Monday 27 November 2017

Football Journalists & Pundits – Why Do We Listen To Them

 I never spare the BBC or any other media person in all of my posts on Twitter or in any of my articles.

The media / press / journalists or whatever you choose to call them, pride themselves as the Fourth Estate of the Realm a throwback to the time when Royalty reigned. In today’s democracy, they are supposed to be the group that holds the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature to account. But they are not.

Even if they are. Who holds the media to account? In most societies especially in Western style democracies, there is a body similar to the Press Complaint Commission. The reality though is that the media is unaccountable. 

Media houses ruin the reputation of individuals and apologize in the footnote of Page 109 of the index 5 months later.  How can that be fair? They hack the phones of murder victims and only get to pay peanuts 15 years later. That is not accountability.

In most countries with something of a ‘free press’, there has been as many media scandals as there are political ones.  Yet there is a huge lack of belief in politician but many still give the media a pass.

It is fair to say that the media especially in Western Countries are part of the Elite. Majority of them all attended the same elite universities; they move around in the same social circles and buy into each other’s agenda depending on their political persuasion.

There is an adulterous relationship. This is especially evident when a newspaper pays an MP almost a quarter of a million pounds to write a few words. You also find out that a senior journalist can be planted at the heart of government at the behest of an unelected Press Baron.

It is this adulterous relationship that has delivered Trump as American President and Brexit. The media has not been held to account and are allowed to promote their own version of events rather than the detail of what is actually happening or what has happened.

Don’t get me wrong, we as individual members of the public have been complicit. Especially the very gullible amongst us who take the words of these press people as gospel. We have refused to think for ourselves and once we adopt a position, we become so welded to that position that we refuse to countenance any other position. 

Like political journalists, like sports journalists. We need to all realize they have a product to sell to us. If we don’t buy they will go bankrupt and they might as well do, as there is no value to the role they are currently playing.

Some might disagree because they think they inform, they entertain, they produce content etc. I disagree. Does it matter if Amazon is the broadcaster for La Liga and the Premier League rather than SkySports? Does it matter if Facebook takes over the rights to Match of the Day rather than the BBC?

Not a jot in my opinion. We might sadly still see the same mugs on the programs but there will be a very satisfied smile on my face especially with the BBC lot knowing that those pretend pundits are not being paid from my TV licence fee. 

You might also think about all those wonderful stats that the match commentators and presenters spew before, during and after matches. Well OPTA do them without adding any bias to it. They also tend to present a more rounded set of stats rather than present only the ones that supports their bias like the media do.

What the L does it matter that Arsene Wenger hasn’t defeated Spurs in the league in 7 meetings when he has defeated them 3 times in the last 3 Cup ties?

I am perfectly happy for us to do away with the sports media and football pundits. The effing lot of them. They no longer serve any purpose especially as with the advent of Social Media they now realize their original role is redundant. Majority of what they claim to be content and exclusives nowadays have either been on social media for a week or it is stolen from their.

If I want to see how Mesut Ozil lives, I don’t have to wait for anybody to do an interview with him. I go to his social media page and splurge to my heart’s content.

If I want to understand Arsene Wenger’s football philosophy and reasons behind his tactical decisions match in, match out, I watch videos on and listen with a keen ear.

If I want to genuinely understand what a disaster referee Mike Dean is, I go to or follow a regular person on social media who understands stats and is upfront with their bias.

Football journalists don’t understand football, they don’t understand football finances and football management yet they lay claim to speaking authoritatively on these subjects. English football journalists and media especially.

Any media person who calls Ozil a lazy footballer should have their licence to practice withdrawn. How can such a person pretend to understand football?

Pundits regularly mouth of about managers and sometimes about other players. Some of these pundits have had varying degrees of success as footballers. But how does your success as a steam rolling Number 9 helps you understand the Number 9 role a player like Alexander Lacazette plays today. I am looking at Alan Shearer here.

