Tabloid Sports journalism? It belittles, it crushes the spirit and it does so out of pique

By Blacksheep

In 1886 William Stead (the campaigning editor of the Pall Mall Gazette – one of the very first ‘tabloid’ style newspapers) declared that:

“Nothing can ever get itself accomplished nowadays without sensationalism. In politics, social reform, it is indispensable”

What Stead realised was that the press (the only media available in late Victorian Britain) had tremendous power. And Stead used that power to push through reforms he believed in. But he knew also that if he exaggerated and manipulated news he would also ensure that more and more people chose his paper over that of his rivals. In this Stead was a very modern newspaper editor, and he introduced headlines for dramatic effect, transforming the way in which papers looked and were read forever.

As one academic put it in the 1880s journalism became the ‘art of structuring reality, rather than recording it’.

At the moment you are probably thinking…what has all this got to do with football, let alone Arsenal? Bear with me

The tabloid press has been developing (I won’t say ‘evolving’ because that suggests improvement) since the 1880s and many of those that cut their teeth as early editors and newspaper pioneers consolidated their power in the early twentieth century.

So, for example, Alfred Harmsworth (who published a paper called Answers to Correspondents from 1888 onwards) earned enough money from that to launch the Daily Mail in 1896 and the Daily Mirror in 1903.  Harmsworth was elevated to the peerage a year later and effectively dominated the press like no man had before (or arguably since).

Boring…get on with the Arsenal bit!

Sorry, but the background matters. This country’s papers are owned by a small and select group of people and they have always been as interested in influencing public opinion as they in representing it. We buy papers to find out what happens (or we used to) but the news that papers tell us is highly selective.

More importantly the way they present news (the ‘spin’) reflects the personal agendas of the owners of the newspapers and their political allegiances.

During the interwar period (1919-1939) Northcliffe’s papers ostensibly backed the British fascist Oswald Mosely and argued that Hitler was someone we could do business with. How ironic that just recently The Mail chose to vilify Ed Milliband’s father (someone who fought for this country during the war Hitler caused) as unpatriotic.

So throughout the late 1970s the Tory press laid into the Labour government and helped propel Mrs Thatcher into power. Once there it championed her each and every action.

Remember this?


Or this?


But the casual way in which the tabloid boil complex issues down to base headlines has also been a feature of sports journalism.

Who can forget the hatchet job the press has done on anyone daft enough to take the England manager’s job?


Or more recently the Sun’s amusing take on Roy Hodgson’s speech impediment.


Lest we place all the blame on the Current Bun we are all too aware of how these hatchet jobs have been used against our own team, players and managers by a variety of journalists some (like John Cross of the Mirror) who even claim to be Arsenal fans!

After the Munich game the Mail Online published this article by so-called journalist Neil Ashton  accusing Mesut of being lazy and challenging M. Wenger to ‘rescue’ him. The Mirror followed suit with this  in which Cross (affectionately known as ‘Crossy’ by some Gooners) referred to Ozil’s ‘humiliation’ at being substituted, notwithstanding the FACT that the midfielder had suffered a hamstring injury.

But the press aren’t interested in facts, only in stories. Much of this is fabricated, exaggerated, manipulated, and distorted to fit THEIR agenda. Tony and Walter have written about this many times on Untold.

Just like their ancestors in the late 19thth and early 20th centuries the press is a machine that grinds the life out of anything good. It belittles, it crushes the spirit and it does so out of pique, for financial gain and simply because we have given it the power to do so (buy buying its papers and swallowing its content).

So here’s the thing, I’ve had enough of all this bullsh*t from the press (more often but not always just the gutter press) and for the last six months I’ve stopped buying papers. Not even the dear old Guardian. Moreover, I don’t read the freebies on the tube or borrow my mate’s copies.

I am engaged in a one man boycott of the British press.

And do you know what? I’m fine. I survive. My life has not been materially affected for the worse.

Amazingly I still have opinions.

My own opinions; opinions based on what I see with my own eyes. I watch Ozil week in week out, I see Wenger’s tactics before me, I hear the crowd at the Emirates and I talk to fellow supporters.

I don’t need pond life like Ashton to tell me anything. His opinion is slightly less interesting to me than the opinion of the bacteria currently developing in the dark recesses of my fridge.

And if you feel the same I invite you to join me.

Sod the papers, sod the sad little journos, sod their anti-Arsenal agenda, don’t let them poison your minds.

Boycott them: don’t buy them, don’t read them, don’t follow them online or listen to their opinions on the TV and radio.

You will (I guarantee) feel a whole lot better for it.

And if we all collectively ‘switch off’ (so to speak) they will go away, go out of business and the likes of Cross and Ashton et al will have to get proper jobs. Just like us.

Thanks  if you have read this far


74 Replies to “Tabloid Sports journalism? It belittles, it crushes the spirit and it does so out of pique”

  1. Spot on. Many of us don’t need to be told what to think. We have sufficiently developed critical faculties to trust our own experience and what our eyes tell us. Come and join us. Jump in, the water’s lovely…

  2. Yes..I took the same action some 18 months ago.
    I now notice people whose opinions i once respected, often just quote utter drivel that they have read earlier, believing all that is printed. Transfer windows are the best!

