By Sir Hardly Anyone and an abacus.
During international weeks there are 14 potential football stories for the media to play with and invent. They fall into three simple groups: the managers of PL clubs, the players of PL clubs, and the internationals themselves. Because the internationals always come out with the same stories, the reporters try quite hard with the first two groups – even though there is, of course no news.
But I know it is a bit tedious to follow all the international stuff, so here is the run down of all that you missed.
In essence the newspapers know the internationals are a lost cause, vainly promoted by TV and radio stations that have invested ludicrous amounts of money in the games, and are then forced to spend most of their time explaining why it was all so awful and why the crowd so small.
Indeed a lot of media outlets now refuse to tell us just how small the crowd is. While the Telegraph has spent all season taking pictures of empty seats at the Emirates their report, just like that of the BBC and many other outlets, doesn’t tell us how many were and were not there. Strange that.
Anyway, it is list time for the bloggettas and their chums in the newspapers. 14 potential stories, and what they come up with
1: The Manager
1.1 He’s going
Nothing to say; it looks as if by this morning the media have given up on Wenger is leaving. So we can take it, he’s staying.
1.2 He’s not going
Arsene Wenger to sign new contract: Arsenal boss’ summer transfer plans already underway
Stan Kroenke’s crunch talks with Arsene Wenger: Arsenal have agreed controversial plan
That one came from the Star reporting what was said in the Mirror. Unfortunately they don’t actually tell us what the plan is, getting rather distracted by showing lots of adverts and suggesting there are some saucy pictures inside. Which there are not (I am reliably informed).
1.3 Here’s the new boss
Thierry Henry on replacing Arsene Wenger as Arsenal boss: ‘I don’t know’ That ultimate non-story is from ESPN. While the Daily Mail goes with Why Manchester City chief Brian Marwood can rebuild Arsenal.
2: The players
2.1 We should have signed
This favourite storyline which basically says “if I had been boss I would have signed… and he would have signed for me because I can be very convincing when I need to” seems to have vanished this week. So instead we have…
2.2 We will sign
Report: Arsenal interested in Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel (NBC) which is one of the more amusing pieces.
Arsenal transfer guru Dick Law locked in talks with agents during international break comes from the
Mind you I got locked out of my house last week when I lost my keys, so maybe I should offer that to the Star as a story.
2.3 We should not have signed
Ian Wright questions why Arsene Wenger made this Arsenal signing: He didn’t fit. That is a piece about Podolski, which really isn’t that relevant at the moment. But well, there are hours of airtime and lots of column inches to fill.
2.4 He’s leaving
Arsenal winger confirms he has joined Premier League rival on permanent deal. (Star). This story is about youngster Nathan Tella who has signed for Southampton.
Arsenal star wants summer move, European giants eye £25m deal – report (Football London). Jack Wilshere is open to a summer move to AC Milan, (according to reports). One blog also has the notion that Jack has had more referees’ cards than he has provided assists.
2.5 He’s staying
Mesut Ozil insists he is ‘comfortable’ at Arsenal as he prepares to make contract decision ‘soon’. That’s in all the papers.
2.6 He’s injured
“Arsenal handed huge injury boost ahead of City visit.” Now this isInjured Raheem Sterling doubtful for Manchester City trip to Arsenal
“Mesut Ozil was a doubt ahead of next weekend’s encounter however, the 28-year-old has returned to training and featured for Germany during their win over Azerbaijan.” That is in the Sun but I think most of us noticed anyway.
2.7 He should play
‘I hope Wenger is watching’ – Arsenal fans beg manager to give this man a chance
3: The internationals
3.1 The sacking, the injury, the awful England fans
These three are lumped together because they are always there after every round of matches, all wrapped up in one day’s reporting as if they are a total surprise, then pushed away and then set out again next time around as if they are a total surprise.
There’s always a sacking somewhere and this time it is “Holland sack head coach Danny Blind following dire defeat to Bulgaria” (The Daily Telegraph)
The most awful foul wrecking a career “reckless tackle on Seamus Coleman, ” (everywhere)
The awful England fans – the band and the supporters chanting (pretty much everywhere)
3.2 The awful England
This gets a special mention as I rather liked it.
THANK YOU GARETH SOUTHGATE, YOU’VE ACTUALLY MADE ME WANT TO WATCH ARSENAL AGAIN (Gooner now)
3.3 The bitching
England ace hits out at Gareth Southgate after Arsenal winger selected ahead of him That is the
Now is it me, or is there a difference between “hits out” and “hints”? No, in newspaper land there probably is not.
My absolute favourite non-football story was the one in which, having withdrawn the bill to destroy Obama Care, President Trump said it didn’t matter because the programme was about to collapse anyway. That man ought to be a football journalist in the UK.
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