Fake news seems to be the buzz word of 2017. Football fans have had to put up with it for decades. Journalists twisting words for hits, creating transfer stories to fill column inches.
After Leicester’s brilliant victory over Sevilla last night, many Arsenal fans have started regurgitating fake news with the sharing of the following Evening Standard headline:
But has anyone who has shared it, tweeted it, actually read what Arsene Wenger said?
“If you play at Barcelona on Wednesday night, you have to fight for every single ball and again on the Saturday in the Premier League then of course it will be difficult.
“I cannot predict what the future of Leicester is, but the only thing I can say is it’s much more difficult once you play in competitions like the Champions League.”
At no point did Arsene Wenger say Leicester will struggle in the Champions League.
Reading what he actually said, it is clear the point he was making. It is harder playing Wednesday Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday then it is playing just once a week. And Leicester’s struggles in the Premier League this season shows this.
There results in the Champions League have been brilliant this season, through to the Quarter Final beating a very good Sevilla team. But there Premier League form has dropped as a consequence.
Currently 15th in the league, they are 3 points off the relegation zone. From runaway league champions to relegation contenders in 12 months. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup a couple of days before the 1st leg tie against Sevilla.
Whilst being in the Champions League is not the only contributing factor, it has played a part. As Arsene Wenger says, playing mid week and then the weekend is not easy. Especially for a side like Leicester who relied on little possession, high work rate and have a small squad.
Further proof of Wenger’s point is seen in Chelsea. They have benefited from a lack of European football this season.
Whilst watching Chelsea v Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday night, the commentator said “this is Chelsea’s 35th game of the season, Manchester United have played 47”.
It is undeniable that Chelsea have been massively helped by only playing once a week. It reminds me of Liverpool a few years back when they mounted a title challenge. Leicester last season did not have European football.
I have actually seen many Arsenal fans, some of whom criticise Wenger all day, every day, say they would not mind not having Champions League football next year so that we can concentrate on the league. So why spread the fake news, when essentially you agree with what Wenger said? That it is harder when you are in the Champions League to perform on all fronts.
That’s right, you change the narrative to suit the agenda.
Dropping from 1st to 15th proves that being in the Champions League makes things more difficult.
So before you spread fake news, actually take the time to read what was said under the headline. You will probably actually agree.