Mindless twaddle: Sir Hardly Anyone’s roundup of Arsenal media inventions

by Sir Hardly Anyone

You need a certain type of mind these days to be a football journalist.  A mind not cluttered with issues of reality or the detail of mere fact.  A mind that is allowed to run free hither and thither, gambolling across great swathes of fantasy unhindered by any notion of reality, realism or anything else starting with the letter “r”.

Take a look at any such football journalist and you will note his or her coolness; the ice forming on the upper slopes of the lips (ok it might be beer froth but you get my drift I am sure) as he/she dons the posture of one who, for the first time in his entire life has been refused a fifth slice of cake.

Indeed the more one sees of football journalists the more one feels there ought to be a law governing them. Something has got to be done to preserve this sub-species or the else whole fabric of civilised behaviour will collapse, and pretty damn stupid we will all look then, when negotiating our new trade deals.

But, for the moment, the law says these chumps should be allowed to roam free, and so it is my solemn duty from time to time to report on their evil munchings upon reality.

Take the Gooner, for example.  It understands that “agreement has been reached with Belgian club Genk to buy winger Leandro Trossard for €25 million at the end of the current season.”

An interesting thought given that we have just taken a winger on loan.  But there’s no telling these days.  I mean what would it be like if it didn’t understand.  Would they say, “I don’t understand that we have not signed a full back”?

But the story does contain an element that is central to all Arsenal tales these days: an approach that sees the club rather like a knight from the days of olde; a knight now long since past his prime but who still valiently gets on his steed and charges with lance raised across the neatly cut lawn, only to collide with a tree.

And this is pretty much the essence of the “No money for Chambers” tale that is doing the rounds.   It is said that Mr Emery told his employers that due to the defender crisis he wanted Calum Chambers back at the club last month.   But BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein is alleged to have understood that there were no funds available to allow this.

So is this a big revelation?   Well, not really in the sense that the source also said he was told that Arsenal had “vaguely” looked into the “possibility” of a return, but it would have meant spending some money and so was was dropped.

But here’s the thing.  How do you look into a deal “vaguely”?   Needing to know I dictated an email to the Consolidated Ministry of Journalism in Mudd Alley, telling them that football rumours are not put in this world for pleasure alone.  I mean there were days when managers would fear the sharp sword of repartee from a journalist more than the journalist would fear a tongue lashing from the barmaid at the Bollard after another pint had been spilled, but these days I think are gone.   These days people do tongue lashings for fun.  I mean what sort of a world is that?

Meanwhile there is of course big defender news however.   Sokratis is back in training.   Sports lens assures us that is true.

But, as you will have guessed, such items are mere preludes to the big deal of the day: the words of Tim Sherwood.   Now you may have lost track of the old forester [Sherwood / Forest – do try to keep up – we’re working hard to bring these items some of which are still moderately warm as they come off the press] but the ex Tottenham manager was last seen as director of football at third division Swindon Town.  However he left when they visited the fourth level in 2017 and has not had a proper job since.  So when he speaks the world falls asleep, but Untold was conscious long enough to note the headline “Arsenal’s decision to sign Denis Suarez slammed by former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood”.He (the Sherwood) allegedly told the cleaner lady at Sky Sprouts that Arsenal’s “best assets are the ones they brought in. They paid top dollar for Lacazette, Aubameyang, Torreira, Guendouzi but where are the academy players at Arsenal?  They used to bring them through, used to give them an opportunity to play. They don’t even play now, we don’t see them. They’re all loaned out. I just think there is no long-term plan. There is no short-term plan there certainly. If there was one player they didn’t need it was Denis Suarez.”

Medical support has been called, along with some pointing out of the utter cheapness with which Guendouzi was garnered from our chums at Lorient, and the fact that this season those of us who actually attend matches have managed to catch sight of such academy luminaries as Bellerin, Ramsey, Maitland-Niles, Jenkinson, Gilmour, Medley, Nketiah, Pleguezuelo, Willock, Saka, and Smith Rowe

Still, these details are confusing for those who work at higher levels and Mr Sherwood may not remember that under his guiding hand Tottenham managed to finish ten points behind Arsenal.

But never mind; transfers there will be, and I know this because I have read it in the media.  Arsenal are going to sign Adrien Rabiot according to David Ornstein who will be out of contract at PSG at the end of the season.  (Rabiot not Ornstein).

Pain in the Arsenal has a different tale for us however, telling us the problem is the lack of chances created by Arsenal.   Now that is interesting since clubs don’t get points for chances – points come (and I know this will shock many journalists when they find this out) from scoring more goals than the other lot.

So if we have a look at the league table based just on goals scored we can see if Arsenal really are in a shocking position.

Pos Team P W D L Goals Percent
1 Manchester City 26 20 2 4 68 100%
2 Liverpool 25 19 5 1 56 82%
3 Tottenham Hotspur 25 19 0 6 51 75%
6 Arsenal 25 14 5 6 51 75%
5 Manchester United 25 14 6 5 49 72%
4 Chelsea 25 15 5 5 45 66%
10 AFC Bournemouth 25 10 3 12 37 54%

So we have scored 75% of the goals of Manchester City, same as Tottenham.  Chelsea have scored 66%, and by the time we get to the seventh highest scoring club (AFCB) we find they are only just over half the goals scored by the top scoring club.

