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Guardian coverage of the Man U match: an Untold Media insight

UM BACK ON THE CASE:  AS THE PLOT SICKENS

by bob

What now seems a hundred years ago, just after our (recent) Udinese victory, our own Wojciech Szezsny told the Guardian:

“The only people who questioned the team and the manager were the media.  Inside the team, we don’t do that at all.”

After Arsene’s unexpected and unwanted Italian reprieve, this subversive attitude would naturally have to be destroyed.  And lo, our Old Trafford fiasco would give the media assassins the opportunity to regroup and move in for the kill.  But the reward is in learning up close how they go about their work, and to bear witness to how one member of the pack, the Guardian stenographer David Hytner, has signed on as go-to key-striker in the season’s blood sport  ̶  French fox and media hounds.

Hytner began his most recent service to Operation Wenger Out on Sunday 28 August, in an article that simply gushes over Samir Nasri’s maiden voyage at ManCity.  He frames his account as if the entire match symbolized Sami’s “escape” from Prison Arsenal and Arsene Warden:

“So, Samir Nasri, do you think you might have done the right thing in joining Manchester City? As debuts went, this was about as perfect as it could have got, right down to the detail of this dramatic statement of intent coming in north London, where the Frenchman is now disliked on both sides of the divide…While Nasri managed to force through his protracted £24m transfer and his football consequently basked in a sense of liberation…”

Hytner quickly returns to the Arsenal beat-down on 29 August, in an article titled “Arsène Wenger is safe, say Arsenal amid fears over manager’s health.” Witness this first stunt of a keyboard assassin at his post, as Hytner plays the “health” card to target Arsene Wenger.

With neither a supporting quote nor a source to cite, Hytner asserts that:

“There continues to be concern at the club for the Frenchman’s health, given the levels of stress that he is under, while he also faces the question about whether he has anything more to give.”

But is there any such actual concern? Who said so?  Hytner’s article gives no indication of where he obtained this potentially career-ending information.  (Indeed, could any charge be more serious?)  Nonetheless, Hytner also makes use of this “health” analogy in the photo caption “Arsène Wenger and his assistant Pat Rice are under increasing pressure to rectify Arsenal’s ills.”

If this were not serious enough, Hytner ups the ante by painting Arsene into the ultimate corner where the club’s transfer activity is concerned, contending that, due to the funds obtained from selling Cesc and Nasri, Arsene now has something of a terminal “Midas touch” (my phrase) which has become suicidal to the club’s transfer prospects:

“Gazidis has made it clear that Wenger had a ‘substantial’ transfer budget and that was before they raised £59m through the sales of Fábregas and Nasri. But the knowledge that Wenger has so many millions at his disposal has brought its own problems, with rival clubs demanding inflated fees.”

In sum, it’s a Catch 22, and there’s no way out.  Hytner returns to this “trap” theme in a second article, titled “Arsène Wenger safe from sack but only urgent action can save Arsenal:”

“Consequently, with millions in their pockets, Arsenal now find themselves held to ransom. It is unclear whether the money they made by holding out over Fábregas and Nasri has been worth it.”

In the next sentence, Hytner turns master-psychologist, and targets the Arsene Wenger locker room. Hytner first invokes a supposed football must:

“It is generally accepted in professional football that straight after a six-goal defeat the dressing room becomes a kangaroo court and the inquest can feature flying fists and people pinned against walls.”

In the Wenger dressing room, however, something has gone way “off track”, as Hytner contends:

“Arsenal’s 8-2 humiliation at Manchester United on Sunday was followed by no such ructions. Arsène Wenger, the manager, said nothing and neither did his players.”

First of all, was Hytner in the locker room?  Does he have a mole? His article provides no basis for how he obtained this purported information.  Nonetheless, finding no evidence of the requisite water-boarding (Arsenal’s missing English spine?), Hytner then concludes that Arsene has lost not only the plot, but something far, far worse — the team itself:

“There were special circumstances to the defeat, [Arsene] believed, chief among them the selection issues that had denied him 10 players. One or two of the squad shared a laugh and a joke.

The picture was of a leader who had been ground into the floor and no longer had the answers and of players – numbed and bewildered by the 90 minutes and, more broadly, the events since the end of last season – who had lost faith or no longer cared.”

