Man City FFP cheating means Arsenal are Premier League champions

Editor F365
Declan Rice celebrates with Arsenal
Declan Rice was crucial for Arsenal

Never mind the points totals, Arsenal can be proud of winning the Premier League title v Man City. Plus, thoughts on media abuse and more.

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How it goes from here…
Spurs beat City.

Arsenal bottle it against Everton.

City win league.
Luke (Dublin)

(That’s exactly what we predicted two weeks ago – Ed)


…Congrats to Arsenal for taking the season to the last game, Arsenal fans must be nervously contemplating the “what if?”, but without wishing to …. on your chips, here’s what’s going to happen:-

Tomorrow, Spurs will play really well, Romero and Van Der Ven will pocket Haaland, Porro will nullify Foden and De Bruyne and Silva will be just that little bit off. As we enter time added on and a point for Spurs puts the title in your own hands, Kyle Walker, who hasn’t scored all season, will step forward and for some inexplicable reason will decide that a shot from 35 yards is worth a go, the ball will fly into the top corner!

Then on Sunday you will gather in masses in pubs and bars in the vain hope that a miracle might just occur. Everton are blown away in a devasting first 20 minutes and you lead 3-0. And then, the place will erupt when a JWP free kick puts West Ham 1 up, further scenes of mayhem when Kurt Zouma heads home a corner for 2-0 with just 20 minutes to go.

With 18 minutes to go, Rodri will catch the ball with two hands and Paul Tierney gives nothing! The VAR looks at the incident and deems it “not clear and obvious” despite Rodri dropping the ball at his feet and clearing. 2 minutes later and Foden reduces the deficit, a minute later and Gvardiol bundles home a corner after Ake blocks off the goalkeeper with no foul given on review.

Two further minutes and Partey loses possession to Rodri, who plays the ball into the vacant space left by Tomiyasu and De Bruyne crosses for Haaland to tap home from 2 yards, game over as City then keep the ball, commit foul after foul, receive 4 bookings (but not Rodri), 2 for time wasting yet only 3 minutes are signalled to be added on.

A week later and charge no. 116 appears as Paul Tierney is detained in Abu Dhabi airport for exceeding his baggage allowance and a false bottomed suitcase reveals £100k in unmarked bearer bonds.
Howard (have they scarred me, not at all) Jones

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Don’t despair, Arsenal fans
Arsenal fans I genuinely feel your pain this week.

It’s still on isn’t it? Spurs could do you a favour tomorrow night, they have something to play for if Liverpool win, Spurs have some good players, you just need one of them to kick the ball in and then defend defend defend. City might have an off night, last day jitters.

It’s the hope that kills you I know.

As a Liverpool fan I’ve been there done that and watched the grim inevitability of the City machine grind my hopes into the ground.

I’m not saying it can’t happen, it might, but it won’t.

But my words to you are don’t despair. The game is rigged but that does not change what you can see in front of you. Yes this is one of the greatest Arsenal teams ever assembled. Just as Klopp’s Liverpool who achieved a 97-point second-place finish were one of our greatest, if not greatest ever team.

Yes you might come second this year. Yes Stewie and rival fans will try and convince you you’re not that good, you’re second best, you’re bottlers, underachievers etc etc.

But it’s not true. This Arsenal team is a great great Arsenal team, even if you come second this week.

We all hope City’s legion transgressions of FFP come home to roost soon but even if they don’t and this happens again it really doesn’t matter.

In my mind I am certain City’s titles are not legitimate due to their repeated, deliberate breaking of the rules of the game to engineer an unequal playing field. To my mind you are the Premier League champions 23/34 no matter what happens. To my mind Klopp created one of the greatest Liverpool sides we have ever seen and won three Premier League titles.

Hold your heads high and celebrate your wonderful team and manager this week Arsenal fans and enjoy every minute of it.
Dave LFC

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Of course Spurs want to lose to Man City
Anyone that thinks Spurs fans want to win tomorrow’s game clearly have never been to a North London Derby.

It’s the most fun you can possibly have within the confines of Tottenham High Road, Haringey, Holloway or Highbury.

It may seem strange to an outsider that Spurs fans should be willing their team to lose tomorrow – but it’s that kind of logic-defying thinking that makes the rivalry so special.

And I wouldn’t have it any different either.

