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It’s official; Arsenal is of less interest than moaning tweets from WHU fans

Arsenal is of less interest than moaning tweets while football journalists need to take lessons from horoscope writers.

By Tony Attwood

Normally of course I normally see the games Arsenal play; at the Ems because I have a season ticket, away, by watching the match on TV, or occasionally going to games.  I even managed to see the two matches while I was in Cyrpus, thanks to friendly publicans.

But last night I couldn’t do it, as I was flying back from my hols, and got to my car in the Manchester airport carpark just as the second half started.  So I listened to Radio 5.

Fair enough, the commentary was not of Arsenal; there were a number of games on and the station has a public service duty to cover different clubs.  But what was odd that there were only a couple of updates from the ground during the whole 45 minutes, and these were very brief giving little more than the score.

Still I plodded on down the appalling M6 (now being converted to a smart motorway, whatever that is, but obviously not being converted in a very smart manner).  However I stayed listening to the station expecting a proper report on the game at the end, but instead got little more than a 20 second piece listing the scorers in order.  What took up a lot of time was three complete repeats of the live commentary of Rooney scoring (the “commentary” consisting mostly of two men shouting “ohhhhhh” at each other for about 30 seconds).  The other games got summaries and there was a lot about Man City’s winner, but of Arsenal… no.  No post match review.  No post match interview.

So we got to 10.15pm with the programme host telling us there was still “much more to come” on the show “including your tweets”.  And yes that is what we got (after another repeat of two grown men shouting “ohhhhh” at each other).  Primarily a reading of mindlessly mundane complaints from West Ham fans.

Now I must admit that after a lifetime of watching football I don’t put much store by what football journalists say or do, but when that is all you have as a way of gaining information it would be nice to know something – anything – about the game.

Of course the producers will say “we have a limited amount of time” – because when anyone complains that is what they always say – they probably have it on a reel to reel tape and just press the button, since they have been saying that since Eamonn Andrews presented the 5pm saturday sports report show from a studio in Dublin (yes really they couldn’t even bring themselves to run it from England).

Thankfully Blacksheep texted me the score and a brief commentary so I got an update waiting for my luggage, on getting in the car, and again when stopping at a service station.  But I don’t pay Blacksheep for that (don’t you dare start asking mate when we meet at the weekend), but I do pay the BBC each year and I expect better.

Anyway that is three wins in a row in the league, for the first time this season, and we are fourth.  But we must not forget this: “Tottenham on target to challenge Arsenal for north London bragging rights.”  Unfortunately for the writer, a certain Alan Smith, that was written in August 2010 in the Daily Telegraph.  Mind you the Daily Mail ran “Tottenham are poised to dominate north London” on 29 September 2011.

Or to be more up to date, “Arsenal have dominated Tottenham for years… until now” that from the Daily Mail by Adam Crafton on 17 November this month.  Ah well.  There’s tens of thousands more like this.

Curiously on the plane yesterday evening I found myself sitting next to a lady who has the job of replying to correspondents of a national newspaper, who write in with questions and comments about the publication’s daily horoscope.  And inevitably when you get two writers sitting next to each other there is a lot of talk about the oddities of one’s work and one’s editors and readers.   But it did strike me that the Mail could have sought her advice on the prediction lark.  “Tottenham are poised to dominate.”

But I guess football journalists are no different from astrologers.  They get it wrong, but never apologise.

I did get to see some of the Leicester Tottenham game in a bar in Pathos (we were dancing there not boozing I must add) and it struck me then that my prediction about Tottenham’s home form going into a tailspin this season has not been fully seen through, (won 3, drawn 3 lost 1 in the league) but their goalscoring has been fairly pathetic (9 for 5 against at Wembley).  Only Burnley’s supporters have seen fewer goals at their ground this season.

I wonder what happens to journalists who make crazy predictions?  Like the Daily Mirror with “Tottenham have stepped out of Arsenal’s shadow” on 15 November this year.   That was from Darren Lewis who added “It used to be Arsenal who ruled north London but now the Gunners are drifting as Spurs go from strength to strength”.    I wonder, has Mr Lewis written an apology?  I suspect not.

Of course the big problem is that these people keep their jobs.  Imagine an electrician who said “From now on the red lead is neutral”.  Probably be out by the end of the day.  Doesn’t happen with journos nor caption writers, as the Mirror also ran, in their article the line “Tottenham are now the dominant team in north London.”

