The one-liners that are killing football: what journalists say about Arsenal and others


By Tony Attwood

Try this headline for size

Preseason shows Arsenal committed to back three but need attack options

Now this pre-season involved travelling around the world, playing in ludicrous humidity, food poisoning, and our top scorer from last season not present, plus a match in which the authorities refused (for a while) to allow Giroud on the ptich, and we had a newcomer playing for the first time with his team mates, plus a fair number of youngsters who were being tried out to see how they respond under pressure.

And from that scenario that headline conclusion is drawn?   I’m glad the person who wrote it has never been doing financial forecasting for any company I’ve been involved in.

Let’s try another.

Arsenal fans make worrying point as Real Madrid close in on Mbappe

Now apparently, or is that allegedly, Mr Wenger has said that he has made no bid for Mbappe, and we are not at all sure who these Arsenal fans are, how representative they are and how many of them are.   But maybe I can help.

For the Emirates Cup I am travelling on the train in a party numbering three adults and four under 16 year olds.  We might have a chat en route and between us several members of the group agree we are “worried about” something or other.  Let’s say, Xhaka’s temperament or the well being of Gunnersaurous.    And so out comes the headline, “Arsenal fans worried about club ahead of new season”.’

But we are in a country where the opinion polls before the general election told us the May person would win with a thumping majority and the Labour Party destroyed.  And actually that didn’t happen – even with the millions of pounds that the polling organisations pour into sampling and the significant number of people interviewed, balanced from all sorts of age groups and walks of life.  So these “Arsenal fans” reports which seem to involve two or three people are meaningless, and yet they are thrown at us all day long.

Let’s try another.

Bellerin update 

was the opening headline followed by

Hector Bellerin appeared to quash rumours of a move to Barcelona

Now we all know the Bellerin to Spain story was a complete fabrication from start to finish but yet there are still web sites running it.   And what did they say.  Here is the entire story in full…

“Going back to London like…” Bellerin joked on Instagram alongside a picture of the Spaniard paddle boarding.

But just read the headline again!

OK let’s try and find another.   Sports Keeda have this one

Arsenal agree deal to sign Karim Benzema!

Now you might think this is left over from three years ago, but no, they claim that  DiarioGOL reports that they have finally agreed a deal to sign him. But following that link what I actually found was a Spanish commentary which translates as

Benzema leaving would bring in 70 million euros for the all-whites,
and clubs like the Arsenal have shown their interest in hiring him
as he it could fill the gap of Alexis Sánchez.
Florentino hired Benzema personally, and now has no hesitation
in pointing out the exit.

But there is that headline and the conclusions… “The deal to take Benzema to Emirates is set to cost Arsenal around £62 million.”

So what we have is a blog citing an article in Spanish which says no such thing, and then telling us it does.  Here’s another

Thomas Lemar set for Arsenal move

Yet another transfer Arsenal are close to completing is that of Thomas Lemar. Calcio Mercato reports suggest that the Gunners have agreed a £45 million – a club record.

But actually the original report says nothing more than Arsenal are “closing in on” Lemar.

Here’s something different.   The Telegraph loves to tell us that it is full of Football Expert Analysis and have come up with

How Bayern defeat exposed Chelsea’s need for reinforcements and why Alvaro Morata needs game time

One match and they have it all sussed – for a team for whom the visit to China was a PR disaster, a player sent home in disgrace, the Chinese government saying Chelsea were not welcome in the country, and like Arsenal players missing.  And they make a full judgement on one game.

Last bit…

The Guardian has a story that says “There will not be a single manager from north of the border when England’s top division gets under way, breaking a record of at least one per seasonal start which stretches back to the league’s 1992 rebranding.”

But let’s consider the statistics.  Supposing all the clubs in the PL had a British manager.  Then since Scotland represents 7% of the UK in terms of population that should give them one or two managers.  But in fact they have none – which is hardly a drop far below the expected.

And even this is a false picture since actually there are only five Premier League managers who are English.   On that basis we would expect no Scottish managers in the PL, which is… exactly what we have got.


And the media are bemused by how we hold them in contempt when they treat us this way?

8 Replies to “The one-liners that are killing football: what journalists say about Arsenal and others”

  1. Despite the fact that I am not a football player transfer god to know if Arsenal will sign Karim Benzema this summer or not, I can in my clueless football player transfer knowledge say Arsenal will not sign Karim Benzema from Real Madrid. Even if Florentino, the club president offer him free to Arsenal, Arsenal will decline the offer.

    That said. The media as of late has tailored a 3 Gunners outgoing transfer rumours of recent purporting the trio Gunners of, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers and Mohamed Elneny will also be sold this summer by Arsenal despite their haven already slated Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and Lucas Perez for sale this summer.

    Nonetheless, since Le Prof has not refuted the media claims of Arsenal wanting to sell these 3 Gunners who have been on the fringes at Arsenal with Wilshere and Chambers going out on loan spells last season, and with Elneny haven a late sparing appearance for Arsenal last season, one wouldn’t be surprised to see Le Prof taken such a drastic action to sell the trio Gunners this summer.

