By Tony Attwood
Top of the list today among the oddities of England’s press when it deals haphazardly and on the cheap with football, is the Independent’s home football page which has within it a listing of the top three stories for each club.
Or at least that is what it is supposed to have. Unfortunately, the whole section of the paper, as with a growing number of newspaper pages, is prepared not by your actual humans but by robots. So under the heading “PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB-BY-CLUB” we find each club neatly listed in alphabetical order, with the headline”Bournemouth” telling us…
- Could this be Britain’s most expensive airport link?
Beneath it is the story that begins, “Outrage: that has been a typical response to the Heathrow Express raising “walk-up” rush-hour fares by 9 per cent.”
Below that and still in the Bournemouth section as at 1pm on 3 June
- West Ham have club-record £31m Lacazette bid rejected
- Manchester United vs Bournemouth game rescheduled
- Manchester United set to make statement for 1pm
1pm came and went and was later in the day followed by…
- It’s now being reported that the club will NOT be making a statement on Van Gaal’s position – which is odd given everything that has happened this morning.
Yes, but it is an odd world. Maybe the newspaper editors should be prepared, by now, for the occasional oddity.
The Telegraph also likes to run robotic headlines and until yesterday were running
- Win the Europa League and Liverpool could be ready for a golden era
They were also able to cover recent international events with the glorious headline that
- Jamie Vardy punches himself in the face as fans criticise Roy Hodgson for playing him on England’s left wing
Meanwhile there was a little coverage in the Metro of the fact that Arsene Wenger visited Alsace in north east France to inaugurate the 500 seater ‘Stade Arsene Wenger’ in the Commune of Duppigheim. The Metro tells us…
Wenger was clearly delighted with the new stadium and described it as an honour.
‘It’s an honour,’ he said.
I’m glad we got that sorted.
Meanwhile, meanwhile, there are signs of rebellion reported in the Independent with the headline
- England fans are not happy with Jack Wilshere’s inclusion
The story reports four Tweets from different people (allegedly) to this effect. Still I suppose the headline “Up to four England fans are not happy with Jack Wilshere’s inclusion” would not have had the same amount of ooomph.
Quite often of course it is the implication behind the headline that makes the whole thing seem so funny and outrageous. Take the Telegraph’s chunter to the effect that…
- England manager Roy Hodgson remains defiant as Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer pan formation and tactics
Now that “remains defiant” rather suggests a person holding onto an untenable position in the light of incontrovertible evidence. And yet all we had here were two people who present a TV show, and have often made complete idiots of themselves with their biased reporting.
And that I suppose is the trick of the headline writer these days, although not really in the Independent which ran the headline
- BT Sport to stream Champions League and Europa League finals free
two weeks after the games in question. So not quite the deal it might have been then.
Back at the Metro however a different stance is being tried with this line…
- Despite it being a fairly miserable campaign, The Gunners finished on a high as a 4-0 win over the relegated club saw them enjoy yet another glorious St Totteringham’s Day.
OK so this was a “fairly miserable campaign” in which Arsenal came second in the league. In response to this news I have tried place the positions of each club in the league according to their miserability chart. Let’s see how it goes…
|1||Leicester City||Not miserable|
|3||Tottenham Hotspur||Particularly miserable although Match of the Day coverage good|
|4||Manchester Airport||Very miserable apart from being given lots of money|
|5||Manchester United||Extremely miserable indeed|
|7||State Aid United||Wrist cuttingly miserable despite being paid for by the state|
|8||Liverpool?||So gut wrenchingly awful that we still can’t get out of 7th/8th and we are now given a question mark instead of our three exclamations.|
|9||Stoke City||It’s always miserable in Stoke so who can tell?|
|10||Chelsea||The miserability has fallen off the edge of the scale just like our supporters have fallen off the edge of the planet. Never has life been this bad except when having to watch an atrociously dull and boring Mourinho side get 1-0 victories.|
Of course the Metroid is also the newspaper which ran the headline
- Six undeniable reasons Arsenal need to finally sack Arsene Wenger
That was particular fun since every single one of them was utterly deniable. But then, you can’t keep a bunch of n’er-do-wells down with a wet broomstick as they say in Suffolk, and so the Metro then followed it all up with
- Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis admits Gunners are planning for a future without Arsene Wenger
Now can you imagine what would happen if Arsenal were not planning for a future without Mr Wenger? All companies, whatever their shape or size have contingency plans for eventualities, and when you have a senior gentleman running the show, you know that one day he will leave, so you put plans in place.
Mind you I am still trying to sort out what I would say about Newcastle’s season if the miserable league table above have continued down that far.
- The 57 players tipped to arrive (so far) and the 12 players on their way out. The Arsenal Transfer Index 2016
- Unbelievable Transfer Shock; Arsenal sign £20m striker in secret.