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Untold Arsenal Media Review: The Sun goes bananas (even by their own sub-basement standard)

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

by Anne

I’m in the process right now of doing final edits on our first combined Untold Arsenal Media Watch report. However, because the Sun’s match reports on Newcastle-Arsenal and Arsenal-Liverpool are so interesting in and of themselves, I decided that it would be preferable to do a separate post so that I could provide the articles in full.

Having read so many of the Sun’s  articles in the past, these two match reports stand out to me as being decidedly different from their usual tone, in the sense that they’re much more overtly negative. I’m going to post each article in full, with the most interesting parts also highlighted at the top. And I’ll be very interested to hear your opinions.

-Anne

MATCH REPORT 1

HIGHLIGHTED QUOTES:

1)      “But when it comes to Wenger, it’s no surprise he is finally beginning to look old and weary. If the Frenchman is starting to show signs of wear and tear after a nightmare start to the season, fast forward seven days and he could be the wrinkliest swinger in town.”

2)      “Wenger can moan and groan all he likes about the media being too negative about his babies. Yet unless he goes out and spends some of the expected £60m banked by selling Fabregas and Nasri, the natives will continue to get very restless.”

3)      Arsene Wenger quote: “Just spending the money is not the target we want, we want to find the right players and if we find the right ones it can be for £2m or £20m, we will do it.”

The Sun’s Response: “Fair enough but something most Gooners are shouting for should be smacking Wenger right between the eyes though.

He needs to spend. Or he may be spent.”

———–

Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0

By STEVE BRENNER

Published: 13 Aug 2011

ALAN PARDEW could not believe his eyes when he saw a picture of Arsene Wenger in the papers last week.

The Toon boss says he was shocked at how the Frenchman, 61, had begun to show his age.

He said: “I’ve had a look at some pictures of Arsene Wenger ageing in some of the papers this week and it was a little bit disconcerting.

“I will be putting on my baby lotion tonight and trying to keep young. I’ve been ageing rapidly in the last few months, that’s for sure!”

A silver fox like Pards could certainly follow suit after putting up with the typical madness of being in the St James’ Park hotseat.

After all, just looking after Joey Barton is enough to make any gaffer age 20 years while the Toon army still await a striker to replace Andy Carroll.

But when it comes to Wenger, it’s no surprise he is finally beginning to look old and weary.

If the Frenchman is starting to show signs of wear and tear after a nightmare start to the season, fast forward seven days and he could be the wrinkliest swinger in town.

This coming week could pose him enough headaches to last a lifetime.

Confirmations of the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri will be one kick in the teeth.

Then there’s a decidedly tricky-looking Champions League qualifier against Udinese to overcome.

And even then, as the dust settles from a game which exploded after yet more needless shows of indiscipline from a Wenger side, there are more problems flying his way. Alex Song, a rock in midfield here, is sure to be hit with a FA rap for a cowardly first-half stamp on Barton.

Gervinho, who looked lively until he decided to slap Barton across the head after being accused of diving to win a penalty, will now be banned for crunch Prem games against Liverpool and Manchester United.

And Wenger must find a way to get a team clearly rocked by losing Fabregas and Nasri into gear while missing the crocked Jack Wilshere.

He needs to do it pretty sharpish, too. This wasn’t a display of a team looking good to end a run of six years without any silverware.

It was more a performance of a side who seem to have lost their way and aren’t sure where they are heading next.

There was no cutting edge. This a young team and it showed.

How they need some experience flooding through the ranks. Some steely ruthlessness in attack wouldn’t go amiss either.

No wonder the travelling Gooners were eloquently telling their boss to “Spend some ****** money” as they huffed and puffed without ever looking likely to blow down Newcastle’s door.

Credit must go to the home side.

They may have hardly created a chance of note but, thanks to the twin rocks of Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor, they stood firm in the face of anything the Wenger boys threw at them.

To be honest, this was an opening-day game which was played like a pre-season kick-about until Gervinho and his bizarre barnet decided to liven things up.

Typically, and predictably, Barton was slap, bang in the middle of it.

Love him or loathe him, the Scouser can never be accused of being dull as dishwater. He is the Prem star everyone loves to hate.

Gervinho, the £10.5million summer signing, certainly took an instant dislike when he went down in the box on 72 minutes only to be confronted with a raging Barton.

Yes, minimal contact or not, it should have been a penalty.

But the way the Ivorian lost his head and gave Barton a clip round the ear was needless ? even if the Toon firebrand went down like a sack of spuds.

