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July 2021

Liverpool humiliated, Chelsea dump player, player leave Man City due to weather, Wenger spotted on beach.

By Tony Attwood

Of course it is not just Arsenal that get a lot of negative publicity, although I maintain my view that the club tends to get far more than it is due and more than most other clubs.   The five year “Arsenal get the most injuries” campaign is one such saga (such figures as were produced to show this state of affairs, were manipulated and often packed with down right insanity such as players on loan being counted as Arsenal injuries, and in at least one case – Jenkinson – the player being out for more weeks than there were in a year).

But other clubs do get negative stories, and I do wish we could find a website that analysed such negativity for other clubs in the way that we try to do here – just to prove (or not) that Arsenal get more than others.  Otherwise I’ll have to do it – and it will take forever.  And I’ll make a mistake.

However as a starter here are a few of the assaults by the media on individual clubs taken just from the current crop of media websites.   Every single one of these stories is on the website of the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent or Daily Mail today – and together reveal a massive commitment to negativity when it comes to football.

“Liverpool forced into humiliating apology over pursuit of Virgil van Dijk and shelve interest in world-record bid” is in the Telegraph.  Was it “humiliating”?  We know that Liverpool have a history of pulling every stunt imaginable, and often getting the media to go along with it (as in the “What are they smoking?” jibe after the £40,000,001 bid, which the club owner Henry later admitted at a sports conference was valid – there was the buy out clause in the contract, even though he denied it).

The Telegraph goes on, “Liverpool row with Southampton over Virgil van Dijk proves selling clubs will no longer be bullied”.   And calling Liverpool bullies is a new twist.  But the Mail finds someone else to blame – unless they are having a laugh at the increasingly bizarre Carragher: Carragher expresses anger at Van Dijk saga: ‘The only person who should apologise is the one who fed the story’.  So the lawbreaker is not to blame, it is the person who reported the crime.  Hmmmm.  Don’t really fancy a Carragherian form of justice, personally.

Mind you the Mail dig their nails in, in another way.  “FLASHBACK: When Liverpool were forced to apologise to Fulham over tapping up Dempsey in 2012.”  So they’ve got form eh?  Well, well, the tide has turned against the club.   And this is interesting, in that a year or two back we used to write “Liverpool!” to reflect the way the  media felt about the club.  Something has gone wrong in that relationship methinks.

“Chelsea striker Diego Costa reveals he has been told to find new club” from the same paper suggests a brutality about Chelsea which may or may not be true, although the Guardian works on similar lines with “Chelsea Costa: Conte has told me I am not wanted at club next season.”

The Mail is over in the more brutalist camp with “COSTA DUMPED BY CONTE: Chelsea boss messaged me to tell me I’m not wanted, says Diego… “

The Guardian leads its negative coverage with “Manchester City Nolito wants to leave because of weather and lack of games”, and yes, the weather ‘tup norf can be difficult.   However I rather liked  the Mail’s “Nolito claims ‘my daughter’s face changed colour – it looks like she’s been living in a cave’ as he rants at Manchester weather City man wants out”.  It is however worth noting the old time Fleet Street cliche of calling anything said by anyone in football, that is over three words long, “a rant”.

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The Indy also has “Giroud warns Arsenal he ‘won’t settle’ for such limited playing time” which was not how I read his interview at all.  But then the Indy has been on another planet for quite a while.

Of course the Mail is always up for some gratuitous moral outrage and provides a quick burst of it with “Veteran England fans must curb new breed of hooligans, say British police.”  Not to be left behind the Telegraph has “West Ham fans most responsible for rise in football-related arrests on British transport network”.

The Independent even has a little knock at Man U, which is interesting given that until a while ago their manager walked on water.  “Transfer news latest as United are frustrated in striker search”.  Their second headline goes further with, “Manchester United suffer Andrea Belotti setback as Jose Mourinho’s three-man striker shortlist is cut to one”

The Guardian meanwhile has a bash at Chelsea with “Batshuayi says he cannot accept another season on bench”.

The Telegraph, really getting into the negativity game goes with “No Real Madrid starter would willingly move to England – so how can our clubs close the gap?”

So, yes, the websites of the newspapers really are going for the negativity.  But why?  In my journalist days (mercifully for the newspaper and magazine industry, they were rather short) we had the mantra that the prime stories were “death, disease, destruction” so I guess that is how it has always been.  Maybe negativity does get readers.  But so much of it when talking about our club?  It seems odd.

So it must be the advancing years that makes such headlines as “Arsene Wenger spotted in south of France amid rumours of new £120m bid for Kylian Mbappe” rather warming.  Not just because I prefer positivity, but because I used to enjoy the “spotted at the airport” stories.  I know we killed them off by making so much fun of them, but they were always rather sweet.   And yes I know I said spotted on beach in the headline.  Sorry.  I made that up!  Shocking I know.  But the south of France does have a beach.