I’m glad we’ve taken it to the final week – it is progress but the league’s done with City making it four in a row on Sunday.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


…Sometimes, in extreme circumstances, not winning is a win.

So, yeah, being a north London Tottenham fan, I don’t want to have to walk around my neighbourhood getting pelters from celebrating Arsenal fans.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is either not a local fan, and therefore won’t have to deal with the fall out. Or they’re high.
Dan Mallerman


Look at Arsenal’s resources
I write this email in response to the emailer this morning who wrote that Arsenal are not worthy champions because of the manner of their win against Man United yesterday.

Yes there is no doubt that Arsenal did not play well as an attacking unit and they were a bit tentative not wanting to give anything away but as a result invited United on to them. Yes Man City would have probably beaten this United team 4 or 5 nil. However the reason for Arsenal’s performance also lies in the fact that the team is a bit jaded from a long hard season and Arteta knows this so he is just managing them over the line.

This is not surprising considering the reliance the team places on Saka and Odegaard to create. Both were poor yesterday and both have had to be ever present to push Arsenal on. Rice is another one who has had to play almost every game including those for England.

Compare this to a City squad whose four centre-backs have played exactly 28 games each in the season (Saliba has played every game for Arsenal. Gabriel not far behind). City can do without KDB and Foden comes in. They can swap between Grealish, Doku, Silva etc. The point is having such a large quality squad allows you to rest players to be fresh at the business end of the season. That’s what we are seeing now with City.

So the remarkable thing is that Arsenal have managed to take it to the wire despite less quality squad resources than City. If by some miracle they end up winning it they will fully deserve the title.
Michael O, Chingford

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We don’t care if you think we are unworthy
To Anthony et al in the Mailbox, we don’t look worthy? We don’t care.

(You care a bit – Ed)

You should worry about your flooding stadium mate. You’d feel worse for us? We don’t care pal. And WE don’t feel bad. Ask any Arsenal fan how they feel about this team, whether we win or not, and I’m pretty sure 100% would say they love them. We have gone toe to toe with a behemoth and come out just fine.

We’re gonna be better next year too. Whoever Edu and the team sign, will make us stronger. We’ll have Timber back too. Good luck getting close to us next year. Arteta and Edu have fixed our club. I feel bad for you. Take a long hard look at yourselves and ask yourself the question, would you want your team or Arsenal’s?

And to Keith Butcher who seems to live solely in the comments, bottle jobs. LOL. They broke the club record for wins in a season. Bottle jobs would be spending billions and not getting Europe.
John Matrix AFC


…Was that email from Anthony from Man Utd’s Anthony? Because it certainly contained the level of salt that guy does. Wow… What. A. Twat. Sure, ignore the entire season and just focus on this one Arsenal performance. What a great take. Speaking of salt, I remember Stewie Griffin getting all mad at how we signed Brighton’s ticking time bomb Trossard last year. Any admission of poor judgement forthcoming?… Sure, we might not win the league. But, Jesus, some people just cannot stomach paying Arsenal and Arteta the massive respect they deserve.
Simon, Norf London Gooner

📣TO THE COMMENTS! Are Arsenal the real Premier League champions? Join the debate here

Modric to Spurs?
This morning while reading f365’s piece on Fabrizio Romano’s talk of Trent to Real I also came across a line that says Modric will soon be a free agent. Found myself wondering where his next destination would be. Spurs came to mind and it just made perfect sense. Bailey did come back after Real. Why not Modric? It will happen, you heard it from me first don’t forget.

Spurs could currently do with his experience/class/majesty and presence in that midfield. To get to see one more time, the once in a lifetime Modric running midfields in “our league”…
Mando R.S.A (COYG)


BadWolf rising v Rami
To contrast Rami’s latest appalling submission to the mailbox, let me just say that I fully believe Ten Hag wants to build a team to compete and that he’s the guy to do it. And that the new board also want us competing at the sharp end. To date, Ten Hag has done more to tackle problems than any former manager since Sir Alex.

The notion that a guy who has been in 3 cup finals in two years is not interested in winning titles is frankly laughable. Especially when you consider that this is his first two years, and he is rebuilding the side following a decade of pretty terrible squad development under previous managers.

Mourinho left us Lindelof and Dalot, having bought a load of dross. Ole left us Bruno, Amad, AWB, Maguire and perma-crocked Varane. The legacy from that recruitment is two good players, one semi-decent and one lad with potential. The rest, on big wages, need to be shifted.