Wenger can moan and groan all he likes about the media being too negative about his babies.

Yet unless he goes out and spends some of the expected £60m banked by selling Fabregas and Nasri, the natives will continue to get very restless.

But Wenger insisted: “We are not scared to spend money if we find the right player.

“Just spending the money is not the target we want, we want to find the right players and if we find the right ones it can be for £2m or £20m, we will do it.

“We have scouts all over the world and at the moment we are looking everywhere and if we find someone we will do it.

“I feel sometimes the credit players get is linked with the amount of money you have paid for them.

“For me when I look at Gervinho I think he is a great player and I forget how much money he cost.

“It is frustrating sometimes because it looks like players are judged just through the amount of money they cost.

“I understand every criticism and I accept every criticism but I try to do the best for my club, I take everything else on board but not necessarily listen to everything.

“If I listen I don’t necessarily believe everything.”

Fair enough but something most Gooners are shouting for should be smacking Wenger right between the eyes though.

He needs to spend. Or he may be spent.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3750823/Newcastle-0-Arsenal-0.html

MATCH REPORT 2

HIGHLIGHTED QUOTES:

1)      “And you thought this was as bad as it could get for Arsenal. Well, it can turn even uglier if Arsene Wenger continues with his destructive, stubborn ‘I know best’ routine.”

2)      “So what now for Wenger? Get that chequebook out. It’s not your personal property, Arsene.”

3)      “This time next week Arsenal could be propping up the Premier League and out of the Champions League following trips to Udine and Old Trafford.

And Le Prof will have no one to blame but himself. Stubbornness is not a bad quality when things are going your way. When they’re not, it’s one of the most destructive forces around.”

Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2

By STEVEN HOWARD

Published: 20 Aug 2011

AND you thought this was as bad as it could get for Arsenal.

Well, it can turn even uglier if Arsene Wenger continues with his destructive, stubborn “I know best” routine.

This time next week Arsenal could be propping up the Premier League and out of the Champions League following trips to Udine and Old Trafford.

And Le Prof will have no one to blame but himself.

Stubbornness is not a bad quality when things are going your way.

When they’re not, it’s one of the most destructive forces around.

I said last season if Wenger does not want to dip into the club’s transfer kitty and spend the going rate on the players he needs, then Arsenal should get someone in who will.

Now, though, he has run out of excuses. The latest of a series of injuries ? this time to Laurent Koscielny ? means Wenger HAS to bring in a centre-half before Sunday’s trip to United.

If he doesn’t, he will be letting down every Arsenal supporter at the Emirates on Saturday, many of whom had drifted away some time before Liverpool’s second goal.

As it is, he has waited two months too long. As for the players he has bought in, you have to ask WHY?

Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell, he openly admits, is a gamble ? and a totally unnecessary one ? while Carl Jenkinson is nowhere near a first-team player.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is exactly what Arsenal DON’T need right now ? another player for the future ? and Gervinho is a luxury item when more basic requirements like a couple of reliable defenders should be the priority.

This transfer policy is misguided and in danger of wrecking the outstanding reputation Wenger worked so brilliantly to create. Now he seems a man alone ? the look on his rainswept face as he stood isolated as Saturday’s final whistle heralded Arsenal’s first home defeat by Liverpool in 11 years said it all.

Here was a man approaching the end of his tether. A man who had run out of ideas when, in fact, the answers should be blindingly obvious.

The mental block that seems to have immobilised Wenger since the apocalyptic Carling Cup final defeat by a Birmingham side, who would go on to be relegated, has been translated into a total lack of confidence among a set of players.

The Gunners have now won just two league games in 13.

Andrey Arshavin hasn’t kicked a ball in months while Theo Walcott can hardly have played worse than he did against Liverpool.

These are two players you don’t need in a crisis. Jenkinson, through no fault of his own, should have never been in a position where he is asked to perform for the first team. The same goes for Ignasi Miquel and the other two 18-year-olds on the bench.

As for Aaron Ramsey, he looked shot to bits by full time. Yes, Arsenal have been unlucky with injuries.

Then, again, Arsenal players are ALWAYS injured. It makes you seriously question their injury prevention and treatment programme.

Yet there is nothing unlucky about their continuing indiscipline. You would have thought the penny might have dropped after the suspensions of Gervinho and Alex Song from the league opener at Newcastle.

And yet Emmanuel Frimpong still became the 88th player to be sent off in Wenger’s time at the club.