I doubt Shearer has never had to dribble the ball past anybody ever. What gives him the right to criticize or claim to understand Sergio Aguero’s talents?

This is before we start to talk about their criticism of managers. None of them has had anything close to a career in management. I used to heavily criticize Gary Neville before and during his time as Valencia Manager. I have piped down because Gary has displayed some form of humility since he came back to the Pundit’s couch. He now understands management better.

Football journalism and punditry today is all about gossips, click bait articles, making stuff up and generating controversy. They are constantly looking for the next manager to be fired, the next under pressure manager, the latest made up dressing room bust up and the latest manager who has never won anything but is the best since sliced bread.

It is so easy to see why they can never be enamored of a club like Arsenal and a manager like Arsene. The club doesn’t leak like a sieve. There is nothing to see here, move on but guess what, they still make stuff up.  

But when they are called out, they become crybabies. From their articles, you come away thinking these guys are so knowledgeable and would have made a success of running multiple football clubs if only they had gone into that line of work. Not true. When it comes to the crunch, they shirk responsibilities.

Imagine how they all jumped on the Everton transfer window bandwagon. Top 4 / winning the title was the target for Everton they said. All tosh. Rubbish. Mourinho and his giant basketball players were going to win the league. They were last seen struggling to beat Brighton, their big bully of a striker lashing out in frustration. I hope he gets a well-deserved ban. 

Just look at Adam Crofton and the miserable band that tried to support him. The media and their cohorts are quick to pounce on anything anti arsenal – the AGM, the defeat at Man City and Stoke. They said nothing. They were not interested only to start bleating when we defeated their darling Spuds and now Burnley.

They wheeled Troy Deeney into their studios to traduce Arsenal players. Very unprofessional of the media and of Troy Deeney.  They promote Pochettino, a manager who has won nothing and whose realistic chance of winning any silverware is between zero and nil. They give the AFTV lot the air of oxygen because they know it drains the confidence of the Arsenal squad. If there is any anti Arsenal bandwagon going, the media and pundits will jump on it.

The reaction of the majority of Arsenal fan base in the past week has been commendable. If the general public can rally against the media like the Arsenal fan base have maybe Brexit & Trump might be a thing of the past.

The power is in our hands. Stop reading, watching, listening to them. They will soon go away like a Polaroid Camera.  

Sunday 19 November 2017

Arsenal: Two Tottenham: 'Pressured'

Almost a year ago, I wrote this about the 184th London Derby.

Aside from the fact that yesterday’s match against the Auld Enemy ended in a win for the Arsenal, almost everything happened the same way as last season.

  • Arsenal Players very much up for it. Totally outplayed Tottenham

  • Arsenal fans were very much up for it. Our fans made the Emirates hostile for the pretentious Middlesex lads

  • Arsene laying the grounds for this match too by calling out the referees, with his team selection and tactics.

A couple / few things were different though

  • The Tottenham boys were perhaps a bit overconfident with all the trash the media had written in their favour. So they left their rotational fouling game in Middlesex. They brought their Diving A game though. The Emirates pitch wasn’t conducive for Perfect 10 diving as Captain Kosc and his boys made it tough. 

  • And. Arsenal WON. Did I say that before? Sorry forgive me while I gloat. WE WON. We blew up the Media and the Pundit’s HOUSE OF STRAW leaving the Spuds huffing, puffing and chasing shadows.

Something else made a difference in the match. It was something Arsene did.

Over the last fortnight especially following the disastrous officiating at The Emptyhad, Arsene has been relentless in focusing on poor officiating.

The mainstream media, the WOBs & their acolytes didn’t want to know. A pretend Arsenal fan actually wanted the FA to ban Wenger. It is amazing that a former Arsenal player defends this poor excuse of a human. Can’t get proper legends anyway.

