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After the victory: Showaddywaddy lives and the football journalist who writes 10 articles a day

By Tony Attwood

Of all the many things I have never ever imagined myself doing dancing in a bar with a group of friend at 2am to a Showaddywaddy tribute band must be right up there on the list   But thus it was in the early hours of this morning, and now of course my back is telling me that this is not the sort of thing a man of a certain age should do.

But the little group of us who did exactly that drew an appreciative crowd of onlookers, and from what I can gather this morning, most of us seem to have emerged for a (rather belated) breakfast.

Seeing that Walter has not posted this morning I am hoping that he made it back to Antwerp ok and either got home and went straight off to work, or is still sleeping.  And so, since I’ve managed to get back on line (a miracle of hotel technology) I’m filling in.

And what strikes me this morning is the supreme arrogance of the commentators and journalists who do the commentaries on TV – or at least the bunch of drongos on Bein TV.

The crowd noise was picked up well by the TV programming I watched yesterday (I always get the impression that Sky, Sprout and the BBC always cut the crowd noise to a minimum at Arsenal) and it seemed clear to me that there were quite a few people in the ground who were in disagreement with a few of the refs decisions.

Of course that was the home crowd – but given the way the crowd can turn on Arsenal, or at least go rather quiet, it seemed from a distance of quite a few hundred miles that others shared my view that the referee most certainly did know what he was doing, but it had little to do with fair refereeing.

Yet the commentators ignored this totally and the three men in the studio seemed to be saying, “well, these people watching, they don’t know anything.   55,000 or so Arsenal supporters?  Well, you can’t trust them can you!  Listen to us three.”

Part of the problem is that these journalists (I use the word in the modern sense) tend to be people who simply skip from game to game following the TV station’s pre-ordained script.  Arsenal are useless, never forget it, and if they get a win it is always by chance.

Such people, be they TV journalists or newspaper writers simply don’t take any account of what the people who support the clubs think.  And yet surely we are the main people.  We pay for tickets, buy TV subscriptions and above all commit.  Yet it seems we know nothing.

Take Bruce Archer at the Express as one example.

Bruce Archer is a busy man.   On Tuesday this past week he wrote no less than 10 articles for the Daily Express.   These included

  • Alexis Sanchez: I’ve been watching this Barcelona star to help improve my game at Arsenal
  • Man United boss Jose Mourinho eyes Southampton and Bayern Munich stars in January rebuild
  • Man United ace: This is why we need to get back on track in the Europa League
  • Joel Matip on his Liverpool move: Defender reveals the secret to settling at Anfield
  • Arsenal star ready to commit his future to the club: I could stay here for my whole career
  • Man United fitness boost: Jose Mourinho’s star man ahead of schedule in injury return
  • Tottenham team news: Kane, Alli and Dembele all passed fit for Monaco clash
  • Confirmed: Arsenal star Hector Bellerin agrees new bumper contract
  • Arena replaces Jurgen Klinsmann as US head coach: Outlines his plan for qualifying

Yep, all by Bruce Archer, all in one day.   A man who is it seems is writing at a rate of 2000 articles a year.   To give you the full flavour of what the working conditions at the Daily Express are like for the poor overwhelmed Mr Archer, seemingly now working entirely on his own, consider this.

Charlie Nicholas: These two Arsenal players were really lazy against PSG at the Emirates

Written of course by Bruce Archer.   Here is a bit of his article.

CHARLIE NICHOLAS has laid into Arsenal’s central defenders after they gave up the chance to win their Champions League group.    Arsenal are now likely to finish second behind PSG after letting a 2-1 lead slip late on last night.And Nicholas thinks Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi went missing when they were needed most.Arsenal recovered from going a goal down early when Edinson Cavani met Blaise Matuidi’s cross.   Olivier Giroud scored from the spot before a Marco Verratti own goal put the Gunners ahead.
.
“When it went to 2-1 with a fortunate own goal from [Marco] Verratti, you thought they’d kick on a bit,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.“You knew the counter attack and force that PSG had, they could get a second goal.”
.
It goes on for 266 words, evolved totally from watching Sky and is presented as an article.  Another person’s opinion reported as fact.  
.
But not only is the subject matter dubious it seems to me that repeating as an article something said on Sky isn’t really much of an article.  I mean you can start by doing that, but then add some sort of commentary or insight or correction or counter argument, or maybe even facts… or something.Yet by churning this out day after day, game after game, the whole notion of commenting on football is reduced to utter gibberish.

It is also a form of the much derided click bait – a way of getting more and more and more people to click on your website for two purposes: one to take the site up the Google rankings, and the other to get people to click either on the adverts or on the sponsored articles that now surround all these pieces.

Articles such as “The 20 biggest mistakes that GPs make every day of the year,” and “You won’t believe what these ex-TV stars look like.”   They are everywhere; goodness knows why.

I guess most serious supporters know what gibberish the media publishes, and yet the media goes on getting away with it day after day, week after week, year… well you know what I mean.

The whole process demeans football, of course, but it does far more than that.  It is used (as in the case of Bein Sports covering the Arsenal match) in order to present a totally negative picture of Arsenal and to put forward the view that anyone who questions the referees is an idiot.

And now, having got that off my chest, I think I shall go down to the beach for a coffee.

8 comments to After the victory: Showaddywaddy lives and the football journalist who writes 10 articles a day

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Whatever articles the football pundits and journalists have said or written against Arsenal will not deter Arsenal from winning the quadruple titles this season period!

