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June 2021

In case you have been in hibernation during the the interlull here’s what you missed

By Sir Hardly Anyone and an abacus.

During international weeks there are 14 potential football stories for the media to play with and invent.  They fall into three simple groups: the managers of PL clubs, the players of PL clubs, and the internationals themselves.  Because the internationals always come out with the same stories, the reporters try quite hard with the first two groups – even though there is, of course no news.

But I know it is a bit tedious to follow all the international stuff, so here is the run down of all that you missed.

In essence the newspapers know the internationals are a lost cause, vainly promoted by TV and radio stations that have invested ludicrous amounts of money in the games, and are then forced to spend most of their time explaining why it was all so awful and why the crowd so small.

Indeed a lot of media outlets now refuse to tell us just how small the crowd is.  While the Telegraph has spent all season taking pictures of empty seats at the Emirates their report, just like that of the BBC and many other outlets, doesn’t tell us how many were and were not there.  Strange that.

Anyway, it is list time for the bloggettas and their chums in the newspapers.  14 potential stories, and what they come up with

1: The Manager

1.1 He’s going 

Nothing to say; it looks as if by this morning the media have given up on Wenger is leaving.  So we can take it, he’s staying.

1.2 He’s not going

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Arsene Wenger to sign new contract: Arsenal boss’ summer transfer plans already underway

That is in the Express and it seems to be the same in most places.   

Stan Kroenke’s crunch talks with Arsene Wenger: Arsenal have agreed controversial plan

That one came from the Star reporting what was said in the Mirror.  Unfortunately they don’t actually tell us what the plan is, getting rather distracted by showing lots of adverts and suggesting there are some saucy pictures inside.  Which there are not (I am reliably informed).

1.3  Here’s the new boss

Thierry Henry on replacing Arsene Wenger as Arsenal boss: ‘I don’t know’   That ultimate non-story is from ESPN.  While the Daily Mail goes with Why Manchester City chief Brian Marwood can rebuild Arsenal.

2:  The players

2.1  We should have signed

This favourite storyline which basically says “if I had been boss I would have signed… and he would have signed for me because I can be very convincing when I need to” seems to have vanished this week.   So instead we have…

2.2 We will sign

Report: Arsenal interested in Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel  (NBC) which is one of the more amusing pieces.

Arsenal transfer guru Dick Law locked in talks with agents during international break comes from the Daily Star.  And their logic for this (apart from the fact that this is his job) is that “he’s been at the Gunners’ London Colney training ground chatting to agents.”   Which by and large is not the same as “locked in talks”.

Mind you I got locked out of my house last week when I lost my keys, so maybe I should offer that to the Star as a story.

2.3  We should not have signed

Ian Wright questions why Arsene Wenger made this Arsenal signing: He didn’t fit.  That is a piece about Podolski, which really isn’t that relevant at the moment.  But well, there are hours of airtime and lots of column inches to fill.

2.4  He’s leaving

Arsenal winger confirms he has joined Premier League rival on permanent deal.  (Star).   This story is about youngster Nathan Tella who has signed for Southampton.

Arsenal star wants summer move, European giants eye £25m deal – report  (Football London).   Jack Wilshere is open to a summer move to AC Milan, (according to reports).   One blog also has the notion that Jack has had more referees’ cards than he has provided assists.

2.5 He’s staying

Mesut Ozil insists he is ‘comfortable’ at Arsenal as he prepares to make contract decision ‘soon’.  That’s in all the papers.

2.6  He’s injured

“Arsenal handed huge injury boost ahead of City visit.”  Now this is International Business Times doing its usual thing.  The story is   Injured Raheem Sterling doubtful for Manchester City trip to Arsenal

“Mesut Ozil was a doubt ahead of next weekend’s encounter however, the 28-year-old has returned to training and featured for Germany during their win over Azerbaijan.”  That is in the Sun but I think most of us noticed anyway.

2.7  He should play

‘I hope Wenger is watching’ – Arsenal fans beg manager to give this man a chance

This one comes from Shoot who are referring to Giroud as “Arsenal fans react to Giroud brace”.

3: The internationals

3.1  The sacking, the injury, the awful England fans

These three are lumped together because they are always there after every round of matches, all wrapped up in one day’s reporting as if they are a total surprise, then pushed away and then set out again next time around as if they are a total surprise.

There’s always a sacking somewhere and this time it is “Holland sack head coach Danny Blind following dire defeat to Bulgaria”   (The Daily Telegraph)

The most awful foul wrecking a career   “reckless tackle on Seamus Coleman, ” (everywhere)

The awful England fans – the band and the supporters chanting (pretty much everywhere)

3.2  The awful England

This gets a special mention as I rather liked it.


3.3  The bitching

England ace hits out at Gareth Southgate after Arsenal winger selected ahead of him   That is the  and yet even with a headline like that they can’t quite get the story to match:  Ross Barkley hints at unhappiness after Gareth Southgate leaves Everton midfielder on bench.

Now is it me, or is there a difference between “hits out” and “hints”?   No, in newspaper land there probably is not.


My absolute favourite non-football story was the one in which, having withdrawn the bill to destroy Obama Care, President Trump said it didn’t matter because the programme was about to collapse anyway.    That man ought to be a football journalist in the UK.


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4 comments to In case you have been in hibernation during the the interlull here’s what you missed

  • Gord

    If you want a real story, and are a member of (which seems to mean, you don’t run Linux, which I do), there is a story up about Shad Forsythe and athletics at Arsenal. I presume all of the meat of the article, is in the audio track to the “video”. Bugger all in the text, which is all I can see.

  • Josif

    No mention of how Arsene apparently stated that Arsenal had agreed terms with Luis Suarez in 2013. If that’s true, that proves 1) our interest in Suarez was a genuine one, based on belief that he had had a clause in his contract and 2) we contacted a player before obtaining a permission to do so from his club.

  • omgarsenal

    Josif….quote your source and where to find it please.

  • Ben

    The Suarez explanation was from a recent interview you can find it here. Wenger said Arsenal was wrongly advised that Suarez had a clause.