  3. Newspaper circulations have been dropping for decades. In some cases double digit percentage drops in the last year. However, the views expressed in digital media are often even more extreme and distorted. But at least is usually easier to respond to immediately which makes it harder to cement opinion unchallenged.

  4. I don’t buy or read newspapers & havent done so since ’87. I hope the shithouse (Fleet Street or wherever these filthy maggots now spew their filth from) goes up in flames. Let’s see how these journos get on when they have to do a real day’s work for a living.

  5. Excellent Blacksheep.

    I hate the rags. “Rags”, for me, include the broadsheets too. If they can lie, manipulate and denigrate The Arsenal, as they truly do, what about everything else they write?
    Cross John, Amy L, Pisser Morgan – they all claim to be Arsenal fans.
    Har har har. I don’t think so. Look at what they write about Arsenal. Go on, look! Then tell me how they are fans.

    II’m going to link to something I wrote last night. It’s long. Whaddya expect? It’s about the first 30 seconds of BM v Arsenal, and injuries.

  6. I have asked for a no-link-to-garbage policy on Untold. Of the anti-Ozil article that has enraged all of us, Armchair Gooner said eloquently:
    “I haven’t linked to the article I’m referring to on purpose. My conscience won’t allow such a feculent bundle of drivel merchanting to receive a single hit on account of me. I recommend you don’t seek it out. You’ll only get wound up by the insipid blathering of a drooling cretin who possesses the same measure of journalism integrity I have in my p…”

    A ban on negative links would be very judicious.

  7. Terrific article which I fully agree with. I haven’t bought or even read a paper for years. I do have a quick flick through them now and again for free when shopping and online but really only enough to take in the headlines. Unfortunately the trend now seems to be to promote a lot of these cretin journalists to celebrity status by giving them air time on radio and television. For example Ashton is cropping up more and more on radio and television, Cross is on Talkshite often, usually talking, guess what, shite and then we have the grandaddy of them all Piss (piers) Morgan spreading his crap everywhere from twitter to TV. The result is that even though their ability to spread their crap via newsprint has diminished the other media avenues now open to them mean that probably more people are infected by them than previously was the case. I am afraid their influence is not going to go away as long as there are enough stupid people prepared to read them and soak up the nonsense they spout.

  8. Good article Blacksheep. Like you I have stopped buying all papers – not just the tabloids. The Sunday Papers are included in the boycott.

    When they start reporting fairly rather than trying to manipulate I shall reconsider.

  9. Ray

    I meant to say in my post above, Although I’ve read about the essence of Mirror & Mail articles, I’ll not actually click and read, on this occasion.

    I think there’s an argument for saying ‘examples/links’ are needed – to further illustrate what the writer is saying. The inclusion of Sun headline photos – so appropriate.

    Our own dear Anne, among others, used to keep watch for us, producing splendid MediaWatch stuff, and Tony A regularly posts articles with ref. to various media twisting or omission.

    Perhaps there could be Warnings to accompany any links?

  10. Thanks Blacksheep.

    Imho, it is a reflection of present day realities. How sad. Generally, people seems not to like the truth. So it’s rearly being told and whoever tries to is avoided like plague.

    On the other hand, lies reign supreme. Government officials, professionals, artisans, technicians, ‘clergy’, adult, youth, children, parents, trustees, businesses, corporations, nations, world leaders…(the list is endless) are all thriving on lies. It is a sign of the end times.

    For the gutter press, how else would they sell as much as their greed craves if not by misrepresentation. Here in Nigeria, it is not surprising at all to see how different a news story is to it’s headline.

    The world today had perfected the art of making lies attractive and truth undesirable.

    The bible says ‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’. So free your self from the gutter press by stop feeding on their lies.


  11. Great read black sheep and some sound advice.
    I would add this to your list of examples from the press, remember the pic of the great Tony Adams as a donkey……was actually put on there by a Spud fan, so there are clear agendas at work.
    What worries me is that a section of our fans choose to believe this horse shit as it suits their agenda, that harms the club, but the club is showing it is big enough to get over it. I also hope some of the more extreme elements of these fans are becoming marginalised as a matter of course, after all, haven’t they all thrown their season tickets in the bin or something?
    The reality is, having such morons having an agenda against us can actually be seen as a badge of honour.
    Reading this today Mr Cross?

  12. Good article, Blacksheep, and good points also made by Mick.

    The tabloid sports broadcasters…BBC Sport, Sky Sport, Talk Sport and BT Sport, amongst others, all offer platforms for those hostile to Arsenal, including those “permanent” members of their own staff, not just invited guests, so beware!

  13. I have asked this question before but got no answer maybe this time, I would be lucky : WHY DO THE PRESS HATE ANYTHING ARSENAL? Man City lost home and away to UEFALONA, all we hear and read is “they fought well in defeat” however when we defeated UEFALONA at the EMS and lost at the Nou Camp, all that we could see and read is about that defeat only. WHY?
    Should I remind you of the season when we lost the FA match and lost to Bayern that same week? all that was cried out was that Arsenal has been eliminated from two competition in the same week, please dear untolders I believe we have a repeat of that in Man City this season, have you heard any of the press vilifying them? I am not a fan of Balotelli but I would still like to ask ” Why always Us?”

