You would think after #TeaGate that Daily Mail journalists would have realised it is a mistake to try and troll Arsenal fans.
But no. Barely a week after scummy journalists came out from under their rocks to defend a young journalist who decide to make a Combined North London XI full of Spurs players, another of their colleagues is at it again.
The article is based on a book night out by Antoine Griezmann (what is it about sports stars releasing books half way through their career? You’d think they’d aren’t enough).
Griezmann has clearly learnt a thing or two about how to publicise a book. He clearly realises that a sentence or two about Arsenal will get him the attention he requires to sell copies. So he discusses a failed transfer to Arsenal in 2013.
The story go’s that in 2013, Arsenal were interested in the then 22 year old French winger playing for Real Sociedad. That Arsenal scout, and ex-player, Giles Grimandi, has informed Griezmann’s former agent Eric Olhats to reject any bid from other clubs as it was likely Arsenal would make an offer as the transfer window came to close.
A valid story, which I imagine was true.
Griezmann then go’s on to say how, as the window slammed shut, an offer from Arsenal failed to materialise. A year later he opted to join Atletico Madrid.
Now that is where the truth ends and the creative journalism begins.
To compound how bad a move it was for Arsenal, the journalist, Tom Bassam, tells the story of the transfer window for Arsenal in 2013.
“That same window saw Arsenal fail to land Luis Suarez with the infamous £40million and £1 bid and could only stand by as Gonzalo Higuain opted for Juventus over the Emirates.”
Yes, it was the summer of the Suarez deal. Although we did not mess the transfer up. Liverpool refused to honour his release clause and basically said to Suarez “take us to court for breach of contract”.
And yes, Arsenal also missed out on Higuain. Although the Argentine forward joined Napoli rather than Juventus. Does no-one at the Daily Mail fact check these articles? Their proof readers must be worse than ours.
And then the pièce de résistance.
The article finishes with “Thankfully Arsenal signed Yaya Sanogo that summer”, indicating that Arsenal decided to sign Sanogo over Griezmann.
Now Arsenal’s transfer dealings in recent years have been bad enough that a journalist should not need to resort to obvious creative writing and an attempt to garner attention. But clearly he is writing for the hits rather than the story.
The window was rubbish, and Sanogo was even worse. But at no point did we decide to sign Sanogo over Griezmann.
By Griezmann’s own admission, it was late in the transfer window that arsenal showed interest in him. Towards the end of that window, Arsenal broke their transfer record.
At back end of August 2013, Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil for £42.5m from Real Madrid. At the time Ozil was considered one of the best players in the world.
So basically, we picked Ozil over Griezmann. We picked a world class established later over a young Frenchman with potential.
How many times does Ozil get a mention in the article? ZERO.
All the article shows is what everyone said last week, that the gutter press will print anything for hits and advertising revenue. This is just another case of that.
Whatever happened to real journalism?