While reading through articles today for the links post, this post by 7AM Kickoff reminded me of a couple of other articles that I had clipped earlier this morning. It is indeed odd how the media can seemingly print such disparate facts about matches. Something as simple as the number of fouls and red cards should not be a matter for dispute, yet it is. Check out the post for 7AM's conclusions on the matter.
Building a little bit on what Tim is saying, I had noticed another strange anomaly in today's press.
For me Arsenal are the best team. If you look at Barcelona we play like them and I can see Arsenal winning something this season. We have the players and we have the touch. Chelsea have very strong players but they are older. And I think that Arsenal are going to win a trophy. This was just one game and we are still in a good position.
This sounds innocent enough, right? A little positive thinking, keeping the spirits up? No problem, right?
The Telegraph reprints his remarks thusly:
Arsenal midfielder Denilson warned against reading too much into the result. "For me Arsenal are the best team," he said. "If you look at Barcelona we play like them and I can see Arsenal winning something this season. We have the players and we have the touch. Chelsea have very strong players but they are older. This was just one game, we’re still in a good position."
Slight changes, but the emphasis is the same. Okay.
Now, then. Louise Taylor in the Guardian prints the following:
"Arsenal are the best team," said Denílson. "We have the players and we have the touch. Chelsea have very strong players but they are old. This was just one game, we are still in a good position – and we play like Barcelona. Arsenal are going to win a trophy this season."
One of these things is not like the other. The order of things is different, and slight changes in diction lead to pretty big changes in tone. In the Guardian, Denilson comes off as arrogant--"Arsenal are going to win a trophy this season"--"Chelsea...are old", for instance [emphases mine]. Perhaps he said it that way, or perhaps he did not.
The accusation here is not that Taylor or the Guardian have changed things from the actual interview. Indeed, with no video evidence available to go on, it is impossible to know what Denilson actually said. He may actually have said the words as Taylor reported them, and the official site and the Telegraph may have interpreted them differently.
It is a minor thing, a small interview, and thankfully not a matter of huge consequence for the world. Yet, for Arsenal fans, this kind of thing is annoying. Why do supporters of any team, not just Arsenal, have to deal with a press that is able to play with words (and facts, as Tim notes in his post) in this way? This is not a question about mistreatment of Arsenal, but a question about the press' responsiblity to accuracy. Surely with all of the money the papers and the TV stations have, football fans can expect, demand them to have some standards and all be on the same page?
Who is right? Who is wrong? What did Denilson really say? Nobody will ever really know, one supposes. If it comes to larger issues, one would hope that the press will take more care.