Blog Archives

The Sun misleading everyone over Arsenal’s Wenger.

“Arsene Wenger: Why I would quit Arsenal!”

Wow, what a headline, what a u-turn for a manager who has thus far refused to even acknowledge the slightest hint of pressure. So what has he said, has he promised that a unfavourable series of results could see him leave Arsenal, has he set a timeline for his departure.

Has he bollocks.

The Sun, for the millionth day in a row, have used their favourite trick of using a headline which in now way relates to the story it sits above.

“I’m in a job where results count and they decide your future. Stan Kroenke’s words are a beautiful sign of faith but I’m also a realist. When you lose 8-2 to Manchester United you can’t say ‘I’m the best in the world’.

It’s not that I feel in danger, it’s simply I’d like people who love this club to be happy and you have the taste of failing in our mission when an avalanche like that falls on our head. Big disappointments are part of our job. The team is insecure. Every time we concede a goal.”

Mentions of leaving Arsenal – none. Mentions of football club management being a pressurised occupation – several. I’m not sure it’s quite at the stage where Wenger’s packing his suitcase and booking a ticket on the Eurostar.

Why is this kind of journalism tolerated?

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The Sun getting self-righteous over Sheffield United/Wednesday

Headline from The Sun this morning – “What hope is there for football? Sheffield shamed by finger yobs”

I always afford myself a wry smile when I see one of the tabloids print this type of story – the whole article laden with mock incredulity and despair at humanity.

“Two fans, who are old enough to know better, showed the ugly side of the beautiful game by making obscene hand gestures during the Steel City clash which ended 2-2 at Bramall Lane.”

So a local derby produced some colourful language and some distinct gestures? Really? I would’ve never predicted that happening. No way, not from a football crowd surely?

This is the domestic version of the ‘night that shamed football’ story that the Sun/Mirror/Mail publish after English fans indulge in a bit of pissed-up over indulgence during a World Cup. It’s nauseating that a tabloid can print this story without even a shred of irony.

After all, the two fans ‘that were old enough to know better’ are actually just a microcosm of The Sun’s readership. The manner in which the press absolve themselves of any blame for the state of society is revolting.

It’s TV, it’s over-paid celebrities, it’s schoolchildren eating the wrong things – no, no, no, it’s your badly-written, hate-spewing comic of a newspaper that helped create what so disgusts you.

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The Sun invent ‘Carlos Tevez demanding Man City apology’ story

Some of the evils of tabloid journalism have to be accepted – using fabricated quotes from shadowy ‘insiders’ to back-up generally correct stories being one of them. However, when you use said quotes to create an entire article – and then lead with it on your website – that’s slightly less-tolerable.

‘CARLOS TEVEZ DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM ROBERTO MANCINI’ screamed The Sun this lunchtime – obviously he said nothing of the sort, but we’ll go along for the ride anyway.

Apparently, a source said:

“Tevez is furious. He wants Mancini to apologise for saying he refused to play.

The whole thing could have been settled if both men had apologised but City rejected the idea.

It’s quite clear City do not have a water-tight case against him. Tevez will take this all the way to the Premier League. The process could take over six weeks.”

Hmmm.

Okay, so actual quotes from Carlos Tevez – none. New information that we were previously unaware of – none.

It’s strange that quotes couldn’t be found to support any of this, given how eager Kia Joorabchian usually is to talk to the media.

Note to all aspiring journalists; if you want to get some extra mileage out of a story that the public have tired of, invent a new twist to it that isn’t really true.

Genius. Oh, and The Sun refer to Carlos Tevez as an ‘Argy’ in the article. Lying? Check. Casual racism? Check. Two for two.

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Thoughts on The Sun’s England reaction

Are the press ever capable of a proportional response to an England performance? The coverage is always boom or bust, and the national side seems stuck in a perpetual fluctuation between hopelessness and invincibility.

There’s no fluctuation with Rob Beasley though, he’s always a tool. For those who don’t watch Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, Beasley is shouty little mockney who works for The Sun. Ah ‘Beas’, you are such a massive, massive prick.

‘TYPICAL England — they promise us so much but deliver so little.’

Except for a point in a hostile environment and qualification for the European Championships? Beasley is one of those hacks that genuinely believes that England should be walking off with a trophy at every tournament – ‘who needs a Messi, Xavi, or Iniesta when you have a super Frankie Lampard’ etc.

“It was a night when we should have been cracking open the champagne to toast making it to next year’s finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Instead, we cracked up and it turned into yet another drown-your-sorrows debacle.

Let’s get it right, this always should have been a formality.

After all, what were we up against in this so-called do-or-die qualifier?

A country that is just five years old, boasts less than 700,000 people and is named after a black mountain.”

