By Tony Attwood
By any measure it has been a disasterous two days for the journalists and bloggers who try and pretend that they have any idea at all of what is happening at Arsenal.
First the appointment of Edu has been largely passed by with just a nod about him having been an Arsenal player – a nod that was hard to see among the fevered speculation about the 75 players the media has so far collectively stated are coming to Arsenal this summer.
Second, in a total reversal of past policy, Arsenal led the way on the Koscielny situation by putting out a statement about Kos not going to the US – a statement which left all the journalits flat footed. So flat footed they failed to be able to link the change of style to the arrival of Edu.
Then third, as utter desperation has set in, the journalists, realising that they have been totally kept out of the loop, and really have no idea what has been going on, tried to blame Arsenal for handling the situation promptly and clearly, somehow suggesting that it is a sign of ever greater chaos – when in fact it was a sign of greater cohesion, determination and certainty.
But let’s think: where is the chaos? Is it with a club which finding a player who wants to leave and is willing to do anything to be able to leave, then takes immediate and clear action? Or is it with a bunch of chumps who day after day report on the 75 players Arsenal are signing and the 24 who are leaving?
Or is it indeed the fact that they have collectively told us that no less than 26 Arsenal players are leaving this summer – including of course Koscielny (tipped to go long before all the fuss, by the Mail).
Of course those journos who didn’t follow up the Mail’s story (and why would they – they had 25 other players to write about who they claim are leaving) have now desparately tried to cover up their cock up by making up ever wilder tales day by day.
Take the Telegraph for example which has not previously suggested Kos might want to leave, which now says, “Storm clouds gathering above Arsenal as Laurent Koscielny’s revolt raises wider questions.”
The wider questions of course should relate to how the media suggested all those other players were off, when clearly they are not. But the first rule of journalism is never to admit a mistake, so they say,
“It was with swirling uncertainty and no little anger that Arsenal touched down in California last week.” But how did they know this – for there was no Telegraph man on the plane or at the airport. Ah of course. They simply made it up.
Apparently the club is “reeling from the rebellion of Laurent Koscielny, their most senior player, and still coming to terms with the financial cost of their failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League.” “Reeling” indeed. No, the club was faced with a player trying to get a transfer one year before his contract ends (hardly an unusual scenario). A player indeed who probably would only have played a modest number of games next season what with Holding being back in the line up and Sokratis becoming well established. Yes Arsenal wanted to keep Kos as a reserve for next season, covering for injuries and being used in Cup matches as the solidifying factor where youngsters were given a run out, but nothing more.
And “still coming to terms with the cost”?????? The £40m story circulated months ago, but there is considerable doubt as to its accuracy given that in recent seasons Arsenal has spent far more. Ah, but here’s a thought – do those journalists know that the £40m – sometimes quoted as £45m – is way out of line with recent seasons? I suspect not because none of them has mentioned the fact – at least as far as our media watching reveals.
We’ll continue this enquiry in the next article
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