Christmas comes early for the press as Arsenal slip up

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, Arsenal have taken a damaging defeat. Is this the beginning of the end in regards to their season? Well, if you read the papers you would think so, with broken cannons everywhere. “Turmoil” they say, still top of the league, they don’t say.

The red-top papers are loving it. It’s as if they have been waiting for this one damaging defeat, so they can squash any thought of an Arsenal title challenge. Arsenal’s failure always makes a good news story, and the media has latched on to this, exaggerating Mertesacker and Ozil’s ‘bust up’. The Daily Mail ludicrously called it “fighting in the camp”, when in fact the two players are best friends off the pitch and were clearly just frustrated by the loss, but this reaction from the media is not at all surprising.

The fact is Arsenal are two points clear at the top of the table and in a good position heading into the Christmas period. Far from “Turmoil” as the media would suggest. Ludicrously, Match of the Day’s official twitter page (@BBCMOTD) tweeted yesterday, asking “Are Arsenal still in the title race?” They have now deleted this tweet, and rightly so, as I think it is a fair point to say that Arsenal have been the most consistent side in the Premier League this season are currently leading the title race.

Yesterday, after Liverpool’s convincing 5-0 win over Spurs (which was great viewing as an Arsenal fan), a very Liverpool biased Sky Studio (that included the current Liverpool Captain) concluded that Liverpool were title contenders. Bear in mind that this is same team that Arsenal brushed aside 2-0, just a matter of weeks ago. It’s ridiculous how Liverpool are now considered title contenders, but Arsenal are in “turmoil”, especially considering Liverpool were torn apart by Hull a fortnight ago!

Away from the doom and gloom, there were positives from the game against Manchester City at the weekend. City have conceded only 2 goals at home in the league all season, and we managed to net 3 in one game. Another positive is Theo Walcott’s return to the starting XI, adding a new dynamic to the side whilst bagging a brace too. Going forward we were strong, but there is no shying away from the obvious negatives. Missed chances ultimately cost us, as well as the multiple defensive errors leading to the bulk of Man City’s goals. The linesman didn’t help either, but ultimately Man City were worthy winners.

Arguably the biggest worry from the game itself was not the result, but the injury to Laurent Koscielny. The gash on his knee looks like something from a horror film, and could see him out for a little while. The central defensive partnership between Koscielny and Mertasacker has been a pivotal part of the season thus far, and although Thomas Vermaelen’s a very capable replacement, Mertesacker and Koscielny complement each other so well that he will be sorely missed, although it is hoped he will be fit for next week’s game.

Arsenal’s recent form has not been ideal with a draw against a very good Everton side, and of course defeats to Napoli and Manchester City, making next Mondays game against Chelsea a must win to stay top of the league and to keep the title push alive. I feel as if the game against Chelsea could be seasoning defining, which makes it the ideal time for Arsene Wenger to get his first win over a Jose Mourinho managed side.

Another defeat next week and the broken cannons will be out in force once again, so I’m desperately hoping for a positive result to avoid the media’s brutal backlash.

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25 thoughts on “Christmas comes early for the press as Arsenal slip up

  1. Swgooner afc

    Very good mate, really enjoyed it! You’re right about Koscielny being a huge miss – more of a negative than the defeat perhaps. But we’ll do Chelsea and remain top!

    • Oh I see! It must be tough to write a piece that you do not believe in, but I guess that is the industry for you! I hope you enjoyed my post and it’s great to hear your true feelings. I hope it will be Arsenal’s year but Man City look very strong! Chelsea will be up there too. As I say in this piece, the Arsenal V Chelsea game next week is possibly seasoning defining for both sides and it’s shaping up to be a great game!

  2. Arsenal once again were weak against a top side. It happened against United and it happened against Napoli… and look what that has done to them! Arsenal were too sloppy in the 2nd half against City and deserved the beating.

    Nice blog, I am now following you. Feel free to check my blog out and follow back, Thanks

    • I would agree to an extent, Arsenal were well beaten against Man City, but given their home form this season it was to be expected. However, if you look back only a few weeks Arsenal completely outplayed Napoli at the Emirates and beat Dortmund away too, no easy task. As you point out Arsenal were sloppy, however If Arsenal can get this sloppiness out of their game they have to be considered as serious title contenders, they aren’t top of the league by chance.

