By Tony Attwood
What makes a perfect transfer?
First, you have to abandon plausibility. There has to be no link with reality, no link with what the team needs, who is available, who might come to the club, whether the player has said no, whether the player is in prison on suspicion of blackmail, whether he is any better than who we already have, whether he would even look at a club where he would be a backup… all of this is irrelevant in the first degree.
So what we need is a story that in any other circumstance would make us think this is the biggest load of drivel I have ever read, but here and now we think: yeah, ok, right, let’s do it!!!
Next what we have to do is ignore the sheer and absolute insanity and impossibility of the deal.
Third we have to be told IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. The deal is on, and somehow, a person you have never heard of, has been able to sneak out the news that there is a DONE DEAL and that the PLAYER HAS SIGNED when everyone else was looking the other way.
It is important not to reveal how the source of this story actually knows what is in the story as “FACT” because that would mess up his sources. And it is important not to reveal how he/she knows the story when everyone else is not looking.
Yes it is a DONE DEAL preferably with a load of !!!!!! and it needs to be printed on some brainless mini-bloggetta so tiny that you have never heard of it, even with all the focus on bloggettas that Untold generously gives them.
Then you write a few headlines such as
|BREAKING: Arsene Wenger Personally CONFIRM MASSIVE News!!!
New signage is being put around the lifts to the upper level in the Emirates Stadium asking those who can use the stairs to do so.
|“I Am Only Interested In Arsenal” Claims £170,000-A-Week Real Madrid Target
Player says that doesn’t want to leave the club he’s at despite RM wanting him and if he did move it would be to Arsenal. But actually he’s going nowhere.
|GOOD NEWS: Arsenal Set To REPLACE Jack Wilshere With Exciting Midfield Star
Arsenal have signed a 14 year old who will take over Jack’s role in seven years.
|Wenger Close to announce first signing, Versatile attacker close to join Arsenal
The club has made an enquiry about a 12 year old.
|International star hints at shock Arsenal exit… Arsene Wenger will be fuming
This is the Debuchy story saying he’s not getting enough games and wants to leave. I have no idea if that is true, but it is something Untold has pointed out. If you have a player as a backup ultimately he will want to leave for lack of games.
|ACCEPTED– Club Ready To ACCEPT Arsenal’s £35m For Star Ahead Of January Window That is an interesting contradiction between ACCEPTED and TO ACCEPT. That is the thing with these sites, you never quite know.|
So what is it like in practice?
Well at the moment the big story (and I use the word in a fictional sense) is that Alexis Sánchez is going to Man U. This is the thing about other clubs – they can click their fingers and players coming trotting along, whereas Arsenal stumble around hopeless and useless.
This story comes from ‘reports in Chile’, who got it from ‘reports in Spain’, although what Spain has to do with it I don’t know.
Is it true? Of course not.
Another? Pep Guardiola has been offered £17m to stay at Bayern Munich, meaning Arsenal can’t have him. “We wanted him,” said Ima Director at Arsenal, but the AST criticised the level of salary Mr Wenger is on, so we have to be careful with what we pay people now.”
Abramovich has no problems with money however so Guardiola is seen flying in on a private jet towards London City airport. Unfortunately Big Storm Abigail (first to be named by the Weather Centre) blew the plane off course and it ended at London Southend instead. Mr G took a look at the beach said “blimey I didn’t know the Thames was this wide” and ordered the plane fly back to Germany. (If you don’t get that joke, get a map out and find out where Southend actually is).
Chelsea sack top man, says the Chelsea bloggettas as Michael Emenalo, their transfer man isn’t sacked. I just made it all up.
Time for Liverpool! (they have just added the ! to their name to remind people how important they are. Untold will now use that name from now on.) So. Liverpool! need to buy more and more and more players because although everyone bought into the stories that Arsenal were the club with injuries actually if you look at the table you see it is Liverpool!! (That is one ! for the club’s new name and one for the sentence). So they are going to keep buying. “Buy-buy” their supporters chant. Riccardo Saponara from Empoli Christian Tello from Barcelona for Liverpool! Sorry, forgot one there !
And how does all this happen?
It starts with a scout going to a match. Then another match and then another. All at the same club. The scout is not a public figure, but he’s known in the business, and of course he’s not wearing a big hat and false beard. He is respectful and tells the club he’s there.
The scout is seen, and since there is only one amazing prospect in the team’s under 18 squad, two and two are put together and they make, as always 22. A “stringer” as they are known in the trade, retained by the regional newspaper group to pick up stories as and when he can, starts noting the occasions when the scout is there, and tries to get him to say who he’s watching. He doesn’t confess, so the stringer guesses. The stringer files a report.
The story is published in the paper’s on line column and contains the phrase “London Arsenal” in the local tongue, and the one of the stringers for an English national paper spots it, translates it usually badly, and it is run in the paper’s gossip column.
Of course at this point, the bloggettas do their stuff, without checking anything apart from how many people clicked on those adverts that stop you reading and can only be got rid of by clicking the wrong button (the apparently right button leading you straight into the advert), and so the story is out, despite the fact that the scout actually thought the player wasn’t as good as was hyped and told his employers not to worry about the guy.
But the story is up and running now, and the pressure is on. Arsenal in need of more players. We have the weakest squad (actually no we don’t) and the worst injury record (actually no we don’t). But who cares, run the story. So you get this, which I reprint word for word from the Telegraph…
A pretty timeless Arsenal issue this, and a near-constant headache for Arsene Wenger over the last 10 years, but this current crisis is bad even by their ridiculous standards.
No evidence, no context.
|TEAM||Total injured||Lge pos|
|6||We love the slave state||5||1|
|8||State Aid United||5||6|
|9||Remi to the Rescue||4||20|
|13||The home of the match review||3||16|
|15||The home of the fatman||3||19|
|18||West Bromwich Albion||2||13|
|19||No injuries no tinkering||1||3|
Arsenal stand their greatest chance in a decade to end their wait for a Premier league title but injuries threaten to curtail their challenge. Nine Gunners are currently sidelined with injuries and Arsene Wenger’s so concerned that he’s set to give star man Alexis Sanchez a break to avoid joining the injured list.
Wenger failed to buy an outfield player in the summer and he’s looking at completing at least two deals in January to see the Gunners’ challenge through.
And then off we go with the latest
Arsenal move in on Man United target Ayoze Perez
Louis van Gaal’s side were thought to be leading the race to sign Newcastle forward Perez but Arsenal have joined the race. The Spanish striker has been in good form for the Magpies so far this term, scoring three goals in 12 appearances. And, though the Red Devils are also interested, Wenger’s lining up a January bid.
Gunners open talks with Karim Bellarabi
The 25-year-old perfectly fits the mould of an Arsenal player. He’s pacey, has a bag of tricks and has the international pedigree needed to play for the Gunners. And the latest is that Wenger’s side have started talks with the winger and are hopeful of agreeing a £15m deal.
So, to conclude here are the big issues according to the press. Make up your own solutions. Everyone else does.
Signing another genuine holding player would also give Wenger the option of playing a more defensive 4-2-3-1 in big away games.
Except every major team in Europe is also looking for someone who will sign, be a back up and just play when the formation changes. No one matches the bill who is ready to move and who the current employer will agree to sell.
Try this one if that doesn’t fit.
Sanchez will come back from the international ‘break’ even more exhausted, after playing World Cup qualifiers for Chile against Colombia and Uruguay.
But just remember this. Whoever we get, he will be useless. Remember what the television pundits of a Manchester United and Liverpool! persuasion said of him? Too flimsy, unreliable, lacking courage. On losing the ball he stands still.
My publishing of this regular Untold article this morning does not imply that I am not fully aware of and shocked by events overnight. My view is that the one tiny, tiny contribution we can make to fighting the terror is to continue our lives as normal in the face of the atrocities. Such a view is not in the slightest meant meant to be disrespectful to those who have died at the hands of terrorists. I can’t begin to imagine how their friends, lovers and relatives feel.
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- Manchester City v Arsenal: the referee and the FA Cup