Proving that clickbait journalism will probably join cockroaches (if they haven’t already) in surviving a nuclear apocalypse, The Sun is out today with an unsourced “article” claiming that William Saliba will miss our trip to Anfield on Sunday. I don’t know what’s worse—that rags like this exist or enough rubes exist to supply those rags with a credulous audience. There’s clearly an insatiable market for these folderol-mongers.
The article manages to summon roughly 400 words, which is more than I anticipated, but none of it mentions anyone remotely linked the club—not Arteta, not Saliba, not the official website—it’s just unfounded speculation that preys on our worst fears. Much as nature abhors a vacuum, The Sun insinuates itself into the absence of information regarding Saliba’s status. They’re not going to lure anyone in with “No update on Saliba injury”. They’ll get a few with “Arsenal anxious about Saliba return”. They need something splashier, something more lurid. What did they go with? See for yourself:
They’ll crash their own servers with that, I reckon. Half-clever on the all-caps “SAL OR NOTHING”, making, I suppose, a pun on “all or nothing”. Trust me when I say I know a thing or two about half-clever puns. Again, though, the article offers no evidence. We don’t know, and they don’t know either.
In case you still have your doubts, the article was scrawled by Mark Irwin, listed at The Sun‘s website as “Chief Sports Features Writer in London” and linked to the Twitter account @deathirwin. Call me skeptical, but I’d imagine that the Twitter account for the “Chief Sports Features Writer in London” for The Sun would have more than 1,304 followers after creating the account in 2010.
I’ll admit to feeling a bit of envy here as I try to offer quality writing, original insight, maybe a touch of humour, and will attract a fraction of the viewers that The Sun can get from an article that they had someone throw together in no more than 10 or 15 minutes. At the same time, I feel bad for playing their game as well with my title to this post. I hope I can escape any accusations of hypocrisy but will leave that to your judgment. I detest these parasitic sites and everything they peddle and would hate to be associated with them.
One last thing: this month, you can enter a raffle for a £25 Arsenal Direct gift card by commenting on this and other posts. Yes, it’s a direct attempt at bribing you to join the conversation. The more often you comment, the better your chances at winning.
Jon, anyone who thinks your article is clickbait like The Sun didn’t read the title very carefully. It should be obvious what you’re doing. If they clicked to read and still didn’t understan, that’s on them not you.
you also have said so much and yet said nothing lol, also i am commenting because i want to win 25 euros or pounds i am not too familiar with symbol
Thanks for popping up with some tough but fair feedback. The gift card will be worth 25 pounds, but others have commented 6 or 8 times, so they’ll have a better chance at winning. I’ll add your name to the list, but future comments will have to say more about the post …
the quality of journalism after the BBC, Guardian and Sky is shocking, they’ll publish anything as long as it gets clicks and boosts their ads, and the page is something like 75% ads. Trash tabloids!
Spring vacation, no school to teach and, apparently, no lesson plans to develop. Your multiple posts per day appear to be making up for the time lost when you ceased writing the Woolwich 1886 blog and left a void in our daily Arsenal fix. Does Abby know this is how you spend your day? 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
Fair point. Abi’s actually out of otwn at the moment so I do have more time on my hands. Despite my protestations, this post and a few other recent posts have been fairly quick to write. I try to post once a day but have been feeling more prolific lately.
Hello Jon. I prefer not to wade into the murky waters of click-bait journalism. At the end of the day, everyone knows which sources they trust. For me, I don’t take any news or transfer rumour to be true when it comes from the Metro or The Sun. Football London also tend to do a lot of speculation but they are sometimes on point with their informative tidbits. I prefer to wait for the official confirmation from the club in such things.
Back to football. I don’t think we will miss Saliba to the extend of it being dubbed ‘a big blow’. Liverpool have been abject and mid-table at best. Despite Anfield being a place of strength for them this season, I think we have enough in the bank to get a comfortable win. We play some free-flowing football and the team has coped so well in the past when key players have been absent. I expect more of the same.
Well said, and thank you for tolerating my flirtation with clickbait in the headline. Most of us know our way around the web well enough to avoid the sources you name.
As for Liverpool, it’s possible that they’ll be with Van Djik (who didn’t play against Chelsea due to illness) and Alexander-Arnold (who was ill). They’d probably miss Van Djik more than we’d miss Saliba. Holding has deputised well. The way that Alexander-Arnold has been playing, I’d prefer that he start. Martinelli would have a field day!