At the Morning Lark nothing much happened

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By Tony Attwood

After about a week in France with no access to the internet, or the English media, I return with the thought that something ought to have happened in football.   But picking up on the news today upon my return it seems nothing much did happen at all.   There’s rumours, rumours and rumours, with most of them undoubtedly turning out to have been untrue.  And most of them were around before I left.

When I went away, Chelsea were about to sign Guus Hiddink as their boss absolutely, no doubt, complete certainty.  Before that they were going to sign Harry Redknapp.  No doubt – bookies had stopped taking bets, dead cert.  Apart from the couple of days when they were going to sign Mark Hughes.

And what do I find today?   They have got Andre Villas-boas.

But what is so odd is that everyone takes this endless change of dead certs bookies not taking bets any more, seriously.   No guys, it is not like that.  It is all made up.  Honest.

There was one article that amused me as I caught up however – Marina Hynde did a piece in which she commented on the Premier League cutting all its funding to Supporters Direct.  She compared the Premier League management to the editors  of “Morning Lark”, the tabloid in the Martin Amis novel Yellow Dog.  To quote the excellent Ms Hynde,

“Readers are referred to at all times as “wankers”. “At the Morning Lark,” staff are reminded, “our target wanker’s the unemployed.” Features include “Wankers’ Wives” and “Our Wankers Ask the Questions”. A circulation fall indicates the paper has “lost wankers”.

Certainly that is how the Premier League see us and treats us, the supporters, and there is no doubt that many clubs treat their own supporters in the same way.  But most of all it is how the media treats us – as total idiots who believe all the rubbish that they churn out day by day about who is transferring to whom.

The multiplicity of blogs seem to have adopted the role of being the megaphones of the “Morning Lark”. Some dribbling journo pissed out of his head down the pub and with 300 words to submit within half an hour scrambles around for a story.  Cesc to Barca?  Done it.  Clichy to Liverpool or somewhere like that?  Done it.  What else?  A guy from Bolton buys him another double and says ,”Did you know that it is cheaper to watch Bolton than FC United in the Abercrombie Windows League Division II?” so he runs that – a story that is about as true as the one our prime minister ran when he said that Britain is ahead of the world in wind power.  It is just something so far removed from the truth that you can’t even argue with it.

A quick look at the rest of the news showed that nothing had changed during my time out.  England’s kiddies went out of whatever competition they were in without winning a game (I think), and the radio today in England is saying that we “failed to qualify”.  England had gone into the competition expecting to win it, while some guy from Spain said that we were a bunch of drongos who would fail to win a match (or something like that).

So what was it like in France?   Coming back from France the appalling quality of debate in the UK hits me in the face not just because I haven’t been reading the nonsense in the English press for a while, but also because the one French paper I read (L’Equipe) does it so differently.

While I was reading it, L’Equipe was open in its comment that journalists  create stories.  In fact Robert Pires new autobiography is out in France just now, and the title of that (which doesn’t easily translate into English) says much the same thing.  If the book comes out in English I think it might be titled “Wankers can’t tackle”.

Did I really miss anything while away?  Barca are talking to Arsenal, Nasri is going somewhere, Clichy is going somewhere, we are buying Samba and some French forward or other, England knocked out of a tournament, Fifa is corrupt but no one in the FA accepts responsibility for dealing with them.

No, not much happened.  We haven’t signed anyone for a big fee, but we still have Vermaelen, Frimpong, Lansbury, Ramsey re-entering or entering the fray full time, along with someone else who is going to surprise us all.  Our usual four or five players coming up or coming back – almost half a team really.  We do it that way every year and no one really notices.

Same old Arsenal – remember the way Wilshere took us by storm last season.  Who will it be this year.

So nothing much happened, except of course on Untold.  I would just like to say, coming back and reading through a week’s worth of articles, how excellent it all was.  I want to thank our guest writers, and I want to thank Walter for standing in for me during my little trip away.  And everyone who read and everyone who commented.  Without you there wouldn’t be any point.

Yes it is nice to be back.   Even if nothing much has happened.

