Wenger Crosses John – TSD 4

Hello, thank you for visiting and I hope you are having a great day. Irrespective of how your day turned out I’m pretty certain it got off to a great start with news reports that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were committing their long-term futures to the club. The initial story was reported in The Mirror by John Cross.

It’s an open secret that journalists like John Cross (Mirror), David Ornstein (BBC) and Jeremy Wilson (Telegraph) supposedly have a close relationship with the club hence reports from them on Arsenal carry a lot more credence.  However, the manger during his press conference for the game against West Brom played down the story.

In John Cross’ words

“Sanchez and his representatives are understood to have agreed a new five-year deal in principle which will see him sign on until 2020 and with the potential to earn almost £40million in that time.”

“He signed a deal worth £130,000-a-week and that will now rise to around £150,000, with major incentives written in.” “It is understood the club are hopeful of getting them both signed up and they aim to make a joint announcement, which would be a massive lift for their title push.”

Arsene Wenger’s words

“We have not started to talk about that with Mesut,” “We are in the same situation [with Alexis]. At the end of the year they have two-and-a-half years left on their contract so we still have some time.

“We are not in a hurry. Of course we want them to stay here at the club and we will start the negotiations at some stage. At the moment we have not started them.”

What made John’s post more interesting was the Mikel Arteta reference he used to give credence to his hunch that negotiations were on the table. Immediately following the statement on Alexis, he referenced the club captain saying

“They (Sanchez and Ozil) are probably the most creative players in the team along with Santi Cazorla. “They are the guys who can make the difference for us at any moment. Even if we’re not playing well, you know that they can always provide a spark and win a game for us.

“We need players’ right at the top level playing with consistency and these two give us that. We need to find the right balance in the team to give these players freedom on the pitch to affect the result.”

This fed perfectly into the narrative of the player signings. What he failed to state in the post was that the comments from Arteta were made days before in an interview the club captain granted to MOTD magazine in response to this question.


To be fair to John, almost all journalists do this as more than ever before in the history of journalism, there is a rush to break a story. Any inkling of an event leads to a post, and to further give credence to their narrative, they tend to bring in bits and pieces of several other associated or unassociated events to give weight to a story.

I guess the onus now lies on us, readers to test the story or just wait for official confirmation. The problem with waiting for official confirmation however is there are very on earth that are slower than the Arsenal media machine when it comes to confirming or denying any transfer or player related story.  However, in this case, Arsene’s statement seems very clear. “Talks are yet to commence”.

In an unrelated event the Premier League confirmed that the French National Anthem would be played at the start of every game this weekend in solidarity with the people of Paris in the wake of the recent terrible terrorist incidents.

This comes on the back of awesome display of strength, resistance and support the FA have already shown during the game against France on Tuesday. I was glad that game held for two reasons. Firstly, the moment we start to cancel events for fear of the terrorists, we give them victory in the psychological battle and it is important that terrorists never think they can win that war.

Secondly, no one knows how to perfectly organize events such as this better than the English. The Three Lions are one of the most followed national teams in the world and the publicity they can draw is somewhat unprecedented in Europe. We all have to give them credit for ensuring the game went on, ensuring it was free of any attacks and using it to send a strong message of love and solidarity. It was very significant that the British PM and Prince William were at the ground especially considering one of the venues the terrorist attacked was a football ground that had the French PM in it.

However, the decision to play the French Anthem at every league game I believe is a tad too far especially in the wake of criticisms of unfair media coverage of other terrorist attacks in non-European parts of the world. Facebook for instance has suffered some backlash for the level of support it showed to Paris with the flags and safety feature which had not being used in previous attacks in Lebanon, several instances of terrorist activities in the middle east and in Nigeria.  This forced the company to activate the safety feature for subsequent attacks in Nigeria, two have happened after Paris, killing close to 50 and leaving scores more injured.

Is this show of solidarity by the premier league a good thing? Without a doubt!! However, I am of the opinion that since it cannot be replicated with every attack worldwide and judging that the EPL is the most watched league in the world, wouldn’t it be better for the Premier League to make the event a global statement on terror and not singling out a particular country?

I live in Nigeria and I have followed the EPL for more than half my life, recently released data show Boko Haram terrorists have killed the highest number of innocent people in the world in 2015. Cable TV keeps getting more expensive here and I have to pay premium bouquet to ensure I don’t miss any EPL game. Am I entitled to feel sad that the Premier League would not identify with my country? Are EPL followers around the world in countries that suffer from attacks like mine entitled to feel the same way? Above all, we still stand with the French people, Nigerians and every country that suffers from incidents of this nature. Hopefully, peace will prevail on earth.

Have a good day my friends. Thank you for visiting the blog.

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