Author Archives: keenosafc

Sky still trying to re-write football history

Sky TV and the Premier League. If I had to pick a date when football as we used to know and love it started to go down hill, it would be 1992.

It was at this point, top division clubs decided to go it alone. To break away from the Football League and set up the Premier League. It was at this point that clubs became more interested in the money they can make, rather than look after the loyal fans who stuck around when football was not as popular as it is now.

And hand in hand with those Premier League club was Sky TV, Sky Sports, BSkyB or whatever they wanted to be called back then.

A lot of what I hate about football these days is due to Sky and the Premier League.

The disconnection of players to clubs, the boasting about “mega money TV deals” whilst ticket prices continue to rise, and kick off times. Those bloody kick off times.

But perhaps the most annoying thing that Sky TV and the Premier League done is white wash anything that became before it.

The Premier League is actually no different to the old First Division. Bar the trophy and greed, it is still the “Top flight of English football”. It is why it always baffles me when people talk about “Premier League records” as if football did not exist prior to 1992.

Sky ignore anything prior to the Premier League because they do not have the rights of the footage. Greed means that they refuse to pay the BBC, ITV or whoever owns the footage of games in the 80s, 70s and earlier.

It was actually hilarious that after Sergio Aguero scored his memorable goal against QPR a few years back, that Sky promoted it as “the best end of the season. Ever”. It completely ignored 1989, Arsenal at Anfield.

Even a neutral will say that Arsenal beating Liverpool at Anfield was a greater finish to the season that Manchester City beating QPR.

We then have Sky constantly talking about Mo Salah. That he is going to “break the Premier League goals record” and that “Harry Kane is the second quickest player to 100 Premier League goals”. We get it, Sky only care about the Premier League. In there mind there was no football before 1992.

And the above graphic is hilarious. Apparently now, the 10 league titles Arsenal won prior to the Premier League count for nothing.

Some people might say “stop living in the past, history does not matter”. Yet according to Sky’s graphic, Arsenal’s table topping sides of 1989 and 1991 are meaningless, whilst Manchester United winning the league title in 1993 can be counted.

The majority of fans can see through this. But sadly this is starting to change. You read about Manchester United fans mocking Liverpool fans for “never having won the Premier League”. Chelsea fans boasting about how they are the “second most successful team in Premier League history.”

The reality is Chelsea are still behind Everton, Sunderland and Aston Villa when it comes to league titles.

I guess it is not a surprise that two clubs as unsuccessful as Chelsea and Manchester City only care about “Premier League Era” results because it makes up for their lack of success in the previous 100 years of football.

The worry is that with Sky pushing the “Premier League” agenda and football becoming more influenced by foreign fans, that achievements prior to 1992 will be deemed meaningless in comparison.

And they are not meaningless. They are part of history. Part of the English game. Whether it be 1991, 1989 or 1931, they all count the same.

Sky need to stop disrespecting the history of the game just because they do not hold the rights to the highlights.

Keenos

Ps: Some Arsenal fans will bash this article saying I am “living in the past”. They might be true, but these same fans probably also moan every day on Twitter about Modern Football. Maybe some people just like to moan?

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Arsene Wenger set to leave at end of the season

It has been announced by the club that Arsene Wenger is set to leave the club at the end of the season after 22 years with he club.

The Frenchman joined the club in 1996 and, after a successful first decade with the club where he revolutionised the English game, the last 12 years have been a struggle.

Recently, despite winning 3 FA Cups in 4 years, making a League Cup final and being in the semi-final of the Europa League, attendances at the Emirates have been dwindling.

In some recent Premier League games, estimations are that the ground was up to 25% empty, with barely 40,000 going through the gates.

Ivan Gazidis once said that he is governed by the fans. That Arsene Wenger will remain in his job for as long as the fans were backing him.

What began as a trickle with a few fans calling for his head has exploded over the last few years where the majority of fans wanted Wenger Out. A recent Arsenal Supporters Trust fan survey saw 88% of those who responded saiy the board should end his contract after this season, with only seven percent in favour of him staying in charge.