It can’t all be down to bad luck and youthful enthusiasm. In fact, the potential leg-breaker on Lucas in the 70th minute was a red card in itself.

Down to 10 men again, Arsenal were rocking some time before Miquel’s attempted clearance hit Ramsey on the chest and rebounded into the net.

Yes, it was unfortunate. Then, again, this sort of thing is ALWAYS happening to Arsenal. As for Liverpool, there was only going to be one winner once Kenny Dalglish’s side cottoned on to just how poor Arsenal were.

The big difference was the Reds boss could summon Raul Meireles and Luis Suarez, who scored the late second, from the bench. So what now for Wenger and a team as the Gunners face the most pivotal week in the Frenchman’s 14 years at the club?

Get that chequebook out ? it’s not your personal property, Arsene.

His backers rightly acclaim his success and the football that has had us all swooning down the years.

The teams that had a wonderful mix of youth and experience, that caressed the ball and oozed confidence in their collective ability.

What we had here was a raw, vulnerable team which could hardly string a worthwhile move together.

The Wenger faction also ask who could possibly replace Le Prof.

The name Carlo Ancelotti, a man not averse to signing and playing mature and established performers, would seem to trip easily enough off the tongue.

From the media archives…

Know Thine Enemy – from a long weekend in the Untold Media Trenches

Transfers latest

Beyond Yann M’Vila: Ignasi Miquel, Francis Coquelin and Marvin Martin

Yann M’Vila + Jack Wilshere = Wow! (Plus Martin and Coquelin)

The Champions League, and onwards

Revealed: “The Busacca Moment” when referees move to fix the match

The Untold Ref Review: Udinese/ Arsenal (other Untold ref reviews listed below – just scroll down)

The biggest problem with many Arsenal bloggers is they don’t have a winning mentality

57 comments to Untold Arsenal Media Review: The Sun goes bananas (even by their own sub-basement standard)

  • Kentetsu

    Wow, the only positive I could find about Arsenal in those TWO articles was the admission that it should have been a penalty for Gervinho. Yet, at the same time he’s lambasted for his behaviour and no mention of Barton’s shuffling him up at all. In fact, all Arsenal players are either out of control, inexperienced, unsuitable for this level, or playing below their abilities – often all at the same time.
    And after one match – a nil-nil draw away at Newcastle – and the start of the season is deemed a nightmare?
    Also interesting, yet disgusting, to see is how they like to keep creating a mental image of Wenger as an stubborn, weary, aged old man.

    In a few words, it’s disgusting to read articles like this and many plaudits to you Anne for reading and analysing all the bile from the Sun.

  • Jon

    Astonishing. Surely some of this has to be libelous…surely??!!!

  • willybilly

    i knew it was bad, but this almost made me wanna cry! If we lose our manager because pressure from the gutter press and some angry greedy fans I will probably give up on the game I spend so much of my time obsessing about.

    I think the work you guys do is FANTASTIC!

    Are you any where near having a dossier of evidence that you could send to as many media outlets as possible?? Talksport would be a good one to target, as they have huge influence and i’m sure if you created enough stink they would speak on air about your findings, esp considering you run a well respected blog.

    Keep it up guys!!

  • The A-team (Anne and Arvind) continue to make nice contributions to the most thoughtful website about Arsenal.

  • makenzi

    Down with The Sun

  • Gulp

    One word. Wow! That’s incredible.

  • walter

    Reading this makes me sick. Not literally but boy this is such a load of crap…
    They are out there to get Arsenal and Wenger.

  • walter

    How on earth can one read such sh*t and stay calm….

  • Oneniltothearsenal

    Isn’t this basically all the AAA say? The media is just the fuel to their fire

  • bob

    Anne,
    Great that you’ve isolated these from the pack. For my first two cents (more later): It will be most interesting to continue to watch the performances of the Two Stevens here — Brenner and Howard. Perhaps the Sun’s designated point men in the intended Arsene take down. Together with Guardian’s unholy trinity – Paul Wilson, Richard Williams and now David Hytner – there’s the core of a group that – whatever are the individuals’ motives or set of motives – behaves like a media hit team. It’s keyboard gangsterism to put it very mildly.

  • bob

    p.s. the two Stevens are from the gutter press; the unholy trinity are from the high-brow press. One takes the high road, the other the low road, but, imo, it’s the same route: the road to Rednose XX and the coronation of Lord Football as essential keystone for the EPL’s face to the world.

