Arsenal have been subject to plenty of negativity in recent weeks, despite the club being on a high and full of positives at the moment. The Gunners sit top of the Premier League after seven games, winning six of them and losing one. Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have faced major criticism for reasons that are not looked down upon when other clubs do the same. This begs the question: does the media have an agenda towards Arsenal?
Following Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Fulham at the Emirates at the end of August, pundit Richard Keys went in on the Gunners, slating them for “over-celebrating.”
“Arsenal over-celebrated their win over Fulham. It was disrespectful to the opposition. And for me – it is a measure of how far they’ve fallen,” wrote Keys in his blog.
“I’m not blaming the fans. I get it. Enjoy your wins. Enjoy your day out – you’ve spent enough on it – but Arteta and his coaching staff went over the top. They were running round like they’d just won the CL. They’d beaten newly-promoted Fulham 2-1. That’s all. Nothing more. Save the drama for a win over Spurs, Liverpool, or a valiant performance against City the likes of which Newcastle gave the previous week.
“I say again – the win over Fulham was over-celebrated – and it was embarrassing. Proper Arsenal managers like George Graham or Arsene Wenger would’ve made a dignified exit and been off down the tunnel knowing full well that they’d got away with one.”
talkSPORT duo Simon Jordan and Graeme Souness echoed Keys’ sentiments.
“Richard and Andy are correct, they’ve won nothing,” said Souness on the radio show. “It’s another step in the right direction, but their big tests are all ahead of them.”
Simon Jordan then added: “What he (Keys) is saying – and I agree with him to some extent – is that you’re celebrating mediocrity. You’ve won a game. For God’s sakes, what are you going to do if you actually win something?”
The comments were met by many angry football fans, particularly Gooners, as they voiced their view of football being a sport based on emotion, and that celebrating is part of the game.
Another talkSPORT duo laid into Arsenal this week, namely Jason Cundy and Andy Goldstein.
Former Chelsea player Jason Cundy ripped Mikel Arteta after the Arsenal boss gave a debut to 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri, becoming the youngest player to ever appear in the English top-flight. Cundy says its egocentric of the Spaniard, claiming Arteta just wants to be known as the manager who debuted the youngest ever PL player.
“Arteta doesn’t care about the boy. I think that’s a really poor decision. It’s about Arteta, all about Arteta. The manager that played the youngest ever player in the Premier League is me. I think that’s self-indulgent,” said Cundy on talkSPORT.
“When I saw the kid on the bench I thought that was great for him. What a brilliant experience for the kid.
“But when I saw him warming up I thought this is ridiculous. This has got nothing to do with the kid, this is all about Arteta, all about him, look what I’ve done. Time will tell.”
The managers of the previous four youngest ever PL players were Scott Parker, Lawrie Sanchez, Steve Clarke and Peter Reid. None of them are household names. None of them are even remembered for giving those players their debuts.
By the time Arteta threw Nwaneri on, the game was effectively won. Furthermore, this remark makes little sense coming from someone who recently revealed he was sitting on the bench for the first team at age 17.
After Arsenal’s win over Brentford, defender Gabriel tweeted “Nice kick about with the boys,” throwing shade at Bees’ striker Ivan Toney, who tweeted the same thing after Brentford’s 2-0 win over the Gunners at the beginning of last season.
talkSPORT presenter Andy Goldstein disagreed with Gabriel’s actions, labelling it “embarrassing.”
“I’d be embarrassed!” he said.
”If we beat Brentford and [Cristiano] Ronaldo or Bruno [Fernandes] tweeted that, I’d be embarrassed!”
Funny thing is that Goldstein is a Man United fan. Brentford beat United 4-0 in mid-August. So you should probably wait for your team to beat Brentford first before saying something like that, Andy.
Ivan Toney also had something to say regarding the tweet, responding this week while away on international duty with England for the first time.
“I think once was funny, second time was a bit cringey,” said Toney (quotes via Daily Mail).
“I bit my tongue, I wanted to reply and wanted to nibble.
“But fair play to them, they are a different Arsenal side to the one we played before.”
No, fair play to you, Ivan, for admitting Arsenal are looking better this season. However, the tweet wasn’t “cringey” when you were the one who put it out, was it?
Arsenal are sitting in a healthy position thus far into the season, currently playing the most expansive, exciting and attractive football in the league. Much of the criticism nowadays is unwarranted, and serves as more of an indication of rival’s fear of this new-look Gunners team.