Fake News Index: Ozil staying, Wilshere to Palace for the sake of the country, Wenger grip loss.

By Sir Hardly Anyone.

What, one may ponder, is the difference between fake news and headline writing? Indeed I think it is fair to say that in the public house lounge bars in the leafy shires, they speak of little else.  Let us therefore ponder!

Fake 1: Ozil’s future (Red London and the Metro)

It is often difficult to give an exact dividing line.  For example, “Massive boost for Wenger: Highly-rated star confirms he wants to play for Arsenal” (from the bloggetta Red London) is thoroughly misleading as the clear implication is that this is a player who is about to be transferred in.   Actually the story is about Mesut Ozil.  But the fact of the case, that Ozil wants to stay, rather than go, is quite possibly true. No one yet knows.

However the source of the report is the Metro, one of the biggest sources of fake news.  They said,  “Mesut Ozil insists he’s ‘100 per cent’ an Arsenal player amid Manchester United transfer links.”

The Metro quote continues, “‘Obviously people are going to write and speculate. But I am 100 per cent an Arsenal player,’ the former Real Madrid playmaker said. ‘I want to perform here and have fun here. ‘I’m enjoying my time here but I can’t say what will happen in the future.’

So ultimately we get to “I can’t say what will happen in the future.”   But we started with “Massive boost for Wenger: Highly-rated star confirms he wants to play for Arsenal.”  Now that we know the source of the (alleged) original quote, it looks more fake than misleading.

Mind you Arsenal Shorts tell us that “Arsenal want to seal deal for £330k-a-week ace amid Man United interest”.   This story by its looking more and more unlikely that the player will stay and The Daily Star claim that Arsenal are now willing to cash in on the player. This is in stark contrast from yesterday’s claims that the German is set to sign IF he can get his hands on the Arsenal number 10 shirt.”

Actually the Star claims that the Ozil to Man U story is an exclusive.  Which surely must be the biggest fake statement of all.

Fake 2: Jack Wilshere to Crystal Palace.  (Daily Telegraph)

“Roy Hodgson, the Crystal Palace manager, wants to do Gareth Southgate a major favour by signing Jack Wilshere in January.”   That opener seems very unlikely since Mr H probably only wants one thing – to keep Palace in the Premier League.

The piece continues, “Wilshere fears he will have to quit Arsenal in the next transfer window if he is to go to next summer’s World Cup after being ignored for the Germany and Brazil friendlies.”

Now does he really?  How do they know that?  If it were a real quote they’d have the headline “I fear for my future” – Wilshere.   No headline writer would miss this one.  So no, it is made up, and thus is fake.  It continues…

“England manager Southgate insisted Wilshere must play for Arsenal in the Premier League to be considered and stuck to his guns even after Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson and Harry Winks withdrew.”

That is probably true, and it is typical of fake news writing that the fake is mixed with the real.  Yes, it would seem odd to take Jack until he is back playing regularly for Arsenal I rather than Arsenal II.

Fake 3: Wenger’s criticism of Raheem Sterling is a symptom of losing his grip on football 

This comes from the Daisy Cutter, a bloggetta that seems to have over 30 young journalists on its staff, which is quite amazing really.  I wonder what they all do (apart from come up with headlines like that.)

The issue here is whether it is deliberate fakery or just disconnected writing as this piece goes into reasonable detail about the referee and linesmen errors which made a mockery of the Man C game, but then goes on to talk about Mr Wenger not liking Sterling, have a nod at Alexis losing the ball lots of time before saying “The reality is that Wenger is losing his grip on the game.”

And later

“Wenger’s attempt at distraction may have worked this time and maybe some Arsenal fans will blame this one on Raheem Sterling, making it their life goal to boo him until the day he retires, but what will the excuse when the next Watford result comes along? What will the excuse be when Spurs, the North London nearly-men who have still managed to surpass Arsenal in the league under Wenger’s tenure, play them off the park after the international break?”

It is an interesting and to a certain degree clever piece. It admits that the refereeing was responsible for a couple of goals, gives the notion that Mr Wenger doesn’t like Sterling (difficult to prove) and then suddenly jumps into the notion of an attempt of distraction.  Either one looks at the evidence of the Man C game and sees a refereeing problem or not.  If you think the ref was one sided in his errors then there’s your cause.  The result is the effect.

And there is this bit “Spurs, the North London nearly-men who have still managed to surpass Arsenal in the league under Wenger’s tenure,”

This suggests that the fact that Tottenham ended above Arsenal this last season by emulating Arsenal’s runners up slot of the season before, was an abject failure, forgetting perhaps just how many years of successive failure Tottenham had before that.  And indeed the fact that prior to Mr Wenger, there were long periods when Tottenham always ended up above Arsenal in the league.  Do they forget 1995 when the Tinies were five places ahead of Arsenal? Or 1993, or 1990 or… well I could go on. But perhaps I will end that sequence with 1976 when Tottenham came eight places above Arsenal, and celebrated by being relegated the following season.

The “Sterling” piece is fakery, in that it uses a long run up to talk about one thing, but then reach a conclusion that has nothing to do with the run up.  As well as lacking evidence Fake news also removes logic.  And here we have an example.

