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STOP PRESS! Martial Awe Declared, Giroud Officially Rubbish

breaking news2

They broke the news today, oh boy …

Another day, another sporting dollar and so the week begins with many column inches in newspapers filled with a certain kind of journalistic copy.

Whatever is written in one outlet is rarely too far removed from what will appear elsewhere. The fear of being separated from the media herd is a great motivator for all but the bravest and most established writers to avoid delving too deeply into what may actually be going on in the lives of the players, their managers and our clubs. Instead, we tend to get a perpetual rehashing of last week’s news with new added ingredients intended merely to support the existing ‘wisdom’ rather than challenge anything too seriously.

Unlike, for example, the financial media, whose journalists’ entire raison d’etre is to seek out and identify development, trend and change, the sporting pack is an altogether different beast.

The football media in particular is largely dominated by simpletons writing for, dare I suggest it, simpletons.

There are worthy journalistic exceptions to this observation, just as not all football fans are thick and/or illiterate. The hallmark of any simpleton is the degree to which they are comfortable with the realities of their world (or sporting) view being represented in black and white terms.

As we know from too many of our own agenda-fed fans, players are either ‘rubbish’ or ‘brilliant’. Yet the reality is prone to impact from all manner of variables I don’t need to list here.

So at the moment, it’s Martial Awe time and the fall guy is Giroud.

But the crowd-following mentality is no respecter of reputation, form or even history, no matter how recent. One of the most shaming media moments was the scandal of Mesut Ozil, whom we were most unreliably informed was one caught bang-to-rights not earning a living. According to the headline above Neil Ashton’s low-point Daily Mail article back in March 2014:

“Lost and lazy Ozil might have cost Arsenal £42.5m but he isn’t worth two-bob … and he’s nicking a living.”

So there you have it, one of the finest footballers of his generation, with almost 100 caps for Germany at all levels, 105 caps for Real Madrid and the small matter of a World Cup winners’ medal, is (at at least in 2014) not worth “two-bob”.

Theo Walcott, miraculously playing at the highest levels despite, according to Alan Hansen, doing so without a football brain, is also one who effortlessly decries the reputation of sections of our sports media, themselves widely guilty of multiple write-offs of the player over the years, simply by his very presence in the current Arsenal and England sides.

The kids that you supposedly could never win anything with, went on to win a European Cup-led treble, defying the hapless Hansen defined odds and providing the former Liverpool defender with little to defend his somewhat shredded reputation. The only surprise was how long Alan’s media career managed to continue; ironically, maybe that might be considered a heist of sorts.

But when someone with a media profile like Hansen could condemn players largely on a whim and without troubling themselves with detail such as ‘evidence’, then it is far easier for lesser lights like Ashton, Durham and others to come out with unsupported, unsubstantiated judgements which has the potential to do real and lasting damage to the careers of their chosen targets. This becomes especially true as their myth-making gets picked up by those of a less critical disposition and repeated over and over until they either become ‘true’ or, as in Ashton and Hansen’s cases, are shown up for the short-sighted and, frankly malicious comments they originally were.

Where it gets marginally more entertaining is when players are appearing to move from being ‘brilliant’ back to (relative) ‘shit’ as currently appears to be the case with Rooney and last season Spud-wonder Kane. There is that delicious opening up of a journalistic no-man’s land as the media shy away from the evidence of their own eyes of Rooney’s decline (legs’ gone?) and Kane’s apparent loss of confidence (head’s gone?).

The reality?

Probably neither have turned to ‘shit’ overnight but Wayne’s decline is likely matched by his struggles to motivate himself in the twilight of a patchy career that saw his international form in tournaments never truly replicate his club contribution. Kane is young enough to bounce back to form though he could help himself by finding a decent club to play for.

But the media, in the meantime, struggle to digest and assess what is in front of them. To the extent that you have to wonder if they are really trying.

We are unlikely to find a non-headline grabbing assessment of where Wayne and Harry really are anywhere in today’s media outlets. Maybe the credibility of this small army of paid observers would be salvaged were they better able to provide a more measured response to the vagaries of player form and development. Then, at least, the state of Theo’s footballing brain may never have become ‘a thing’, to Hansen’s enduring embarrassment.

Brilliant or rubbish. Rubbish or brilliant.

The disservice done by this linear approach to describing and understanding players who are seeing out their careers in one of the most competitive sports environment on the planet is as shaming as it is impossible to justify.

One can only wonder how many players were casualties of the burden of being (mis)judged in this manner. As the press play out their agenda and the crowd, instead of getting behind players get on their backs instead, we are left to wonder whether the likes of Denilson, Eboue, Arshavin, Bendtner and Gervinho, might have seen careers thrive rather than dive. Flapihanskii and Sanogoals provided cheap headlines at one time or another and it was hard at the time to imagine their careers surviving this kind of ridicule. Maybe they weren’t ‘good enough’ but we will never know for sure how far these players might have gone with a more sophisticated appraisal of their contributions.

