What’s behind Zaha’s warning about Pepe’s transfer to Arsenal?

By Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw, senior psychologist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road and head of the “What Lies Behind” unit.

“Wilfried Zaha delivers warning to Arsenal fans about Nicolas Pepe’s £72m transfer,” shouts a story on Football.London, the eccentric website owned by the Daily Mirror.   So we ask, what’s behind the story?

The tale opens with the news that “Crystal Palace winger and Arsenal summer target Wilfried Zaha has urged Gunners’ fans to show patience with record signing Nicolas Pepe.”

And thus our first bit of disentanglement must be to try and find the “warning” in that urging of “showing patience”.  And obviously there is none.

The story by Amie Wilson goes on to argue Pepe’s performances for Arsenal “so far this season have been met with criticism, the 24-year-old has scored once in the Premier League (from the penalty spot vs Aston Villa), and has provided two assists.”

And here we must ask.  Criticism from whom?   Not the season ticket holders who sit around me, that’s for sure.  No, if there has been criticism it has been from bonkers journalists at FoLo who have the agenda of criticising Arsenal no matter what.  In short the people writing and publishing this story.

It is the classic circular plot.  Create an atmosphere, and then express worry about the atmosphere.

Indeed I am told that every morning all the journalists are called in for a meeting in the Toppled Bollard public house which the editor in chief puts down his early morning gin and tonic and shouts “What do we want?” to which the zombie crew reply “Anti-Arsenal stories.”

“When do we want them?” demands the boss.

“Every 15 minutes in each new article we publish,” the obedient ones respond.

But back to the tale.   “His early form has led to fans questioning if he was value for money,” they say.  Who are these fans we ask, but of course we do not know.  How many were there?  Two, three, three and a basket of left-over takeaways?  We are not told.

However we are told that “Zaha, who plays for the Ivory Coast with Pepe, has insisted that the Arsenal man needs time to adapt to the Premier League before he can reproduce the form that saw the club pay a club record £72 million for his services.”

Ah ha.  Zaha the magnanimous.  I am sure there is a deeper meaning here.   And indeed we have a quote from the esteemed Zaha himself.

“I see the social, I see everything and it’s a thing where he needs time. He’s come from another league, he’s young.

“There’s this price tag that he has not put on himself, people have put that on him because of his performances, so you’ve got to give him time for him to reproduce that, it’s not going to come like that.

“I have got nothing but faith in him, I’ve got confidence that he will produce the same thing that he did before, because we both play for Ivory Coast, I’ve seen the talent he’s got, but not everyone sees it.”

Pausing, we were remember the headline: “Zaha delivers warning” about which the story has said nothing.  Indeed I am  reminded of a conversation heard in bar of the Toppled Bollard last week

“How much did gin did you put in my G&T?” the journalist in charge of knocking Arsenal for a national newspaper demanded of the barmaid.

“A liberal tumblerful, sir,” replies the faithful maidservant.

“Would that be a normal dose for an adult defeatist, now working as a football journalist do you think?”

“Sorry sir,” she says and tips in the rest of the bottle.

In terms of FoLo it is of course all gibberish of bionic proportions.  One might was well ask, “Have you ever seen Pepe eat asparagus?”

“No,” comes back the reply.   “Arsenal in food poisoning scandal at training centre as manager adds kinky foreign food to players’ diet,” screams the headlines the next morning.

You will, I am sure, see the connection.  Such writings affect one’s faith in football journalists and commentators as purveyors of the truth.  Much more of this and we won’t be able to believe a single word they say.


6 Replies to “What’s behind Zaha’s warning about Pepe’s transfer to Arsenal?”

  1. Off topic,how comes no ones talks about the shirt pull even our own Ian Wright and why VAR is always off on Arsenals games. What is going on?

  2. Can’t really believe too many Arsenal fans care that much what Wilf Zaha thinks about our players. Never mind how some muppet reports/spins it. The truth however is that our £72 million record signing has so far been less impressive than our academy graduates. I sincerely hope that changes soon but not many jobs would stand for a huge investment in fees and wages still being virtually anonymous after two months. We can talk it up all we like rather than address the issue but at some point somebody has to point out the at the very least the emperor appears to be somewhat underdressed. A hat trick against Palace would perhaps put the matter to bed. Over to you Nicolas.

  3. Was it because I said Arsenal lacked the required mental strength that’ll enabled them to beat the top six club side teams at the Ems and at away, and the lower club side teams at away in the PL in my last comment posting on the article posting that is threading that has led to my comment not being aired or published on the site?

    The lack of the required mental strength that I said Arsenal lacked is wide ranging that includes the Pgmol match officiating officials in the PL. Which Arsenal are appearing to have failed to take into reckoning when playing in the big games either at the Ems or at away or against the lower opposition teams at away where the Pgmol match officiating officials mostly use to lay ambush for them to inflict damage to them important their campaign in the PL. Just like Mike Dean who refereed the match between Sheff Utd and Arsenal did to Arsenal last night when he deliberately failed to give Arsenal a penalty when Sokratis shirt was pulled in the box and the VAR did not review the incident. Of course the VAR will not review it since the match referee did not make the call for a spot kick. The VAR on it’s own doesn’t give a penalty it can only review some decisions the match referee has made.

    But the moment that Arsenal knew the Pgmol elite referee Mike Dean whoops anti-Arsenal in match refereeing against Arsenal in the PL was going to referee the match, some thing should have told Arsenal some thing against them could cook in the game that could disadvantage them and advantage Sheff Utd. Then, Arsenal should have been extra mentally alert and vigilant in the game to be mentally strong to not take things for granted. Okay, Pepe missed an absolute sitter for Arsenal in the match. Why didn’t he score to give the Gunners the lead in the match when the chance fell to him to do so? Of course Mike Dean will always punish Arsenal for missing that sitter to not help them by awarding a penalty to Arsenal when he should have done so.

    Arsenal were physically, technically, tactically strong in their match against Sheff Utd yesterday night. But they were mentally not very strong as they ought to have been in the match. More so, against Mike Dean in his anti-Arsenal match refereeing in the PL against Arsenal which he carried out last night apparently on the orders of Mike Riley to deny Arsenal from regaining the 3rd spot in the table.

  4. @ Dec

    Do you remember how poor Thierry was in his first half season or so? If you do, then you you must realise that moaning so soon is a nonsense. Several people looked very stupid doing the same thing with him. (Although it may well be the same people doing the same again with Pepe having learnt nothing from their mistakes!) If you don’t remember, then do some research and see how one of the finest players in the history of football took a significant time to adjust to playing in the English League.

  5. I wish it were that simple Dec but Tony has written regularly about how hard it is for a newly acquired player from another league to adapt in their first year in the EPL. Adrian Clarke, who knows a lot more about Football and how to analyse games than you or I do,noted that Pepe was the best of a lukewarm lot against the Blades and that he showed real skill in positioning, passing, defending and unfortunately slipped a bit in shooting, but Clarke is convinced that he will soon be firing on all 8 cylinders.

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