Debacle? Sorry, did I miss something? On Friday night I saw a slightly above-average team qualify with from their group with a point in torrential conditions against a spirited opposition with more quality than they’re being given credit for. Jovetic and Vucinic Rob? No? No idea? Sorry, nothing exists outside of the Premier League does it?

The ‘black mountain’ comment Beasley makes is shameful too, because it’s that kind of arrogance that makes the rest of the world crave our failure – arrogant, patronising, and dismissive. Like everything else in The Sun, it reeks of Xenophobia. Does anybody else see a correlation between how far above the rest of the world we think we are, and our failure to ever justify that sentiment?

Maybe it’s time to accept that our football team is in fact – wait for it – not quite as good as we think it is. Please, because the melodrama that greets anything less than an England rout has become so tedious.

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The Sun creating a rift at Fulham

‘Fulham fury after Martin Jol fines Pajtim Kasami for missing a penalty’ screams a headline in The Sun. Eye-catching certainly, because that doesn’t sound like Martin Jol – and it doesn’t sound very reasonable.

‘MARTIN JOL has fined one of his Fulham players £500 for missing a penalty. But the Craven Cottage boss is now facing a dressing-room backlash. Several senior stars are furious after Jol rapped rookie Pajtim Kasami.’

This refers to Kasami’s miss during the Carling Cup defeat at Chelsea.

So why would Jol do something as potentially damaging as that to a 19-year-old player? Oh hold on, he didn’t…

‘The Swiss midfielder, 19, was penalised for taking a spot-kick in Fulham’s Carling Cup defeat at Chelsea on September 21 — because Orlando Sa was the designated taker.’

So actually, the player has really been fined for disobeying an instruction from his manager – that’s a little bit different isn’t it? So the headline and main body of the story are actually just the product of a willful misinterpretation of what actually happened.

Our old friend, the club ‘insider’ also chipped in:

“Kasami wouldn’t have been fined if he’d scored it. Some of the new rules are strange to say the least. He is a young kid. He was only trying to do his best for the team and he’s ended up being fined 500 quid for it.”

Except that’s a quote that has just been fabricated isn’t it?

So in summary – The Sun have twisted a series of events into something more interesting, framed it with a misleading headline, and supported it with a false quote.

Top, top journalism.

The Sun embellishing on some Gareth Bale quotes

‘Gareth Bale: Arsenal Should Have Kept Star Names!’ – ‘Bale in dig at Gunners’.

Really? What did he say? Did he make comparisons between the sale of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas and Tottenham’s refusal to budge of Luka Mordric? Did he accuse Arsene Wenger of turning Arsenal into a selling club?

No? But look at the headline, whatever he said must have been fairly damning surely?

Um…no…

“Arsenal have lost a few players, which makes them more beatable I think as that has damaged the way they play.

We exposed that. I think keeping your best players is a massive thing.

They are used to how you play and what you do. It is vitally important to do that and build your team around them.

It is important that we have Modric and Arsenal were unlucky not to keep theirs.

They are still a great team. They haven’t had the best of starts but I am sure they will improve.

They have a lot of young players who are going to grow up in the next season or two and learn a lot. I am sure they will be fine.”

Yeah, that was savage.

Why can the tabloids not just report information? Why must everything be artificially inflated by salaciousness?

‘The Sun is the most disliked newspaper’ – Poll Result & Comment

‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’

No surprises there then, as the dirty little tabloid scoops 62% of your votes.

Whether it’s the Murdoch factor, the forced pun in every headline, or general crimes against literacy; there are just so many reasons to detest The Sun.

At its very best it’s cheeky, but at its very worst it’s an appallingly manipulative and borderline fascist hate-rag – and its offices are crammed with some of the most dislikable sports writers in the country.

‘Writers’ is perhaps flattering, because most of the columns read like transcripts of shouty conversations that have been had in a pub, and are all riddled with whatever agenda the journalist happens to be carrying at the time. Rob Beasley, Shaun Custis? The embodiments of the old-fashioned football hack that substitutes ‘BIG OPINIONS’ and ‘EXCLUSIVES’ for craft in their work.

The Sun’s readership figures are just a shocking indictment of us as a nation. A national embarrassment.

West Ham relegation not our fault – Karen Brady

Well, that’s basically what she’s saying.

As we said a couple of days ago, West Ham would benefit greatly if their Owners and Chief Executive were a little less-fond of seeing their own names in the newspapers – especially in the ‘it’s everybody else fault but ours’ way in which they appear morning.