It seems the club have listened to the fans. They have noted the empty seats. The negativity on social media. The tide turning in surveys. They have listened and they have acted.

We still have a Europa League to fight for. This news needs to unite fans. 2with the home leg already sold out, lets get rid of the negativity surrounding the club. Use our voices for good. And back The Arsenal to glory.

Keenos

What is Arsene Wenger’s “legacy”?

He has ruined his legacy
His legacy is now taking a team from top to 6th
He has no legacy

That is 3 examples of what I have seen in the last 48 hours when it comes to discussing what Arsene Wenger’s legacy is.

Alongside the usual his legacy is not going unbeaten, that was George Graham’s team – ignoring the fact that Graham had been gone 9 years, leaving a team in 14th, and David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Steve Bould and Tony Adams were long retired. A load of rubbish is often spouted, often emotionally.

Wenger needs to go this summer. I have spoken before about how 2014 should have been the time he should have gone.

Having just won the FA Cup, his time was naturally up. He was already running out of ideas and had sailed The HMS Arsenal through the rocky waters of the early new stadium financial constraints years.

The summer of 2013 was the first summer we had real money to spend. We failed to spend it – only signing Mesut Ozil. It was the summer of Luis Saurez & Gonzalo Higuain. Wenger had shown a reluctance to spend. At the end of that year he should have stood aside and let someone else come in with fresh ideas, someone who would spend the available money. Jurgen Klopp. Pep Guardiola.

Instead, he stayed. And whilst a further 2 FA Cups have been won since, it certainly feels like he has now outstayed his welcome.

So what is his legacy?

Like many, he will be judged greater once time has past. Once the wounds are heeled. And time will heel them.

Wenger is the man who took us unbeaten. This had not been done since Preston North End in 1888. Anyone who pretends this is not one of the greatest achievements in the modern game, anyone who says that his recent performances mean that the Arsenal invincibles of 2004 are meaningless, it a bellend.

To act like what we did in 2004 is not special is childish. I actually feel for fans who have that opinion,. So bent up with bitterness and rage that they refuse to embrace going unbeaten as one of the greatest achievements in football history.

Wenger also won the Double Double.

The Double has only been done 11 times in history. Wenger accounts for two of them. Only Sir Alex Ferguson (with 3) have achieved it more.

To put it into perspective, Wenger has as many Double’s as Tottenham have league titles.

Despite Jose Mourinho’s greatness at Chelsea, the double always alluded him. Manchester City have spent £1b on players, they have never won the double. George Graham got close in 1991, but ultimately fell short.

And then we have the FA Cup.

Wenger broke a 97 year record when he led Arsenal to his 7th FA Cup. It is a record that will never be broken. 7 FA Cups for a single team, in an era where managers barely last beyond 7 months.

And it is the records that will define Wenger.

Those FA Cups
That unbeaten season
The 49 games undeafeted

This is Wenger’s legacy. You might not respect him now, but respect him for what he did.

But for me, his ultimate legacy is the bar he has raised. The standard he has set.

This season, we will finish 6th. We would have made a League Cup Final and a Europa League semi-final. Even if we win the Europa League, my opinion will not change, he has to go. And that is his legacy.

He has made it that finishing 6th is not acceptable for an Arsenal manager. Making finals and winning trophies no longer enough to keep the job.

Back in the 70s and 80s, we were starved of success. The 1987 League Cup success for George Graham trigged a 20 year golden period for Arsenal.

Arsenal finished 4th that year and it was considered a successful season. Due to Graham, and then followed by Wenger, a repeat of the 1987 season would now be seen as a failure.

A run of 10 games without winning. 5 wins in the last 18 games. Imagine that now?

For me, Wenger’s legacy is that the bar of what is now considered a failure is now much higher than it was 30 years ago.

Wenger Out, no matter what, but lets remember he was an Arsenal great.

Keenos