The most stupid stories & events in football this season.

The central theme of this last season was the change in the way newspapers report football. The Times preoccupation was rewriting the news – in one case (Bugduv) they even went so far as to remove previous entries on the story from old pages of their web site. Just as KGB Fulham do with their fans forum when unwelcome comments are made.

The Mirror and the Mail work a different way – take a story, run it, get the denials, and then run it again a few weeks later. The Arshavin contract story is a perfect example. Here’s my top 10.

1: Hull Spitty and their “manager” Brown. They were admired for their attacking style, and applauded at many grounds, until their idiot manager sat the players on the pitch at half time and waved his finger at them. Went on to make wild allegations all over the place including the notorious spittlegate incident. Regularly hauled up before the FA who regularly bottle dealing with his outbursts, allegations. He has proved that you can make any allegation to take attention away from your own misdemeanors

2: The Tiny Totts. If it weren’t for the fact that they do it each season they would be the laughing stock for their predictions that they are about to break into the top 4.

3: Manchester Arab. About to buy Kaka for £100m they found that, as Bob Dylan said, “when money doesn’t talk it swears”. Kaka didn’t want to be sworn at so went to Real Mad at half the price. Spent the whole of the year claiming to be signing God and his Son but they meandered through the Oooze rather than walking on water.

4: Daily Mirror. Arsenal will buy Peter Crouch to replace Adebayor it said in the summer of 2008. Even more oddly in May this year The Mirror ran the story again without a trace of post-modern irony.

5: The Times. Having told us that West Ham were safe and had been rescued so much that they now had a £20m transfer kitty, the next day they changed the story and said that West Ham were about to go bust and that they could reveal that the new owners were actually the same as the old owners. Only they forgot to tell us that it was they who ran the original story. Stand up Winston Smith – 1984 is here and this is your Times.

6: The Times (again). I’ve done this story before, but its a beaut. In January this year The Times published a list of up and coming giants of the game and included at number 30 (and I quote exactly)… Masal Bugduv (Olimpia Balti) “Moldova’s finest, the 16-year-old attacker has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, work permit permitting. And he’s been linked with plenty of other top clubs as well”. He doesn’t exist.

7: Newcastle Zebras
and their owners offered on EBay. Need I say more?

8: Spirit of Shankly. A Liverpool supporters group that generally does good stuff and cares about the tradition of its club. I may not like Liverpool but I can admire genuine support. So it was a bit of a shame that at their end of season bash this year they had a comedian on stage who did a long piece making fun of the Munich air disaster. Spirit say that the man was not invited but just got on stage. Maybe. But he stayed there for 15 minutes, according to reports. Not very clever after taking the moral high ground over Hillsborough.

9: The FA and the EPL. Faced with clubs on the edge of bankruptcy they do nothing. And then again, nothing. After that they did nothing, and then just to make sure we got the measure….

10: Arshavin wants contract talks. The Daily Mail ran this story in May, and then they ran it all over again in June – and as with the Mirror rerunning the Crouch story so they forgot to tell us that this was a reprint.

What did I miss?

Next up – Real Madrid’s finances. It is either the work of the insane or they have found a way to buy players for nothing. I’m running out of envelope backs in trying to work out which.

18 Replies to “The most stupid stories & events in football this season.”

  1. There must be many more, with the sun and star and the NOTW clowns misusing every word a player says and twisting the story to sell to the builders acros the road

  2. The interview Cesc granted to El Mundo Deportivo shows his heart is not really at this club after all. There is no better way to canvass for a move to Barca than he did in this interview and I welcome his exit now. We could even have Yaya plus a cash of GBP20m in return. I like his mentality but he can only perform better and develop with experienced plyers around him so making him team captain when we did was just not right; it was done by Wenger to keep him at the club. Should Wenger make the right buys now, this team should once again be competiting for silverware. We have been linked with the Ajax skipper and as Dennis Bergkamp is at Ajax completing his coaching course, I believe he will be avery good buy. But why we haven’t concluded this signing and move to the next player is beyond me. Mr Wenger, we need to show our intent to compete now.

  3. I am a bit worried by that article, Cesc hasn’t seemed himself lately…think we should let him leave if we get 40mill plus yaya

  4. Parsi – you are commenting on an article which suggests that journalists and editors make up stories, reprint untrue stories, and then wipe past stories that don’t fit with today’s views from their web sites.

    And then you say “The interview Cesc granted to El Mundo Deportivo shows his heart is not really at this club”. On what possible basis can you make such a judgement?

    The most likely scenario is that the story was invented and the quotes made up in a bar. The second most likely is that it is a re-hash of an old story – again based on past rumour. The third most likely is that while with the Spain team he was asked by a Spanish journalist to comment and he was his normal diplomatic self, said quite a lot more, and then a bit was taken out. Remember Bentnder’s interview in the Danish press which was translated as “I should play every minute of every game”?

    But beyond everything else, why do you choose to believe this rather than his other recent article in which he is purported to have said something like, I recently signed a long term contract with Arsenal, and I intend to stay here.

    Why believe one and not the other without any clear evidence? The only evidence there is, (and I write this as one who spent a number of years as a journalist) is that journalists make up stories, and that papers print, reprint and delete the news that fits with today’s stories.

    I really cannot see how you can make your comment following the article I posted, unless you do so with some evidence to counter my piece?

    But if you do want a bit of inside information on the world of journalism, try “The Man Who Hated Football”


  5. What do you guys think Wenger should do with Fabregas after yet more inappropriate comments, if anything? I’m becoming ever more frustrated with Fab, not because he wants to play for Barcelona, that I understand totally but it’s his constant referrals to how special they are and how it would be an honour, etc. We get it Fab, they’re your team but unless you sit down with Pep or AW…we don’t need to hear about it every week. You’re the captain of Arsenal F.C. ffs, learn to deflect! I don’t think it’s befitting of a club captain at all. Sadly, by taking the captaincy off Fab, we would only make it easier for him to leave, and it sends out the wrong signals to other clubs. Then there’s the issue of would take it up? So really AW can only lump it or have a quiet word in his ear…and I hope he does say something to prevent this becoming anymore regular/ having more significant implications. I appreciate why Fab got it in the first place but I was never happy about it.

  6. I think the coming season will have a lot to do with who comes/stays or even leaves. We all know that Wenger will not spend on experience (the panic buy of Arshavin aside). Without that buy, I doubt we would have got fourth place, despite Villa pressing the self- destruct button, which was the main reason. As I and a number of us have said in recent times, the Board make ambiguous noises about how much is available and Wenger’s eccentric responses over the years to the “how much money is available” question also further confuse. However, with the lock down agreement in place, we cannot expect any major expenditure to take place before that expires as that would dilute matters further? As and when a take over happens, that will coincide with the end of Wenger’s current contract, so as far as one can make out, he will not, or has been told do not, spend heavily!

  7. Tony,
    You forgot the James-le-Beak-et-al saga. It’s the first time I learned about the tactic “paging” and thanks to the high standard of journalism these days, they did become a laughing stock of some kind.

  8. Marc – is that the insult you respectfully toss at people whose opinions differ from yours? ROTF

  9. Nhan Le – People are entitled to thier own opinions. I’m just fed up with the constant criticism of the current players, manager and board.

    Parsi – Why does the lock down agreement affect spending and why would spending dilute matters further? Dilute what share value?

  10. Marc – I’m just kidding. I’m with you on this one.

    by the way, for those who find Cesc’s admiration for Guardiola as news, have you ever heard that Cesc asked for number 4 because he wanted to wear Pep’s number and that he claimed to model his style after him? this transfer must have been plotted a long time ago, yes?

  11. This isn’t a big deal in terms of headline grabbing made up stuff but it does illustrate how shoddy are the editorial and journalistic standards in the mainstream press.
    From this weekend’s Mirror. Two stories facing one another on the sports pages, you could see both clearly at the same time. From the first:
    “Wenger is also now close to sealing an £11m deal for Ajax’s Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen.”
    From the second:
    “Arsene Wenger began rebuilding the Gunners’ shaky backline last weekend by snapping up £11million Ajax defender Thomas Vermaelen.”
    So there we have it, they contradict themselves in the same issue. No one paid so to do spotted the discrepancy? They can’t both be true so one or both writers has made it up.
    It’s not just us, in a barely coherent piece on how some other London based team was looking to offload all their strikers (?) they made a lazy list of a load of Sp*rs players and described them as more players who could be sold this summer. Well really? Anyone could pick 7 players from any squad and say they could be sold. It’s tripe. Don’t believe a word and get your news here or from the official site.

  12. Parsi, you have no evidence for your claim that Arshavin was a ‘panic’ buy. That is not Arsene’s style at all. He is very thoughtful and considered about who he buys for the team. If he was a person who panics he would have bought someone for the sake of it last summer. Instead, when he couldn’t get his targets he made do with what he had, expecting TR7 to be back in September. In fact, if you knew anything about the manager of the club you claim to support, you would know that Arsene was a long time admirer of Arshavin and bought him when he knew Rosicky wasn’t going to be back and also because of the level of injuries amongst the creative players. It turns out it was at exactly the right time when he could get him for a much better price than was being bandied about in the summer.

  13. Hi all, Intresting forum we have here….nice to see a lot of pro arsenal posts on here..keep up the good work-i’m going to browse some of the old articles on here-some excellent stuff you have here Tony…well done

  14. hahaha

    I love these kinds of posts!! :o)

    Always a highlight of my day to read here.

  15. hype, although i agree with you that arshavin was a considered purchase, and one that arsene had been chasing for a while, i think that the process of buying silvestre wasnt half as considered.

    dont get me wrong i’m not slagging him, but he is an example of a ‘panic’ buy. relative to other arsene signings.

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