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The media’s ways of responding to their utter failure to predict Arsenal’s transfers

By Sir Hardly Anyone

As we know, given the fact that we have been keeping records, 105 players have been linked to Arsenal through this summer.   We’ve signed only a few of them – and it is noticeable that with the exception of Holding it was only in the couple of days before the transfer was announced that the media picked up on the story at all.

In other words, day after day, week after week, the bloggettas and the press have been throwing wild rumours at us, with an accuracy rate of virtually nothing.

And yet they still have the nerve to tell us that they know what’s what in the footballing world.  Truly shocking if you ask me, which I know you didn’t.

Of course we’ve been trying to show up their sillyiess for a while, and the reaction to having their incompetence exposed has been different from paper to paper.  The Guardian for example is just running rather awful sarcastic pieces these days in its transfer news section.  For example, “Valencia aren’t willing to play ball and let Arsenal have Shkodran Mustafi in exchange for a signed Igors Stepanovs sticker, a used copy of Gilles Grimandi’s autobiography, a Yaya Sanogo figurine, a Marouane Chamakh wig and Gunnersaurus’s phone number”.

What they don’t seem to get is that these ramblings are neither more or less incompetent than the actual predictions they have been making all summer, and then blaming on someone else.   Today’s effort is, “So now they’re eyeing Monaco’s Congolese defender, Marcel Tisserand, whose prospective move to Espanyol might just be on the rocks once he discovers that there’s an opportunity to see Aaron Ramsey’s new haircut first hand.”

The Independent seems to have dropped out of the game a bit thinking that the story “Mustafi will not join Arsenal this summer, says Valencia head coach” is so good it deserves running twice, the second run immediately under the first on the Arsenal section of their website.  But the robots have found something else for they also have “Arsenal eye defensive alternatives as Valencia refuse to sell Mustafi”

Today they are going for Monaco defender Marcel Tisserand – a story they have picked up from the Daily Mirror: the 23-year-old, who can play at both right-back and centre-back, has struggled to establish himself at the French side and is anxious to see if Arsenal’s interest comes to anything.”

And they are also back to Bayer Leverkusen’s Omer Toprak – this time taking a piece from Bleacher Report.

After that it goes a bit downhill, quoting the Sun as saying “that the club are monitoring Velez Sarsfield forward Naza Bazan Vera.   The 17-year-old striker is yet to make an appearance for his side’s first-team but has impressed in his age group for the Argentinian outfit. Villarreal are similarly scouting the teenager who has been compared to Argentina and Juventus star Paulo Dybala.”

The monitoring bit is interesting, given that a) Arsenal have a huge monitoring unit in the Far East that feeds statistics back daily, and that b) the kid isn’t actually playing.

But with the Indy it is always worth going on their website to look at the latest news from AFC Bournemouth.   For the third month running the story about Heathrow Airport is there, plus some other tales unrelated to Bournemouth such as “West Ham have club-record £31m Lacazette bid rejected”

It’s the robots guys.  They just don’t work proper.

But it is the Telegraph that has changed its tune most of all.  They have given up on the gibberish, and instead given us a list of the young players who we can look forwards to seeing in “10 young players Arsenal fans can get excited about this season”

Here’s the list

The start with Iwobi, which is cheating a bit but yes he is still 20 and a product of the youth system.

Next up is Chuba Akpom who (we are reminded in every piece we read about him) joined the club aged six.

In third spot is Jeff Reine Adelaide whom the awful Jonathan Liew of the Telegraph spent part of last season laughing at.  Or rather I am not sure if he was laughing at the player or the fans, but he is usually laughing at someone.

Then comes Daniel Crowley who has gone on a season-long loan at Oxford after which we have Ainsley Maitland Niles, and then Krystian Bielik, whom we saw in the pre-season games.  He probably needs one more year before joining the first team (he is still only 18) but looks good to me.

After this it is Gedion Zelalem, a player who is causing a certain amount of head scratching as Andrew’s last match report on him showed.  Has he lost it, can he get it back, where is it hiding, what was it in the first place?

Stephy Mavididi, Donyell Malen and Eddie Niketiah finish the list.  Which is interesting because there is no mention of Chris Willock who I would certainly include in my list.  And no mention of Gnabry.

We know that Arsenal are looking to bring one terrific player through from the youth each season, following in the footsteps of Coquelin, Bellerin and Iwobi.   So who is it to be?