Back to the future and at some point the current media generation will twig Wayne’s game may finally be up and possibly Kane’s development has stalled or even gone backwards.

But all the while legions of football fans rely on mainstream media for their footballing verdicts, we shouldn’t be too surprised at the quality of the arguments of those same fans, or be too puzzled by the limits of their understanding of the game.

We should remain unsurprised, too, at continuing reports of the declining numbers of readers, viewers and listeners of the perpetrators of football’s black and white world.

Slowly and surely, possibly helped by social media, more and more are waking up to the limitations of the writers of the headlines and the weasel words underneath them.

About ArsenalAndrew

Annoying, perennial optimist and lifelong supporter of the finest football club the world has ever seen. My support for the club manager and every single player is non-negotiable, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Retain all options on fellow fans.

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96 comments on “STOP PRESS! Martial Awe Declared, Giroud Officially Rubbish

  1. An unknown quantity DK are Northern Ireland – a bizarre qualifying group but they did what was required

    Like

  2. Biggus Sammus? I reserve my ire for Chris Coleman tonight.
    He had one job!

    Like

  3. Teams who have qualified for Euro 2016
    France
    England
    Czech Republic
    Iceland
    Austria
    Northern Ireland
    Portugal
    Spain
    Switzerland
    Italy
    Belgium
    Wales
    Romania
    Albania
    Germany
    Poland
    Russia
    Slovakia
    Croatia
    Turkey

    teams in the play offs
    Hungary, Ukraine, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia

    Like

  4. ha ha ha, some fans at the Arsenal AGM tomorrow will be calling for an independent review of Arsenal transfer dealings, what a laughable shower of self entitled idiots they are.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11929959/Arsenal-fans-call-for-independent-review-of-transfer-strategy-after-making-just-one-signing-in-the-summer.html

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow – who would believe that

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  6. Trust me I’m gravely offended

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  7. Aaron scored? Yay! Overall, this has been a good interlull for Arsenal.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Steady K !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m offended too !!
    What are we offended about btw?
    I don’r want to miss out on any righteous indignation going spare !

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I saw this list on another site:

    Giroud 2 goals
    Cazorla 2 goals – first goals from open play since the 2014 supercup against City? I think so.
    Sánchez 1 goal
    Chamberlain 1 goal
    Ramsey 1 goal – first goal of the season!
    Özil 2 assists

    Like

  11. Walcott 1 goal

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  12. And Joel Campbell!

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  13. I see Alexis had his usual quiet game last night in Peru, two goals and one assist in a 4-2 win

    Shrewd of the Chilean coach not to give him the night off I guess

    Liked by 3 people

  14. And young Akpom scored on his debut for the Under 21s, with Chambers delighted with the clean sheet. All in all a good break from domestic football (as John Motson would have said) and the players will return keen and revitalised I guess. It is a wise manager who spots when playing internationals is key to a player’s sense of pride and purpose – and a poor player who does not feel passionate about playing for his nation (as Stuart Pearce would say).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Willock named vice-captain of England U17 World Cup squad, Hinds and Mavididi in the squad too

    Like

  16. Just an after-thought on Robin’s pearl yesterday – it’s probably made him very popular in Turkey – took some of the pressure off them. Maybe he’ll be able to give them a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. fh – by your criteria, I’m a poor fan – I couldn’t give a stuff about the England team.

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  18. And no doubt “gravely offended” Dk ??

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  19. Watching Robin’s pearl of an own goal again this morning I wonder whether the goalkeeper is another one who he has had a falling out with ?

    I appreciate the keeper would have had to ‘move’ to stop the header, perhaps a metre to his left, but isn’t that what keepers do?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Come on now positivistas, it’s back to slagging off who should not be in the team against Watford on arsenal social media, get with the programme!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Well DC I think as reasonable, fair-minded, aspiring Scarfers we can surely all agree Kieran Gibbs had a bit of a dodgy international break, a bit of a “not fit to wear the shirt” sort of ten days ……..Surely ?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. A one game stadium ban suspended for 12 months and a £50k fine

    I wonder what the Special One has to say about that ?

    Like

  23. Dk: I wasn’t meaning just England. I was particularly thinking of Alexis, Aaron and Mesut for whom country seems particularly important.
    Perhaps that is unfair on the others.

