Jul 062009

July has arrived, Wimbledon has ended and the rain is pouring down outside – it must be time to return to the football. Of course if I were only to talk about what was actually happening then this might be a somewhat short blog, instead I find myself compelled to encourage you to never, ever, under any circumstances, buy the Sun again.


They really are a tiresome lot. It is one thing to make up outlandish rumours – they do that every summer, and aren’t even necessarily the worst offenders, but to revisit the same old tired nonsense over and over is just downright pathetic. Cesc has come out numerous times to say, unequivocally, that he will not be leaving Arsenal this summer, countering every ‘story’ the day after it breaks, but still they persist.

Today, apparently, we’ve placed a £40m price tag on his head (the image of that is amusing in itself, by the same token Adebayor must be doing the bleep test with a green ‘Star Buy’ sticker on prominent display). The quote looks fairly convincing, until you realise that it came from ‘A Gunners insider’. More reliable than ‘a source close the the player’, but one step down from a columnist’s ‘understanding’, this is yet more evidence of a slow summer at the Emirates, with the papers desperate to fill pages previously reserved for a summer-long Ronaldo saga.

Even the reasoning is laughable – apparently the sale is to provide Wenger with the funds to make a challenge for the Premiership this season, as if selling your best player and replacing him with those that take a while to settle in immediately improves the side. Ah yes, Sun logic, the greatest oxymoron of them all.

But so far, nothing out of the ordinary – we’re used to seeing this level of garbage, and we’re also used to the depressing tidal wave of repeat stories on Newsnow, as the internet goes wild with panic and anger. What is slightly different this time is how the Telegraph have done what so many blogs do, and that is simply reprint the story despite its obvious absence of reality.

The Telegraph is a weird beast. Portraying itself as a respectable paper, it does deliver it certain aspects – its cricket coverage, for example, is actually very insightful – but when it comes to football rumours it is nothing more than the worst kind of tabloid masquerading as a broadsheet, willing to plumb the depths of its long lost cousins to bring in the readers desperate for a dose of transfer excitement.

On to brighter things, and the one transfer story that does appear to have legs, that of Brazilian Felipe Melo. The story seemed to be over when Melo signed an extension last week, but it seems that was an automatic clause the club simply invoked, according to the player:

“I have a contract with Fiorentina in which it was written that should I have a good first season, the club would have the possibility to extend my contract automatically from five to six years.”

Fair enough, and with that extension comes a buyout clause of €25m, roughly £21m in our money, and excitement flew around the Arsenal wires with the news that we had indeed placed a bid, with Fiorentina willing to reduce the price if Eboue was included in the deal, as stated on the Italian’s website:

“Fiorentina in turn proposed to the aforementioned club [Arsenal] a reduction in the amount set by the release clause by including right-back (Emmanuel) Eboue in the deal.”

It might just be me, but I smell something a bit iffy about all of this. We may have placed a bid, but in reality Wenger is unlikely to shell out that sort of cash on anyone, and given the past tense of Fiorentina’s statement, it seems like this deal is already dead in the water – we offered, they counter offered, and there was no meeting in the middle. Given our stance of silence in these matters, it wouldn’t surprise me if this were old news, both clubs having already moved on.

Still, we can but hope, it certainly is better than reading about Cesc’s imminent departure every week in the gutter press.

  11 Responses to “Telegraph fall into the Sun/Newsnow trap”

  1. fiorentina just bought that maccarony or something guy which means melo is leaving but i think to juve but wenger said arsenal will still buy a player so it is only a matter of time and btw melo isn’t that good if you saw him against egypt he was horrible and playing in the premier league is something else damn we want flamini back

  2. hey,

    never read your blog before but very nice.


  3. gooner sems, don’t judge a player on one match – Melo wasn’t great in the Confederations Cup, but in fairness neither was Cesc – doesn’t make him a bad player.

    rogman – cheers!

  4. A very good blog, mate. This is a breath of fresh air from the crap on NewsNow

  5. Are these newspapers taking bribes to unsettle players? I mean from clubs outside of England? Isn’t it like a ploy to unsettle players and get them for cheap?

    When correction is a universal phenomenon, even newspapers and media houses are no exception. Not necessarily the groups as such, but the people who work from them. Individuals are always prone to such temptations.

  6. Even the quote from Laporta was several months old, but the SUn reprint it to create their pathetic story.
    The worst thing is that other people also buy it!

  7. Gutter press is the perfect way to describe it. As surprising as it is to see the Telegraph blindly accept this tabloid trash, the news mediasphere as a whole has gone to sh*t. Even the BBC needs to be taken with a handful of salt, I read this one piece about Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma’s house-arrested Democracy leader) and the writer had said something about the Burmese constitution not allowing her to run for any position in the Burmese government. That’s simply not true!! How is it that the general public will take the time to fact check, yet these trusted news sources don’t bother to at all?!

    Anyways. I really hope we land Melo, but it certainly is iffy, and I feel as if negotiations were continuing, Fiorentina would not have mentioned anything at all about the cash + Eboue deal.

  8. Honestly – all papers do it. Kind of crazy to think that there’s so much nonsense floating around at this level.

    When that blog made up that Argentine story last year that I think The Sun jumped on, every paper had it – from Guardian to Telegraph. They’re all the same.

    Someone once told me the Observer is the only one that says it like it is. Is that true? I live in Tokyo so I wouldn’t know…

  9. I hope the Melo deal happens because he’s a very very good player (don’t judge him by the Confederations Cup because like somebody already said Cesc had a bad cup and Melo won the thing so whatever) He would fit in with Arsenal so well. But I don’t know it says like a Arshavin type of thing. We end up getting him so you never know

  10. Good piece.

    Melo. There is a story there.
    Eboue in a part/chop deal would make it ten times better.
    As previously stated by wenger at the Euro’s – never judge a player by their international matches.
    I watched highlights of Fiorentina v Juve yesterday – he looks pretty handy.

    The Telegraph. The paper was exactly the same last pre-season. garbage. It is no better than the Sun or Daily Star at times.

  11. BKK, the public don’t recheck at all, which is why (in theory) the BBC and others have a gret responsibility that too often they neglect. It is a worry.

    NorthStarGooner, Arseblogger alluded to the possibility of the Sun being a little underhand in trying to unsettle Cesc yesterday, it’s a good piece, I’d give it a read: http://www.oleole.com/blogs/arseblog/posts/more-crap-from-the-sun—melo-happy-in-italy

    Don, yeah, the Observer isn’t bad at all, and a couple of others are reasonable, but they all fall for stories occassionally – that Argentine one being the classic.

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