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September 2020
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How one journalist is responsible for making up Arsenal transfer tales

By Sir Hardly Anyone

There are some weird tales in the Daily Mail today.  And they are so weird that even the word “weird” doesn’t seem to be enough.

First, have this:

“Sometimes, with Arsenal, it seems as if we have seen it all before. In this case, we pretty much have. In 2017, having missed out on the Champions League, Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2-1 in an FA Cup final, with a few mistakes from the referee, Anthony Taylor, and many positive signs. And what happened next? The following season, Alexis Sanchez was sold to Manchester United and Arsene Wenger stood down. That day’s matchwinner, Aaron Ramsey, later left for Juventus.”

The Mail mentioning refereeing mistakes is very unusual, even if the implication is that the mistakes aided Arsenal and Arsenal shouldn’t have won the final.  And the Mail suggesting that the forced resignation of Mr Wenger was a mistake is interesting too.  And the departure of Ramsey was indeed sad to see.  But selling Sanchez to Man U a mistake???

Overall Arsene Wenger got the very best out of Alexis Sanchez.  He scored 60 goals in 122 league games – a terrific return.  But he was fading fast and in 2017/18 he got eight goals in 22 – a significant decline.   And that decline has continued with three goals in 32 games at Manchester United and four goals in 22 at Inter Milan.  Conning Man U into buying the player by suggesting that he (Mr Wenger) was a crap manager (which everyone knew because it was in the papers) and that Man U would see the player’s genius, was itself a work of genius.

And now here comes  the Mail telling us that “Mikel Arteta must offload stars before spending this summer… with as many as NINE first-team players – including Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette – in the shop window.”  (That from Sami Mokbel whose picture is above).

We might well conclude that is all just mindless chit-chat.  After all our annual tracking of transfer stories shows that only 3% of the rumours concerning Arsenal purchases each summer are actually real.  But this summer we are up to 122 rumours with more still to add, and around 15% of those coming primarily from the Mail!!!!!!!!!

And we must note that there is something else running in the Mail today for they have the headline

“SPORTS AGENDA: Manchester United officials frustrated with ‘deliberately placed bogus transfer stories’ as they describe reports of deal for Wolves ace Raul Jimenez as ‘utter nonsense’

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  • Manchester United disappointed with what they see as ‘bogus transfer stories’
  • United described links with Wolves forward Raul Jimenez as ‘utter nonsense’

That’s distressing and shocking.  The Daily Mail is blaming itself!  Here are just a few Daily Mail headlines from the last couple of weeks…

  • Raul Jimenez welcomes transfer talk
  • Raul Jimenez could be ‘on his way’ to Man United …
  • Juventus ‘willing to sell Douglas Costa with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez lined up as a replacement’
  • Manchester United ‘interested in Wolves striker Raul Jimenez …
  • Raul Jimenez is flattered by ‘interest from Manchester United and Juventus’
  • Wolves star Raul Jimenez relishes ‘incredible’ transfer interest from Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool as he aims to move to a …
  • Juventus ‘join Manchester United in race for Raul … – Daily Mail
  • Juventus ‘join Manchester United in race for Raul Jimenez’ but will make Alexandre Lacazette back up target if they fail in bid for Wolves’ star …

It is a clever ploy of the Mail to run a story into the ground by repeating it over and over but then to say the club is complaining about the fact that newspapers are running the story, without actually saying it is the Mail that is running the story, well, that is sheer journalistic genius.

However it does mean that we should take anything the Mail says with some pinches of sodium chloride (that is salt, for the benefit of readers who skipped year 3 chemistry).

Thus when the venerable SAMI MOKBEL (name in caps please) writes that, “Arteta knows he must sell players to generate the money required to land his first-choice transfer targets – and he could even offload Alexandre Lacazette or Hector Bellerin if a sizeable offer is made for either player. Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sead Kolasinac – as well as Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding, who have played key roles for Arteta in recent weeks – are also in the shop window,” we should be prepared for it to be a load of mindless gibberish.

For this is almost certainly a set up.  If Arsenal don’t sell those players, and don’t get off to a flying start next season the Mail will be able to run stories about how Arsenal bungled the transfer window.  If they do, they will have told us so.

Indeed, without having to check a single fact or leave the Toppled Bollard public house, the writers of the Mail are able to set up a story about players that need to be sold, then write a set of stories about the clubs who want to buy them, then do a story about how Arsenal failed to sell them, and then write a story about how the Mail told everyone how it should be done, and if only Arsenal had listened.

All without getting up.

Of course if the transfers don’t go through, but Arsenal do get off to a great start, they just write about something else, and wait until there is a momentary downturn in fortunes, and then bring it out again then.

Thus football journalism has become a game of setting up the next two, three, four, five… ten articles without ever having to do any work at all.

This also shows the utter contempt with which football supporters are treated by the Mail, because when they write “Officials at Manchester United are growing increasingly frustrated at what they see as deliberately placed bogus transfer stories attempting to generate interest in players and increase prices,” they should have written,

“Officials at Manchester United are growing increasingly frustrated at what they see as deliberately placed bogus transfer stories in the Mail as a method of journalists avoiding doing any work”.

But here is the coup de grass (and yes I know it should be coup de grâce but linking the story with a lawn mower is slightly more giggle worthy).

“There is a belief at Old Trafford that agents feel the club are an easy target, and that if they can get them linked with certain players it will be in their own interests. ‘The Jimenez story making the gossip page on the BBC’s website certainly did not help,’ the source added.”

