What’s all this? Positive Arsenal stories? Yes – a whole stream of them at once!!!

By Sir Hardly Anyone

We have all got so used to the stories that knock Arsenal at every turn that it is rather hard to get adjusted to a sudden switch to the positive stories.  In the past it has not just been that we have bought the wrong players, but also that talented youngsters have been allowed to leave for a pittance, we’ve paid far too much for the players we have got, they are all on wages that are ludicrous, and we’ve missed buying the obvious players that Paul Merson and the infamous Cascarino can see in the blink of an eye are exactly the men Arsenal need.

Oh yes, and we also have incompetent directors most of whom have got their hands in the till which leads us back to the big one: that because of skulduggery and mismanagement, we only had £40m to spend this summer.

So it is something of a shock to read about “The ingenious reason Arsenal have included William Saliba in their Premier League squad” which appeared in FourFourTwo.  In fact Arsenal have just done what they and all PL clubs always do – registered the player as an Arsenal player, whether he is at Arsenal or out on loan.  In fact I think that is exactly what the regulations say clubs have to do.  But hey, it’s a positive tale, so let’s not get tied down with facts.

The point of the story is that where the player is 18 or younger, registering him makes him a “home grown” player irrespective of his nationality.   It makes no odds to selling the player because as far as I know the only place that is the slightest bit bothered about home grownidity is England, and they only do it because the FA believe the wholly ludicrous notion that having more players of English nationality playing in the English leagues helps the performance of England.

As I have mentioned many times before, we proved this to be untrue years ago, but the FA love the tale because the media by and large tow the party line and won’t suddenly wonder if England’s failure to win stuff on the international stage is down to the gross incompetence of the FA.

So what we appear to have is a positive about Arsenal that Arsenal don’t deserve – I think they have just been following the rules.  And that must be a first!

But that is not the end of the positivity.  For we also have had, “Raul Sanllehi has pulled off £200,000-a-week masterstroke at Arsenal as transfer details become clear”.  That is in The Boot Room and relates to the fact that Arsenal are not paying any of Mkhitaryan’s salary while he is on loan.

With loans all aspects of the deal are open to negotiation: whether there should be a fee paid for the loan, who pays the salary, who pays the insurance, if the loan can be cancelled by the borrowing club or the lending club, and if so, at what stage and with what penalty clause, and so on.

So the fact that the borrowing club offers initially to pay half a salary but in the end pays all of it, is not uncommon.

And this raises a major issue with all these stories – we never get the context.  If 99% of players had their salary paid by the loaning club, then getting the borrowing club to pay it would be big time news.  Likewise if the going rate for a goalkeeper is £10m, and a club pays £30m, that is big news.  But you have to know about the context – in this case the going rate – first.

This is what most bloggers and journalists never tell us: the context in which their one reported “fact” is exists.

Of course the Star newspaper (I use the word lightly) had to get in on this with the suggestion that “Arsenal fans left stunned after Edu Real Madrid transfer revelation emerges.”

This one relates to the notion that Arsenal “attempted to pull off a stunning move for Real Madrid sensation Vincius Junior”.   Now this tale is like the 90 or so purchase rumours we had in the summer – it quotes a publication few readers will have come across.  This “source” is in Brazil – “UOL Esporte”.  As ever no English outlet ever claims responsibility.

But what is interesting is not that it is made up or not, but rather that in the past this tale would have been reported as Arsenal stupidity, with the club wasting time chasing a player they were never going to get in a million seasons, and one whom they could never afford.  But now it is used to cite Arsenal’s daring and willingness to act.  An interesting turn of events.

Even the home of all that is negative, Football.London has gone positive with “Pepe promise, ruthless Sanllehi – Five signs that Arsenal will improve after international break” – an extraordinary piece about everything going right at Arsenal.

Of course not everyone has caught up with the new mood as HITC run their regular attack on Xhaka under the headline “He’s finished,” and the Boot Room has “‘Liability’, ‘Please leave’: Some Arsenal fans are raging with £100,000-a-week player”, again as an attack on Xhaka.

But this overall softening of the mood is something extraordinary, and not something we have seen before.

Personally I am not sure I can cope with it.

2 Replies to “What’s all this? Positive Arsenal stories? Yes – a whole stream of them at once!!!”

  1. Abit off topic…anyone speak Turkish? I was trying to get highlights of the U 21 Turkey v England (because Eddie scored two and Reise scored the third) and came across a Turkish (I think) link ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szZm-BBdEPg ) and they showed about 3 minutes of the almost 5 minutes of close ups of tight challenges. Couldn’t understand the commentary but it was neat to see replays of things other than goals. I hope the commentary was more analytical and less nationalistic.

  2. Watford sacked their manager after 4 games. Can they get to 10 managers this season?


    Kane scored on his own once, and then was given 2 penalties. The report I seen didn’t mention any diving by Kane (or any divers on the English team).

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