  14. Totally agree with the article especially if you contrast the very same papers reporting about ‘brave’ man city’s defeat against Barca. There definitely is a distinct anti Arsenal agenda on all the UK media outlets.The usual argument is they do it to attract more readers/listeners but I know lots of people who never read papers or listen to Talksport because of this anti Arsenal bias.
    The worst culprits are Talksport radio who seem to have a go at Arsenal at every opportunity.
    Adrian Gingerknob Durham even has a special slot in his daily show just to dis Arsenal.its totally outrageous.
    As I am working nights at the moment I work with a person who likes to listen to Talksport. This week Jason Cundy (think he spells his name wrong and if he doesn’t he should) and Andy (Manure Prick) Goldstein have taken tabloid radio down to new level. Monday they were saying Arsenal would lose 7 0 . Tuesday night were saying Arsenal have not had any progression since 2005 and how poor they were against Bayern. Wednesday night carrying on their attack on Arsenal .I had had enough and rang them up, told the operator exactly what I wanted to say (wish I hadn’t as also told the guy I would destroy those 2 buffoons) and he said he would call back , he didn’t.
    What really frustrates me is their tunnel vision and complete lack of facts. They say 9 years around 20 times a show without ever mentioning the new stadium costs or the financial doping of the premiership at the same time. If you throw 1/2 a bio at a club you are going to have success although those 2 idiots don’t seem to realise it even Cundy who used to play for that no history club when they were shit.He would never to be good enough for them now either.
    I am hoping so much that we can win a trophy this season just so I don’t have to hear the 9 year comment every day but if we don’t I know the future is bright and we will be a force to be reckoned with worldwide.
    Exciting are ahead and the signing of Ozil was the start of it. Now because the press/media are getting worried of our impending threat they try to knock us down at every hurdle. I normally have a media ban meaning everything bar untold or arseblog for 3 days after a defeat or if sooner the day of the next game .
    So anyway if you ever hear Dan of Highams Park/Chingford on Talksport that will be me. Always pro Arsenal and pro Wenger. Sorry for the rant but it makes my blood boil.

  15. Could have guessed you were a Guardian reader even before this article. Say what you want about football and other peoples opinions about it but keep your left wing prejudices to yourself please.

  16. @highamsparkgunner

    Agree with ever word and have said much the same on here many times.

    I have even questioned the legality of a National Radio station being allowed to have an overt, on going agenda, against one business in isolation.

    The pertinent question I keep asking is, would a National broadcaster be allowed to carry out a similar campaign against any ONE particular high street bank or supermarket chain?

    I doubt it very much.

    How long do you think a similar campaign would last if it where aimed at Virgin?

    As I have said before, Dicky would have them up in front of the beak before there feet touched the ground.

    I’ve asked why Arsenal FC allow it and have not challenged it.

    Alas it seems nothing CAN be done or at least nobody cares enough.

    NB. Can I ask one thing, if there is a legal Eagle out there reading this can they at least explain to me why, what I see as Libellous/Slanderous behaviour, is legal.

  17. I really do not read the local papers , because of the wife and son there’s still a subscription . What I do in the morning is to glance through the back sports pages , enjoy the cartoons and then look at the headlines ,which is crap of course .
    I get most of my football(read Arsenal) fix on this site.
    If someone recommends a good or interesting link I may click on to it.
    I don’t read the UK press nor go any other football sites.I don’t know most of the names brandied above nor the articles.
    Its sheer bliss !

  18. @Brickfield Gunners

    You are indeed a sensible, and lucky man.

    I too try to avoid as much media as I can, but I have to confess that sometimes I am like a ‘Rubber-Necker’ on the motorway. I just cant resist a quick look as I stumble across a casually discarded rag in the mess room.

    Invariably I instantly regret it, for it seems, win, lose, or draw there is always an angle from which to have a go at us.

    I know it’s my own fault and I seriously chastise myself every time for being such a fool.

    I must say I admire your willpower and I will resolve to do better myself !!!

  19. The Brit Press never forgave Wenger for defying them on the steps of Highbury back when he was first appointed. Challenging the jackals to say what he was accused of [something sections of Mankyland still go with] was brave and it worked at the time. But they have been making him pay ever since – these people have long memories. The agenda is to get him sacked. Sad that some of our so-called fellows buy into this, but you can fool some of the people all of the time….

  20. @ jamburg – most of the time I either snort or go ,”Yeah, right !” when reading the local ‘news’.
    I totally don’t watch the pre-match ,interval or post-match prattle ( watching grown men trying to fuck themselves silly is not my cup of tea! ).
    I’d only watch the highlights and AW’s match comments .

  21. While I look forward to their demise , have a few chuckles from…

    Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists.
    Norman Mailer

    Newspaper editors are men who separate the wheat from the chaff, and then print the chaff.
    Adlai E. Stevenson

    I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust.
    Charles Baudelaire

    Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
    Thomas Jefferson
    (He was talking of two centuries ago !)

    A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.
    H. L. Mencken

    The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of character.
    Lyndon B. Johnson

  22. I try as much as possible not to talk about the media. I know this may sound weird as I talk about them a lot around here but that’s still nothing compared with how much I think about and loathe the cretins. The problem that we have now started when news outlets started giving opinions on issues in the news.

