There were many things I expected to see as I had a look around the UK press on Monday morning, but the Daily Telegraph declaring Arsenal as title challengers was not one of them.
I’m not entirely sure where the sub-editor got the idea for this if I’m honest. The Telegraph’s deputy football correspondent, Jeremy Wilson, makes no allusion to any sort of title challenge from Arsenal in his report.
Early on he says, “Arsenal’s new executive team met supporters before this game to pledge to bring “pride back to the fan-base” following another week of off-field upheaval and, while the sight again of so many empty seats underlined the challenge, a fifth straight win suggests tentative steps in the right direction.
“Yes, Everton could easily already have been well ahead by the time Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in three second-half minutes to settle the match. And, yes, you had to go back more than 22 years – pre-Arsene Wenger even – for Everton’s most recent win at either Highbury or the Emirates, but Arsenal are now back into the top six of a Premier League table that has an increasingly familiar feel. Can they seriously challenge further?” but that’s all he says.
‘Tentative steps in the right direction while questioning if they can challenge further’. Somebody get the open-top bus ready!
The problem with headlines and frontpages like these is that idiot football fans sometimes struggle to discern what is actual fan sentiment and what is just nonsense.
I know no Arsenal fan who really thinks we will challenge for the league title this season although you will find plenty who want us to. But thanks to coverage like this, Arsenal fans will find themselves having to deal with the supporters of other clubs who think we really believe we can mount a title challenge this season.
Those are actually called ‘Tottenham fans’.