Tuesday 3 January 2012

Probert and the clear media bias


Firstly this is no attempt to blame the referee for our defeat to Fulham yesterday.  We were largely the architects of our own demise, Fulham were by far the better team in the second half and deserved the win in the end.  This article is designed to look at the way in which the media have covered the performance of Lee Probert and analyse their coverage of Arsene Wenger's post match reaction.

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.


Anonymous said...

Quite agree, it has been going on for a long time.
Arsen Wenger is not a bad loser, the one that is stands out a mile (Fergie) but again nothing is ever said.
All Arsen Wenger said is true and the sky comentator Sean on this morning was just the same against Arsen Wenger, it is a regular thing with sky

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with this analysis 400% times 4 meaning 400%.Since Wenger burst on the scene in 1996 to disrupt the red faced domination ,I think there is a conspiracy to prevent the FM winning games and trophies.
In 1999 some gunners were banned because of the refs.The title was a neck and neck .If the gunners were not handicapped by this ban,they could certainly have won the epl. The treble would never have taken place.
Over the years some refs picked on the gunners. FF to 2011/12.In some games the gunners were not given 100% penalties.If the gervino tackle was punished with a penalty.
the gunners would have won.The tv presenters,seasoned footballers,said it was a clear penalty.
The FA may as rename the epl:

Anonymous said...

See how Niel Warnock commented on the same ref Warnocks comment versus Wenger on Lee Porbert

Anonymous said...
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Afro Gunner said...

there was a worse tackle on Djourou and he almost broke his ankle yet the commentators there were a series of 50 50 tackles. I dont seem to understand why Arsenal only have fair officiating when they are outside the top 4.

Anonymous said...

Interesting in this context to note where premier league referees come from none from London or the south east 3 from Cheshire alone

Afro Gunner said...

People keep saying Wenger shd buy.
Rating all buys across clubs who made the best buys
De Gea,
Kun Aguero,
Scott Parker,

Anonymous said...

Don't be surprised these refs are under orders to prevent Wenger

Anonymous said...

the media are trying to force wenger out cuz they dont like the fact that a foriegner let alone a french man is one of british football most sucessful manager

Anonymous said...

I'm still too angry to care wat d press tnk I just hope we can av a team dat can win matches even b4 d ref decides to commit a blunder. If we had gone in at half time 3-0 up wat mr probert did wudnt av mattered let's worry abt dat and leave d press and d refs alone

Afro Gunner said...

even if u are 4 up ref blunders can cost u. Two fake penalties and an off side goal. Look at van der vaart hand of god

Ezekiel Obanda said...

It is apparent that the FA hates Arsenal Football Club!I do not know the reason.They refer to Arsenal as that 'FRENCH TEAM' and to Arsene Wenger as that FRENCH MAN!What a pity!

Anonymous said...

This has been going on for many years.

I personally cancelled Sky years ago and unfortunately for me I only ever watch The Arsenal.

I love Arsenal but hate football now. These Referees are mostly from up North and never seem to get things right.

I am not moaning because we lost, I was going crazy against QPR when one of their players made a goalkeeping save to stop a shot without punishment.

Gervinhio was also hacked down at Newcastle at the start of the season yet wasnt given a penalty then either and even worse he gets called a diver.

Djoroue getting sent off is all Wengers fault to be fair and if he spotted it coming as he said then he should have taken him off and switched to three at the back or put Song at cB and the excellent Kosser out right.

It must be looked at by the FA though as to why we are not trated fairly. When if this was to happen, I think I would watch and respect all other teams again and even watch them play.

Over rated sides like Man Utd seem to stay at the top even with average players simply because Sky want them there.

Uncle Mike said...

Out of curiosity: Are there any media outlets (newspaper or network) that tend to treat Arsenal fairly? Because I can't seem to find any. Not even the Mirror, which, politically, is much closer to me than the Daily Heil/Fail, the Express, and Third Reich from The Sun.

1979gooner said...

There are some journalists around who do a decent job on the whole, a small minority though.

The problem is which institutional bias is that it is very hard for a fair journalist to stay fair given the pressures that will be put on them from above from people like their Editors.

The problem is that in the commercial world we live in, a gutter appraoch that pleases the majority of idiots will sell more than an objective account of events.

Look at the drivel on Talkshite for example, it unfortunately sells, it's a question of slowly trying to educate people and be objective.

Certainly the modern social media probably helps this, it is harder to peddle lies that it used to be.