While Hytner correctly notes what Arsene stated at the post-match press conference about “special circumstances,” this counted for nothing to Hytner when he weighs it against his allegation that “One or two of the squad shared a laugh and a joke.”  These sinners are not named.  But once again, this begs the question of whether Hytner was actually present inside the Arsenal locker room to observe the sin of levity?  Then again, if someone dared laugh, would that have breached some obligatory post-defeat level of male anger – flying fists and all that?  (A code of traditional and proper behavior that Hytner appears to be policing?)

The answers to how Hytner obtained this information are still not forthcoming.   Again, does Hytner have a mole inside the Arsenal dressing room?  Indeed, with no attributions, we again are meant to take his account on faith in a “fair and balanced” (the Fox News logo) reporter’s say-so.  Whatever went on – or didn’t go on – Hytner, in his “picture…of a leader who had been ground into the floor…,” is determined to portray Arsene as something less than an empty shell.  Does Hytner have a source for this description, or is he making up “the picture” – THE PICTURE – from whole cloth?

Hytner next goes on to portray Wenger as Arsenal’s dictator:

“It is a curiosity that Wenger does not furnish the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, with his list of targets and allow him to get on with it. Wenger’s control over all areas at the club is total.”

Once again, how does Hytner know this? Does he provide a source? No. He simply cuts to the chase, moving towards his pre-ordained conclusion; there is no future for AFC:

“Some of the club’s leading players have begun the final two years on their contracts, including Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott. In the current climate there is no chance of them re-signing.”

Is this fact-based reporting, or is it something more akin to prophecy? Or perhaps, a self-fulfilling prophecy that Hytner is bent on achieving?

Before concluding the article, Hytner also takes some extra (“Fergie”) time to target Arsenal’s coaching staff:

“Wenger’s capacity to inspire his players is under scrutiny as never before. He continues to take training but the slimness of his veteran coaching staff, in the shape of Pat Rice and Boro Primorac, begs the question about where the innovation can come from.”

Once more, the above statement is not supported by any interviews or analysis, but merely followed by Hytner’s final shovel full of dirt:

“Gloom and a certain helplessness have stalked Arsenal in recent months. It feels terminal.”

And since even “terminal” is not enough, Hytner concludes by throwing down the final gauntlet: “Wenger’s challenge,” he insists, “is to prove that his powers are not spent and he can conjure fresh direction.”

I have a reply for David Hytner.  I’d originally posted it online at the Guardian in response to a piece by Richard Williams, but I believe that it is equally appropriate to Hytner.  Posted on 29 August, 2011 at 5:35, I wrote:

“Richard Williams, you missed your chance to knife Julius Caesar and never got over it. Arsene Wenger has been your designated target and your verbal dexterity only serves to reveal your personal bile and animus toward this man. You are salivating at the prospect of the kill. And from the protection of your keyboard and bully pulpit, you have stuck it in. It’s a remarkable display of viciousness run amok. You couldn’t hold a candle to this man. If he makes it through your media takedown campaign, I will personally lobby that you be forever excluded from any interview with any Arsenal player and condemned, for eternity, to sniff your hero Fergie’s breath. Words fail to express the revulsion your words engender in any fair-minded fan of the EPL. Your work is that of a vulture, and if you succeed at destroying this man, you will have sown the seeds for what your own career shall reap. A shameless display worthy of Mulcaire and Co. How Guardian can be so spot on with real injustice [the phone hacking scandal] and keep you on to perpetrate it in the realm of football is a contradiction [that] I have only [just] begun to fathom.”

Whether you, as a reader of Untold Media, share the opinions that I’ve expressed above is surely a matter for your own discretion. However, the fact remains that something akin to a sea change seems to have happened to David Hytner since his days of fair-to-favorable coverage of Arsenal’s China Trip, long ago at the start of the pre-season.  Stay tuned, readers. The plot sickens.

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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62 comments to Guardian coverage of the Man U match: an Untold Media insight

  • I liked that – nice one bob!

  • avatar bob

    All,
    Here’s a like-minded photograph of how the “Wenger has lost the team” theme has continued to be played out (here by Fanhouse UK), now – even after our new signings. That is, Arsene is still on trial and only January will decide his fate. For now, that is, he’s achieved a stay of execution, so to speak. Have a look at the photo: http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.co.uk/media/2011/09/arsene-wenger-1314963467.jpg

  • avatar mick

    Terrific and shocking stuff Bob. I always respected and trusted the Guardian as being one of the few media outlets one could rely on for a fair and factual coverage, whether it be sport, politics or any other news subject. It seems my trust was misguided. I will now have to reassess my feelings as to the accuracy and honesty of the news coverage provided by the Guardian.

  • avatar goonergerry

    These journalists are entitled to express their personal uninformed opinions and it is opinion and not fact- just as this piece is- and its not as if our manager has been successful of late- in my view his behaviour and decisions have been so inconsistent they invite scepticism as to their foundation.
    But when it comes to the Guardian- it is mutton dressed up as lamb- full of stereotypes and prejudice dressed up as considered opinion. All of the media in the UK are the arse lickers of successful teams at heart- no matter how that success is achieved. Journalists are not scientists- their opinions can’t be trusted because they have one predominant interest- themselves. Their writing is designed to sell copy nothing else. Tell me how can Sid Lowe really be objective about Barcelona when he relies on their co-operation for his income?

  • avatar Issac

    I you all think it could not get that bad, please read all the nonsense Young Harry has to say on SKy: shocking and quite frankly racist in my book.
    http://www.skysports.com/opinion/story/0,,18932_7142416,00.html

    I can see so many points raised here on the site. Hmmmmmmm! They all hate Wenger for so many reasons. Also with his philosophy, UEFA and FIFA would never ever get any money.
    Well this is sickening.

  • avatar bob

    mick,
    I wouldn’t and don’t tar the Guardian’s usually brilliant news coverage with the brush of, imo, some writers in their run-amok Football department. Wilson, Williams and Hytner have been the most one-sided wordsmith/keyboard assassins of Arsene/Arsenal in this period. Their cutting-edge coverage of the phone-hacking scandal has been first-rate investigative journalism. In the football department, something else is afoot – perhaps to appear high-brow and more cerebral/up-scale whilst, in content, being as much in the gutter-journalism tradition as the usual suspects like The Sun and its former stable mate, News of the World. The Guardian seems to run on a different model and I feel that their Football department under the current steward has authorized the all-out war on Arsenal. I can’t begin to know why, but I suspect some degree of long-standing ties to Manchester as the paper, as you doubtless know, was the Manchester Guardian. I don’t mean to be simplistic in this name link, but I think the anti-Arsenal bent has roots thereabouts because they are as arse-kissing to all things Fergie as they (that is, these 3, the unholy trinity) are Arse-hating to all things Arsene. So, don’t see Guardian as all good or all bad; just be more nuanced and notice that there’s an identifiable, imo, grouping within the Football department (and a very large department it happens to be) that are the point men in the Arsene Out campaign and, alas, my former favorite, David Hytner, has been especially avid for the media-kill.

  • avatar bob

    goonergerry,
    I could agree, more or less, with every point you make. The problem, imo, is that these bad boys capture and shape the hearts and minds of even our own fanbase and spread the toxic gloom where there ought to be calm and far-reaching analysis. Attribution, sourcing, some respect for facts should be part of journalistic ethics. Writing an alleged news piece, which as you say disguises mutton as lamb, is not a license to mind-f*&k, unless the public rolls over and accepts it as la di da, business as usual. Some of us still do not, and no amount of saying, well, they’re just working lads paying the rent, is really sufficient or responsible. You clearly see through them; but, in Guardian football’s department’s case, at least three writers with no interference (at best) from the football editor, have license to destabilize Arsenal. I only regret that you don’t feel it’s as serious as we at UM do, but we’re all entitled to our opinions. But for you and I, our opinions do not masquerade as absolute fact and do not have the prestige of the Guardian as their Trojan horse. These writers are skilled at their craft, and, for right now, their craft has been in service to bring down Arsene Wenger; and, to me, to perform (objectively or subjectively) a service to the Rednose XX and the hoopla that’s scripted to follow. Call me stupid, I don’t mind (if you’ve read this far). Cheers.

  • avatar Tasos

    Bob, nice work once again.

    “these bad boys capture and shape the hearts and minds of even our own fanbase and spread the toxic gloom where there ought to be calm and far-reaching analysis”

    Absolutely agree. This type of propaganda is so prevalent at the moment, it scary.

    I noticed our new player Andre Santos was shown in action on Sky Sports once we had signed him. The clip used was not one of him scoring or dribbling or crossing, oh no. The clip Sky Sports had somehow contrived to find was one of Santos seemingly elbowing an opponent whilst tussling for possession of the ball.

    I cannot remember Sky Sports showing such a manipulated clip for a new signing, ever.

  • avatar Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    Whenever I see the match I also get to read what goes on in The Guardian’s minute by minute coverage and many a times I have wrote to the Guardian’s team who does the minute by minute coverage and none of them get published.

    There would have been umpteen comments of mine in their website which do get published but then get removed in the later stages.

    Also when it comes to Samir Nasri’s transfer sage I remember reading alot of articles from Guardian on the Man City transfer lines. If somebody accuses Mancini of tapping Nasri then you can accuse Guardian of pimping for Mancini. Especially on the day the transfer got confirmed(the day before we travelled for Udinese match) Guardian really acted like the mouth piece of Mancini with articles like Mancini threatens Arsenal and all most of it were written by Hytner and I believe the same was discussed too.

    In my country these are considered unethical and atleast people speak out the same in television and in other open forums. Some editors and journalists too do the same. These kind of open tappings were covered during our elections and they are being investigated too. Its really sad to note that either these laws don’t exist in Great Britain or they are openly flouted.

  • avatar Rohit

    top post….for some time now guardian has been berating arsenal….their ‘deadline day special’ covering arsenal transfers was the most sickening….they dubbed our last set of signings as players who were over the hill!!!!most amusing part was that they called in ‘expert arsenal blogger’ for his views….guess who???? yeah our own biggest AAA LE MOAN!!
    sorry i dont have a link….but if anyone can please do post it here…

  • avatar bob

    Prasanna V.,
    So many thanks for sharing/confirming how pervasive and international this approach to media manipulation has become in football and beyond.

  • avatar bob

    Tasos,
    The negative clip of Santos is the tip of the iceberg. That said, my prediction going forward is this: The next phase of the Arsene Out will treat every signing as suspect; will jump on every mistake (as Woolwich, I think, pointed out yesterday) by one of the new signings as evidence of AW’s desperation and poor judgment under pressure and poor defensive nous; and, in general, has granted Arsene a stay of execution – under their microscope. No other coach will receive this level and detail of scrutiny. And the media outlets that are full participants in this continuing orgy will have shifted from the Cesc Leaving soap opera to the Wenger Firing/Leaving soap opera – both ma$$ssive cash cows [public and advertisers jump aboard], albeit masquerading as responsible reporting – to hook the public on and continue to run with all the customary AA and AAA threads that we’ve seen and tried to expose hereabouts to date. AFC’s last minute “rash” of signings are soon to be re-cast as “evidence” of Arsene’s dictatorial “blowing smoke” in the fans faces. Anyway, hopefully readers will get on the media watch, contribute to Untold Media (articles and comments) as we all together do a great and needed job of educating each other, and refining each other’s points of view.

  • avatar Arvind

    Keep up the good work Bob. Its another piece of OTT journalism. Among all the articles that UM has covered, I think it was just the one article that Anne referenced yesterday or so…in the Daily Mail that was clean. The rest has all been abysmal.

    The other bad thing is that newspapers in India for one reproduce articles (don’t know if its an exact copy) more or less in the same way. I doubt anyone here even watch matches before typing off stuff.

  • avatar Stevie E

    bob
    top work here, this reporting is shocking. Did you notice in the comment from @Rohit “most amusing part was that they called in ‘expert arsenal blogger’ for his views….guess who???? yeah our own biggest AAA LE MOAN!!” Now I’m guessing he means Le Grove…
    @Rohit can you confirm and provide a link to this please? Cheers

  • avatar bob

    Stevie E,
    Yes! you’re right – LeMoan = LeGrovel = LeGrove = feeder to Le Metro. I hope we get that confirmation presto! Vigilance…

  • avatar M.V

    As a guardian reader, I’ve been shocked at their arsenal coverage of late…hope someone let’s them know. They should be supportive of a club like Arsenal, but when it comes to fotball – they have thrown standards out the window. As if fotball isn’t part of the real world anymore, and it’s OK to spend as much (oil, or dirty) money as you want, as long as you win…

  • avatar bob

    Isaac,
    Cheers for that amazing link to Jaimie Redknapp’s blog which plays the racial/xenophobia card as you suggest. Just so people can see it at a glance, here it is (air bags at the ready, please:)
    It doesn’t surprise me at all that he didn’t buy English because he just doesn’t fancy them or see any value in them and although he’s signed a couple of young ones, it just isn’t his thing, is it?

    “I actually thought they were crying out for a bit of ‘Britishness’. I really thought they needed someone like Scott Parker and in that respect I still don’t think they have sorted out a problem that was crying out to be fixed: they still don’t have someone to sit in front of that back four.

    Maybe Wenger thinks Alex Song and Abou Diaby can do the job and maybe he doesn’t want to stifle the development of Emmanuel Frimpong, but Parker would’ve been perfect.”
    Raw Meat to J. Redknapp’s readershi(p) at SkySports (partners with The Sun under the News International canopy).

  • avatar Arvind

    @mick: That’s a terrible article. Why bang on the nationalities so much? Why is England which has so many cultures have so many xenophobic journalists? Why is it impossible to separate “club” and “country” football? Seriously.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Compulsive and disturbing reading in equal measure! Sad to see the Guardian playing to the lowest levels of the consciousness of football supporters and recyling the Wenger’s lost the plot line, surely the laziest throwaway in football today?
    If he doesn’t buy, he gets slaughtered, now he does buy, gets a few late. Spurs got VDV late last summer – did Arry get such a pasting from the press?
    Not all our signings were late, Gervinho really looks a class act and did anyone see footage of Ox in the U21s?
    Loved the bits about Nasri being realeased from prison Arsenal, a la Cesc kidknapping episode. If fact, having read Tweets from Nasri, he has been nothing but complimentary about Wenger and the club, though maybe less so with the board but who knows what has gone on there.
    Wonder who the likes of David Hytler will pick on if they do succeed in driving Wenger out…lets see, a line of Houllier, Benitez, Wenger – what do they have in common?….the Wigan and Chelsea managers might want to start looking over their shoulders…..

  • avatar bob

    M.V
    My understanding is that Guardian is in some degree of mounting revenue issues and that, if there’s a larger (rational) rationale for their current football gutter-standards (when it comes to Arsenal), it might well be (and I might be lurching for an excuse to defend my newspaper of choice here) to let the football dept do the dirty work that, as a money-maker, helps to finance their otherwise very good news/public affairs/culture product. Mine’s just a hypothesis, of course. Another alternative is that their footballers have relative (a lot) of autonomy and their own long-standing networks with customary games and rewards, whereas the larger Guardian Editorship think of it as “mere Sport” and doesn’t apply the same quality control or standards of accountability that customarily accompanies its front pages. Still thinking about this, a lot. I’d welcome your further thoughts….

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Lol – Scott Parker again, those pundits are so lazy!

  • avatar bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Thanks for you’re as ever most interesting posting. I wanted to point out your lovely (and yes, this is a touch unfair, but then again…) misspelling of Hytner’s name as Hytler. Ah well, the mind is a wondrous creature. At least you didn’t misspell Hytler. :)

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    lol, just seen that mistake

  • @Bob talk about the negative clip on Santos,why for GODS sake don’t they show a cracker that Arteta scored against Manure or when Benayoun scored against Albion or Santos against Boca.
    @Stevie E this is really serious let Wenger do a Fergie and stop talking to those Morons anymore.
    At least for some years.

  • avatar bob

    kampala gun,
    When Fergie went cold turkey on the BBC (he’s now back with them, btw, in the year of the Rednose XX mind you), did he have to pay a “fine” of any sort to the FA/EPL/FIFA? Are there monetary consequences or others that would be exacted? Just for the info…

  • avatar andy bishop

    Best thing is to ignore what hacks say in the press. I do not need to read a report to assess how Arsenal have played or what is happening in the club. Most of their writing is deliberately provocative and conjecture wrapped up as opinion. Sports reporters stopped bringing any news years ago ..even calling them morons gives them some credibility

  • @bob i don’t think there is any monetary consequences, but im not sure either but with wenger the rules might change.

  • avatar bob

    As an afterword, Guardian Footballers have struck again with today’s online blog under the stewardship of their Greybeard, David Lacey, who (reach for air bag) spews forth under this headline:
    “Arsène Wenger should have considered Arsenal’s past before panic-buying. Wenger has betrayed his own legacy following a last-gasp rush to bring in players before the transfer window closed.”
    We now have a new trope in the ongoing soap opera called Arsene Out: that is, “Arsene the Self-Betrayer”. Surely David Hytner will have to reach to even lower depths to rival Lacey’s new story line. Whatever the argument, this hook to bring in readers stands on its own. Not even Joey Barton gets this level of disrespect; then again, he’s our Joey, n’est-ce pas?

  • avatar bob

    Andy Bishop,
    So silence is golden?

  • Hey guys if youve got time a must read .One of us speaks:Welcome to the Era of the Rakish,Super Fly Arsenal(Google that)

  • avatar Rohit

    @steveie E im sorry unable to find that article….im cent percent positive about their post though

  • avatar Rohit

    extremely sorry guys…twas not guardian but dan roan’s bbc blog…link provided
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/danroan/2011/09/deadline_day_drama_at_arsenal.html

  • avatar bob

    Kampala Gun,
    Your article link is http://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/one-of-us-speaks-welcome-to-the-era-of-the-rakish-super-fly-arsenal/ It’s very interesting and wild – Arsenal has taken the gloves off and in no longer so pure, as it adjusts to trying to survive the zillionaire’s jungle aka EPL football.

  • avatar bob

    UA/UM/all,
    I want to publicly thank Anne for fine editorial skills, meaningful push back and resilience, and always support in bringing this article to life. And to thank Tony for accepting the piece and the archly clever way he compressed my message in ways I can only hope to emulate: “Evidence, who needs evidence? The Guardian knows that Wenger is ill but insists on doing all transfer deals himself!” Yep, that’s it – thanks, Tony. Oh yeah, and to thank the terrific give and take commentary from those who’ve weighed in with words, and those who didn’t care to this time around. It all speaks and I’ve learned a lot. Alons! Go Gunners!

  • Sorry old boy it’s not check out time yet. We need to apply our collective minds to finding out why Sun, Guardian, Telegraph and all the others want Arsene out. I have looked at several scenarios none seems to yield any acceptable conclusion as to why this is going on.

    Yet, our fellows would spend hours crafting literature that will earn a guy a sack for no just reason. Why? Why? Why? Why?

    Maybe if we found answers to that question we could place their vituperations where they belong and move AFC along nicely.

  • avatar bob

    bobome,
    still a pulse, hereabouts! i’ll be back with a grand theory that pulls the strands together – that is, we’ll weave the strands together, and some of the answers were proposed by some super minds in the postings yesterday and in the minds of others not yet heard from today. the answers offered are all well in a common ballpark with differences of emphasis, but follow the money is the best approach, as ever, as you know.

  • Bob,
    I am with you all the way; this international break gives us the time to explore all the possibilities before the EPL ‘proper’ starts!

  • avatar Anne

    @bob:

    Thank you in turn for the research and writing such a good article :)

  • avatar C4

    @bob
    Great work again by Untold Media, I’m truly impressed and grateful that we have people willing to put so much effort into exposing the crap.
    I’d really be interested to hear the grand theory.

  • avatar bob

    Rohit, Stevie E,
    @ Rohit, many thanks for the link to BBC’s Dan Roan’s big time praise of “the respected” LeGrove.
    @Stevie, does Pete Wood’s name appear anywhere on Le Metro’s listing of a publisher/editor, etc? Maybe there’s your connection somehow?
    Anyway, here’s the Dan Roan blog quote that publicizes up LeGrovel: “Pete Wood, the man behind the respected fan website Le Grove, believes deadline day was something of a reality check for the club. “On the face of it, Arsenal made great progress considering the self-imposed time restrictions we placed on ourselves,” he said. “Yesterday has given me hope that a top-four finish is realistic. But does it feel like a successful summer? No. Does it look or feel like progress? No.
    “However, with teams like Manchester City and Chelsea spending hundreds of millions, maybe it’s time to accept that competing for the league is no longer a standard Arsenal fan expectation. That doesn’t excuse the elephant in the room, though. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have been negligent this summer. All of the business completed over the last two days could and should have been completed in June.” This is a tamely worded observation when compared to the two who actually write LeBlog.

  • avatar Anne

    @Prasanna Veeraraghavan:

    “many a times I have wrote to the Guardian’s team who does the minute by minute coverage and none of them get published.

    There would have been umpteen comments of mine in their website which do get published but then get removed in the later stages.”

    Did I read this wrong, or are you saying that the Guardian has censored your comments?

  • avatar Anne

    @Arvind:

    Just to be clear, I didn’t say that the Daily Mail was clean. Just that they were less dirty than the Sun, the Mirror, and the Telegraph. I just wanted to make sure that I had clarified that. :) Otherwise, thank you so much for taking the time to read all of our articles. Cheers.

  • avatar Anne

    @M.V.:

    “and it’s OK to spend as much (oil, or dirty) money as you want, as long as you win”

    I thought this was a particularly good point.

  • avatar Anne

    @kampala gun:

    Lol… I was just looking at that article :)And in relation to that….

    @Stevie E:

    I’m currently taking a much closer look at Le Groan…

  • avatar Stevie E

    bob
    Know thine enemy – http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/peter-wood/33/18a/725 goes by the name Pedro on Le Grove…
    Anne
    I’m looking into it as well, between us I’m sure something will come up.

  • avatar bob

    Stevie E, Anne,
    LeG Man connects some dots: Experience working / writing for Sky Sports, The Times, BBC, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sun. The Mirror, The Drum plus various online publications like Metro Online and the Sabotage Times.

  • avatar Rhys Jaggar

    Journos have to bid to the editor to get stories printed.

    One of the problems of an emerging dominant fan-base (if in fact it exists) is that the editors of newspapers think that more of their readers are Man Utd fans than of any other club. So they run anti-Arsenal stories. Because they can. If they ran anti-Chelsea ones, the KGB would sort them out. The real KGB I mean. And The Arab potentates would sort out any campaigns against Man City.

    Maybe a few hard-core fans should go to some journos bash and sing:

    ‘Allo, allo, we are the Arsenal boys……’

    with the line change:

    ‘And if you are an editor surrender or you die
    For we all think yer a slime ball!’

    You could of course write some tart letter to the editor telling him what you think.

    You could withdraw your consent from the Gruniard en masse, pushing them ever faster toward bankruptcy.

    Or, I guess, you could just sing:

    Build a bonfire, build a bonfire
    Put the journos on the top!
    Put the sub-eds in the middle

    I think you get the gist……

    I’m not sure quite what the war’s about, but that’s what it is….

    Best to assume it’s the media fighting to retain autocratic control over all matters football……..

    But each and every football fan has a voice and it is their choice how they choose to express it, through the mouth, the keyboard or the wallet…….

  • avatar bob

    And, speaking of the Devil, here’s Guardian’s bald greybeard David Lacey speaking ad hominem of Arsene Wenger under the current pressures: “Wenger’s worry lines are beginning to resemble a contour map of the Himalayas and the last time Swansea City, their next opponents, came up to the top-flight, they beat Arsenal twice.”

    BTW, when I sign in to post comments on David Lacey’s blog (and probably any Guardian blog now, though I’m not sure yet, this is my greeting (in red type, btw) on the electronic form:

    Your comments are being premoderated.

    If anyone else would log in there and see if you get that comment I would appreciate knowing about it. Fact is, I’m proud to be premoderated there, even as I’m proud of the Guardian for being a truly great newspaper — outside of its very large Football Department. (Thanks to UA, I’m now in the Guardian diaspora, or is it doghouse? You owe me, Tony.)

