Yann M'Vila, Robin Van Persie and Absurd Transfer Rumors at Arsenal

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Yann M'Vila, Robin Van Persie and Absurd Transfer Rumors at Arsenal
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An exasperated and incredulous reader reacts in the comments section of a transfer article (one of the somber ones):

You guys publish way too many stories based purely on rumors from questionable sources. Yesterday there were at least four articles on the "Yann M'Vila deal" and what it meant for the club -- and now today, two more articles about how we should "forget about" signing this player.

Maybe you would be better off checking your sources before writing articles. This is why, for example, BBC Sport has yet to post anything regarding M'Vila and his alleged move to Arsenal. Do you really know whether "Arsenal doesn't have any concrete plans to sign M'Vila at all" or did you just read that in the London Evening-Standard -- the same paper that reported this as a done deal just yesterday?

A fellow reader offered an amen to the sentiment.

To the question why there's such a glut of hackneyed and tiresome transfer articles everywhere, one must advance the obvious answer: reads.

It is the quickest way to get 10,000 reads. If you think that strange, try writing an article yourself and see whether there isn't a different between 93 reads, even 1,000 reads and 10,000. The psychology of the entire thing is entrapping.

And if you feel tempted to turn up your nose, ask why it's the transfer rumors that burn so brightly? Why do you, the reader, find it difficult to resist the rumors?

Stop reading the tripe and writers would stop writing them. As it is, tabloids and websites understand the psychology of the rumors.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Calm down, guys.

What set of fans isn't hoping against hope that their club would sign all the best players out there, the sure path to silverware in the coming season? So, while you know that most of these rumors are lies, made up stuff, you still read them.

For the writers, the allure of those reads is irresistible, so much so, that sometimes the articles are recycled—just change the heading and just switch the order of the supposed transfer targets and there you are: 20,000, and if you write for B/R and you happen to have strategic placement, why, you could score 50,000 reads or more.

The whole thing reaches an absurd level quite often.

For example, the Manchester City £250,000-a-week-salary-offer-to-Robin van Persie-rumor—a rumor yours truly was guilty of affording credence a couple of months ago—has been resurrected this week.

To top it all, another one—that Manchester United want to sign van Persie—has begun a cycle. But what I find gratifying is that Arsenal fans have wised up to these van Persie rumors, at least that's what I think.

They know that what will be will or even that what will not be will not be.

That these rumors are absurd should be evident in the fact that almost every player on planet earth is linked to Arsenal, from Stéphane Sessègnon to Andrea Pirlo, the most absurd of all. He is 31, for goodness sake.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Even old guns like Pirlo are said to be headed to Arsenal.

Some of these rumors are calculated to invoke angst in particular fans. Consider, for example, this title: Blow for Arsenal and Liverpool as France striker Giroud talks up Bayern move.  This occurs similarly in the notion that a player has rejected a particular club for another.

The Yann M'Vila rumor to which the quoted reader reacts above has suddenly made a u-turn. The 90 percent- or 99 percent-done deal suddenly isn't a done deal anymore.

But this sort of ephemeralness won't stop writers from writing these articles, not when you readers devour them. On blogging sites, the idea that you are the top dog is irresistible.

My intention isn't to cast stones. After all, I write transfer rumors myself, but if there's anything to my defense it is in the fact that my transfer articles are usually based on the principle of a particular player rather than in the inevitability of the same or than in the notion that any particular player is a messianic figure to any given club.

What I do here is simply to state the ridiculous situation and the apparent psychology that drives it. As readers of my articles know, I'd rather write analysis, but the fact that analysis articles languish in the bottom of the read pile should say something to both writer and reader.

So when next time I regurgitate a transfer rumor or recycle one, or even migrate one from one section to another, don't blame me. If anyone should be blamed, it's you, the reader. So may be you need to complain less about transfer.

What's more, try the analysis vegetable for a change. You might feel less need to complain.

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