Gnabry looks a good choice to add to the mix – given his six goals playing for Germany’s under 23s in the Olympics.  But Gnabry-reading as a hard job.  Why was he sent to West Brom on loan – a club that simply doesn’t play in the style that Gnabry plays?  Was it to humiliate him? It is hard to say.

His playing record is extraordinary.  Compare and contrast, if you will, his club activity with his international activity.

Years Team Games Goals
2012– Arsenal 10 1
2015–2016 West Bromwich Albion (loan) 1 0
National team
2010–2011 Germany U16 5 1
2011–2012 Germany U17 12 3
2012 Germany U18 23 3
2013 Germany U19 5 3
2015– Germany U21 7 1
2016 Germany Olympic 5 6

Indeed it is hard to remember all the details of those ten games he played after making his first start for the club on 22 September 2013 in the Premier League against Stoke City after Theo Walcott was ruled out just before kick-off.

And that curious moment in the Under 21s play offs last season when he was slotted in to play in the play off final, and then pulled out without explanation at the last minute.

At the moment there are a lot of people who think Gnabry is the reason why Campbell has gone on loan.  Maybe that’s right.

But there is one problem.   If we do play Gnabry, Akpom, Zelalem, Willock, Adelaide or any other guy who has come through the ranks, there will still be the “spend some fucking money” chants, because our own youth players don’t count.

Its sad – in the olden days (which I remember all too clearly) we all used to take pride in our youth team.  Some of us still do, but the press (aside from the Telegraph) don’t seem too interested.

Which is why no one in the media ever does a proper comparison between how many youth players we bring through to the first team, compared with other clubs.   I know we are running at one a year at the moment, while Chelsea haven’t had any since John Terry – but what of everyone else.

Does anyone fancy doing the analysis?   Please write in if you do.

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30 comments to The media’s ways of responding to their utter failure to predict Arsenal’s transfers

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Gnabry seemed to be started on the left wing for Germany, but popped up everywhere at times during the games I saw. He certainly seemed to have rediscovered his confidence which can only be good for us. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he appears in first team training.. It’s also interesting to see how similar he is to the Ox. The two of them could easily be brothers.

  • Norman14

    I really think that we need to walk away from the Mustafi thing – and also away from Johnnie Evans. The prices being quoted are just ridiculous – yes we are in a very bad situation, but being held to ransom? I think not.

    There are still a few experienced centre backs who might come in for a short term deal, after all, we’re not short of people in that position, just any who are fit.

    I’d be happy to stick with Kos and Holding, with a back up of Chambers, and maybe someone like Sylvian Distin – at 38, not our normal type of signing, but one who could just help us out of the short term hole we have dug for ourselves. Chris Samba (I understand), is also available. Maybe this is the type of business we need to do in this instance – it would certainly stump the media (which I’m all for).

    Alternatively: Phil Jones anyone?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I am always filled with pride when one of our own youngsters makes the grade and goes on to better the team. In the same way I ‘m sometimes disappointed that some of them fall by the wayside after showing much promise.
    Hope this year some of the above mention make a contribution in one or all the cups.

    I still remember that when asked about his favourite teams , the late great Bill Shankly replied that it was 1.Liverpool and 2. Liverpool reserves !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And when the transfer window closes , many of those players who are probably being destabilised by the press , the agents and the clubs will not get their desired moves and will sulk or rot at their clubs.

    And Arsenal will be blamed for not buying them all ! The spoilsports !

  • Chris

    Wanna have a laugh ? Or cry….whichever

    http://www.express.co.uk/pictures/sport/7522/Premier-League-table-all-time-sportgalleries/Arsenal-160254

    “Express Sport reveals the all-time Premier League table based on overall points accumulated, taking into consideration results from 1992/93 until the end of 2015/16”

    Now scroll to number 2 and 1

    They talk of rankings by points

    Here it is…

    No 5 Spurs : 1361 points in 24 seasons
    No 4 Liverpool : 1601 points in 24 seasons
    No 3 Chelsea : 1696 points in 24 seasons
    No 2 Arsenal : 1952 points in 24 seasons
    No 1 MU : 1747 points in 24 seasons

    So now they even re-invent mathematical sorting to arrange their anti Arsenal agenda

    Gues if we win the PL, they’d pretend that our 92 points were less then MU’s 87 and declare MU winner…

    Pathetic if not criminal, imagine they start doing this about nuclear warheads or anything important….oh shucks they did that with Brexit….

