By Sir Hardly Anyone
Football has been thrown into absolute turmoil by the news that the Daily Telegraph has been leading the readers of its web site a merry dance over Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal. While the lead story on Goonernews.com is that Arsenal have signed a five-year contract with Arturo Vidal, the Telegraph has abandoned all credibility with a complete about face – twice.
On 28 June the Telegraph suddenly ran the story Arsene Wenger beats Manchester United to Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal but then on 29 June sneaked in Arsenal end interest in Arturo Vidal. On 30 June what had appeared to be a two fingered gesture by the right wing paper to all Arsenal fans then started to look more like a bout of psychosis from the sports editor as the web site was found to be promoting both stories at once – with the first saying the deal is done, the second saying there was never a deal and the latest one suggesting that there could be a deal in the offing after all.
Questions to the paper that it’s owners has bought shares in Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw’s psychiatric clinic on the North Circular Road have been met with a stoney silence.
The source of the “Arsenal will sign Vidal” story seems to be a DirecTV journalist called Hernan Feler –Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw, head of psychiatry and odd behaviour at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road also commented but we don’t really need to go into that here.
The Telegraph’s “Arsenal doing nothing” talke of woe then focussed on the thought that Arsenal were not only not recruiting a Juventus midfielder Arsenal were “yet to make move for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin too,” which they had been telling us was happening for weeks!
In other words they were now claiming the whole thing had all been made up – and wilfully propogated by the Telegraph as a way of setting up another of its “Arsenal could have had player x y z if only Wenger had acted more quickly.
Even the BBC was taken in by the Telegraph’s antics running ‘Arsenal beat United to Juve midfielder Vidal‘ on Monday evening following the Telegraph’s own “Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, 28, appears set to join Arsenal this summer,” earlier in the day.
The fact that the Metro ran with Arsenal ‘agree £21m transfer fee to sign Arturo Vidal … – Metro need not detain us long however. If I told them Arsenal were going to sign my pet parrot they’d go along with it.
Arsenal have ended their interest in Chile international Arturo Vidal and are also yet to follow up an enquiry for Morgan Schneiderlin as Arsène Wenger reviews whether he still needs another central midfielder this summer.
says the report, saying that now however Mr Wenger is rethinking his strategy. That presumably is an opinion.
With Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky also competing for those places, Wenger is still deciding whether he needs additional quality in that area.
which of course sets the reporter-inventor up for another “Wenger can’t make up his mind” piece.
But then the whole thing is thrown into doubt again with this comment.
Arsene Wenger may feel he has no need for Morgan Schneiderlin.
You will notice how we slip from the assertion of Arsenal have ended their interest in Chile international Arturo Vidal and moved into the world of “Wenger may feel”. Given that the Telegraph has no insight into Mr Wenger’s feelings, it becomes clear that by and large they don’t have a clue.
The main issue is the defensive midfield role that is currently occupied by Coquelin. Arteta would be the natural back-up but he is still in negotiations about signing a new contract while Arsenal would also be open to offers for Flamini.
Given the slippage between fact, fiction and fantasy, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to take the above paragraph as a statement of anything other than complete whimsy. But the Telegraph has never let that get in the way of suggesting trouble ahead.
That essentially leaves only Wilshere, who performed strongly in that role for England, but has had significant injury problems and is seen as more of an attacking midfielder by Wenger. Juventus’s Vidal has been monitored closely over the past year but would be a similar profile of box-to-box player as Ramsey.
“Only leaves Wilshere” is one of the most bizarre comments imaginable when contemplating back ups, and perhaps not surprisingly, the Telegraph never ever reports on how over the years Mr Wenger has taken players from one position and shown them how they can play even better in another. A certain T Henry came to Arsenal claiming he was not a goal scoring centre forward.
So it is that the article attempts to recover at the end with the saying,
It could be that Arsenal will still enter the bidding, with Wenger overseeing a budget this summer of around £50 million. That includes wages and he has already spent £10 million on signing Petr Cech from Chelsea.
But no, wait, what’s this…
Wenger has also been tracking the two German brothers, Sven and Lars Bender. He may now wait until later in the window before making a final decision when he has had the chance to further assess his existing options during pre-season.
- The Untold Banner that will be on display inside the Emirates Stadium in the coming season will be delivered this week
- ANNIVERSARY: 30 June 2010: Jens Lehmann, the only goalkeeper ever to go 42 games in a 1st Division or Premier League season unbeaten, retired as a player. Although he did make a comeback – by chance.