The silence is deafening. No media headlines, none of the uber bloggers beating the drum. Nobody seems to know that in the Premier League:
- Arsenal are unbeaten in the last 13.
- Arsenal are unbeaten at Home in the last 6.
- Arsenal are unbeaten Away in the last 7.
Nothing to see here? So it would seem if one relied on the Mainstream Media for significant, accurate football information. Not surprisingly a quick Google search for the dominant headlines relating to Arsenal FC revealed the usual putrid menu of mindless transfer rumour, sensationalism, conjecture and downright lies dressed up as news by supposedly responsible newspapers and websites.
According to The Telegraph:
The click-baiting Metro is not to be outdone:
The Mirror faithfully reflects The Telegraph:
Any of us with a modicum of common-sense and knowledge of how these players were persuaded by Arsene Wenger to join AFC will readily dismiss these headlines and stories as “fake news” peddled by the very Establishment media which is now hypocritically branding alternative non-mainstream sources as fake. This is something we Arsenal supporters are all too familiar with, having experienced ten years of them serving up the vilest calumnies and misrepresentations about Wenger and the Board during the post-Highbury years; woefully failing to explain to the public the importance of the club’s leadership giving emphasis to paying for a new stadium while competing with sugar-daddy clubs spending obscene amounts of outside money to buy their way to a title.
I can confirm that there was absolutely no headline from Google News highlighting the club’s 13 games unbeaten run. Yet if Arsenal was a heavyweight boxer there would be headlines screaming that this was an up and coming champion. This is another reminder that sensationalism sells, at least in the short run.
But PA readers who follow my data-oriented analysis of the club’s progress and prospects are aware that establishing and maintaining a streak is one of the most important predictors of a title –winning team and certainly this has been the case of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. I have only done three blogs on the subject (first, second and third), giving new meaning to the old adage that “repetition is the mother of learning”. Some of my findings:
In their pomp at at Highbury, during Arsene’s winning years, the club would go on some statistically significant winning streaks, i.e. they were substantially above the mean averages in Wins. The 2001-02 season, in particular, Arsenal went on a rampage of 13 Wins out of 16 games which was marred by only 2 draws and 1 loss.
In contrast to Highbury, the Emirates has been characterized by:
…. the Club’s inability to achieve an above-average run of Wins, of similar magnitude to 10, 13 and 9 which characterized the title-winning years of 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2003-04 respectively.
I concluded two months ago from the recent streak that the barren years at the Emirates was coming to an end:
Now that Arsene/Arsenal is able to consistently spend on top-top quality players as well as patiently develop those coming through the academy, only the rabid anti-Wenger WOBs and weak-willed fans, who allow themselves to become victims of groundless doom-mongering by the media, would bet against Wenger at least regaining the ground lost over the past ten-years.
Two weeks later, when the club achieved an 8-game winning streak, I further opined:
Despite years of wilful misinformation by the mainstream media and so-called Arsenal bloggers, in their desire to have Arsene Wenger sacked, the primary reason why the club faded over the stretch was not having sufficient resources to build a squad with the requisite quality and depth, given the priority of having to pay for a new stadium.
Confirming it now had the resources to address a recurring deficiency, the club last summer made one of its largest ever splurges in the transfer market, acquiring a £35 million central defender who is a starter on the world-cup winning German national team, a £34 million midfielder from a highly rated champions-league level club, a £12 million pound striker who was among the top-11 in La Liga in 2015-16 and, best of all, a £2 million young central defender who can be called on to help out with the first-eleven at any time.
The fact that Arsenal, in last Tuesday’s decisive champions league match with Basel, could have six regular starters sitting on the bench yet win so decisively, provides the clearest possible evidence that the club has both quantity and quality resources to withstand the usual spate of injuries that in recent years have destroyed any real run at the title in the second-half of the season.
There will be the usual weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media and blogs as the Orcs from Stoke roll into the Emirates this Saturday. While football is a notorious enemy of complacency and hubris, given how Wenger was able to rotate the squad and keep bodies and minds healthy and sharp, anything less than a victory for the Gunners would count as a massive surprise.
In the mean time, let the mainstream media continue to ignore and downplay the club’s current form and sucker witless punters into believing their porkies that Ozil and Sanchez are heading for a big payday in China. Let’s revel in the Rodney Dangerfield role of no respect.