Transfer inventors now claim they can read your mind

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

  1. How do they know that there was a real interest in signing Hummels if nothing has happened?
  2. 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…”?
  3. How do they know the exact asking price?
  4. 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?
  5. 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.

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15 Replies to “Transfer inventors now claim they can read your mind”

  1. Maybe they have a computer to automatically come up with a story, as soon as a new name comes up on fx newsnow. And then the link is made to arsenal in the same way as allways just with a few changes. Like computers rule stockmarkets.

  2. If I search sami khedira

    Google says there are about 1050 hits. I looked at results on page 1, 10, 19, 28, 37, 46 and 55. The earliest article I seen was mid 2013.

    That said, I like the article because it expresses some of the reasons I don’t like these transfer speculations.

  3. I must admit I do read these “98 percenters” from time to time when I have nothing to do – here’s the thing though I have many important things to do the rest of my life! 🙂

  4. I guess the fact you wrote 1200 or so words on the subject and I have bothered to react is a good enough reason for the claptrap

  5. I think the media transfer rumours are intended to make us work-up, enthusiastic and be hopeful our club have decided to audaciously takes the bull by the horn to sign or about to sign we the fans high profile target(s). Save the Johny Just Come, the JJC. We the old fans have become used to the print media player transfer rumour publications. And most of those rumours are more of speculative transfers than true transfer facts. But as you have pointed out, they do get at least 1 to 2 Arsenal transfers rumour correctly. I think they got the incoming Krystain Bielik transfer correctly and the out-gone Benik Afobe and Yaya Sanogo correctly too. Let’s wait to see who is he will correctly be true amongst those defenders they have rumourly associated with Arsenal incoming transfer.

  6. The transfer window and the way it is reported really is very very silly, at times, bordering on Pythonesque. And the silliest of the lot has to be the high alert stories for the Dortmund chaps….two of the best players in a team underperforming in the league, but still in the CL.
    On another note, is anyone else getting a strange feeling about the city game?
    And what is a Bony Spur? Sounds horrible

  7. Those rumors are meant to attract people to visit the websites. So long Wenger-san does not change policy. Just stick to rumors from untold and recently probably Arsenal TV.

  8. Why do people get incensed about transfer rumours? This happens to every club and I’m amazed that anyone takes any of it seriously. I wait until February and see if there is a new name in the squad.

  9. To answer your question about being incensed about football rumours, I am not sure many people are. But quite a few are interested in the way in which a small group of men attempt to and often succeed in manipulating the agenda using a system in which the predictions are 98% untrue, is interesting to say the least. It is all a case of whether you are interested in the use of mass media to construct ideas and attempt to manipulate the thinking about them.

  10. I think the trouble about football rumours, Tony, is that they invariably emanate from a believable source. The sports pages of a national daily, or, in comparative recent times, the internet. Naively, we believe that the author of the “story” has inside knowledge, particularly when it suits our way of thinking.
    One only has to read the pages of Gooner News to appreciate the wildest rumours imaginable.
    Excluding Untold, of course.
    At the closure of each Transfer Window, I make a personal resolution not to read a single rumour about our great Club.
    But it’s no use. The lure of a story of a world class player who wants to join Arsenal, “long admired by Arsene Wenger” is too exciting to ignore…..and the business of circulating Made Up Stories starts all over again.

  11. Frankly we all need to step back and place our tongues firmly in our cheeks…..and enjoy the Monty Pythonesque pantomime called the Transfer Window. Here is what usually happens year in and year out:

    1)The Arsenal are ¨linked¨ with 200,000,000 transfer rumours, +/-99.9999% being totally spurious,
    2)The more gullible gooners begin to froth at the mouth about possible big name transfers,
    3)The media feed off this hyperbole and pump up their stories with even more excess,
    4)When the vapour and smoke & mirrors transfers don’t pan out, they vent their rage on Wenger and the Arsenal for being cheapskates or bargain basement hunters,
    5)Finally the actual signings (if any) appear beside Wenger on and everyone starts celebrating or criticising (usually the aaa) and life goes on, until the next TW.

    Its all a sort of sado-masochistic, self-inflicted misery fans seem to want to participate in every season/summer. It is somewhat like the polar bear club members diving into frigid waters to show how tough they are….it certainly reminds one that the largest organin the body is our skin!

  12. @Tony. it’s only football, not that bloody important in the scheme of things. Sure it’s disappointing when we’re linked to Reus, Hummels, you supply the names, and then someone we’ve never heard of appears on the team sheet. Of course if said unknown turns out to be the new Reus or Hummels then we all forget the disappointment anyway. The mass media have their agenda, I think most of us know that, wasn’t it always that way? Of course that doesn’t make it right but then the older I get the more unfair the world seems, for instance Putin banning transgender people from taking driving tests, hoards of hypocritical leaders jumping on the Je Suis Charlie bandwagon, religious fanatics enslaving thousands and killing people who dare to question them, the list goes on, it’s all so depressing.

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