The psychological war being waged on Arsenal, its fans and its players every day



By Sir Hardly Anyone

To do well at work, we all of us need to feel positive about ourselves, and our jobs.   If such feelings are undermined then our performance is likely to decline.

And it is worth holding such thoughts in mind when we read newspaper reports of Arsenal’s alleged attempts to sign players, for there are times when the media seem to get it into their collective heads that the way to get readers is to set up transfer stories involving Arsenal and then point out that they are not going to happen.

Looked at from the outside it seems a very curious process, especially given that we know from analysing recent transfer windows that 97% of transfer rumours relate to transfers that never happen.

But still the media carry on, first by setting up the scenario that Arsenal need new players (as opposed to the notion that Arsenal simply need to change their style of play in order to be able to convert the chances they create), and then saying that the club can’t complete the transfer.  In short Arsenal are a failure all round.

A typical version of this comes with the Express headline Arsenal face second humiliation as Arteta ‘willing to pay £50m’ for star who snubbed him

That story says “Zubimendi is thought to be a player of interest to the Gunners, who are said to be plotting a January bid for his services.”   (Note “thought to be” and “said to be”.  Thought by whom?  Said by whom?    In fact we have to plough on through quite a few more lines before we are told this story is “according to The Sun”.   So this is not their own research just an old story picked up from a rival paper, who, in fact, say they got it from  Football.London who got it from… well actually they don’t tell us but they say, they “understand” that this is the case.

Martin Zubimendi is a defensive midfielder who has played 19 league games this season for Real Sociedad and the paper adds that he “is said to have a release clause of £50million written into his contract.”    Which raises the question, do Arsenal need a defensive midfielder?  Arsenal have the second best defence in the league this season.  Surely defence is not the issue is it?

We might also note here not just the source of the story but the “is said to have” bit.  Now apparently, “Arsenal were ready to pay up for Zubimendi last January after identifying him as the missing piece of the puzzle in midfield, according to Cadena SER.”    Cadena SER is something akin to TalkSport for Spain.    We are told that the transfer didn’t work (“went up in smoke”) but why, or what the source of that information is, we are not told.  Given that 97% of last season’s transfer rumours didn’t happen, we might be a little suspicious that this was ever on.

Although we might also note that the deal the paper suggests Arsenal were trying to make came just after the player had signed a contract extension at Real Sociedad.

So Arsenal are set up in this story as being rather foolish and chasing the wrong guy, at which point we might also have a look at a piece in Caught Offside with the headline £100m Arsenal target prefers a move to Premier League rivals Man City

How do we know this player is an Arsenal target?   Actually we don’t because all the article tells us is that Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli is “reportedly eager to join just a select few elite teams, including Pep Guardiola’s Man City side, according to his agent Mamuka Jugeli.”

The link with Arsenal is simply that he “has been previously linked with a move to the Emirates” but in what way and by whom and when, we don’t know.  And those three issues are pretty important in a story like this.

But at least have the decency to conclude that their own story is bunkum by saying, “It would be a huge surprise to see Arsenal make a move for the £100m forward. The Gunners have consistently spent money under Arteta and now they have to be careful with Financial Fair Play restrictions coming in to play.”

Thus the headline £100m Arsenal target prefers a move to Premier League rivals Man City  would be more accurately written as “£100m player Arsenal are not targeting fancies Man City.”

The third negative headline of the morning is “Arsenal star may be closer to quitting club this month because of Liverpool”.   This comes from the Express and we might feel “quitting” usually has the implication of “handing in one’s notice” and “walking away” but in fact this story is that Aaron Ramsdale could be tempted to “push for an exit from Arsenal this month due to the limited opportunities he is likely to be offered for the remainder of the campaign.”    The article contains no more on the subject, other than noting that Ramsdale is no longer number one choice, which I think we knew.

So another day, more “news” and in effect “nothing to see here”.  It is indeed a constant anti-Arsenal psychological campaign.

3 Replies to “The psychological war being waged on Arsenal, its fans and its players every day”

  1. 100 % agree with your article. We all know that the Liverpool media companies as well as the other toilet paper media companies like TBR,, express, daily mail, mirror,talk sport etc.. they all hate Arsenal and are on a mission to try and persuade Arsenal to spend their transfer money on overpriced poor STAT rubbish players in the hope that this would brain wash teams in over valuing any good players worth mentioning that Arsenal may be interested in. They tend to make you think it is their story untill you find later on in the read that they are quoting someone else’s article from last year. The best ones are the articles that stat with this magnificent player or this untouchable player, that you find out later was a quote from a manager about one good game the player had against a rubbish off form team on that particular day. They will use that one quote to tag to the normally rubbish player, to make you think this is how he normally plays each week, but the truth is he just had a one in fifty good game on that particular day. hmmm, I wonder why these rubbish players are always being connected to Arsenal and not the likes of Liverpool etc.. hmmm I wonder why? Also this FFP regarding Man City and Chelsea seems to be no longer a story, yet they mention this every time with Arsenal, hmmm I wonder why?

  2. Taking a punt on the likelihood that Ramsdale may wish to leave is not a bad gamble . Were most of us in his position leaving may well be in the back of our minds.
    The rest is just pandering to the lowest common denominator and there are many sites across the internet that take it in hook line and sinker.

  3. Kvaratskhelia’s agent, Mamuka Jugeli likes to talk, often about players he does not represent. He got himself into a spot of bother this week when “speculating” about Victor Osimhen’s future. Osimhen issued a “robust” response on Instagram.

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