There are a few notable exceptions to this disgraceful behavior by certain so - called legends though:

  • Dennis Bergkamp. Always has & always will be the embodiment of class & respect
  • David Seaman – he gets it. Arsene has earned the right. Let him be. Let him manage.
  • Lauren – always positive
  • So are Gilberto and the Great Kanu too.
  • Honourable mentions to Johan Djourou and Emmanuel Eboue   

On a related tangent, how can you be considered a legend when all you try to do is destroy the confidence of your old club’s players?

Are Martin Keown, Kevin Cambpell & Ian Wright that broke that they will say anything against Arsenal for a few crumbs?

Anyways back to the North London derby.

Arsene focusing on poor officiating ensured that Mike Dean was put on notice for the match. “WE ARE WATCHING YOU” was the message.

Responsible and reasonable Arsenal fans played their part too. Since Mike Dean was announced as the Centre Man for the match, there have been lots of stats and videos dissecting his refereeing performance. Some of these stats are shocking and clearly deserving of investigation by Parliament since the media, the FA and Premier League are in cahoots with the PGMOL and won’t do anything about the revelations.

Mike Dean’s penalty decisions’ stats is further evidence of corruption in this sport we love so much. I am interested in seeing the same sets of stats across all the Premier League referees.   

Any government worth its salt will be all over this issue like a rash because essentially the common man who desires to watch his team play a fair football match is being fleeced repeatedly by a cartel of Premier League Officials who are only interested in selling a fairy tale to the world, the FA who are happy to take a share of this filthy lucre and the PGMOL and its officials who like bandits will do anything to ensure they get sprinkled with some of the ‘readies’ flowing within the game.

I am happy Arsene’ strategy worked yesterday.  Without the focus on the referee, Mike Dean would have awarded all of the 50/50s to his buddies at Tottenham. We would have been left ruing what could have been. Those lowlifes who are not fit to lace Arsene Wenger’s brogue shoes would have been saying tosh about his managerial ability.

We cannot rely on this type of intervention every week. The system needs to work better. Preferably with the use of technology. Other leagues are now using it or planning to. There is absolutely no reason why The Premier League & The FA should not be using VAR / more technology from next season. They should end the charade and stop gaming football.

On final note, the result of the derby was delightful. With one well-placed header and a vicious head shattering shot, Arsene silenced the following:

·      1)  The Media (They have been especially livid and clutching at Tea Cups. In case you are not up to date, please see this link ) Arsene made them rip apart all their doom laden pre written articles

·      2) Pundits (The MOTD presenters were very meek yesterday)

·      3) Pochetti – NO Trophies  (borrowed from @Stillberto) The best manager in the whole world not to have won a single trophy.  As per @Reuenewal Mauricio is the homeless man chasing a 4 bed house in Kensington while yabbing those who live in Council flats.  

·      4) Tottenham fans (sighting of these lot on Social Media has been very rare over the last 24 hours)

·     5) Hungry Arsenal Legends

     6) WOBs (till the next rumour about Arsenal is circulated. Maybe at some point before the next Arsene Wenger press conference on Wednesday)

     7) The brainless bots who have been predicting an Arsenal loss for the last two weeks

·    8) The Doubters

I hope Arsenal & Arsene puts a permanent gob stopper on them.

Now on to the next one. Bring on Cologne. Hope the cup players who will normally play and those who didn’t get a game in the derby all travel and put in a decent performance.

As far as I am concerned, any 11 put out by Arsene Wenger is the best 11 Arsenal has got to offer for that match. Any tactics or non- tactics deployed by Arsene Wenger for any match is the best tactics for the match.

As true fans, It is not our place to question the selection or tactics. It is our place to support. When we as fans are up for it, we can often make a big difference.

Saturday 4 November 2017

Arsenal Are The Last Team Beat Manchester City. Same Same Tomorrow

Arsenal were at the end of a poor run when we met Manchester City at The Emirates in April 2017.  We had back-to-back losses to Watford and Chelsea in The Premier League. Two heavy losses to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and a further Premier League back to back loss against Liverpool and West Brom.

The only good news we had in that period were our wins against Hull in The Premier League and the 2 FA Cup wins against Sutton & Lincoln.

