By Sir Hardly Anyone
“Reportedly” is now the football journalists’ go-to word of choice. The on-line dictionary provided by Google (which tends to be quite helpful on words that have achieved recent popularity) defines it as “according to what some say (used to express the speaker’s belief that the information given is not necessarily true)”
My two-volume 5000 page Oxford English Dictionary on historical principles, which gives the earlier uses of words (the sort of thing only nerds and writers on historical matters have) doesn’t have the word listed at all. The Merriam Webster online dictionary simply has the definition as “according to report”.
In short, it is a modern word that basically appears to mean “someone said or wrote this and made it public and it may not be true”. In fact, looking at the way bloggers and journalists use it I would say it is a word that conveys that what follows probably has nothing to do with the truth. It is was related to the truth, a source and a quote would be given. It is a blame-game word – someone said it so I am going to say it. Its use shows how low football journalism has sunk – it is a word that admits the source is so unreliable the tale is unlikely to be true.
Virtually every report of Ozil’s salary used the word either to describe how much his salary is, or to describe the notion that he was refusing a pay cut.
And of course it is used in virtually every transfer tale. Very few journalists or bloggers are willing to take responsibility for any of the tales, rather they report what others are saying. Go back to that source and you find they in turn are reporting what others are saying. Sometimes the “others” are the very people who are quoting them.
It is gibberish, with, as we often say, a 3% success rate at best.
Here are some of the latest wild ravings…
Sardar Azmoun – plays for Zenit St Petersburg, and is the fifth-highest Iranian goal scorer of all time – and of course, he is still knocking the goals in – 32 goals in 50 games for his country already. 442, HITC and TBR are all suggesting Arsenal are actively after the player. But in the Russian league, he has got 19 in 33 since last year, which is not quite as good, but still not at all bad.
César Gelabert is a 19-year-old who is with Real Madrid reserves. The SLyon are reportedly said to have had an offer rejected already.
Franck Kessie is a player being mentioned in Italian media as coming to Arsenal – the next Yaya Toure we are told. He’s with AC Milan whom he joined in 2019 and has played for 23 times. after playing over 70 times while on loan from Atalanta.
Wilfred Ndidi has turned up in reports from Bleacher, the Mail, Teamtalk and the Sun as moving from Leicester (for whom he has played 111 times) to Arsenal. He is a Nigerian midfielder. Since 2015 he has played 36 times for Nigeria.
Kays Ruiz-Atil we are told is the next Lionel Messi – a 17-year-old playing with PSG, and if he is that good the question that arises is why on earth they would let him go? But L’Équipe says they might and he could come our way.
The reason is that he came to PSG from Barcelona, but in six years at the club has not yet had a game, and he is itching to get a start.
Adama Traore plays for Wolverhampton, and is a 24-year-old wing back who can also play midfield or on the wing. The Daily Star says we are interested. He is 24 and has played 57 times for Wolverhampton since he joined them in 2018 from Middlesbrough. As we have noted Wolverhampton have loans that they have to repay at the start of next season, guaranteed by next season’s TV money – which means they are in trouble since they are possibly going to have to pay back this season’s TV money – or maybe some of it.
Gabriel Veron is a 17-year-old Brazilian who plays for Palmeiras, and is described as the Brazilian wonderkid by Football London. He currently plays for Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras in Brazil.
So there we are. Another bunch of possibles (reportedly). We’ll be adding them to the total chart in a short while – and that will take us to well over 60 tips, with no football and no transfer window (it opens on 10 June and will close at 5pm on 1 September. Don’t hold your breath.)
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