Arsenal are currently surpassing all expectations under their new manager, Unai Emery but the media indifference towards a resurgent Arsenal is fairly obvious.
Often, the media coverage of an Arsenal game needs the considerable skills of a private detective to locate it. It’s no longer a surprise to find it buried deep inside the back pages of the sports supplement.
Match of the day usually gives the briefest highlights of the clubs matches and including analysis, the coverage may only stretch to five or six minutes. It has also taken to demoting the Gunners fixtures to half way down the program’s schedule.
MOTD includes Alan Shearer, feverishly looking for any deficiencies in the performance and former Spud, Gary Lineker, eagerly awaiting a defeat, like a rabid bulldog awaiting the appearance of a pizza delivery man.
The Sun recently decided to publish footage of Arsenal players on a pre-season bash, apparently inhaling nitrous oxide. The story obviously included a quote from an unarmed source, who said:
“Boxes of ‘hippy crack’ canisters were brought in and the players were blowing up balloons and inhaling. It got pretty wild.”
However, it fails to reveal details of this raucous get together or substantiate the claim. This is an example of the press obtaining illegal images to sell papers, four months after the event and although I’m not condoning the players actions, it is a flagrant breach of privacy.
Moreover, boss Unai Emery reaffirmed his trust on his players and said that this will not be a distraction for the team and it’s performances.
Unai Emery says he trusts his Arsenal players after a video was released allegedly showing some of the team inhaling nitrous oxide. pic.twitter.com/Y85LdIcs1Q
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) December 12, 2018
The list of past misdemeanours continues, with former player Jack Wilshere under regular scrutiny for smoking and drinking, which earned him a reprimand from the club and former manager, Arsene Wenger.
Now, they have a new target in Mesut Ozil with Arsenal under the management of Unai Emery. The midfielder has come in for similar treatment from the media, which has been overzealous to say the least.
Yes, he doesn’t always perform to his own high standard every game but who does ?
Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi are regarded as World class but on the occasion that they have a quiet game, no one questions their desire to the degree that Ozil suffers.
The fact that he has literally carried the burden as Arsenal’s playmaker since he arrived has hardly helped. He possesses the type of skill that a great many aren’t lucky enough to have and at times, his vision is on another level to those around him.
Ozil has had a complicated 12 months, singled out for Germany’s awful FIFA World Cup 2018 and heavily criticised for pictures with Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Mesut Ozil has insisted his picture with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not a political statement
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 22, 2018
All this despite the fact that his motives were non-political and he was merely celebrating his Turkish heritage. This furore lead to Mesut Ozil retiring from the national side, which lead to more condemnation. Since then, it appears that Ozil can do nothing right in the eyes of the media.
The Daily Mail recently had a story titled ‘Ozil the Outcast’ where Unai Emery apparently accused Ozil of lacking fight but nowhere in the story was the German mentioned directly.
The midfielder was suffering from a back spasm and rested for the match with Bournemouth. However, it was implied that Unai Emery thought Ozil could not cope physically.
The contradictory Sun newspaper decided to go with a story from former Arsenal striker Paul Merson in which he stated that Lucas Torreira was overrated and wouldn’t make any of the top four teams in the Premier League.
Lucas Torreira is overrated and would not play for Premier League’s top four teams, says Arsenal legend Paul Merson https://t.co/PziX44DO6d
— The Sun – Arsenal (@SunArsenal) December 14, 2018
The ex-striker hit back immediately on Twitter saying that he didn’t say it and posted another quote from the same paper where he had said that Torreira was the player Arsenal had been crying out for for over a decade and that he had transformed the side.
It would appear that when Arsenal are doing well, the press have to still find some way to sell papers.
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