The Daily Mail are trying to turn Arsene Wenger’s decision to play David Ospina in the Champions League into something it’s not – namely something to anger fans.
Wasting a perfectly good question at the pre-Bayern Munich press conference, Wenger was asked if he planned to stick with the Colombian in goal. Of course he did. Wenger didn’t need to tell anyone that.
Ospina has looked well this season in the Champions League, as anyone who has been paying attention will tell you. Conversely, Petr Cech in the Premier League, hasn’t.
Only a few days ago some in the media were asking Wenger if he was planning on dropping Cech for Dave, and now it’s a big deal that he’s starting Ospina in a competition Ospina was always going to play in.
This is today’s Daily Mail back page:
And here is their double-page spread from inside the paper, using a photo from training to undermine a keeper they clearly haven’t watched this season:
Is it really ‘Wenger’s biggest gamble’?
Ian Ladyman, football editor at the Daily Mail, certainly seems to think so. Or, at least, that’s what he wants fans to think. That way, if Dave does make a mistake, more pressure can be heaped on Arsene Wenger.
While I’ve certainly had more than a few doubts over Ospina since he signed for Arsenal, two things are undeniable. Firstly, he has been a lot better this season in his eight games than he has been in previous seasons. Secondly, he is an outstanding keeper at international level, which is perhaps why we are seeing him shine in a European competition.
But, of course, let’s not allow any of that to get in the way of some bull from the Mail.
Why does it matter?
Well, you might know all about the Daily Mail, but their website is one of the biggest on the internet and their readership one of the largest. What they say matters when it comes to how a player is perceived. You might not be swayed by what you read in the tabloids, but enough people are that this will cause Ospina and Wenger a problem over something that should never have been an issue in the first place.
Ignoring the nonsense that parts of the media print doesn’t make it go away. It simply let’s it stand, unchallenged, as the ‘truth’.