We, that is Arsenal, have an ally. I think I’ve mentioned before that Jamie Carragher is a big fan of what Mikel Arteta is doing at Arsenal. Talking last night on Sky Sport, he said:
I’ve always had the feeling that if you want to win the league you have to score late goals, but the thing that strikes me (about Arsenal) is the quality of the goals. I was in the car, and I was celebrating! You’ll have the fun police saying they shouldn’t be celebrating. If Arsenal win the league, Reiss Nelson will be an Arsenal legend. Those Steve Bruce goals (when Manchester United won their first Premier League title) are still talked about now.
When Man City score in the last minute we say “great mentality”, but because it’s Arsenal we’re saying “oh, they’re choking, they’ve got to score in the last minute because they’re not playing well enough” But that narrative will change if they win the title. We’ll be saying something different next season.
He’s right, of course he is. Was anyone talking about Utd when their last minute goal secured the Champions League trophy all those years ago? Was anyone whinging about their over celebrating? No, and rightly so. A football match is 90 minutes and if a team wastes time during those minutes then it’s only right that the officials add that time on.
There’s a lesson to be learned here and that’s don’t cheat. Don’t waste time and don’t feign injury because it can bite a club on the backside.
Talking of cheats, I see Bruno Fernandes has escaped punishment for shoving the linesman at the weekend. Imagine if that had been Gabriel or Xhaka, any Arsenal player for that matter. Consistency eh, it’s non existent in the Premier League. Same with all the penalty appeals Arsenal had turned down against Bournemouth, you can bet your bottom dollar that at least one would have been given had it been Man Utd, Man City or Harry Kane appealing. Jamie Carragher talks about our five point lead over City but we’d be even further ahead of them if honesty was the officials policy on more occasions.
Fulham were beaten by Brentford last night. I didn’t watch the game but by all accounts, Brentford could, perhaps even should, have been two or three goals up before they took the lead 6 minutes into the game. Thomas Frank’s team came out of the blocks fast and Fulham struggled. Just what Arsenal need to do against them on Sunday.
Before then though, there’s a week of European football to enjoy. Speculation in the media is Graham Potter could face the axe if his team are beaten by Borussia Dortmund tonight and then tomorrow, Totts face an AC Milan side who are 1-0 up in the tie. Wednesday it’s Arsenal v Liverpool in the WSL and then it’s Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon on Thursday. I hope Jakub Kiwior starts this one and I’m sure he will if Mikel Arteta thinks he’s ready.
Our new central defender/midfielder is reported to have said (Daily Cannon)
What does Mikel Arteta pay attention to? Everything. I am waiting patiently. Everyone would like to play. When you look at all of Arsenal, they have a very young squad for the Premier League. They want to play young players, they are not afraid to bet on them. I took that into account when I came here.
I think his patience will soon be rewarded…
Catch up in the comments.
Hi Rico, the Beth Mead interview as requested:-
As Beth Mead stood on stage, golden ticker tape falling from the ceiling, amid a rapturous standing ovation as she was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, there were tears in her eyes.
Not of joy, but of a deep and crippling sadness that her mum June was not there for the glitzy bash back in December. That she was at home, in pain, suffering, in the final stages of a battle she could not win with ovarian cancer.
Mead still has the text message her mum sent her that evening. It is a reminder of everything, not just the emotions of that night, but what her mum, who died in January, meant to her.
“When I was on stage, I was conflicted,” said Mead, who had suffered a season ending anterior cruciate ligament injury a few weeks earlier that had put her participation in this summer’s World Cup in Australia in jeopardy. “It was definitely bittersweet.
“I was up for an award I had never dreamed I would be up for, so to win it was indescribable. The names that are on that trophy, I would never have aligned myself with. I didn’t think I deserved to be alongside there, I still don’t.
“I would have loved for my mum to be there with me, but she wasn’t. She was so ill at that point, but I knew she was watching. I’m so appreciative that she was there to see me do that; that she was there last summer when we won the Euros, but she wasn’t there that night and I knew she wouldn’t be for much longer.
“One of the last text messages she sent me came that night. She told me how proud she was, how ecstatic she was for her baby girl, how much she loved me and how proud she was of me and everything I had done.
“It’s nice to be able to go back and read that, it’s nice that I can go back and see it on my phone. To have that still, but it’s not easy either. I hear her voice…”
‘I went one way, my kneed went the other’
Mead suffered her knee injury at the start of December. She knew straight away she was in trouble, a crippling pain in her knee leaving her crumpled on the side of the pitch.
It was a crushing end to an incredible year. In August, she had not only won the European Championship with England at Wembley, but also the golden boot as the tournament’s top goalscorer.
Her life had been transformed. Almost overnight, a shy girl from Whitby, in North Yorkshire had been turned into a superstar. But that knee injury did more than just end her season and start a race to be fit for the World Cup, monthly updates that she will share with Telegraph Sport, it plunged her life into turmoil. It made her confront her family’s pain and sorrow head on.
“We were playing Manchester United at the Emirates, there was a big crowd and it was a big occasion,” Mead explained. “We were losing 3-2. It was the 93rd minute and I’m running after a lost cause down the touchline.
Beth Mead – Beth Mead: My inner trauma on night of Spoty triumph
Mead sustained her anterior cruciate ligament injury at the Emirates Stadium in November CREDIT: Getty Images/Stuart MacFarlane
“I tried to keep the ball in play and I got knocked at the perfectly wrong moment. I went one way, my knee goes the other. The pain was excruciating for about 30 seconds. It was a pain I had not felt before, it was like someone had gone inside my knee and whacked it with a hammer.
