Publication on July 20th: Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.
The book that re-writes the Arsenal story.
By Tony Attwood
Would you believe it? For weeks the papers have been telling us that Arsenal is more or less doomed as RVP is leaving. He is, in that quaint tabloid phrase, “want away Robin”.
I got rather fed up with this, and so the other day did a piece about how the Guardian in particular among the up-market press had gone on all out attack (not to mention an overload of “high alert”). Three articles in a row from what used to be my favourite paper, each telling us how Arsenal were doomed (“doomed, doomed we’re all doomed” they said, or was that Dad’s Army?). A bit much I thought.
And then, would you believe it (as I just said). First off the Daily Mail followed Anne’s story about the dubious nature of RVP’s web site and some inconsistencies in what happened. The Mail didn’t go into details but suggested that RVP’s agent was getting a bit ahead of himself and that RVP is going to stay at Arsenal. Being the Mail they couldn’t give Arsenal any rights to originality so they wrapped the story in a RVP is “considering doing a Rooney”.
Now we have the Telegraph and the Independent (both towards the more serious end of the newspaper world in England) changing their tune. Could they have read Untold? Well, probably not. We have a lot of readers these days and although I have got excited when Mr Wenger quoted us (twice) I think claiming to be influencing the thinking of the monoliths that are our newspapers, is pushing it.
But still, it is interesting. Here is the Independent’s take on Robin. He is leaving, and Arsenal will get between £20m and £25m. Van Persie wants a five-year contract worth in total £30m. That’s £120,000 a week to the likes of you and me; the regular folk who get amazed if we actually get paid each month.
Then the paper goes on to mention that his preferred option is Juve who, they remind us “are still recovering financially from their demotion to Serie B after the 2006 calciopoli scandal, and posted losses in their last published accounts of £75m for the 2010-11 season.”
I wonder if they got the emails that I got, telling me I knew nothing of Italian football when I elaborated on the same theme in my piece – oh yes, including those comments to the effect that Juve were innocent and it was a conspiracy by Inter to get Juve relegated. A nice clean league.
But then, and this is the bit that distances themselves from the AAA supporting Guardian – the Inde tells us Robin is 29 years old, with a “less-than-perfect injury record”. So having been the ultimate marquee player, as Mr Usmanov likes to let everyone know (and as most papers went along with because he really does have an excellent publicity machine), maybe Robin’s not really worth the fuss.
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Then (and the change around is not over yet) along trots the Daily Telegraph who report that RVP and Arsène Wenger have had an “encounter”. What, we wonder, would they make of the disagreement “in many aspects … on the way Arsenal should move forward”.
They too then put in the journalistic boot. From being the player that everyone wants, the player that puts clubs on “high alert” in the Guardian’s funny phrase, the Telegraph says, “City appear to be the only club with the means to pay a massive fee and salary for a player with a questionable fitness record who turns 29 next month but there remain obstacles even for them. Their ranks are bloated with expensively paid strikers and they must sell some of them before they can consider a move for Van Persie, which will not be easy.”
Ignasi Miquel is still also being talked about as a loan out – maybe Brighton and Hove. (That’s Talk Sprot again.) And the Metro said we are going to buy Stefan Jovetic who plays as a number 10 for Fiorentina (84 games) and Montenegro and is compared to Roberto Baggio.
Anyway, back to the main thrust, the papers have taken their positions. The Guardian says Arsenal are ruined, a disaster, falling apart, useless etc etc. The other two say, actually with those sort of wage demands and his injury record maybe Arsenal have done the right thing and should sell him quick. The Mail says we are about to re-sign him and Talk Sprot dribbles quite a bit.
- Stoke City and the referees. An extraordinary situation.
- Some matches in the Premier League are fixed. Discuss
- Scottish football eats itself
- The QPR figures: quite a strange set of data
- Who played for Arsenal in the opening games – and what does it tell us?
- What was it like in the crowd – at Arsenal 100 years ago
- Football is back, at last
- Ref Review: Team by Team – West Bromwich Albion
- Mikel:the anchor in midfield
- Celebrating 120 years of the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal