By Tony Attwood
It has been going on so long I wondered if we would have a season of it. All the players Arsenal could have signed if only the board had not been so lazy, the owner and the manager so tight, and the reputation of the club so low because of years of failure.
That’s more or less been the story in the press aided and abetted by their AAA allies and fellow travellers since two weeks after the start of the season. And it has gone on and on and on.
Now the Telegraph has an article headlined, “Seven strikers Liverpool failed to sign post Suarez” and I was a bit surprised. Not so much that the Telegraph was focussed on Liverpool, but because the “Seven strikers” headline (without the Suarez mention of course) was just what they threw at Arsenal a few weeks ago. Lazy journalism or what?
The names they quote will of course be highly familiar. Remy, Alexis Sanchez, Bony, Eto’o, Falcao, Benzema, Cavani… and the one they did get: Balotelli.
My own thought (which of course is just my own thought and not of any particular value) is that Liverpool might have done a bit better in managing its media coverage, with the boasting about lying in terms of Suarez contract and how the Suarez money would be used.
But of course we’re talking of the media – maybe none of it was said. Well, no, the boast about lying to Arsenal was said by owner at a sports conference. But the rest, maybe not.
And anyway given the existence of the January 2008 Court of Arbitration in Sport Webster ruling which says that all players can leave their club after three years, irrespective of what the contract says, I couldn’t help feeling that Arsenal were just winding up Liverpool with their £40,000,001 bid. I think it was a vapour trail occupying the media while we went after Ozil.
However such meanderings by the media always gets bloggers excited, One wrote, in reply to the Telegraph piece, “What a load of cow manure, just a feeble attempt to wind up Liverpool supporters with a list of players they could afford to buy but weren’t willing to pay £20m annual salaries to and the like with an hilarious conclusion to have a chance to laugh at Balotelli. Ha ha ha ho ho etc”.
Then if there is a suspicion that a supporter from another club is laughing at this failure to sign scenario it’s “well look at who you tried to sign” and the newspaper has managed to fill another space with a load of pictures and a headline.
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(And incidentally £20m a year is a weekly salary of about £380,000 a week. Suarez is reportedly being paid £10m a year, with a drop of £3m a year for each player he bites. You think that’s untrue. I read it in the Mirror).
I suppose such articles are now essential because the media has invested so much in the myth of the transfer window and how all these deals are about to happen, and when they don’t happen the journos need to put down the double whiskys and make up a reason. “Oh, sorry it was never on,” is never really going to work. any more than, “Sorry guys, we just make them up to fill up space without having to employ proper investigators.”
But there’s even more strange tales today, for it seems that Kieran Gibbs ISN’T injured and should be able to play against Burnley. And there is a slow, creeping but growing admission that Héctor Bellerín is actually quite good.
Likewise, Mikel Arteta who was kicked around quite a bit at Sunderland should also be ok. Oh yes, and Theo failed to get injured sitting on the beach, so he’s gonna play.
Theo, Danny, Alexis
Quite a tasty forward line that.
How different things are at Chelsea where their manager, the so-called “José Mourinho” says Chelsea are “in trouble” because of injuries. I think he’s talking about Ramires and Loïc Rémy.
Actually he’s also making a fuss about having to play Shrewsbury tonight. Can you imagine the headlines if Mr Wenger made such a statement? You wouldn’t be able to move for the outpouring of black ink. He (the so-called Mourinho) said, according to the highly dubious press, “We are in trouble because we have so many injured players. It is even more difficult for us to go. We have to go. We now have a difficult match.”
And so we are into the world of worrying about Costa. It is hard to take it seriously.