Also, to remind you, a former player of both Slot and Ten Hag said this: “I found Ten Hag insanely good tactically, so were his training sessions.” That from someone who actually knows.

No United fan is particularly delighted with this season; it’s been carnage, but that’s mostly thanks to a ridiculous injury list. We did kind of alright last season eh? But even in this terrible season, we reached a second FA Cup final in a row. If you don’t think that means anything, maybe red isn’t your colour – that’s assuming you’re a United supporter not just a troll.

On reflection, the latter seems more likely, based on your last sentence.

One last one, Wenger did very well to keep Arsenal in the top four while they paid for the new stadium. Unfortunately, that was a very different and much less competitive time.


Journalists crave interaction
I read John Nicholson’s article with interest, and while I agree with some of the sentiments (no about of abuse is acceptable) I am surprised he has not touched upon the root cause of the issue.

As we all know, the manner in which football is reported on has completely changed since the internet became A Thing. No longer would you just get a match report covering your team’s latest performance and maybe, for some of the bigger clubs, a bit about transfers or major boardroom issues in your daily newspaper. Now the match report has largely gone, and all you tend to get are opinion pieces (which we will come to later), which are on websites rather than in a physical format.

Furthermore, the need for engagement has grown, so that the websites can generate revenue by gaining more people to click on a link, something Mediawatch points out on almost a daily basis with some of the ridiculous and tedious ways in which some companies try to generate traffic.

Again, as has been well established, the way to generate more revenue is to link articles to those teams with the biggest fanbases. What we have seen over the past decade or so is that it is not enough to post favourable puff pieces about those clubs, but journalists have also started to aim articles about their rivals in a light that doesn’t appear to the fan base of the club in question, and is written more for the teams with the bigger fanbases, again generating more clicks.

So now we get journalists who are on a daily basis offering their own opinion, which in the main are rarely based upon fact, and then pushing the articles on social media asking for people to read it. All well and good in theory, but when the same journalists are asking for engagement, don’t like that they are being told by people politely that they don’t agree with what they are writing, quite a few have not reacted well to this – Michael Cox recently posting about not expecting a ‘YouTuber’ to understand his point about why Pep Guardiola should leave City at the end of the season is just one recent criticism that springs to mind.

What makes it even worse is that a number of journalists seem to be on a crusade about certain issues – the joys of the internet mean it is very easy to pull up numerous articles from the same journalist within minutes, so it is not hard to spot patterns and themes regarding what they are writing about, (dare I say some come across as having an agenda). However, when regular punters try to engage with them about it, they shut down any points they don’t like to hear, with many offering a response that displays that they, and only they, the chosen few of football journalism, can fully comprehend these problems and any who have the audacity to challenge them are either too thick to understand what they are saying, or are paid shills sent out en masse to defend a club’s honour on social media (an approach often seen by the Guardian sports desk and Miguel Delaney).

Now I fully get that it is difficult to put across a coherent argument in 280 characters or less, but even when threads are added, it seems like a lot of journalists look at the bio of the individual and make a comment based upon that, rather than consider the argument put forward. Which then results in personal insults, which is not ok.

Now some of this comes down to people not reading articles in the way the writer intended. This happens in all walks of life, and I see it in work on a daily basis where people have misconstrued email communications that the majority seem to understand. However, some of it comes down to the writer themselves, and I strongly suspect they know full well what reaction they are going to get when they post something, and in some cases, calling out entire fanbases for not agreeing with you (hello Jonathan Liew!) just stinks, and people will react to it, which then allows the journalist to write another piece about how bad people are at not just reading their article and accepting what they say without question.

Again, personal insults are NOT OK, however, I strongly suspect that the vast majority of journalists know exactly what they are doing when they post certain articles, and the fallout is exactly what they are looking for.
Mikey D


…You’ve got to love Johnny Nic – he writes this and then moans about the hate and vitriol in the media. He’s happy to throw abuse at others he doesn’t agree with, but if he receives any back..”Why are they attacking me?”. Thats the issue with the Left, they don’t even see people on the Right as human. I’m not condoning the people who threw their toys out about the shirt, it was a storm in a tea cup, just not a fan of hypocrisy.

As a famous song goes “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make the change.”