    Nevertheless, for his only being 22 year old and having the height and strong body profile necessary for a CB to have, it is therefore pertinent Le Prof gives him more time to Chambers to strengthen his centreback credential that may not be strong as Le Prof has envisaged it to be. But he can still be strong in his centreback work than Le Prof has imagined it could be if he’s patient with him and keeps him and gives him games to play next season. By then he can judge and grade his performance.

    That said too. If Le Prof aims and objectives to sell Elneny this summer is for the purpose to make a room for a top grade holding midfielder he’ll bring in this summer, he has my 100% backing. Because Arsenal have been in need to have another top quality DM with Francis Coquelin in the Arsenal first team squad for long. Therefore, in the next season’s Premier League campaign where all the 5 top Arsenal rival clubs will hotly contest the PL title win more than ever, and with some of these 5 top Arsenal rival clubs haven signed some Jupiter players from the celestial places to make them win the PL title next season, Arsenal will need to strongly than ever shield their back-three or back-four defense-line as the case may be in the next campaign by when necessary play the 2DMs of Coquelin and the new signed one together in the big games to protect their defense-line properly than before against the barrage of assaults coming from the big opponent teams. This new defense-line protection by Arsenal has become compulsory for them to do next season if we are to stand the chance to win the PL title next season in my view.

  2. @Tony

    When you think about it, English football doesn’t need Scottish managers because 1) Scottish football doesn’t need Scottish managers and 2) English football already has Italian managers. Era of Graham, Dalglish and Ferguson winning the league titles and leaving crumbs to others is over. Four Italian managers have won the league title since 2009 and the fifth one has won CL with Chelsea. Also, managers like Guidolin and Mazzari have been successfully employed for firefighting purposes.

    There are no true Scotsmen in the dugouts left, eh?

  3. Well, we live in a world in which the ‘leader’ of the free world can’t even write a line and communicates his deep inner thoughts via telegraphic words on Twitter.
    As the advert says : what did you expect ?

  4. All being well with the Gunners Le Prof wants to select and selected to play against Leicester in our opening day Premier League match of the new season at the Ems, my own starting selection to play in that game is as follows:

    Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Bellerin Coquelin newDM Lemar
    Ozil Sanchez

    Bench: Martinez Holding Kolasinac Ramsey Xhaka Giroud Walcott.

    Am I seen dropping Ospina Holding Chambers* Chamberlain and Iwobi altogether out of my 18 man match day squad for this our home Leicester game? And also benched some senior Gunners who ordinarily should be starting the match?

    Well I’ve done this to enable me start Coquelin and the new DM together to start forming a strong defensive shield partnership for our back-three or back-four backline ahead of the Gunners taking on Liverpool at away in a big game after going to Soke and later take on Chelsea at away in another big game. Therefore, if I were Le Prof, I’ll tell the rest of the senior Gunners who I didn’t start in the Leicester game and those I’ve dropped out altogether in that game not to worry but calm down as I’ll will start some of them and play some of them too in the game away to Stoke.

    But if Le Prof signs Lemar and a new holding midfielder this summer for our next season’s campaign, will he have a selection headache to contend with? But if these additional 2 signings along with the other 2 he has earlier signed will lead to Arsenal win the PL title next season, I think it will be better if he has that selection headache.

  5. No more signings, we have enough.

    If you want a lot of signings, go cheer for Everton.

  6. I remember when i used to think that everyone would think like me because it made so much sense. It was such a shock to realise that this was not true.

    It was also a shock to realise that it did not mean i was wrong, neither did it mean that they were wrong.

    Finally i realised that opinions were tainted by experiences, information and personal wishes, then it all made sense.

    Still its fun to challenge opinions hence:

    I can’t see any free world. What do you mean by “free”.

  7. Para/Chris

    This subject has always fascinated me.


    Free World?

    Free Speech?

    It’s all relative.

    If everyone was absolutely free the world would be in chaos.

    Should I be free to SAY what I want, about who I want, where I want, when I want ?

    Should I be free to DO what I want, when I want, to anyone or anything?

    What I may see as my freedom could be somebody else’s oppression, if I’m free to insult, abuse, attack, or incarcerate them as I wish.

    If somebody wants to feel ‘free’ to walk the streets at night, that might involve taking away the ‘freedom’ of somebody else who feels he should be ‘free’ to relieve them of there property, as one is rich and one is poor.

    I should be ‘free’ to go about my business as I wish, but others may believe they should be ‘free’ to stop me if they disagree with my business.

    In society there are rules and by and large these rules are for the benefit of the whole and not the one.

    But as such, these ‘rules’ are often as not a restriction on what you are, and are not ‘free’ to do.

    So nobody is truly ‘free’ in that sense are they ?

    I feel ‘free’ yes, and that’s partly down to what others are not ‘free’ to do.

    Freedom can only ever be a personal perception. In which case ‘freedom’ will mean something different to each of us.

    If I was to ask both of you what you see as freedom I would guess that both your answers would be very long, and very personal to you.

  8. Brickfields Gunners Blog predict that once again an English manager will not be winning the EPL trophy .
    This was deduced from the true fact that no English manager has ever won the EPL in the first place anyway !
    The one who came closest would be Kevin Keegan with Newcastle
    ( in his first stint.).

Comments are closed.