How the football media only publish the news that fits their agendas



By Tony Attwood

On 9 April (just 27 days ago, I am not cheating by taking us back to another era) Tottenham were fourth in the Premier League.  And on that day a Tottenham supporting site ran the story “Jamie Redknapp feels Tottenham Hotspur are guaranteed to finish in the top four.”  Other sites were of a similar mind.

And we might note it was not a case of “likely” but “guaranteed”.   OK that was a case of over-excitement but consider just what the league table looked like then.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 31 22 5 4 75 24 51 71
2 Liverpool 31 21 8 2 72 30 42 71
3 Manchester City 31 21 7 3 71 31 40 70
4 Tottenham Hotspur 31 18 6 7 65 45 20 60


Excitement was encouraged by Reddit which reported “Ange Postecoglou: Tottenham manager says fans can ‘get excited’ by top-four chase.”

Since then Tottenham have suffered what might be called “a blip”.  That situation in a league season where everything is going fine, then one result goes wrong, and subsequently all the results go wrong.  To wit, in four successive matches, four defeats in which they have conceded 13 and scored four.

Arsenal had such a blip last season, also in April.  It wasn’t quite as bad as Tottenham’s (three draws and a defeat in the four matches between 9 and 26 April) but it knocked the club off the top.

Tottenham’s defats were against Newcastle, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool and for Chelsea we might note that their battering of Tottenham was their only victory in their last six games.  Three tough games true, but those have to be won by any club with top four ambitions.

So the signs were all there.  Yet the media’s football journalists who are paid a lot more money to write about football than I get, could not see on 13 April that danger lay ahead.   (Although there was the piece published on 8 April that read, “Spurs open to investment as 2022-23 loss of £87m unveiled,” which suggested, as we have done, that Tottenham are not phenomenally wealthy.  (See for example “Does Tottenham have the most profitable stadium?” 

But now suddenly we have a piece in the Telegraph that reads, “Ange Postecoglou will not survive many more defensive nightmares,” plus the comment “The Postecoglou-Spurs honeymoon ended months ago.”

The truth is Tottenham have been getting dodgy results since February.  The Everton draw, the home defeat to Wolverhampton, a 3-0 away thumping by Fulham, a draw with West Ham…

But the media kept on and on beefing up Tottenham, and people believed them.

Until suddenly the media has caught up.   Suddenly instead of telling us what a wonderful club and team there is the Telegraph has awoken and said, “Spurs have now conceded 58 times in the Premier League this season. That’s a whopping 30 more than Arsenal. Crystal Palace, Fulham, Everton and even the under-siege Manchester United defence has let in fewer.”

They might have added that in the “last six games table” Tottenham are, well, you can see… 


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 6 5 1 0 19 2 +17 16
17 Tottenham 6 1 1 4 7 14 -7 4
18 Everton 6 0 3 3 4 13 -9 3
19 Luton 6 0 1 5 7 16 -9 1
20 Sheffield Utd 6 0 1 5 6 17 -11 1


So the question arises, why did it take the media so long to recognise that something is seriously wrong at Tottenham, both financially and with its playing staff?  Why did they keep on pumping out the story that they were a club on the up with this wonderful stadium, and making so much money that now everything was possible?

True, we haven’t actually got to the stage of any of the media fully admitting that in its last financial statement (June 2023) the club’s net debt was £677.4m but the way things are moving even that might come soon.

So what is going on?  How come Tottenham were the flavour of the year and then suddenly we get “Spurs open to investment as 2022-23 loss of £87m unveiled” along with comments about “defensive frailties.”

The answer is that most of the time most media outlets and their staff, along of course with most supporters,  don’t do research.  They keep running the same story (in this case Tottenham on the up,) until suddenly it is so wrong, that it just can’t be sustained.  

Even in the last window we had “According to reports, Tottenham Hotspur have ‘made moves’ to sign three more players before the January transfer window closes” in Football 365.

The reality was faced by The Spurs News who bravely ran the “Full list of Tottenham Hotspur signings”

One player left on a free and eight went out on loan.

The fact is that just as the stories we are told about Arsenal are generally not true, nor are those about other clubs.  It is a case of “All the news that fits,” nothing more.

9 Replies to “How the football media only publish the news that fits their agendas”

  1. The investment is because levy wants to take a back seat, the financial loss of 87million was also before Kane was sold. The reason the media made such a big thing about Arsenal last year was because you acted like you had won the league and blew a 13 point lead and massively choked, also it wasn’t Arteta’s first season, along side that you had spent a hell of a lot of money! Stop worrying about spurs and concentrate on your own team.

  2. Totally agree that the media has a blinkered agenda, and twists the facts to suit it. They fell in love with Postecoglu, presumably because he’s not like any other PL manager of recent years, and decided to promote his supposedly ‘refreshing’ approach come what may, and only when the wheels, axles and suspension came off (as they’ve clearly done since Christmas, if not earlier) did they face the truth – as sensible Spurs fans like me have done – that he’s out of his depth.
    It’s not a pro-Spurs agenda though, because ‘Spursy’, ‘Lads it’s Tottenham’ and ‘Spurs will always let you down’ were being spouted throughout the Mourinho, Nuno and Conte eras, and the truce for lovable ‘Big Ange’ is rapidly ending , so our troubles will help ease the pain of Arsenal blowing yet another nailed-on PL title (and I can’t see this Spurs team being capable of giving you a hand when we play City – but who knows?).

