Why Arsenal can’t win the title until they start winning the politics

Arsenal must win the politics of the game in England.

The game of football is both showbiz and political. It takes more than consistently playing well to win the Premier League in England or anywhere else. Its funny how the game was more excited at the prospect of a Newcastle or Manchester United title charge than Arsenal’s.

This was at a point where Arsenal was the most consistent team while Newcastle and Manchester United were flickering and with a fleeting outside chance. Newcastle was going on with their defensive run while United went on the usual smash and grab moments, and yet they had more currency than Arsenal. Here is why I think Arsenal is lacking those critical ingredients.

Arsenal is one of the most popular football clubs in England, however the deterioration over the years means they are not the most exciting media story. Winning the league with youngest squad with a superstar who is popular for spelling quizzes in the England camp is not the most endearing story for stakeholders of the English game. The awakening of a giant in Manchester United or a Guardiola/Haaland combo is more exciting. I am going to talk about the politics because it is something the club can fix.

I believe Arsenal could not win the league this season because they did not have the respect of the referees and the media. While referees continued to tread on the negative margin of error for Arsenal, they gave more protection and positive decisions for Manchester City. I believe this is potentially more subconscious than blatant favouritism. Manchester City are a super team, but they get critical decisions going for them at important times during matches. For me, they have earned that right. All top teams benefit from that. To win the league, refereeing decisions must go your way quite a lot. Some will call it luck, but I will call it fateful bias because it decides where the trophy goes or not.

What can Arsenal do to improve the politics?

I believe at this stage Arsenal must sign players for much more than footballing reasons. Harry Kane and Declan Rice are the names that come to my mind if Arsenal is to start getting the small decisions on the pitch and positive spin in the media. Harry Kane must be the topmost priority in this regard for a lot of reasons.

He is the England captain with a great goal scoring record and no silverware to show for it. He can bring the lacking bite to the Arsenal frontline, controversial as it might be. He gets the small fouls and gets away with what Arsenal can’t now.

Today Gabriel Jesus was pulled back by a defender in the box and went down. He was yellow carded, and VAR never bothered.

Bernado Silva got a penalty for much less against Arsenal last season. Son got one for even less than that against Arsenal as well and they change the course of the game always. If that was Kane today for Jesus, that’s a penalty. That level of respect from officials is not replaceable. Get Kane for Arsenal and that competitive advantage is yours. Harry Kane needs a team like Arsenal and vice versa.

The story of Harry Kane winning the Premier league can bring Arsenal unimaginable favour. It will be difficult for Arsenal to win the premier league without popular British players. I mean players who referees and stakeholders would love to see winning. The past and present category of such players include Vardy, Lampard, Henderson, Terry, Rashford, Grealish, among others.

Harry Kane and Declan Rice perfectly fit into this. There will come a time when a player like Saka will be in that category, and it isn’t now or next season.

I conclude by saying while my opinion may sound far-fetched or controversial to some, there is no life without bias, real, imagined, intentional or unintentional. Referees are human, they have favourites. The media has even clearer and overt favourites. The media perception can make or break a team as well.

Arsenal must without fail buy top British talent this coming window and everything will be easier. Top British talent will satisfy technical and political needs at one go.


Tags football politics Harry Kane Jesus


  1. Nonsense!!! You win the league with great players and a great manager. We were close, but City were better. We are on a journey that City started 10 years ago. They reached their peak probably 5 years ago and have just had to tinker each year to keep the level right. We have come very close in just 3 years under Arteta. As long as we strengthen where needed, we will be as strong next year. The premier league is like no other! So much money involved, it is hard to sustain a competitive team. The team with most money will normally come out in top. Normally!!!!! Sometimes like Leicester it changes. Arsenal are there or there abouts, let’s just keep supporting our boys! Keep the Emirates a place no team expects to win at. COYG proud of you this season.