    This is news:

    “Arsenal played a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. The result eliminated them after having lost 0-2 to their hosts in the first leg of the tie 3 weeks earlier. Schweinsteger and Podolski scored for their respective sides in the second half of the game……….”

    Anything outside of the above, apart from stats, is nothing but opinion and this is where things go awry. How well the teams played is going to be based on opinions. Yes, there may consensus formed from majority opinion but consensus is not fact. News media should only report facts and let their audience interpret such by themselves. But no way. Now it is impossible to get hard, factual news anywhere and on any topic. The morons that are given the task of writing/presenting what happened will always sneak their misguided thoughts in there somehow.

    I think it will be hypocritical to say that opinion is generally bad. It isn’t. I’ll read anything written by Patrick Barclay which are virtually always his opinions. However, lumping opinion, no matter how well intentioned and thought through, with news is always bad. I think that news and opinion should be separated and clearly labelled.

    I am always annoyed to see journalists being invited to talk about EVERYTHING on TV. The fuckers are mostly failures who couldn’t cut it in the more substantive professions but with a collective Napoleonic complex that makes them believe that they can mold the opinion of the masses and influence public attitudes and behaviour. I continue to believe that they are more responsible for bad officiating in this country than anyone else, for example. The sad bit for me is that more often than not, they succeed. But why wouldn’t they, with the sad state of our public education and them having the loudest megaphone to keep repeating their stupid cliched opinions?

    I fucking hate the media. Please don’t get me started on their attitude to Arsenal.

  23. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
    ― Mark Twain

    “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.”
    – William Blake

    Auguries of Innocence
    By William Blake (1757–1827)

    “He who respects the infant’s faith
    Triumphs over hell and death.
    He who shall teach the child to doubt
    The rotting grave shall ne’er get out.”

  24. Price you Pay for being Good

    3 Men were waiting to go to heaven. St Peter was at the gate and said, “However good you were to your wife that is the vehicle you will get in heaven”.

    The first guy comes up to the gate and says, “I never, ever cheated on my wife and I love her”. So St. Peter gives him a Rolls Royce.

    The next man comes up and says, “I cheated on my wife a little but I still love her.” He gets a mustang and drives off into heaven.

    The next guy came up and said, “I cheated on my wife a lot”. He gets a scooter.

    Next day the guy that got the scooter was riding along and he saw the guy who owned the Rolls Royce crying.

    He asked, “Why are you crying you have such a nice car?!” and the man sobbed, “My wife just went by on roller skates”.

  25. e.g.
    From The Telegraph:

    a – Not good enough: Arsenal were outpressed outpassed & outplayed by Munich

    b – MCFC bow out of CL with pride if not defence intact (helloooo…Lescott?) after valiant display against Barcelona

    One team above lost a game, the other drew. Exposed by their own words.
    This transparent gibberish churned out by the presstitutes is beyond parody. Don’t give them the clicks.

  26. Know what you’re saying about the media, but there is plenty of nonsense written by bloggers too. A lot of it is opinion and people tend to pick up on the opinions they disagree with and complain about that, rather than highlight and praise the writing that is good. Let’s face it, people are also biased towards their club and we love positive, pro Arsenal reporting just like we enjoy criticism of the Spuds. People moan about talkSPORT and, yeah, there are some dodgy opinions voiced, but depends on the presenters and pundits. I heard George Graham on there yesterday defending Ozil and saying he can turn out like Bergkamp (thrive after a tricky start). Perry Groves on the Colin Murray show is absolutely brilliant too. Just because Durham is on there doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy Perry (and believe me, it is a joy as a Gooner listening to him – top bloke). And this was on their website yesterday – Obviously not written by Durham, but thought it was a good read.

  27. Lovely read … and welcome to the club.
    I stopped buying rags 25 years ago for the very reasons that you detail above.

  28. A Film crew was on location deep in the Arizona desert. One day an old Red Indian went up to the director and said, “Tomorrow rain.”

    The next day it rained. A week later, the Red Indian went to the director and said, “Tomorrow Storm.”

    The next day there was a hailstorm.

    This Red Indian is incredible,” said the director. He told his secretary to hire the Red Indian to predict the weather.

    How ever, after several successful predictions, the old Red Indian didn’t show up for two weeks.

    Finally, the director sent for him. “I have to shoot a big scene tomorrow,” said the director, and I’m depending on you. What will the weather be like?”

    The Red Indian shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t know,.” he said. Radio is broken.”

  29. See no evil , hear no evil….

    A Soviet journalist walks into the hospital and tells the desk nurse, “I want to see the eye-ear doctor.” “There is no such doctor” she tells him. “Perhaps you would like to see someone else?”
    “No, I need to see an eye-ear doctor,” he says.
    “But there is no such doctor,” she replies. “We have doctors for the eyes and doctors for the ear, nose and throat, but no eye-ear doctor.” No help.
    He repeats, “I want to see the eye-ear doctor.”
    They go around like this for a few minutes and then the nurse says: “Comrade, there is no eye-ear doctor, but if there were one, why would you want to see him?”
    “Because,” he replies, “I keep hearing one thing and seeing another.”

