After years of consistently failing to gain any traction with their lies that Arsene Wenger is under-achieving, the mainstream media is now giddy with delight. For the first time in 12 years Arsenal is seriously struggling.
All the enemies of the Arsenal-way and their fellow travelers are now “jizzing” with delight, practically drooling in their underpants. Now is a real chance to sow fear and doom, to split the fanbase and to put pressure on the Board to fire the manager who has not only been its most successful but, only last year, guided the club to second place in the Premier League and one year earlier completed back-to-back FA cup victories.
But then again, most sensible Arsenal supporters with two functioning brain cells and a working synapse are aware, long before the current political uproar concerning “fake” news, that Arsene and AFC have been victims of bias and slanted journalism for years. None of the following headlines come as any surprise.
“Arsene Wenger is taking the p*** out of Arsenal fans by continuing his selfish soap opera”
“Arsenal top-four failure would be a disastrous end to Arsene Wenger era”
It is entirely predictable that the mainstream media’s will use a poor run of form to convince the fickle public that this is sufficient reason to condemn a manager who has been the most consistent in the Premier League over the past 20 years not to mention being the most successful in the history of Arsenal Football Club. Is there a better example of George Orwell’s double-think. For those who celebrate Orwell but conveniently forget his writings, let me remind you of his definition of double think:
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic… “
A perfect example was Jim Beglin, who was Jon Champion’s sideman in their commentary of Arsenal’s match versus West Brom as broadcast by NBC here in the US. He, at around the 2 minute mark, could without contradiction, make the following comment with respect to Arsene:
“He doesn’t deserve the criticism cause he has been an Arsenal great….The problem with Arsenal fans is they feel they need to voice their frustration (be)cause he is no longer an Arsenal great.”
Isn’t that a precise example of double think?
Neither Beglin or Champion, like the rest of the other sock-puppets in the mainstream media, have the “cojones” or the integrity to admit that Arsenal’s bad spell has nothing to do with Arsene’s ability to coach or to manage a team. Even Wenger’s most fervent defenders are the first to admit the team messed up on defending two corners but a fair minded observer would disclose that West Brom is very, very good at corners having scored 12 prior to the Arsenal match. Why should it take Wenger to point out that so far this season the team has been quite good at set pieces and corners?
What is even more abject is the refusal of almost all the pundits and experts to acknowledge that Arsenal was greatly weakened by the absence of its two most highly accomplished midfield technicians, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. As I have repeatedly emphasized the data shows the team relies on the creativity of both players to offensively dominate the opposition by creating chances and scoring goals.
Surely it is clear to even the least perceptive of the mainstream media that Ozil is very important to Arsenal. It was only one week earlier, in the FA cup game versus Lincoln City, that in the first 20 minutes Arsenal huffed and puffed without creating chances until Ozil joined the proceedings. The visitors were eventually spanked 5-0 as the German orchestrated the offence. Surely the mainstream media has access to even better sources of data than this lowly blogger which demonstrate that in the absence of Carzola, Ozil is more vital than ever to Arsenal.
Without Ozil, there is a 12% decline in the number of PL games won and a concurrent 7% increase in games loss compared to overall team performance
This has been the general trend ever since Ozil joined the club in 203 but is even more pronounced this year. The table below illustrates.
|2013 to date||Win||Draw||Loss|
To back up my findings, I did some further analysis of the Squawka data I published early March and the offensive disparity between Carz-Ozil and The Rest of midfielders quite alarming. By the way: this is not to put down any of the The Rest but there is a reason why Carzola and Ozil are winners of World Cup and European Championship medals versus none for their midfield colleagues.
|Avg Performance Score||26||17|
|Avg. Pass Accuracy||89%||88%|
|Avg. Pass Length (m)||16||16|
|Avg. Chances Created||1.97||0.80|
|Avg. Goals Scored||0.24||0.05|
|Avg. Defensive Actions||1.5||1.83|
|Avg. Duels Won||41%||49%|
The midfielders available to Arsene on Saturday are collectively inferior in quality to Carzola and Ozil.
· 34% disparity in Avg Performance Score,
· Shot Accuracy is 33 percentage points inferior
· Avg Chances Created is 59% worse
· Avg Goals Scored is 79% less
On the defensive side, The Rest has much better statistics in terms of Avg Defensive Actions and Avg Duels Won. But at the end of the day football games are won by having the ability to score more goals than the other team.
It was therefore no surprise that despite being nice and tidy and mustering over 77% possession Arsenal was unable to create sufficient Chances and Shots on Target to keep West Brom at bay as evident by the the following statistics from whoscored.com
|West Brom||KEY STAT||Arsenal|
|8||Shots on target||2|
|41%||Aerial Duel Success||59%|
In fact, once Pulis and his players recognized that Alexis was the main offensive threat, they set about fouling him rotationally with referee Swarbick, like most English referees, unwilling to protect the most skillful player on the field. He was fouled four times before a call was first made. The sixth foul by Rondon was a cynical clatter to prevent a breakaway, no yellow card. The seventh and most severe by Mclean was a full bloodied studs raised challenge from the side, infinitely more forceful than those which earned Xhaka his two red cards; yellow card only. Job done, however. Alexis’ ankle had been smashed and he was never the same after.
Meanwhile the representatives of the mainstream media, Beglin and Champion, treated it as one big joke:
Beglin: “McLean tackles like a fullback not a winger.”
Champion: “Tackles like a lumberjack”
The clear assault on Alexis Sanchez did not earn West Brom, its manager or players any reproach, any sanction from the combined wisdom of Robbie Earle or Kyle Martino who did the half-time analysis for NBC’s PL broadcast aimed at us rubes in North America. Nothing happened. Nothing to see here.
By the end of the game however the sock-puppet media lost no time in declaring Arsene was solely responsible for Arsenal’s loss, was somehow out of touch and should be hounded out of the club. Like any lynch mob, the mainstream media and the mindless screeching WOBs, Scarfists and assorted malcontents have no intention of letting the facts come to the fore, they hope mob rule will prevail.
Last week Sir Chips told them to eff-off. Isn’t time for more good people to step up and put the lamestream media in their place.