With that thought I went to my first reception of the day.  It was one of those jolly, happy, beer swilling receptions where you down six pints before you speak, and then decide not to say anything at all.  For safety’s sake.

Sir Hardly Anyone is chief football inventor for the Rutland Daily Gleaner.


13 Replies to “Mindless twaddle: Sir Hardly Anyone’s roundup of Arsenal media inventions”

  1. I do wish you wouldn’t call these people journalists. It suggests that they actually have some journailistic acumen given by definition journalists collect news facts and write stories based upon those facts. These people neither collect news nor write news based upon facts. They are at best, fiction writers.

    At the very least, if you have to refer to their alleged job role I think it should be football “journalist”. It is then clear to others that the “journalist” claim is spurious rather than a title bestowed upon them as a result of proven ability.

    Aside from that another Sir Hardly classic!

  2. OT: Intel is now an Arsenal partner


    Will Intel True View (… recorded from 38 5K Ultra HD cameras. Intel’s 360-degree replay technology freezes a moment in the game to let fans see the action from every angle, and fans will also be able to view key moments from the players’ perspective …) be available to the VAR?

    What happens when True View shows that a referee decision is wrong?

  3. @ Tony

    As a gentleman, I’m not sure you’d be willing to publish my suggested name 🙂

  4. OT: Arsenal support in Somerset?

    According to Google, there was an Arsenal related story in Chard, which looks to be about 1/3 of the way from Bournemouth towards Penzance. Being here in western Canada, I’ve never been to any of those places.

    In any event, they are trying to raise money for a variety of things, one of which is an Arsenal youth program. They are hoping to have some former Arsenal players there, hopefully including Ian Wright for some time in August (?).

    Not knowing anything about Chard, I did some looking. It seems a few years ago, Chard played some other team, and they ended up complaining that Chard had a field with too much (end to end) slope, and have been barred from FA competitions ever since. They have been looking at finding solutions to this, which probably means moving. (Fixing the field is too expensive?)

    Here’s the link to the charity news.


  5. The women are playing ManU in Continental Cup action. It is half time. Miedema from Bloodworth at 18m have the Gunners leading. At 36m, a ManU player needs to leave the field to remove an earing. Surely she knew that rule?

  6. Tweet! Game is over for the women. Perhaps Andrew will send in a report, so I will leave you hanging for a while.

  7. Good game at Borehamwood for our Women. Two more goals for Miedema looked to have made things secure but we got a little sloppy st the end allowing United to pull one back. Final score 2-1 watched by a crowd of over 1,800. We now play Man City in a repeat of last year’s final. The game is on Sat 23 Feb at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane stadium with a 12:15 kickoff (I presume for TV coverage as the time makes little sense otherwise.

    Will make a day trip from South London difficuly

  8. OT: Intel True View

    Apparently this technology is coming to Arsenal, Liverpool!!! and Man$ity.

    Intel is trying to develop a market. Picking the two Top-6 that get the fewest fouls and cards called against them, and the Top-6 team that all PGMO referees allow opponents to kick; is probably not the optimum debut set.

    All I can see, is people dissecting calls or the lack of calls.

    Sure, there will be lots of fans looking for the stuff Intel is pushing. But this other information on how (apparently ) inconsistent and (possibly) biased PGMO referees are, will come out. And the TV people are making it all possible.

    Who would have thunk?

  9. @ Tony Attwood – 07/02/2019 at 12:32 pm – …What should we call them?

    Well let us narrow down all the possibilities , and come to a consensus , or some agreeable conclusion .

    – They are most often in a drunken stupor in some pub or bar.And probably not seen too may sunrises.

    – They are NOT original in thought,nor bright enough to spot a fishy story or to investigate the obvious.

    – They don’t attend nor watch matches ; are totally blind to the obvious and definitely not have their fingers on the pulse of the game.

    – They tend to follow the herd and repeat the chosen narrative ad verbatim, however ridiculous it sounds .

    – They often quote similar low life vermin akin to themselves , in the form of ungrateful and Persona non grata ex-players ,washed up ex-managers and other lower form ,garden variety pests , posing as experts .

    Using the above , I come to the conclusion that they are a combination of intoxicated, nocturnal slugs; of verbose and loud parroting ; and brainless and spineless organisms thriving on the filthy flotsam of football.

    What should we call them ?

  10. @Brickfields I could not put it any better

    The quite incredible thing is they are called “experts” by the Sky Sprouts and BT Sprout

    Reality is out there somewhere

  11. I have yet to hear of any player, manager or club owner ever thanking these clowns for their crap advice.
    Nor ever( shudders !) following their (ill) advice.
    Maybe that’s why they remain successful in their respective fields.Unlike those losers .

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