Lies, damned lies, and Journalists

I don’t want to sound paranoid but it’s looking a lot like Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are the subject of a concerted smear campaign by the British Press. I’m well used to the typical attack machine and back-handed snips that often happen when reporting on Arsenal.

These include things like a reporter mentioning the total number of red cards that Arsenal have garnered in the league under Arsene whenever a player is sent off. I’ve also become inured to the typically hyped headlines that follow any Arsenal game that has any controversy. After all, they are in the business of selling newspapers and “Sunderland secure valuable point against Arsenal” is not going to sell nearly as many papers as “Wenger loses plot after late Arsenal lapse.”

I’ve come to expect that Journalists aren’t so much interested in telling the truth but rather in selling papers. They are also human beings and they have a point of view which they cannot completely eradicate from their articles no matter how hard they try. But still, if they work for a newspaper they have editors I expect that those editors will hold the writer to some kind of standard and at the very least what they cannot do is print outright lies in order to serve an agenda.

But that’s what it looks like has happened over the last week or so. It looks like  reporters and columnists are creating articles that contain factually incorrect information in order to serve the agenda that says Arsene is a whiner who wants to remove contact from the game.

The alarm was actually rung by John Cross back on the 15th when he wrote a column that was an impassioned defense of Wenger’s previous press conference. It was a piece titled How Arsene Wenger was unfairly represented in his latest rant against tackling, and the proof that he has a point and in it he laid out a decent enough defense of Wenger, using his own words. Wenger doesn’t want to remove tackling from the game, Wenger isn’t trying to just protect Arsenal, and Wenger even realizes that him saying that he wants to protect the players (ALL the players) will be mis-reported that he wants to only protect his players (and that he’s a whinger, etc).

I didn’t pay much attention to the article because at the time, there were only other managers rattling their sabers, popping their gum, and moaning like a drain. The press corpse hadn’t quite woken up to the potential for a season-long controversy from Wenger’s presser. Unfortunately, now it seems they have and just like last year’s constant smearing of Eduardo and Arsenal which led directly to Arsenal not being awarded a penalty until Feb. 20th against Sunderland the press all smell a good narrative and are out to once again sell that narrative to the public. I can only hope that unlike last year, this one is completely dismissed before we are kicked off the pitch in every single game.

The simplest way to lie is to pretend that you heard something different and report it as fact. For example, Mark Lawrenson who is almost never right about anything and who seems to have a hard on for bashing Arsenal accuses Wenger of hypocrisy by wondering why Arsene wants protection and lauds his players for being physical at the same time. You could wonder aloud, Mark, or maybe you could, you know, be arsed to go look at what Wenger actually said:

I’m a bit cautious because… I love the English game, I’ve said that many times. But every time I come out, people are more interested in controversy than protecting the players. If it is to create another story and the tackling will go nowhere, it will end up being the same. Why should I create another story? You asked me how the tackle was, and it was bad. If you want to write it was a good tackle you can do it. But for me it was bad.

But Lawrenson is a pundit and I give them a pretty wide berth when it comes to writing their opinion pieces. The standards for editorials have dropped considerably in recent years and when you throw in that the only reason people listen to him at all is that he’s a footballing dinosaur I suppose we shouldn’t get too upset that “Lawro” has a pop at Arsenal basically every chance he gets. He’s just joining the fray.

But there are actual reporters who are getting in on the action, like Colin Young over at the Daily Mail and Steve Tongue at the Independent both of whom launched misleading and factually inaccurate pieces which are more calumny than column.

Colin Young’s hatchet piece is titled What was that about foul habits Arsene? Wenger’s side commit more fouls in the game against Sunderland in which he claims that Arsenal committed more fouls than Sunderland. Now, you should be wary of any column that purports to prove something about football using statistics. Unlike, say, the NBA the Premier League doesn’t keep the range of statistics that many fans would probably like to see. So, that means that private companies keep stats on the games and each company has a slightly different way to measure the game. That’s how ESPN can report that the game had 14 Arsenal fouls to 12 Sunderland fouls and the BBC can report that the count was  13 to 12.

