Lazy, Lazy Journalists

Lazy Journalism I

So there was a now deleted tweet from Charlie Wyett, Football editor of The Sun. The tweet linked to his article after it was announced that Ivan Gazidis was to leave Arsenal for AC Milan.

Now I always think of myself as a fairly level headed fan. I will criticise where there is criticism to be made, and defend and support where things are not as bad as people make out.

There is a lot that Ivan Gazidis can be criticised for. Namely Arsenal’s poor commercial performance since he took over as CEO.

A high tide raises all ships. This is the best quote I have seen with regards to Gazidis’ performance at Arsenal, courtesy of Swiss Ramble. The meaning behind it being that yes, Arsenal have increased commercial revenue to record amounts, but so has every other club. And Arsenal have increased their commercial revenue by a lower percentage than every other top 6 club bar Spurs in the last decade.

But to claim that Arsene Wenger, under Ivan Gazidis, turned the club “into Europa League regulars at rip off prices” is just lazy journalism.

In the 11 years Ivan Gazidis was Arsenal CEO, the club played in the Europa League just twice. Arsenal have been in the competition less than any other “big 6” side in the last 11 years:

Liverpool: 8 times
Spurs: 8
Man U: 4
Chelsea: 3
Man C: 3
Arsenal: 2

The above also includes years when sides failed to qualify for any European competition.

Wyett considers Arsenal to be “Europa League regulars” when we have played in the competition just 3 times this millennium. It really is just lazy journalism.

I imagine the journalists wife complaining that to her friends that her husband thinks they have a regular sex life, despite him being in her just 3 times since the turn of the century.

It’s also shows Wyett has no idea about the pricing structure at Arsenal.

As always when the price of football is discussed, journalists conveniently ignore the fact that Arsenal fans get 26 games for the cost of their ticket price. This means that Arsenal, for the majority of the last decade, have actually had a lower “per game” ticket price than Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Where were the articles about those clubs being Europa League regulars at rip-off prices? They have played in the competition more often, and pay higher for the privilege.

Arsenal charge as low as £15.50 for Europa League football. That is more than a fair price.

Wyett blamed his headline writer, but then deleted the tweet after many fans called him out for it. He knew he was wrong.

Lazy Journalism II

Just as lazy as the print journalists are much of the Sky punditry team.

Firstly we have Geoff Shreeves, who decided to reprimand Alexandre Lacazette for saying the word “balls”. Then you have Graeme Souness, such a bitter man who gives absolutely no insight, whilst just being negative about every situation.

Over the summer, there was a lot of fuss made about female commentators and pundits. I want to be listening to the best people share their view, regardless of sex, race or anything else.

Ali Mitchell and Isa Guha are very good cricket commentators, and have their jobs with Channel 5 and Sky Sports on merit, rather than because they are female.

What football needs to do is promote women because they are good enough, not just because they are female. Alex Scott, for example, gives a very good insight into the game, and her place is justified on the punditry scene.

What we need to see at Sky is fresh pundits given a chance, whether they be male or female – the likes of Alex Scott, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

Sky need to stop giving a pay cheque to the likes or Souness and Shreeves.

Souness is lazy, he says the same things every game and gives no real insight. Put him next to the likes of Carragher, Neville and Scott and he is clearly inferior. He has no clue.

Soccer Saturday is similar. I watched it for the first time for a year or so at the weekend and it was dull. Irrelevant man just shouting as loud as they can.

If these media outlets want people to watch, read or listen, they need to have pundits who actually have something to say. By trotting out the same old faces like some sort of old boys club will be detrimental as time go’s own.


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