The Stick or The Carrot? Always the Stick.

Originally posted on Goonersphere

It appears as if every occurrence involving Premier League teams can now be tied to Arsenal. 

Our club, apparently, are intrinsically linked with the other 19 clubs that make up the Premiership, and their results are essentially barometers for us.

Even though there are a whole mess of variables which segregate every team in our league, we now see comparisons being bandied around every form of media whenever any of these teams play.

The latest set of ludicrous comparisons centre around Leicester City defeating Sevilla and getting to the Quarter-Final stage of the Champions League. This quite obviously spells out that Leicester are a far better side than us as they have effortlessly leaped over the Last16 stage – the same stage that Arsenal have stumbled on in the last seven years.

It was the Foxes first attempt in Europe’s finest competition, and they sailed through against a highly-rated opponent. They also did it with a manager who has never had a managerial position before. 

This only emboldens Arsenal’s failure in the Champions League, and Arsene Wenger’s errors on judgement. 

It cannot be simply celebrated. No, it must be brandished as a weapon of sorts to beat Arsenal with. It isn’t opposition fans peppering us all with ‘banter’ and memes. This comes with the territory of being a supporter. No, it is when supposed professionals in the media world actually use Leicester’s success – or any other team – to bash our club.

When we fail to beat a team and then a fellow Premiership club then does what we couldn’t do – it is held up as evidence of our failings rather than a positive result from that team.

It means that efforts and victories from teams loses all perspective, and instead it is twisted into some mawkish piece in which the Gunners failings can be scrutinised even more. 

That mess of variables I mentioned earlier? Well,  the precious details that are overlooked regarding comparisons between Arsenal’s Euro failings and Leicester’s success are found in the class of opponent. Aside from when Arsenal drew Monaco, six of the seven years we have been pitted against teams which are stronger than ours. We have been underdogs. Of course, Leicester have made their name from doing the same and against Sevilla they were odds on to be dumped out, but Sevilla are not Bayern Munich, they are not Barca.

And yet the berating and baiting of Arsenal continues. It is our fault really. Our online presence and vociferous protests in response to the bashing means that these blinkered ‘experts’ get exactly what they wanted. They cast the tempting worm into the waters of social media and wait for us to bite.

And we do. Every time. 

Turn on your radio and listen. Every day there is an item in which Arsenal is mentioned, even if we haven’t played for a week or two. The same with the plethora of websites there are out there. We are popular and we grab clicks, listeners and viewers. 

It will continue, but it is important we ourselves do not skew reality. We have failed in the Champions League, of this there can be no doubt. We should inspect the wreckage of our campaign with keen eyes.

We cannot compare Leicester’s success to ours. The same as we cannot compare United’s record to ours, and Liverpool’s. What we do is completely different as in every game, there are so many different parameters to measure. 

We have had a difficult season, we do not need to make it worse by subjecting ourselves to pointless comparisons. 

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