By Tony Attwood, our man with schoolboy Foreign.
You used to know where you were with transfer news, for in the old days there were four types of stories.
The first ended with a question mark, as in “Chilean striker to Arsenal?” This meant several people were talking about it, but the writer had no source of information he could trust and didn’t know who made the piece up in the first place.
The second ended up with two question marks, as in “Joel Campbell to Newcastle??” This meant that he had read it in a local newspaper (or the Star) thought it was pretty odd, and couldn’t verify it, but other papers and blogs were running it, and this one didn’t want to be left out.
Third we had the three question mark variety as in “Mario Balotelli deal still on???” which meant that there was nothing else to publish for the moment, and the writer had seen someone else run the story, so he thought he’d use that one but stick some ??? on the end.
Last there was story that was so crazy that no one was actually going to believe it but still it would give everyone a laugh. Two examples come to mind:
“Pardew: the Arsene Wenger of the north!?!?!?!?!?”
“Ashley Cole to learn Italian?!?!?!!!?!!!!?”
Both are just so wildly bizarre that they are laughable, and I must admit I made the second one up, after reading the gun-toting root vegetable was off to Roma.
But the first was the implication of an article published this lunchtime containing within this statement: “With all their French players, Newcastle United have been likened to Arsenal in recent years, while their manager Alan Pardew is second only to Arsene Wenger in the table of longest serving managers in the Premier League.”
Ah well. Pardew and Wenger? Arsenal of the north?
But here’s another thing. The trouble with today’s bloggers is they just don’t get punctuation. Look at this one, again from today’s blogsphere.
A round up of the transfer news, rumours a News from Tuesday’s papers!
Now could anyone explain how that most mundane of sentences could meaningfully end with an exclamation mark? At least in the old days we knew where we were.
Elsewhere we have the old “red alert” ploy. I have to say I thought “red alert” was so old-fashioned no one would use it today, but no, one should never underestimate the laziness of the lazy headline writer:
“North London on Red Alert as Lukaku looks for a new home”
It could well be a story placed by an estate agent.
After that the blogs get a bit samey, with everyone talking about flying in. Now I know that Walter has been doing a review of “flying in”, given that after my cock-up at this time in 2013 I vowed never to do a “seen disembarking at Luton Airport” story again. That therefore is to come later today.
The Daily Star however have their own approach to the passing out of fashion of the ! Today they have come up with
Newcastle star Mathieu Debuchy PASSES medical at Arsenal ahead of £12m move
So, yes, he hasn’t just passed the medical, but he PASSES the medical. I wonder what the difference is between a normal pass and a PASS. Perhaps we will be told, but I doubt it.
Next up we have the doom-mongers who are of course a bit at sea with all the talk about Arsenal signing everyone all at once. Here’s one of their headlines…
Barca Puts Hold On Alexis Sanchez’s Transfer To Arsenal
Well we knew it would happen And We Have To Believe It Because Every Word Starts With A Capital Letter.
That comes from one of those sites that likes to pretend it is taking a dispassionate view and comments on occasion that “Arsenal fans will feel…” and “With all the speculation that there is around” and that general sort of thing.
Working down the list I quite liked
Arsenal plot move for Everton defender
not least because it struck me that it wasn’t much of a plot given that the story is on the internet. A bit like Guy Fawkes wanting to blow up Parliament. “The first thing we have to do chaps is to make sure everyone knows about it before we even start.” Or not, as the case may be.
Still at least we weren’t put on red alert
I did also quite like
Five Alternatives To Alexis Sanchez Who Could Be Even Better Signings For Arsenal
If you want a way to say that Wenger is no good and that you’d be a better man at the top of Arsenal, that’s about as good as anything, I guess. Rubbish the new star before we even get him.
Anyway, Walter’s waiting to have his say, so I’ll get out of the way by ending with my favourite.
I guess I like it not just because of the bad French (it’s “déjà vu” guys – if you didn’t do Foreign at school then best to avoid it – personally I find English hard enough going) but also because I couldn’t actually make out what the déjà vu reference was all about.
The essence of the story is that “there are concerns among the Arsenal fan base” (really???) that Barcelona won’t sell Sanchez for all sorts of complex reasons (how many people are concerned??? I think we should be told!!!).
Now I know that we had one of those complex deals where a had to go to b and c to d and so on before we could get Ozil, with Tottenham trying to stop the deal at the end, but I can’t quite see what the connection with that lot is with this deal – if it is a deal (???).
But still perhaps it is just that déjà vu thing all over again!
- World cup refereeing on a low level
- Untold is being enlarged… please read this brief note
- Suarez: the awful truth emerges. And wouldn’t you know, we were right
- Arsenal about to make triple signing, as the complaints mount
- What is really happening with Tottenham’s new stadium?
- Arsenal’s buying campaign starts. According to reports
- What every football club (and most certainly Arsenal) is aiming for.
- The apparent decline of Tottenham and the question of care for players elsewhere
- Positive injury news for Arsenal ahead Monday’s game with Sheffield United
- Arsenal’s finances stay secure but we can expect more price rises for fans
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk