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Untold Media: Why did the Sun’s “humble pie” begin with a petty attack on Arsenal fans?

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Untold Media: Why did the Sun’s “humble pie” begin with a petty attack on Arsenal fans?

By: Anne

In our previous media watch report, we documented some surprising changes in the Sun’s Arsenal coverage that have occurred in recent weeks. One of the changes that we documented was a change in the Sun’s reporting on Arsenal fans.

However, before I get into the specifics of that coverage, I would like to elaborate on the opinion I expressed in our last report, which is that one factor contributing to the Sun’s decision to change the tone of its coverage was the fact that:

“Arsenal fans rebelled against media coverage claiming that Arsenal fans do not support the club.”

Why do I believe that this was a contributing factor? Well, for one, beginning in early November, 2011, the Sun appears to have ceased making its previous repeated claims that Arsenal fans don’t support the club (more on that below).

However, there’s also the fact that the Sun appears to be a bit hacked off at Arsenal fans for some reason!

Because, accompanying their change in reporting about Arsenal fan opinion, they also published a (somewhat bizarre) article on 11 November, 2011, directly attacking Arsenal fans for, among other things, driving away Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri with their lack of support for the players. I’ve presented the entire article unedited, below, so that you can all form your own opinions about the Sun’s intent in publishing it (I’ve included some notes).

So, Arsenal fans…. In case you missed it the first time around, the Sun has something that they want to say to you:

Arsenal fans shown the red card

Photo caption: RED CARD … Arsenal fans have been criticised for their lack of vocal support.

ARSENAL fans have been shown the red card after a new study claimed THEY are to blame for the poor atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.

***UM: Sorry fans, but we’ve been sent off. Our three match ban should give the Sun plenty of opportunities to file reports about the “empty” Emirates Stadium…***

The Gunners’ faithful have often been mocked for their lack of vocal support — with their old Highbury stadium nicknamed ‘the library’.

But fans often insist it is the size of the 60,000 seater stadium which is to blame for the lack of noise at the ground.

****UM: Unfortunately, this plot by Arsenal fans to deceive the public has now been exposed by the Sun’s diligent investigative journalism.***  

Former captain Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both criticised the club’s ground following their departures to Barcelona and Manchester City in the summer.

That is despite the Gunners working closely with REDaction — a group set up to bring more noise and colour to the stadium — since they moved to the Emirates in 2006.

Nasri said: “Arsenal have good fans but they are not that passionate since they moved from Highbury to the Emirates.

“The crowd at City are amazing and that’s what you want as a player — a good atmosphere.”

Fabregas agreed, saying: “I have never felt at home as I was at Highbury at any other stadium in the world but it was not my decision, it was the club’s decision, it was what they needed in that moment.”

And now, lifelong fan and professional acoustics engineer Andy Emery confirmed it is Arsenal fans — and not the design of the stadium — which is to blame for the lack of atmosphere.

He said: “I’m afraid Fabregas and Nasri were closer to the truth than most fans would want to accept.

“Fans at the Emirates do not sing and chant like they do in the Kop at Anfield or Old Trafford’s Stretford End.

“Any new larger stadia will attract a new demographic of fans who possess the means to afford the higher ticket prices.

“However, they aren’t all interested in singing their hearts out like the old Arsenal faithful at Highbury.

***UM: Hang on, didn’t they just say that Highbury had been nicknamed the “library” due to “lack of vocal support” from “the old Arsenal faithful?” Keep it straight, guys…***  

“In very simple terms sound waves travel and will bounce off different surfaces in different ways.

“Most importantly for the atmosphere at a sports stadium, the sound generated by fans chanting and singing must be retained within the venue.

“The Emirates is a beautifully designed stadium with large banks of seats close to the pitch and, most importantly, a huge roof to keep the sound in.

“I agree that you don’t get the same cacophony of noise as other large UK stadiums, but the Emirates itself is not to blame.”

So, to sum up, the Sun’s “study” has determined that sound waves travel and “bounce off different surfaces.” Therefore, because the Emirates has “large banks of seats close to the pitch” and a “huge roof,” Arsenal fans don’t support Arsenal.

While this solid wall of scientific evidence is, indeed, impressive, I must admit that I question whether the findings of this “new study” were sufficiently newsworthy to justify the Sun’s decision to inform the public about them? And if not, what was the Sun’s motive?

(It’s worth noting here that, shortly before publishing this article, the Sun took quite a bit of heat from Arsenal fans for publishing a misleading report about attendance levels at the Emirates that was refuted by the club).

I’ll let you, the readers, be the judge of what the Sun’s likely motives were for publishing the above article. However, one thing we do know is that, around the time this article was published, the Sun ended a long pattern of previous reports claiming that Arsenal fans did not support Arsenal.

Specifically, one of the “talking points” documented in our previous media coverage was that Arsenal fans were not happy with the direction of the club. Accordingly, one of the most pervasive aspects of the Sun’s coverage prior to 7 November, 2011, were frequent and repeated claims that Arsenal fans, to put it plainly, just didn’t like Arsenal.

In the Sun’s coverage, this appears to have resulted in random assertions that Arsenal “fans” held whatever belief was most convenient to support the writer’s argument. For example, the following are just some of the opinions that were attributed to Arsenal fans in the pages of the Sun during the month of October, 2011 (just before the change in coverage):

-Arsenal fans “want Walcott to justify his star billing.”

-During the Arsenal-Sunderland match (an Arsenal victory), “a macabre game was going on among the supporters about which was the worst Arsenal team before this one.”

-“Arsenal fans know that…[Arsenal] are no longer a very good team.”

In recent months, though the Sun continued to publish such reports, more and more evidence began to surface suggesting that Arsenal fans were rejecting these frequent attempts to claim that the fans didn’t support the club. In addition to the above-referenced backlash against the Sun’s “empty stadium” report, one example of this was the standing ovation Arsene Wenger received following his speech at the AST meeting.

Prior to the Sun’s apparent decision to abandon this line of reporting, we see evidence that the Sun was re-asserting this claim in an increasingly desperate manner, in an effort to counter evidence that Arsenal fans did, in fact, support Arsenal. The most blatant example of this can be found in the Sun’s coverage of the AST meeting, in which Antony Kastrinakis appeared to abandon all logic in his attempts to portray the events of the meeting as further evidence of fan anger against Arsenal.

According to AK, Arsene Wenger, in a “Churchill” moment, stood up and gave his speech in a “desperate” attempt “to galvanise angry fans whose frustration was spilling over.”

The fans then responded to Arsene’s “heart-felt plea for unity, defending his signings and the club’s policy of living within its means.” However, prior to that, fans had been angry, demanding for Arsenal:

-“To abandon its ‘self-sustaining model;”

-“For a major injection of cash to fund big-name signings;” and

– “for chairman Peter Hill-Wood to step down.”

As AK reports it, when Wenger, in his speech, “praised fans for the way they have stuck with the team in recent weeks,” it was actually a generous attempt at reconciliation with the “boo-boys [who] let Wenger and his players have it at the end of last season.”

And in response to Arsene’s “heart-felt plea,” the “fans’ simmering rage which threatened to boil over turned into a rapturous standing ovation that nearly brought the stadium down.”

As is evident from the twisted logic displayed in the argument above, the Sun appears to have reached a point where the evidence to the contrary was becoming too strong to continue making a plausible argument that Arsenal fans did not support the manager and the club.

Shortly thereafter, beginning around 7 November, 2011, all such claims that Arsenal fans do not approve of the direction of the club have completely disappeared from the pages of the Sun. To the contrary, articles since then appear to have reversed the Sun’s previous position, stating only that:

“While the vast majority of fans back boss Wenger…some supporters feel it is time for a change.”

The only exception to the above is the article covered at the beginning of this post, in which the Sun attacked Arsenal fans directly, and without any readily apparent motive.

Taking all of the above into the account, my conclusion is that the response of Arsenal fans to the Sun’s coverage most likely played some role in forcing the Sun to change its previous editorial position in this regard.

However, I would be interested to hear in the comments whether readers agree or disagree with this conclusion.

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86 comments to Untold Media: Why did the Sun’s “humble pie” begin with a petty attack on Arsenal fans?

  • WalterBroeckx

    They thought they could drive Wenger out
    They thought that if they portrayed Wenger as a fool the fans would turn against him
    They were fooled by L* Gr*v* and their claims that they were the real Arsenal supporters (this word doesn’t feel good in this sentence) as they believed them
    They thought that all this would be enough to drive Wenger out and throw Arsenal back for several seasons and bring them down for a long time

    And after seeing their plans fail they took a last dig at the Arsenal fans because we Arsenal fans didn’t fall in their trap.

    I found it very funny to read that Nasri said that the atmosphere in Highbury was better. Certainly because he never had been there and never had played there… Fools….

    Great article Ann

  • Sammy The Snake

    I stopped clicking on any Sun or SKY pages long ago, we should boycott the evil empire.

  • dan

    The sun, that explains it all!!!

    Blinkered, racist, liars = THE SUN.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Thanks, and glad you liked the article. I personally agree with everything you said about the Sun’s likely motive. Although there’s really no way to say for absolute certain.

    By the way, how did you get your picture as your avatar? I would like to change mine, especially since I ended up with such a ridiculous avatar 🙂 Thanks.

  • Mandy Dodd

    great article. Loved the bit about fans not singing like they do in the Kop or…wait for it, the Stretford End…..contradicts some oft quoted remarks involving prawns by a certain Roy Keane!

    Agree with Walter, their agenda was to drive Wenger out, but they now recognise they have failed. They wanted for the fans to call for Wengers head, but they never did, yes there were a few boos and a degree of encouragement to spend money but there were never calls for Wengers head.
    Wenger had a very, very tough year last year, on and off the pitch, and no I am not referring to stupid tabloid gossip – but he has come through it, so has the majority of his team, they will be stronger for it.
    Wenger can be the personification of Rudyard Kipling’s “If”.

    Off topic, but have you heard about the Spud supporters who felt robbed by ref Chris Foy – who then proceeded to bombard olympic cyclist Chris Hoy’s twitter page with abuse? Tragically, this is a true story!

  • Anne

    @Sammy the Snake:

    I actually sat on this article for a month because it was one of those rare occasions where I thought it was so ridiculous and petty that I REALLY didn’t want to reward it with extra hits. But then when they changed the tone of their coverage, I thought it became relevant to motive, so I decided what the hell?

  • Anne

    @dan:

    I don’t know if the Sun are blinkered and/or racist, but I’m more amenable on the question of whether they’re dirty, dirty liars 🙂 Cheers.

  • JohnW

    I still think the Sun is, may be, being used by a certain shareholder who has close to 30% holding and who has been left in the cold, outside the boardroom. My prayer is that we win at Man City, because then, our recovery will be complete. We will not only be back in the title race, we will have shown our intent. I that happens on Sunday, then my friends, we shall have said ‘cheerio’ to the negative coverage of The Arsenal.

  • Anne

    @Mandy Dodd:

    I’m glad that you liked the article, and I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one who found their agenda to be rather transparent here.

    As for the Spurs fans… having watched the match, I have to say that I agree with their sentiments about Chris Foy’s performance (although I do wonder if they would be quite so generous to Arsenal fans if the shoe was on the other foot).

    Although it really is a shame that poor Chris Hoy had to bear the brunt of their anger… This is the first time I’ve heard about that, and I’m kind of bouncing back and forth between pity and a desire to roll on the floor laughing… Does that make me a bad person? 🙂

  • Anne

    @JohnW:

    You’re not the only person who has expressed that opinion about the shareholder in our comments section recently. I’ve been seeing it more and more. This apparent increase in the number of people who hold that opinion is another factor that has coincided with the media backing off a bit.

  • I can’t get that excited by The Sun or any of the tabloids. Daily newspapers are in heavy decline and are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Their reporters, such as they are, are an endangered species.

  • Anne

    Oops.

    Sorry everyone, looks like I accidentally included a bad link to our last media watch report (mentioned in the first paragraph). Here’s the proper link.

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/17149

  • WalterBroeckx

    Anne, the picture of Vermaelen and me in my avater is thanks to one of our readers who linked me to the website where you can add such thing and then it gets linked wherever you enter your email address.
    It took me a few attempts to work it out but I did without having to shout help to my sons 🙂
    Will try to find the link to the website but it is somewhere in the comment section of last week I think

  • Anne,

    go here for your avatar.

  • Anne

    MAJOR oops:

    Ok, looks like I screwed up nearly every link in the article (all but the Arsenal fans “red card” article). Not sure how I did that, but here are the correct links, in order following the one link that I got right:

    -“one of the “talking points” documented in our previous media coverage”:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/13181

    -“Arsenal fans “want Walcott to justify his star billing.”:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3873291/Arsene-Wenger-lets-rip-at-Theo-Walcotts-critics.html

    -“During the Arsenal-Sunderland match (an Arsenal victory), “a macabre game was going on among the supporters about which was the worst Arsenal team before this one.””:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3875103/Arsenal-2-Sunderland-1.html

    -“According to AK, Arsene Wenger, in a “Churchill” moment…”:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3898753/Arsene-Wenger-turns-into-Winston-Churchill-to-rouse-Arsenal-AGM.html

    -“articles since then appear to have reversed the Sun’s previous position, stating only that…”

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3925362/Thierry-Henry-says-Arsenal-fans-should-be-grateful-for-Arsene-Wenger.html

    Sorry about that, everyone.

    -“Arsenal fans know that…[Arsenal] are no longer a very good team.”

  • Anne

    MAJOR oops.

    Ok, looks like I actually screwed up EVERY link in the article. I’ve included a comment with all of the correct links that is currently awaiting moderation. Should be up in a second. Sorry everyone.

  • Anne

    @Walter and Mike:

    Thanks for helping me get my avatar sorted. I think this one looks a lot better, personally 🙂

  • Shard

    I preferred the yellow monster Anne 🙂

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    Well, I suppose that the angry face on that one was more appropriate in a lot of ways… 🙂

    Otherwise, glad you find me so attractive! If you send me your picture, I’ll be more than happy to advise you on whether you’re better off with the avatar or an actual photo 😛

  • Gf60

    The yellow monster was better viewing than anything that’s ever been published in The Sun 😮

  • iniez

    Woow, really. Listen guys lets see this as a good thing. They really have nothing better to nit pick about so they’re going on about us fans and the acoustics of the emirates. Tomorrow they’ll start saying arsenal fans have small feet

  • Anne

    @Gf60:

    I have to agree, although I’m not sure if it’s saying a whole hell of a lot 🙂

  • Anne

    @iniez:

    I do see it as a good thing, overall. I really do believe that the response of Arsenal fans has influenced the coverage decisions of not just the Sun, but other media outlets as well. However, that isn’t necessarily indicative of a change in agenda. So I think it’s important that we not let our guard down, ultimately.

  • Anne,

    i’m willing to predict you’ll never get Shard’s picture. Glad to help as i see your efforts were well worth it. I share your feeling that the Sun and the rest of the knuckle dragging set will return. I was happy to see that a few of the major blogs had started paying attention to the media and their negative coverage. I seems the glare of public opinion may have turned things around.

    The club needs to pay more attention to that type of bad publicity though as it could have a material effect on how Arsenal is perceived by sponsors, the public and prospective players. Any future attempts to defame should be met with a call by top level executives at the club to top level executives at the media houses.

  • nicky

    Regardless of the source, IMO, those who are critical of the lack of Emirates’ support have a very valid point. Whether it is frustration because the magnificent stadium has yet to see a major trophy, I do not know. What IS clear is the apparent want among many home fans to single out certain players for continual vocal criticism. We all know the names of those players who, despite trying their best, have failed to make the grade. Many have received the most disgraceful abuse from the very fans who should have been offering support.
    There is a widely-held view that the Club’s “away” support is more loyal than that at home and one could question why that should be.
    Some may feel that having paid to watch the team, they are fully entitled to express their view on the display on the field. That may be so, but continual OTT opinion can only adversely affect performance.
    There may be no real answer to hypercritical support….at least until trophies arrive. The wait will be much shorter and easier to bear if 100% support is given at all times to whoever wears an Arsenal shirt. Without that support the players cannot deliver.

  • Anne

    @mike in atlanta:

    Actually, I happen to know already that Shard is quite attractive, so we were just kidding around there. 🙂 But anyway, moving on…

    We do know that Arsenal has taken steps lately to be more proactive in countering the media, so I’d say that there’s a strong possibility that the club’s actions behind the scenes have played a role in influencing these recent changes.

  • Shard

    @mike

    Perfectly true. I’m more than happy to hide behind my scornful looking avatar and pour scorn on the Sun, Mail, Sky, UEFA, FIFA etc.

  • Waleed

    Oliver Holt (from the mirror?) has been saying on Twitter that “Arsenal fans turned on Wenger as the media stuck by him.”
    The story now is that the media loves Arsene and never said a word against him, apparently it was the fans.

  • Anne

    @nicky:

    Are those the things that you have observed when you’ve visited the Emirates recently? Anyone else have an opinion on that?

  • Anne

    @Waleed:

    What?! Ok, now I have to go check that out. And yes, Oliver Holt is from the Mirror.

  • Anne

    @Waleed, all:

    Thanks for that tip, Waleed. Arsenal fans really seem to be going after Oliver Holt. Here’s the link for anyone who wants to share in the fun:

    http://twitter.com/ollieholtmirror

    Do you happen to know what provoked this, Waleed?

  • Shard

    @Anne

    Yes. Who can resist this pointedly delightful contemptuous look that I possess 🙂

    But as you say, moving on… ahem.. 🙂

    About your article.. I had noticed that the media had changed their tune recently, enough for some people to suggest that it is only down to our change in form (or results) and nothing else. Which as I said before, is the impression they are trying to convey. At the same time, they try and pass off a few bits of misinformation in between their seemingly pro-Arsenal articles. But of course, I would never have placed it down to a certain date or a certain period. I guess unless you pay attention to them carefully, it just becomes a blur of impressions.

    That ‘blur of impressions’ is actually how they spread their agenda. Thus, pictures of Wenger holding his head in his hands, talk of him looking pale etc..All meant to, over time, build an impression. So I completely agree with you when you urge vigilance. This isn’t over. They still try to misguide us all. But encouragingly, people are seeing through them more and more.

  • You go Shard! Anne, we should organize to tweet them into submission. If that doesn’t work we could do an “Occupy”

  • Shard

    @nicky

    Maybe I misremember, but when there was an article, critical about the fans booing certain players, I think it was you who said this phenomenon of picking on individual players and making them the symbols of all the team’s ills had been common practice even back in the day.

    If Arsenal fans are not as vocal, may I know who is? What exactly does being vocal mean? Is it screaming the loudest, coming up with the best and wittiest chants, booing the referee, the opposition? I think our away fans have to be called the best because I can hear them everytime on the tv. At every ground. And I don’t think our home support is any worse than other clubs’. This season, I think its been quite loud in fact, despite the commentators mentioning how quiet it all is at the Emirates and how the fans are growing increasingly frustrated.

  • Anne

    @mike in atlanta:

    Looks like other Arsenal fans are already doing quite a good job of that on their own… This Oliver Holt twitter thread is both making me laugh and infuriating me at the same time. It’s infuriating because Holt is so condescending and smug, but hilarious because the Arsenal fans are doing a very good job of out-arguing him. I might have to do a follow up post on this.

  • menace

    The slimey Samir wants to get better quality support and football at the Manchester Oilers. well they are now out of the Champions league and Piers Morgan had a wonderful tweet: ‘If you fancy some Champions League football Samir Nasri – you can come at sit with me at the Emirates.’ -pure Gooner Piers.

    Made my day that one!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    We’ve got a Miss Untold now… 😉

  • I tried to put a picture of my face in my avatar but the site kept crashing with a Damnyouisugly error 🙂

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Lol… “Miss Untold”… Yes, I’ve always thought that I had all the natural charm of a pageant contestant… 🙂

  • Passenal

    Anne, I think you should check out which Arsenal blog is most often quoted by the BBC and other media when looking for an Arsenal fan opinion. I’ll give you a clue it starts with the initials L and G.

  • Anne

    @DogFace:

    I have three dogs myself, and I think that they’re all adorable 🙂

  • Anne

    @Passenal:

    Thanks for the tip, although I’m already aware of it. It seems that L*G**** and the press have had a mutually beneficial relationship in that regard.

  • Anne

    @menace:

    I haven’t looked into it, but I must say that i do have my doubts as to whether Nasri actually said that. Based on what they did to Cesc’s subsequent quote, I would suspect that they’ve at least embellished it to enhance their argument.

  • Anne

    @DogFace:

    Thanks for linking to that article again. I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed reading it the first time around.

    As far as I know, bbc have only linked to L*G**** in one minor blog post, so I guess I can’t criticize them on that score.

    If you take what I said in my above post and apply it exclusively to the Mirror, I guess that would be more accurate.

  • nicky

    In reply to
    Anne….Yes!
    Shard…My view over recent years is that a proportion of the home support seems more vociferous against individual players, than for the team. I well recall poor Denilson, who after his departure, was replaced by Squillaci.
    The question of decibels doesn’t really apply as the “Highbury Library” syndrome appears, on occasion, to have moved across to the Emirates.
    The impression I get, as a rather ancient supporter, is that many fans yearn for Club success and, rather than give unqualified backing to the players, in frustration, they nitpick during a game at any mistake or failing on the field.
    Maybe I am nitpicking myself, in which case you will no doubt let me know!

  • Anne

    @nicky:

    Out of curiosity, how often do you get to the Emirates? Personally, I’m too far away to ever get to go, so I would be open to the opinions of any Emirates regulars on this subject.

  • nicky

    @ Anne,
    To satisfy your surprising curiosity, I manage about 6 games a year at the Emirates. To date I have seen 4 games this season which is slightly above average. At the end of the season,DV, I will let you have a revised statistic of my attendances. I rarely watch away games live, due to travel difficulties, coupled with the frailties of old age.
    If I am not in London at the time, I try to watch Arsenal home games on Sky or ESPN.

  • Anne

    @nicky:

    So, in your experience, Arsenal fans single out certain players and pick on them?

  • nicky

    @ Anne,
    In my view, a section of the home attenders seem to need a scapegoat for all the ills affecting our trophyless Club. A perhaps below-par member of the team becomes a target and receives the treatment.
    I’m no psychologist, as you well know, and I could be wrong, of course. You should read the comments about our players after a game that was won and then read the same after a defeat. So often, the criticism is near personal rather than constructive.

  • Right, well if everyone else is at it I’ll join in with the avatar thing.

    Another great article Anne, really appreciate the amount of research must go into all these media watch articles.

  • Anne

    @Dale:

    Nice avatar. I nominate you for “Mr. Untold.” And glad you liked the article. Thanks for saying so 🙂

  • Anne

    @nicky:

    Thanks for getting back, and I’ll keep all that in mind.

  • RedGooner

    I really think the sun should look at more ways of making the rag they write for useful something to help them sell more copies as the standard of writing falls.

    Perhaps a toilet roll version of the sun, with printed a soccer headline on each piece and we could put what they type to proper use.
    After all we are the Arse-nal fans !

  • bjtgooner

    @Walter

    I think I should have a new avatar too, the old one looks like Scrooge just bitten in the butt by a long toothed reptile!

    @Anne

    Another good article. It is not easy to speculate just why the Sun attacked the Arsenal fan base. They had previously attacked the team and Wenger in quite a nasty way. With the team recovering during Oct/Nov after a ghastly summer, the Sun’s editor probably realised that the previous attacks were running out of mileage. I agree with your conclusion that the counter attacks from genuine fans, including UM, helped quieten the Sun down.

    The final (for now) fling against the fans could be due to someone being very angry that the attempt to undermine Wenger had not suceeded and the attempt to separate the fans from the team and manager had failed.

    I do remember in the period when Wenger was under personal attack, one of the attacks consistently suggested Arsenal could not finalise new signings. At the same time, Dien the Dad was proposed by the Media (esp Sky) and most of the press as a negotiator extraordinaire and obvious saviour of Arsenal!

  • Anne

    @RedGooner:

    I actually think that’s a great idea! If you need someone to advise you on how to do it while avoiding copyright infringement, might I remind you that I’m a lawyer on the side?

    (Wait, did I say “on the side?” I meant “most of the time.” Ok, ok, “on the side” is closer to the truth 🙂 ).

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    That’s the best theory of motive that I have at the current moment, although I hope that we’ll be able to develop this further in future.

    And if you want to change you avatar, I’d say that you should do it ASAP. The reason for that is because, as of now, the “Mr. Untold” nominations are still open 🙂

  • Gooner murphy

    I got to the conculsion some time ago, not to buy Any of these Anti Arsenal papers or Indeed log onto web sites of the same mind set
    I firmly belive the media in general have a underlying Racist basis against Arsenal and this will continue as long as they go unchallenged Keep up the good work at UNTOLD ARSENAL

  • Waleed

    @Anne, it started I think with Holt saying “Arsenal fans are just guilty cos they were calling for Wenger’s head when the media stuck by him” (or something like that) and I loved how all the gooners took him to task for it.

  • Anne

    @Waleed:

    They really tore him apart. I was quite impressed 🙂

  • Waleed

    @Anne,
    This is one of the great things about the new internet age. You can’t hide. If you put something out there it stays there. Exactly as you said it.

  • bob

    Anne, all,
    As for Why this new (tired) Sun tack: here are some ruminations that might build into something more coherent with your and others’ improvements:

    Arsenal/Arsene, despite all their hopes and expectations, have risen Phoenix-like as the renewed Threat of a Good Example. Absent a precipitous plunge in our fortunes on the pitch, this is what our well-heeled haters will have beheld and will (hopefully) continue to behold:

    1) that our success in the CL has reinforced (and/or re-established) us a desired destination for players anywhere, instead of the despised relegation-bound eternal garbage dump that they’d hope for;
    2) that Arsenal’s re-stabilization and ongoing climb back up the table (the “rich vein of form”) make AFC/Arsene again respectable-if-not-notable (given the steep climb back to the top 4) to football fans anywhere, casting the Punditry into sclerotic harpees (sounds of chalk on a blackboard) with gobs of egg on their gobs;
    3) that notwithstanding the AAA’s best froth, they couldn’t complete their divide-and-conquer strategy against the fanbase and character assassination leading to firing of Arsene Wenger;
    4) that in the wake of the ex-Cesc and $hmeer exits, those “despicable, last minute, bottom scraping” summer signings have been proving out;
    5) hence the written-off-for-dead Arsene/AFC tandem once again prove capable of attracting and integrating affordable and strong football talent into the ongoing youth development program which (AAA notwithstanding) is paying current and foreseeable dividends in a synergy of genuine talent;
    All this said, I think that smearing the fanbase as a national joke is a fall back to try to prevent the Arsenal resurgence, the Arsenal model, the Arsene touch from gaining serious traction, admiration and envy among fans elsewhere (especially as many teams start reeling from the economic decline) and Arsenal not only endures, but flourishes.
    All this said, I hypothesize that Arsenal, the Good Example, now threatens to stir other teams’ fans to admire us just enough to want (if not demand) what AFC does for their teams to emulate. This must not be allowed.

