Arsenal: All the news that fits the agenda.

by Sir Hardly Anyone

What is it a football journalist wants?

Basically a story that writes itself, that needs no research, no insight, no drawing out of implications, no need to ask the pesky “why?” question, and a story that knocks the clubs they love to hate, while allowing them to heap praise on the clubs they love to love.

And thus these are glorious days for football journalists.  Liverpool on the up, Tottenham are on the up, Manchester United on the up, Manchester City protecting their image by simply saying nothing about those pesky stories about having done naughty things as a way of hiding finances.  Those stories which the media has found so embarrassing to talk about and so have by and large ignored.

And oh yes, Arsenal on the slide.  And a fabulous story about the Leeds boss spying on other teams’ training.  Wow, shock horror.  Did these journos actually think that clubs don’t spy on each other?

And to beat all that the statement from Leeds that “Following comments made by Marcelo Bielsa the club will look to work with our head coach and his staff to remind them of the integrity and honesty which are the foundations that Leeds United is built on.”

Maybe the journalists (who are not always the brightest of the bunch) failed to think back to the notorious Leeds teams of the 1970s.   And maybe they have never studied their football history and don’t know that Leeds were the only club to have been thrown out of the League for ever, for refusing to hand over their financial records.   And that to get around this expulsion the directors of the day wound up the club, but retained the ownership of the ground, reformed the club the next day, and applied to rejoin the League the following season, with the same directors at the same ground and much of the same team.

Then just to acknowledge what jolly nice chaps Leeds were the League agreed to all Leeds’ demands, and gave Leeds a place in Division Two (from whence they had been ejected) rather than making them enter in Division Three.

But hang on, what’s that?  A mention of refusing to hand over financial records?   Isn’t that what Manchester City are doing?  Yes Man City have the legal technicality of the data that leads to suspicion having been hacked, but still there is a link and rather than repeat that Leeds statement without a sense of irony they go on their merry way.   OK Man C are being investigated by Uefa not the Football League, but the parallels are there for anyone who wants to look.  Irony indeed.

Mind you I expect if you asked most football journalists what irony is they would say it is the opposite of wrinkly.  (Apologies to readers whose first language is not English, that one might be completely obscure, so we shall move on…)

As for Arsenal: results not so good as recently, internal turmoil, can’t buy any players, defence not fixed, manager says he likes friction, top man in recruitment has had enough and is going…  Just as the media can run the Leeds story without looking for precedents so with Arsenal they can just pick up dodgy news and run it all day long, also without thinking.

It is perfection for the press, and for the blogs that see the papers as beacons of light.  Rather than pursuers of stories that need investigation they take whatever reality they happen to stumble upon.

And all this is not just because Arsenal has been the club that journalists have loved to knock since the 1930s, but because glorifying Liverpool, Tottenham and Man U seems to be what they love to do.  Ignore the fact that neither Liverpool nor Tottenham have ever won the Premier League – they are the big timers while Arsenal who are the third most successful team in PL history, the most successful team in FA Cup history, the team that stayed in the Champions League more seasons than any other Engish team, the most successful team in terms of doubles (equal with Man U)…

No, for the media, history is bunk (as Henry Ford didn’t quite say but almost did).  Indeed if you were to look back at The Sun’s article ahead of that last FA Cup triumph of Arsenal’s you’d see in the build up preview the Sun said,

“If Chelsea pile on the misery for Arsenal by winning the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday Antonio Conte’s side will join a select group who have completed the double…”   The piece continues in the same vein throughout, glorious Chelsea up with the elite, Arsenal are already miserable and are going to be made more miserable any time soon.

They could instead have started by saying that if Arsenal beat Chelsea they will be become the most successful side ever in the history of the FA Cup and Arsene Wenger its most successful manager and that if Chelsea win they will compete the Double but still be a long way behind Arsenal.  But no.

With football journalism that is not how it goes.



8 Replies to “Arsenal: All the news that fits the agenda.”

  1. i do hope the “friction” rumour is just a … well, rumour
    otherwise, we would gone from professor Keating to Kevin McDonald in just about six months
    tha’s some fall indeed

  2. I don’t know anything about the friction, I purposely avoided those articles.

    The story about Mislintat exiting because Edu might come in don’t make sense to me. What makes more sense is for the Director of Recruitment to get disheartened at learning that there would be no recruitment.

    I was thinking about the youth system. If a manager of some youth team had a particularly good group of pupils, perhaps the youth system could try to move the manager up to the next age group at the same time? This of course requires a shuffle (possibly more) of the youth system management. Part of the idea is that what might happen occasionally is that the U23 manager gets promoted into being the first team manager.