Karen Brady hasn’t been shy in apportioning the blame away from herself, David Gold and David Sullivan, and is quoted in The Sun today as saying;

‘Avram was given the best possible conditions to do the job. There were no silly targets set, no talk of Europe. We just said: ‘Keep us up’. He was given extra training-ground staff and his personal needs met – including a driver, a new office and an upgraded expensive football analysis system. When things got tough, we backed him again. January signings like Wayne Bridge, Robbie Keane and Demba Ba saw us put our money where our mouth is. Again, no big names left the Boleyn. A good man, Avram was given every chance but he was sadly unable to deliver.’

Couple of things, by ‘we backed him again’ do you mean ‘made a very public and clumsy approach for Martin O’Neil’? Really, because we’re not sure that sends the most supportive message to the incumbent manager. Does it also include the owners speaking publicly about which players would be sold after the club was relegated – before they’d gone down. Does it involve publicly questioning the fitness of first-team players? How about writing this in your Sun column about another Premier League club:

‘It’s obvious Blackburn’s new owners want to make a splash by linking their name with big stars such as Ronaldinho and Beckham. Such publicity comes cheap and can turn out to be expensive in terms of future credibility.’

Be careful with those stones in that glass house. Glossing over insignificant details like West Ham’s own tactical association with David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Thierry Henry – why does Paul Peschisolido’s WAG have a column in The Sun anyway? Who does that benefit more – West Ham or Karen Brady?

As a parting thought, given that Sullivan, Gold, and Brady made the decision to replace Gianfranco Zola with Avram Grant, maybe they should be taking a little bit of responsibility for what happened while he was in charge. But keep blaming everyone but yourselves – Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, Gianfranco Zola, Avram Grant, Kieron Dyer, etc – and see how long the West Ham fans tolerate that for.

‘Arsenal’s Fabregas & Tottenham’s Bale wanted by Chelsea’ – The Sun

Epic nonsense in The Sun today, as in amongst the usual offering of general fascism they have their ‘Rom plans £80m Chelsea spree’ story – that’s Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Bale heading to Stamford Bridge in case you’re asking.

Reporter Rob Beasley – and viewers of Sky’s Sunday Supplement will know what a horrible little p**ck ‘Beas’ is – must have been up all night inventing sources to back this up. Talking of which, that murky ‘club insider’ makes a reappearance to let us know that:

‘Roman has always wanted to see a Chelsea side that played what he calls ‘sexy football’. He’d rather see a match where they win 4-3 in swashbuckling style than grind out a 1-0 result.’

Mentions of Cesc Fabregas – none, mentions of Gareth Bale – oh, you get the picture. It’s also worth knowing that Beasley is actually a Chelsea fan, so at what point is the use of the country’s highest-circulating paper to spread fictitious rumours about players you’d like to see your club sign an abuse of power? And it gets worse…

‘Wesley Sneijder, Thomas Muller, Adam Johnson, Matt Jarvis, Ashley Young, Jack Rodwell, Marouane Fellaini, Luka Modric and Andrey Arshavin are other possibilities – all of who can inject pace into an ageing squad.’

Actually ‘Beas’, what you’ve done there is just invent a list of youngish Premiership players, none of whom are in any way being targeted by Chelsea. It’s not the best bit of journalism is it.

As with any story that appears on The Sun’s website, a search of the comments below will never leave you feeling short-changed. GoldDigga360 insightfully added this little snippet of genius:

‘Judging by his ugly mug i can’t see how he can make Chelsea sexy. The players they have at the moment don’t exactly have sex apeal, well unless you’re a wanabe wag or non-celeb who will sleep with anything that can fund your champange lifestyle.’

Nice one – LOL!!!! etcetc

Just when you were starting to feel proud of being English again…

The Sun wide of the mark on QPR rumours

What do the FA do when faced with an issue that presents a logistical problem?

They take the easiest and least disruptive route out and hope nobody notices how spineless they are.

This morning The Sun breathlessly reported that QPR were faced with a 15-point deduction over the ownership issues surrounding Alejandro Faurlin – we wonder whose phone they hacked to get that story? Anyway, the idea that the FA is going to stand-up to the kind of characters that have stakes in QPR – Ecclestone, Mittal etc – is a bit laughable. If you believe the dirty little tabloid, then the Championship playoffs face chaotic uncertainty, and a huge organisational nightmare to resolve.

Right, hands up who thinks that the FA are actually going to discipline one of the richest clubs in the country and face up to the months of appeals and fixture disruption that that will lead to?

Now, hands up who thinks that they’ll just fine QPR and hope that everybody kind of forgets about it?

Oh wait, they’ve got a source – an ‘FA Insider’ no less, sounds reliable:

‘There’s no question QPR have broken the rules. They know it as well. The only debate is what to do about it. If they aren’t found guilty you might as well scrap the rules about third-party owners.’

Next time you want to fabricate a source, maybe actually put something in it that reinforces your story. Just a thought.