Today’s post is by Muppet
It’s not too hard to find anti-Arsenal sentiment in any given week of the season.
The narrative in the press after the Bayern defeat was indicative. It told us that Arsenal were simply not good enough, whilst plucky City deserved better.
In the backdrop of the Stoke defeat, we have also been condemned to 4th place, veritable also-rans in the title race. The bookies followed suit, condemning us to long odds of 16/1 despite being on the same number of points currently as Liverpool.
The Daily Mail’s infamous Neil Ashton, presenter on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, on Twitter @neilashton_
Incredibly, Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail has written a piece, steeped in unbelievable hypocrisy, where he comes out with the risible claim that Spuds have overachieved in the Redknapp years and this over-expectation is now causing unrest amongst fans. Even if we were to entertain these falsehoods – which they are, given their £280m+ transfer net spend – they reek of huge hypocrisy, a bare-faced attempt by a journalist to stick up for one club whilst happily sticking the knife into another; in this instance it’s us, despite the reality of the comparison being much more in our favour. Indeed, our zero net spend in the transfer market is never mentioned in the press. It is not convenient. And how the piece actually has truer parallels amongst Arsenal fans is an irony lost on Ashton.
Neil Ashton’s recent form in the last 2 weeks is to say that Ozil was “Nicking a living”. In tandem, the Mirror produced a back page headline, at half time, castigating Ozil’s 1st half performance against Bayern, not knowing he had a hamstring problem:
Daily Mail’s disgraceful headline from 11th March 2014 – http://dailym.ai/Ojlqq9
The Daily Mirror’s John Cross, too, got into the act, redacting statements on Twitter hurriedly, in the face of a huge backlash from Arsenal fans.
Adrian Durham, another staple of the gutter press. regularly espouses arrant nonsense on TalkSport. Durham claims to like Arsenal, which is quite bonkers, given his notorious “Daily Arsenal” show, which gleefully rejoices at whatever misfortune comes our way, and sneers at any Arsenal fans who go on the radio station to defend the club.
Sneering TalkSPORT radio presenter, Daily Mail columnist and published author, Adrian Durham, on Twitter @talkSPORTDrive
The only saving grace of Durham, is that he has correctly targeted Spuds incompetence in recent times, making him a hate figure across North London. Durham loves to champion moral causes, but fails to mention financial fair play or excesses by huge clubs. When you confront him about the pathetic lack of progress of Manchester City in the champions league, you get the reply, as I did:
“That’s strange, one supporter talking about another club.”
“Amateurish” Andy Dunn – Sunday Mirror sports columnist and Chairman of the Football Writers’ Association, on Twitter @AndyDunn_SM
Another anti-Arsenal sceptic is Andy Dunn.
Despite us being competive pretty much all season, our title challenge was dismissed back in November, even following our recent 2-0 win over Liverpool at home. Forced to backtrack on his claim that we couldn’t win the title, he said we wouldn’t win it. Dunn doesn’t seem to miss an opportunity to put the knife into the Arsenal management, be it Wenger or the board. In August he claimed that the way we were going about our business was “amateurish”.
On September 29th, he pens an article attacking the “lack of ambition” of Stan Kroenke, saying:
“You sense trophies would be a nice bonus on top of the real business – the smooth running of a financially-successful franchise.”
This is all very interesting, but Amateurish Andy offers no context about the competition and environment that we find ourselves in. Sneering at Kroenke is all well and good, but this is just another example of a journalist who doesn’t understand economics.
It’s very simple.
Arsenal refuse to inject money into players wages or transfers that is not earned by the club. Other clubs continue to do this.
A Mirror hack to watch out for is Darren Lewis.
Darren Lewis, another Daily Mirror journalist – this one describes himself as ‘a football fan’, on Twitter @MirrorDarren
Almost certainly a Spud.
With statements like “Why Spurs now have bigger fish to fry than Arsenal”, he suggested that the gap was narrowing in 2012. Other articles include asking Arsenal fans to admit why Spurs were no longer the poor relations. Darren Lewis made a fictitious claim that Joachim Low told Ozil that he would miss the World Cup, which is complete nonsense. After reviewing a selection of Lewis’s articles, it is pretty clear, that like Andy Dunn, he does not have a good word to say about Arsenal.
Pundits and Commentators
Understandably there is a lot of anti-Arsenal sentiment amongst pundits, a lot of them ex-Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool players. Michael Owen, Tony Gale, Tony Cascarino are the worst perpetrators. Gale in particular just hates Arsenal and makes no attempt to hide it. How he gets away with commentating for Chelsea is beyond belief.
Cascarino is so stupid he said that “Chamakh was having a holocaust”, which almost finished his ‘career’.
Owen? He is too stupid even to comment on.
Apart from the individuals, more worryingly is the on-going stupidity of the narrative about Arsenal. Every competition we enter there is always a reminder that it’s 9 years without a trophy. Never mind that our Champions League progression in each and every year has eclipsed Manchester City since 2005.
Other annoying examples are that we don’t have a striker, when we have Podolski, Walcott and Giroud.
The questioning of a weak bench when we have eight to ten 1st team players injured.
The lack of acknowledgement of the significance of the absence of Ramsey and Walcott.
The continuing pressure to spend money, particularly in the January transfer window.
My question to the press and pundits is this – City have spent £1 billion, and their return is 1 FA Cup, 1 League title and 1 Carling Cup – is that a good return on their investment ? I would argue no. The narrative of spending money is very rarely directed at Real Madrid, a club and a team that I don’t particularly rate, who have spent similar money over the last 10 years, but have only won 1 Champions league trophy. Real Madrid are the most egregious example of media hype, considering their lack of relative achievement to their net spend.
This is not an attack on Real Madrid, but on the media.
Alan Brazil this morning was trumpeting Ronaldo and Bale this morning. But so what ? A fully fit Arsenal team would match them in my view.
The media narrative and anti-Arsenal bias continues to be self-serving and is part of the entertainment game that is being played out.
Nobody wants to question the vast sums of money being circulated, because they want to be part of it. The media talks up the need for Arsenal to spend and get in on the act. How they still do this following the embarassement of Spuds £100 million pound spend, as former owner Lord Sugar put it: “Like kids in a sweet shop”, is baffling.
But we won’t hear of this.
The “industry” will continue to produce sensationalist headlines for the reactionary wing of the Arsenal fan base to gorge on. The same press that calls for Arsenal to spend money, and when we do, try to label them a flop.
Right now the tide is turning in our favour, and the media know this. They cannot cope with the narrative as it stands, so expect a lot of revisionism and a change of emphasis. Now that we have more money the attacks will come now about what success we should expect, and what “big” players are underperforming.
It will probably get worst.
You can discuss the headlines and more with Muppet on Twitter @MuppetGooner