Obviously I have no idea what is going to happen through the rest of the season, but for now, I think I shall be dropping a line to the horoscope department of a certain national daily and pointing out that maybe the lady in charge of handling their correspondence should take over the football column.  She  certainly couldn’t do any worse.

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13 comments to It’s official; Arsenal is of less interest than moaning tweets from WHU fans

  • Dear Tony,
    always enjoy you’re incisive slant on things Arsenal…particularly your highlighting of the dipstick ‘journalists’ who churn out the same old anti-Arsenal shite.
    I’m also happy to hear that you’ve had a (hopefully enjoyable?) visit to – and I’m guessing here – Cyprus – the birthplace of Venus and, as it ‘appens, me.
    And, just to be irritating I wanted to let you know that Paphos (or Pafos for the less bovvered) was not named after one of the Three Musketeers.
    Check it!

    All the best and bollocks to the rest
    Chris Komodromou

  • Many thanks Chris – and yes it was Cyprus for a week of dancing with occasional sorties to various bars to watch football on TV. Second visit to the country, absolutely adore it.

  • Chris

    Tony,

    the negative spin is what it is all about. No news = no negative spin.

    The fact that we are 4 points clear of Sp*urs, played well, went through our so-called november dip in good shape, all that is not newsworthy.
    Add to that the situation where they all find themselves : having somehow to admit they were wrong.

  • Pat

    Having just watched the twelve minute highlights and some fantastic play and wonderful goals, I fully agree with you, Tony – if those men claim to be football correspondents, they simply weren’t doing their job.

  • insideright

    Bad news will always trump good. Matters to do with West Ham are so disasterous at the moment that pundits (professional or otherwise) are like vultures over a dead elephant.
    It’s also the case that the knee-jerk bad news agenda relating to Arsenal is being undermined by some quite good results and some notable hirings off the pitch.
    Will the pundits look elsewhere for their free lunch? While Arsenal-related events can draw more clicks than most other clubs put together, I think not.

  • Tony welcome back,who the hell is going to be the centre referee when we play Manure?All Arsenal supporters the breather we have now is because we came out together and our voices where heard about fake refs, let’s keep fighting the vice let us not forget that we are in the Zombies,vampires territories anytime those Vampires may suck us dry. The struggle continues.

  • jjgsol

    Last night was my first league game for about 5 years.

    To be truthful, after the goal, the first half was dire, so many misplaced passes.

    The worst culprit was Sanchez, who gave the impression that he was simply not interested.

    Maybe he was angry at hearing in the media that he was staying until the end of the season.

    Why he would want to be on the Man$ity beach, rather than, play with us is beyond me.

    The second half was certainly an improvement.

    I suspect that they were holding themselves back for the next game.

  • Rob

    “Of course the big problem is that these people keep their jobs. Imagine an electrician who said “From now on the red lead is neutral”. Probably be out by the end of the day”.

    This statement had me rolling on the floor. Good read Mr. Tony

  • Andy Mack

    The game I saw had Sanchez missing passes and losing the ball, just as he has for the last 18+ months, but he certainly cared about those mistakes and put in a lot of effort to win the ball back, as he does in pretty much every game.
    I really hope he hits some form again before he leaves.
    So I’ve no idea which game jjgsol was watching…

  • climatic

    Fans all over complain about their percieved lack of coverage and we all know a good football story is one with added negativity. This makes for entertainment and I love the phone-ins and all the moaning because that is what football is about. Arsenal are doing well currently but I guess the media are not stepping in too quickly. Beat Utd and then the attention will be well on Utd which makes for fun as you cannot beat a disgruntled Utd fan with a peculiar accent getting all perplexed. Arsenal not being in the headlights may be a very good thing.

  • Gord

    More crap in the news.

    Some medja idjuts are storyifying that Man$ity and Arsenal are in a bidding war for Jonny Evans (ex ManUre, now at WBA). I really didn’t know that both Arsenal and Man$ity were so desperate for someone to mow the grass.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Professor Higgins at the University of Sydney was giving a lecture on ‘Involuntary Muscle Contraction’.

    This was not an exciting subject and the professor decided to lighten up the mood.

    He asked the woman in the front row ‘do you know what your asshole is doing while you are having an orgasm?’

    She replied, ‘Probably golfing with his buddies’.

    It took 45 mins to restore order in the classroom.

  • Gord

    [ humourous ]

    Pochettino denies book to blame for Spurs’ slump

    [ /humourous ]

    Of course it is silly to blame a book for the spuds slump. In order for a book to possibly have that kind of effect, the spuds would need to be able to read. 🙂

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