Earlier today, we published a story about Theo Walcott that was based on, frankly, nothing. We as a staff talked about it, and most of us thought it was worth writing something about the idea of Walcott to West Ham, even though it was tenuously "sourced" and didn't have a lot of grounding in reality. As you probably know by now, I detest transfer season, largely because of that type of story - it's merely the first in a probably endless stream of similar stories between now and August, and about 99.99% percent of them will come to nothing.
So why, then, do we run them? Well, it's kind of what we have to do. As you may have noticed, we live in an age of instantly accessible information about pretty much everything; almost anything that happens is available with just a few taps of your phone or clicks of your keyboard. And while most of us detest the fact that THEO WALCOTT MAY BE GOING SOMEWHERE ELSE BUT WE CAN'T ATTRIBUTE THAT TO ANYTHING is actually a story, by ignoring it, we're the outlier - we'd be the ones standing there yelling at the clouds while everyone else is covering a thing that is being talked about.
For a long time, we sort of successfully avoided meaningless rumors - and the ones we did publish, we caveated very heavily so you'd know not just what we thought of them, but also give some insight into why we thought what we thought. Well, going forward, you're going to see more of the Walcott style of story this summer than we've done in the past, because we've grown our readership numbers to the point where we feel like it's more informative to bring these things up and quash them than it is to just completely ignore them.
Don't worry - we're not going to start publishing listicles, or doing slideshows of "The 10 Hottest Transfer Targets This Summer (Number 6 Will Amaze You!)", or anything stupid and click-baity like that. I guess I just wanted to say, mostly, don't get alarmed when you see a few more of those Theo-type stories every week. Don't get alarmed, if for no other reason than we are trying to use these stories as a guide to why you should ignore most transfer rumors until there's actually something to them - "something" being, in the case of the Theo story, attribution from someone with knowledge of either Theo or Arsenal.
So, as you go on about your summer, so will we - debunking where we should, confirming where we can, but always trying to bring you as much as we possibly can as well, with as much context as possible.