By Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw, senior psychologist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road and head of the “What Lies Behind” unit.
“Wilfried Zaha delivers warning to Arsenal fans about Nicolas Pepe’s £72m transfer,” shouts a story on Football.London, the eccentric website owned by the Daily Mirror. So we ask, what’s behind the story?
The tale opens with the news that “Crystal Palace winger and Arsenal summer target Wilfried Zaha has urged Gunners’ fans to show patience with record signing Nicolas Pepe.”
And thus our first bit of disentanglement must be to try and find the “warning” in that urging of “showing patience”. And obviously there is none.
The story by Amie Wilson goes on to argue Pepe’s performances for Arsenal “so far this season have been met with criticism, the 24-year-old has scored once in the Premier League (from the penalty spot vs Aston Villa), and has provided two assists.”
And here we must ask. Criticism from whom? Not the season ticket holders who sit around me, that’s for sure. No, if there has been criticism it has been from bonkers journalists at FoLo who have the agenda of criticising Arsenal no matter what. In short the people writing and publishing this story.
It is the classic circular plot. Create an atmosphere, and then express worry about the atmosphere.
Indeed I am told that every morning all the journalists are called in for a meeting in the Toppled Bollard public house which the editor in chief puts down his early morning gin and tonic and shouts “What do we want?” to which the zombie crew reply “Anti-Arsenal stories.”
“When do we want them?” demands the boss.
“Every 15 minutes in each new article we publish,” the obedient ones respond.
But back to the tale. “His early form has led to fans questioning if he was value for money,” they say. Who are these fans we ask, but of course we do not know. How many were there? Two, three, three and a basket of left-over takeaways? We are not told.
However we are told that “Zaha, who plays for the Ivory Coast with Pepe, has insisted that the Arsenal man needs time to adapt to the Premier League before he can reproduce the form that saw the club pay a club record £72 million for his services.”
Ah ha. Zaha the magnanimous. I am sure there is a deeper meaning here. And indeed we have a quote from the esteemed Zaha himself.
“I see the social, I see everything and it’s a thing where he needs time. He’s come from another league, he’s young.
“There’s this price tag that he has not put on himself, people have put that on him because of his performances, so you’ve got to give him time for him to reproduce that, it’s not going to come like that.
“I have got nothing but faith in him, I’ve got confidence that he will produce the same thing that he did before, because we both play for Ivory Coast, I’ve seen the talent he’s got, but not everyone sees it.”
Pausing, we were remember the headline: “Zaha delivers warning” about which the story has said nothing. Indeed I am reminded of a conversation heard in bar of the Toppled Bollard last week
“How much did gin did you put in my G&T?” the journalist in charge of knocking Arsenal for a national newspaper demanded of the barmaid.
“A liberal tumblerful, sir,” replies the faithful maidservant.
“Would that be a normal dose for an adult defeatist, now working as a football journalist do you think?”
“Sorry sir,” she says and tips in the rest of the bottle.
In terms of FoLo it is of course all gibberish of bionic proportions. One might was well ask, “Have you ever seen Pepe eat asparagus?”
“No,” comes back the reply. “Arsenal in food poisoning scandal at training centre as manager adds kinky foreign food to players’ diet,” screams the headlines the next morning.
You will, I am sure, see the connection. Such writings affect one’s faith in football journalists and commentators as purveyors of the truth. Much more of this and we won’t be able to believe a single word they say.
Original article: https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/77594