At Arsenal’s AGM on Thursday, Ivan Gazidis explained to the audience that the Gunners are ‘the most over-performing team in the Premier League’ but his comments not only rang hollow, they contradict everything he’s led fans to believe in the past.

Once upon a time, when Arsenal were preparing to depart Highbury for pastures new just around the corner, Ivan Gazidis told us that the move would allow us to compete with the Bayern Munichs of this world.

Years of austerity at the club while they repaid the stadium debt meant that Arsenal were often forced to do more with less and there can be no argument that during those years, the Gunners overperformed just by staying in the top four.

But since the arrival of Mesut Ozil over four years ago, the shackles have been off and Arsenal, despite adding FA Cups to their locker, have not managed to clinch a league title. Barring the year Leicester won the league, they haven’t even been close.

This is a common thread amongst the Arsenal hierarchy – they say what suits the moment, not what the truth actually is.

When there was no money, they repeatedly told us there was. When the money became available, they told us they would spend it but didn’t. Top four was essential until we fell out of it. Then it was suddenly no longer quite as important. We will apparently do everything we can to win the Europa League, yet we field teams which wouldn’t look out of place in the first round of the Carabao Cup against Beerchester United.

Now, after falling out of the Champions League for the first time in two decades, we’re  expected to swallow that we have a side who are over-performing.

“No club has a perfect record every year under this scrutiny but Arsenal has probably been, of the big clubs certainly, the most consistently over-performing team over time,” Gazidis said.

“That is, despite the criticism we get and the emotion here in the room, and despite some very loud subjective narratives and a great deal of inaccurate information … in fact, on an objective basis, we perform very well and have over a long period of time.”

Fans who watched Arsenal repeatedly thrashed by Bayern Munich, Chelsea, City et al while also losing to Stoke and Watford just this season would certainly argue that isn’t the case. Sure, other top teams lose big matches, but not in the way Arsenal do.

The truth is, it’s almost impossible to trust anything that comes out of the mouths of those at the top of Arsenal. They change their viewpoint more often than most clubs change their manager. They pretend to listen to fans but seem to have no real clue what is actually frustrating them.

In this new world of fake news and alternative facts, Arsenal are more than holding their own. They are the ones with the ‘great deal of inaccurate information’ and they’re only too happy to spread it while placing the blame at the feet of others.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.