Monday 14 April 2008

Media meanders from objectivity

There are many explanations for the media's propensity to err from the holy path of objectivity, I am sure you all have your own ideas, but there certainly have been several examples of late. Arseblogger pointed out this example of Alan Green's poor error. It seems that on this occasion Alan Green jumped on a bandwagon to criticise Arsene Wenger having made no effort to check the basic facts of the story. Incidentally I heard him on 5live on Sunday spouting some more anti Arsene stuff while another pundit refused to join in with the Arsene bashing, despite Green's blatant encouragement.

I find it amusing that when an Arsenal player dives, the incident is replayed time and time again, while the country's pundits feel the need to express their moral outrage for many days on end. However when Ronaldo dives it is condoned by the media, as Andy Gray did on Sunday, using an argument with logic as robust as the Titanic's design; and English players don't dive, do they?

The same happened with the differing approaches used by the media in analysing Martin Taylor and Abou Diaby's dangerous tackles. A significant part of the media tried to downplay Taylor's tackle as just an unlucky accident, with the player's character being praised as lacking any intent, the media also used the event as an excuse to attack Arsene Wenger for being upset that one of his players had had his ankle sticking out of his sock. Abou Diaby did not receive any of the character references that Taylor had done while the lack of intent was not highlighted by pundits to the same extent, despite the fact that Diaby's was not quite as reckless a challenge.

I was also slightly perturbed by the BBC's slightly evasive coverage of the Arsenal Manu game on MOTD2 last night. They failed to show several key incidents in the game, amongst them a great Bendtner header, a clip that would have included Ronaldo tugging rather firmly at his shirt. Hansen did not even consider the the penatly decision may have been a little harsh, I found this strange given that the ball rocketed onto Gallas' arm whilst it was kept vertically by his side, just where was the intent? It was also bizarre that Sky did not even replay the Evra free kick incident once during of after the game, whilst the BBC whitewashed over it at rather high speed.

Maybe I'm just a paranoid fool, but maybe not. Amazingly Fergie had the good grace to admit that we were a tad unfortunate, something the media prefer to ignore in continuing to highlight our failure to hold onto the lead. One wonders was England's defeat by Maradona's hand of God in 1986 all the fault of the defence for failing to hold onto the nil nil? You see the point I'm hacking towards.


Obsinho said...

Good article again 1979. The thing with being paranoid Gooners, is that people tend to be paranoid for a reason. I do not think there is any conspiracy within the game to give us bad decisions (that is not paranoia that is delusion), and we have not won through bad luck, bad defending and stubbourness from Wenger.

However, I do dislike the way the mdeia portray us, both when successful and when not. We lapped up the hyperbole when we were top of the table, when really it was the same toss we're being fed now. There are moderate and sensible football commentators out there, they're just not on sky or MOTD (apart from Dixon and Gavin Peacock - who is surpisingly not a tosser). Pundits are fans as well, and show an incredible lack of professioanlism when they reveal their colours. Alan Green is a prime example. As are people like Terry Christian on TalkShite, and also Lawro and Hansen.

Thing is, can't really boycott Sky and MOTD as it's the only way to get highlights.

Ted said...

Ok. I get the point and I agree that Alan Green is a monumental twat.

However, I don't go along with this everyone's against us thing at all.

We have been on the end of two, maybe three, genuinely awful decisions from refs all season. In my book it was the two penalty decisions against Liverpool and the penalty against Birmingham. I reckon every team gets about the same number of shockers against them each season.

I'm sure that 1979Gooner will be able to point to another half dozen bad decisions, but for me, that is just part of the game. Every single game contains a couple of dodgy free kicks each way. You also have to look at other factors. Adebayor's goal against ManU shouldn't have stood, but it did. We got a number of free kick decisions for tackles on Hleb and Fab that were borderline. I'm not saying that there weren't fouls, it just that not every foul gets a free kick.

The difference was that our delivery was shit from almost all of them. In contrast, Hargreaves was unimpressive all game until he executed a perfect free kick which won Manu the game. Should it have been a free kick? Maybe not, but I've got no major complaints about it. It certainly wasn't a blatant dive by Evra. In fact, I give Evra credit for being there in the first place.

Eboue dived for a free kick against Barcelona in the final, but it was given and we scored. Thats a big decision in a big game. As usual, we contrived to make a mess of it.

Was there an anti-Manu bias on Sunday's coverage? Not in my book. I was amazed how pro-Arsenal Martin Tyler (a life long Arsenal fan) was allowed to be in the first half. His commentary barely mentioned Manu other than to say that they were bad. Even Gray went along with it. Is Gray biased? No way. Is he a bit of an annoying bastard - most definitely. But he is just a pundit and I quite like his commentary most of the time.

MOTD2 was also not as anti-Arsenal as you make out. Lee Dixon had a good 5 minute slot when he went through Arsenal's failings at the back, Gallas' lack of leadership etc etc. But that is not anti-Arsenal because it came from Lee Dixon.

Alan Hansen is a pragmatist, not an idealist. He has no agenda with Arsenal and is equally happy lavishing us with praise, or to dish the dirt. Why does Hansen have to say that ManU were shit and only cheated their way to victory with a bent ref? Its bollocks.

Hansen respects winners and ManU won on Sunday fair and square. Going through a list of borderline decisions that the ref might have given if one of us was ref is not the point. If I was ref I would have sent the whole fucking lot of Rooney, Ronaldo, VDS and Fredinand off for being twats. Maybe then we might of won, but I still reckon we would have contrived to fuck it up.

And that for me is the point. We fucked up and its our fault. Again.

1979gooner said...


you have a point in the league, I think out main undoing has been sloppy goals conceded to weak sides at home, the stats bear this up,

success in the cup turns on a bit of luck, which we didn't have, I reckon we have more of a case here,

ironically in the league it wasn't lost against manu and chelsea, it was lost against boro, villa et al at home

Ted said...

100% agree.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone mention MOTD2 on Sunday and not refer to Gerrard's two blatant penalty dives. The man is a disgrace. Someone should threaten to break his knee-caps and sleep with his wife. Oh..someone already has.

1979gooner said...

english players don't dive!

(carpet, brush, sweep)