      I have followed you back and will check out your blogs. 🙂

    • I think the issue is that they keep on repeating on MOTD how Arsenal can’t win the premier league, so when there is one slip up they suddenly jump on it and use to prove their point. I think ultimately they just don’t want to be proved wrong. But I’m hoping they are and Arsenal go on to win the title!Thanks for your comment!

  3. Good post, if a little biased. I fully agree that MotD pundits often spout out ridiculously “flavour of the month” polls as to who will win the title depending on who won that day.

    I wouldn’t rule out anyone as being a title contender at this point though, even Liverpool. I’d suggest that it is just too early to decide who will be there come the final few months and I still fully expect Manchester Utd to be amongst the top

    • I agree that the title race will be very open. Any of the top teams could win it. However, I can’t see Manchester Utd being in the race, can I see them as being in the race for top 4? Yes of course. I believe Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal will finish above United, and if Liverpool can keep up their form (and keep Suarez in January), they will no doubt be in the race. My prediction for the top 3 is: 1. Man City. 2. Arsenal. 3. Chelsea. Although this is very hard to guess at this point. What do you think the top 3 or 4 will be?

      • I don’t think Utd will win, but I’d suggest they might come 4th. I’d probably say that after the Arsenal v Chelsea game, we’ll have a good idea of how strong a title push Arsenal will give. I’d say at this moment in time though, 1. Chelsea (as I put a bet on them to win at the start of the season) 2. City 3. Arsenal 4. Man U / Liverpool

      • I agree with those points and your prediction for the top 4 is hard to argue with. The Arsenal V Chelsea game is a big game for both sides, but as you say more so for Arsenal to prove that a title push is possible. I’m predicting (biased) a 2-1 Arsenal win (well I’m hoping for it), what do you think? It is hard to predict who will come out on top as with a lot of games this season in the Premier League, which is what makes this league the most entertaining in the world in my opinion.

      • Well, to put it frankly, when Chelsea played Arsenal in the cup this season, they trounced them. Mesut Özil wasn’t in the Arsenal side that day, but there are signs of fatigue creeping into his game; he hasn’t been as effective in recent games as he was when he started (albeit he’s still playing better than most players in the league)

        I’d suggest a draw, with Arsenal at home and Chelsea inconsistent away. Without knowing about any injuries or lineups yet, it’s a close one to predict though though

      • The cup game did have 2 shadow teams out, but the result is of course relevant.
        In regards to Özil, I think that he has been overplayed, when there have been opportunities to rest him, for example against Hull or even Napoli. Wenger is perhaps reluctant to rest him due to his price tag, but he sometimes might need a rest to be able to play at top form. Hopefully with this 9 day break before next Mondays game, Özil will put in a big performance for the team.

        Your prediction is hard to argue with, and you are correct in saying it is a hard one to predict, but I am hoping that Arsenal will come out on top!

  4. TV5 has looked decent in his brief appearances this year. Granted, he doesn’t fit naturally with the BFG but we could do much, much worse… Real player rotation is going to be key going forward as we can’t afford to let sluggish play derail a very promising start…

  5. I didn’t stick around for the post-match analysis after the Spurs/L’pool game, but I know before it when Stevie G was asked about L’pool challenging for the title is reply was something like “No, I think we have to be realistic…”. It’s incredible how the media can get carried away by one result. I don’t think we learned anything new from the Arsenal/City game – it was kind of a freak scoreline and wasn’t season defining – but I do think Arsenal need to do better against the big teams if they want to remain realistic contenders. The Chelsea game will be massive.

    • Yeah it’s shocking really! I agreed with you about the City/Arsenal game. Man City are so strong at home, anything over than a win for them would have been a shock result: I thought the result flattered City as a result of some schoolboy defensive errors from the Arsenal defence and midfield, with Giroud missing some key chances. Of course I also agree that the Chelsea game is a huge one! Plus with 9 days rest, there can be no excuses!

  6. well said. The media can be so oblivious to Arsenal’s good side and love digging up some dirt instead.
    It will be a tough game against Chelsea but I really hope Arsenal can snatch 3 points, although a draw wouldn’t be so bad either.

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