By Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw,
Professor of Clinical Stuies in Universal Psychology, Youth and Original Untold Remedial Services at the University of the North Circular Road, Enfield.
The Department of Universal Psychology, Youth and Original Untold Remedial Services (UpYours) recently received a most generous grant from the various national bodies concerned about mental health to investigate wild and unfounded accusations and rants recently delivered on an increasingly regular basis by members of the journalistic community.
And I am delighted to say that following my appointment as head of UpYours I have been invited to renew my acquaintance with Untold Arsenal to reveal some of my recent academic findings.
The main area of my research, and indeed the main area of concern among our most generous sponsors, has been the instability exhibited by a number of so-called journalists. If left to roam in the wild, it is suggested they may do untold harm to themselves and any windmills they happen to pass by.
By way of example, consider this.
We’ve seen for a long time the delusion among many such “writers” that they can actually read the minds of football fans in the future. It is clearly impossible, but they insist it is true.
This combination of prognostication and telepathy, if ever it were revealed to be true, could be a significant threat to our society. For the fact that no voter ever has a clue what the politicians he/she voted for will do next, is at the very heart of our Kingdom.
Thus the oft-quoted slogan, “Arsenal supporters will be worried that…” has indeed been a call to arms among many from academics, as each has sought to prove or disprove the notions that
a) journalists have any semblance of a grip on reality
b) journalists know what you and I will be thinking next week.
Thus far, gthe evidence is clear. The statements in a) and b) are both untrue.
Take for example the headline that appeared in the Independent on Sunday by Ian Herbert the so-called “Chief Sportswriter at The Independent.”
It reads, and I quote verbatim…
Now us academics are paid to look at detail, and thus we tend to home in on words such as “overshadow”, and contemplate the meanings. Arsenal FC have just won the FA Cup twice in succession, for the second time, only the second team ever to achieve this feat since the 19th century.
Arsenal, having improved their squad these last two years, having significant money in the bank, and having no FFP to worry about, if FFP remains an issue, and having been the best team in the Premier League in the second half of the season, clearly have some claim to putting in a challenge for the title next season.
That is a point, and one that can be debated through the use of logical argument, studious analysis, a review of the root-and-branch doings of each club, and a swift half down the pub. One might think of the publicity Arsenal have garnered on a world-wide basis through the performance at Wembley (and indeed my academic chum Professor Sir Hardly Anyone reports that the bars of New York were packed solid with fans of the Gunners from dawn to dusk on saturday), and how that will ease the signing of new players anxious to play under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger, and alongside the likes of Ozil and Alexis.
But to say that all that is of nought, because one substitute got up on a bus and shouted “What do you think of Tottenham?” is so bizarre one must worry for the mental health of the copywriter.
The chant Jack Wilshere led was only one that will be heard by all those attending the Emirates at least half a dozen times a game, so there is no chance that anyone attending the match will have suddenly been offended or indeed influenced in the way that by Ian Herbert the so-called “Chief Sportswriter at The Independent,” feels not only was likely to happen, but now is proven to have happened.
In the Herbatian universe, it seems, the most staggering 90 minutes of football seen in a cup final for many a long year, is all to be set aside because a player leads a chant heard at each match.
What evidence is there for this wild and semi-stuffed assertion?
Well, reading the article, the answer is, none, and this is where the long-term grasp of reality by the so-called “writer” is to be questioned, because in the real world, the world that the rest of us inhabit, the world away from newspapers and their fantasies, evidence is used.
Remember the headline did not say Arsenal’s ambitions might be overshadowed, which would be contentious and would require a mountain of support to make it credible, but that it had been overshadowed already!
Worse, the malaise among so-called journalists spread quickly as the Telegraph weighed in with Wilshere’s juvenile posturing leaves acrid taste and further testament to his asinine immaturity
So the “acrid taste” was left where exactly? It is not clear. Perhaps it was a metaphorical acrid taste. And whose definition of asinine immaturity are we seeing here? I mean, if I write
Telegraph and Independent newspapers’ juvenile posturing leaves acrid taste and further testament to his asinine immaturity
then I can back up my stance by what these papers have done this season – the Independent running the press release of the Barcelona President and the Telegraph the press release of PGMO – both presented as news. Thus I give evidence, which as a good psychologist I am trained to do. But these so-called journalists? One moment, and that’s it. A season is gone?
To be clear, the evidence we need is not that what Jack Wilshere did was asinine (clearly that is just a matter of opinion) but that it had any effect on anyone other than the delicate writers of the Telegraph and Indy.
It is interesting in view of the apparent otherworldliness exhibited that the Independent article ended with this headline