appetite for the League to take on Manchester City over FFP.

But compare that with this summer’s headlines such as “Arsenal placed on UEFA’s FFP watchlist as 10 clubs set to be sanctioned next month” and “Arsenal among clubs on UEFA’s Financial Fair Play ‘watchlist’ after spending spree” and “Arsenal ‘added’ to UEFA watchlist amid Financial Fair Play concerns”

Those three headlines come from the Express, the Mirror and Football.London all three of which are owned by the same company – Reach plc, with all three regularly feeding anti-Arsenal tales from each other to make it look as if the stories are everywhere.  They often cite each other as sources, too.

What the Times, the seeming originator of today’s anti-Arsenal tale actually said is that “Arsenal are on Uefa’s FFP watchlist”    And of course we had Daily Mail suggest Arsenal possibly breaching FFP rules. 

Of course it was all the normal mindless jibberish that the media spout, but it shows us why they are so keen on running the story that Arsenal are about to buy a top scorer.

If Arsenal do, and he works out it will be, “Arsenal under FFP investigation; players must be sold.”

If Arsenal do, and he doesn’t work out, it will be, “Arteta under pressure after yet another transfer market bungle.”

If Arsenal don’t it is, “Kroenke refuses to back Arteta”.

And it will all be a load of balderdash.  (Other words starting with b are also available).

4 Replies to “It never rains but the journalists want Arsenal to drown in a mess of their own making”

  1. Well, we’ve got a situation, right ?
    I relish seing what will happen. as much as I feel sorry and am upset about Jesus’ injury, I look forward to see who the ‘next man up’ is going to be. Or are going to be. Because, we’ve got Eddie, ESR who should be bale to slot in. They are far bruned out. They will be, I don’t doubt it, totally motivated .

    And this will free some room to a couple of young guns who will thus maybe have some exposre to the fisrt team and some play time as well.

    I’m pretty sure Arsenal have a plan and will manage this situation optimally.

  2. “But Eddie doesn’t score enough goals is the cry so we need to buy”

    Sorry to repeat but I already addressed this in an earlier article when I made a comparison between Eddie and Jesus, and as you will see Eddie doesn’t come out too bad. I also went into how, in comparison to other teams, we have a wide range of scorers ready willing and able to fill the void as well.

    So basically, yes Tony it is all bollocks as usual.

    This is from that earlier article:

    “If there is one player that Arsenal cannot afford to lose for an extended amount of time, it is Gabriel Jesus. The Brazil striker has been the most important player in Arsenal’s drive up the table this season, providing a new level of dynamism and intensity in their attack.”

    Out of 33 PL goals Jesus has been involved in 10. 5 Goals + 5 Assists.

    Out of 40 PL goals Haaland has been involved 21. 18 goals + 3 Assists.

    Surely if that original statement applies to Jesus and Arsenal, it applies even more so to Man City and Haaland.

    That means Jesus has been involved with 30% of Arsenals goals whereas Halland has been involved in 53% of Man City’s goals. And just for a bit of additional perspective Kanes contribution to Spurs 31 goals is around 40% with 12 + 1. They at least have 3 other scorers with 4 plus goals.

    So why no warnings about Man City’s much higher reliance on Haaland, (or indeed Spurs and Kane)? Surely out of the 2, if anyone’s over dependent on one player it’s Man City (Possibly Spurs) and not Arsenal? After all we have, as pointed out in Tonys article, 5 other players with 4 goals or more. City have just 1. Again, as pointed out above, we have the return of Smith-Rowe, who was, excluding penalties, Arsenals top scorer last season.

    So, the theory is, despite Man City’s massive reliance on Haaland, everyone else would simply step up to the plate and fill the goal scoring void, despite evidence to the contrary. Whereas in Arsenals case, and again despite evidence to the contrary, the loss of Jesus will mean our wide range of goal scoring contributors will suddenly all become a quivering mass of ineptitude.

    Yep, sounds about par for the course when it comes to analysing Arsenal in the media.

  3. These are the stats from further down the old article. Sorry only realised I’d split my comments after posting. Also at the time I actually didn’t put the Jesus stats up as I was just doing a Martinelli/Nketiah comparison but as you can see Eddies goal scoring ratio is better than both of them.


    Arena – Goals – Mins – Goals per Game

    EPL – 16 – 4298 – 268
    Other – 3 1214 – 404

    Total = 19 goals over 5512 mins at 290 mins per goal


    EPL – 11 – 2078 – 189
    Other – 14 – 1879 – 134

    Total = 25 goals over 3957 mins at 158 mins per goal


    EPL – 5 – 1226 – 245
    Other – 0 – 318 – N/A

    Total = 5 goals over 1544 mins at 245 mins per goal.

    Personally I have absolutely no doubt that Eddie will step up to the plate. The rest of the guys will continue to chip in. Therefore we have nothing to be concerned about.

    That doesn’t mean I’m against buying another striker, or winger, or anyone for that matter. It’s just if we don’t that’s fine.

  4. If AFC win the EPL the headline will probably be:

    Point total less than recent winners Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea

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