  • finsbury

    “The media’s ways of responding to their utter failure to predict Arsenal’s transfers”

    More tea, vicar?

    To be fair I’m still waiting for the purveyors of flagrant gibberish to tell me how Bellerin sneaked into the Arsenal first team after they began the 2014/15 season with, repeat after me ad nasuem: “Only 5 defenders!” (which is the same that Gazcorp currently have, though it is hard to tell amidst all the silence and the sounds of no one telling me what to think…and clear red cards not being given 😉 )

  • Libyan Supporter

    This website is the only sane arsenal website out there, that’s what a “supporter” really means , it is really sad to see arsenal fans hitting on the team and the manager all the time , they forgot what the values this club had, and why we support it in the first place

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I am about to say the same thing before you commented. I watched Germany using Gnabry as a mid-left attacker at the Olympics. And he played very well from there. I watched him playing against us Nigeria and I saw how he mesmerized our defences before he was latter substituted with another player late into the 2nd half of the match.

    The rumour has had it that a German Club is considering taking him on a year long loan deal from Arsenal. But will allowed sending Gnabry out on loan again, after seeing him recovered his lost touch and form at the Olympics football. I don’t think it’ll be a wise decision taken if the Boss does do that taking into consideration the season will be long and we will need option and cover for positions during the long season’s campaign.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I am about to say the same thing before you commented. I watched Germany using Gnabry as a mid-left attacker at the Olympics. And he played very well from there. I watched him playing against us Nigeria and I saw how he mesmerized our defences before he was latter substituted with another player late into the 2nd half of the match.

    The rumour has had it that a German Club is considering taking him on a year long loan deal from Arsenal. But will the Boss allowed sending Gnabry out on loan again, after seeing him recovered his lost touch and form at the Olympics football? I don’t think it’ll be a wise decision taken if the Boss does do that taking into consideration the season will be long and we will need option and cover for positions during the long season’s campaign.

  • Polo

    @SHA, ‘Why was he sent to West Brom on loan – a club that simply doesn’t play in the style that Gnabry plays? Was it to humiliate him? It is hard to say.’

    Maybe to learn how a ‘park the bus’ team operates and find a solution to get around it? He might have learnt something there hence now scoring well.

  • Leon

    There’s an obvious dearth of quality central defenders available (Allardyce recalling Terry?) and Jonny Evans is as good as anyone I’ve seen on our “list”. He’s a Premier League veteran, two footed, so can play either side and still only 28, does not make many mistakes and wouldn’t complain about being rotated; although a bit overpriced at a reported £25 million. But It’s getting towards a desperate situation with just over a week left and I think that if we can then we should buy him.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Norman14.
    Yes! I agree with Toto. We do not need to walkaway from Mustafi and Evans likely transfer to Arsenal but run away from it totally.

    Arsenal are being taken for an easy ride considering the unethical amount of transfer fees Valencia and WBA have demanded from Arsenal before the can get any if the 2 signed.

    Like I’ve said of recent, Arsenal are no longer desperate in need of a CB any longer after the pairing of Koscielny and Holding as partners to mann the centre of our back-four at Leicester last Sunday. That singular action taken by the Boss at the King Power Stadium has all but stabilized our defense-line which was porous in the Liverpool game at the Ems. Arsenal have 6 centre- backs of: Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gabriel, Chambers, Holding and Bielik in their senior team as of now.And 4 out the six are available for selection. So where will Arsenal put another CB again if they sign another on.All the 6 CBs now at Arsenal are top qualities. If they are not, they wouldn’t be there in the first place. And we shouldn’t forget Gabriel will not take long to return to action. After re-everluating our CBs option and cover right on ground, my decision which am sure doesn’t carry any weight at Arsenal is, Arsenal doesn’t need to sign another CB now.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Norman14.
    Yes! I agree with you in toto. We do not only need to walkaway from Mustafi and Evans likely transfer to Arsenal but run away from it totally.

    Arsenal are being taken for an easy ride considering the unethical amount of transfer fees Valencia and WBA have demanded from Arsenal before they can get any of the 2 CBs signed.