  • avatar Stevie E

    Umm did anyone know Arsenal did media watch? http://www.arsenal.com/media-watch

  • avatar Anne

    @Stevie E:

    Yes. It’s not a very good one, though :)

  • avatar Anne

    @bob:

    When I sign in and click on “post a comment” I don’t get any kind of pre-moderation language in the form that comes up. Is that where you’re getting it?

  • avatar M.V

    bob
    It would be crazy if it was the case that there is some kind of agenda towards arsenal! But there has been a huge amount of negative articles on there lately. Even though, someone said that in the past they have had a lot of positive ones. I don’t know, but I wish they the articles went deeper. They’re just skimming the surface, and then they can write what they want.

    If I hadn’t been so obsessed with Arsenal lately, a few years ago, i didn’t follow at all – I might of gone on ow and read and thought…”hey, Arsenals is Trouble”! I don’t know, anyway…hope they play some good fotball and win some games :)

  • avatar bob

    Anne,
    Yes, it’s on the form where you’re supposed to enter your reply. In the frame area just above that data entry space is where it presents the pre-moderation message to warn past “offenders” to be nice – and if you’re bad, then I don’t know unless today’s posting put me beyond the pail (or in the pail).

  • avatar bob

    sorry, “beyond the pale (or in the pail).”

  • avatar Gulp

    I have been wondering lately wheter the sheik or anyone els are I direct owners or sponsor any of the media houses inuk? Cos suddenly and in an elegant way ove the last two years, but mainly intje last two windows it’s become the norm to splash as much cash as possible in the transfer windows.
    City is being lauded as doing very good buissness indeed. 200k a week is the norm and 40m players is what is expected from top clubs. when did that happen???
    When did we start to look upto clubs that use insane money? When did our fans starry to believe nasri is worth 180k a week a d arsenal are greedy no to offer him120k a week?
    And more importantly why did it happen? How did City become the team everyone admires and the benchmark of how to run a team??
    That would also be why the critiqr of arsenal has grown. Arsenal does buisness the wrong way! They dont follow the unwritten rules of success. City IS the norm, everything els is wrong. Not splashing the cash is wrong!
    And why if they invest souch money on the pitch should they not invest money off the pitch to promote their team? One has to remember city is a giant pr project create awareness for the sheiks country.

  • avatar bob

    All,
    Our UA/Media Watch is spreading here and there, and perhaps from UA/UM’s recent initiatives. Here’s one from 4 Sept from Just Arsenal which NOTES how elements in the media keeps piling on to Arsenal and is tearing apart our transfer window transactions: http://justarsenal.com/yet-more-criticism-in-the-press-for-arsenal-and-arsene-wenger/9573
    As for LeGrovel: its 4 Sept headline appears to be INVITING stories about how/when/which AFC transfer window dealings went awry.

  • avatar Anne

    @bob:

    Did you leave a comment on that article? Well said, if it was you :) Also, it sounds like the Guardian has flagged you for “special” attention. I don’t get any kind of message like that from them. Once again, well done :)

  • avatar Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    @ Anne:

    I was away for three days and I dn’t know if you would get to read this.

    Primarily whenever possible I do follow the Guardian minute by minute match coverage esp Arsenal ones and I send mails as feedback none of which get published except only once for the CL final match between Man Utd and Barcelona, which too went with a curt message titled I know you will not publish this comment but still I write subject headline.

    Also to some news articles when I write they do get published but two or three days later they are lost somewhere. Its kind of censoring the comments section.

  • avatar Ben

    Has anyone tried contacting these reporters that always make up negative news about Arsenal as to why they are doing such things?

    How do other countries view Arsenal’s problems?
    For example in Hong Kong they use AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE and from what I have read after the Utd defeat there was none of that made up nonsense.

  • avatar Anne

    @Prasanna Veeraraghavan:

    I’ve suspected the Guardian of censoring their comments section on more than one occasion. If you look at their match report on the Dowd, sorry Newcastle, victory over Arsenal last year, it’s really quite remarkable how many “deleted” comments there are.

  • avatar Anne

    @Ben:

    I’ve been hoping that our work might inspire some people to attempt to contact some of these reporters. If anyone has any stories in that regard, I would be interested in hearing about it.