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October 2020
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Fulham v Arsenal: how the journalists got it wrong. Part 2

By Minze A’duble

This article continues from How Fulham 0 Arsenal 3 was a total disaster… for journalists

If that is the case, the journalists have the perfect way of making us doubt ourselves and believe in them, since they all stand together, making the same allegations, taking the same route.

Never explaining, always complaining, never apologising for errors.  Is that how it is?

Because if we start thinking the way that they do en masse, we quickly agree with them.  But the moment we think, hang on, that fundamental premise is not right, we inevitably reach the conclusion that there is a journalistic incompetence endemic in football journalism.

They ceaselessly blame the players and managers for incompetence, but mostly give us journalism dashed out in a rush without actually considering incredibly simple points such as ,”just how many goals do clubs let in?”  Or in the point we started with in the last article, “who’s that guy playing in the middle of the park who scored an utterly outrageous goal in the pre-season game against MK Dons, and who played in the Community Shield game, and now (without anyone predicting it and hardly anyone commenting on it) played in the 3-0 win at Fulham?”

Back with the Guardian, where we spent some moments in the last article, it was suggested pre-match that Gabriel Magalhães might not be ready for the rough and tumble that is the English game, “but a solid start for Saliba would inspire confidence that Arsenal’s regenerated backline may be able to banish the ghosts of several years’ incompetence.”

A totally wrong reading of where things were going.  Saliba wasn’t even in the squad.  Elneny was.  And then after the game, making no reference to their earlier prediction that Gabriel Magalhães would not play they wrote “Gabriel Magalhães, ran [Willian] close in the man-of-the-match stakes.”  True, but it would have been good to acknowledge just how awful the pre-match predictions had been.

However phrases such as “I got that one totally wrong” and “The last article was a total cock up on my part” or “If you thought my previous piece was a total load of bollocks you were right,” just never make it into print.

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And since many football supporters never focus on facts and statistics they get away with it.  The make-believe fantasy world of the journalists is so constant in its drip drip drip of gibberish, no one notices anymore.

130 players tipped to be coming to Arsenal?  Utter nonsense of course but no one says, “That is tripe,” because we are all so used to everything published in the media and spoken on radio and TV as being utter garbage.

However this lack of vision while making predictions would be excusable if it were not for the fact that it was combined with a lack of awareness.  After all we can all get predictions wrong.

But there are so many false predictions, so many errors overlooked, so much misrepresentation of reality, that we end up with the annual Amy Lawrence Award for Misleading Statements commemorating her announcement that Arsenal were clearly rubbish because they only had two players who had scored in double figures during the previous season.

It sounded dreadful and others picked up on it, repeating the notion that Arsenal were rubbish because they only had two players in double figures, when in fact only one team in the entire league had three players on double figures, and the third player was only just there having got ten).

Besides some teams get lots of penalties (but that’s not mentioned because the vagaries of PGMO are also taboo among football journalists).  So a club with one penalty taker and lots of pens might well have a goalscorer in double figures.  Arsenal on the other hand had to work for their goals.

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2 comments to Fulham v Arsenal: how the journalists got it wrong. Part 2

  • Mig

    Thank you Minze for writing about the wrongs of the journalists. To be honest because they are so crap it’s like they are scoring own goals. Because the laziness and sloppiness in the tripe they gush out is slowly but surely moving readers to other forms of media to read and keep updated on football news. I for one don’t read any newspapers apart from The Metro because I think they tend to get things and sport about right. The rest of sport news I get from the Arsenal News App and Sky News and BBC News. Some articles on the Arsenal News App do link off to newspaper stories but I like most others no doubt only clink the link if it sounds interesting and somewhat value add.

  • Nonny

    @ Minze, it’s unfortunate but football has gotten to the time where anyone can say anything and get away with it. Should it be so? Definitely not but “it is what It is”.

    I go to this local bar where fans gather to see matches and hear a lot of rubbish. Unfortunately, some fans are just as bad. There is this fan popularly called Arsene Wenger. Not because of his knowledge of the game but because he says he his a die-hard Arsenal fan. If he were Arsenal coach he would probably have canceled the contract of 80% of the team because he does not like them and replace them with half of Europe.

    Why I’m using him in this analogy is because he has unfortunately bought into the gibberish written daily and now spills the same in the name of football knowledge.

    Most people who write about or analyze football have very limited knowledge of the game. This includes ex-players who can not cut it in football management. (I’m talking to you, Gary Neville). They don’t even understand sometimes what they see even if it’s as simple as the team formation.

    Enough said. I’ve long ago closed my ears and eyes to hearing and reading all those gibberish.

    Have a beautiful week and don’t allow your life to be run by Arsenal’s performance or what people say and you will live longer. Adios Amigos.

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