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Alexis Sanchez: A Classic Case of Fake News

alexis-sanchez.jpg

Whither Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal Football Club?

The way the media has spun this story since last May, not surprisingly, those who are most prone to their deceptions and fakeries, must be feeling like John Denver in “Leaving on a jet plane”:

“All my bags are packed
I’m ready to go
I’m standin’ here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin’
It’s early morn
The taxi’s waitin’
He’s blowin’ his horn
Already I’m so lonesome
I could die”

According to the fakers, his suitcases are now packed for PSG, a few days earlier it was City, and prior to that it was Bayern. Disbelieve me at your peril.

In preparation for this piece, on Saturday afternoon EST, I did a quick search of Google News and in 45 seconds there were 2,500,000 hits on Alexis and his rumored transfer. As any informed person should know by now, Google is not being altruistic in generating this data. This is certainly one way of convincing advertisers they can gain the attention of those millions of eyeballs consuming the equivalent of transfer “junk food.” It is no wonder Alphabet Corporation, Google’s parent company, dominates the multi-billion on-line advertising space.

I am not for one moment blaming Google for this sorry state of news reporting, specifically sports coverage. With very few exceptions, like their political brethren, football journos and their bosses have decided facts be damned in the pursuit of a juicy transfer rumor.  It is all about ratings whether in electronic or print media.  Just as bad or even worse are the online websites and their twitter offspring who multiply like weeds at this time of the year. One can easily assume they are profiting from the increased web traffic during transfer season. Those of my readers, not using an adblocker when browsing, are suckers for pop-ups selling you dildos and sexy anime apart from being at risk for malware.

To understand the commercial benefit of peddling transfer rumors take for example the top listings, ranked by popularity, by Google from my 45-second search:

“PSG increasingly confident of signing Neymar and Alexis Sánchez” (Guardian)

“Arsenal transfer news: Alexis Sanchez to PSG, official bid to be made” (Fox Sports)

“Arsene Wenger attempts to ward off rivals’ interest in Alexis Sanchez” (Independent)

Arsene Wenger adamant Alexis Sanchez won’t join PSG” (ESPN FC)

“Alexis Sanchez meets PSG chief ahead of €50m move” (Goal.com)

Nearly 8 hours after Arsene Wenger’s clear and unambiguous statement that reports of Alexis meeting with PSG was “…only media imagination”, with the unusual exception of ESPN FC, both the mainstream media and, renown rumor-monger, Goal.com were still peddling the bullsh*t that Alexis Sanchez could be in both Chile and France at the same time. Moreover how could he, without the club’s permission, be discussing personal terms relative to his transfer, which is one of the biggest violations of the rules and regulations governing player contracts. This could not only land him in trouble but also put PSG at risk of a transfer ban as happened earlier to Barcelona and only recently to Athletico Madrid.

The facts is, as of the time of posting this blog, nobody knows, with perhaps the exception of Arsene Wenger, whether Alexis will be staying or leaving Arsenal Football Club this transfer window. Admittedly his future is somewhat up in the air.

The first sign publicly of his unhappiness or disgruntlement with the club is the strop he threw in February after the first of two defeats to Bayern Munich in last year’s champions league. It amuses me no-end to read and listen pundits and journos claim Alexis was let down by the rest of the squad in that game. The fact is,  he was relatively ineffective, coughing up possession on several occasions leading to dangerous counter-attacks by the Bavarians. Sounds familiar? This is despite his elevation by the media as a world class player who is a game-changer at this level. Have we forgotten the funny faces and contemptuous smiles he made after he was substituted?

In the subsequent week there were reports of him being part of a bust-up on the training ground. While the manager has never confirmed, it was self-evident that as a consequence he was benched for the start of an important PL game with Liverpool which followed thereafter. The fact that Arsenal lost that game added to the media myth of the indispensable Alexis, as if he was not part of both Bayern losses and a good many others.

Since the February-March decline in its fortunes, the media had been doing its level best to create a climate of doom and gloom around the club featuring the supposed denouement of Arsene Wenger as manager and the eventual departure of both Sanchez and Ozil, the club’s two best players. Apparently the two stars plan to not renew their contracts as they go into their final year because they are earth-shatteringly disappointed that AFC did not qualify for the champions league.

Has it struck anyone that none of the predictions made last April-May by the mainstream media and like-minded bloggers, tweeters and podcasters concerning the imminent demarche of Arsenal Football Club and Arsene Wenger has come to pass? None. Nada. Zilch.

The media has so carefully constructed a narrative of doom and gloom, it seems they have no choice but to continue promotion of rumors, half-truths and downright lies about Alexis.

As anybody who follows me on twitter knows, this defenestration of the media does not mean I am a fanboy of the Chilean.  To the contrary, I support those who think his individualistic tendency does more harm than good to the way Arsenal plays. Specially concerning to me is his desire to drop into the midfield to demand the ball but thereafter lose possession because of his less than 70% pass completion rate. This, in my opinion, is detrimental to team balance in both attack and defense.

But one cannot deny the importance of his 33 goals and 15 assists in all competitions. Of 77 PL goals by Arsenal last season Alexis contributed 24 or 31%. Until Arsenal can replace those goals it would be foolhardy to lose his services.

It seems to me the club is preparing for any eventuality. Surely it is not a coincidence that the service of Lacazette was secured early in the transfer window for a club record transfer fee of £49 million. Usually Arsenal will be conservative in its valuation of a player and take the negotiations into the ultimate week of the transfer window. Another significant piece of information is the public admission by Ivan Gazidis, when in Australia, that the club was club was trying to attract Thomas Lemar from Monaco is also evidence that a wide player to supplement or replace Alexis is being sought.

But I give Wenger the benefit of the doubt. He knows better than almost anyone how risky it is to depend on new players coming from a different league to come up to speed and to immediately produce. Without big money to spend, he took some pretty big risks in the past and was able to scramble into the champions league. In recent years he has repeatedly proclaimed, to those who would listen, that the PL is getting tougher and tougher as the so-called small clubs are acquiring better players and coaches etc.

I therefore take him at his word that he wants to keep Alexis for the final year of his contract and not sell him to a domestic or foreign club.  In the summer of 2003 he convinced Patrick Vieira, who was agitating for a transfer, to commit for a final year. Patrick renewed his contract and stayed. The rest, as we all know, is history.

By the way, two years later Patrick did get the big move he had been agitating for. Wenger appears convinced he can do something as big with Alexis.

If the Chilean does, however, refuse to extend his contract and agitate for a transfer, all bets are off. There is no way the board (big decisions are not down solely to Wenger) will easily allow him to walk for a free with 50 million in English or European currencies on the table. Only clubs with humongous non-football sources of revenue such as United, Chelsea and City can easily treat 30-40-50 million as monopoly money. At the end of the day football is a business, not a hobby. Owners, shareholders, managers must look toward the long-term interest of the club not only the short-term gratification of fans.

Happily we are not at that point yet. But the day of reckoning is coming sooner or later. There are 5 weeks more in the transfer window. That is almost a lifetime in football. Stay tuned.

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177 comments on “Alexis Sanchez: A Classic Case of Fake News

  1. ramsey almost in but can’t get enough on his shot

    Like

  2. Arsenal putting on some pressure now

    Like

  3. walcott on for elneny
    iwobi on for lacazette
    12 minutes left.

    Like

  4. Bramal with a crucial interception

    Like

  5. only a couple of minutes left to pull this one out of the fire

    Like

  6. 3 minutes of stoppage time to be played

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  7. ozil miscontrolls when put in by xhaka,

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  8. Good game of football – just the thing to clean the rust off before the challenge next Sunday.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. FT: Arsenal 1-2 Sevilla

    a wonder goal by nzonzi wins it for the spaniards.
    Lacazette with his first home goal for us.
    Arsenal win the Emirates cup on goals scored.

    it was an iffy enough performance, very hot and cold. our play lacked a high enough tempo much of the time. Lots of our players showed flashes of their best but not for long spells in the game. Ox a prime example, several fine marauding runs, lacked final ball most times, but he was not always fully switched on in his defensive role and did not push out for offside when rest of defense did.

    one more preseason game left – next Sunday in CS v Chelsea. We have yet to field together at the same time what could be expected to be our starting 11 for season opener v LCFC. Maybe next Sunday we will.

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  10. Bramal looked nervous, which of course is to be expected. He played the sage option all the time. when he overcomes the nerves we will see him use his speed to drive at opponents in attacking areas.

    I liked that Iwobi tried to force the game when he came on, he took it upon himself to try and make things happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jeez the “Real” Arsenal fans are very upset, you see its not fair that AFC the team they claim to support have won the Emirates Cup due to the rules of the tournament.

    we can add that to the color of the kit,
    tourist fans
    overseas tours
    players we have signed
    players we have not signed
    players we have sold
    players we have not sold
    stan the man
    ivan the smooth operator
    the womens team
    the academy
    puma
    our bank balance
    alexis, ozil, ox etc etc
    Ramsey

    of course we can cover all the above for them if we simply say
    fucking wenger is still here

    Liked by 1 person

  12. what sort of cunts are the members of AST, that they have that numpthy Tim Payton as their head man. Really, he never stops with his digs at the club. Has ever any of the AST members voiced any objection to his antics. I doubt it, after all they have never demanded to know what happened to the £250K the club gave AST for fanshare.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Wenger revealed that Coquelin is unlikely to be fit for CS as he has ankle ligament injury, he will have a scan tomorrow.

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  14. From what I heard most of the cash was left after Fanshare was liquidated was returned to the investors – I think AA was one of the victims

    Never ever quite clear where all the cash went of the substantial sums – £50-£60k a year, that were deducted for “professional” fees for the administration of the scheme.

    Any time Tim ( spokecunt and media arselicker that he is) is in the media and there is a Comments box always ask the man to clarify the costs – never had a bite.

    We know though Tim, we know (winkey thing)

    Liked by 3 people

  15. yeah I know some always ask him and he has always ignored it. I do wonder why, after all he harps on about good custodianship and proper accountability, they are two of his favorite soundbites where AFC is concerned, oddly not where AST is.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I just have to say a word about Chris Willock – he did well when he came on for Benfica. He put himself about and nearly got himself an assist if his team mate had not hit the post with his header. He should make a good career for himself.

    Arsenal probably could have got a draw, but that N’Zonzi goal was impressive and there’s not much to say against it. He seems to have a habit of doing the spectacular against us!

    I’m glad for Lacazette that he got a home goal today, albeit a pre-season friendly, as that would have been a monkey on his back. There’s still some miscommunication and lack of understanding with the rest of his team mates, but hopefully that will come soon. I’m also hoping Ozil and Xhaka will shake off whatever malaise has been besetting them this pre-season and get back to their best. I’ve never seen the two of them so lackadaisical and misplacing so many passes.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. its time Arsenal started to ban these journos who twist and turn or basically lie about what Wenger has said in a press call.
    Take today, Wenger said it was good for the players when they have let their contracts run down, as clubs can’t demand as big a fee as when they have longer on deal. Also that it is good for when the club don’t actually want to keep the player too.

    but the media are reporting it as Wenger said it was good that AFC have 8 players who let their contracts run down to final year.

    for years sir red nose banned any journo who done any of this sort of shit on man utd or on fergie himself, its long overdue for Arsenal to dump these fuckers.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I liked Wenger’s comment on contracts today

    “maybe we should sign everyone on 20 year contracts, and then you will all be happy”

    Liked by 2 people

  19. ah arseblog has taken down my comment asking why arseblog put up only part of the quotes from wenger today on the players in final year of contract, and why was arseblog not reporting it fully, why the distortion

    I suppose Arseblog did not want to tell the world it was for clicks clicks clicks clicks clicks

    Liked by 2 people

  20. one thing being overlooked in wengers comments about ozil and alexis contract running down, is that his comments implies that neither will be sold, new contract or not. They are staying for the season, at the very least.

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  21. I must have upset Arseblog with my click click click comment, now my comments are “awaiting moderation”, sensitive or what.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Arsène Wenger’s post-match press conference was once more dominated by Alexis and Mesut Ozil’s futures.

    The manager was asked a number of questions about our duo, and you can scroll down to see all the quotes:

    on whether he is happy for Mesut to go into the final year of his contract…
    Yes, I think in the future you will see that more and more. Players going to the end of their contracts. Why? Because transfers become so high, even for normal players, that you will see more and more players going to the end of their contract because nobody will want to pay the amount of money that is demanded and I am convinced that in the next 10 years that will become usual.

    on whether it’s an issue that five or six players are in their final year of contract…
    Not at all. I think it’s an ideal situation.

    on why it’s an ‘ideal situation’…
    Everybody has to perform.

    on whether Alexis is in the country…
    No, he is not back.

    on whether Alexis is fit to travel…
    He comes back on Monday night, yes.

    on whether he thinks Alexis will miss the start of the season…
    I don’t know, you have to assess his physical state.

    on why it’s an ‘ideal situation’ for players to go into their final year of contract…
    When you are a football player you perform until the last day of your contract. What does it change that you have two years or one year to go? You go out on the football pitch, you want to play and to do well. I don’t understand. Do you really think that you sit in the dressing room before the game and you think ‘Oh, I have only one year to go – I will not play well today’? Where does that come from? When you’re a football player you want to go out and play and do as well as you can. What has that to do with the length of your contract? It’s a bit amazing. How long do you know that you will work for your company? As long as you work, you do well.

    on whether players are negotiating a move away…
    No. Even if it happens, it doesn’t matter. You do well with what you do. I am amazed that you are surprised by that. It looks normal to me.

    on Wiltord and Kanu barely playing in the final year of their contracts in 2004…
    Every situation is different. Sometimes you have players who run out of contract because you do not want to extend them. That’s a bit different. Nobody knows if Sanchez will not extend his contract here. The performance on the day does not depend on the length of the contract. If that was true, you would sign everybody for 20 years and then you would be happy. What is important is that you perform when you go out there. I would rather have a longer conversation about that because I would like to have a good look back at all the contract that we’ve signed. I’m not convinced that the length of the contract has any impact on the performance of any player.

    on Arsenal fans experiencing this with Wenger’s contract last year…
    That’s different. My situation can impact the players’ situation in their minds. Any individual player does not impact the situation of all the players.

    on fans worrying that Alexis will leave…
    What can I do about that? One day he will go and Arsenal will go on. We will all go one day and Arsenal will hopefully go on.

    on whether he thinks Alexis will stay…
    Yes of course. How many times have I told you that?

    Copyright 2017 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 https://www.arsenal.com/news/wenger-gives-latest-alexis-and-ozil-futures#izhOf8h4pzXQLxhf.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/wenger-gives-latest-alexis-and-ozil-futures#aByYq2SEhiOJ434Q.99

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  23. Francis Coquelin limped off in the first half of our Emirates Cup opener against Benfica on Saturday.

    The French midfielder missed the following day’s defeat against Sevilla through injury and, after the game, Arsène Wenger revealed the latest on the 26-year-old.

    on Francis Coquelin…
    He looks like he has a scan tomorrow and I don’t think he will be available for the weekend. He doesn’t look bad, but he will not be available. [It is an] ankle problem, ligament.

    on Kieran Gibbs…
    He has been sick over the weekend. He was supposed to play for the reserves on Thursday night at Boreham Wood but couldn’t play. At the moment he’s not available.

    on whether he sees Gibbs’ future at Arsenal…
    He has one year to go [on his contract].

    on whether Mustafi will miss the Leicester game…
    It depends. Mustafi has come back today and will have tests during the week. For the weekend [Community Shield], he will be short.

    on what the latest is on Lucas Perez…
    He is injured at the moment.

    on whether Lucas is likely to feature during the season…
    Yes.

    on Lucas’ agent saying his shirt number was given away without consultation…
    Well look, we sort that out internally.

    Copyright 2017 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 https://www.arsenal.com/news/updates-on-coquelin-gibbs-mustafi-lucas#gCDvqqVrjfYdTPFU.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/updates-on-coquelin-gibbs-mustafi-lucas#ii8hgKReC6pEpHTu.99

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  24. Joe Willock will not forget his first senior start at Emirates Stadium in a hurry.

    Paired with Aaron Ramsey in central midfield, the 17-year-old was given a warm ovation from our home fans and, even though not everything may not have gone his way, Arsène Wenger was still encouraged by the teenager’s performance.

    Updates on Coquelin, Gibbs, Mustafi, Lucas
    Wenger gives latest on Alexis and Ozil futures

    “We have not seen the best of Joe Willock today because he had a heavy preparation physically and he paid a little bit for it,” the manager told Arsenal Player.

    “On top of that, we didn’t have a lot of the ball so he couldn’t show what he can do going forward, but he had a very promising preparation and it’s good for him to have a start at home in front of our fans. I’m sure he’ll have a great future.

    “He needs to play regularly for the under-23s and gain a little bit more physical power. He’s only 17 and that’s very young, but he has a good football brain and analyses very well.

    “I hope that he will come into the team very quickly to challenge the established players who are playing at the moment.”

    Copyright 2017 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 https://www.arsenal.com/news/im-sure-willock-will-have-great-future#LS0hdhAku9OryFxZ.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/im-sure-willock-will-have-great-future#OXpFUpw32yx7mTIQ.99

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  25. Him and his multiple ilk don’t do it for clicks they do it for MONEY.

    Thanks for asking the questions, edu.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Wenger confirming that Perez staying.
    But we were told by the malcontents that he would be sold.
    The Aaa and wobs know nothing i am convinced.

    Liked by 1 person

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