“I was in agony. By the time I got to the dressing room, my mind was working and I was starting to get worried. What if it is this, what if it is that? I was in such a good place with my football.”
She really was. Mead had been a fringe member of the squad at the World Cup in 2019 and was left out of the Team GB squad for the Olympics in 2021. But she was superb last summer, scoring vital goals – the first of the tournament in a nervy win over Austria, a hat-trick in the destruction of Norway, the first in the semi-final win over heavily-fancied Sweden. Last week, Mead was voted second best female player on the planet at the Fifa Best Awards, largely on the back of her exploits at that glorious home tournament.
“I heard those words, it’s your ACL. The three letters you never want to hear as a footballer. It’s not three months, it’s not six months, it’s normally a good solid nine-month injury. You know it’s surgery. A lot of thoughts go through your mind, a lot of emotions kick in. I was very upset.
“Shortly after I got the news, I was surrounded by my team-mates at Arsenal, they knew what my life was like away from football.
“I think the realisation dawned that the one thing that had been an escape from all the trauma of my mum being ill, was gone. That was the scariest thought.”
‘I used sadness and fear and unleashed it on a football pitch’
Few people, other than close and friends and family, knew what Beth and her mum were going through. June had been determined to be there at the Euros and she was. It may sound strange to some, but it had partly been her mum’s suffering that had inspired her daughter’s successful year. She was angry at the world, angry at the way her career was going. And she did not have much time left to turn it around and make her mum proud.
“Football had been my escape, but it had also been my release,” Mead explained. “I had used all those emotions, all that sadness and fear and I had unleashed it on a football pitch.
“There was so much pent up emotion behind my form last year. I was angry at life because of everything that had happened to my mum, but for 90 minutes that fuelled me. Every training session, it was a release where I didn’t have to think about all that. With the injury, even that was taken away from me. It’s been a little bit of an uphill battle ever since.
“She was my main driving force, she was the reason I started playing football. She took me to my first football session when I was six years old. She has put up with quite a lot from me you know. She put up a lot of crap and she pushed me through all of my hardest moments. She cannot push me through this one but I’m getting there.”
She is, but slowly. The 27-year-old has become an ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Action, a charity, to raise awareness and improve treatment in the “silent killer.” Her rehabilitation from the knee injury is also going well. She has a chance of making the plane to Australia.
“The universe works in weird and wonderful ways but I do believe in things happening for a reason,” Mead continued, her voice cracking several times, but the words still came out.
“Not that I wanted this to happen to me, not that I needed a nine-month injury, but it has given me the time to sit down and reflect on everything that happened to me last year.
“I actually got so much precious time with my mum before she passed that I would not have got if I was playing and training. If I was fit, my mum would have wanted me to go into training, to get fit for the season restarting and the games coming up.
“I didn’t have that guilt of needing to be somewhere and her telling me I needed to be there. I spent those last few weeks with her, I listened to her and it was a very powerful time. There were some special moments and there were some really s—– ones, but I was there with her.”
Even though her mother died, she remains an integral role in Mead’s rehab having been such a support throughout her career.
“My recovery is a mental as well as a physical one. My mum passed on January 7, basically a month after my operation.
Beth Mead and her mother June – Beth Mead: My inner trauma on night of Spoty triumph
Mead said her late mother June’s strength in the face of adversity has helped her
“I think mentally she helped me even then, despite everything she was going through. She was in constant pain, the things that were going on in her body, but she was telling me to do the nitty gritty things with your knee now because you will pay for it later on if you don’t.
“She drove me on and the situation she was in. She didn’t moan once, she had so much going on, she felt so rubbish, so yeah, it put what I needed to do into perspective.
“What was going on with me was fixable. It wasn’t for her. I did that nitty gritty stuff and went home for a couple of months and it is paying off. I’m doing really well in my rehab, it’s paying off.
“My mum didn’t want me moping around feeling sorry for myself. I have good and bad moments, like. It doesn’t go away, your life grows around it. It is always there but your body learns to deal with the loss of that person, even though I still want her there. It’s one day at a time.”
Beth Mead is encouraging people to take part in the Ovarian Cancer Action’s Walk in her Name campaign.
Sorry Rico there may be a few bits of extraneous text that need editing out.
Morning Rico and all.
What a great but sad story. So glad that Beth mead’s mum got to see her play in the WSL. It brought a bit of a tear to my eye when I read her mum had passed away through cancer as my dad is fighting several types himself.
If you see some of the things done by reefs when officiating games that’s when you will know that there is some thing that’s happening behind closed doors. other wise look at some of the behaviors of players from some of these clubs in epl, and the reefs nor the epl don’t do any thing i say again nothing is given like card or disciplinary .compared to Arsenal a player complains from Arsenal side he gets yellow, so you will wonder what is really happening. even the few seconds that made Arsenal win are on the media in a negative way as if the media even didn’t want Arsenal to win.
Hi Cicero, thanks. I’ll read it now.
Morning all, for some reason I haven’t been able to comment as the box didn’t open . Not that I have much to say that hasn’t already been said.
Apart from it seems that the complain about Arsenal ref from the Everton away match is up for the away match against Fulham .
Conspiracy or coincidence ?
Hi Potter, conspiracy I’m sure..
Are you snowed in today?
No bloody cold but no snow so far
Lucky you, we had 5cms overnight..
New post up now