By Tony Attwood
This is where it ought to get difficult for the media. It has become clear that the whole Higuain story has been a fantasy, a close repeat to the fantasies that were served up exactly three years ago and yet it has been pushed at us day after day by the media. We have details of meetings, bids, counter bids, part exchange offers, the price, the meetings… And now it turns out none of it was true.
So where did it all come from? And what will the media do now?
An apology for grossly misleading the readership would be nice. An investigation into how they came to get it all so wrong would be good. An explanation of how they got all those quotes would be a benefit.
Of course they could all argue that they were simply misled, but then that would lead to the question – then having had such an almighty misleading story, over the same player, for the second time in three years, why are you continuing to publish “news” from the same sources?
Taking a look at how the media has reacted to the news that there has never even been a conversation about Higuain, the Guardian has not one word on Arsenal on its football page today, the Independent blames Arsenal for not making it happen, the Telegraph has an Arsenal transfer column but with no Higuain as if there never had been a fantasy story, and the Mail has lots of Arsenal stories but also has removed all reference to Higuain.
But we know where it will all go next. In fact it is already here… “Arsenal could make a surprise move for Manchester City defender Jason Denayer as well as Borussia Dortmund’s Matthias Ginter as Arsene Wenger looks to target new defensive options for the future, with both players under 22 years of age,” is one of the pieces in the Independent today. Which seems to have the implication that although the Higuain stuff was all totally made up, we should now start to believe this story instead.
And “surprise”? In the same way that Higuain not happening was a surprise?
And meanwhile the bloggettas continue with their fairy stories…
- Done Deal: Arsenal announce agreement has been reached for transfer of striker
- £50-60m striker, Journalist confirms Arsenal are in secret talks over lethal forward
- Pep Guardiola agrees to sell his£12m star to Arsenal, transfer to be completed this week
- Confirmed: Arsenal in talks to make international striker their third summer signing
What is so interesting is that the language doesn’t change. Here is one typical piece
Looking back to Higuain the Independent is the only news source that tries to wriggle its way out of the situation (rather than just pretending it never happened) by going back to the topic, saying of Higuain, “The 28-year-old is a long-term target for manager Arsene Wenger but the Frenchman has been frustrated by circumstance, inflated transfer fees and repeated leaks to the media.”
So, it was all real, they are saying, despite now agreeing with everyone else that there never was a deal, or offer or anything. And there is a gross rewriting of history – since there was no bid three years ago either. And all this now despite the fact that we even had supposed details of Giroud going the other way quotes with the club manager and president etc etc.
Which overall raises the double point: where did the story come from, and why did the media keep running it even though there was no substance, and especially when they have been caught out before? The answer can only be, because it was free.
I suppose what I find so disturbing in all of this is that not only is the old story dropped but the new story is instantly there to replace it. “Arsenal now seem to be closing in on Mauro Icardi. Talks with Inter Milan have reportedly gathered pace and the north London club are expected to make an offer worth around €50m in the next couple of days.”
Notice how the word “now” is slipped into that last bit. It still suggests that there was a Higuain bid going on, but now it has fallen apart, Arsenal are going elsewhere. But there was no bid, no exchange with Giroud, no nothing. So “now” is not only irrelevant but misleading, helping to set the scene to bring up the notion that Arsenal failed to get Higuain.
Within a week we will be seeing…
“After their failed bid for Higuain Arsenal are now seeking to…”
And indeed the language for the next story is just the same in the same fanciful style as the Higuain tales.
Icardi’s agent, his wife Wanda Nara, had confirmed earlier in the week that Arsenal are one of the many clubs trying to sign the Argentine, while Sky Italia suggested that a meeting between the two clubs had been arranged for next week.
No apology, no remorse, no honesty. Another day from the football media. Another day of the endless journalistic attempt to put Arsenal down. It goes on constantly, and tragically, many people believe it.
I go on about this so much because it becomes part of life, part of the fabric of our society. Nothing is real anymore, so really it doesn’t matter too much what you do.
The youngster is believed to have travelled down to London on Monday night and it’s believed the final touches are now being added to the deal.
Hopes of signing Barcelona’s Arda Turan look to have been dashed after the player’s agent revealed that the Turkey international is willing to fight for his place at the Nou Camp.
Despite being linked with a move away from the Catalonian capital after struggling to make an impact at Barca, the 29-year-old is keen to stay put with the Spanish Champions.
“The interest [in Arda] is normal but the rumours saying he is leaving Barcelona are false, he is happy at the club,” the agent, Ahmet Bulut, told The Guardian.