    Like I’ve said of recent, Arsenal are no longer desperately in need of a CB any longer after the pairing of Koscielny and Holding as partners to mann the centre of our back-four at Leicester last Sunday. That singular action taken by the Boss at the King Power Stadium had all but stabilized our defense-line which was porous in the Liverpool game at the Ems. Arsenal have 6 centre- backs of: Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gabriel, Chambers, Holding and Bielik in their senior team as of now, and 4 out the six are available for selection. So where will Arsenal put another CB again if they sign one on. All the 6 CBs now at Arsenal are top qualities. If they are not, they wouldn’t be there in the first place. And we shouldn’t forget that Gabriel will not take too long to return to action. After I’ve re-evaluated our CBs option and cover right now on ground, my decision which am sure doesn’t carry any weight at Arsenal is, Arsenal doesn’t need to sign another CB now.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    If the name of James Rodriguez of Real Madrid is typed on Google Search, we’ll see he’s the very latest player signing being linked with Arsenal to sign him from Real Madrid’s at a price tag of £60m. Maybe that price tag is negotiable or not I wouldn’t know.

    However, will the Boss attempt to do such a suicide financial signing? Rodriguez is becoming a Real Madrid reject as Zinedine Zidane his coach doesn’t have him in his plans this season. But why didn’t he? Rodriguez form is said to have dipped and consequently has fallen in the pecking order in the position he is Manning at RM. I can’t see Arsenal signing him, not for that outrageous amount of money slammed on his head by RM. I think the Boss should revert to Gnabry and use him for the same purpose he wants to use Rodriguez for if at all Arsenal are truely bidding for him. But I am just saying my own.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    If the name of James Rodriguez of Real Madrid is typed on Google Search, we’ll see he’s the very latest player signing being linked with Arsenal to sign him from Real Madrid at a price tag of £60m. Maybe that price tag is negotiable or not I wouldn’t know.

    However, will the Boss attempt to do such a suicide financial signing? Rodriguez is becoming a Real Madrid reject as Zinedine Zidane his coach doesn’t have him in his plans this season. But why didn’t he? Rodriguez form is said to have dipped and consequently has fallen in the pecking order in the position he is Manning at RM. I can’t see Arsenal signing him, not for that outrageous amount of money slammed on his head by RM. I think the Boss should revert to Gnabry and use him for the same purpose he wants to use Rodriguez for if at all Arsenal are truely bidding for him. But I am just saying my own.

  • Leon

    Samuel
    How do you manage to keep doubling up on your posts?
    Some people have trouble getting one in and you get two or three at a time.
    I’ve accidentally tried to do it and get a message informing me that I’ve already posted that comment.
    What’s the secret?

  • colario

    It is not just football and in particular Arsenal that the British media can be short on facts or selective of the facts they offer their followers.

    Since the end of the Olympics the media hype has been we Team GB beat China into second place in the medal table. It is the greatest team since 1908

    Fact that is true and is not hyped

    2016 medal table

    Team GB Gold 27 inclusive total 67

    Team China Gold 26 total 70

    The facts speak for themselves GB has one more gold than China we beat China. Well did we?

    The London Olympics 2012 2nd

    team China 38 gold total 88

    Team GB gold 29 total 65 3rd

    China 2012 38 gold 2016 26

    GB 2012 29 gold 2016 27

    The omitted facts show that we did worse than in 2012 for gold medals and we came nowhere near China’s total of gold of 38 for 2012.

    this year China’s Gold number collapsed much more than GB’s number drop was two China’s 12.

    the truth is China did much worse than last time and team GB were down on gold much more then GB compared to 2012.

    There is no mention of the truth only the only the banner head line:

    World record breaking team GB beat Chine into 2nd place in the medal league.

    It is not just Arsenal that the media is short on facts and truth.

    George Orwell’s book ‘1984’ is very much alive in team GB’s media 2016.

  • Nickw

    We really need a top striker and it would be wonderful if Akpom or Sanogo were the answer but having seen them in the championship last year we know they are not. Giving youth a chance is great so long as they’re good enough. Holding looks like he might be so fine give him a go. Chambers alas not. I really think the scouts messed up with him, he was bought as a right back but no one bothered to check if he was quick enough which he isn’t, so now no one knows what to do with him.

  • colario

    During the years of the Cold War there was an account of the race to decide the fastest runner in the world.

    The race was between two runners An American and a Russian.

    This side of the curtain of course the American came first but Guess the Russian version has the Russian first.

    The American came first.

    In Russia the result was mediaed as

    ‘In the race for the fastest man in the world the Russian runner came 2nd and the American came last but one.’

    No mention was made of the fact there were only 2 runners.

