By Tony Attwood
Infantino is using Fifa for his own global policy with a sense of impunity; Russia is declaring war on the rest of the world with a sense of impunity. The PGMO runs the refereeing system with its multiple mistakes with the media refusing to take a look. The Daily Mirror misdirects fans into the vision of Arsenal as a struggling failure, with blinking a metaphorical eyelid.
There’s a theme here: organisations concocting their own vision of how the world is without any recourse to the truth.
And in pondering this I am grateful to arseblog for reminding us in a tweet of Arsene Wenger’s comment two years back in which he said, “We lost our status as Invincibles against Man Utd in a game where referees shared some of the responsibility. It wasn’t deserved. When I die, I’m going to ask God where the referees are before I choose between Heaven and Hell.”
As we watch, Infantino, under investigation in Switzerland is using Fifa for his own global policy with a sense of impunity; Russia is declaring war on the rest of the world with a sense of impunity. PGMO runs refereeing with a sense of impunity. The FA can’t organise a European final at Wembley without it descending into chaos.
But no one calls on the FA to wind itself up, just a no one pointed a finger at it when it allowed the wholesale abuse of children to develop spread throughout the entire world of football.
Instead, the media has recreated the daily world of football as a tale of mistakes by idiot managers, written up by people who have no experience of successful football management and who are perfectly willing to manipulate and omit facts to suit their own story.
Now of course football is a trivial matter compared with the thousands of deaths that are resulting from Russia’s invasion, but that is not my point. It is that the process being employed in Russia to excuse the invasion of Ukraine is the same as that used by newspapers to suggest that Arsenal are not doing well and that chaos lurks around every corner.
This is not to merge the importance of these two processes but it is to suggest that this approach is universal. Hiram Johnson more or less said, “The first casualty of War is Truth”. But that is no longer the fact. The reality is that the first consequence of reporting is misdirection.
I’m not sure I’ve lived a good enough life to get the chance of choosing where I go after death, but if by some odd administrative error I were to be invited into heaven, I’d certainly ask where the football journalists and their bosses are.
Let me give just one example of what is going on. Recently we have been showing that if Arsenal and Chelsea continue to get results as they have been of late, Arsenal will end up in third place above Chelsea (Why Arsenal will finish above Chelsea in third place this season.)
Perhaps by coincidence and perhaps by choice the Daily Mirror then came out with a piece on whether Arsenal’s games in hand will be enough to get them into the top four. They said, “a closer look at the games Arsenal must make up suggests there are no guarantees these will help them close the gap on the Red Devils, even if it is only two points. This is because each of the fixtures are against so-called ‘Big Six’ rivals, namely challenging trips away to Tottenham and Chelsea as well as a home encounter with title-chasing Liverpool.”
But as we have pointed out before we have three games in hand and Manchester United’s fixture list includes Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham.
So we not only have three games in hand, they have more games against the bix six than we do.
The issue is the making up of wild stories which are either untruthful or misleading and in this regard, the Mirror is using the same tactics as Russia. Of course, there is no comparison in terms of the impact and importance, but my point is that untruth and misleading statements are now the lingua franca of commentators as diverse as Russian politicians and Daily Mirror football journalists. It is the norm, it is everywhere. Truth is nothing.
And that is rather worrying.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the team and league positons AFTER the game.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: injuries, yellow cards and recent form
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the referee who just doesn’t oversee home wins
- Newcastle United’s weakness revealed and what they could do. Arsenal v Newcastle United.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the tackles, fouls and yellow cards compared