What they are saying about Watford v Arsenal. Rating the journalists

By Bulldog Drummond

What we are doing in this little series is looking at various blog and newspaper commentaries and previews and through using four simple focal points trying to evaluate if any of them actually say anything meaningful or helpful at all.

In the first review of three previews it was difficult to find anything that couldn’t have been invented in a pub after six or seven pints, so we’ll try again here with three more.

Choosing a Captain

First off today we look at the Daily Canon which previews who is going to be Arsenal captain and who will be in the backup group of captains.   They quote Mr Emery saying

“We spoke this morning about that and in the next week, we are going to take the decision on the five captains.  We spoke about that with the team this morning and I am going to decide to make it official in the next week. We have a captain now.”

There are a number of candidates for the position and they give us seven possible names under the headline…  “Unai Emery confirms he’s spoken with the team about club captains: Official announcement next week.”

Rankings out of ten.

  • The headline:  10.  Absolutely accurate.  That’s what its about.
  • Importance: 5.  I guess a matter of opinion as to whether the group of captains is important or not since if one of the captains turns out to be no good at the job he won’t get his chance or at most only one game.  We remember some captains because they are so clear about their captaincy on the pitch – Adams for example – but many make themselves felt in the changing room and at the training centre, so we dont see it.
  • Discovery of hitherto unknown facts: 0 None at all – a decision will be made but this won’t get us any closer to knowing about it.  All it says is “a decision will be made” which we knew.
  • Likely to be true: 10  Yes a decision will be made.
  • Total score: 62.5%

A higher score than the previous entries, but achieved by being a very dull topic.  Maybe we should include an excitement element.

The Sport Review with Sky Sports pundit reveals his prediction for Watford v Arsenal ,

This one really is odd because below that it says

Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Arsenal’s trip to Norwich City on Sunday afternoon

Now that is rather fine, not least because it is exactly the sort of balls up that Untold Arsenal has been known to make.  But it is about the Watord game, and the prime headline and the piece below is what we will consider here.

There are the usual half dozen paragraphs of background that say nothing and the entire article comes down to,

“They like to get physical with Arsenal, so they may approach it this way again. With Quique Sanchez Flores coming in again, it will certainly boost the hosts. I liked him before, but he didn’t play overly aggressive. He played quite technically.

“How are Arsenal’s struggles at the back capable of competing with the physical side? The midfield and attack should be strong enough – if Alexandre Lacazette is fit we will be firing.”

Which is ok except that we knew quite a while before the article was published that Laca isn’t fit.

  • The headline:  5.  Absolutely accurate in the main part, but the Norwich reference, although very droll, doesn’t actually qualify for any marks.
  • Importance: 0.  Does anyone care what Charlie says?  It’s opinion with no evidence.
  • Discovery of hitherto unknown facts: 0 None at all
  • Likely to be true: 10 .  Yes vague meandering without insights is what Charlie delivers each weekend on Sky
  • Total score: 37.5%

Last Football London

Defensive issues remain’ – What the pundits are predicting for Arsenal’s trip to Watford.

Yes that is what that article gives us – the predictions of three pundits.  Charlie Nicholas (as above predicting 3-1), Michael Owen (a draw), Mark Lawrenson also a draw.

  • The headline:  1.  Why not be accurate and say “what 3 pundits are saying”.  There are probably 100 pundits on line making predictions so casting 3% of the total as “the pundits” is misleading.
  • Importance: 2.  Above we asked “Does anyone care what Charlie says?”  Several punditries together does make it more interesting, but only if it is part of a broader picture
  • Discovery of hitherto unknown facts: 0 None at all
  • Likely to be true: 2.   Not really.  “The pundits” sounds like lots of them.
  • Total score: 12%

So with six articles reviewed in our little series we are not doing very well in terms of finding a piece that has an accurate headline, is important, delivers some hitherto unknown fact and is likely to be true.   We’ll have another bash later on.

Verdict: they were not really worth reading.