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Lies, Damn Lies and Propaganda as Man Bites Dog At Arsenal

Guest Post by @shotta_gooner

Recently I tried making a joke at George’s expense in response to his blog “Can An Idiot Be An Expert? PG was at pains to explain that his blog was not aimed at Pedro of Le Grove and I shot back that it was too late as the media already had a headline titled“Arsenal Supporters are Divided on Club’s Future As Bloggers Attack Each Other.” Little did I know how prescient were my comments, not that it was an amazing bit of prophecy given track record of the media and the online outfits who cover Arsenal.

The stimulus for my current ramblings was reading various reports of an interview Aaron Ramsey had with ITV and which I initially saw reports of in The Daily Mail last Friday.  To be honest, unlike its usual rabid tabloid standards the headlines were fairly benign:

“Arsenal can challenge for the title next season…and don’t need a big name signing, insists midfielder Aaron Ramsey”

But the sub headings betrayed mischief afoot:

·         Aaron Ramsey does not believe Arsenal need a marquee signing to make a serious challenge for the title next season – but does think it would help if Arsene Wenger moved him into a central role.

·         That stationing out wide has been one of the few bugbears for the Welshman, who is convinced Wenger has all the players he needs to run at the crown, so long as Arsenal make the most of not having to qualify for the Champions League Group stages.

Clearly the Daily Mail could not ignore the thrust of Ramsey’s interview, that he was happy with the team’s progress and its prospects. But it was evident they wanted to leave a residue of controversy about the Welshman’s role and to sow or highlight some divisions with the manager.

Apparently this soft-sell by the Mail was too tame for the army of online news sites that demand the attention of the eyeballs hungrily scanning the web for some juicy football story.  ESPNFC, the online arm of the 24-hour cable channel, took the Goebbels approach: 

Frustrated Aaron Ramsey admits chatting with Wenger about role”

Nope, none of this happy, satisfied Aaron nonsense.  According to them “Aaron Ramsey….was frustrated by finishing the season out wide on the right rather than in his favoured central position — and says he has spoken to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger about it a few times.”

Think I am overstating the point. Hot behind ESPN was Just Arsenal News, a seemingly popular blogging and news- site based solely on their daily frequency on NewsNow, decided to ram Aaron’s discontent down our throat with their heading:

“Aaron Ramsey again complains about wide role for Arsenal”

In the body of the post, they spent most of the time cherry picking the quotes by Ramsey relating to his playing centrally and not a word about his satisfaction with the squad.

Another outfit, who seemingly only exist as an outlet for on-line advertisements, London24, led with:

“Arsenal star reveals crunch Arsene Wenger talks….”

Ha, Ha, Ha. Need I say more.

Some websites take a different approach from ESPN or the other advertising portals masquerading as news-sites but with the same objective. In one case, I found use of a popular journalistic propaganda technique, the “sandwich”:

·         Big title and abstract, stating something as a given (or an interrogative statement the article is supposed to investigate and answer to).

·         Then the body full of “allegedly”, “possibly”, “tentatively” reported facts (or proved facts but unrelated with the title’s assumptions).

·         Then 2-3 lines stating the title again as if it had been proven as “eventually clarified”. The reader takes this last section as a “long story short”, a personal recap from the columnist to him.

This it appears was the approach taken by, an obscure to me, news-site SportsReview.com, with the title:

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey fires warning at Chelsea ahead of next season

But in the body of the article (the sandwich) are the alleged complaints by Ramsey about his playing position in the recent season and ending with his desire to play centrally. Nary a word of his so-called warning to Chelsea whose name by the way he never mentioned in the interview.

In conclusion, I suspect that with our season ending so positively and no clearly identified transfer targets or any consensus with regard to playing positions in need of radical upgrade, the commercial media, news-sites and bloggers will become increasingly desperate to stir up some controversy. As in Aaron’s case the likely source is the most benign of interviews with players who are obligated to do them while on international duty.  We may need to name and shame the culprits as the summer slowly wends its way to the end of the transfer window.

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67 comments on “Lies, Damn Lies and Propaganda as Man Bites Dog At Arsenal

  1. Even though I was half expecting it, the news about AD is devastating. It’s one of the worst unpunished crimes that the game has been robbed of an outstanding talent thanks to out and out thuggery aided and abetted by weak officiating and macho posturing by pundits encouraging the talentless to kick the more talented in order to level the playing field. I hope Abou can find a positive way forward from the ashes of a once promising career.

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  2. Abou can hold his head up high. Not many can have suffered what he went through plus the follow up uncalled hacks (random e.g. Robinson) yet could still claim to have come back from a WC as the best performer for a leading international football team. Or had two or three decent seasons at the top of the PL and in the CL.

    I understand and have always understood since first watching this amazing talent play (in the flesh he was even more obscene I just can’t explain it and can’t unrest and how some chose to ignore it!) that he was one of the best, as the comments from luminous team mates like Cazorla can testify. A talent which only two or three midfielders in the game today have the potential to follow up on. So, yes, I’ll miss him.

