There was a time when Arsenal were the best ticket in football for their attacking, free-flowing style of football. They had a host of star names, a wealth of creative talent and were arguably better than Manchester United but without the silverware.
If the value for money were a consideration, you could have sold the ticket allocations twice over. The back pages were full of Arsenal and United, who were considered to be fierce rivals at the time or even better, they were known as the best of enemies.
Both had top billing and were a must watch for the impartial supporter and their head to heads were probably some of the best encounters the premiership had ever seen. In terms of TV coverage, hardly a game went by without either being at the top of the Match of The Day billing or they were the focus of Sky Sports for their assorted clashes during the season.
If Arsenal’s game wasn’t available to the TV viewer through the various options, they could be found on the radio, such was their importance, that you knew you that you would be able to get some form of coverage of their next match.
It wasn’t long ago that Roy Keane, Manchester United’s former midfield gladiator revealed:
“There are not many teams I would pay to watch but when Arsenal are at their very best, I would pay to watch them.”
That was in 2017 but Keane might not be so free with his cash these days after an abysmal run of form which has seen the Gunners appeal nose dive quite dramatically.
It says a great deal about Arsenal’s current stature, that they are found way down the order of MOTD, sometimes beneath clubs like Swansea. The match reports for their games in the daily papers are usually a quarter of a page unless they face one of the top five.
Their Europa league exploits are reduced to edited highlights on terrestrial channels and on occasion, their games can’t even be sourced on the radio. Alan Shearer, the Geordie Professor Xavier(X Men) is brutally critical of the team, the manager and the club on an almost weekly basis.
Arsenal have given him good cause, but in truth he has expressed a loathing of the North London club on numerous occasions before this dreadful run of performances. So have the media fallen out of love with Arsenal? It’s clear that they have because football is currently obsessed with success and City are currently blasting the opposition away with style, so they merit major coverage. Arsenal’s latest collapse has seen them drop outside the top six and they have not involved in any high profile competitions apart from the Europa league.
The transient nature of success means that the media assume that the public only want to be saturated with news and views on those clubs that remain in contention and that’s why sites such as Arsenal Fever have grown to meet that demand. You will notice a change as soon as Arsenal begin to challenge again and it will be the turn of another club to fall from grace and become the crumbs at the top table.
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