  • Kentetsu

    By the way, I usually get my football news from football365.com, owned by BSkyB. Last season, Arsenal used to get quite a lot of stick, but so did the like of Man United, Liverpool, etc. But starting this summer they have been all anti-Arsenal. If you are not having an in-depth look at them yet, it might be an idea to start following them.

  • mick

    Bob…
    I do not have much time for Sir Alex, but to his credit he has been stoutly defending Wenger against the treatment he has been receiving.

  • RobL

    Anyone would think that they were trying to whip up a storm and try and deflect from other things going on….such as the new depths they plumbed on phone hacking.

    It ceases to become journalism when they create the story and not report it.

  • bob

    mick,
    sorry, but I really think you don’t read Lord Football correctly. Yesterday he issued two statements: One, yes, Arsene is the best coach to have happened to Arsenal, so lay off. The other, is that he is working the FA for having picked too many of his boys for the national squad with several loud complaints that they’re doing him hard. Now, you may decide on the high road with the Don, but I’d say he’s put the FA on warning for an expectation of a good result; secondly, with the WebbMaster as referee, that would be H. Webb, yes, the Don can afford to be generous at this moment – not last week, not the week before, but this moment, so let’s not get dewy-eyed at a bit of faint praise from the hardhearted; and third, we have a severely depleted back line that I’m sure he (and you) have noticed, so I don’t think he’s fearing much of anything at this moment. In sum, he’s always been a good psychologist, very cunning, picks his moments, and, I would suggest, he’s taken you in. Then again, I was far less cynical in life before this Sauron crossed my radar and I realized that his unblinking, sleepless eye is fixed on one number – that would be XX. (And I don’t mean Dos Equis.)

  • Stevie E

    Kentetsu
    We’re following a few different media outlets (I’m on the Metro & Evening Standard). If you want to let Anne know anything Arsenal related (good, bad or ugly), she is editing it into a readable format. The more people on board, the more publications we can look into, the deeper we can dig the knife

  • bob

    Kentetsu,
    fyi, just to fill in some context, BskyB is 39 percent – a controlling interest held by Murdoch – which is sole owner of THE SUN which is the topic of Anne’s posting here. So, are you surprised at the negativity? That’s all you will get. We’ve been working overtime hereabouts to have you consider this type of critique of what you’ve been listening to, and perhaps you’d be a regular reviewer of what football365 is ladeling out from the _____.

  • bob

    p.s. a free press, the saying go, is free for the one who owns it. (In this case, former x-News of the World, The Sun, football365, BskyB, Fox Soccer, etc. etc., all Murdoch owned/controlled, all taking their strips off Arsene/Arsenal’s back for several seasons running now.)

  • Abetiaja

    There seems to be a new definition of intelligence: say a negative thing about Arsene Wenger. Suddenly everybody seems to know how to coach Arsenal. But this is laughable because the experts in this case are quacks whose only achievement is reading the dictionary to look for new negative adjectives to describe Wenger with.

  • shakabulagooner

    Anne, thanks for another great post.
    My question though, is to Tony et al:
    Obviously, there is a “take Arsenal down” campaign in the media that is becoming more obvious with the expose from Anne’s team.
    Obviously, knowingly or unknowingly, and in the false belief that is the Media reports it, it has to be the truth or the most reasonable modal opinion that can be derived from an honest evaluation of a situation, many Arsenal blogs and fans have been hoodwinked into becoming unwitting supporters of the “take Arsenal down” campaign.
    My question is: is there no organized and formal Arsenal Fan Club? If there is, what is it doing to counter these views among fans and in the Emirates on match days? This is the time for the fan clubs to get vociferous and down right partisan in its support for the club. This is the time to counter key newspapers with negative publicity at the Ems and among the Club’s fan base in UK. This the time to get more creative and proactive in embarrassing the newspapers for lack of balance in their reports.

  • odai

    Please Walter… What can the AST do about this? Surely it is in the interests of our club to show backing to the manager and then to send a message to the press directly to “BACK OFF!!!!” Isn’t there something if the form of a banner, message, oicture to be unveiled? Thanks to Anne and the rest of the media watch group we are indebted to you guys for such stellar work. keep it up!

