In this column I’ll be looking at my favourite three news stories of the week, for both good and bad reasons, and this week my favourite picks itself. The Metro ran a story claiming that Aaron Ramsey was set to undergo surgery on his thigh, and that Arsenal were ‘sweating’ over his fitness for next season. Not two hours later Aaron took to Twitter to deny the reports, saying that they were “completely false” and that he was looking forward to pre-season.
Then, something funny happened. The tweet from Metro Sport stayed the same and it read: “Arsenal sweat over Aaron Ramsey’s fitness ahead of next season as midfielder prepares for summer surgery.” The top line, as shown on the tweet, stated that we might have to venture in to next season with Ramsey on the sidelines. Then, when Aaron Ramsey tweeted and condemned Metro Sport’s story to nothing more than nonsense, they seemingly updated their article. The link and headline on the tweet remains the same, but the news story has changed, with an updated headline of: “Aaron Ramsey plays down surgery rumours, insisting he can’t wait for pre-season.” Did they really think that nobody would notice?
Obviously, they attempted (and failed) to save face in the wake of an embarrassing blunder that will certainly cost them credibility, particularly amongst Arsenal fans. What did they do in order to get this story? Did they get given some dodgy information and decide to run with it? Or did they all sit at the sports desk in the office and say, “I know, let’s make up this story to get some hits on the website?” Either way, what a kick in the crotch it must have been to have Aaron himself deny the story.
I can imagine the newsroom when someone first saw Aaron’s tweet. A lone journo frantically running across the room towards a big red ‘panic’ button shouting, “we’ve been foiled” as the office descends in to anarchy.
My second news story of the week concerns transfers, and hopefully it’s one that does materialise. It has been reported that Arsenal ‘chiefs’ (whatever they are, you’ll have to ask the Daily Mail) have been in Spain to discuss a deal for Real Madrid’s young striker, Álvaro Morata. He’s only 21 and has no Premier League experience, but he is highly rated and Arsène does have a knack for working with youngsters. It seems like Loïc Rémy could well be on his way to Arsenal as well, which means what Morata lacks in experience, Loïc and Olivier will make up for it. I haven’t watched a great deal of Morata myself, although I did sign him on Football Manager 2014, and he did a cracking job. He finished the season as my top goal scorer, although that was for Wigan in the Championship.
I seem to have adopted a new method of measuring the impact a new signing will have on the club, the fans and so forth. We are exceedingly aware of Piers Morgan’s presence on Twitter, and as a follower of his, there is one word he uses when he gets a bit excited. I suspect you know what it is. So, I have begun using a scale of ‘1-BOOM’ to judge things such as new signings and goals, (in my head of course. If I said it out loud I would get punched. Luckily for Piers, you can’t be punched over Twitter.) I’m not sure that signing Morata would warrant a ‘BOOM’ from Piers, but he would be an exciting prospect and would blossom under Wenger’s guidance.
Finally, the last story in my top three is the news that Lukasz Fabianski has left Arsenal and will move to Swansea when his contract finished in June. He’s come a long way since his flappyhandski days and he’s left the club on a high. He had a great run in the FA Cup and lifted the trophy with the boys at Wembley to cap off what must have been a slightly frustrating seven years at Arsenal. He has never established himself as number one and has played second fiddle to his Poland teammate Wojciech Szczesny. Hopefully he can go on to have a great career at Swansea and prove himself as a top keeper. Good luck, Lukasz.