‘Arsène Wenger says Arsenal better off dropping into Europa League.’

That wasn’t the headline in one of the tabloids but the Guardian, a paper you expect more from when it comes to luring people in.

That’s not to say it wasn’t reported in the same way on the redtop sites as well, of course it was; Wenger’s post-Monaco comments were pure tabloid fodder.

Let’s start with what he actually said.

Did he say those words?

Yes he did, in fact, here’s his quote in full:

“Maybe it would be better not to advance from the group phase and play the Europa League than be eliminated right away in the last 16.

“We would have more chances to win a title.”

You can almost taste the sarcasm it’s laid on so thick.

He then elaborated on that point further adding that a team which is eliminated after qualifying from their group is not given another chance to play in Europe.

It’s his tone and the meaning of his comments that will, once again, be left to the side as people just remember the headlines.

The Guardian do go on to explain what they thought Wenger’s comments meant, but for the majority who probably didn’t read that far, the headline will be all they know about this story.

It’s also another instance when Wenger is right – why should a team that, ultimately, ‘failed‘ worse than one that got out of the group be afforded another chance to win another trophy, one that isn’t open to the two teams that were good enough to escape the group in the first place?

That’s not to say anyone really wants to dine at the European kiddies table, but how is it fair that Liverpool get a do-over while sides who performed better in the main competition do not?

There are many examples of comments Wenger has made, ones which were part of a larger, important narratives that would have helped improve football, that will be simply remembered as a way to ridicule him because of the headlines used to report them.

The journalists may not actually write their own headlines, but if they want us to think they have an interest in getting the ‘truth‘ out there, they’d be better served scrutinising their sub-editors first.

Then, maybe, they can turn their attentions to ridiculing a man who is better than most of them.

SOURCEGuardian
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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.