By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw, senior psychologist at the “What Lies Behind Department of the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.
There was a hilarious piece in the Mirror recently under the title “Arsenal need to be careful with Pierre Emerick Aubameygang – trouble could be brewing.”
So we wondered, what could this trouble be? And following this, what was behind what turns out to be an extraordinarily bizarre and downright wacky tale?
Was he being sued for slander over something he had said? Has he got a secret injury that none of us knew about? Has he done something naughty in terms of currency smuggling? We needed to know.
Thus urgently we read on, through line after line of advertisements and notes about other stories. Then three links to other (seemingly equally preposterous) tales followed by a wholly irrelevant paragraph about how many goals the guy has scored, which country he plays for, the fact that he has made assists as well (although we are not told how many, probably because Stan Collymore’s internet was down when he wrote the piece and couldn’t find out).
Then there is a bizarre comparison with Teemu Pukki of Norwich (has anyone compared Aubameyang with Pukki before? Come to that has anyone heard of the young fella before?) before ultimately and finally we get to the nub of the matter.
“There is a feeling that if Aubameyang doesn’t find the net, then Arsenal struggle to find goals. That’s why it’s imperative the club remains in the top four.”
OK let’s try and decipher this. “There is a feeling.” A feeling felt by whom? Stan Collymore? The guys at the Mirror? Frederico Bloggisimoso the famous Italian internet commentator on all things Arsenal? The annoying six year old who plays football on the village green opposite my house? The dad of the annoying six year old? Neil Armstrong? Dr Alfonz Merryweather, head of Certain Things at the University College Hospital?
We are simply not told and thus we cannot judge the validity of the commentary.
But there is something of an explanation in that we are told it is “imperative” (not essential but imperative) that Arsenal stay in the top four so that he (Auba) “can at least challenge for the game’s top prizes.”
“At present, Arsenal will be on the outside looking in, as far as the title race is concerned. It’s touch and go whether they qualify for the Champions League next season too.”
So let’s consider this one. No one is suggesting that any club other than Liverpool or Manchester City look likely to win the title. So a more accurate statement would be, “At present, 18 of the 20 Premier League clubs (or 90% for those of a mathematical bent) will be on the outside looking in, as far as the title challenge is concerned.”
As for the champions league places one could equally say the same – the only two clubs that look certain at the moment to qualify are the aforementioned. Others are sauntering along in the distance.
“So failure could mean that Aubameyang decides to move on.” Well, yes except for three things, First his age makes it less likely that Manchester City or Liverpool or Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern etc or any other club that is likely to be guaranteed a place in the Champions League next year will either need or want to pay a lot for him.
Second Auba himself must know that this is not at all like RVP moving to Manchester United for the final year of Sir Alex Ferguson’s term in office where no money was spared to ensure that Man U won the title in his final season. Although it is true that the club has not since picked the right manager to succeed Sir Alex, it is also true that the level of provision for the future at that point was not as high as it might be. Which is why they have since finished 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th. Everything was done to secure that final title, and nothing was done for the year after.
So when the nutters at the Mirror add “He is also exactly the kind of pacy striker that Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp favours” we are in the land of outsourced gibberish. If Liverpool feel they need another pacy striker (and why would they?) why not buy one who is 25 years old and who will last them a good few years, rather than one whose performance (with his speed) can only decline.
Third, Arsenal have in their ranks Lacazette, Martinelli, Nketiah and Pepe. Now they are not scoring at Aubameyang’s rate because… well we have Aubameyang. Plus Laca has been injured, Eddie was loaned to Leeds because we have Auba, and Pepe is clearly taking time to adjust to English football, English VAR, Arsenal’s moaning crowds, English journalistic attacks, and the PGMO.
So what is behind this tale? Obviously in part it is a desperate attempt to gain an audience by the Daily Mirror. But also it should be seen as part of the continuing journalistic trend of knocking Arsenal at every opportunity. This trend exists because these articles get an audience. So more and more of them are created and as long as they keep being treated seriously by those who really ought to know better, they will continue to flourish
So deconstructing the stories as well as pointing out what a bunch of self-centred burks are involved in the mechanical production of such gibberish is the only weapon we have left.
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