  30. How many journalists does it take to change a light bulb?
    “We just report the facts, we don’t change them.”

  31. And so there was this cosmetic surgeon who was sitting in his consultation room chatting to his friend.

    In the middle of a conversation, a gorgeous female walked into the room and kissed the surgeon and said, “Thank you so much! You have done wonder to my body and look. I was an ugly duckling before that and now I looked like a princess.”

    When the gorgeous lady left the room, the surgeon’s friend asked, “Wow, who was that? You have certainly done a good job.”

    The surgeon replied, “Oh, that was my mum,” and they carried on with their conversation.

    A moment later, another lady walked into his room. This lady was even more gorgeous than the first one and she too came round and kissed the surgeon, “Thank you so much! You have really made me look 20 years younger. Those face lift and liposuction have certainly worked wonder to my look. How can I ever thank you!”

    As the lady left the room, his friend asked again, “Who was that? She sure looks like a supermodel. I am really impressed with your surgery skills now.”

    The surgeon replied, “Oh, that was just my wife.”

    They then carried on with their normal conversation. Then suddenly a third lady walked into the room. This lady has a perfect body and the look was so beautiful it was beyond this world. She was even more gorgeous than the first two ladies. She stormed towards the surgeon and gave him a big slap, yelling, “You bastard. Look at what you have done to my body! You have ruined my life!! I hope you will die in hell.”

    As the lady stormed away, the surgeon’s friend turned round to him with a puzzled look. The surgeon shook his head and responded, “Let’s not talk about it… that was my father.”

  32. I rarely read newspapers.

    That omission is not based on any hatred I might have for them, it’s just that I find them, on the whole, unnecessary for me, as I get my fill of ‘news’ and ‘opinion’ from other sources.

    On those occasions when I do read them, I find I am quite capable of dismissing the obvious nonsense with nothing more than a shake of the head. Where it seems that they comment in such a way that it coincides with my own views — it makes me review my reasons for holding similar opinions, and if necessary discard them.

    I understand your anger at reading comments in newspapers that you feel are wrong, and you are making a sensible decision to stop reading them. It will certainly make you feel better, and save you money.

    As I said, above, I rarely read newspapers, but I do read a number of blogs, including this one, of course.
    I do not believe there is anyone who can honestly say that all the comments and opinions on Arsenal blogs, are from Arsenal fans who are singing from the same song sheet.

    There are blogs whose raison d’être seems to be to castigate the club, its management and its players as a necessary part of contributing comments. Equally, there are blogs where they are proud to present articles and comments in a very positive way. Then there are many other blogs who are shaded between these two philosophies, and each type attracts its own type of reader.

    So in a way, the widespread difference of opinion shown between the blogs, and within the blogs too, is part of the reason that the media operate the way they do.
    For every angry Arsenal fan who takes exception to something written in a particular way, in the newspapers or on the Arsenal blogs, there is another fan who thinks that what has been written is absolutely correct – and so on.

    What does get my goat is when I listen to certain Radio programmes with a clear anti-Arsenal bias (Adrian Durham?) there is inevitably an Arsenal fan or two sucking up to him and agreeing with all his crap comments about out club, and making out they represent all the rest of us Gooners.

    The sports journalists write their stuff because it is their jobs, and not because they are fans, so the remedy is as you say, if anyone finds what they write offensive – do not buy the paper.

    What is offensive to me are the fans who cannot resist the chance to rubbish the club in a public forum that must have the Spuds and the Chavs laughing their arses off.

    Arsenal is not perfect. Far from it. The cost of supporting the club is prohibitive with ridiculously high ticket prices, the inability to buy top notch players or hang on to our best players, to help us win the trophies we are all desperate for is generally poor, and so on, but it is our club and should not be held up to public ridicule in the newspapers, the TV or the Radio, and especially not by so called Arsenal fans.

  33. I agree, although it’s hard when you see a headline that is clearly bunkum to avoid clicking on it! I listen to Adrian Durham because he enrages me with the nonsense he talks about Arsenal but then I listen because I like being outraged, it passes the time in the car and is preferable to being bored!
    It is very hard not to read/listen to these things so they will continue to be printed, you have requested we boycott but have put links to such articles in your piece!

  34. Here is an example of ‘tabloidjournalism’ in terms of the headline at least. Jack Jebb is one of our U18 players and isn’t an automatic starter but he does have a way with free kicks.

    He scored a beauty on Monday to ensure our win in the U18 cup over Everton, having already dispatched a penalty in the first half. However he isn’t a second Beckham although he ought to be sought out by members of the first team for lessons in free kicks.

    As to the headline – I suspect another case of raising expectations to unreasonable heights only to knock the player down when he fails to live up to the hype.

    Do check out the two video clips of his free kicks though, it is a long time since we saw anyone in the first team take one anywhere near as well!

  35. Totally agree. However what concerns me is that newspaper purchasing is also related to demand from the purchasers. (ie The general public)

  36. Back to the Press. I think there must be some kind of rule about how many news organizations are stable, per some fraction of population. I think Canada has 3 news organizations, and a bit over 30 million people. So I will guess that the UK probably has about 6 or 7 news organizations.

