By Tony Attwood
I didn’t intend to cover the end of the court case relating to the Hillsborough tragedy on Untold, not out of any lack of compassion or respect but rather because I couldn’t think of anything to say that hadn’t been said a thousand times, and said much better, by others.
But then I realised that the first editions of the Times and the Sun had both ignored the findings of the court yesterday, findings which removed all blame from Liverpool fans and instead placing it firmly in the hands of the police.
The story was the dominant news on both BBC Radio 4 and BBC Five Live this morning, and on the front of all other papers.
So why did the Sun go with Aids (to Cameron) use Whats App to keep EU plot secret and Did Ritz zzzz with Jay, while the Times led with Labour MP Backed Moving Israel to US in antisemitism row, Don’t go any further with strike, public tells doctors, and Tycoon’s knighthood at risk over BHS collapse.
[May I add that “antisemitism” is written above as it appears on the Times front page.]
The Times and the Sun are owned by Murdoch, and it was, of course, the Sun that led the claims about alleged appalling behaviour by Liverpool supporters in the Hillsborough tragedy. The Times changed changed its front page for later editions, but the Sun didn’t.
In one sense, there is no surprise here. It is what newspapers do. They invent tales and stick by them, no matter how untrue, or how much pain they inflict. And although other papers have today been infinitely more respectful to the families of the bereved that doesn’t mean they reflect what is actually happening in the world of football on other occasions.
But even I was surprised that Murdoch’s press would take matters this far.
However having had my little say on that I want to move away from the Hillsborough story and leave others more able and more qualified than me to comment. But I do want to stay with the theme of newspaper reporting.
Type “Arsenal injury crisis” into Google and you’ll get around one third of a million hits. Here’s a few from the top of the list on my machine today…
- Revealed: The truth behind Arsenal’s terrible injury record …
- Misfortune, myth or neglect? Arsenal’s injury problems …
- Arsenal’s mountain of injuries – could the Gulliver Theory be true…
- Why is Arsenal Football Club always plagued with injuries …
- Bad luck? An inside look at Arsenal’s injury crisis
- Revealed – Physio gives two reasons for Arsenal injuries …
- Arsenal do not have worst premier league injury record (oh my, that’s from the Sun – but it was basically just about Man City having more than Arsenal in one particular period)
- Ian Wright agrees on why Arsenal get so many injuries …
- Why Arsenal have so many injuries: the complete analysis … (that was Untold – nice to see us on page one of a Google search, even if it does vary from computer to computer).
Plus, when I did the search, I also got helping links to Raymond Verheijen and Abou Diaby
As you’ll perhaps know I’ve been running a series of articles to show that the whole myth about Arsenal’s injury crisis was indeed … a myth.
And today a couple of papers are realising that yes, it is all gibberish. In fact the Independent tells us that Leicester have been lucky in suffering only 18 injuries to their squad this season, and that is “almost four times fewer than the teams who have endured the worst injury luck.”
They also point out that “Stoke City’s impressive start to the season was eventually curtailed by injuries, while Liverpool and Manchester United missing numerous players has been well documented.”
The Indy uses the same source that Untold has used all the way through the season, (although the link they provide on their web page to Physioroom is rather unhelpful in this regard) and which we regularly quote in Bulldog’s match previews.
|Clubs||Injury no||Player injured||What’s wrong||Return|
|Liverpool!||7||D Origi||Ankle/Foot||no date|
|E Can||Ankle/Foot Injury||5 weeks|
|J Henderson||LCL Knee Ligament Injury||3 weeks|
|C Benteke||LCL Knee Ligament Injury||5 days|
|J Rossiter||Hamstring Injury||no date|
|D Ings||ACL Knee Injury||5 weeks|
|J Gomez||ACL Knee Injury||5 weeks|
|Stoke City||7||S Given||Groin/Pelvis Injury||no date|
|I Afellay||ACL Knee Injury||8 months|
|X Shaqiri||Hamstring Injury||4 days|
|J Butland||Ankle/Foot Injury||2 months|
|J Walters||Cartilage Knee Injury||4 days|
|G Johnson||Knee Injury||2 weeks|
|M Wilson||MCL Knee Ligament Injury||4 days|
|Newcastle United||6||S Taylor||Muscular Injury||no date|
|D Janmaat||Groin Strain||no date|
|R Elliott||ACL Knee Injury||no date|
|F Coloccini||Calf/Shin Injury||no date|
|M Haidara||Knee Injury||no date|
|T Krul||ACL Knee Injury||3 months|
|Bournemouth||5||M Gradel||Hip/Thigh Injury||4 days|
|A Smith||Inguinal Hernia||no date|
|T Rantie||Muscular Injury||no date|
|H Arter||Calf/Shin Injury||no date|
|T Mings||Knee Injury||4 months|
|West Bromwich Albion||5||S Berahino||Ankle/Foot Injury||no date|
|B Foster||Ankle/Foot Injury||no date|
|A Pritchard||Hip/Thigh Injury||no date|
|C Brunt||ACL Knee Injury||5 months|
|J Morrison||Hamstring Injury||2 weeks|
|Chelsea||4||G Cahill||Illness||1 week|
|L Remy||Groin Strain||no date|
|J Terry||Calf/Shin Injury||1 week|
|K Zouma||ACL Knee Injury||3 months|
|Everton||4||P Jagielka||Hamstring Injury||no date|
|G Barry||Groin/Pelvis Injury||4 days|
|S Coleman||Hamstring Injury||no date|
|T Browning||Knee Injury||5 weeks|
|Manchester United||4||A Januzaj||Hamstring Injury||5 days|
|B Schweinsteiger||MCL Knee Ligament Injury||no date|
|W Keane||Groin/Pelvis Injury||no date|
|L Shaw||Broken Leg||4 weeks|
|Aston Villa||3||C Clark||Knock||no date|
|K Richardson||Knock||no date|
|J Amavi||ACL Knee Injury||no date|
|Crystal Palace||3||B Hangeland||Knock||no date|
|M Chamakh||Groin Strain||no date|
|K Appiah||ACL Knee Injury||no date|
|Manchester City||3||D Silva||Hamstring Injury||no date|
|Y Toure||Muscular Injury||no date|
|S Nasri||Muscular Injury||5 days|
|Norwich City||3||A Wisdom||Knee Injury||no date|
|T Klose||Knee Injury||no date|
|A Tettey||Ankle/Foot Injury||no date|
|Southampton||2||C Austin||Knee Injury||5 days|
|F Gardos||Knee Injury||no date|
|Tottenham Hotspur||2||E Dier||Head Injury||no date|
|N Bentaleb||Knee Injury||no date|
|Leicester City||1||L Ulloa||Back Injury||no date|
|Sunderland||1||J Lens||Illness||4 days|
|Watford||1||E Capoue||Knee Injury||2 weeks|
|West Ham United||1||C Jenkinson||ACL Knee Injury||6 months|
They go on to tell us that “Arsenal, surprisingly, have had the seventh fewest number of injuries this season, although key players such as Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Alexis Sanchez have all missed stretches this season.”
And why is it “surprisingly” so? Presumably because the press kept telling us otherwise, despite Untold’s relentless correction of their mistake.
Injuries do of course have an effect on a team – and Leicester have had a good run. Statistics suggest that they will be very lucky to get away with it again next season.
So, maybe, in some trivial way, Untold did have a bit of an effect this season – the Indy has half realised the mistake it has been making for years. Now if we can only get the press to change their approach to how they write about refereeing, that would be something.
- Be like Chelsea only more so? Is that what the lynch mob want?
- Why don’t clubs take care of their prize assets?
- Don’t shoot the messenger but we’re in a funk
Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle. The books are
- The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
- Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace. By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football. By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
- Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.
You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page