By Tony Attwood
I wrote a little piece yesterday taking a snapshot of how Tottenham Hotspur are treated by the media in relation to Arsenal, and it raised a little amount of interest so I thought I would have another go today with Manchester United.
This piece of course as with the Tottenham jottings is far from being 100% reliable since these are just the first 12 stories I saw this morning about Man U and its current and future states. But I do find the comparative approach of those interested in each club to be worth considering. (If you don’t, stop reading now, because that is what this article is about).
By way of introduction, our regular analysis of the way the media treats Arsenal shows that overall is extremely negative – so that when an eventuality might be seen in either a positive or negative way there is a fair chance (I’d guess around 80%) that the negative will be chosen.
What particularly stimulated the idea of comparing Arsenal with other clubs was the fact that for the past three years we’ve tried to record all the transfer rumours surrounding Arsenal, and found that the media had an accuracy rating of just 3%. Indeed we’ve currently got six players tipped to be the first Arsenal signing of the summer, which clearly indicates an 83% inaccuracy level.
In each of the past two summer windows over 110 players have been linked with Arsenal, but at the end of each window instead of people noting that the media utterly screwed up in its predictions, it is the club that is blamed for not signing the players that they could have signed!
So how do Man U fair, on a snapshot of stories each of which has appeared on Sunday morning.
1: Bale to Man U. The Standard says Man U has to wait as Bale is now waiting to see who the new Real Mad manager is.
2: Marco Verratti Man U’s number one target. This appears in a few places and with a very positive commentary.
3: “Ryan Sessegnon move plotted but he prefers Liverpool switch” The Express runs this one and it is a very gentle form of what Arsenal get daily – that the players the club want won’t come to Arsenal, with the implication always being the club is too slow or not offering enough money. One player wanting a different destination is not that strong a negative – it would only be so if many more of the stories went down the same line.
That is in GiveMeSport and the Sun; a very positive piece.
Apparently these concerns were that “Man Utd player Anthony Martial had some fans worried after he deleted his Instagram feed last month.” Well guys, if that is all you have to worry about, try reading the media about Arsenal and then think what it is like for us!
Now if this were an Arsenal story the implication or overt statement would be that Arsenal are planning to sign a “Newcastle reject” but here HITC are suggesting that Newcastle have made a mistake and Man U are jumping in quickly.
7: There is no dithering either as “Jose Mourinho will complete first signing next week” according to the Express. That player will be Fred, oft tipped to be going to Arsenal in the past but apparently we could never match his club’s estimate of the value.
8: Of course there is no question of limit on spending – at least in the articles I reviewed this morning in the snapshot, and Man U are placed in a number of comments as being equals in the spending arena with Real Madrid – as with the battle to sign Marco Verratti.
So I was interested to read “Gary Neville: What I think about Man United for next season” and he seems very positive.
The headline reads, “Gary Neville has insisted that he is feeling optimistic about Manchester United heading into Jose Mourinho’s third campaign in charge.” Ah optimism. I read about that once in a book. (The media didn’t even have optimism for Arsenal during the Unbeaten Season during which the Times reported that Arsenal fans felt performances were the worst they had ever seen. At least we can celebrate that comment each year on the Anniversary files and have a chuckle).
10: As for when it comes to players possibly leaving, there is no talk of dithering and meanness over new deals. Manchester United determined to agree deal with 22-year-old attacker makes it clear that a deal will be done with Martial.
This is, like the Tottenham report, just a snapshot. But in many ways the occasional reviews of the media’s commentary on Arsenal is that also, and there it is moan, moan, moan, disaster, collapse, destruction, the end, uselessness, ineffectiveness…. Indeed I sometimes wonder how such an ineffective club could have won a trophy on average every other year in Wenger’s reign. Not the level that Ferguson got, of course, but still, not bad.
11: And indeed when there are negotiations to be done they are done at speed and with assuredness, as in the headline “The 3 players Man Utd are in advanced negotiations to sign this summer” in
So there we are: just a tiny snapshot from a couple of hours and it is positivism all the way.
But why? Why does Arsenal get such negativity at every turn? I know the answer from the anti-Arsenal-Arsenal movement and their friends in the award winning Arsenal Fans TV, is that Arsenal are atrocious at everything they want to mention. But the reality is that those people have got what they wanted – the removal of Mr Wenger. And yet they and their friends in the newspapers and on TV are as negative now as ever.
Maybe it’s genetic. It’s not a hating Arsenal thing. It’s just a remorseless desire to proclaim oneself an Arsenal supporter and then knock the club at every turn.
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