It has been a regular theme here that British football journalists make up stories morning, noon and night. I say that because in an earlier life I worked as a journalist.
During this time I worked for a year in Algiers where the main source of news for me was the French papers. From day one I was surprised how very different the French media were in reporting football. Instead of making it up day by day they actually tried to make sense of the stories, and to a far greater degree than the British.
This wasn’t just an issue of degree – this was a wholesale difference. Instead of talk about crisis, meltdown and the like, they would deliver reasoned argument and debate.
I haven’t thought of this difference for a while – until Manu Petite spoke up about what the British press had done to Gallas. This was followed by an article in Aujourd’hui Sport in which it was commented on the way the British press had gone out of their way to attack and destroy the credibility of William Gallas.
The British press, where they have picked up on this reasoned commentary, have treated it with their typical “silly Frenchy” approach, and laughed it off, but for me, the story is certainly true. At the very least it deserves a reasoned answer. None has been forthcoming.
It is not that the press are in essence anti-Arsenal, they are anti-French, and because Arsenal has a French manager and he chooses to employ a significant number of French players, the media looks for every way to boost their standard strategy of showing that there is something odd about the French.
This has been there for a long time – remember the way they treated Anelka? Or the way they treated Pires with the accusations of diving? Or the way they handled Vieira with the endless talking about his cards rather than his performances. Only Henry escaped – until they hit on the idea that Henry was a second rate player because he couldn’t hack it on the European stage.
And when that started to falter, they had a go at saying every few seconds that he would leave.
If that is not enough proof, think also of the way Wenger is treated, and compare that with Ferguson. He won’t speak to most papers, and never to the BBC, but he is treated with respect, while they run stories about Wenger not seeing things etc etc.
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