    A number of years ago, a local (to me, to where I lived at that time) branch of one of these, felt it needed to publicize a beheading. I wrote in accusing them of just selling advertising. But this organization like to present itself as an unbiased news organization. Which is silly, any process which seeks to provide a concise summary of anything, will find it exceeding hard to not introduce bias in the process of substituting fewer words for more words.

    I think it is exceptionally hard to develop an appreciation for any topic, if all one ever reads (or listens to, or watches) is summaries.

    I would guess that it is possible to find Ph.D. theses on football, and people really should endeavor to find one and read it. If there is math in it and you don’t like math, either skip the math or ask someone to explain the math. The author of thesis is usually not set in their ways, and their advisory committee is not composed of people from the news organizations, and hence you will get a less summarized body of knowledge that probably comes from some independent point of view.

  37. I have said the following on here a few times before. I cannot back it up or, nor can I be certain he was telling the truth, though I have no reason to doubt him, as he had no reason to say it, except the fact I was moaning to him about our treatment in the media. The guy I was talking to is a Man Utd fan and has a relation who worked, pass tense, in the media. He said:

    ‘Our sports section reporters where under instruction to lead with a negative Arsenal story at least every other day and a pro Man Utd story at least every other day’.He said the reason is that negative Arsenal stories sell papers. Pro Man Utd stories sell papers. As simple as that.

    This was at least 5 years ago. But it seems nothing has changed.

  38. Very very sound advice, thanks. I stopped buying these rags nearly 10years ago for most of the reasons you impeccably laid out here , but I would still visit their online versions occasionally out of curiosity. Don’t think that’ll happen again from today onwards, unless there’s a very good reason. The media in this country is absolutely rubbish; from phone hacking, paying for stories or having semi naked women on their front pages…., I thoroughly detest that, and don’t and won’t be part of it.

  39. @rantetta

    Thanks for that.

    I’ve read some pretty derogatory stuff about Ozil, both prior to, and after the game on Tuesday.

    I myself, earlier on another thread, though not criticising, did suggest he hadn’t exactly thrown everything in on Tuesday and questioned how and when had he pulled his hamstring.

    As much as it’s still slightly worrying as to why, yet again, we have another muscle pull, I would like to apologise for perhaps suggesting he wasn’t exactly dyeing for the cause.

    Next time Sir, Come off !, then perhaps we wouldn’t lose you for so long.

    Good luck Mesut and a speedy recovery for all our sakes.

  40. rantetta,
    I just read the post you wrote earlier, and I am fully in agreement with you. Up the Arsenal and screw everybody else… use a thick condom.

    This reminds me of this good one, for Brickfield:
    What is the difference between a used condom and a Polish submarine?

  41. Answer: No difference. Both are full of thick se(a)men.

    I apologize for offending any Poles…

  42. @rantetta

    How do you get those dots (please excuse my lack of education) over the’o’ in Ozil ?

  43. Rantetta,

    we must give credit to Drew for our article today. It wasn’t me 😉

    Mind you would like to take the credit 🙂

    Good link by the way

  44. Jambug
    to write an Ö you have to use the alt + 1 5 3 and then lot go and you will have it 🙂 Ö Ö Ö

  45. Walter.

    Sorry but I don’t see how it works.

    Explain like your talking to a 5 year old and not a…….well you know !!!

  46. Thinking about it, forget that. A five year old will know FAR more than me about this.

    Make like you are talking to an amebae !!!

  47. Sorry. Thanks Drew.

    With such an oversight – surely I’m a shoe-in for a top plundit job! I promise to lie, twist and distort. I’ll take up drinking and shagging all and sundry (whatever happened to the sheepshagging man from the scum’s training ground, anybody?).

    Sorry, again. I can’t do the above stuff. Hey, they say everyone has their price.
    Damn, I’m conflicted.

    How about another story, unfortunately, possibly true.
    Nicky B – you gotta larf, innit?:

  48. rantetta

    Just had a look at the link you provided.

    Those stats on there and the different interpretations are truly shocking.

    How anyone, especially Arsenal fans, can deny the blatant, endemic anti Arsenal bias is truly beyond me.

  49. don’t worry Rantetta, no need to apologise! Thanks to everyone for the comments and for reading it.

    It is easy to tar all journalists with the same brush but I think they might have just earned that. Blogs are not the same things as newspapers (electronic or physical), because blogs are personal opinion pieces. If I read a blog i may or may not agree with it but I’m not paying to read. More importantly (mostly at least) no one is being paid to write blogs. I’m not naive enough to think that blogs don’t have an agenda but they have considerably less power than papers.
    the press = power without responsibility and that is always a dangerous mixture

  50. ITV TV Guide.

    “Spurs will be looking to build on their dramatic victory over FC Dnipro in the last round with another great European night at Whitehart Lane”

    F**king hell, talk about ‘over egging’ it !!!

    Victory against who?

    ANOTHER great European night?

    Or it could read.

    ‘After blowing £110 Million of Bale money on a load of shite, Spurs look to salvage something from there ‘car crash’ of a season’

  51. We beat a very good Everton to get through to the Semi finals of the FA Cup and then draw away to, but ultimately go out to, probably the best Club side in the World, and we’ve had nothing but abuse.

