By Sir Hardly Anyone
Some days, being a glutton for punishment, I stare at myself in the mirror.
And I ask why? Why do I bother to catalogue the doings of the inhabitants of the Toppled Bollard public house, home of the football journalist elite. I have below my ten stories of which the denizens of that infamous den have been writing. But do their creators actually believe them? For example…
1. Danilo Pereira
Danilo Pereira is a defensive midfielder who has played 132 games for Porto and 37 for Portugal.will cost around €30m. Football.London, O Jogo, and Sport Witness all think this story of him coming to Arsenal is worth following.
But I suspect when they took that decision a cloud was passing in front of what, for want of a better word, might be called the writers’ minds. Then, for a split part of a second, nothing happens. It is as though all Nature waits breathless. Have they realised how silly this all is. Sadly no, for, suddenly we hear ….
2. Thomas Partey
This story has been around as long as this transfer window – and the last one – and that means it has been rambling on forever. Apparently we are now offering Atletico Madrid a choice of players for him – ranging from Hector Bellerin to Lucas Torreira or Alexandre Lacazette if he takes their fancy. The Daily Star’s headline “Arsenal ‘offering three senior stars’ to secure Thomas Partey transfer” makes it sound like Arsenal are offering three at once, but that’s not really the case. If anything here is actually real, that is.
Besides, I wonder if anyone ever asks the players.
He is a defensive midfielder who has played 129 times for Atletico Mad scoring 12 goals, and he has also played 27 times for Ghana scoring at the much higher ratio of 10 goals. Why is that?
3. Don’t sign him!
“Mikel Arteta warned Willian transfer will bring the exact opposite to what Arsenal need” says the Express.
Their piece says that Arsenal need to sign transfer targets who bring a high level of consistency and Willian is not that type of player, (according to Julien Laurens who is credited as being a “European football expert”).
It is of course the standard set up – Arsenal buy someone and he is immediately denounced as the wrong player. Chelsea, we are told, refused to match the 32-year-old’s contract demands.
Now in the old days, journalists had the habit of coughing twice before writing a note in a journal, and then as often as not decide not to write it after all. But not our newspaper journalists, for in addition to these tales of nonsense we have …
4. Eberechi Eze
“After a brilliant Championship season, Queens Park Rangers midfielder Eberechi Eze would love a dream move to Arsenal.”
That story is in the Star, but it is not actually one saying that Arsenal are signing him, rather that the player himself would like to play for Arsenal. But as it moves from the Star to other “outlets” that part of the tale gets lost on occasion.
5. He’s gone before he’s got here.
“Arsenal concern as Dani Ceballos wears Real Betis shirt on holiday” screams theCeballos has made it clear that he wants regular football and has already warned Madrid that he will seek a move away if he is not guaranteed to play 35 games under Zinedine Zidane next season.”
Can you imagine anyone speaking like that to Zidane?
6. It’s here, he’s gone
Fox sports are on the ball telling us in their opening headline, “The transfer window is open.” Which is fortunate because it seems everyone except Arsenal wants Maitland-Niles. Including Tottenham.
It is indeed rather as if the football journalist has studied the male codfish which, finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, embraces each one as a potential buy or sale involving Arsenal. Except that here we have fantasy stories rather than actual codfish.
7. Arsenal join race for Sergio Reguilon
This is another goodie from Football London.
Sergio Reguilon is a Real Mad player who played 14 times for them before going to Sevilla on loan and playing 31 times this year. He’s a 23 year old left back.
8. Desperation sets in
The Daily Star have reported that Mesut Ozil has been pictured on Instagram with the owner of Istanbul Basaksehir, Okan Buruk – and that has “alerted” everyone who can possibly be alerted that something is going to happen. Even though Ozil’s agent has said, “I do not think there will be a change in the case of Mesut Ozil until the summer of 2021.”
Mind you he might be fibbing, although that would be a bit extreme.
9. From Brentford to Milan – or Arsenal
This is the Mirror at it again saying, “AC Milan has become the latest team to show interest in Arsenal target, Said Benrahma.
“The Algerian international was in fantastic form for Brentford in the English Championship this season as they challenged for a place in the Premier League.”
He’s 25 and has been around the clubs a bit playing for Nice (17 games) Angers (12), Gazelec Ajaccio (15) Chateauroux (31) and Brentford (81). In those 81 Brentfordian games he scored 27 from the sing which raises the question, do we want another winger – and if so one from the second tier?
I would like to think that after writing these stories there would be a good deal of embarrassment on the writers’ faces, but sadly not enough to stop them carrying on.
10. Double desperation
Indeed Football.London’s desire to publish a new Arsenal transfer story every two hours can lead it down curious backwaters as with its headline “Gunners on verge of double deal”
This turns out to mean “Arsenal are close to extending the contract of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and completing the signing of Willian this week.” Which I think we already knew.
So that is it. A complete trawl through the stories and what we get is… well, nothing much.
Perhaps if we locked the journalists up in a padded cell with the Commissioners of the Board of Reprobates sitting on their heads that would help.
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