SportsNet - February 2013

Sports Journalism in the Digital Age

on February 17 2013 12:15 PM

Twenty years ago, sports fans were more or less dependent on a copy of their local newspaper for the latest updates on their favorite sports teams. With the advent of the internet, the last decade has seen an explosion in sports news, analysis and chatter, with dedicated fans continuing to devour as much as they can get.  There have never been more sources providing that information. Of course, there are journalists from traditional newspapers, websites and television; however independent bloggers, fans, and the athletes themselves are breaking their own news via sports related websites, and through social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

With this explosion of information, however, come profound questions for the sports media industry and those who rely on it for news and entertainment. Technology has massively disrupted online sports journalism, bringing fans an unprecedented range and volume of content choices while simultaneously altering legacy business models in sports media. At the very least, sports journalists will continue to face powerful new competitors with unbeatable access. And one way or another, their old prerogatives will be challenged.

Transfer Update: FC Barcelona Mulling Over Arsenal Player-Swap Bid

on February 17 2013 9:04 AM


According to the Sunday People, Spanish giants FC Barcelona are interested in signing Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen in the summer transfer window and are ready to offload David Villa in exchange for the defender's services. 

Via CaughtOffside:

“Barcelona want to sign Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen in the summer and are set to offer David Villa in exchange to secure the deal, according to the Sunday People.

The 27-year-old Vermaelen has endured a rollercoaster time at Arsenal since joining for £10million from Ajax in 2009, missing almost all of the 2010/11 season because of an Achilles injury before being named the club’s new captain this season when Robin Van Persie departed.”

With captain Carles Puyol entering the twilight days of his career, the Catalans are keen to bolster their defence at the end of the season.

Arsenal Commentary: FA Cup Sucker Punch Could Mark The Beginning Of The End For Arsene Wenger

on February 17 2013 8:08 AM
Arsenal Commentary: FA Cup Sucker Punch Could Mark The Beginning Of The End For Arsene Wenger

After being sucker punched out of the FA Cup by Blackburn Rovers, Arsene Wenger could be facing up to the beginning of the end of his Arsenal reign. The club's greatest ever manager is facing his eighth season without a trophy, after letting another chance to end their drought slip away.

Nobody will care about the context of Arsenal's 1-0 defeat to Rovers. However, it was a sucker punch, delivered packing the full force of cruel irony. Because for all the times Arsenal have merited criticism for poor performances during their barren years, the Blackburn game was one where they were just plain unlucky.

East Stand, Turnstile J. Block 118 upper tier. Row 10, seat 760. That's where this author sat to watch events unfold at the Emirates Stadium. Having seen things as they happened, it's been shocking and a little disturbing, to read other match reports, actually claiming Rovers merited their win.

Take it from someone who was there, the Championship outfit were abysmal. Their star man, striker Jordan Rhodes, barely had a touch. The team as a whole, could hardly string three passes together without the ball going into touch.

Arsenal News: Arsenal 0 Blackburn 1 - Is This The End For Wenger?

on February 16 2013 3:49 PM

Even the staunchest Arsene Wenger supporter will tonight concede that this latest humiliation in the FA Cup Fifth Round may well be the last straw for the Arsenal faithful. Wenger made the decision to play a weakened side against Blackburn Rovers, who are in the Championship division. He did this in the knowledge that he had a very difficult Champions League game to play on Tuesday against Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munich. Does he stick or twist you might ask?

Wenger decided to play some of the fringe players against Blackburn because being at home at the Emirates Stadium; he expected to have an advantage. After all, Blackburn has not exactly been setting the Championship alight! He did, however, take the precaution of having his best players on the substitute bench; little knowing that he would desperately need them later in the match.

Liverpool vs. Swansea City, Match Preview

on February 16 2013 9:49 AM

The premier League spotlight falls solely on Liverpool and Swansea this weekend.  Sunday afternoon’s meeting is the lone focal point for those not distracted by the apparent glamour of the FA Cup.

Liverpool seek another return to form. Or another step in their development, depending on what slant is put into play.  In reality they desperately need the win.  The defeat to Zenit St. Petersburg is not something Brendan Rodgers will be vilified for; however a flurry of chances were not taken.  Of more concern is the inability to defeat West Bromwich Albion at home.  Liverpool could point to some high calibre goal keeping by Ben Foster.  In reality though, they didn’t take their chances.  The trend is transparent.

Liverpool are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues {Germany, England, France, Italy and Spain} to have had more than 500 shots on goal  this season.  A remarkable statistic.  What’s been unremarkable is their conversion rate.