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  24. Your disgraceful the lot of you no one mentioned Serge in the goal fest is this just an anti pulis thing

    Liked by 2 people

  25. The grave is only offending me because I’ve got one foot in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Sam ‏@samuelJayC 9h9 hours ago
    Van Persie says he will not retire from international football & says “I’m not on to run away from difficult situations.” Hmm.

    Like

  27. Wenger said Alexis, Campbell and Ospina have all texted him to confirm they have no injuries and are fit for Saturday.

    Wenger also said Koscielny, Arteta and Flamini could all return against Watford on Saturday

    Like

  28. TEAM NEWS: KOSCIELNY, ARTETA AND FLAMINI

    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Saturday’s game against Watford:
    on Laurent Koscielny…
    Koscielny has a slight chance to be back on Saturday. He has a definite test tomorrow

    on Arteta and Flamini…
    Arteta and Flamini are back in full training. We need to see how they are and how confident they are, but we can’t rule it out.

    on other team news…
    From the internationals we only have positive news. We are still waiting for Campbell, Alexis and Ospina to return, but they all texted back to say they are OK, so we just have to see if they were objective in their assessment.

    Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20151014/team-news-koscielny-arteta-and-flamini#kKrVsk5wMQCgLsfS.99

    Like

  29. Liked by 2 people

  30. Eduardo

    Best team news ever!!

    Like

  31. AGMs? Not again. Didn’t they have one last year FFS? Interlulls and AGMs, it’s a double whammy.
    I’m off to the Highbury Bunker, it’s the safest place to be at times like this. At least until the Football returns. Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. all I want to know is did the shareholders get their “independent transfer analysis” from the club, and should I be gravely offended.

    Like

  33. Ivan says the £10 per game young gun enclose usually does not sell out.

    so much for the Club pricing out young fans.

    I see Wenger wants the 2nd and to win the FA Cup, surely that is what he meant by

    “I want more than 3rd and the FA Cup”

    Like

  34. Ivan “we won’t spend money or waste it just to appease commentators”
    (I’m gravely offended)

    Ivan “Ozil,Sanchez and Cech show how the board will release funds for signings at any point”
    (but I want)

    Ivan “we have been active in the transfer market in recent seasons. Out of 27 current players only 9 formed part of same squad 4yrs ago”
    (this can not be true, we never sign players)

    Liked by 2 people

  35. seemingly Wenger was asked by a fan who our best young player is. He said Jeff Reine-Adelaide and that the lad will get a chance this season & he likes Bielek a lot too.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. That is a sickener

    I assumed Chips letting fly at the half wits at the Annual meeting would cause a few o them to pack in the Arsenal and never darken the halls of the Grove again.

    Still no Spuds tickets in the Exchange though !

    Like

  37. Ivan “we won’t spend money or waste it just to appease commentators”

    Spot fucking on, Ivan.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Shareholder quizzing Ken Friar’s wage. “He’s 80 years old.” Sir Chips: “Your ageism is unattractive, he’s done more than anyone at the club”

    Liked by 2 people

  39. what the AAA say

    “I want answers from the club”

    “I don’t like Gazidis, he always has a fucking answer”

    Like

  40. It would seem to me, that the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, tried to hijack the AGM?

    The AST , were gifted the “orphan” share!

    Tim Payton and Phil Wall, are both on the management committee of the AST. .Both were twittering away with the usual nonsense.

    Ken Friar’s salary, courtesy of the latest financial report, was £567,000 plus £28,000 in expenses. The last item affects the PAYE Tax Code, and is included in the Other Operating Expenses! What has Ken Friar done, to annoy anyone?

    Ken, did all the hard work in signing a certain Russian.

    A lot of noise from the usual suspects.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Apparently putting 60 years into the club is suspicious NOTH – the rogue !!

    All sounds a little desperate today at the AGM from the Scarfers – Chips told them to pin their ears back and listen – they have never been spoken to like that before – hilarious as far as I can see but the pompous uber fans will no doubt be in a right huff

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Jose has not disappointed me with a full on window-licking, faecal smearing tantrum at his book launch

    I doubt even the FA will be able to stop sniggering at the unraveling Portuguese to punish him further for today’s stupidity

    Another slip in Roman’s inbox though for the poor chap to deal with – I suspect he has s low boredom threshold

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  43. yes anicoll it really is hilarious how the self important fans are so upset at our chairman, how very dare he, ha ha ha, I love it, he picked up a useful thing or two from mr hillwood

    Liked by 3 people

  44. As the AGM was going on I see alot of the AST getting upset with sir chips. However they all seemed impressed with both Arsene and Ivan. Taken a few years but maybe they are starting to see how professional they are.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. anicoll5, Sounds like someone trying to get the sack because he knows he has run out of ideas and knows the size of the payoff for getting his marching orders!

    Liked by 3 people

  46. New Post up

    Like

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