    City go out of the FA Cup to a Championship side and lose, and go out of the CL within a few days, and get nothing but sympathy and praise.

    To all those media apologists that come on here saying we are paranoid explain that if you can ?

  52. The worst part is we all here know that Arsenal is getting this bashing for the past 15 years solely because of Arsene Wenger. No secret in that. Really respect him for staring back at the eyes of evil. Arsene did not humiliate anyone in his life, they humiliated themselves greatly when they wanted to humiliate Arsene. The scar was deep and these people will never give up until Arsene is gone. However, the progressive and developing status in Arsenal FC at the moment has become these people’s sharpest torn in their back now. Soon, Arsenal will become the biggest club in the world in terms of success, wealth and popularity. Amazingly, this is achieved with a self-sufficient mode without shadow financing. Their agenda is discredit the club to prevent this growth. These people’s jealousy is drowning their moral judgements and if they want to be miserable, then let them be.

  53. Jambug
    I’m not subjected to the constant anti- Arsenal media bombardment as I make my home in Chicago USA , where the coverage of PL and Arsenal FC has been pretty fair and unbiased but when it comes to Arsenal and Man City’s CL exploits , it has to be said that neither club covered themselves in glory in the last round.

    Bayern may be the best side in the World on paper but because of their dominance in what has increasingly become a monopolized Bunfesliga , they lacked their usual sharpness and were right there for the taking.
    Arsenal have no one to blame but themselves for not taking advantage of this fact and Wenger’s disappointment should’ve been with his own players and not with Bayern’s.
    How many times can Szczesny get a pass for recklessly charging players who are known worldwide for going to ground easily e.g. Robben, Rooney , Suarez. Has there been another keeper in other PL top sides who gave up more penalties than Szczesny in important games ? I doubt it. And before you even consider for a second that I feel anything other than pride from the progress Szczesny has made over the years, you might be interested to know his own father Maciej has told him many times this was a part of his game he needed to work on the most.

    As for Man City’s “heroic” fight against Barca, well, they were also outplayed comprehensively over the two legs and Pelegrini’s blind trust in Demichelis being able to still play at this level has cost him dearly . Just shows that mostly everybody have a blind spot in one way or another and loyalty to players who had performed for you in the past ( River Plate and Malaga)isn’t necessarily a good thing.

    At this level you are only as good as the weakest player in your squad and over the course of the game against the best in the World any such a weakness will be exposed to be sure. Blaming referees and opposition players will do you no good in the long run.

  54. Tom.

    Point by point.

    You admit to “Not subject to the constant anti-Arsenal media bombardment”

    It is not your fault you live on another Continent, but as you do it makes it very difficult for you to comment on it with any great authority, or indeed to gauge the effect it either does, or does not, have on us.

    You say “….they lacked there usual sharpness and were there for the taking”

    So your point is they are Sooooooo good (as to be walking there league) that that some how makes them EASIER to beat. Sorry but that seems to be very warped logic. I suppose if you want to knock someone for going out to the Worlds best Club side that’s the way to do it.

    Personally I think that’s rubbish and a very cheep way of denigrating Arsenals efforts.

    You say “Wengers disappointment should’ve been with his own players and not with Bayerns”

    Well the first thing I’ll say it wasn’t really there ‘players’, plural, was it. I think you’ll find that it was pretty much with the diving, cheating Robben was it not. But if youd rather be upset with Wenger than Robben that’s your prerogative,

    Personally I think that’s rubbish and a very cheap way of critising Wenger.

    You say “How many times can Szczesny get a pass for recklessly charging players who are known Worldwide for going to ground easily e.g. Robben, Rooney, Suarez. Has there been another keeper in other PL sides who gave up more penalties than Szczesny in important games”

    The last part is the pertinent part. No, perhaps there isn’t, but non of them are in goal for Arsenal are they? As we have noted over recent games it seems all we have to do is ‘blow’ on an opposing player and it’s deemed ‘enough contact’. Where as you can maul us to the ground, shove us in the back or trip us up and there’s ‘not enough contact’

    So despite admitting these players are serial divers you still blame Szczesny. You also quit clearly choose not to see the dramatic difference in the requirements for the awarding of a penalty for us than against us. But hey, if you want to admonish serial divers of all blame and heap it on our keeper instead, who am I to argue?

    You say “blaming referees and opposition players will do you no good in the long run”

    Maybe not but your point is? Every single Manager does it. Jose and Fergie being 2 of the Worst. Surely you remember the outrage from Fergie when he had a player sent off for a high kick? He and his media cohorts conducted a media witch hunt to get the REF banned from future CL duties. So don’t even go there.

    Fergie and Jose both also conduct pre match ref bashing as Wenger was accused of, the difference is when they do it the media laugh at it and call it ‘clever mind games’ where as Wenger should get a ban.

    What Wenger said was fair. he accused Robben of being a serial diver, and guess what….HE IS !!! By the way, despite that being an obvious fact (as even you admitted) the media, like you still found it pertinent to deride Wenger and absolve Robben of any wrong doing.

    Apart from that Tom I agree with every word you say 😉

  55. @jambug
    Your point by point destruction of Tom’s ridiculous post is brilliant.
    Should I ever be in need of a defence council would you be my advocate please.