    So, if this holds any water, there’s a need to re-cast the Arsenal faithful as a forever sorry lot; as a hopeless group that cannot recognize its own self-interest, which lies in sacking the Frenchman; as that always-whinging pariah that any proper, self-respecting, real-man-of-a-fan would find loathsome. They couldn’t kill the team, so its smear their fans – so that other fans automatically recoil from all things Arsenal. Another way to try to tarnish (if not kill) The Brand.

    But, at the end of the day, and behind this lame (somewhat desperate) gambit on their part, the real rub, methinks, remains this: that we’ve continued to stand as an Alternative to Football’s Petrocracy – to the zillionaire takeover model (ZTM). And, in support of this, I recall Arsene’s interview in Murdoch’s Times of London (of two years ago) when, in those very august pages, he enunciated the sustainability model, and to the distaste of their interviewer and their overall editorial line. To the spirit snipers at The Sun: May You Set. (In Your Face) Go Gunners!

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    What’s that! Rudyard Kipling and Arsene Wenger in your same sentence! Shocked, I am. Is nothing sacred in the Septic Aisle! Sacre bleu! Next they’ll be putting up a statue to Thierry Henry. (Take that Joey Barton.)

  • Anne

    @bob:

    As usual, I agree with you in most respects (although I would not be able to say it as poetically as you just did 🙂 ).

    I suppose my main concern is what happens when Arsenal suffers the (inevitable) drop in form. I don’t want to gloat too much over our recent success, because if we do, then the gloating will be used to knock us down later. Do you agree?

  • Anne

    @DogFace:

    Going way back to your bbc link from earlier, it calls to mind a quote that I like:

    “data about money is worth more than money.”

    It just now occurred to me.

  • bob

    Anne,
    Yep, don’t gloat; but don’t forget. There will be losses – especially if imho January goes by without a shoring up of the threadbare left/right of the back line (w/Santos gone 3 months now, Jenkinson/Sagna who really knows, etc.), so that we don’t repeat the negligence of last January in this respect. And, if/when there are 2-3 losses in a row (in all competitions), the previous pattern will emerge with toxicity. We have all now seen the talking points and template for their attempted take-down of Arsene/AFC. Anything future will be a re-hash with some wrinkles. In that respect, when Campaign II begins, we can do comparisons with what was done in their Arsene Out Campaign I and help expose any/all similarities and shine a bright light on the dirty tricks.

  • Shard

    @bob

    I think you’re right on target with your talk of the ZTM.. Spend spend spend.. Even ManU are being subjected to it now.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/16176893.stm

    However, regarding buying a defender for us. I don’t think it’s going to happen, nor am I convinced it should. We have 4 full backs out at the moment, but they will come back. 2 of them expected in January I think. (Gibbs, Jenkinson)and Sagna in around March with Santos probably around end March-April or so. In the meanwhile we also have Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny, Miquel who can fill in there. Plus we have Yennaris who plays RB for the reserves. Coquelin or Eastmond can probably fill in as well. What do we do when they all come back. We need the wage bill uncluttered to be able to sign the likes of RVP, Song and Walcott to new contracts as well. It’s not ideal, but I don’t think we should expect a full back being signed. It just won’t happen.

    I think our problems are more in the attacking department. After Van Persie, Park is an as yet unknown. Chamakh is out of sorts and is off to the ACN. As is Gervinho. Which means an injury to Theo and/or RVP and our attack is suddenly very light. Especially with Arshavin out of form as well. I would like to see a striker bought along with an attacking midfielder. But realistically, I think we can expect only one of those positions to be bought in. In which case I’d take a striker.

  • Anne

    @bob:

    Well put. I’m actually curious to see what tactics they pull out going forward. As of now, it looks like there might be a pattern emerging of trying to blame Arsenal fans for the earlier negativity, which is ticking me off. I’ve seen it enough now that I’m thinking about writing it up.

  • iniez

    I have to agree with Shard in regards to signings. I think arsene is planning on his best defence being a good offence. Plus as the players keep reminding us (maybe becase its one of the main issues arsenal is said to have and they’re trying to move talk away from it) they are defending well as a team. We all know arsene and how he deals with an injury crisis, so why do we expect him to act differently every time it happens. Plus if he was to bring in another full back, even if its on loan, it cant be someone that needs to learn the ways of the premier league and figure out how he fits in the team, etc. He would want someone that has pl experience. If he doesn’t then by the time he fits into the squad the injured players would be back, and that would just complicate things. Not having proper cover for those spots could possibly jeopardize our season, but it could really make a mess of things when everyone comes back.

    @Anne, I knew it, I always said to myself Anne would make a good lawyer. I’m actually studying law now, we should have a secret handshake :p

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    I think that those are good points about a striker and an attacking mid, and I don’t disagree. Although I do want to add that, when Chamakh is in form, I think he’s a good backup for RVP. And if he was getting regular games, I would expect to see his form improve.

    @Iniez:

    You’re studying law? Get out while you still can! 🙂 (and I’m only half joking about that. Right now, I’m trying to think of any way possible way that I can to make a career change 🙂 ).

  • Anne

    @Iniez:

    Do you think I should send my resume to the Sun? 🙂

  • iniez

    @Anne,
    I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to speak to you anymore if you did :P. Then again we could need someone to find where Antony Kasgodmynameishardtospellakis has disappeared to

  • iniez

    @Anne, we could have a new section on the site and call it SUNtold

  • jon

    Hey guys, I wonder if any of you are watching The Leveson Inquiry
    It’s been a real eye-opener to the way that the press has been working in the UK. A real insight into their pompous, self-righteous attitude and their cowardly, cynical manipulation of morality to account for their gross immorality. That’s a personal opinion, of course…I’ll let you make up your own minds. If you go to the “Hearings” link, you’ll find recordings of all the sessions so far. I thought it might be of interest to those engaged in this debate, it certainly informs my opinions when regarding these articles

    Thanks for the fabulous work Anne 🙂

  • LRV

    My God! Anne, your new avatar distracted me so much from reading this beautiful article. In truth, I can’t make up my mind which is more wow, the article or your new avatar.

    By the way, I have always maintained that the ‘Red&White’ crew (a certain D & a fat U) has a lot to answer for regarding ‘our’ brutalization by the media and pLundit alike.

  • Anne

    @Iniez:

    Lol. SUNtold. They would probably sue us 🙂 Although I suppose they do generate enough material to merit their own section 🙂

  • Anne

    @jon:

    Thank you very much for that link. This is something that we need to be monitoring here, and I wasn’t aware that all of the hearings were available.

    To be honest, I’m not sure whether I’m more worried about the press or the politicians in this instance, but it’s something we should stay on top of either way. Thanks again.

  • Anne

    @LRV:

    Thanks 🙂 And I also like your other comment as well.

  • Anne

    @jon, all:

    Further to Jon’s comment, UM could use someone to help us monitor all of this phone hacking stuff as it unfolds. If anyone who is already monitoring the situation would be willing to give us updates (Jon, I don’t know if you would be interested in doing this), or if someone is willing to take on this project, I would love to hear from you in email. My address can be found here:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/13259

  • bob

    LRV,
    Could you elaborate on your D&U considerations?

  • bob

    Anne,
    There are thousands of hackees by official accounts. It seems that less than 50 or so names have been publicly released, one way or the other. Among the roughly 5 footballers (it may up to 10, but I can’t remember just now) that were hacked, feature most prominently Gordon Taylor (still in office and bought into silence until the latest storm around his 750K quid payout) and Wayne Rooney (whose name came up five months ago with a few others without any special fanfare then). I hope someone could follow the hearings and compile any football related stuff. The best source by far on these is The Guardian, whose Ace investigative reporter, Nick Davies, broke the phone hacking story in the first place.

  • Anne

    @bob:

    Are you not my Guardian corespondent? If you’re following this story already, it would be a big help if you could at least keep me updated. I don’t have time to do it myself! Thanks.

  • Mahdain

    really nice pic anne you`re looking great and i agree with walter about the miss untold bit 🙂 ….about the article i noticed its not only the sun thats trying to make Arsenal as the evil ones and trying to make us believe that wenger gets an easy ride with the media..you will remember i linked oliver holt twitter feed in a previous article in which he attacked arsenal fans for being the ones who wanted wenger out and got support from our lovely gooner john cross

  • Anne

    @Mahdain:

    Don’t know if you’re still checking this thread, but I wanted you to know that I definitely remember that Oliver Holt twitter feed that you linked to. In fact, I read the entire thing and thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂 I actually really wish that i could do some kind of article about it, but I just don’t know if I’m going to have time.

  • bob

    Anne,
    There’s not more than what I wrote of AFC/football relevance that’s come out in the Guardian. No specifics; only broad strokes as I’ve indicated. When/if it does I’ll provide its links and the fitting (if not fitful)words.