    1. Team with the highest spending comes top, chelsea with 0.6billion pounds spend are not in the top 11. So what those that said, bebeto his right the ref are too biased on Arsenal most game, imagine brendford offside goal allowed Arsenal goal against man United been removed in another game will be allow as a goal for team like man city. Arsenal need top British players to win league if I should pick any presently Kane and rice comes to my mind, Arsenal seriously need a striker and Kane can fill that spot for us. It will be a movie written in paradise for lost prince come back home has a king, Arsenal need Kane the same way Kane need Arsenal. He cry wen Arsenal released him, it will be a good thing for him coming back

  2. Makes sense. I’m sure Rice’s diplomatic and interpersonal skills are top-notch in football field, but he couldn’t help West Ham with those skills

    Hopefully lady luck will smile on him at Arsenal, but I can’t see Arsenal spend more than £80m for him. Maybe they can give West Ham £20m as a bonus if we meet some objectives with Rice next season

    If we sign Rice with that kind of price-tag, we’d better forget about another new CM. Maybe it’d be better to sign Maddison instead?

      1. I think he can succeed Xhaka and help us with EPL politics? I believe his left-foot is more adept than Smith-Rowe’s

        1. Gai, Madison injury record not too good. Since ESR scores goals too and seem physically fit for DM than Madison. I am a fan of ESR talent.

          1. Yes Maddison would be a waste of time imo. Gut feeling about him is that he loves the attention and limelight ( i.e. loves himself very much) and on his day can look good, but when it comes time to deliver (especially when the chips are down) he will go missing. We need players who have more steel in them.

    1. I think we must buy 3 players more apart from Rice, we must buy the Ecuadorian star with a strong defender and a good striker. We Arsenal and we must spend though wisely

    2. I think I agree with this writer because often times I wonder why everyone kept saying Arsenal wasn’t going to win to trophy even when when they were top of the table then. The analysts preferred Man City and even touted Man United at a time. So I think it’s very true that Arsenal lack of political will power is the reason they are treated this way recently. They desperately wanted Arsenal to loose the title so they did everything to make Man City emerge eventually. It’s well

  3. Kane to come and do what at Arsenal at the age of 20? If you say Rice I’ll agree with you but not Kane. Except if you are writing based on a mere sentiment of having English players at Arsenal They are calling 100m pounds of 29 years Harry Kane! How many years is left for him on a high stage? As an Arsenal fan, I better go fir 80m pounds Rice and 40m pounds Mitrovic, while I’ll do everything to keep Nelson. Arteta treated Nelson very badly: no single Premiership start all season! I will also go for Eberechi Eze to replace Xhaka so that three from the quartet of Partey, Rice, Odegaard and Eze will always start big games.

  4. I dont agree with the article at all. Please, it was all our own doing, why we didn’t win the league.

    1. Might i add. It is sad that people are using the refs as a scapegoat and not being true to how it is. The refs may be poor but they are not some controllable robot that works for Big Brother.

      1. To be honest Reggie, I do agree to an extent that City do get the rub of the green. The media love the club because they see the favourites. They bring millions to the EPL in revenue because the club has endless riches. I still believe they will get away with the breaking of FFP rules too. The corruption in football politics is rife. Therefore, Arsenal should avoid the politics and concentrate on themselves. Not others.

        1. The refs do not pick on Arsenal. I laugh at people that think it is only us who get decisions we are not happy about. I dont see why or how city are favoured and for what reason. They are most definitely Not the reason we collapsed.

          1. Like I said, City make the EPL attractive because of the money they bring. Most media outlets will report on City with biased opinion because it suits. It makes the EPL richer. Simple as that.

            1. I dont get what you are saying and why. Why please city, when out ot the top 6 teams they are probably commercially less well globally supported than anyone. And i dont get why anyone would favour a family that has a dubious rights record and infamous death allegations to their name. It doesn’t make sense to me. We are far more saleable and a commercial asset to the league sky, the papers etc than city.

              1. Reggie, I can guarantee you more people globally will be tuning into watch a team like City than they will Arsenal (At this point in time). Why? Because they love winners. Just as they did with Man Utd. The interest alone will make the EPL more popular and therefore more people will be watching through popular networks and media outlets. What is so difficult to understand?

                1. Its fact, bigger audiences watch the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Utd, Chelsea etc. They are a far bigger pull than city.

          2. This Season alone…

            There was a clear penalty at Southampton game not given that cost us 2 points.

            There was the offside in the Brentford game that cost us 2 points.

            There was the foul on Jesus before Westham’s throwing leading to the second goal which cost us 2 points.