  • Mahesh

    This brings to mind, one of the episodes of Doctor Who, The Christmas Invasion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Christmas_Invasion)
    The episode ends with the Doctor being very angry with UK Prime Minister Harriet Jones, for shooting some of the fleeing aliens. He warns her not to challenge him, and that he could bring down her government in six words! She doesn’t listen, so the Doctor says to one of her aide ‘Don’t you think she looks tired?’ This brings her government down as shown later.
    Something similar is happening here (I wonder if the journos are Doctor Who’s fans 🙂 ). The moral of the story is that rumours are ‘really powerful’. And Mr. Wenger looking old seems to be one such rumour, intended to subliminally plant the message in fans’ psyche that he is not ‘that capable’ anymore. And that maybe he is senile and slipping.
    Even though, this is condemnable at every level, one has to appreciate the evil cunning with which this new campaign is being devised, now that Cesc saga is over.
    Bravo Anne, for pointing this out!

  • bob

    Anne,

    Amazing, the classic Murdoch gutter-shite is now on full display:
    + all talking pts for the low road – too old, stingy, stubborn, etc.
    + the WHITEwash enabling of (our kinda never day dull bad boy) Barton (by blaming the victim, Gervinho)
    + the announcement of their preference for Arsene’s successor in the wings – Ancelotti (No doubt they’ll be normalizing his name to neutralize those who say, Ok, who would you replace LeProf with? Surely makes one start wondering about prior Ruppie-Ancelotti ties?)

    This said, there’s the other side of this bad coin: Guardian’s unholy trinity do wordsmith the high road – more syllables, clever phrase turnings, and equally mendacious for their upscale appeal. They haven’t just yet shown their hand for a favored candidate. The victory at Udinese may have put that line of gobshite on temporary hold.

  • DSCH

    What do you expect from the Sun? As in the News International owned Sun. If it were published in the States it would be backing the Tea Party, asking for Obama’s birth certificate and demanding proof he’s not a Muslim.

    Yet oddly I blame Gazidis. It’s his job to create and maintain good relations with the media. And doing just that isn’t rocket science. (You disagree – fair enough). Then how is it that no other club has this kind of problem with the press? Because it’s not only the Sun, but most papers all the way up to the Guardian and Independent.

    Since Gazidis has been in charge we’ve barely seen an innovation or a rectification of extant problems like how quiet ‘the terraces’ can get at the Emirates. When Arsene arrived we were cutting edge … now everyone has caught up and all our back office can come up with is ‘The Wonder of You’.

    Sure, the Sun (which wot did it) is the epitome of scumbag journalism, but we’re not exactly helping ourselves and the rest of us are not putting pressure on those who can help us to do exactly what’s required.

  • bob

    Mahesh,
    As I’ll show in my forthcoming Guardian installment, all of the newspapers have used Arsene in the rain, wet haired and head in hand, as THE Visual Evidence of Arsene’s at the end of the line. Too old, game passed him by, despairing of the youth project, increasingly unstable, on his way to imploding…. That picture is their talisman, the poster for their takedown campaign. We could start our own or sign the petition that’s out there; and if UA provides a counter-gallery space, we could produce and distribute some counter-images of our own. That sky’s (not THE SKY’s) the limit.

  • Anne

    @Kentetsu and Walter:

    I share your sentiments. Disgusting… I think that would be a good word for this. Revolting… Take your pick. There’s just something about the tone of this, the word choice, I don’t know what exactly… But when you read it, I don’t get any sense of humor or irony at all. To me, this just reads nastiness and malice all over.

    It’s really kind of off-puting, considering that the Sun published these as their official match reports on the first two Arsenal matches of the seasons, which I’m assuming that they expected to be read by a reasonably large public audience. And I think the list of words I used above are consistent with how this would read to pretty much anyone who looks at it….

    They didn’t even cover the matches, really… I guess I just don’t understand. Is this something that they really WANTED people to read? I wasn’t even looking for anything on the Sun when I found this! I was just wanting to double check something about their coverage, and I decided to take a quick look at the match reports before going to bed.

    And then it was like, ok… Thanks for slapping me in the face, guys. And thanks for forcing that into my brain by falsely marketing as a match report… 🙂 I don’t know… maybe Tony’s headline has it right.. Maybe they finally have gone ’round the twist 🙂

  • bob

    DSCH,
    yes, pressure is needed for internal improvements (so go pressure Gazidis for a proper PR person to do some good) and it could start with we, the fans, doing a petition, producing counter images, doing more good work in comments and with Untold Media to expose the media (not just “what do you expect” because that does nothing to educate fans that it is not normal, but meant to de-stabilize the team we love), pressuring for video replay as a massive check against the ref-shite.

