By Tony Attwood
If you keep a regular eye on the blog, TV, radio and newspaper headlines you may have noticed that there is a new game in town – although perhaps game is the wrong word, because the perpetrators of it are hoping that it could tear Arsenal apart in September.
Go back a few years and rumours of transfers started after the season ended, and the wild raving headlines that always preceded the rumour was followed by a question mark, meaning that no one really knew but this was just an idea based on rumour.
Arsenal to buy Greenland youth sensation???
That would be a typical piece. Even if the reader was so dozy as not to realise that finding a brilliant footballer in Greenland was unlikely the three question marks meant a) I made this up b) it got a laugh in the pub and c) the editor said, that is the funniest thing I’ve seen since my last whisky.
Now that position has reversed, and while the blogs continue to reproduce rumours started elsewhere, some are now stating rumour as pure fact (at least in their headlines). And to make sure you believe it they even throw in one or more exclamation marks to replace the question marks.
And so we move into
Elvis found living in London Transport bus on dark side of the Moon
territory, only instead of everyone knowing it is a laugh, people start believing it.
OK – you personally might not believe some of the stories, but that’s still only just the start.
Most of these stories are made up – they are pure fantasy. But then they gather strength by being recycled from one media outlet to another; from blog to paper to blog to the BBC’s rumours column on teletext, to blog…
As the stories take on a life of their own the idea spreads; this really might be true.
Of course it isn’t true, and much of this work is done normally to get more readers in order to impress the advertisers more. In fact in a moment I’ll put down some of the headlines with the opening paragraph of the story so you can see how the blogs themselves are forced to admit this is just a rumour.
But still we haven’t reached the real big point. These headlines make it clear that the transfer in an absolute opportunity for Arsenal. The player wants to move the club is willing to sell, but then come September …. oh my! Arsenal are found not to have bought!
This has to be put down to the gross incompetence of the Arsenal manager, the negotiating team, the board of directors. And if not incompetence then it surely must be the fact that the board are not letting the money go after all, probably because they want it for a dividend or because Mr Wenger believed the player was worth 55p less.
Now the stage is set. Player X wanted to come to Arsenal. Club Y wanted to sell him. It was all set. But Arsenal screwed it up. There’s really not much point reading the AAA blogs from September 1 onwards, you know what they will say.
Here are a few headlines and opening lines of stories. Of course I don’t know what was in the minds of the writers in each individual case, and indeed some of them may have slipped into this line of writing because they actually do believe the stories to be true – although the opening paragraph suggests otherwise. But the overall pattern makes it clear that this will be the Anti-Arsenal campaign of next autumn.
Arsenal line-up £8 million sensation!
There has been some reports emerge which have claimed we are keeping a close eye on talented Guingamp midfielder Gilbert Imbula, ahead of a possible summer move.
Arsenal have door opened in chased for £17 million Dutchman!
Holland and PSV Eindhoven midfielder Kevin Strootman could be on his way out of the club, as boss Dick Advocaat believes he needs to move to further his career.
Arsenal confident of landing £25 million man!
There has been some reports on the Metro website which have revealed Arsenal are confident of landing number one summer target Stevan Jovetic.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is already known to be putting together transfer plans for next season, and Montenegrin Jovetic leads his list.
Arsenal in advanced talks with £12m rated ace
The Gunners are preparing a bid of around £8million for the Welsh international and are said to be confident of landing the defender.
Arsenal on cusp on securing £8m defender, but what does it mean for current crop?
Arsenal are on the brink on completing an £8m transfer for Swansea centre-back Ashley Williams, according to Goal.com. Perhaps when Arsene Wenger labelled his trio of central defenders – Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen -some of the best in Europe, he was just trying to have a laugh.
I particularly like the last one, as it takes a Goal.com rumour and then turns it into fact.
Who knows, one or more of these players might be on the way to Arsenal, but I would add a word of caution. Until a couple of days before Cazorla and Monreal were signed, only a handful of commentators knew that these deals were on. Untold can take a little credit here because we ran several stories about the financial collapse of their club, and how selling players would follow, especially after they got their European ban.
And I do want to make it clear that I am not attacking any individual sites. Maybe someone somewhere has got an insight into the summer’s buys, and they really are giving us some breaking news. But if so (and this is just my view) they do need to find a way to separate the true from the wind-up.
Some may be genuinely unaware that they are doing the AAA’s dirty work for them in setting these stories up. And dirty work they are doing because in September the AAA will be able to say, “as over 20 Arsenal blogs reported…”
We await the articles with interest.
- What is wrong with PL refs : a case study. Probert
- Why is there collusion between the media and the clubs over the way the Premier League is reported?
- Arsenal have the money, but who is to be purchased?
- Match Review: Phil Dowd – Arsenal Vs Manchester United (1 – 1) [28/04/2013]
- PGMOL is breaking its own rules by appointing Dean. Do we smell the stench of calciopoli?
The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Royal Arsenal: from the Common to the Manor. Coming next.
The sites from the same team…
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society