            There was the penalty call in the Newcastle game which cost us 2 points.

            Let’s not talk about the United goal ruled out as well even though it was later tagged an error in officiating.

            I have always said it that referees in EPL easily get away with 50/50 decisions against Arsenal for whatever reason.

            Of course we could have done better as a team but no one can under estimate the effect of poor referee decision on the outcome of matches.

            Even the game at Anfield, do you recall the several poor tackles that went unpunished all game for Liverpool… But it’s easy to say “Arsenal bottle it” and sad enough some of us fans strengthen the narrative…

            My opinion

  5. Rice has a great track record:

    Prime age at 24
    +200 PL appearances
    Always fit
    First choice for England
    Has started to score goals as a DM

    Only problem will be the price..

    I don’t see point of having both Caicedo and Rice. They play the same position more or less.. I don’t see either one of them as replacement for Xhaka.

    1. Yeah, West ham will only entertain offers over £100m and I just don’t see Arsenal paying that for one player when we need at least five very good players. From what I read we have around £150m – £200m. Depending on who goes and for how much?

  6. I thought we’d done quite well regarding the refereeing. Not one red card for a change, and sixteenth out of twenty in yellows.
    But had some really poor VAR calls against us, which probably cost points.

  7. The biggest politics to be dissected is to understand that Arteta has achieved what he can possibly achieve as a rookie, time to thank him for bringing shape and stability, now we move into the next step, which is winning trophies, and that takes a ruthless serial winner not a rookie, its time we bring a Zidane, Diego Simeone, Carlo Ancelloti ( if RM release him) or even Biesla. We appreciate Mr Arteta but the fort is too big for him.

    1. Dino, Arteta has done well and needs to continue. Please not Bielsa, the man is too ignorant. Have you ever heard him speak ONE SINGLE WORD OF ENGLISH in all the years he was employed here ? To me that is totally disrepectful to the host country. Also he seems to be someone who is hard-headed and will go on regardless making the same mistakes because he thinks he’s right all the time.
      We could never have that at our club.
      He set the tone for Leeds’ lack of defensive prowess by having those players believe they can outscore the opposition irrespective of how many goals they concede. Most of those players are still playing at the club. This has now caught up with them and relegation beckons.

      1. The interpreter couldn’t be because he wants to be understood precisely… Ofcourse not.

    2. Truth is you can never put politsics out football, but what matters is the ability to win games,no matter how long they wrongly officiate u, if u r good, you will always win, abd biased refs will be spotted out, ie that allowed offside goal, the ref resigned.

  8. That’s a bold and massive statement by Bebeto, somewhere in your argument lays the truth.

    If it was Man city playing at the time Lee Mason would not forget to draw the half side line., and he would still be around to shave off a couple more points off unsuspecting teams.

    But some English officials are so incompetent, some bordering on sheer corruption, surely it must have been by design,

    How can south Americans and all over consistently sport better officiating and England that has been playing football since saltfish a shingle house can not get this simple thing right.

    I have long made call for the FAl and Allan Webb to atleast make an attempt to bell the cat.
    Invite the legendary Italian Pierluigi collina to assist

  9. I got to the fourth paragraph and then read yet ANOTHER load of nonsense about ref bias , though this time, it was not ordinary or run of the mill ref bias, but apparently”political bias” or “unconscious bias” made in favour of iconic English players apparently .

    To which I once again groaned internally and put YET ANOTHER post or article down to the writers own bias and inability to be completely fair to refs. But, to give him credit, he has invented his own brand of ref bias, “unconscious or political” Well , there’s a nice twist for once!

    Poor refs; damned if they do, damNed if they dont, called cheats and biased by most fans,for doing a job where they cannot win and where alarming numbers are leaving the role weekly (esp im amateur football), due to abuse, sometimes physical abuse too, by unfair and dishonest, even cowardly behaviour by fans, and even by pundits, who ought to know better.

    And OF COURSE, as ever, on this very site too which is entirely typical of fans everywhere .

    I am frequently on OTHER clubs fan sites and see this bias across the spectrum! An astonishing achievement you might ttink for refs to be regularly biased – or cheats, as that is often said of them too and is just another way of saying “biased”, though “biased” sounds rather softer than”cheat”, though it comes to the same thing, except IT AINT TRUE!