    Arsenal FC beating AFC Bournemouth 3-1 at the Ems last Sunday is now a good history for us to remember.

    The pundits on Sky Sports have said during and after the match that, B’mouth were denied a clear penalty when Monreal appeared to handled the ball in the box. But what I saw on my TV screen looked like a Cherry had intentionally played the ball to Monreal’s hand to draw a penalty but the referee overlooked the incident as unintended handling. Even then, what of when a Cherry tripped Alexis in the box but the ref waved play on instead of to award us a penalty. Had the penalty been given to us, we would have led 2-0 at that stage in the game, thereby killed any ambition they Cherries might be nursing to wrought a havoc at the Ems which we in anyway killed.

    I’ve now switched my thoughts to our home ELC game against the Saints on Wednesday night. And I totally believed my conviction that told me that Arsenal will successfully scaled over any hurdle Southampton may pose on their ways to the ELC semi-final. Even a 1-0 bashing of the Saints will be enough to see us through to the semis.

    I’ve decided to make my own starts and bench early for this Cup game despite I’ve not waited first for Le Prof’s team update for this Cup match.

    My starts:

    Martinez
    Jenkinson? Holding Gabriel Gibbs
    Coquellan Ramsey
    Lucas Adelaide Iwobi
    Giroud.

    My bench:
    MatMacey Maitland-Niles KrytianBielik MarkBola BenSheaf ChrisWilock StephyMavididi.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Whatever articles the football pundits and journalists have said or written against Arsenal will not deter Arsenal from winning the quadruple titles this season period!

    Arsenal FC beating AFC Bournemouth 3-1 at the Ems last Sunday is now a good history for us to remember.

    The pundits on Sky Sports have said during and after the match that, B’mouth were denied a clear penalty when Monreal appeared to handled the ball in the box. But what I saw on my TV screen looked like a Cherry had intentionally played the ball to Monreal’s hand to draw a penalty but the referee overlooked the incident as unintended handling. Even then, what of when a Cherry tripped Alexis in the box but the ref waved play on instead of to award us a penalty. Had the penalty been given to us, we would have led 2-0 at that stage in the game, thereby killed any ambition they Cherries might be nursing to wrought a havoc at the Ems which we in anyway killed.

    I’ve now switched my thoughts to our home ELC game against the Saints on Wednesday night. And I totally believed my conviction that told me that Arsenal will successfully scaled over any hurdle Southampton may pose on their ways to the ELC semi-final. Even a 1-0 bashing of the Saints will be enough to see us through to the semis.

    I’ve decided to make my own starts and bench early for this Cup game despite I’ve not waited first for Le Prof’s team update for this Cup match.

    My starts:

    Martinez
    Jenkinson? Holding Gabriel Gibbs
    Coquellan Ramsey
    Lucas Adelaide Iwobi
    Giroud.

    My bench:
    MatMacey Maitland-Niles KrytianBielik MarkBola BenSheaf ChrisWilock StephyMavididi.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Samuel,
    I suspect that in your eagerness to name your team for Wednesday evening you have forgotten that there is an U23 game tonight in which some of the players on your bench will probably be involved. There is also an U18 game on Wednesday which will also have an impact on the players available for tonight.

    If Perez is fit, I would expect him to start in the No9 slot and Mavididi on the bench as cover for him is a good shout, I can’t see Giroud’s being involved unless Perez isn’t fit (particularly as he was holding the back of his thigh at times yesterday.

    Adelaide played for the U19s against Paris last week but was pretty anonymous. He still has to do more to convince me that the hype surrounding him is justified. He will probably start though.

    At right back if Johnson plays tonight he won’t on Wednesday and either Jenkinson or Maitland-Niles will. At the moment Johnson and Jenkinson are our two fit specialists in that position. Jenkinson will be needed at the weekend so there is a fair chance that Maitland-Niles will be asked to fill in again at right back.

    Holding, Gabriel and Gibbs look to be a good shout to complete the back four. I wouldn’t disagree with your inclusion of Coquelin, Ramsey and Iwobi. Who will start on the right wing is anybody’s guess at this stage.

  • Gord

    What might be a useful endeavor, is to try and evaluate the medja. Compile a list of websites which have articles mentioning Arsenal. For each article:

    1. Is the article about Arsenal, does it just mention Arsenal in passing (and hence try to fool search engines), or somewhere in between?
    2. What is the source of the article? I am thinking that lots of places print articles by Reuters, Associated Press and others.
    3. If Arsenal is mentioned as a legitimate topic, not just in passing, is the article also also mentioning other teams to a similar degree? I.e.: is this a summary of EPL games that day.
    4. Is the article fair to Arsenal?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I can imagine Tony dancing on the tune of ‘Under the moon of love” 🙂

  • Bloggs

    You seem very eager to slate people’s opinion which really dosent abuse or offend but quite content to allow 2 regular contributors to post homophobic comments that I found disgusting . I can assure those poster’s that if this site allows such comments it will be shut down. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • Gooner S

    I saw on Twitter that Gary Neville was taking Journalists to task for just the sort of articles that you are referring to. A common response was you get what you pay for in this Internet world!

    Neville was right and so are you. There are few insightful sporting/football pieces written by journalists. I used to like David Lacey’s football writing in the Guardian but he has long retired.

  • omgarsenal

    Bloggs…..what in God’s name are you talking about?

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