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11 Replies to “At the Morning Lark nothing much happened”

  1. Good to have you back Tony,

    and about the Villas Boas – Chelsea certainty I must say that for the moment in L’equipe I just read an article saying that Porto had not received any offer to buy the contract of Villas Boas for the moment.

    In French it says: “Andre Villas Boas a une clause libératoire dans son contrat. Jusqu’à maintenant nous n’avons reçu aucune information sur une possible utilisation de cette clause» and this comes from a press communique from Porto itself according to L’equipe.

    (translated: Villas Boas has a buy out clausule in his contract. Until now we have not received any information of a possible use of this clausule)

    Now how far can the press go to invent stories like that?

    I think we will just do what smart people always did and do…wait for to tell us what really is going on.

  2. Walter….what is a ¨clausule¨… that what causes Redknapp’s twitch?

  3. When it becomes obvious at the end of the transfer window that 99% of what we have been fed by the media is proven to be utter nonsense it makes you wonder who are the bigger idiots. The purveyers of this constant supply of drivel or us, the naive public who greedily lap it up and keep coming back for more. Is the reporting of more serious issues than football to be trusted one has to ask.

  4. Domhuaille, I was mixing up my languages a bit… in Dutch clausule=clause in English (and French).

    But I like your translation 😉

  5. I think the point is being missed somewhat. It is not about the players we will actually sign, or who will leave the club! It’s merely a little distraction in your day to while away 15mins or so on one of your very favourite subjects 🙂 to take talk of wenger signing a 30yr old eto’o on £185,000/wk seriously would be nothing short of the dictionary definition of madness.

  6. Tony, I am glad you had a nice break. I agree, Walter has done a great job running the place in your absence.

    In terms of academy players that might break through the ranks next season, I think that Lansbury might be one to watch. Whilst he doesn’t have amazing skill, he makes up for this in dogged determination and spatial awareness. These are sometimes under estimated qualities that help teams win matches. If Rosicky goes, he might get a chance.

    In addition to him I think it might be worth giving Afobe a run in the cup competitions. Watching him play for Huddersfield reminded me a litle bit of Darren Bent – but with better control and technique. I think that he has enough quality to break into the first team eventually. His style is quite different to RVP so I am not sure if that particular combo would work, but I think he would do well playing off Chamakh.

    I think Ramsey, Frimpong and Vermaelen will need time and patience to get back to their best. Hopefully the Asian tour and other games lined up before the start of next season will help them on the road to recovery.

  7. Not so long ago I read two lengthy reports by an investigating journalist, Anne, into the politics surrounding Cesc Fabregas and his possible move back to Barcelona. I ventured to suggest that he would make the move but was quickly rebuffed and asked what I based my opinion on. Not being able to compete with the professional way Anne went about her research I capitulated into thinking my hypothesis was wrong and I had let my emotions get in the way of a true business analysis. Now I`m not so sure.
    Mr.Hill-Wood`s comments referring to Cesc`s boyhood home suggest I might have been right in the first place.

  8. Auusie Jack, I think Mr Hill Wood’s comments need to be taking with caution. He is after all the man who said of the club’s current owner, “We don’t want his sort here”.

  9. Tony…He is further quoted as saying “Bracelona have made contact, but no bid as been made as yet”. Apparently they do have representitives in London ready for discussions.
    Think I`ll wait until the kettle boils over to see who gets scalded.

  10. Aussie Jack, like I said before in another article: the quotes from P HW reminded me a bit too much to the quotes they gave last year in a newspaper article. I just think it is the same quotes from last year presented as something new. Just the few words, no mention of any full interview, no mention of date or place where he said it.

    Oh and in L’equipe the Barca chairman just confirmed that they will bid lower than last year for Cesc and if ARsenal doesn’t accept it Cesc will not come. In fact this is just saying: in fact we don’t want Cesc for the moment.

    And I think Cesc feels that they don’t want/need him for the moment.

  11. @Tony
    The best player in the England squad at said international youth tournament was one of ours and despite improving the side every time he came on, Psycho Pearce would not start him because A) he doesn’t start every game for his club and B) no-one has yet offered £20 million for him. Although quite frankly if you had seen just how badly a £20 million English player plays compared to “our Henri”, you’d be suggesting Barca couldn’t even have him for £35 million, let alone our captain!

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