    Now, putting on my ever present thinking cap, I am bound to ask why – since refs get nothing but abuse and false accuasions almost everywhere they go -and HOW is it that refs can “achieve” this massive universal bais against ALL top level clubs.

    Us, Utd, City, Chelsea, Spurs(sorry I did say “top level club” but included them anyway. Forgive me!), Liverpool etc etc and just about ANY club that has a fan site of its own !

    And so the dismal untruths roll on, week in week out ,unchecked, except by the TINY FEW, who refuse to accept lies and horrible slanderous comments being the boring, unthinking, NORM!


    And just for once, look into YOUR OWN personal bias, before again attacking innocent refs, who are doing the best they can under enormous and unfair pressure.
    That is not to say that many refs are not practically useless at top level.

    BUT they ARE NOT BIASED. I bet you are though!

    1. Completely agree with your points, Jon. The one about fans of other clubs believing exactly the same is telling. Everyone wants to believe we would have done better if not for some external factor because it’s easier than just accepting the truth – we were brilliant for most of the season, but not quite good enough. I’ve been there – I absolutely used to believe everyone was against arsenal, but it doesn’t hold up.

      People also tend to hyper-focus on the decisions that went against them and completely ignore the ones that went in their favour . The cherry picked examples of jesus’ penalty claim vs two others (even giving the author the charitable assumption of being correct – which I’m not sure is right) is an easy example of that.

      1. DAVI, Hurray for at least ONE fellow realist and fair minded Gooner.

        Its a long haul trying to get some fans to actually THINK though!

  10. I really don’t understand why the author tries to “flower over” his viewpoint that referees actually do cheat.

    If we have to buy British players in order to get favourable decisions, whether deliberate or not, it means our referees are discriminating against foreign players… thereby cheating!!

    As for winning the political war, what is that all about?
    I’ve read the article three times now and what he is describing has, in my opinion, been in existence since I started supporting The Arsenal seven decades ago.

    Is it any coincidence that, since the retirement of “referees” such as Lee Mason, Mike Dean and Alex Ferguson, along with the introduction of VAR, our red and yellow cards have come down?
    I laugh at those who say we shouldn’t question referees who consistently make wrong decisions because they are human beings – they are human beings in the wrong job and who are overly protected by the system they themselves created under another ex referee Mike Riley.

    VAR has allowed this to be checked by the media and fans alike, but they STILL get it wrong, as Mason proved against Brentford.
    AW famously asked him why it was always him, when we got the wrong decisions go against us?

    To say that everyone was more excited about Newcastle, city, or any other Tom, Dick or Harry is the authors opinion – he’s entitled to it of course.
    I suggest he looks back at the media coverage of our PL wins, the Invincibles, our fa cup wins and it turns out they love ANY winner, because it gives them headlines.

    Just watched city take the lead and the commentator exclaimed joyfully “now the party can really begin” – just as he would have done if it were The Arsenal.

  11. Referees dont make Saka miss a pen at London Stadium or Ramsdale pass the ball to Alvarez
    Referees had nothing to do with our 3-0 loss at Brighton
    We lost three times to City this season
    In one or those games we had a penalty awarded so officials can’t be blamed for that

  12. The hate from the media and pundits towards Arsenal is undeniable…. I don’t live in England and I never figured out why.

    The fact remains, you need to get the most points over the season and we had opportunities to do so. A team needs to learn how to win and a team needs to learn to do it consistently. Onwards and upwards!

        1. Yes but neither pick on Arsenal they pick on everything like vultures. NOT Arsenal only.

        2. Oh and when Neville had an OPINION on Arsenals season and title challenge. He called it 100% right!!!!!!
          How is that bias?

  13. I agree, big teams always get it right where there’s no wrong, bandai silva was given a penalty after a dive and in the dying minutes wherever harry came goes down must get a kick. I live arsenal because they don’t have such divers in the squad
    The only refer who sometimes give arsenal such kind of faults is martin tailor.

  14. Whether there is politics or not, Arsenal bottled it just as they did towards the end of last season. Arsenal need quality acquisition in vital positions especially the mid field. City has been winning not because of politics but because they have quality in virtually all departments and also a very good Manager. Simple as that.

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