Shock and awful
You know what day it is? It’s ‘GUNNERS IN MELTDOWN’ day for The Sun:
Mark Irwin has been awfully busy, first telling us that Granit Xhaka ‘is refusing to apologise for telling the Arsenal supporters to ‘f*** off’.’ Although ‘refusing to apologise’ seems to mean ‘is really quite upset about the entire situation, has been offered counselling and is not ready to address the issue’. But our man also previews the League Cup tie with Liverpool:
‘And the situation has become so desperate for under-fire Emery that he is even ready to end his long and painful stand-off with outcast Ozil.
‘The disgruntled German has managed just 142 MINUTES of first-team football this season – and he did not even make the subs’ bench for the Gunners’ last six games.
‘But now he is in line for a shock recall for tonight’s Carabao Cup clash against Liverpool to help Emery avoid another Anfield humiliation.’
Yeah, you know those 142 MINUTES? Literally half of them came in Arsenal’s only League Cup game of the season so far in the last round. Emery is so ‘desperate’ that he’s going to play a player who would absolutely have played whether Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 427-0 or lost 1-0 to an own goal off Sead Kolasinac’s arse.
What a ‘shock recall’ indeed.
Elsewhere in The Sun:
‘Tottenham whizkid Troy Parrott was handed a shock call-up to Republic of Ireland’s provisional squad.’
Mick McCarthy chose 39 players. If you’re Irish and you play football, you’re in. And Parrott was also selected in September before being cut from the final squad.
Pierre into the abyss
It’s not just the newspaper that is aware of the increasing value of ‘Arsenal fans criticise player’ stories. The Sun website is having some fun, too.
‘Watch as Arsenal fans scream abuse at Aubameyang as striker drives home after Crystal Palace draw’
Popcorn at the ready. And just look at that URL: ‘arsenal-fans-aubameyang-crystal-palace-car’. Ooft.
‘SHOCKING footage has gone viral appearing to show Arsenal fans shouting abuse at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he drove home after the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.’
What a SHOCKING day this has been thus far. And how SHOCKING that ‘Watch as Arsenal fans scream abuse’ has been relegated to ‘appearing to show Arsenal fans’ by the first paragraph.
Rough translation: We have no idea if they are Arsenal fans. And it doesn’t bloody matter. Lap it up.
‘Furious supporters gathered around the striker’s £240,000 chrome Lamborghini Aventador when he pulled up at a red light, believed to be on Sunday evening.’
Now they’re not even certain it was after the Palace draw!
‘In a clip posted to Twitter, one fan can be heard making a point about high ticket prices as they shout: “£2000 a year to watch s***? F*** off!”
‘While another man appears to yell: “You Arsenal w*****.”‘
Ah yes, Arsenal supporters bloody love referring to others as “You Arsenal w*****” in a derogatory manner. It’s right up there with ‘What do we think of Tottenham?’ when it comes to disparaging chants.
‘The Gabon international, who is Arsenal’s top scorer this season with eight goals, managed to escape unscathed after the traffic light turned green.’
They were shouting at him, not chasing him with flaming pitchforks. And he probably couldn’t even hear them; his windows were not down and he likely had some sort of music playing. Of course he bloody ‘managed to escape unscathed’ from literally no physical threat.
‘But Gunners fans on social media were quick to jump to the defence of their star man, who earns £200,000-a-week, after the video spread online.’
What a f***ing aside that is. Just slap his incorrectly-hyphenated wages (and choice of car) into a story that covers how he has been verbally abused – possibly by fans of his own club but who knows? – for partially economic reasons. Do The Sun ever stop and think that they might be the problem?
No. Of course not. Silly Mediawatch.
The Daily Mirror website, never one to knowingly miss out on easy clicks, pile in. This headline adorns the top of their entire football homepage:
‘Arsenal fans hurl abuse at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he drives away in Lamborghini’
It follows pretty much exactly the same pattern, except the Mirror make no suggestion that these might not be Arsenal fans. They have someone in the know, clearly.
Then we get to one of the quotes from the video:
“These people pay £1,800 for a season ticket… they are your support!”
Because when they aren’t calling each other “Arsenal w*****s”, they refer to themselves “these people”.
And the MailOnline completes this illustrious set.
”£2,000 a year to watch s***… f*** off!’: Arsenal fans shout abuse at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after his Lamborghini gets stuck in traffic on his way home from the Emirates after Palace draw’
There it is: mentions of both money and his Lamborghini. Textbook. It’s borderline victim blaming.
Do the Mail have inside information to irrevocably state that these were Arsenal fans? Do they heck.
Is this story, comprised of 184 words, three videos, six pictures and one survey – that’s 18.4 words for every piece of accompanying multimedia, kids – just another attempt to cash in on drama and controversy without due diligence or thorough research? Hmm…
Mediawatch has no idea whether the people in the video actually are Arsenal fans. But that is precisely the point – neither do any of the websites reporting that they are as a statement of fact. They do not care, even though information that offers vital context seems readily available on social media to those who simply search ‘Aubameyang’.
They might indeed be Arsenal fans, but speculation and conjecture is not news. And £200,000-a-week wages and Lamborghinis are not relevant.
On the attack
‘The attacking area where Scott McTominay betters Liverpool FC stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’ – Manchester Evening News.
Let’s just say congratulations to the ’15 successful take ons in 887 Premier League minutes from central midfield to Salah’s 14 in 794 and Mane’s 13 in 789 from attack’ October 2019 champion. What an achievement.
Don’t mind doing it for the kids
Writes Mark Irwin in The Sun:
‘Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori are breaking the glass ceiling which has halted so many Chelsea dreams over the past 20 years.
‘Hundreds of the world’s most-talented youngsters graduated through the Stamford Bridge academy – only to find their progress blocked by the club’s imported superstars.
‘But the days of promising kids spending years on loan at feeder clubs before being quietly offloaded finally appear to be over.
‘Both Mount and Tomori believe that change of policy is down to new manager Frank Lampard.’
What a bizarre way of spelling ‘a FIFA-imposed two-window transfer ban’.
Ask a simple question…
‘Why do Palace win and convert so many penalties?’ – The Athletic.
‘Because it’s quite beneficial in this sport’ – Mediawatch.
The word you are looking for is ‘how’.
Recommended reading of the day
Ben Fisher on Preston.
George Caulkin on Sunderland. (£)
Rob Dawson on Phil Foden.