Jul 102008

Yesterday, I spoke about the way that the media try to portray Arsenal as a club in crisis, misrepresenting where they can and ignoring any evidence to the contrary. Today, both the Mail and the Sun illustrate my point perfectly.

First, the Mail, who make the ‘startling revelation’ that Hleb hates the noise in London and wants to move to a quieter city. They do this with an apparent disregard for the fact that the interview is over a month old and has been covered in great detail before. How does this stuff make it to print?

And then there’s the Sun, who claim interviews with both Ken Friar and GIlberto, in which it is made apparent that the Brazilian is on his way to Greece. Friar is quoted as saying:

“As far as I know, the player and his agent will travel to Athens to meet with the Panathinaikos representatives. If Gilberto reaches agreement with them then we will reach agreement with Panathinaikos.”

While the player’s version is:

“I have no problem to come to Greece if financially happy. We will get the proposal in my hands and then stop to think about it.”

If true, this all seems very amicable, don’t you think? So how do the Sun start the article?

 GILBERTO SILVA will rock Arsenal by signing for Greek giants Panathinaikos.

He will ‘rock’ Arsenal? Really? It seems from the quotes as if we are perfectly happy to let him go, but then I’m not trying to sell newspapers or score cheap hits, so perhaps my interpretation is different.

The quotes seem to have come from nowhere, however, with the Sun not claiming to have held the interview, so I have to admit I’m a touch suspicious of them. If they are genuine, then his departure would be a disappointment, if not a surprise. His experience would be useful for another season, but at his age he just wants to play. Having shown perfect professionalism in a difficult season, I wish him well whatever he does.

A shame, but hardly cause for crisis talks. But don’t expect this to stop anytime soon.

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