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12 comments to Liverpool humiliated, Chelsea dump player, player leave Man City due to weather, Wenger spotted on beach.

  • HenryB

    I liked the post, Tony, and there was indeed a smile to sections of it — but it seemed not to be too much of a critical attack by the media on the clubs, but more the reporting of players having a petulant strop and stamping their little footsie, in order to get their way and at the same time to try for the sympathy vote (I know, on today of all days I used the word ‘vote’) with the childish wail, ‘nobody, loves me anymore’, which in the case of the thuggish Costa is unerringly accurate. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    And a nice beach as I usually go to them for my summer hollidays. But never spotted Wenger there….. 🙂

  • Leon

    I’m surprised that nobody from City or Liverpool have turned up to taunt us with the story about being dumped by our shirt sponsor, which must surely be a legacy of not being in the Champion’s League next season.

  • Leon

    ……….although we still have the deal for two more seasons, and they remain the stadium sponsors.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Amusing to hear arch Arsenal hater Mickey Quinn, a couple days ago hailing VvD as the missing piece of the jigsaw to turn Liverpool into Champions, a statement of intent and ambition.
    Only for him to take a battering on the radio this morning

  • MickHazel

    Quinn is the living proof of the old saying about empty vessels making the most noise. It is quite amusing hearing such a fool trying to sound intelligent on the radio. A Quinn classic was when he said ‘unindated’ instead of inundated.

  • Andy Mack

    Leon, there isn’t enough info about the shirt sponsorship situation for anyone sane to make much comment. It could be the 1st step in a negotiation strategy or it could be Emirates deciding to reduce their football advertising/sponsorship… Or it could just be fake news.. I guess we’ll find out in a year or two 😀

  • blacksheep

    have we really ben dumped by Emirates? That’s good news, I might even buy a new shirt then

  • Andy Mack

    blacksheep, It appears that the club marketing/commercial dept is investigating alternative shirt sponsors, like all competent marketing/commercial dept of football clubs (and businesses in general) should do.
    If the club weren’t looking about then they wouldn’t be acting responsibly.
    It isn’t clear whether Emirates or the club want to finish the relationship or if we’re just looking to ‘see what else is available’ (either for a change, or to strengthen our hand in negotiations with emirates).
    So it’s a bit early to say anyone’s been dumped…

  • Gord

    OT: Corruption News

    In this made (to be ignored by British Media) for TV drama, the first banker may be convicted soon.

    > Jorge Arzuaga, an Argentinian who worked at Credit Suisse and Julius Baer

    This doesn’t look to be ending any time soon:

    > US authorities have said they traced bribe money through bank accounts in at least 40 nations, and they are expanding investigations of sports-marketing companies and financial institutions that facilitated money laundering.


    Someone else has misgivings about trusting video referees (note: website doesn’t display any text, unless javascript turned on).

    Queue silly description of incident. A red card doesn’t have to be the result of a deliberate action.

    So, how valuable is this note, when the person presenting it hasn’t a clue either?

    In part, they think some of the reason for FIFA wanting video referees, is to sneak more advertising into games.


    Which reminds me, we really do need to get someone from the brown paper bag industry to testify that it is business as usual in terms of the purchase of brown bags at FIFA, UEFA and so on.

    Cleaning up the game infant one? I doubt it. Just shoveling the dirt under a different corner of the carpet.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Remind me again why is it that people buy and read newspapers ?

    – For their truthfulness ?
    ( Stop laughing !)

    – For the knowledge and information they impart ?
    ( You ‘re going to piss yourself silly if you keep that going .)

    – For their indepth , investigative ,unbiased and sincere reporting ?
    ( Don’t say that I didn’t warn you – go clean that mess !)

    – To maintain a noble profession that was/is almost from the beginning of time ?
    (Please do remember that news vendors of old regularly got hernias from carrying all those stone tablets of old.)

    – To line the bottom of birdcages?
    ( And you wondered why Polly was crapping so much ? Crackers you say ?)

    – To destroy more trees ? To prove that Ozone depletion was fallacious ?
    ( And just to piss on that fat gasbag Al Gore .)


    – To keep all those bitter,drug addled and otherwise unemployable ex-Arsenal players ‘gainfully’ in a job?
    ( There you go again , laughing yourself silly !)

  • para

    I long for the days when i just told what i need and you told what you need, and somehow by the end of the day, we both had what we needed, even though it may have involved many others too. (Showing my age here). 🙂

    Today its about getting what we want and hell come hither to anyone who stands in “my” way!