By Tony Attwood
The headline in the Mail read
Arsenal board give ultimatum to Unai Emery
and it became one of the most read articles about Arsenal after it was published on Tuesday afternoon.
Yet from the start there were pretty big hints as to the fact it was a fake as immediately under the headline was the word “Gossip” (carefully placed so as not to be picked up by the news accumulator sites).
Then below that was not a reporter’s name as the author of the piece, but instead the phrase “Metro Sport Reporter”. The general rule is, if no one claims responsibility for an article, no one wants responsibility.
After that we had the rather obvious sub-heading
Unai Emery needs to push Arsenal to compete for a top-four spot
and then after all that the report, which tells us in line one
“Arsenal’s hierarchy have given Unai Emery until January to save his job, according to reports.”
And there we have the phrase “According to reports” which when added to the lack of journalist’s name and the use of the word “gossip” means that this story has not been investigated but is just a rehash of a story made up elsewhere.
In fact the actual piece was a masterpiece in blandness, reading,
“Emery is under increasing pressure following Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester City on Saturday, which has left them eight points behind fourth place. Gunners fans are already calling on the club’s board to sack Emery following a number of unconvincing performances. But reports have claimed that Emery will be given time to improve the team’s situation. Emery is under more pressure after Arsenal’s defeat to Leicester City.”
So there is no ultimatum. Or at least none reported here, and indeed in other reports it is said that the board have not issued any ultimatum. Mr Emery has a contract that runs until the end of the season with (it has been reported, and I can’t go further than that because I certainly haven’t seen it) the option by Arsenal to renew for one year.
But the story then meanders even further away from the headline for it continues…
“According to The Sun, Emery’s fate will be decided after the team’s performances this month and in December.
“If Arsenal are in contention of securing a top-four finish after their fixture against Manchester United on New Year’s Day, Emery will be given until the end of the season. But if Arsenal slip further behind, it’s reported that Arsenal’s hierarchy will target a replacement for Emery.”
Again “it is reported.”
So we have no real source for the story other than the fact that it was originally in the Sun. No one in the Metro has verified it, and the headline is simply made up.
The reason of course is the usual two fold reason. One is to get readers onto the web site and the other is to keep knocking the Arsenal. The latter is important to the media because they know that the more they knock the club, the more the camp followers will repeat the story without any attempt to think through what is happening, and the more it will add to the de-stabilisation of the team which is the aim of most of the publications.
It all seems fairly straightforward, but HITC didn’t think so, as they reported
“Some Arsenal fans have been left angry and confused by a report that suggests Unai Emery will be given until January to turn things around at the club.”
Quite why the fans were confused was not explained.
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