Media may have realized the Arsenal truth for once
By Randy Osae
Saying the defeat at Manchester United was a blessing in disguise may exceed an understatement.
Chances are; Saturday’s loss was a good omen, because it is not in the wake of every weekend that the media wipe the slate so clean about Arsenal.
The remorseful reaction many journalists gave to that extremely unlucky affair was as unusual as the way Diaby guided Giggs’ free kick past Almunia with aplomb.
For once, they have been honest about an Arsenal match even when the final score was a reverse, and ironically, sang praises to highlight the promises Wenger has associated his boys with for so long.
For those who do not agree with this point, you may have failed to observe all the write-ups and headlines following the final whistle on Saturday.
Unfairness from lady luck and referee Mike Dean had seen Arsenal literally snatch defeat from the jaws of victory through a very debatable penalty giveaway and the most diabolical of own goals. Anyone who took a seat for the 97 minutes knew this – especially the bemused Arsenal fans and even the entire reprieved Manchester United FC.
Yet, once we lost, the media were very likely to hit back with bitter summaries. Once Van Persie’s late equalizer was denied, you feared he had failed to rescue Arsenal from not just defeat but from stories like: “‘United underline Gunners’ flaws at Old Trafford‘, ‘Arsenal brought back down to earth’, ‘Wenger suffers reality after bright season start’”
What these headlines speak in volumes would be the notion that Wenger’s side had deceived many with a perfect start to the season and stumbled when it came to the “test” at Old Trafford. In this case, Arsene’s persistence in the transfer market would definitely be harshly stressed again.
Yet, ironically, a majority of news papers and websites had their top stories reading: “‘United gifted victory by own goal’, ‘Unlucky Gunners robbed at Old Trafford’, ‘Diaby gaffe gifts United win’, ‘Arsenal hard done by in drama’”
Those who missed the action can go relive it and you bet your souls they will feel the above headlines were spot on.
Most of Saturday’s synopsis from different sources shared a similar theme of sympathy for the Gunners. Match reports were authentic and analysis were honest.
You did not hear several pundits recommending Wenger to grab a player before the transfer window shuts and neither did you have to argue complaints over a profligate attack or a naive back line.
We may have attracted the old blind criticism if Berbatov or Nani had finished off those late sitters to forge a convincing final score. But those failures in front of goal may not just be the thin line between negative headlines and positive reactions from the media, instead, it may be the difference between who is equipped to dethrone the champions and who is now wobbling after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The media may have now realized there is little wrong with this side Wenger has assembled and the only thing Arsenal may be lacking is fortune.
Now that is something Arsene cannot go out and buy.