  • Anne

    @Odai:

    I don’t live in London, so I’m not in much of a position to do anything. HOWEVER, to you, and to anyone else who is reading this, I think that ANYTHING you can do to make a public demonstration of support for the club, and as visibly as possible, would be one of the most immensely helpful things that could be done in this situation.

    Personally, I think that it’s probably the majority of the supporters who are still supporting the club. However, the other side is making their presence seem much LARGER than it is just by being so vocal. And from inside the club, I’m sure that it just feels like negativity from all sides.

    Anything that any fans could do to show public support, PARTICULARLY FOR ARSENE (and ASAP on that. Yes, start now 🙂 ), would be an excellent thing to do. Thanks for registering your comment.

  • bob

    Anne,
    And, for another log on the fire: The Sun is the biggest circulation English-language daily in the UK (including knock-offs in N. Ireland, Australia, etc.)

  • Anne

    @DSCH:

    Gazidis? 🙂 Well, ok,he is supposed to handle the press, so I’ll hear you out on your argument… Tell me, if you were in his position, what would you do differently that would keep all of this in check? If it was down to you, how would you handle them, and get the situation under control?

  • Anne

    @bob:

    I don’t actually recall ever seeing either of these journalists before. I’m actually not sure whether they’re likely to turn up again. But we’ll see.

  • Mahesh

    bob,
    I totally agree. In fact, I believe, the tools that are being used on Arsene and Arsenal are the ones that would normally be used by national governments to tilt public opinion! The kind of concerted media campaign only implies a really big power or institution behind this. With the amount of media negativity that is being generated, it absolutely has to affect people’s minds. In the end, even fans who would normally be fair and supporting, would end up with negative views.
    I believe, the work that all of you are doing here at Untold is right step towards countering that. And even if slowly, people would pick up on this, and the day is not far when at least the fairer of news agencies like BBC would be willing to call out the media and ref bias as it should is.

  • JohnW

    There’s only one way of changing the media outlook on Arsenal, sign a few English players. Is there any one who sees the media peddling Parker to Arsenal? And yet this is the same Parker who captained a team to relegation. If Arsenal buys Cahill, and often uses Alex, Walcott, Wilshere, Gibbs and Lansbury in his team, the media will get off his back.

  • Anne

    @bob:

    Not that important, but DID you see any talking points in these articles?

  • bob

    Anne, Mahesh,
    Anne, it’s really interesting that these two names – the two Stevens – didn’t turn up in previous research. (None of them during the search for the (still?) vanished Antony K.?) Maybe these two amigos are temporary hires from where the Dark Lord (not Morono, but) Sauron dwells. (Mahesh, maybe you’re spot on to something here?)

    For Anti-Arsene talking points, just off the top after reading (but not closely enough as yet analyzing these two pieces) I’d say these are being re-cycled: too old, too stingy, too stubborn, too demonstrative, too quirky, too secretive, too youth-oriented, too anti-English, too French. That’s for starters. The basic mantras that get hammered home to the mass public, over and over. All adding up to Arsene = a cartoon character = an embarrassment and destroyer of the team he built = he must go now and the replacement is ____ (for the Sun, Ancelotti? Otherwise to be named by the Guardian(s)?)

  • bob

    Anne, all,
    I would say that when portions of the media start to propose a particular replacement coach (e.g., like the Sun may have floated the name of Ancelotti as a trial balloon), or say, the Guardian runs a poll that asks fans “Who do you think WILL replace Wenger?,” well to me that will signal a new phase in the Wenger Out operation. I seriously don’t want to be right about this and have no ego invested in this prediction. But I do think there’s a possible logic at work that can be seen, and if it continues toward ousting Arsene (as some hostile questioning in today’s press conference demonstrates), then it will escalate by normalizing the thought of Arsenal sans Arsene and put out the names of who they would consider a viable replacement. (My guess, someone not at all opposed to the single billionaire takeover model. Is Ancelotti?)

  • DSCH

    @Anne.

    It probably wouldn’t be the one thing. So, first of all let me say that Ferguson’s technique of banning journalists wouldn’t be something I’d adopt as a first resort. I’d hope Arsenal would do something just as effective, yet different.

    1. The first thing I’d do is initiate a competition to encourage ‘sports writing on football’. It would be open to anyone under the age of … say 25. The prize needn’t be that substantial … say £5000.

