This time of the year sees newspapers, TV companies and websites all furiously discussing, dismissing and raising rumours around the football transfer market. This site is no different and we all enjoy a bit of gossip about who might be going where.
What I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like is a situation where the rumour is entirely made up by the media and serves no purpose other than to sell newspapers and to unsettle players, clubs and fans.
A case that I believe to fit this description came up yesterday in the Sun newspaper in England. There was an article entitled, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Andrey is Shavin a laugh.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The first paragraph of the article read, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Andrey Arshavin has stunned Arsenal by revealing he wants to play for Barcelona.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Alongside the article was a picture of Arshavin with the caption, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Arsh words. Andrey would love to join Barca.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If, indeed, Arshavin is asking for a transfer from Arsenal and is holding talks about a possible move to the Camp Nou then that would indeed be a story and Arsenal would have every right to be Ã¢â‚¬ËœstunnedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
The reality, of course, is probably very different to that scenario indeed.
The actual quote used by the newspaper is Arshavin saying, “If I have the chance to play for Barcelona, I’d be really happy.”
You could substitute the name of almost any footballer in the world, with the possible exception of a few Real Madrid players, instead of Arshavin and of course they would be happy to play for Barcelona. At the moment they are probably the top club in the world. They play great football in a great stadium in front of huge crowds. Barcelona is hot, has great beaches, a wonderful nightlife, the best shopping and great restaurants.
In fact, ask me if I would like to play for Barcelona and I might just say yes!
I have no idea what the actual conversation with Arshavin was but I would guess it went something like this:
Reporter: Are you happy at Arsenal?
AA: Yes, it is a great club.
Reporter: Are you going to stay at the Emirates for the rest of your career?
AA: Who knows what the future might bring.
Reporter: So you could move?
AA: Of course
Reporter: If at some stage in the future Barcelona tried to sign you, would you be happy to go there?
AA: That is hypothetical
Reporter: Yes, but if it happened, would you be happy?
AA: If I have the chance to play for Barcelona, I’d be really happy.
There we are then, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a story. Arshavin would be happy to play for Barcelona!
If I was asked if I would be happy to write a weekly article for the top football magazine in the world and be paid a ridiculous amount of money to do so, I would say that I would most certainly be happy. That doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it any more likely that it is going to happen and it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean that I am not perfectly happy doing what I do now!
I would be very surprised if Andrey Arshavin doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stay the whole of next season with Arsenal and the article about him yesterday seemed to me to be nothing other than simple mischief making. Luckily, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure Arsene Wenger wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be Ã¢â‚¬ËœstunnedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ by the Ã¢â‚¬ËœrevelationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and he will see the story for what it is.
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