Played by the press

I’ve been reading British sports news now for 4 or 5 years and you’d think I’d have caught on by now. When a story isn’t repeated anywhere else (and sometimes when it is repeated) and it’s outrageous then it has to be false. Or, if not false, then a “misquote” in order to manufacture a story.

That’s what happened yesterday with the whole “Gallas claims not to have friends at Arsenal.” By 2pm local time yesterday, I fully expected to see the story run in other papers, denials printed, reactions, op-ed pieces, etc. The wires were silent. So, I went back to the link… those cork suckers had updated the link with the following:

Gallas’ peculiar reaction could possibly be explained by a suggestion that he understood the question to refer to English mates at Arsenal.

They didn’t even have the balls to print a second story! They just updated the link! That’s unprofessional.

Look at yesterday’s column now. Now look at the quote from Gallas. Uh huh. Now I know why he included Wayne Bridge in his statement. Jesus Lap Dancing Christ…

My bad y’all. I wish I could say that it won’t happen again but I tend to be very reactionary — it’s probably my Scottish and French heritage — uhh, nope, it’s my inexperience. I bottled this one. Took the bait. Hook, line, and sinker. It was easy to do though, Gallas is an easy target for all of us. Remember last year when he said stupid crap in the press? Or the year before at Chelsea? And then you add in his recent bizarre behavior and some of his comments about Theo and you could see how someone might buy the quote.

Still, I should have been wary.

The Rock of Gilberto has shored up the locker room by releasing the only public statement about all this Gallas flap by simply stating that there is no problem. I actually like the fact that there was a simple statement and then the team has clammed up. Maybe it’s the international breaks but I’d like to envision the team having a meeting and deciding that they aren’t going to talk about this issue and instead prepare for the notloB match on Saturday. And also talking about how they are going to create a solid defensive presence, something that’s been lacking in the last 5 matches.

Speaking of international week, it’s a busy week for Arsenal; half the squad is away on international duty, the Emirates stadium is hosting Brazil v. Sweden, and the Emirates will be used to mark the start of the English-French summit.

Arsenal have 14 players out on international duty this week. 14! I didn’t know we had 14 healthy players much less 14 healthy internationals. I was surprised to see that Rosicky was included on the Czech roster but the club is indicating that he’s just “traveling” with the Czech team. Still, that’s a lot of players, 4 of which have been called up for France to play against England, which Wenger claims is not really a “friendly.” Fingers crossed that all our players come home safe and sound.

In the Brazil v. Sweden match Gilberto and Ljungberg are captaining their sides respectively. It’s good to see two former Arsenal players keeping their careers going. What? Oh yeah, Gilberto still plays for Arsenal. My bad.

And finally, the story of the day! The Franco-Anglo summit! Arsene Wenger! Emirates! The French Prime minister! Carla Bruni! Throw in that Wenger’s reportedly buying every winger in Europe (another guy is reportedly on his way, Kuzmanovic) and it’s got to be a busy week indeed.

That’s it for today, I think I’ve said enough, don’t you?  I’ll end with a picture of Carla Bruni, with all her clothes on.  Do you know how hard that is to find?

’till tomorrow!

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