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UNTOLD MEDIA: Sagna claims his leg was broken deliberately.

By Anne

Part I: Introduction

I’ve decided to go back and revisit the very first Untold Media article that was published on Untold, which Tony headlined The Sun goes bananas (even by their own sub-basement standards). If you look at the link, you’ll notice that this particular article is unique from any of my other Untold Media articles, in the sense that it doesn’t include any analysis whatsoever. To the contrary, all I did was quote two articles from the Sun, in full, and say that I found them “interesting,” without specifying why they were “interesting.”

Looking back over the season’s Untold Media coverage, I decided that this was a wrong that I needed to correct. However, I do want to say at the outset that this is the most difficult article that I’ve ever written, probably on any subject, and I’m not sure how well I pulled it off. But at the same time, I can assure you that, whatever I’ve come up with here, it’s much less strange than the content I’m trying to analyse.

In this article, we will be revisiting the second match of the season: Arsenal’s 0-2 defeat against Liverpool, which occurred on 20 August, 2011. This match immediately followed our 0-0 draw against Newcastle (13 August, 2011), and immediately preceded our 8-2 annihilation against Man U at Old Trafford (28 August, 2011).

However, we will not be re-examining the facts as we already know them. Rather, we will be asking questions about what might have happened in the match that we don’t already know about. And specifically, we will be addressing the possibility that Arsenal players are being specifically targeted for injury.

(*As an interesting side note, Mike Riley of PGMOL infamy attended this match personally, lest mine eyes deceive me.)

Our specific basis for asking these questions will be some extremely “strange” (to put it in the most charitable way) statements that appeared in the Sun’s Arsenal-Liverpool match report, which we will be examining in the context of the surrounding circumstances.

My decision to return to this match report was based on Bacary Sagna’s recent allegations suggesting that his leg might have been broken deliberately during our recent draw against Norwich. And because I don’t believe that Sagna would have made such a serious allegation without authorization from Arsenal, I took his comment to mean that the situation inside the club might be quite serious as far as this issue is concerned.

However,  before we get to the Sun’s article, I want to take a look at the circumstances of Sagna’s injury, along with his specific comments:

“Sagna collapsed in the first half of Arsenal’s 3-3 Premier League draw with Norwich shortly after Johnson trod on his leg, the same one he broke earlier in the season.

‘I think he did it on purpose,’ the 29-year-old told the sports daily L’Equipe on Sunday. ‘He stepped on my leg. Play continues, I get back on my feet. And when I tried to control the ball, I felt a crack, just like the first time at Tottenham.

‘He stepped right where the plate was. I think the plate pressured [the bone]. It’s a neat break, just above the plate.’”

Watching this injury in real time, it would never appear to be a deliberate attempt to break someone’s leg. To the contrary, it looks like a completely innocuous event, and you don’t even see the contact with Sagna’s leg unless you watch it in slow motion. Sagna gets up, and as play restarts, he appears to collapse for no reason.

However, what Sagna appears to me to be saying is that, while there was no deliberate force used that would suggest an intent to injure, there was a deliberate placement of the stamp, in such a way that it could do serious injury while simultaneously appearing innocuous.

After the scandals caused by the leg breaks on Eduardo and Ramsey, it only makes sense that persons who might be interested in breaking the legs of Arsenal players would attempt to find ways to do so surreptitiously. In my opinion, with sufficient pre-planning, it would certainly be possible to deliberately injure Arsenal players in this manner on a consistent basis, without the public even realizing that it was occurring.

One other thing I would like to mention is that, as the season has progressed, I’ve noticed an increasing number of incidents in which Arsenal players are somehow injured “off camera.” In these incidents, we are simply told that the player is injured, but there is no attempt made to explain how the injury occurred. The most recent example of this would be Arteta’s injury against Wigan. In that case, the only “information” we received about the injury was the shot of Arteta hobbling off the pitch. Why no attempt to explain?

It should also be remembered that, immediately following the Arteta injury, our concentration broke down and we conceded two goals within minutes. The only goals in the match. Also, the Wigan match was the first match after the FA refused to punish Ballotelli for his leg-breaker challenge on Song. Which I seem to recall that most of us interpreted at the time as sending a message to Arsenal players that they were completely unprotected from injury on the pitch.

But what would be the point of sending such a message, if there was no accompanying threat to back it up?

Part II: What did the Sun’s Stephen Howard know about the Liverpool match that Arsenal fans didn’t?

As we return to examine the Liverpool match, for some reason, the following paragraph from the Daily Mirror’s match report seemed to me to fit perfectly as an introduction to this segment:

“In a sound-deadened room next to Arsenal’s media theatre, a small square of a space that might double for a padded cell, it was put to Arsene Wenger that he was stubborn.

It was put to him that the more people tell him who he needs to buy and why he needs to buy them, the more he refuses to heed their pleas and demands.