    2. I’d initiate an event called ‘The Arsene Wenger Lecture’, ‘The Herbert Chapman Lecture’, or ‘Wenger-Chapman Lecture’ to be held after* a significant match at the Emirates. During which either Arsene himself or an invited guest gave a speech based on ‘the state or direction of football’. It would be at this event that the under-25 prize would be awarded.

    3. At this event journalists would be invited to attend, as you’d expect. But also their partners. It would be a black-tie event.

    4. Also, and more importantly – irrespective of the attending journalists – all sports-desk editors and/or football-desk editors would be invited, and indeed newspaper editors would also be invited. (All with partners or a guest).

    5. This would be a lavish affair with Michelin-star standard service.

    6. Naturally, the Arsenal squad would be in attendance with partners owing to the fact that it’s the ‘Wenger-Chapman Lecture’.

    7. Not so naturally certain ex-players would also be invited.

    8. Even less naturally, high or low-profile Arsenal-supporting ‘celebrities’ from Melvyn Bragg and Nick Hornby to Roger Daltry, Colin Firth, and Alan Davies would also be invited.

    9. The combination of prestige and substance of such an event would be difficult to ignore. But also it would be the pre-eminent event of its kind and typically innovative of Arsenal.

    The competition and lecture are things that should be happening already. But in inviting journalists and, more importantly, their superior desk editors regularly to an event of this kind – with their partners – to mingle with the great and good would be the kind of thing to subtly change the back-page landscape. All it would take would be for one invitation to get ‘lost in the post’ or rescinded for good reason and a precedent can be set that would be enduring. Yet in all probability, owing to ‘human nature’ being what it is, no such recourse would probably be necessary.

    As I say, this is the kind of thing Arsenal FC should be doing already. But it’s the ‘guest list’ that gives it the added value that’s needed.

    Will it cost? To some extent certainly. But ask yourself what Arsenal would gain in return. Not only in prestige, but in reputation and effectiveness.

    That Gazidis isn’t doing this already is why I’m miffed.

    @Anne, does this answer your question?

    *Or some other suitable evening. The advantage of holding it on a match-day is that the guests get to be treated to something extra involving Arsenal FC.

  • bob

    John W,
    But Arsene HAS been using Wilshere, Gibbs, Ramsey, Walcott, with signs of Alex in the wings for near-future use and there’s more Englishmen in the pipeline. I don’t think it’s really about being English enough, especially as there are rules that will dictate composition, as you know; and, because there’s the toxic calls against us in the Euro/CL matches where, hey, maybe we’re too English!:)

  • Adam

    Cheers for that Anne,(that was painful reading). I do not read the papers so reading that was a reminder of what tossers we allow through our so called education system. Opinionated journalism thats when i switch off.

  • Arvind

    @Anne,Bob,All@UntoldMedia:

    It might be a nice exercise to have a look at what these newspapers write about ManU, Chelsea and ManCity. Obviously not just now, you guys have your hands full as it is – but going forward if we have more hands on deck.. it might be worth looking at.

    My point is – Disgusting as this article is, I would like to see if they are as trashy towards other clubs(means its just poor journalism) OR its just Arsenal(in which case we can see what we can do).

    Keep the research coming and hey.. do find some way of keeping track of key points. It’ll be fascinating reading at the end of the season and which we’ll need if we want to take this further. Keep it up!!

  • bob

    Arvind,
    Please help with identifying the key points as you see them. You’re tracking the defense, so you’re close on the play by play as it is, and it will really help at the end to have your list in any such mix. Let’s do this and help each other? Cheers 🙂

  • bob

    Arvind, all,
    p.s. That’s a great idea – if anyone would volunteer to read Guardian and Sun’s and Evening Standard’s and Metro’s coverage of ManU and Chelsea and whichever, and examine the tone and ref controversies, and manager treatment in comparison to Arsenal’s, that comparison would be a great contribution to Untold Media watch. Please do consider.

  • RedGooner

    Truly sickening.
    Good work exposing more of the bias its a web site and paper I bought for years but sadly no longer read either.
    I hope every Arsenal fan boycotts them.

  • bob

    RedGooner,
    What a great transition: from Redtop to Redgooner! Good one, mate.

  • Anne

    @RedGooner:

    Thank you, but I didn’t actually do any of the work this time. Whatever this post exposed, the Sun did it all themselves. By publishing these things as Arsenal match reports…well, really, I guess they’re marketing them to Arsenal fans. And that’s how I came across them. As to WHY they would do that…I don’t know, maybe I should call them up and ask them 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    @ Anne

    Great post. The Sun really does not let the facts stand in the way of a character assassination.

