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December 2020
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Why football journalism is both misleading and making no sense at all.

This article continues from How Fulham 0 Arsenal 3 was a total disaster… for journalists and “How the journalists got it wrong”

By Minze A’duble

It is this sort of appallingly lazy and misleading journalism that I have tried to illustrate in the previous two articles today, that really does frustrate.  I often take the Guardian as an example, because generally the Guardian doesn’t do this sort of no evidence biased writing in the rest of its reporting – and if it does get things wrong it apologises.

In other words if I started quoting from the Sun or the Express, one could easily say, but this is not different from the rest of the paper.  It is all biased invention.

But when the sort of nonsense that Untold has often highlighted is in all the papers, and on the broadcast media, all the time, there is a need to explore this more deeply and make it apparent.

Yes if Ms Lawrence, an acclaimed journalist, ever apologised for misleading us with the “double figures” slight, I apologise to her.  I’m sorry I must have missed it.

So, recently we have had this story about our awful defence – and it is simply misleading.   What dropped last season to its lowest level since 1996 (1996 yes nearly a quarter of a century ago) was the goal scoring.  How could these so-called professional journalists not know this?  This is why the arrival of Martinelli was so welcomed and his injury such a devastation.  This is why we need either Lacazette or Eddie or Pepe to be knocking in the goals alongside Auba.  And why it was good to see Laca opening the scoring in the opening game, despite us being told by the press that he was no good at scoring.

But what I puzzle over is whether is it just incompetence that leads the journalists down the wrong path as with Ms Lawrence in the past and Sam Dean now, or do they do it just to wind us up?

Now, if you have been paying attention you will know that we recently ran an article in which we pointed out that the daily questions of those running football basically have to do with transfers creating a feel-good factor around the game, making it more family-friendly, a decent thing to be interested in, so that the sponsors keep on investing.   They are not interesting in football.  Not a bit.

And so I suspect they are endlessly pushing the journalists into their view of reality.   But their view is not the real world – not at all.

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For example, in their last 12 games Arsenal played some strong teams, but were not leaking goals by the bucket load…

Date Game Res Score Competition
25 Jun 2020 Southampton v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
28 Jun 2020 Sheffield United v Arsenal W 1-2 FA Cup
1 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Norwich City W 4-0 Premier League
4 Jul 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
7 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Leicester City D 1-1 Premier League
12 Jul 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
15 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Liverpool W 2-1 Premier League
18 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Manchester City W 2-0 FA Cup
21 Jul 2020 Aston Villa v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
26 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Watford W 3-2 Premier League
1 Aug 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-1 FA Cup
29 Aug 2020 Arsenal v Liverpool W 1-1 Community Shield

Nine goals conceded in 12 games.   0.75 goals per game.  Including playing all five other members of the top six in that series of 12 games.

If continued across 38 games (that’s a season – I put that in to help out any confused journalists who might be reading at this point) rather than 12 (fractionally under a third of a season) Arsenal would let in 28.5 goals.  Lets be fair call it 29.  Lower than any team in the Premier League last season.

Now ok, you can’t extrapolate one third of a season into a whole season and get the exact answer, but moving from playing across one third of a season with a defence working better than any other defence in the league, to “incompetence” is bonkers, even for the totally loopy football correspondents.

I seriously do feel that journalism is harming football, not just because it is written so badly, but because the power of the journalists across newspapers and broadcast media has become bigger than ever, and their mindless nonsense is then copied by so many bloggers – which gives the approach credibility.

So this week’s Amy Lawrence award for statistical incompetence does indeed go to Nick Ames.  And this season, if we possibly can, Untold is going to look at what journalists say before matches as well as after, to note just how in touch or out of touch with reality they actually are.

3 comments to Why football journalism is both misleading and making no sense at all.

  • Yesterday RIo Ferdinand and Peter Crouch were sensible enough to admit that slating Gabriel after his first five minutes in the Premier League was, perhaps, a bit premature on their part. There’s a lot of stupid going around.

  • Nitram

    Mike

    But what that seems to tell us is where their mindset was at. In other words they just couldn’t wait for him to mess up and prove their hope for him to be crap and for Arsenal to of “yet again” cocked it up. A first minute mistake was manner from heaven and just too exciting to ignore.

    Basically they came too soon, and like so many of us following similar embarrassing moments simply had to apologise. Alas as in this case sometimes that is just not enough !

  • Chris

    Guys,

    on french TV yesterday, one guy was stating we wre witnessing a second invincibles season. The other a 4th place.
    Considering the bias I’ve heard there, the comments were surprising.
    Now that I see that last 12 games statistic…and remembering yesterday’s game…I expect this season to be a lot different.

    Which does not change the facts Tony is highlighting. The gaslighting by the so-called journalists and their scribbler colleagues is just mindboggling.
    On par with what you can see daily at the White House press conferences…

    Wonder what them scribblers are going to write about our neighbour’s Jose’s first game of the season in his billion € stadium. What a wonderful game….

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