The state of the media in this country is downright depressing at times, especially in these lean summer months where sport sections cannot be shortened, and pages must be filled with a story designed to catch the eye of the reader.
And the one-upmanship going on is ridiculous – frankly, anyone who falls for it and buys the paper in question is a fool. Arsenal to bid for Benzema? Oh yeah, we’re sure to outbid the likes of United for a £30m striker. Okay, well how about £30m plus Bendtner for Ribery? I hope the editor cries himself to sleep at night.
Unfortunately, we live in the Sun generation, a world where the vast majority seem to believe everything they read in ‘the nation’s favourite red top’ (or more accurately, as beautifully described by Tim on 7amkickoff, ‘an open sore on the anus of society’).
And in these times of instant access to news, both accurate and bollocks, fickleness is taken to the extreme. Take a glance at many sites and comments from this week, and you’ll see Cesc and Arshavin ripped apart by ‘fans’ who worshipped them just days ago but now consider them ‘overrated’. The reason? Oh, that’ll be the Sun again, who suggested (subtly, as ever), that both wanted to both to Spain.
First Cesc explained his frustration at not winning trophies at Arsenal, but not in a ‘I want to leave’ way, but more like a genuine Arsenal fan, desperate for success. Of course the media world went bananas, but for a more rational view, check out Arseblogger’s post on the day the story broke, cutting through the crap with typical finesse.
And then this week, we have Arshavin, who wanted to move to Barcelona before he ever joined us, at a time when even joining Spurs was preferable to staying where he was, and on a very slow news day (after all, who wants to write about the Under 21s getting thumped by Germany last night?), the Sun decided to reprint his quote. Nothing like context to a story.
One consolation is that this idiocy isn’t restricted to football. I was at Wimbledon yesterday, sat in front of the big screen before Murray played another match on the road to being thumped by Federer in the final. The atmosphere was superb, and full of optimism, but ten minutes into the game, the plank behind me starting spouting more nonsense than I’ve heard down the pub in a long time. Here are some of his quotes, and bear in mind they were made after a whopping two games, with Murray 2-0 down in the first set.
“He’s bottled it, totally bottled it, it’ll be over in an hour”
“Write this set off, might as well just start playing the second now”
“Useless, I could’ve won that point, he’s not even a top 100 player really” [said after Murray had played a quite extraordinary shot that just missed]
“He’s getting hammered by an amateur!” [Wawrinka, his opponent, is in the top 20 in the world, and on yesterday’s evidence, a damn good player]
“Scottish wanker, never liked him” [yeah, that’s why you paid ticket money and are now sat on the hill, watching earnestly]
More and more, people around me were despairing. It was the equivalent of Villa coming to the Emirates, having a decent chance in the first minute, and the entire crowd writing our lot off as useless in the blink of an eye. It made absolutely no sense.
But then, very little does anymore. How does it make sense that the Sun has such a massive readership when their stories get more ridiculous by the day? How does it make sense that one voice of reason gets drowned out by twenty fools on Newsnow?
But fools are everywhere. Just look at the latest ramblings of the man in charge of our game. According to him, big spending=bad. But Real Madrid big spending=good, and Arsenal being frugal=bad.
Run that by me again, Sepp?