By Sir Hardly Anyone
Having more or less run out of players to tip as being the men about to join Arsenal, the media have reversed their strategy today and are now looking for players that they can claim are about to leave.
Unfortunately one of the pre-requisites for being a football journalist these days are a total lack of imagination when making stories up, with most transfer stories being re-workings of previously told tales, and so is the case with these leavers. So here we go…
Just Arsenal for example run the ancient “Mustafi is being transferred out of the club” story starting with the headline “Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta forced to make Shkodran Mustafi transfer decision” which goes on to tell us that Mustafi has changed his agent from which we jump to the point that he is off.
Money Money no Money
But beyond this departure, the media seem hard pressed to work out who is going. Yet, they insist, players have to leave because Arsenal need to buy multiple new players (the normal media story) and the Kroenkes won’t give the club any money (the normal AST story) and so selling is the order of the day. Talk Sport’s headline “Arteta ‘unlikely to be given January transfer funds’ despite Arsenal crisis” is just one such response.
Except, the jolly ol’ FoLo has found a way around this. See here…
“According to reports in Italy – via Forza Roma – AS Roma are keen to turn Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s loan deal into a permanent one. Furthermore, it’s been revealed that an first offer of £10m has already been submitted.”
Problem solved job done.
Which is in turn contradicted by The Hard Tackle, which quotes Fotomac which quotes the Sun to say that we are signing Merih Demiral for £42.5 million. Do you believe any story that starts with The Sun?
Some publications however are already backing down on the earlier certainty about Arsenal’s buyings, with The Sports Review telling us “Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal will try and be active in the January transfer window as they look to add to their squad.” I am not sure that “will try” really makes for a big story however.
One story I particularly liked though is this from the Daily Express under the headline “Arsenal make Dayot Upamecano transfer decision that has been influenced by one signing.”
We are then told that “Arsenal have decided that they will not pay over the odds for Dayot Upamecano this January, because they have William Saliba joining up with his new team-mates in the summer. That’s according to Sky Sports man Dharmesh Sheth, who believes RB Leipzig will also not consider selling the player mid-season.”
Now when one thinks about this, it all looks rather odd. First, the club has known for rather a long time that William Saliba is theirs – he was loaned back as part of the purchase deal. And so they know if they need another player. Does it really take a man from Sky Sports to work that out?
Actually I suspect it does, given the sort of news Sky Sports puts out.
Tactical change up front
Finally there is a long (at least by their own standards) piece in FootLond under a headline which gets very excited about key changes going on in the tactics at the club: “Arteta’s key change to unleash Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe as a front three to fear”.
It concludes after a fair amount of huffing and puffing that “in the early stages of attacks, it is Lacazette that is by far the most active of the three. Tasked with being the link between Arsenal’s attack and midfield, he often has to drop deep to take the ball.”
I’m glad they got that sorted.
My guess is that all of Football London’s output is handled as little chunks of byte sized bites which are programmed to create headlines and little articles of 50 or so words which may or may not mean anything. So it is that under the headline “Arsenal and Mikel Arteta handed major boost ahead of Crystal Palace trip”Luka Milivojevic will not be playing for Palace in the game. And that is the “major boost”.
“Arsenal are said to have a ‘strong interest’ in making a move for Ajax talisman Hakim Ziyech this month.” Read Arsenal announces. According to Wiki, “Hakim Ziyech plays as an attacking midfielder for Ajax and for the Morocco national team. In 2019, he was selected as one of the 20 best players in the UEFA Champions League for the 2018–19 season.
And that’s about it for now.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP