Arsenal are fragile. Records keep tumbling under Mikel Arteta and not those of the desirable ilk. Any club of this stature being in the position it is in is understandably an easy target. Free Clicks FC.
Never straying too far from controversy, even of the manufactured kind, the most recent talking point around Arsenal is that surrounding the goalkeeping department.
Forking out an initial £24m for Aaron Ramsdale in the summer to become the second most expensive English signing at the club, behind Ben White who joined not long before him, Mikel Arteta made a big call against Norwich.
Largely expected to work his way into the first team over the course of the season at the same time Bernd Leno is eased out of his role as number one, the decision to play the 23-year-old in the Premier League came as a surprise.
Bernd Leno has training outburst at Arsenal during practice match amid Aaron Ramsdale goalkeeping battle – and it’s a whole lot of nothing
The decision has now been made, however, and there is no reason not to field Ramsdale in the role moving forward. Why chop and change after the call, especially given the strength of his, admittedly, mostly uneventful displays?
Then it emerged that Arteta had made a ‘promise’ to Leno that he would be back in the team for the visit of Tottenham in the North London Derby in two games’ time. Ramsdale would keep his place for Burnley and possibly AFC Wimbledon before the German is brought back into the fold.
It abandons the idea of a meritocracy. Why make such a promise when it’s only outcome is damaging relationships one way or the other?
Well, in light of that ‘reveal’, certain outlets and journalists (who will not be named) have seen this as an ideal chance to poke the tiger.
Reports will have been seen stating that Leno had an ‘outburst’ in training. Apparently he was upset at Nicolas Pepe not earning a free-kick in the build-up to conceding a goal during an 11 vs 11 practice match.
An absolute nothing story. Who would have envisaged a professional sports person is competitive and doesn’t like to lose? Groundbreaking stuff.
What has happened is a lazy bundle of stories together. Coupling Leno being a footballer who wants to win and the ongoing saga around who is number one at the club, sensationalism has reigned supreme once more.
And where better to rustle up such narratives than at Arsenal. It’s like shooting a fish in a barrel. Causing disruption and sparking debate within the supporters’ ranks is the end goal and the club who’ve declined miserably over the past few years are the catch of the day. Every day, in fact.
Times are tough at the minute. Worrying with a splash of light at the end of a very long tunnel.
Drowning out that deliberately designed to fracture is what the fans have to live with. Arsenal have got themselves into this slump and until there is something more closely resembling harmony it’s going to be more rocky seas to ride out.
All that prevents the spew of nonsense from emanating is winning matches, which is best achieved with support. For now we just have to live with it.