He's handsome, he's sexy, he was absolutely sodding amazing at the football...but our boys are a bit uncomfortable with default reverence. He's a pundit...
You know everything about the managers but how much do you know about their coaches? Wo who's the Liverpool Academy Director who drew 0-0 with Man United?
Is your club a media darling - or an unfashionable whipping boy? Does your team get a rough deal from the hack pack? Do lazy journalists always come up with the same clichés about your club? In a new series, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the stereotypes, coverage and media agendas for each team in the Premier League...
To be found all over the place. Smudger Smith a regular analyst in print and solid, to the point of tedious, co-comm. Ian Wright's primetime TV career seems to be confined to the dustbin of history but Tony Adams and Paul Merson still do important work in experimental stream-of-consciousness poetry. Romford Pelé to be found quite literally shouting the odds on Talksport.
Top club in London inevitably attracts a lot of high profile fans including, allegedly, the Queen (which we doubt) and King Olav V of Norway, comedians Alan Davies and Clive Anderson. Most prominent of all due to high and persistent volume of gobshiteyness, Piers Morgan. Most surprising Arsenal fan? Pink Floyd bass player and songwriter, Roger Waters. Must be all that hanging on in quiet desperation while waiting for them to have a shot at goal.
Back page leaders?
Club receives disproportionately high amount of coverage due to many London journos supporting it, and like other capital clubs it's obviously logistically easier for centralised news outlets to keep on top of stories. Strangely, Arsenal coverage among the most polarised, with many Arsenal-supporting journos and bloggers deeply frustrated at how the club is run, and others considering it to be the epitome of reason and prudence in financially crazy times. High likelihood of being the subject of seriously boring articles about board meetings and share allocation.
Gaffer's media skills
Created image early of professorial reasonableness and has generally refrained from savaging hacks. Never been "one of the boys" with the media. Had he been either more aggressive, or more matey, he might have been able to neutralise some of the negative coverage over last two seasons. TV cameras have much fun with entertaining body language that ranges from epileptic stick insect to Ministry Of Silly Walks comedy turn. Calls for coat to get own spin-off show.
Vox pop cliché fan
Two distinct categories here. On one hand, Norf London older geezer who fondly remembers the rock and roll greats of the club's past and yearns for hard-tackling, hard-shooting, hard-drinking real men like Adams and back to Charlie George and Peter Storey. Then the under-35 fan, usually not local to Islington, who enjoys pass completion stats, worships Barcelona, would like to see tackling outlawed and genuinely sees physicality as an infringement against Arsenal players' human rights.
Keyboard warrior ferocity
Indignant. Most likely to start a sentence, "If you did that to someone on the street...". And he has the stats to prove it. Worst examples think they're better than you.
Good Old Arsenal, solid as the bank of England, keepers of the gentlemanly flame, playing the game the way it should be played.
For anyone over 35: dirty cheats obsessed with playing offside. 2013 edition: bottle merchants sitting on a massive pile of cash they won't spend. Squad overpopulated with fanny merchants, ankle-biters and awful hair cuts.
Archetypal news story
"Club captain to be sold to Real Madrid this summer" or "manager set to spend big".
John Nicholson and Alan Tyers
Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here
Alan's football and cricket books are all in one place here