    But I wouldn’t ignore the consideration that in-spite of the the obstacles put in his way or through his legs that he somehow he still managed to achieve more then most achieve in the game. Well done Abou.

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  3. This Autocorrect fellow is not my friend.

    Unrest < understand

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  4. E.g.: did Pogba ever have the same potential? As a teenager whilst an inexperienced rookie Abou Diaby was helping the arsenal qualify for the CL Pogba was in the Utd reserves behind the likes of Anderson & Cleverley.

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  5. Of course AFC had different circumstances, I don’t know what the answer to the above is, or if there is answer, but it’s a good indication of how good a talent he was. Playing well at that level when he had no experience.

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  6. You would think that he would have to be worth a punt for a side like Leicester or maybe even Newcastle. A sad day indeed but what a magnificent performance by The Arsenal to have stood by him for so long and I’m sure AW will be doing his best to see him placed somewhere else.

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  7. Fins, this is what 7amkickoff wrote, after the Swansea v Arsenal in March 2013:

    “We seemed sluggish in midfield and Diaby, in particular, looked like he could use a swift kick up the ass. He was jogging back in defense and not putting in challenges where I thought he needed to.

    “I couldn’t help but feel we are witnessing the last few games of a broken man.”

    “Arsene deserves credit for removing the two villains of the day, Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby

    later, Tim wrote to correct himself:

    “So, there you have it. Diaby didn’t create any chances, didn’t have any spectacular moves, only took one shot himself, was an important defensive shield, and drove Arsenal’s attacking play from deep in midfield. Isn’t that exactly what people claim they want? The big guy who hardly puts a foot wrong, sits deep, shields the back four, looks forward (no “footballing crab”), doesn’t cough up possession needlessly, and makes an important clearance, in an important away game, against some top midfielders? It’s what I’ve always wanted.”

    Dan Smith, excused himself, since 2013. by claiming all the money AD had earned, should make his (Diaby’s) life meaningful! Dan Smith, is apparently making living as a hairdresser in Australia now.

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  8. eduardo
    June 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Abu Diaby and Ryo Miyaichi have both been released by Arsenal, several youths let go too, Semi Ajayi, Brandon Ormond-Ottewill, Austin Lipman, Josh Vickers, Renny Smith and Elliot Wright
    we all know Diaby and Miyaichi fell because of injuries but some of the youngsters its abit of a surprise.
    For the last couple of seasons Ajayi has been training with the first team and until the emergence of o’conner was the CB with the biggest potential.
    B.O.O has long been seen as a future talent with his progression even seeing ARSENAL releasing the very promising Jernade Meade. Maybe we are buying a young LB, there are names already linked with Jeorge Bird suggesting Kostas Pileas arrival.
    Josh Vickers is another who has always done well and considering GKs realise their potential later this is another surprise. Personally I rate him higher than iliev however with Keto stepping up someone had to go.

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  9. Well I’m devastated for Abou Diaby. My dream of him having a brilliant finish to his career with Arsenal will sadly not be witnessed by those of us who saw the magnificent talent the man had. I’m sure AFC tried their best. I’m sure no other club would have done the same. This is because AFC have Arsėne Wenger. I’m positive it was Arsėne who stood by him this long…

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  10. finsbury I’m glad you mentioned the Robinson assault on Diaby, for me it was every bit as bad as Smiths, maybe worse as Robinson knew the weakness and went for it. If memory serves, that from Robinson came at a time Diaby seemed to have finally got over the Smith damage, but there he was back at square one, and in reality he was a broken man, a body unbalanced by awful challenges from two no mark thugs, left Diaby open to the two knee injuries that finally seen the end of his Arsenal career.

    As to the future for Diaby, I had been hoping we would sign him up for one more year, even if that was only to loan him to the Colorado Rapids in the MLS, we could then have given him a testimonial next summer,

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  11. Bruno Constant ‏@Bruno_Constant 1h1 hour ago
    #Diaby hasn’t been released by #Arsenal. Out of contract. But verbal agreement with the club. Talks ongoing for a new contract.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Abou is not gone yet, damn it. Hahahaha!!!

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  13. No doubt Bruno is right in the middle of the conversation – stick your money on it son – the odds would be exceptional

    On a different theme as Ryo is on his way – also good luck to him – so few games in a red shirt and fit enough (apparently) for a long while he was only ever out on loan so whether he could ever have been a serious contender then who knows?

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  14. Young Gideon Zelalem helps the US reach the QF of the U-20 world cup.

    He oozes Arsenal class.

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  15. Don’t forget the brutish stomp on Diaby’s ankle by Michael Essien on one of his returns from injury. It may have been the same season he bossed the Liverpool game. It too went unpunished. Diaby like Eduardo were victims of the neanderthals who are still protected by the English football establishment. Diaby is one of the many casualties of the war vs Arsenal when uerading as footballers.Wenger almost put to shame the big monied clubs with the youth project. For that reason alone he will never be forgotten, an immensely talented footballer whose unlimited potential was unrealized due to the talentless thugs masquerading as footballers.

    Liked by 1 person

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