Football headlines and the strange stories that follow them. (The two are not connected)

by Sir Hardly Anyone

These days, even when the news report seems to have some semblance of reality within it, and comes from a decent enough source, the headline invariably has to be written to give a different impression.

Take for example this headline from This is Futbol: “BBC expert: Arsenal have tabled loan-to-buy offer for French player.”

What the story actually says is that Guillem Balague has said that, and he said it concerning the alleged approach from various clubs for Dembele.  His comment is, “The only approach from Arsenal was to get him on loan, with an option to buy.   That was an intermediate, not directly from Arsenal….

“Barcelona did not listen to it. Barcelona don’t want to let him go in January… They believe that they can get something out of him. They think he has the potential to make a difference like he did at the start of the season.”

So in effect a story is made out of nothingness.  No actual bid from Arsenal, and the club don’t want to let the player go.  But still somehow a BBC expert says Arsenal have made a bid.  Yet the article says no.  Odd that.

And therefore as a result when we come across “Arsenal in advanced talks to sign Brazilian star” which appears in Read Arsenal we might have some caution.

This story is about Arsenal getting Emerson from Atletico Meneiro, and comes from Otempo.  But what is Otempo?  There is a which is a weather forecasting website in Portugal.  There is which is a food website from Germany.   There is which is a regional paper and doesn’t seem to have the story either.  Oh well but moving on…

Emerson is a right back, so he would replace Bellerin.  Is that our key concern at the moment?  It would seem rather strange.

On a more positive note, for once Football London has a report on how well Matteo Guendouzi did playing for the France under 21 team.  They say he gave a “masterclass”, and certainly his pass leading up to a goal was something rather fine.

At the same time Foot.Lond who have been major critics of Xhaka since he arrived, and found a neat way of coping with the fact that quite a few people think the player has been doing rather well, by now talking about him leaving. 

“‘It is clearly a dream’ – Granit Xhaka hints at Arsenal exit as he discusses his future” says their article, although when one ploughs through all the pics and the adverts what we find is that he is talking about going back to Switzerland at the end of his career.   So no celebrations yet from those who want to see him leave.

The long running question of whether we actually need more forwards is still coursing around the bloggettas and the pubs wherein gather the “journalists”.   “Sky Sports Expert Claims Arsenal Have Made Approach Over Deal To Sign £43m Attacker” says Football-Talk which raises not only that question as to whether we need more forwards but also whether Arsenal have the funds to spend on a new player.

And here we are back to Guillem Balague who is alleged to have said that Arsenal have approached Lille over a potential deal to sign Nicolas Pepe.

Finally the Express tell us “How Arsenal could line up in January after three new signings when transfer window reopens” 

Their three players are Nicolo Barella from Cagliari, Eric Bailly from Man U, (“Emery is reported to have even gone so far as making an initial enquiry about his availability,”)  and once more, ” Lille sensation Nicholas Pepe.”

That gives us a line up, according to the paper of


Bellerin Sokratis Bailly Monreal

Xhaka Barella

Pepe Ozil Aubameyang


I still find it rather interesting that just a few months ago the first name on most journalists’ lists of who should move on was Xhaka.  Now he is a fixture.

So a new forward line or a new defence?  Clearly we can’t afford both.  But now I come to think about it, I am not too sure that we can afford any of them.



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