There was a difference in the number of fouls that were called against Arsenal and against Sunderland, I will concede that. Why that happened, I won’t concede. I think Phil Dowd had a terribly lopsided game that favored the home team but hey, that’s my opinion. What Colin Young does, though is exaggerate the difference claiming that Arsenal committed 13 fouls to Sunderland’s 9 and that, worse, Arsenal had committed 11 of those fouls by half-time and that Sunderland had only committed 1. He also exaggerated the number of fouls that Song had committed prior to his sending off calling them “umpteen” fouls when according to ESPN it was actually just 4.

I watched the first half of the game over again. According to my count, Song committed 2 fouls in the first half, one of which wasn’t even a foul and the booking came for dissent. He only played 13 minutes in the second half before being sent off for obstruction, which was his 5th foul according to my count. Hardly “umpteen” fouls.

But while Colin Young tries to simply pull the wool over your eyes in order to make it look like Arsene is a hypocrite, Steve Tongue just outright lies in his column Wenger loses plot after late Arsenal lapse.

First off, the title should tell you something. You’re not going to be in for a fair article when the title accuses Arsene Wenger of going insane after the game when by all accounts he did no more than any manager has ever done when the game has gone on for far longer than it should. He didn’t go out to the center circle and scream at the ref, he didn’t make a throat-cutting gesture into the camera in a disgraceful display of indicipline. He merely touched the ref and pointed at his watch. For which I expect him to be flayed and put in the stocks by the FA.

Where Steve Tongue outright lies though is when he makes this statement:

His team had led since a freakish goal in the lucky 13th minute by Cesc Fabregas, after which Alex Song was sent off, Arsenal’s seventh red card in 16 League games, and Tomas Rosicky missed a penalty.

Arsenal’s 7th red card in 16 League games? That number really stood out to me. I know that so far this year we have had 2 which is an unusual number in itself and I have mentioned here and elsewhere that something is very strange when 80% of a team’s opening 5 games have had at least one player (between Arsenal and their opponents) sent off.  But to have 7 reds in 16 games, all just in Arsenal cards? You’d think I would have remembered that.

Well, I didn’t remember it because it is an outright lie. The last 16 games go back to the match where Ryan Shawcross destroyed Ramsey’s leg with a brutal tackle and was rightly sent off with a straight red. Since then we have played, in order; Burnley, Hull, West Ham, Birmingham, Wolves, Tottenham, Wigan, Man City, Rovers, Fulham, Liverpool, Blackpool, Blackburn, Bolton, and Sunderland. In that time, Arsenal have had three red cards, not seven as claimed: Vermaelen, Koscielny, and Song. None of which were 3 match ban red cards it should be noted.

But even if Steve Tongue was, say a mentalist, and meant to say that “Arsenal matches have had 7 red cards in the last 16″ he would be wrong. There have been 9 red cards all totaled and at least one red card in 8 of the last 16. Which is a column all unto itself, why Arsenal matches are getting so many cards.

But that’s not the focus of this article. Because the low-hanging fruit here is that Steve Tongue and the journalists like him are not stupid and that there is something else going on.

How is it that an experienced, professional writer for a well known publication can write that sentence and it passes the fact-checkers and editors that they have on board?

One answer is that they and others are developing a narrative for this season. They are setting the table for people to believe that Arsenal are indisciplined whingers so that they will have something to write about this season that isn’t about the real problems in football.

Your choice is whether you want to read them and thus support that narrative or not.

69 thoughts on “Lies, damned lies, and Journalists

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1shreepatel7

      @7amkickoff great post tim. You sure do a lot of research for each blog. That’s what make them so good

  1. -32 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve

    So when Wenger hypes up any controversy that occurs against your side like one bad challenge, he’s doing English football a favour, yet when the media make note of le hypocrite in action, you feel hard done by. Poor little gooner, bless.

    How do you think Stoke, Bolton or Blackburn feel every time Arsene Wenger takes a whole week discussing one tackle made or making up lies about Shawcross?

    1. +10 Vote -1 Vote +1ArseChicago

      So, Steve, are you arguing that there aren’t misstatements of facts by the “real” press? I mean, that’s what the subject of today’s post was.

