Just for a bit of fun and some balance I am writing a piece in praise of the media and their views on the Arsenal. In particular I wanted to address the Gooners contention that the BBC Football coverage has a strong bias against the Gunners.
We all like to have a good moan on Saturday and Sunday nights at the when we feel the BBC ‘Pundits’ enjoy highlighting what Arsenal and Wenger get wrong as opposed to the huge amount we do so well. Don’t get me wrong the Lineker pisstake a few years back was bang out of order but…
I thought it might be cool in the last week of 2014/15 to look back at the Top 4 Predictions given in August by all 29 of the BBC Television and Radio 5 Live football team. I think you might be surprised but first a few interesting facts for context:
- There are only 3 Ex Players who might be expected to have a soft spot for Man United in Robbie Savage, Dion Dublin and Phil Neville
- There are only 2 Ex Players who might be expected to have a soft spot for Liverpool in Mark Lawrenson and Danny Murphy.
- There is only 1 Ex Player who might be expected to have a soft spot for Chelsea in Pat Nevin
- There is only 1 Ex Player who might be expected to have a soft spot for Man City in Danny Mills
- There are 3 Ex Players who might be expected to have a soft spot for Spurs in Garth Crooks, Chris Waddle and Les Ferdinand – Oh hold on no idea why that is an issue as this is a blog on potential Top 4!!
- Wait a cotton picking minute though there are 3 Ex Players who might be expected to have a soft spot for the Arsenal in John Hartson, Ian Wright and Martin Keown.
So it would appear no real bias potential to speak of at first glance, although I am not aware of the allegiances of all of the commentators.
Here below is the full table of predictions from the 29 BBC ‘Experts’
|Phil Neville||Chelsea||Man Utd||Man City||Arsenal|
|Robbie Savage||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Danny Murphy||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Mark Lawrenson||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Danny Mills||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Kevin Kilbane||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Pat Nevin||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Jacqui Oatley||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Alan Shearer||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Gabby Logan||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Jason Roberts||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Guy Mowbray||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Steve Wilson||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Alistair Mann||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Steve Bower||Chelsea||Man City||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Garth Crooks||Chelsea||Man City||Man Utd||Arsenal|
|John Murray||Chelsea||Man City||Man Utd||Arsenal|
|Ian Dennis||Chelsea||Arsenal||Man City||Liverpool|
|Alistair Bruce-Ball||Chelsea||Arsenal||Man City||Man Utd|
|Chris Waddle||Man City||Chelsea||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Martin Keown||Man City||Chelsea||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Jonathan Pearce||Man City||Chelsea||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Kelly Cates||Man City||Chelsea||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Les Ferdinand||Man City||Chelsea||Arsenal||Liverpool|
|Conor McNamara||Man City||Chelsea||Man Utd||Arsenal|
|Ian Wright||Man City||Arsenal||Chelsea||Man Utd|
|John Hartson||Man City||Arsenal||Chelsea||Liverpool|
|Dion Dublin||Man Utd||Chelsea||Man City||Liverpool|
|John Motson||Man Utd||Chelsea||Man City||Liverpool|
Well let’s start with the naming and shaming of the 2, and it was only 2 who, that you can leave of your Christmas card list. Yes the once great and now senile old dodderer John Motson and would be musician and band manager, Dion Dublin both had Arsenal outside of the Top 4. Incidentally both of them had Man United as Champions!
So of the 29 pundits that most feel undervalue and underrate our team 27 predicted we would make Champions League qualification again. Interestingly though not one of them felt we had the strength to win the Premier League. They were correct!
7 of the 29, barring a crazy last week appear to have nailed it with a top 4 of Chelsea, City, Arsenal and United – So well done to Alan Shearer, not just a boring dick, Gabby Logan, Jason Roberts, Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Alastair Mann and Steve Bower.
14 of them had Liverpool finishing in the top 4 – Oh Dear Oh Dear!!
19 of the 29 had Chelsea down as their Premier League Champions – Not the hardest prediction but nevertheless quite impressive given City were defending their title.
4 of the 29 felt it would be the Gunners that would push all the way and had us down as Runners Up – Wrighty, for all his whinging, John Hartson, Ian Dennis and Alistair Bruce-Ball. Cheers guys keep the faith and we may come good in 2016.
NO ONE SINGLE BBC PUNDIT FELT THAT TOTTENHAM COULD OR WOULD FINISH IN THE TOP 4 – SEE THEY DO KNOW THEIR FOOTIE!!
Had we not lost to Swansea we would in all likelihood confounded 25 of the 20 and finished 2nd which is a great shame.
Anyway just an interesting diversion but next time you lay into the Beeb over the odd sound bite, remember that only 2 of the 29 actually thought Wenger and Arsenal would fail to make Top 4. In truth I think there are an awful lot of them that would actually love to see The Gunners challenging next season and I will be looking out for the August new season predictions to see if I am right.
Well Alan Hansen did retire did he not and Gary Lineker for some reason not asked. Perhaps he was too busy spouting crap on Twitter!
Gary you are still a Spud tart though:
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