  3. Cheshuntboy

    You start off well, with an honest assessment:

    “…… as sensible Spurs fans like me have done – that he’s out of his depth.”

    But why this piece of nonsense.?

    “so our troubles will help ease the pain of Arsenal blowing yet another nailed-on PL title”

    At what stage was it ever ‘nailed on?

    Assuming we both win our final games that will mean since the turn of the year Arsenal will of only dropped 5 points, 2 of those at Man City.

    Man City will of dropped 6 points, actually one more than Arsenal.

    That is 2 fantastic teams going toe to toe and whoever wins out the other will not of ‘blown it’.

    As I said a couple of weeks ag if at the turn of the year someone would of said to me you will only drop 5 points from now until the end of the season I would of called them mad. If they would of said that still won’t be enough to win the PL I would of said they were insane.

    Alas that may well be the case. All credit to Man City if it is.

    So, please don’t come here making such childish comments.

  4. @Chesthuntboy,

    nailed-on PL title ?!?!

    Where did this come from ? For most of the season, all I read was how Arsenal would again bottle it up, how Mr Arteta was useless with him not having a 20+ goals a year striker, with no reinforcements in the winter transfer window , not rotating his squad, rotationg it too much, etc. Not ever was there any love-fest like your manager has gotten – all good for him.

    But nailed-on ?

    That being said, Sp*rs can just show all and sundry how bad they are, or show some pride and go full out against City$ as they can still mathematically make it into the CL. Then again, their manager did say he did not want it…

    Personnaly I’m enjoying Arsenal, don’t mind the few setbacks because the trajectory points up and a team is being built for the rest of this decade. And this PL title may come down to the added time of the second half of the last game….

  5. Chris,your comment “stop worryingabout Spurs” is one that we often get, and it is one that puzzles me. Apart from the fact that actually I don’t worry about things I can’t affect, it seems strange, when one supports a club in a 20 club competition. To enjoy, understanding analyse football, one needs to consider other teams.
    Restricting debate either by law or my comments and suggestions, seems to me to be the opposite of democracy and open discussion, and yet it is something that a lot of Tottenham fans who write to this site seem to want me to do. True I don’t publish all the comments because some are of a type that I find disrespectful but I do publish some, and I still don’t get it.
    Arsenal and Tottenham and 18 other clubs are in a league together, each striving for as high a position as possible. To stifle debate by not discussing another team seems to miss the key point.
    It happens to be Tottenham at the moment because they have created the news themselves.

  6. OK -‘nailed-on’ was an overstatement, but it wasn’t in your hands, at least briefly, and losing at home to a clearly inferior team in Villa was unfortunate, to put it mildly. I’m old enough to remember the 1971 and 1989 Arsenal title-winning teams, and while neither played great football, both had the never-say-die attitude that Spurs don’t seem to have had since the ’60s, and the current Arsenal team are still not quite there (but very close, and certainly in a different league to Spurs, I’m sorry to say). Better?

  7. Cheshuntboy says:

    “Sorry – should read ‘wasn’t it in you hands’.”

    Every single year, at some stage or another the title could be in any number of teams hands. It’s actually in every teams hands early on and that number gradually diminishes as teams mathematically fall away and cannot win the league. But for example up to week 22, the weekend of 31st of January, the title was still in Man City’s, Liverpool’s, Arsenals, Villas, and even Spurs’s own hands. So by definition they have all ‘blown it’. In fact every team in the PL have ‘blown it’ by your definition. But somehow, just because Arsenal are better than Liverpool, Spurs, Villa, Chelsea, Man Utd and everyone else, and have given, and are still giving, Man City a run for their money, it is only Arsenal that have ‘blown it’?


    And as for this piece of nonsense.

    “…….blew a 13 point lead and massively choked,”

    We were NEVER 13 points clear. The most we were ever clear was 8 points:

    Premier League week 21 we were 5 points clear with a game in hand. So, possibly 8 if we won our game in hand.

    Premier League week 29 we were 8 points clear but Man City had a game in hand, so possibly only 5 if they won their game in hand.

    If you want to come on to a site and start mouthing off at least have the decency to do some research before hand or you just make yourself look stupid.

    I would find all this funny coming from anyone, but coming from people who support the biggest bottle jobs in the history of the game, a team that has won 2 league cups in 20 years and no title for 60, it is side splittingly funny.

  8. @Cheshuntboy,

    yes, better. That being said, comparisons with teams so far past is not really possible. So much has changed.
    As for Villa being an easy team… I definitely cannot follow you down that path. Correct me if I am wrong, they are the only top 4 team we’ve had a loss against. And their position speaks for itself. Did it hurt… yep…. am I upset…nope.

    As I wrote, we are on an upwards trajectory, a team is being built for the rest of the decade, no big changes required due to aging players like a few other teams are facing, a manager firmly in place. So all counters are in the green as far as I am concerned.

    Sp*rs… well I just see rocky times without an Arsene Wenger at the helm willing and capable of taking all the flack for a situation that was not his responsibility.

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