Earlier on Fake News

And on referees




9 Replies to “Fake News Index: Ozil staying, Wilshere to Palace for the sake of the country, Wenger grip loss.”

  1. It is an interesting day….. on the guardian’s homepage we find a story about a non-existent penalty
    Incredible. The writers there are indeed capable of understanding the laws of the game, of using their brains and of combining both talents to write about a wrongful decision.
    It is even more fascinating considering the fact they have absolutely no experience in the field. Commenting on referees, pointing out a bad decision ? Who’s ever seen that happen in the uk Kommentariat ?
    I would have expected the same sort of comments as those last week-end about a City guy learning to fly. And blame on the Northern Ireland coach.

    But none of that.

    Which just proves the point that there is a bias – IMHO

  2. They furthermore have a story on the Northern Irish coach criticizing the penalty call and a yellow that ought to have been red.

    At no point is ther emention that his team pretty much parked the bus from minute one, offered a few minutes if football and the rest of the time did kick and rush along with bus parking.

    And suddendly VARs are urgently in need…. yet if they are used with an Atkinsoin or a Dean or an equivalent looking over a ref’s shoulder (like it happened in Germany) , no thanks…

    Considering the abuse thrown at M. Wenger for his (in comparison) careful comments, it just confirms, IMHO the bias against Arsenal we are seeing/reading/hearing day in and day out.

  3. Let me say to all and sundries that Arsenal are at the moment not in the mode of players incoming and outgoing transfer, but are in the interim seriosly in the mode of getting back to winning ways again in the Premier League with a win over Tottenham Hotspur after their lose to Man City before the international break came.

    In view of this, let me implore the media players transfer journalists writing for their newspapers and blogs to hold on in their speculations of Arsenal winter window transfers until at least 15th December before they can start to speculate if Ozil and Sanchez will all leave Arsenal during the winter window which is unlikely or remain at Arsenal till the summer before leaving which is also unlikely. And who are the top quality players will Arsenal sign as their replacements should they leave. For, Arsenal will not allow their 2 top most players to leave without signing their likes or better than them as replacements.

    By the way, should the duo of Oxil and Sanchez extend their contract deals at Arsenal before the end of the incoming January window to remain there, how many new senior players do us Gooners think Arsenal will sign and how many on station ones will they sell? I think Arsenal will only sign one to quality player and will still try to sell two of their players they’ve loaned out in the last summer and sell one other Gunner in the senior squad to have room for accommodating the new one top player they are going to sign.

  4. But Southgate was happy to call up Drinkwater even though he’d played fewer minutes than Jack this season……..

  5. Everyone knows that most newspapers publish speculation, gossip and rumour when it comes to football. Also, everyone knows that the metro is the most active exponent of this. It’s called filling column inches.
    If every football writer had to base everything they wrote on hard evidence, they’d all be out of a job faster then you could say ‘done deal’. They’d simply have nothing to write about.

    All football fans understand and accept this. Some fans- myself included – even like a bit of rumour mongering. It’s part of the game.

    Only in the strange and slightly paranoid world of Untold does it become some kind of sinister anti arsenal plot.
    Laugh at it, ignore it or take it seriously but lighten up..

  6. I’m sorry that despite my repeated attempts to explain my own view on this has failed to make any impact on you. I really cant go through it all again, but in the simplest form it is this:

    Nothing wrong with speculation at all. Where it gets dodgy is where speculation is presented as absolute fact, and where games are played with language to give thoroughly misleading meanings to factual statements. Some of these don’t matter too much in themselves but added together they give a thoroughly misleading vision of football,

    Quite why you don’t get this, and why you don’t see it as important is, I must admit beyond me, but I do realise that there are a number of people around like you who just don’t see the impact of this type of activity. I can only suggest a thorough reading of the history of propaganda might help.

  7. I think you’ll find that the vast majority of arsenal fans ‘don’t see it as important’ and most certainly don’t ‘see the impact of this type of activity’. The ‘activity’ being a sinister plot in the media to destabilise arsenal football club I assume.

    While crammed into a tube on Monday morning the first thing an arsenal fan thinks having read some load of rubbish in a crumpled copy of the Metro, is not ‘there must be an anti arsenal conspiracy’, it’s ‘what a load of rubbish’ but at least it’s taken my mind off the misery of my crappy job for a minute or two.

    Also, all big clubs are constantly surrounded by speculation especially by local newspapers. Have a look at the Liverpool Echo or Manchester Evening news.

    When the Metro or evening standard stop writing gossip about Arsenal and instead concentrate most of their speculation on Spurs, THAT’S when you should get worried.

  8. Samuel

    ‘In view of this, let me implore the media players transfer journalists writing for their newspapers and blogs to hold on in their speculations of Arsenal winter window transfers until at least 15th December’.

    Get real.
    They’re not going to do that. We have a player in Sanchez who wanted to leave despite arsenal courting him with a vast salary offer. He was on the brink of moving to City and was denied. Arsenal could have sold him for £60 million(or thereabouts), but instead have chosen to keep him on. This is incredibly risky and very very stupid.
    Since the start of the season Sanchez’ form has unsurprisingly dipped which means Arsenal football club have essentially thrown away £60 million. Currently it’s more likely that I will sign a contract with arsenal on £300, 000 a week than Sanchez.

    The story writes itself.

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