And now the media must pretend Pep is off and Arsenal ‘best is yet to come’

Editor F365
Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola are dealing with a few injuries ahead of Man City vs Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola are dealing with a few injuries ahead of Man City vs Arsenal.

We know why, but there really is some absolute tosh being written about Pep Guardiola leaving Man City this summer while Arsenal are on the up…


Pep squeak
After a final day of the season that promised little and delivered even less, talk now inevitably turns to what is next for Manchester City, with many people desperate for a change in management at the Etihad that might give somebody, anybody, else a chance.

So that’s how we get here:

Pep Guardiola drops Man City bombshell moments after winning title as he reveals ‘I’m closer to leaving than staying’

The Sun absolutely know what they are doing – and what they are doing is brazenly suggesting that Guardiola will leave City this summer – when the reality is that Guardiola’s ‘bombshell’ is nothing of the sort.

It’s long been suspected that next season will be Guardiola’s last; it’s literally when his contract ends.

And what he said when asked about his own future – ‘moments after winning title’ – was this: “The reality is I am closer to leaving than staying. We have talked with the club – my feeling is that I want to stay now. So I will stay next season and during the season we will talk. But eight or nine years? We will see.”

So in short, the ‘bombshell’ is that a man whose contract ends next year might leave next year. More as we get it.

We thought that was shameless and then we saw the Express:

Pep Guardiola set for Man City talks after admitting ‘it’s over, there’s nothing left’

Genuinely, f*** the f*** off. What he ‘admitted’ was that 12 months ago – after winning the Treble – he briefly thought ‘it’s over, there’s nothing left’ and then, well, stayed and claimed a fourth straight Premier League title. And he will stay again.

This is not clickbait; it’s just a bare-faced lie. And Guardiola is going nowhere this summer. Sorry guys.

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No City for old men
Over at the Telegraph, they take a more subtle approach to the ‘honestly, this will all end soon’ narrative with this headline…

Man City’s 115 charges and Pep Guardiola’s exit are looming despite latest triumph

Now James Ducker is right that there may be trouble ahead – though calling Guardiola’s future the ‘elephant in the room’ is amusing when it is literally a major talking point – but this is some lovely straw-clutching:

Kyle Walker celebrates his 34th birthday next week and Kevin De Bruyne turns 33 next month. John Stones is 30 on Friday and Bernardo reaches the same milestone in August.

Pesky facts: Of Manchester City’s 11 most-used players in the Premier League this season, only one outfield player is over 30. The front three that played v West Ham on Sunday are all 23 or under.

Mediawatch suspects that they might just be alright. The 33-year-old De Bruyne is hardly creaking.

Elsewhere on the Telegraph: ‘Arteta’s stirring speech shows this is just the start for Arsenal.’

To Sam Wallace’s credit, he literally says nothing at the sort. His quite sober piece ends with ‘In spite of City’s power, Arsenal have built a team capable of running them all the way to the end of the season – but that final step still feels like a giant one.’

But no f***er wants to read that the morning after City win four Premier League titles in a row, so let’s pretend that City are getting so very old and that Arsenal are on the verge of something spectacular.


Won’t somebody think of the expected goal difference
There is definitely a theme across the media of ‘Arsenal are nearly there guys’, which is perfectly understandable because we’re all desperate for some good news. Sky Sports are particularly invested, for very obvious reasons:

Arsenal fall just short of Man City in title race but their best is yet to come under ruthless, relentless Mikel Arteta

There’s literally nothing to suggest that ‘their best is yet to come’ after a season when they have been almost perfect and have had ludicrous luck with injuries.

Well, nothing but this:

Arsenal’s expected goal difference, a metric regarded as a key performance indicator by clubs which essentially measures the quality of chances a team creates against the ones they concede, has increased, and significantly, in every season under Arteta.

We have been idiots. We forgot about this.

Those underlying figures now place them above even City. It is worth noting that this is only the second time in the last seven Premier League seasons that the team sitting top in terms of expected goal difference at the end of the campaign has not won the title.

That is compelling. Though for the sake of clarity, Nick Wright probably should have explained that the other anomaly season was provided by Manchester City. So even Liverpool – who did actually win the Premier League title – never topped the league on that ‘key performance indicator’.

The numbers are a testament to just how good Arsenal have been and while they do not mitigate the pain felt by supporters as they watch City lift the Premier League trophy once again, they do at least offer cause for optimism about what comes next.

Well, they really are a testament to just how good Arsenal have been, but if you push Manchester City off the top of a ‘key performance indicator’ table for the only time in seven years, you could reasonably argue that they have peaked. And still fallen short.

Oh and Manchester City still top the xG table. Sorry.


Strop right now, thank you very much
To ‘throw a strop’ is ‘to become easily offended or annoyed; ill-tempered or belligerent for a period of time, due to a situation which has triggered an uncomfortable emotion’.

You know what is not ‘throwing a strop’? Looking slightly sulky when you have failed to win the Premier League title.

The Sun also take pleasure in suggesting that said ‘strop’ – ‘thrown’ by Declan Rice – happened ‘in background while Mikel Arteta gives end-of-season Arsenal speech’, conjuring the image of Rice chucking himself on the ground like a two-year-old.

What actually happened? This:

And even ‘fan’ @whufc_wills does not claim that Rice is ‘throwing a strop’, so even by the standards of ‘take some sh*t seen on social media and claim it as news’, this is absolute bollocks.

Even The Sun only claim that Rice ‘was looking stern with his arms crossed behind Arteta’.

If that’s ‘throwing a strop’, then Mediawatch offers thoughts and prayers for those yet to try and get a toddler to nursery.


Who knew?
From the Telegraph:

Jurgen Klopp means more to the city of Liverpool than outsiders realise

Really? They never stop banging on about it.