Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Where do we get our news?

“I think he has done quite well last year for the biggest part of the season and a lot of responsibility has been given to him when it’s wasn’t right.”

- Arsene Wenger, with regards to Willam Gallas' captaincy

I intended this post to be about how Gallas deserves a second chance. Firstly, because he did a pretty good job in the first half of the year. The team played with a resilience and a determination that was missing in the Henry/Silva teams. Secondly, he's got the sort of spiky temperament that can prod our players into playing for something more than aesthetic pleasure. Thirdly, and most importantly, there's no one else. Toure is too self-effacing - he would not be able to cajole great performances out of players. Fabregas is too young - he is a remarkably mature young man, but he still has room to improve as a player and should be focusing purely on his development.

However, I couldn't write about Gallas because I couldn't find the source for this quote. I checked four stories from various internet news sources (, dailymail, setanta, skysports). Each gave virtually identical news stories, and all attributed the above quote to the dailystar. However, I couldn't find the story at the dailystar. I tried their internal search engine, and no luck.

I'm starting to wonder where this quote came from.

It's not made up. At least four identikit stories refer to this quote, so there's got to be a primary source. However, I still want to verify it. I want to read the original article before I use this quote. Better still, I'd like to read the full interview transcript with Wenger.

After all, you can doctor quotes to say anything.

All the cited stories claim that this quote is proof that Wenger aims to keep Gallas as captain next year. However, that quote, just in isolation, doesn't necessarily suggest that Gallas will be captain. What if Wenger was merely defending Gallas' sulk-in after the Birmingham game? The wording of this snippet is entirely consistent with a defense of a senior player. It does not necessarily imply that Gallas is certain to be captain. What if the next part of the transcript read "Next season, we will spread the load out amongst our senior players"? That would change the meaning of the quote completely.

It's enough to make my head spin.

All in all, I'm a pretty lazy guy. What I read on the internet, I tend to believe. I treat wikipedia as a reliable source of information. I treat newsnow as a reliable source of gossip. If I see a quote from a player, I tend to believe it's real. If I see a denial by said player, I tend to believe that the denial is real, as well. I have faith that journalists tell the truth.

But it does make me wonder.

Where do we get our news?


Anonymous said...

I can tell you exactly where that quote is from, I heard it myself: on the official site, AW's press conference after one of the recent friendlies (the one before Stuttgart, I believe). Sometimes AW's quotes come from these press conferences and one-on-one interviews available on the official site. You should get a subscription.

Connolly's agent said...

Thanks. I was getting frustrated about that. I never check the offical site; it takes too long to load. Although, I'm still puzzled why I can't find the dailystar article.