  56. @jambug

    Good response to Tom. I would just like to add a short comment on one incident mentioned by Tom.


    “How many times can Szczesny get a pass for recklessly charging players who are known worldwide for going to ground easily”

    Szczesny had no option to go for the ball, he pulled back form connecting with Robben with his hands, Robben made sure he connected with Szczesny’s leg, followed by a half pirouette and dive. I don’t blame Szczesny, I do blame the obvious cheat.

    Further, Kos was prevented from cutting out the pass to Robben, he was blocked off by the Bayern CF who deliberately obstructed Kos, he saw the opportunity to do so while returning from an offside position and immediately moved to block Kos. Another cheat.

    Finally, lets give Szczesny credit for the courage shown trying to get the ball despite Robben waging in with a dangerously high foot – the latter ignored and unpunished by the selectively sighted ref.

    So Tom, before we get stuck into our players lets have some perspective.

  57. Jambug ,

    I’m afraid you have completely missed my point about Bayern being there for the taking. They might be the best side in the world but they lack sharpness due to not having any real competition in the Bundesliga.

    You have also missed the point about Szczesny being reckless in his challenges which his own father has admitted to over the years but not Wenger. You can only control your own actions but not those of others .

    Under current rules , Szczesny’s challenge on Robben was a penalty and the sending off every time . The rule needs changing but it’s been there for a long time .

  58. Jambug

    Please visualise a smiley thingy that’s kneeling down and has its hands, alternatively, in the air, and then palm down on the ground.

    Up and down, up and down. All day!

  59. Mick
    I sincerely hope you are NEVER in a need of a defence council but if you are, you might want to get someone better than Jambug to defend you because the court trials take place in the real world where excuses and blaming others hardly ever stand the test and you might end up wondering what the hell went wrong while you are getting violated by a sweaty guy named Leroy . But I guess you could then blame the judge , the jury and the media 🙂

  60. @Tom

    I know exactly what your point is.

    You think arsenal should of beaten Bayern due to some warped logic of yours that they where there for the taking and are actually not really as good as there results might suggest.

    Wenger is a whinging old fart who should accept players dive and get over it. (like everyone else does).

    Szczesny is a rash hot head of a keeper who should go nowhere near those diving cheats and just let them tuck it away unchallenged.

    I know exactly what your saying. I just don’ agree with you.

  61. Jambug

    From your last post I can tell you don’t know what my point is so I will try one more time and then I will leave it alone.

    Bayern are not playing as well as they did last year and Wenger himself said it. The first 30 minutes or so , Arsenal were the better team and if it wasn’t for Ozil’s saved penalty and Szczesny’s red card , we probably would’ve won it. You can call my logic warped if it makes you feel better but those are facts( except the ‘probably would’ve won it ‘ part which is my assessment ) . Had Wenger been more critical with his players rush challenges in the past , at least perhaps behind the closed doors, Szczesny and in the second leg Koscielny wouldn’t be hacking at Robben’s legs from behind in the penalty area when he was facing away from our goal and there was no danger of conceding on the play.
    Having heard Koscielny speak in interviews for the French and Polish media in the past ,he strikes me as a thoughtful individual who probably would’ve heeded Wenger’s warning about unnecessary tackles on Robben had a warning like that been issued by Wenger. This has nothing to do with me condoning diving in football ( I don’t )but rather with being professional enough to control your own actions on the pitch . Playing mind games with referees before games helps but it’s not enough.
    Do you honestly think if Nani was sent off for a high kick more than once in late stages of CL Fergie would’ve tolerated it and kept on blaming refs? ,fat chance!

    Other top PL keepers like Cech , De Gea and Hart come out of goal to narrow the angle or force attacker’s wide without diving at their feet, even Fabianski seems to have improved at it as well.

  62. “….Robben had a warning like that been issued by Wenger.”

    I had to read that twice, just to be sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks with me. Now, Tom, if you can answer a simple question, why do you think such a warning was not issued?

    I have read, with much amusement, many comments here saying our club/manager should be preparing the players well for this or that ref or team. If you and I can know the type of players who will go down at the slightest contact, who are we to think the players dont know that. The players are in always contact with these players, on and off the pitch, they know far too well than we do

  63. Regarding Robben and his ilk. They are supremely clever in varying their body position and speed in relation to opposition players. They are always aware of the possibility of suddenly altering their speed of movement and body position in relation to a close opponent in order to induce contact and thus ‘buy a foul’ to coin a modern phrase beloved of the pundits. The maximum exaggerated fall resulting from the minimum of contact. Of course Kos and all the players are well aware of this but they only have to be tricked once and the result is a penalty or booking, even a red card. Arsenal players did well to avoid being conned until injury time but finally succombed. You can prepare all you like but to go a whole game without getting tricked into the sort of challenge Kos made is nigh on impossible. Robben is a con artist, he cons the players, refs and fans, he is a cheat and disgrace to the game. Unfortunately his type is becoming increasingly common. I am proud to say that Arsenal do not indulge in such despicable practises.

  64. Tom

    I’m glad that was your last word on the subject. So I will have mine and we will both move on.

    You are talking crap, and you, as it seems does everyone else on here, know it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *