So. As everyone and their mamas know by now, there’s a little bit of a football match between us and Arsenal tomorrow, a match that on the morbo scale, compares to El Clasic about like a bit of flatulence compares to an atom bomb.
Which doesn’t stop folks from trying to create morbo. Guardiola gave a pre-match press conference today, and in its aftermath, I could probably walk to Barcelona from Chicago on the piled outrage, as the Guardian has chosen to take Guardiola’s comments, and twist them just a bit.
Now, not only are we the evil, smooth-talking gits trying to seduce Cesc Fabregas with our Spanish talk, but our coach has dissed Jack Wilshere, the bright, shining example of youth goodness in British footy (they invented the game, don’t ‘cha know).
Here’s an excerpt from The Guardian story:
Pep Guardiola has dismissed the threat of Jack Wilshere by claiming that Barcelona’s reserve team is full of players like the 19-year-old and that the midfielder is a first-team regular only because Arsène Wenger is not under pressure to win titles.
Guardiola was asked about the quality of Wilshere and the Barcelona coach said: “Wilshere is a top player. He is an excellent player, not just Arsenal, but also for the national team. [But] he is lucky because we have many players in the second team like him but he plays because there is no pressure at his club to win titles.”
Here’s the excerpt from the “championship pressure” quote, from Henry Winter at The Telegraph:
“He’s lucky as Arsenal have time. There is not the pressure to win titles as quickly as possible.”
Now, you could almost read the pressure quote as a knock against the pressure at Barca, rather than the lack thereof at Arsenal.
Here is an excerpt from the same press conference story, from ESPN SoccerNet:
“Wilshere is a top player. He has been a big surprise. I did not know him at the beginning of the season,” he said. “He is an excellent player, not just Arsenal, but also for the national team. We have many players like him in our second team. It is very good news for football to have players like him.”
So on the one hand, Guardiola is saying “Hell, players like Jackie Boy are a dime a dozen. I trip over them at La Masia all the time. So? He isn’t good enough to make our reserves!”
On the other hand, Guardiola is saying that Wilshere is a hell of a talent, fully worthy of Barca, in that he sees his kind of talent in our second team.
For the record, the footy press isn’t above this kind of stuff. I thought that The Guardian was, however. It is, to me, a rather blatant attempt to depict us and our coach as arrogant and dismissive of Arsenal and one of its starters. If you are there to report a story, do so, without additives. There is perspective, and there is bias. Journalists often believe that the two are the same.
But this case is also what happens in the world of translation, and translated comments. Who’s right and who’s wrong? It depends on the reporter, right? But ESPN Soccernet has no vested interest in any “us against them” nonsense.
Judge the rest as you will, and discuss away.