      But while you’re unfortunately here, what’s this “one” bad challenge you refer to? In the Bolton match alone, I counted 3 – Davies intentional and incredibly late headbutt; Cahill’s two feet off the ground, studs up tackle to Chamakh’s backside; and Robinson’s studs up complete miss of the ball, but not Diaby’s ankle.

    2. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1typeface

      @Steve,

      So you trolls don’t even read an article before you type. Just proves what Tim is saying about perception and why it is so easy for so called journalist to distort quotes and set up a media campaign on the basis of lies and half truths.

    3. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1typeface

      @Steve,

      by the way since when is Arsene taking a whole week to discuss a topic? His press conferences are on Fridays, a single day in a week. After that the rags step up and take out the pieces they like in order to feed the image of Wenger being a liar, a hypocrite and a devil to a lazy arse like Steve who can’t bother reading beyond big sensationalist headlines.

    4. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1CYRUS 99

      @Steve, Why don’t you go fuck yourself?
      You sound like allardyce you little BITCH!
      It’s amazing how stupid the english public can be, papers like the ‘sun’& ‘the mirror’ are an insult to intelligence but guys like you lap it up & believe everything you read in those rags, the joke will be on you as foreign players will get tired of playing for a nation of IDIOTIC XENOPHOBE MORONS & will leave, in fact they have already started, then you can go back to fielding entire teams of english INBREDS.

    5. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1fourstar

      Hey, @Steve can’t read, everyone. Let’s not get on his case, I’m sure there are remedial English evening classes in Stoke (or Bolton or Blackburn) he can go to, if he’s allowed back on the bus after that ‘unfortunate incident’ – did the stains ever come out, by the way, Steve? Hope your Mum wasn’t too cross…

  2. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Bala

    Great work Tim.I think Tongue should take out his tongue and clean it well because only lies are coming out of it.At the same time I think Arsene is just talking a bit too much to the press and I would rather see our players do the talking with the football.The reason for Arsene to stop it is,anyway the FA or the opponent players and managers are not going to follow him,so why he has to waste his energy for this?

  3. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Osi

    That’s pretty disgusting Mr. Tongue said that. Shouldnt Arsenal Football Club complain such factual lies being printed on one of the biggest and respected newspapers. Such lies offered as facts will mislead the public opinions.

  4. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1ClockEndRider

    Steve,
    Can you please give me examples of the loes whioch Wenger told against Shawcross please? Rules are that you have to do some actual research and come up with quotes from verifiable sources. Not just follow the journalistic lead of following up a partial managers quote (he’s a lovely lad, wouldn’t hurt a fly, loves his mum etc)and hence create a completely untrue story which becomes truth simply as a result of other lazy talentless clickwhores trotting out the same tired old lies.
    The floor is yours….

  5. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

    Both articles have spaces for comments from readers. I’d encourage anyone who feels a need to set things straight to do so there as well.

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  7. -12 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve

    The lie was that Wenger said Shawcross kicked Gomes. He did not. That’s been proven and a formal complaint has been submitted.

    You are merely getting taste of Wenger’s own medicine. He’ll damage the reputation of good clubs like Stoke by harping on about them playing Rugby (in a game with that didn’t involve him) and you gooners see this kind of thing as saintly Wenger doing his bit for the English game – as if he really gives a toss about English football. It’s Arsenal snobbery. It’s obsessive and it’s insulting to other clubs and their support.

    You look at the papers over Sunday and found what it’s like to the victim of a hate campaign. Well boo hoo. When a stoke fan woke up to Wenger’s qoutes of them playing Rugby and kicking goalkeepers how do you think they reacted? Live and die by the pen.

    It’s gone on far too long and people are getting sick of it. English football doesn’t need some self protecting twat telling them how to run it. At least with Fergie, he actually does good work for the LMA and English coaches. Wenger does f-all but moan moan moan.

    You don’t like English football, honestly, go watch something else. It’s fast and committed. That unfortunately leads to mistimed challenges. Like Gallas against Bolton last season? You know, the one where you played on (despite someone in agony on the floor) to score a goal?

    Where was this article then?

    1. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Naylyn

      @Steve, Do you not understand the points that are being made or do you just not care? It is very easy to argue against a straw man.

      If Shawcross did not in fact kick Gomes that makes him mistaken, not a liar. Furthermore if shawcross in particular is innocent then that does not invalidate his general point.

    2. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

      @Steve,

      Maybe Wenger didn’t see properly? I doubt that. Did he speak a bald-faced lie about Shawcross in that game? I’ll grant that he did for the purposes of discussion. It’s actually impossible to PROVE that he lied since you can’t PROVE what he knew. Unless you have some sort of tape recorded confession or something. But let’s just say he lied about Shawcross. Flat out lied. That would be wrong, definitely.

      What about Huth, though? No Stoke fan wants to acknowledge that his comment about Huth was accurate even if the ones about St. Shawcross were wrong. What about the fact that he was speaking of tactics that Stoke utilize against the keeper that are NOT lying even if he got the player wrong. Is he not allowed to voice an opinion about those tactics? That’s ludicrous. What everyone wants to insist is that Wenger have no opinion about anyone. And then journalists ask questions about everyone else in the game. It’s ridiculous. What is he supposed to do after a challenge like Robinson’s? It’s AWFUL. He goes above the ball, studs up. If Diaby had been planted, he would have snapped his leg. What’s Wenger SUPPOSED to say? “Well… we know he meant well. He’s not a thug. Just incredibly incompetent.” That his player, dammit, and he’s going to protect HIS player like every other manager in the game.

      The English football you’re describing as “fast and committed” is fine. But if “fast and committed” leaves acres of space for overly-physical, dangerous play, then it’s not fine. That kind of football IS RUBBISH. And that’s why England ARE A RUBBISH NATIONAL TEAM. The country is full of unskilled, fit players that sprint around like headless chickens and can’t hold the ball. Don’t give me this bollocks about “this is English football.” Wenger and every other manager, for the good of England, SHOULD try to change English football. It’s not a different game in England. It’s more passionate and less skillful. It’s inferior football and every major international tournament since England won the World Cup has proved it.

      Grow up and get your head out of the sand. Wenger defends his players like every other manager, says stupid stuff like every other manager, goes over the line like every other manager. But unlike every other manager, he’s actually trying to improve the product. And because he is French, you and every other English xenophobe can’t handle it. Keep your rubbish football. Just don’t piss and moan when you fail to win anything in world football. Again.

    3. +12 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      1. The formal complaint has been denied.
      2. Good clubs like Stoke? Is that who you support? Tell us who you support.
      3. Arsenal have been the victim of press hatchet jobs for a long time. All the time I’ve been supporting them, in fact. It’s an annual thing, that’s why I said that this was just this year’s narrative.
      4. You sound like you have a real problem with Wenger because he’s French, is that the case? If not, why mention his nationality when casting invectives?
      5. Which self-protecting twat are you talking about? TP who wants the right for his Stoke players to go for the man rather than the ball?

      http://www.7amkickoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/whitehead.jpg

      Allardyce who is now instructing his players to deliberately foul goalkeepers?

      http://www.7amkickoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Diouf.jpg

      Maybe Coyle who tried to say that Cahill’s two footed lunge wasn’t even a yellow card?

      Or maybe it’s McCarthy you are talking about who is constantly moaning about his team being targeted despite the disgraceful manner in which they have comported themselves this season.

      How many of those people have come out and asked the FA to do something to protect the players? None. They have come out in defense of their team and their players only. Wenger has done more for England than all of these Englishmen combined. When’s the last time they created a starter for the 1st team of the English National side? Which one of them revolutionized English football and made it into the sport loved the world over?

      6. If you want to know how I feel about Gallas’ tackle on Davies, there’s a search bar and you can avail yourself of. Though, judging by the comments you have made I don’t think you read my current article and doubt you will read anything else I wrote.

      7. In conclusion, who is the whiner here? Is it Wenger who makes one statement a week or is it people like you and the press who put out comment after comment, article after article, moaning about Arsene Wenger’s latest perceived statement?

    4. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Paul N

      Good stuff, very well said!!!

      Steve your comments are really stupid.

      English game my backside. Did you see the world Cup, DID YOU SEE IT!? England couldnt even beat the US so dont talk damn nonsense about someone not liking the English game when the best in Englad are exposed as frauds internationally.

      What have the English achieved internationally and what have the teams with mostly English players acheived in the PL and CL lately.

      NOT A DAMN THING!!! For many years too!

      Dont you get it? If not for the “soft” foreignors the PL would be a load of crap full of Stokes and Boltons.

      So continue gettin “stuck in” but I hope you dont complain about England when they mashed up in the world cup. Wait a sec, you know what, the team will be much better 2014 BECAUSE IT WILL HAVE A BUNCH OF ARSENAL PLAYERS IN IT! dont be a hypocrite and celebrate the players either.

    5. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1LONDON CALLING

      @Steve,Steve, you are receiving much feedback on your submission, I am almost afraid to offer my five pence bit. I’m loving you Stevie baby, but really “sweetie poos” you are so not a well read man, it’s my belief that you read Tim’s blog to help you improve your knowledge on fact over fiction. Welcome to the pleasure Dome Stevie my “sweetie poos”. Hope you leave us well nourished and well educated and you return tomorrow with a diferent viewpoint that is both practical and well received . P.S. I am being sarcastic and mocking

  8. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bala

    Tim,Please give Steve a link of your article after that game against Bolton as I m sure you would have talked with a straight head

  9. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Larry

    The fact that the media has an anti Arsenal/Wenger bias doesn’t surprise me.There is the historical animosity between the French and the English and is further exercebated by Arsenal being managed by a Frenchman.This is,my opinion,rankles some people in the media.
    Hence the constant negative reports on Arsenal as opposed to teams managed by Brits eg rfc/Hughes/big Sam/Hughes etc.Well Arsenal just have to get on with winning their games and this is where Wenger can a leaf from GG. That is winning 1-0.
    It may not excite the FM but if you are a goal up and the clock is ticking,why not play defensive and hit on the counter. That’s what Chelsea and Mu have been doing to the gunners these past seasons.

  10. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1John

    Keep up the good work; only thing we can do is pointing out the inaccuracies and down right lies. Maybe one day …

  11. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1jrock

    There’s a simple solution to all of this. For those that use newsnow as a source for news on Arsenal, simply hide a publication that reports horseshit. You won’t see anymore news from that publicaiton and they will lose hits, and money if enough people do it.

  12. -12 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve

    If you analyse a whole game (any game / anywhere) you will see one or two mistimed challenges.

    A manager can then use this to work a situation. That is exactly what Wenger is doing. The man admits he pretends not to see incidents to protect his players to the media. Why would anyone take him seriously?

    I bet when you played Barcelona and watched them run rings around you at the Emirates, your fans were shouting ‘get at them’. Because you stood off, their superior skill ensured you were dominated. That quality gap is what teams like Bolton etc face every week. So they get tight, they get physical but they are all honest pros.

    1. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1typeface

      @Steve,

      another false perception of yours Steve. Show me the post of an Arsenal supporter who wanted the Barca players to be kicked at in that game. Just stop making things up you idiot. Most of our fans actually congratulated Barca on their performance and most agreed that Arsenal have to improve if we want to progress at this stage of the CL. That means improving our passing and defending, not adapting the tactic of kicking players as a consequence.
      I’m afraid you’ve set your priorities totally wrong.

    2. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      @Steve, Steve you are not a gullible guppy. Were you at the Emirates when our supporters were shouting “get at them”. That must be the Stoke City battle cry. If you were there then you would know that was not the case. If you know anything about Arsenal, then you will know that we always play football. That’s because we have and prefer skillful talented players rather than the typical “honest pro” English clogger who winds up at Stoke City.

      I actually watched Stoke’s last 2 games to see how they play when not facing a technically superior side. They have one player in Etherington who I like he because he is trying to elevate the Stoke game. You’ve now added ex-Arsenal Pennant for crosses from the (R) side which he provided on Saturday for a goal. You’ll have to wait and see how long he keeps his act together for you. You’ve got that ex-Sunderland striker Jones who will be perfect for your style along with the serviceable Fuller. Then you have clowns like Dean Whitehead who are hitting opponents in the face off the ball. I saw a lot of niggling off the ball fouls that try to disrupt the other team which unfortunately worked against Aston Villa who just wore down.

      Arsenal don’t wear down, can’t be intimidated and can flat out play 99% teams in the world when our legs are not being broken.

    3. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Frankie

      @Steve, He hasn’t used the I didn’t see it excuse for about 7 years. Fact. It’s an old narrative mate, to use the language of the blog. Try to keep up.

  13. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1meghan murphy

    Loved it. A breath of fresh air amid the loads of crap I have been reading about Wenger. The latest in a long line of campaigns by the press to ruin Wenger and thus, Arsenal, might see him on a pitchline ban for patting the fourth official on the back, for yet, another huge mistake that ended up favoring the other team. He is a great manager and, when quoted correctly, has a very classy way of dealing with media.

  14. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Barry Webb

    As usual, an excellent article.

    Arsene Wenger is a very unusual person. Many describe him as stubborn. I like to think of his as strong willed, someone who is prepared to stand by what he believes. In this world of opinion by market research, he is a breath of fresh air.

    The press actually love Wenger. Of all the mangers in the Premier League, he give them the most to write about. He knows it will be distorted. But he believes in his message and that it should be heard. It’s much the same with his team development. He knows, for him, it’s the right way. Despite all the negative comments, the disappointments, the doubt.

    A lesser person would simply have any offending journalist banned from press conferences. It wouldn’t stop them using their diploma’s from the Joseph Goebbels School of Journalism. It wouldn’t stop the lies and distortions. But it would give them an excuse to continue to sell for the headlines rather than the substance.

    Wenger’s way is, as you would expect, more difficult. He wants this sub-species to accelerate along the evolutionary path to the point where they can understand what he is trying to say. He wouldn’t want them to accept everything that he says as gospel. He does expect to be challenged (on the facts), to be debated, to have some allies prepared to seek a truth that is currently conspicuous by it’s absence. And it doesn’t need to be Wenger’s truth. But surely, it does need to be a truth all the same.

    The saddest part of this latest installment of “The UK Press, Our Dereliction of Duty” is they have a privileged position in society which they are consciously choosing to ignore. And that applies to the range of topics they cover, not just football.

    A vibrant British press, RIP. A long while ago.

  15. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1philippe

    Why worry. The press will make up any old crap to sell their rags. They make up just as much about mancs chavs and pool. Spuds are the darlings at the moment but it won’t last long. Ignore em all and support the team … I don’t give a flying f what people think about us. Just keep turning up and watching the beautiful football … be entertained.

  16. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1useroz

    wenger charged with improper conduct, ffs… didn’t english managers ever swore at refs?? i recally SAF vividly yelling at 4th (and other) refs and yet fail to recall he’s charged? also recall SAF put his mighty hand on refs before so what’s the issue here?

    wenger was animated, yes, though i couldn’t hear what he’s saying to the 4th ref from the broadcast… but another piece of FA shit throwing at arsenal!!

  17. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Kevin Sweeney

    It sounds like the island across the pond has been taking lessons in story telling from Fox. Can’t say that model doesn’t make money. That’s what businesses are about, right?
    Then again, I don’t want to pay for any news. I also don’t want to watch/read/consume that shit even for free. It is fun reading your (or John Stewart’s) news about the news (meta-news?!)

    1. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1paul

      @Kevin Sweeney, its amusing that you would say fox makes up stories, when they have been judged by independent sources to be the least biased and most fair of all tv news sources in the u.s. please keep your obvious political bias out of arsenal comments.

      1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Quenton Cassidy

        @paul, No offense brother, but I’m pretty sure that’s just straight false. I’d like to see where you’re getting it from, to see whether it’s legitimate sources. I can tell you that in school, Fox reporters are frequently used as the paragon of what not to do as journalists.

        Mr. Sweeney’s point stands, in other words. And it’s relevant in that this style of news reporting is hurting our club, I firmly believe. A paradigm has been chosen, and the reporting is being molded to fit that paradigm.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1nicc

        @paul, I see you fail to remember a few years back when FoxNews sued and won the rite to LIE and pass that off as news.

        as for them being rated the least biased and most fair news organization, it want a 3rd party that decided that, it was a unscientific internet poll run on foxnews.com

  18. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Darius

    Tim – great post. Incidentally, I had the same thoughts this morning about the anti-Arsenalism agenda on the ACLF post that Gadget linked to above.

    Here it is again: http://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/what-cost-for-arsenal-in-fighting-the-establishment/#comment-279602

    My take is that the anti-Arsenalism agenda (and it’s not paranoya – it’s reality) is the proverbial last kick of a dying horse that is a neanderthal of an establishment. They have no option but to change – and if Arsenal were doing things as badly as they say we are, ask yourself this question:

    Why are most clubs in the EPL looking for an alternative to cheque book management and modelling their solutions on the Arsenal way. This includes Chelsea and United, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Only difference is that they’re about 8 years too late.

    The problem with the media is that in part, they were never prepared for citizen media from the blogosphere. The narrative was supposed to be shoved down our throats without the right to reply – and to continue the narrative of their xenophobic agenda – but the truth is that Arsenal will overcome and the establishment will have no option but to take notice.

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1caveat emptor

    Tim, regarding the last sentence of your article:

    “Your choice is whether you want to read them and thus support that narrative or not”

    I trust your judgment. So, if you are inclined, how about you tell me what newspapers have a persistent penchant for negatively misrepresenting Arsenal (positive misrepresentation, I’ll take :) ). I’ll gladly avoid them and not line their pockets with my clicks.. Or if I am clever, find some way to switch them off from my newnow feeds.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      @caveat emptor,

      I’m pretty sure you already know who they are!

      Why not boycott them all and get all your news from me?

      Just kidding. The problem is, and I didn’t do a good job here, that the narrative takes over every one of the papers. It becomes the dominant narrative and nothing can change it. Remember last year with the “anti-diving” campaign? I spend literally hours showing how English players were worse than Arsenal players but the narrative stuck and to this day Arsenal are considered a diving team despite the fact that Rooney is literally the biggest diver ever.

      To summarize, I think you should look out for headlines that get your blood boiling rather than publications in general. We all click when we see “Wenger loses the plot.. blah blah blah” and that’s what they want, a Pavlovian response.

      Resist temptation!

  20. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1London Calling

    Hi Tim. You definitely know how to get the followers on your side. A well written blog as usual. Emotive and sensitively written.
    Nothing that’s written in the lower brow newspapers in the UK should be taken as fact. Most of them are owned by Rupert Murdock, who owes Sky, how does not like Arsenal. The high brow UK newspapers; well you take with a pinch of salt.
    Back to the Professor: Our club manager has been in the game long enough and he always know what he is doing. Yes he is odd but so effective in his ways. A prime example happened this weekend; one of our best and oldest players missed a vital penalty and very little was mentioned in the Sunday press. Instead Arsene confrontation with the touchline referee was headline news. I love that man; he is so good at playing the Curve Ball.
    Even if I never supported Arsenal, I would like Arsene Wenger. Besides people only talk about you because you are important. He is our professor and long may he continue being controversial and arguable with all who crosses him.
    P.S. I heard on Saturday via BBC Five Live that our team “the Arsenal “is just two red cards short of having the most red cards since the Premiership started. Blackburn is above us. That lead to a debate on the radio station with various callers stating that Arsenal is not so innocent but very combative.
    My input on this is based on fact: The years without red cards in high numbers we won nothing, but the year we generated the maximum number of red cards (Patrick Vieira) we won the league. I don’t mind the statistics, as long as we win.

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1Finsbury

    Brilliant post, brilliant blog.

    Slight tangent:
    Hope you could understand why many feel Rosicky was a special case, and that we are fortunate to have him back (I won’t mention the pen!). When looking at Owen Hargreaves who also has tendonitis (it’s not really appropriate to compare the two cases), the physio team deserve some praise IMO for getting him back, even though I would not agree with everything that that they do.

    Cheers.