Just like we fear the City clash tomorrow, I feared for the worst in April. Leroy Sane scoring within 5 minutes of the start further compounded my fears. We got a well-deserved draw. There was nothing in our run of matches before and after that game that suggested we could withstand their firepower but we did. Much to the bellyache of the dotard pundits and naysayers masquerading as Arsenal fans.

Three weeks later, we met them at our ‘home’ ground otherwise known as Wembley. Not only did we match them man – o – man –o, we bundled them out of The FA Cup ending Guardiola’s hope of winning ANY SILVERWARE at all. I hope forever

Don’t forget that earlier in the season, they needed a dodgy goal (two dodgy goals even) to defeat us at The Emptyhad.

Nobody, not the WOBs, Pundits, negative Arsenal fans gave us a prayer in all of our matches against Guardiola’s side now and in the past. But we have done him dirty in all the clubs he has managed in his coaching career. Arsene Wenger is the only one who has inflicted this type pain of him.

They are good side no doubt. We all expect them to be good after investments approaching £2b in a short space of time. But looking at this team, how does he differ to previous Man City teams, especially from last season.

I guess we will be playing against Gabriel Jesus for the first time. Compared with the last City side we played, Clichy, Kolarov, Jesus Navas, Fenando & Ihenacho all gone. It is unlikely Toure, Kompany & Bravo will feature on Sunday.

Using City’s last game v West Brom & Napoli as a guide, we are likely to face Ederson in goal, a back four of Stones, Otamendi, Walker & Delph. A midfield of Fernandino, De Bruyne & Silva and a front three of the other Silva, Sane & Jesus. Sterling and Aguero will most likely feature at some point.

I hasten to add that apart from Bernado Silva, the Arsenal boys know all of these players intimately. They have played against them and defeated them times and times again.

Of course, the combinations are different, the weak links have been taken out of the Man City squad, they look good and have the results to match but we are not exactly playing against the globetrotters of football.

They are beatable and if Arsenal don’t do it on Sunday, someone else will do it very soon in the Premier League. As long as it is not a Mourinho team, I am very fine with that outcome.

By the way, I will be pleased with any 11 Wenger lines up against City. I don’t care  what any newspaper hack or pretty face on TV says or even the Twitter warriors. When you manage a team of players’ week in week out, then come back and criticize Wenger’s selections.

I disagree with the praise heaped on the current evolution of the Man City squad. Yes, Pep has stayed true to his philosophy of ‘If you don’t have the ball you can’t hurt us”. Fair play to him. It is this philosophy that is making many froth at the mouth about the improvement of Stones and Otamendi. They have not improved in my opinion, they have only been protected by the attacking play in from of them. Otamendi will forever be Giroud’s bitch in my book. The sight of Giroud melts his brain. Not sure but Oli’s good looks have that effect on people.

One good thing for Arsenal is that to a large extent, City will allow the Arsenal players play and rotational fouling will be at a minimum. All I expect is for the Arsenal players to convince us the fans that they have left everything on the pitch on Sunday. Nobody has the right to ask for more than that. There will never be a wrong word said about a team defeated by better opponents in my book if they have put in their absolute best.

Results are impacted by too many issues – error strewn refereeing, dodgy referees, luck etc. to give a few examples.

At the end of the day, win or lose it is only 3 points at stake. Trophies are never handed out for 11 matches. Seasons are not defined by the same number of matches either.

Three months ago, Arsenal were shit with not a prayer of getting into The Top 4. Everton was going to beat Arsenal to 6th place otherwise known as Manchester United’s new birthright. 10 matches later, we are level with Chelsea in 4th place after 2 losses due to Stevie Wonder referees. So guys, results of Sunday’s match don’t matter in the grand scheme of 38 matches.

If you insist on moaning about the Arsenal, Wenger or anything connected to Arsenal Football Club. GET IN THE BIN and roll around with the murk in there.

All I want is for the Arsenal boys to give a thoroughly good account of themselves.

Come On You Gunners