By Tony Attwood
One of the problems with being in the fake news business, is that you not only have to keep inventing it, each piece of fake news has to outdo the previous bit. Thus we have the headline from ArsenalShorts which reads
Wenger confirms 54 goal striker will play for Arsenal next season amid City interest
It sounds interesting, but a click on the story tells us the interesting news that, “As the January transfer window gets closer by the day,” which is perhaps not the most dramatic opening ever to a piece about Arsenal.
But that is needed because there is nothing in the story at all about a 54 goal striker playing for Arsenal next season. All we have is the thought that Alexis will stay at Arsenal and not leave in January.
Innuendo is of course central to fake news and so we have
Here’s the latest Arsenal player enduring a horrific loan spell this season
The story is about Martinez who quite probably is having a rotten time, given that he is not playing, but we don’t really know what the deal was with his loan.
But the fake quotiant is raised by the word “latest”. It implies there has been a long string of such players, and has a secondary meaning that other clubs don’t have players having rotten loans.
Are either true? The clue is in the fact that we are not told. I don’t know, and they don’t know. None of us know, and that’s when we become sure it is fake.
From what I have seen the loan business is pretty much hit and miss. Sometimes the player doesn’t fit in, sometimes he makes a mistake and falls out of favour, sometimes he’s injured, sometimes the management at the loan club changes…
Without knowing the statistics the story is meaningless. Martinez doesn’t appear to be getting much experience in Spain, that’s true. But beyond that? It is all suppositioin.
And so to the next one…
Grumpy Arsenal fans have done what they normally do, and taken to Twitter to have a go at one of their own players.
Well yes, but how many. Six? Ten? 600,000? That’s another fake news angle. Don’t give details of size or range. It is like refusing to give sources. Let’s try another.
Oxlade-Chamberlain reveals when he was ’embarrassed’ at Arsenal
The headline suggests that the Ox was embarrassed by things Arsenal did as a club. But actually the Ox was embarrassed by the actions of the ref, although quite why never becomes clear. This all relates to when he was mistaken for Kieran Gibbs by the referee in the defeat at Stamford Bridge a couple of years ago.
Why he was embarrassed we are not told. After all it wasn’t his mistake it was the referees. Seems a bit odd to say he was embarrassed. Do you feel embarrassed when you see a ref make a mistake?
This is how Arsenal could lose £142m next summer and £123m in 2019
Doing “what if” games will always be a simple way of make-believe. What it does in this case is look at players who are running up to the end of their contract, imagines their value if they were only part way through a contract at the height of their powers, and considers the difference between the full value and the zero value when they leave.
But there is a lot of “if” in all this. If the player leaves, and if he could have been sold, and if he really is worth the amount that the website speculates.
And of course it is starting to work two ways. The transfer of Kolasinac for nothing shows it working in reverse – players are letting contracts run down and clubs are increasingly aware that there is going to such an opportunity in the transfer market.
Plus think of Alexis. He will be 29 next summer and will want a four year contract, taking him up to 33, by which time his value will start to fade. If someone bought him for say £80m last summer they would never get that back – so their transfer sum will be “lost” – except Arsenal only paid £31,, for him.
An honest non-fake article would take the whole change in the market place into account along with Alexis’ value in four years time. Fake news takes one little bit of reality, and expands it outwards. Which doesn’t make it true.
For the last one I will stay with the Cannon again, since it is churning out fake news every 10 minutes or so.
Arsenal should pay attention to how well this loanee is doing abroad
The story reads like this…
“While Arsenal are struggling to find goals from the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil and Alex Iwobi, Lucas Perez is scoring for fun on loan at Deportivo.
“Last season, the 29-year-old was often used in a wider role alongside either Olivier Giroud or Alexis Sanchez. Going on loan to Deportivo at the start of the season, Arsenal had to look elsewhere for goals, but only have one each in the league from Alexis, Özil and Iwobi.
“So, the Gunners have three goals combined from the players they kept, meanwhile Lucas Perez has four goals and an assist in his last five starts for his loan club.”
Now there are several bits and pieces here to unravel. First, as they admit, it is just in his last five starts for the club, not the whole season. And Arsenal have scored the same number of goals in the league as the much vaunted Tottenham, one fewer than Liverpool. one more than Chelsea. Of course nothing like Man City, but is the site really saying that with Lucas Perez back in the team instead of Iwobi, Ozil or Alexis we would be scoring more? It seems unlikely. And here’s a curiosity, according to the figures I can find relating to league matches he has scored three in nine. Oh yes and Lacazette has scored six in 11 this season. Not too bad.