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1fourstar

    I said this on Twitter but I’ll say it here too. We should all ignore this playground level tittle-tattle and push on to win the league title. That would put the doubters firmly in their place. It’s trolling of the lowest denominator (hello, Steve…) and we need to rise above it and answer it with pure football. We know Arsene is right – actually, the FA also knows he is right, but it also doesn’t know what to do about it, unsurprisingly. But when Wayne or Stevie or Frank or Rio have their leg bent in half by an ‘unsophisticated tackle’ I bet we hear all about their next directive. Forget it, don’t read the press and get on with supporting the finest club in the world. Arsenal forever.

  23. Vote -1 Vote +1LONDON CALLING

    From Arsenal Dot Com: The FA charge:
    The Football Association has released the following statement:

    Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has been charged with using insulting and/or abusive language and behaviour amounting to improper conduct.

    The charges relate to Wenger’s conduct towards match officials at the conclusion of Arsenal’s match against Sunderland on 18 September.

    Under The FA’s new fast-track procedures, Wenger has until Thursday 23 September to respond to the charge and he has been offered a standard sanction of a one match touchline ban and an £8,000 fine should he accept the charge. If he denies the charge, the case will be heard by a Regulatory Commission. What do you all think? discuss

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Akash

        @ctpa, Agree!! They are just like everyone else just a little more talented when it comes to sports. That doesn’t mean they should carry the burden of being role models or whatever else (in a non-sporting context that is).

  24. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Injury update on Fabregas: some fluid but no tear and he’ll be back for Chelsea 10/3.

    Players using Twitter can update quicker than Arsenal would. Yes!

    Can someone loan me money to buy an MRI machine? I could park it outside the Emirates on game day and make a fortune from which I would repay the loan.

    http://www.comparemricost.com/
    These machines are like goldmines but the start up cost are a killer (1mill US avg).

  25. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Quenton Cassidy

    To be fair, this may not be the fault of the journalists, at least not entirely. Writers usually don’t come up with their own headlines, editors or dedicated headline writers do. The content of their articles can be altered by editors as well. This is relevant because editors are typically far more closely connected to management than writers, and management are really only worried about making money at this point. So long story short, blame the publications more than the writers, who many times have their names put on pieces that they don’t have full control over.

    /journalism major

  26. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Wigmorepumps

    Will you lot get this through your thick heads. Wenger is not British, more to the point, Wenger is not English, yet he more than anyone has changed the face of English football. And that pisses so many people off. Fuck journalists. They know that they are becoming more & more irrelevant as the months go on. I have not purchased a ‘news’paper for over 3 years. They are bitter with regret. They know that they haven’t and never will build [on] a football club [or anything] in such a way that it is unrecognisable from 10yrs previous. They know, everyone of them, that they will NEVER achieve greatness in anything that they will do, and from that harsh reality comes this vitriol. Fuck em. Any cunt that works for a cnut (Murdoch’) is a cnut and only knows how to be a cnut.

    It easier to be a bigot than understand what one is.

    Big up the Medway Massive. KENT, UK.

  27. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    Excellent exposition of the issues. I think it is now time for Arsene to stop feeding the beast. He knows they twist and select and hyperventilate–he says so himself. So, unless the media can be used to put pressure on the referees in our favor, he should stop giving full and honest answers to the media.

    The tactic of raising illegal play before a game to insure the referees watch out for infractions, like fouling the goalkeeper rather than playing the ball, does seem to have worked in the Blackburn game, but we’ve been paying for it ever since with the outraged reactions of Pulis and Allardyce being picked up in a media witch hunt.

    As someone above noted, the media love talking to Wenger. He is the most insightful, interesting, and comprehensive commentator on the game in the managerial ranks. He gives full and honest answers that are easy for these unscrupulous hacks to twist. How about parking the gravy train for lazy and hostile journalists? Why should they be rewarded? He can say something utterly bland, non-committal, or falsely stereotypical, or even say, “I can’t comment on that.”

    I would even be in favor of a public protest involving his refusal to speak to the media for a few games, especially the upcoming Chelsea game. Arsenal can pay the fine and point out that the media can make up whatever they want anyway without Arsene participating, given their recent performances.

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