Why don’t players sue newspapers and blogs for the downright lies they tell?

Mariana Trench, the head of Better at Sky TV, gives us her views on how football blogs are teaching the multi-channel platform a thing or three.

It is of course very important in 24 hours a day TV to keep the “discussion” going.  It isn’t a discussion of course because one person sets up questions for another, someone answers “seriously” and then the chairbeing makes a “quip” as it is called in the trade and everyone giggles.

Every channel does it in all the football shows, because, when it is football, that’s what you do and everyone in TV knows that the audience is, well, basically, thick.

Meanwhile in the blogosphere, one West Hammerian site gave ratings to all their players. In the bottom four in terms of match ratings from the weekend game against Arsenal were Wilshere of the clan Jack, 4.99, and Perez of the clan Forgotten 4.13.  Of course I wasn’t watching Jack all the time because there were the needs of the camera crew to satisfy, not to mention commentators but my emotional response is that this is a rather generous score for him.  He really looked as if changing in the visitor’s bland dressing room was quite an emotional shock for him.

But he did get a warm round of applause when he was announced by the announcement person, as did the West Ham keeper who was last seen playing for us by winning the FA Cup, after which he meandered off into the darkness.

And good for them, for they manage to present the whole affair of being pointless in every sense of the word with a positive spin by commenting on other players, “The Brazilian [Anderson] was in terrific form and pipped Marko Arnautovic to the top rating recording an average rating of 7.61 with skipper for the day Arnie just behind on 7.15.

Which is interesting.  Arsenal players are mercilessly slaughtered when we win, yet for Wham their players can be praised when they lose.

So for Arsenal?   Well,

“Simply awful: The 1 player Arsenal must sell before the end of the month – opinion” pronounced The Transfer Tavern and I thought that took a long time coming.

And of the Mesut.  “Well, Mesut Ozil dropped from Arsenal squad ‘after arguing with and screaming at’ Unai Emery.”  That in the Mirror.  Mesut screaming?  Maybe you can imagine it.  I’m struggling.

But best of all was this one about season ticket prices.  “The study shows that Arsenal fans can expect to pay £105.40 on average for a ticket, pie and a pint this season.   Even more eyewatering is the cost for supporters over the whole campaign – £2,002.60 – and that doesn’t even include cup ties.”

Shall we take that in for a moment, and let us use, as we have done in the past one very specific and real season ticket held by a member of the Untold team.   It is upstairs, east stand, level with the 18 yard line close to the north bank end, front row.  A perfect view.   Cost for the season £1600.  Now no one with any taste would have a pie and a pint from Arsenal catering but if you did that would take the cost per season to £1890.   And actually, as always, that does include seven cup ties.  (I think the WHAM tickets don’t include cup ties because, well, they don’t normally get that many so it wouldn’t really help.)

Now the point is not so much that they are wrong about the price by a couple of hundred or that they haven’t bothered to check that the Arsenal season ticket includes cup ties, but rather that they say this is an average cost.   How do they work that out?  To get to that sort of average they must have included every level of pricing, and yet the number of seats in club level compared to anywhere else is tiny.

They might as well mention that the season ticket price for Corby Town is £150 (half price for OAPs).  Beware people who quote numbers without showing their workings.  Just like in maths at school, they were probably cheating.

Other great deadlines were

“Bellerin: First Arsenal win was question of time” in Football365 and err yes, just like the next super volcano erruption which will send us into a nuclear winter is just a matter of time.

Overall I think what we have been seeing this weekend is an intermediate phase.   We have had Phase I: every single player is a total and utter disaster at Arsenal and deserves to be criticised and mocked endlessly because that will do them good, rather in the same line as being sent to a Catholic Church is rather good for you.

Now we are moving into Phase II in which the manager is told he must act, and it is just beyond reason that he can’t see what the newspaper entity or blogger can see, so these players must go now.

Which will in absolute certainty lead us quite soon into Phase III in which sadly we must now concede that the club is in such a shambles that the only person who can be blamed is the current manager.   It will have taken, I reckon about six games of the season before we get to that point, and then everyone can settle into re-using the attacks on Arsene Wenger once again but with a new name inserted.

And that is what counts for inventiveness in football journalism.  Mind you there was one today that I quite enjoyed:

“Arsenal news: MOTD pundit reveals why he feels sorry for Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis”.  That gave us all a good laugh, and gets the “Better” award for this week.

So what are the Wham media making of this all?

Well, their official site tells us that their Women’s team has beaten Lewes 4-1 and you can’t say fairer than that.

As for the question posed in the headline, the answer is, I don’t know.


4 Replies to “Why don’t players sue newspapers and blogs for the downright lies they tell?”

  1. I watched yesterdays game on stream with French commentary and could not understand a word that was being said, but it was fantastic and so much more enjoyable than having to listen to the constant barrage of Arsenal criticism we have thrust down our throats when watching on the normal English channels.

  2. After looking to have confined Chelsea to 1 point in the game, but Newcastle suddenly decided to make a U-turn in the match to be generous to them and gift them all the 3 points in the match by helping them to score an own goal late in the match. Oh! What a gift.

    I hope and believe Newcastle will equally be this generous to Arsenal by scoring an own goal to also gift them all the 3 points that are going to be at stake for in match when the Gunners pay them a none courtesy visit but an official working visit after the interlude. But even if Newcastle decided not gift Arsenal all points in the game to score an own goal to make the gift, the Gunners will force the Maggipies to give them the gift compulsorily at guns point. And the Maggipies will obey for their being afraid.

  3. I watched the MOTD commentator on our match with WHAM (Jonathon Pearce)…negative comments about Arsenal abounded.

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