In recent weeks we have seen numerous managers criticise referees and not be called 'whingers' or 'moaners', for example when Ferguson bizarrely tried to blame Mike Dean after their recent home defeat to Blackburn. We have also seen teams excused for their defeats because of refereeing error, for example Tottenham away at Stoke. Yet when some controversial refereeing disadvantages Arsenal we see our manager given no right to an opinion, accused of 'sour grapes' and the errors are brushed under the carpet. It is these double standards and complete lack of consistency in the media that need to be exposed, so here we go:
Journalist(Paper)- Penalty claims mentioned (opinion)- 2nd yellow mentioned (opinion)- AWcomment
John Cross (Mirror) - 1 mentioned (deserved pen) - yes ( deserved 'pulled back') - 'sour grapes' 'moaning'
Sam Walllace (Independent) - 1 mentioned (no opinion) - yes (no) - quoted fairly
Henry Winter (Telegraph) - 1 mentioned (deserved pen) - yes (deserved 'pulled back') - quoted fairly
Matt Law (Express) - 1 mentioned (deserved pen) - yes (deserved 'pulled back') - quoted fairly
Charlie Wyett (Sun) - 1 mentioned (no opinion) - yes (deserved 'tugged back' ) - 'raging'
David Hytner (Guardian) - 1 mentioned (no opinion) - yes(deserved 'leant on')-'dark conspiracy theories'
Marc Higginson (BBC) - 1 mentioned (deserved) - yes (foul - deserved) - quoted fairly
Firstly the clear signs of bias are shown by John Cross (Mirror) and David Hytner (Guardian), they both grossly sensationalise Arsene's post match reaction in a very negative fashion with the phrases 'sour grapes', 'moaning' and 'dark conspiracy theories', this is completely needless.
Secondly only one journalist of the eight has correctly described the second Djourou yellow card as 'leant on', and this is me being generous in allowing leant on. It is clear from replays that Djourou did no 'pulling' or 'tugging', the journalists who describe like this are simply twisting reality to fit their needs.
Untold Arsenal have nicely summarised Probert's officiating, I agree that if one sees the Djourou challenge as a foul then it can be seen as a yellow card, in my opinion though Djourou does very little wrong, he predicts Zamora's run, gets alongside him and is shoulder to shoulder with him, there is no pulling or tugging, Zamora just buys the free kick by deliberately going to ground, one can bet if an Arsenal played went to ground so easily it would be called a dive.
It is also astonishing that three of the eight journalists give no opinion on the Gervinho penalty incident which was generally agreed to be a stonewall penalty, and even more amazing that not one single journalist spotted the penalty incident in the second half as RVP looked to be hacked down in the box.
Compare and contrast the media's reaction to Alex Ferguson's negative comments about Mike Dean from this weekend and Arsene Wenger's on Lee Probert. Ferguson claimed Dean was at fault in awarding Blackburn a penalty and that this summed up Dean's performance. The media have hardly commented on Ferguson's negative comments, it is utterly astonishing when one compares to to Wenger's so called 'rage', 'anger', 'sour grapes', 'moaning' and 'dark conspiracy theories'.
It is clear for scanning around these match reports in the main national papers that there is a fair amount of bias when it comes to reporting on Arsenal and dodgy refereeing decisions that cost us games. The avoidance of giving an opinion on a decision that costs Arsenal, the regular spinning of reality and the complete failure to comment on certain key incidents all go to prove this, as well as those journalists such as John Cross who clearly has on intention of provided any fair coverage to Arsenal or Arsene Wenger in particular.
In conclusion there appears to be very little objectivity in the way in which the media covers incidents involving different football clubs and different managers, even when the incidents covered are practically identical. This doesn't surprise me but it is still rather depressing that so much bias exists.