The BBC’s website!!!   We found eight separate Daily Mail stories of  this same transfer nonsense after a five second search, and the Mail has the nerve to site the BBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (continue exclamation marks for another five minutes).

We, the football fans, really are being treated with utter contempt.  Not just because the Mail publishes this, but because they expect us to be taken in by it all.

Still at least when they said

“EXCLUSIVE BY SAMI MOKBEL: The Gunners eased their financial concerns to the tune of £30million with Saturday’s euphoric FA Cup final victory over Chelsea, which booked their place in next season’s Europa League. But Arteta (top) knows he must sell players to generate the money required to land his first-choice transfer targets – and he could even offload Alexandre Lacazette (middle-left) or Hector Bellerin (middle-right) if a sizeable offer is made for either player. Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sead Kolasinac – as well as Shkodran Mustafi (bottom-right) and Rob Holding (bottom-left), who have played key roles for Arteta in recent weeks – are also in the shop window,” we know it is a pack of lies.

 

 

9 comments to How one journalist is responsible for making up Arsenal transfer tales

  • Laos Gooner

    The transfer window has become a shop window? Defenestration for MR. Mokbel would be the most appropriate use of any window I can think of at the moment.

  • The one transfer that needs to take place ( but won’t) because Arsenal stitched themselves up good and proper Is offloading Ozil. How he managed to negotiate a salary of £350k ia week is beyond comprehension. Of course even though I doubt he’ll ever play for us again he has made it known he has no intention of moving on. Probably because no other team would be daft enough to pay him the same. Worst contract deal ever , dreadful.

  • Nitram

    OK Rudolph we get it, you can’t stand Ozil.

    You was on here slagging him off the other day telling us how much better than him Grealish was, only I pointed out how every one of Ozils stats is better than his.

    But hey don’t let the facts get in the way of an obsession will you Rudolf.

  • omgarsenal

    Rudolph………..where did you get this 350K/week figure since AFC NEVER publish their compensation packages. Wait, I know…..you got it from the Mail! Well if they said it, it must be so! Ozil is nobody’s fool, unlike you. He wants to remain with AFC and see out his career, unless a good moffer from Turkey comes in…then he’ll demand a transfer. his wife has said just that and his travels to Turkey and discussions with clubs there are reported by the media.

  • Mikey

    I strongly object to the use of the word “journalist” when used in relation to those who scribble about sports. The particular scribbler to which you refer, Sami Mokbel, is little more than a rodent with a key board.

    I would love to see a weekly article with a “Shame the Scribbler” award posted on facebook so we could share the hell out of it. I despise these people.

  • omgarsenal.

    Well said.

    The myth about the £350k has been repeated so many times that too many people have begun to believe it and then use that fact as the reason for their hatred of our only creative player.

    WE have seen this turning against players by many so called fans so often.

    Almost all of the of our players have been the subject of the venomous tirades from people who know nothing about the actual contract terms and supposedly nothing about what players do in games.

    WE may never know the real reason behind why Ozil is not playing but, interestingly enough, neither he or Arteta are saying anything which indicates to me that it is something private that the parties have decided is best left between them only.

    I, certainly, would welcome his return next season as our lack of crativity has been masked by a string of recent successes that do not help us to evaluate as to how we would do in a normal situation.

    One imagines that were Willian to come on a Bosman, his salary and signing on fee would mean that the cost to the club would be at the very top end on our salary scale.

    No doubt, one bad performance by him and knockers will be out in force quoting the figure that they say he is getting and wanting him out because of it.

  • Nitram

    omgarsenal jjgsol

    This figure being banded about is irrelevant really because knocking Ozil is just what some people do, including a large proportion of the media.

    You only have to read Rudolf’s insulting guff about him being an over rated waste of space and money that should be replaced by, as I showed, the much inferior Grealish of Aston Villa.

    Anyway, just a quick google brings up the following, showing just how ridiculous Rudolf and the rest of the knockers really are:

    Mesut Ozil: Arsenal midfielder wins Germany’s Player of the Year for fifth time

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38630795

    ‘Ozil and Kroos may be Germany’s best ever players’ – Havertz blasts duo’s critics

    https://www.goal.com/en-ie/news/ozil-and-kroos-may-be-germanys-best-ever-players-havertz/o0d5j6umrh5k1b3h7byh19tkl

    Appearances Goals Assists

    Robert Huth 322 Mesut Ozil 33 Mesut Ozil 54
    Dietmar Hamann 268 Klinsmann 29 Leroy Sane 28
    Mesut Ozil 184 Uwe Rosler 29 Dietmar Hamann 22
    Per Mertesacker 156 Leroy Sane 25 Christian Ziege 18
    Jens Lehmann 148 Robert Huth 21 Hitzlsperger 17

    Have your say:

    Who is the Premier League’s best ever German?

    Mesut Ozil 37%
    Michael Ballack 25%
    Ilkay Gundogan 2%
    Dietmar Hamann 6%
    Jurgen Klinsmann12%
    Jens Lehmann 8%
    Leroy Sane 10%

    https://www.premierleague.com/news/1667368

    Says it all really.

  • Those figures indicate that there is much more to this than meets the eye, and the fact that everyone in the know is so tight-lipped about it.

    I hope that the gooner fandum have not been misled by the cup win into thinking that we are better than we really are.

    There is clearly a long way to go, and the lack of creativity is likely to hamper things more than anything.

  • Nitram

    I see Rudolf’s done one of his usual disappearing acts again.

    Still, I’ve no doubt he’ll be back with his usual 3 lines of eternal wisdom sooner or later.

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