    The two Stephens have produced despicable articles and, they are so inaccurate that I wonder were they at the match – any way to confirm this one way or another? Do we know anyone in the trade who can confirm if either Stephen exists?

    The level of propaganda now directed at Wenger is now so intense and so vicious (perhaps almost desperate) that I am beginning to think that part of the driving force behind it might be someone closer to the Emirates than first suspected – someone who would have a vested interest in change.

  • bob

    bjtgooner,
    Perhaps, in due time, you’ll have a bit of flesh to put on to that skeleton of a most interesting musing?

  • bob

    Anne,
    Yes, perhaps the switchboard would be able to put someone through to either or both or neither man’s voicemail? perhaps the voice that answers will be one of the ex-editors from x-News of the World. They’ve got to earn their keep somehow to pay the lawyer’s fees, imo.

  • Lee

    Hi, I know this is not related to the article but I was watching a programme a while back about the media and how standards in reporting have fallen and in it they rung in false stories about celebraties to see if these totally untrue made up stories were actually printed (they were and they spread and developed and more was added). Now I know you are aiming to highligh the inaccuracies of reporting on Arsenal and it got me thinking maybe it might be an idea to see if any totally false stories about Arsenal can be rung into these story hotlines and see if any would be printed, I’m not really sure how it all works, but Untold has a wide range of readers from many countries so maybe someone from, say, Belgium could try with a story about how Arsenal are looking at some 5 year old from Belgium and are willing to pay some huge fee or something like, probably others could come up with better ones that play on current themes in the negative reporting of Arsenal, see if they get published and highlight them. just an idea!

  • Anne

    @bob & bjtgooner:

    If you guys want to try to track down the Stephens, I would be equally interested in moving in the opposite direction, so keep me updated 🙂

  • Anne

    @DSCH:

    Yes, that answers my question 🙂 Personally, I have no idea whether it would work or not. When I saw your first comment, I was wondering if you were just criticizing, or if you had really thought it through, and apparently you’ve thought it through much better than I ever have. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Kudos to Anne and DSCH. The idea of reaching out to the press is a good one. i would raise the level a bit by inviting publishers, business editors and the sports editor. the schoolboys hacks who write these articles should be left to wait in the parking lot as they clearly cannot write such diatribe without the direction of their betters.

    Gazidis and the club, though, need to be more proactive in managing the press and i’m surprised at gazidis with his american experience, not realizing how important a task this is. you must get your message out for your product to succeed. i wonder if they are even inviting press from malaysia and such places on a junket from time to time.

    the club also needs to pay more attention to its bloggers. a lecture of the type proposed by DSCH should be directed at the more popular bloggers. their influence is enormous and influencing them can be invaluable. some insight into the difficulties the club faces in the transfer market, for instance, could change the tone of some of the less sophisticated sites.

    our club is not managing its public image very well and is forcing wenger to play point (the guy at the head of the patrol who usually gets shot first). while gazidis does his rip van winkle, what news of the arsenal bloggers association tony?

  • walter

    Lee,
    I like the idea you propose.. 😉

  • walter

    I love what you’re proposing DSCH! I think it would be beneficial for Arsenal.

    Good points also Mike in Atlanta!

    Just hope someone has read this article and the comments at Arsenal and do something about it.

  • bob

    Lee,
    It’s good because if a headline were published about complete nonsense, we’d have proof positive and could name the liar; and if media caught on and started to do less of their lying, then it would be better for fans who deserve honest information. So it seems like a worthwhile experiment for someone who knows something about planting stories to do so for the good of the game.

  • bob

    DSCH,
    If someone of character and football nous showed up but couldn’t afford the tuxedo; but nonetheless showed up in a T-shirt with a black tie, could they still qualify to attend the lecture?

  • goonergerry

    Whatever your view about the opinions expressed in the Sun one thing is clear- it isn’t a report of the game and doesn’t constitute news- its an unevidenced opinion piece-made up by lazy unintelligent journos in order to entertain and sell papers. They are just arseholes pure and simple.
    But then the Sun is simply a comic. Rupert Murdoch’s contribution to popular culture. Of course it’s reporting is not grounded in fact or evidence. Whose is? The Daily Mail? Why does anyone think that it should be balanced or fair- this is unregulated Britain we are talking about- where comics like the Sun can print what they like about who they like- and 5 million plus people read it.