By Tony Attwood
Ninetyeight percent of transfer rumours turn out to be useless in revealing transfers that will happen.
So how can the various newspaper and blog sites that actually produce the stories keep going? After all, any other future prediction operations which had a success rate of only two percent would have been laughed out of business two years ago.
Givemesport work hard to stop readers remembering much at all, and you can’t blame them I guess since on 7 October last they reported that Arsenal had agreed terms with Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira – one of many such stories they have run which we are still waiting for confirmation of.
To slow us all down they have no search box on their site, and for some reason it is very difficult to search on Google for Givemesport stories that are more than three days old. One hardly wonders why.
In one sense this is no different to other sources simply forget their false stories (although few make it this hard to find them on their sites). All of them like to join in the notion that club A (usually Arsenal) was going to buy player B (pick a name at random) but then say they didn’t because the manager (mostly Arsene Wenger) was too slow, too dim-witted, or too mean with other people’s money, to buy the player.
But now the Give Me Sprouts web site (which seems a more appropriate name given the field of mud that a lot of its comments come from) has come up with a new addition – a new way of deflecting attention from the 98% of transfers that predicts but which shows no signs of happening.
Their latest jolly venture into the world of murky mythology and down right invention says that Mr Wenger has decided not to buy Mats Hummels, because he thinks the player is not worth the asking price.
Now at this point anyone with a modestly enquiring mind will ask such questions as
- How do they know that there was a real interest in signing Hummels if nothing has happened?
- Did someone lurking round the back of the gents outside the stadium say to a passing Givemesprouts man – “ere guv, got 50p, I’ll tell you what I just heard that Arsene Wenger say on the way in…”?
- How do they know the exact asking price?
- How do they know that Mr Wenger has, after the story has been rummaging around for a week or so, decided the cost is too high?
- What are they alleging Mr Wenger was doing in the meantime?
We know that Mr Wenger doesn’t make any public statements on players until after they are signed, and that Arsenal the club doesn’t give out transfer fee information. So where does this rather droll and amusing site get the info from? The man lurking by the gents looks like a possible, and if I were not so keen to protect my own reputation I’d nip down and ask him.
Of course I wouldn’t expect them to reveal their sources, but even so some sort of insight might be worthwhile – after all they are covering Arsenal stories every day, five times a day.
Yes, Untold is doing the same. But the difference is we don’t get it wrong quite so often as Givemesprout does. I mean a 98% failure rate is something to behold.
(But if you are still interested, here is their latest – Mr Wenger will focus all his efforts on trying to sign French centre-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.”)
Anyway onto the mind reading.
Give Me Sprouts report that Arsenal supporters will not react kindly to the news that Hummel is not a transfer priority.
So forget any freedom of speech debate – with Give Me Sprout you don’t even have freedom of thought or future action. You are now a machine, acting out the routine the Sprouts dictate. They know how you will think and you will think and act how they say you will think and act. Hummel is not a priority (just ignore the issue of whether he ever was or not, and if so, if he has been dropped as a priority, and don’t ask why he has been dropped when the price hasn’t changed from the first time we reported the story) and YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IT AND NOT REACT KINDLY BECAUSE GIVE ME SPROUTS says so.
And here’s more. Arsene Wenger is still struggling to replace former club captain Thomas Vermaelen.
OK, so we sold an injured player to Barcelona. And he has played very few times for Barcelona since then I believe.
But look what Give Me Sprout has. It isn’t that we didn’t get a replacement. No “Wenger sold Vermaelen to Barcelona in August and neglected to sign a direct replacement in the summer”
Neglected no less. So now they can read Mr Wenger’s mind too. Presumably in French.
And the evidence that this was neglect? None. Their explanation of how they can get inside Mr Wenger’s mind? None.
But then suddenly the Sprout changes its spots, because it also says, “Arsenal are huge admirers of Hummels but remain unconvinced that Dortmund would sell in the middle of the campaign”.
Oh. So the deep gloom that they are certain now envelopes all Arsenal fans is a bit of a falsehood, because in this scenario it is not of Wenger being mean but Dortmund deciding not to sell. Well I never!
Then we find that “Wenger instead thinks Bilbao will let Laporte make the move to a top European club”. “Instead”??? Instead of what particular bit of made up nonsense?
Then we have another bit of fun. “Wenger and Red Devils chief Louis van Gaal are both primed to make important additions…”
Primed? Like a pump? Are they stuffed dummies that are brought out of the warehouse and put on display like wobblymen?
And oh, I am in panic, because I don’t know what to think of this, because Give me Sprout hasn’t told me what to do think.
Givemesport is really the most ludicrous of all the 98 percenters – those publications that tell us who is about to buy whom, and then get it wrong. So let’s move on to other sites.
Arsenal “winning the race” (whatever race that is) for Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, That’s in a few papers.
Arsenal have finally agreed a deal to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. That’s the Metro for you. But the story is that the transfer will happen in July.
Elsewhere we are back to Mario Suarez who must surely count as old news now.
And here’s a good one, “Arsenal are also monitoring Ilkay Gundogan’s contract situation at Borussia Dortmund, presumably in case it gets up and goes for a walk.
“Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak could be available this month from Sevilla.”
Remember, 98% of this is wrong and the people who make it up are treating all of us with utter and total contempt. That sort of puts it in perspective.
Want to make a comment? Have a look at the rules
- WSL Round Up – West Ham v Arsenal Sunday 18:45
- Arsenal lost, but it is all part of the drive toward long-term sustainability
- Everton v Arsenal: a happy video, line-up and what the league table will look like after
- Everton v Arsenal: Injuries, points needed for 4th, and Arsenal the first to 100?
- Everton v Arsenal: extraordinary figures seen in the last 6 games table