    Now the team is not only filling some of the first team positions from within the club, but at the same time it is filling some of the various management positions from within the club as well.

  3. The mainstream media are hating Arsenal this far? Not seeing anything good about the club that’s worth praising or commendable? Even when there are good things happening to the club or have happened to it that should be praised or commended? But why this journios’ hate for Arsenal happening needs to be known? Could it be because the journios are envious of Arsenal unbeaten to the season record in the PL in 2003-2004 season? But this article posting is saying the journios hatred for Arsenal started way back from the 1930s.

    Anyway, Arsenal should not bother themselves over their being hated by the journios for no moral or criminal reasons that can be said Arsenal have committed. But the club should always try as much as they can to be competing lawfully in all facets of competing in the PL justifying the good moral ground and the uniqueness of the name of the club on which Arsenal FC was founded by the club’s founding fathers.

    By the way, talking about the spygate happening in football as occasioned on Derby County FC training ground when a Leeds Utd FC football spying agent was apprehend when spying on Derby training sessions ahead of their playing against Leeds at away in a Championship League match which Leeds Utd eventually won by 2-0 to further their push for promotion directly this season to the PL next season, but albeit by illegal means which has calls from some quarters called saying, Leeds should be deducted points if they are found guilty to have infringed on the rules. Deducted 10 points and fined heavily? Oh no! 10 points deductions could ruin their promotion chances directly or through a play off to the PL next season. But Leeds should have known that the Law is not a respecter of any law breaker before they went about breaking the Law and were caught red handed. What! Caught red handed? Leeds were quite a team to watch in both the first division and in the PL with the brand of very attractive football they played when they were there playing. One can easily falls in love with Leeds Utd at that time and still remember to have fallen in love with them for their kind of attractive football they’d played then. But allowing desperation to gain promotion to the PL next season to get hold of them and resort to criminality to achieving that hurts. It has hurt me for them.

    Main while, I hope Arsenal have already learnt a lesson from this Leeds spying gate saga to take a proactive action by putting the anti-spying on Arsenal training sessions home and away, and in video matches watching sessions in place that will block the opposition team spying agent from spying on Arsenal. And if succeeded to scale the barrier trying to carry out spying activities on Arsenal, he, she or they will be caught in the acts. I strongly suspect that, after this Leeds spying episode, the big teams in the PL and even in the Ucl when Arsenal were playing there and in the ELC too might have been spying on Arsenal ahead of playing against the Gunners to help them gain advantage in the match over Arsenal. If not, how come that Arsenal have looked to be at the receiving end nearly always whenever they’ve played against the big club sides in the PL, Carabao Cup, ELC and UCL?

  4. What is illegal about this spying? I don’t remember seeing any rule for this.

    De ex players really believe that these training sessions are this sacred? If they do then we are in real trouble. I remember the Danish side in Euro 1992 had open training sessions all the time. Hey they won it.

    Once again the media are going crazy over something that is really insignificant in the scheme of things. Does it now mean that managers are not allowed to watch videos of other teams for fear of upsetting fair play?

    There are many more important challenges that English football needs to address.

    How about asking real questions about the Pigmobs poor refereeing standards and the non appointment of a premier league CEO – No they are way too important to deal with.

    I used to watch the Sunday morning “discussion” programme on football on sky. They had what were laughingly called sports journalists talking about football. I never once saw them talk about football – their show were full of rumours and hearsay about this and that player. They never once talked about tactics or the game itself. I realised that it was a waste of space and I could be better informed by not watching it.

    I have learnt more about football on this blog than all of the sports journalists in the UK.

    As has been said if you don’t want to be observed then train behind closed doors – problem solved

  5. Any simple story can be twisted and turned to suit the narrative of any interested party. Or to protest the innocence of an allegedly aggrieved party.
    Here is a joke sent to me , that we will make example of.

    Man : ” My five year old son is very naughty . He got my maid pregnant.”
    Doctor: ” How the hell could he do that ?”
    Man :” He took a safety pin and made holes in all of my condoms !”

    Question : Who is the true injured party/ victim here ?
    : Who is the guilty party here?
    : Whose actions would be considered the most deplorable ?
    : How would you narrate this story ?

  6. The medico-legal case –

    A recent newspaper article reported that a woman had sued a reputed hospital , saying that after her husband had surgery there , he had lost all interest in her .
    The hospital spokesperson testified in court , that her husband was only admitted for bilateral cataract surgery . All they did was to correct his eyesight !

    Many, like Les Williams above, have reported on here , to have had their eyes opened by reading UA . Albeit without any surgery , nor pain !

  7. How many of us at work would respond well to some ‘friction’ from our manager? It sounds like the lowest form of sports psychology.

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