Arsenal transfer commentary language changes: now the pundits know best

By Tony Attwood

Recently one of the most read Arsenal stories doing the rounds on the internet was “Arsenal would commit the biggest transfer blunder by signing this 26-year-old flop even though it is for free.”    The story appeared in Media Referee and came with the sub heading “Gunners should drop their interest in Liverpool outcast Alberto Moreno”.

Now the source that they picked for this story was the Daily Star, whose main headlines that day included “Couple’s rude wedding cake design sparks debate online: ‘It’s inappropriate’.”    I think that gives a fair indication of the sort of publication we are dealing with here, both in terms of source material and in terms of quoting that source with approval.

Moreno was a left back for Liverpool and is now out of contract.  The link between him and Arsenal probably comes from the fact that he played for Emery at Sevilla.  And the reason that we might not want him comes from the fact that he only made five appearances for Liverpool, as he was a deputy to Andrew Robertson, having been first choice for a couple of seasons.

The article in Media Referee then goes on to describe the player as a “liability”.   It was a theme already taken up in other places.  The site “Reddit” for example, noted the complaints about the player but wondered how much those playing alongside him were to blame through their poor positioning saying, “Moreno, though really exciting and energetic further up the pitch, proved himself to be a defensive liability at Liverpool.”

PainintheArsenal picked up the theme and suggested that Monreal was becoming less reliable and a liability and Kolasinac was himself flawed and thus in a certain type of system Moreno could be ok on a free, as that would mean we would have money for other areas.

The Express chimed in with more Liverpool news and the same word… “Alberto Moreno blasted as a liability.”

As early as last October 90min ran the story that “Moreno has always seemed a defensive liability at Liverpool,” while going back to September 2017 FootballFanCast had “Alberto Moreno is the epitome of Klopp’s #LFC: manic, unpredictable, erratic & reckless. An attacking force and a defensive liability”.

In March this year Empireofthekop called time on the player saying he was, “likely to put pen to paper on a Bosman transfer that will see him join Lazio at the end of this season,” but that hasn’t happened yet – they did mention the player was a liability.

Going back further to 2017 we have TheAnfieldWrap saying “either eject him permanently from the squad or play him in the position that he doesn’t become a liability to the team.”

Of course he is not the only “liability” doing the rounds – in 2015 Jose Mourinho called Eden Hazard a defensive liability” but by and large “Moreno” and “liability” seem to be pairing of choice for scribblers.   And that gave me pause for thought.

If there is a player in a team and to the observer the player seems to be doing more harm than good, you can call him a liability.   You can also call the player a hindrance, or an encumbrance, or a burden, or perhaps a handicap, or maybe a nuisance, or an obstacle or impediment to progress, or perhaps a weak link, a millstone or a stumbling block.  Anyone really wanting to use the language could also call him an albatross or suggest that he was Liverpool’s Achilles heel, but no, he was, to the scribblers, one and all, a liability.

Which raises with me a number of questions.

1: Did each of the aforementioned writers all come up with “liability” for this player independently, or did one writer just happen to use the word, and everyone else followed?

2: If he was that bad why did the manager of Liverpool, who is known to be quite a clever chap when it comes to selecting teams and getting Liverpool up the league and winning the Champs League, play him?

3: And from this second point, how come all these commentators can instantly see he was no good, while Liverpool didn’t?

What appears to be going on in fact is that the bloggers and journos are picking on a player and a negative word and putting the two together.  Once done, it sticks.

This copying has been going on for ages in terms of transfer rumours of course – no one ever admits to coming up with the garbage that makes up 97% of the rumours.  But now the scribblers are all copying the same word to put down a player – and putting down is what they mostly do.  Negativity seems to be the fundamental approach.

Apart from how bad this must make the player feel, it also seems a bit like the blogs and newspapers throwing away even the tiny bit of credibility they have left if they are not only borrowing each other’s transfer rumours AND their mocking and knocking language at the same time.

