How the media is attacking Arsenal
- The Continental Tyres Cup 2022/23 quarter finals: Arsenal v Villa
- When Arsenal lose they sneer, and when they win they sneer even more
By Tony Attwood
There was an article in the Daily Mail recently in the build-up to the Manchester United home game, which included the line that “but Gunners are yet to beat any of the current top four at home – something has to give in HUGE showdown.”
The implication of course is clear – Arsenal have had a soft ride in the Premier League so far, getting all the easy fixtures while the rest of the top clubs are having to slog it out between each other. The next suggestion would be that somehow Arsenal have friends in high places who have helped them manipulate the fixture list.
But let’s see what this looks like in reality (something of which the Mirror knows little). The article was published on 21 January and specifically referred not to the traditional “big six” nor the current Gigantic Seven or whatever one wants to call them, but the “current top four.”
On the date of publication, the league table read…
But the Mirror is directing us to look at Arsenal home matches against just three clubs, Manchesters United and City, plus Newcastle United.
In fact prior to the Manchester United game Arsenal had played three of the Big Seven at home, but by the Mail’s funny accounting system, two cannot be counted because they werer not in the top four: Tottenham on this day were fifth, having played two games more than Arsenal, Chelsea were tenth, and Liverpool were ninth.
This meant only one game was left, out of the possible games “top four” games: Arsenal v Newcastle, and yes they are right it was a 0-0 draw. One match which was a draw and the headline is “Gunners are yet to beat any of the current top four at home.”
I mean, I know some of the stuff I write stretches the facts a little, but that is just so bonkers it is off the edge of planet.
In fact the entire Mirror article is premised on one game which Arsenal drew rather than won. It was indeed the only match at Arsenal that the home team had not won!
Now there are so many positives in Arsenal’s season thus far that it takes a real convoluted mind to come up with this. This statistic is such a bonkers way of drawing a conclusion one has to wonder what the **** the writer is doing. Presumably writing an anti-Arsenal piece to order. Here are Arsenal’s big seven games in the Premier League.
|4 Sep 2022||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||3-1|
|1 Oct 2022||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||3-1|
|9 Oct 2022||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||3-2|
|6 Nov 2022||Chelsea v Arsenal||W||0-1|
|3 Jan 2023||Arsenal v Newcastle United||D||0-0|
|15 Jan 2023||Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal||W||0-2|
|22 Jan 2023||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||3-2|
Of course, all the top seven clubs have been busy playing each other, but since the Mirror want to go into beating other members of the current top four we’ll let them play with themselves over that one and instead continue to update the league table between the bigger clubs in the league.Here is the table of matches between the Big Seven who we have been following all season. I rather suspect the Daily Mirror will not be printing it as it doesn’t fit their agenda. The final column is “points per game” to account for the fact that some clubs have played two more games than others. Although as you can see, even without taking that into account, Arsenal would still be top and Tottenham would still be bottom.
So, looking at that chart even before the Manchester United game Arsenal had four wins, one draw and one defeat against the other teams in the group, which is utterly amazing and outstanding.
The league table showing the results between the big seven doesn’t tell us who is going to win the league, but it is a useful comparison point, since quite often which club does win the league comes down to which club is able to beat its major rivals.
And it does something to put the constant talking up of Tottenham Hots in perspective. Seven games against their rivals, no wins. Has any newspaper reported that with a big headline?
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias
- The real live facts that the media won’t ever touch (part 2)