    The American media reported

    ‘In the race for the fastest man in the world The American runner came first and the Russian came last.’

    There was no mention of the fact there was only 2 runners.

    Wake up you One Match Only ExpertS there is more than meets your eye in the media and on the pitch.

  • Leon

    Colario
    Are you on a mission to discredit the UK?
    Whether you like it or not Team GB finished ahead of China in the Rio medals table. Even on a 3,2,1 scoring system GB wer ahead, something the Chinese sportingly themselves acknowledged.
    Yes, they were well ahead in London and our golds total were two down but the overall medals total was up.
    So for fucks sake leave off and get back to sending kisses to your man crush.

  • nicky

    Of course we are being taken for a ride with the quite obscene valuations being quoted for players by their clubs.
    But what is the alternative?
    If we need strengthening in certain positions, we simply have to pay the current market value of the player(s) we require, however uneconomic that may be. Presumably we do have the finance.
    The unpleasant truth today is that a pragmatic stance is inevitable if we are to compete with our rivals. To take a high moral position over crazy inflationary valuations is simply no longer tenable. 😉

  • Chris

    Copycats and the lazy search for inspiration…

    Here’s another Untold DNA inspired story

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/540219/highest-spending-clubs-previous-Premier-League-seasons-sportgalleries

    Keep on doing what you do, step by step, day by day it will have an influence

  • Norman14

    SKY (Channel PGMOL) are repeating the story about Arsene being “scared” of retiring, almost weekly. Apperently, it’s a quote from a book by a certain Mr. A. Curbishley.

    Why repeat this story? – It must be either to promote Mr. Curbishley’s book – or just a continuance of negativity from the media about Arsenal Football Club and Mr. Wenger?

  • Polo

    @ Chris, Thank you for the link.

  • Josif

    @Chris

    They mixed up numbers, not the final position. Man United have won more points than anyone else (including Arsenal) since the introduction of Premiership which goes without saying as they have won it 13 times. They had averaged over 25 points per season more than Arsenal before Wenger-era started and over the years that gap had been bigger and bigger before Ferguson retired. We have narrowed it down a bit but their first place is untouchable unless we win the league 10 times in a row while averaging over 20 points more than them during that feat.

  • Josif

    On Gnabry…

    There is a looooooooooot more than we know about the whole issue. He is non-disputable talent. He scored two of his six goals at the Olympics from the free-kick. His goals from the left wing were well-taken.

    Still, head-scratching is intensive when I think about him. After that sitter missed against Sunderland in a 4:1 victory (2013-14), Gnabry disappeared and I have a feeling that his issues started after that game, if not during the game.

    In terms of talent, Gnabry should have been at least a step (if not two) ahead of Iwobi. Dribbling, pace, finishing, shooting technique…wuf. Unfortunately, we haven’t see that in the Arsenal shirt (senior level) for two years.

  • Ambelechina

    i love this website

  • Norman14

    “Manchester United are set to reject any offer from Arsenal for Phil Jones – because Jose Mourinho doesn’t want to do business with Arsene Wenger.” (London Evening Standard)

  • Norman14

    Well, that puts the “Ozil to Manchester United” story to bed then!

    I don’t see why Maureen is being such a drama queen – surely Jones’ agent would have something to say about “restraint of trade” if the above story is true.

    Anyway, why would Managers be the ones doing the negotiating – unless of course Manchester United can’t afford a specialist team to deal with their transfers.

  • Percy

    To be fair to The Guardian’s Rumour Mill column, that is written in a particularly tongue in cheek and humorous vein and can be quite funny. I am sure it is not meant to be an entirely factual piece. This morning’s comments on Phil Jones made me laugh:

    “London is a monument to lavishness, dominated by the unarguable morality of conspicuous wealth – and yet it is also home to some of the world’s most notable thrift. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are two of the richest football teams on the planet – and yet both are above the vulgarity of exchanging money for goods. Down with the system!
    Arsenal, after identifying Shkodran Mustafi as the centre-back that they wanted, refused to provide the £30m that Valencia requested; in the meantime, they seized one point from their first two league games. And now, having been told to pay his £43m release clause, they have somehow convinced themselves that the answer to their problems is “Philip Jones”.
    The move, though, does also have some logic to it: rather than sign a player who starts making errors and getting injured all the time, it surely makes sense to cut out the middleman and sign someone who has already mastered those arts. Le Professeur strikes again!”