More transfer thoughts anon…

10 Replies to “Arsenal transfer commentary language changes: now the pundits know best”

  1. Well, if at all Alberto Moreno was a defensive liability in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool fc defense-line formation last season in the PL according to the media football scribblers, I for one who is an Arsenal fan for life will not want to succumb to the media claims that Moreno will be a left-back liability to Arsenal next season’s campaign should the club signed the 26 year player this summer widow that will be on the free. For, Moreno could turnout to be an asset to Arsenal at left-back next season instead of him to become a liability to the club. Moreover, as cash is looking not enough but in short supply in Arsenal summer transfer kitty this summer to thus handicapped the club to embark on one of those marquee signings this summer, a gamble by Emery and the club hierarchy bosses to sign Moreno this summer could be worth taking the risk to do it. After all, every transfer is a risk. Therefore, Arsenal should not listen to the media anti-Moreno singing by Arsenal this summer but go ahead to sign him if they believe he’ll be good for Arsenal next season.

  2. OT: WWC Netherlands – Cameroon

    Game is over, Netherlands 3-1 (1-1 at half time). Vivianne Miedema with a brace.

    I think Cameroon decided to play English football, fouls were 5:15. In earlier games, Netherlands was willing to be physical with opposition. But the game was just barely 1 minute old, and Vivienne was on the ground needing treatment. And the referee apparently didn’t even call a foul on this. I am just looking at commentary; it is possible there was some non-foul way that she required treatment. But the odds are good that this was just like what teams do to Arsenal, kick them off the park. And the referee goes, “Huh? What was that? I didn’t see no foul.”.

  3. Talking about liability, but who and who players at Arsenal were liabilities to the club in the midfield particularly in the PL and largely in all competitions last season playing crab football for the club? To me personally, Ozil and Mkhitaryan were the duo liability players to Arsenal at right-wing and at central-midfield last season in all the competitions that they’ve played in for the club last season. And the duo know it if they will be honest to Arsenal and to themselves.

    So, what will Emery and upstairs bosses at the club do this summer over this liability status at it concerns these duo Gunners at Arsenal to cancel it out? To sell the duo to the Chinese Super League club sides should be the preferred option on the table to take by both parties I would think. And for amicable parting of ways, Ozil and Mkhi’ should accept it if offers to sign them eventually does come from any top Chinese Super League club sides asking for their signatures. For, as things stand now, I can’t see any top club sides in any of the Europe’s 5 top Leagues that will be prepared to sign any of these duo players on the current wage package they are earning at Arsenal. Talkless of to increase their wages for them. Therefore, the only viable option that is looking to be on the table right now to Arsenal, is to sell them to any Chinese Super League club sides who want them to stop the duo from running down their contracts at the club and keep holding Arsenal to ransom to continue paying them fabulous wages for playing crab football for the club which has become a huge burden to Arsenal wage bill.

  4. Exactly Gord – just like Ghost Busters – I didn’t see no ghosts!

    There were a lot of physical contact fouls that seemed to be out of the vision of the official. In fact there was a nailed on red card that seemed to escape the Referee.

    Standard of officiating across the board is aweful. VAR is an absolute farce. Another weapon of mass sublimination – I didn’t see that.

  5. OT: WWC Netherlands – Cameroon

    Vivianne Miedema is now Netherland’s all-time leading scorer for women with 60! Congratulations.

  6. VAR isn’t a farce, the technology works perfectly, but the way that it’s implemented is farcical. I can just imagine the cock ups we’re going to experience next season and TBH I think its intro into the PL should be delayed until perfected.

  7. “VAR isn’t a farce, the technology works perfectly, but the way that it’s implemented is farcical”.


    A cricket bat in the hands of Joe Root is a flashing blade dispatching bowlers far and wide.

    A cricket bat in my hands is just a lump of wood.

    No matter how good the tool or how good the technology, it is only as good as the hands it is in.

    I’m dreading it.

  8. VAR would be a very good tool in the right hands as a boon and an advantage to minimise errors and lead to near perfection.
    But in the hands of right proper tools themselves …..?

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