For the first time in a troubling day, Wenger allowed a flicker of a smile to play across his lips.

Until then, he had been close to monosyllabic, echoing the mood of his new captain Robin van Persie, who marched past journalists after the match, refusing to speak.”

In his Arsenal-Liverpool match report, the Sun’s Stephen Howard seems to be under the impression  that something very bad happened to Arsenal during this match. Moreover, his match report appears to be much less of a “match report” than it is an attempt to use whatever happened in the Liverpool match as a basis to threaten Arsenal with even worse if Arsene Wenger doesn’t “get that chequebook out..”

(Of course, all of this is based on my own personal interpretation of Howard’s words. And it’s certainly possible that he had no intention whatsoever of threatening Arsenal or Arsene Wenger with anything at all. If he was intending to threaten them, I’m sure that it was all hyperbolic, and that there is no possibility whatsoever that he was attempting to literally demand any financial or other remuneration for himself or anyone else. And at no point anywhere in this article do I intend to accuse or even give the impression that any threat against Arsenal was meant literally).

However, based on my own interpretation of Howard’s words, I would be lying to you if I said that I saw the following as anything other than a blatant and overt threat:

“AND you thought this was as bad as it could get for Arsenal.

“Well, it can turn even uglier if Arsene Wenger continues with his destructive, stubborn ‘I know best’ routine. This time next week Arsenal could be propping up the Premier League and out of the Champions League following trips to Udinese and Old Trafford.

“And Le Prof will have no one to blame but himself. Stubbornness is not a bad quality when things are going your way. When they’re not, it’s one of the most destructive forces around.”

The above is the opening to Howard’s article. And he seems to finish the above statement in his conclusion:

“So what now for Wenger and a team as the Gunners face the most pivotal week in the Frenchman’s 14 years at the club?

“Get that chequebook out, it’s not your personal property, Arsene.”

Aside from the above, Howard doesn’t seem very interested in anyone understanding the contents of his article. For example, while he makes clear that Arsenal will suffer negative consequences if Wenger refuses to spend, on the subject of what those specific negative consequences might be, his article contains nothing more than a series of vague insinuations. However, those insinuations do seem to have something of a common theme, as I will attempt to demonstrate below.

In Howard’s match report, his first reference to the actual match is to say that:

Arsene “has run out of excuses. The latest of a series of injuries, this time to Laurent Koscielny, means Wenger HAS to bring in a centre-half before Sunday’s trip to United.”

So, it would appear that here we have the answer to what Howard is referring to when he tells Arsene to get Arsenal’s “chequebook” out: “Wenger HAS to bring in a centre-half before Sunday’s trip to United.”

However, I find it interesting that the first actual match event that Howard references in his Arsenal-Liverpool match report is the injury to Laurent Koscielny, and that his purpose in doing so is not to describe the events of the match, but rather to use Koscielny’s injury as a basis for demanding that “Wenger HAS to bring in a centre-half before Sunday’s trip to United.”

The reason I find this interesting is because, just in general, it’s been obvious for quite some time now that there is someone out there who has quite a motive for wanting Arsenal to spend money in the transfer market. And with the above reference, Howard links this particular “series of injuries” to that motive. So, before we move on, let’s take a closer look at the “series of injuries” that Howard is referring to, and see if there are any patterns:

Specifically, on the Monday before the Liverpool match, Arsenal lost backup defender Armand Traore to injury during a reserve-team victory over Manchester United. The Tuesday after that, we lost both Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou during our Champion’s League match against Udinese (Dojourou was injured after he was brought on as a substitute for the injured Gibbs). During the Liverpool match, both Laurent Koscielny and backup defender Carl Jenkinson were injured. And finally, to top it all off, the Wednesday after Howard’s article was published, we also lost Thomas Vermaelen in the 2nd leg against Udinese.

So, in just over a week, 6 Arsenal defenders were injured in the 4 matches leading up to our match against ManU at Old Trafford. 2 of these injuries occurred during the Liverpool match. And the question this raises is, while I’m certainly not averse to the concept of bad luck, what kind of “bad luck” would it take for Arsenal’s entire defence, with the exceptions of Miquel and Sagna, to be injured in a single 9-day period?

And my question in response to the above is: For whom would it be good luck? Specifically, who would benefit if Arsenal’s entire back line was injured just in time for Arsenal’s first match of the season against ManU, and before the close of the Summer transfer window? Well… How about anyone who might have an interest in pressuring Arsenal to “splash big cash” in the transfer market before the close of the Summer window?

For now, let’s return to Howard’s statement that:

“The latest of a series of injuries, this time to Laurent Koscielny, means Wenger HAS to bring in a centre-half before Sunday’s trip to United.”

Specifically, let’s take a look at the circumstances of the injury to Koscielny during the Liverpool match. Having reviewed Koscielny’s injury on Arsenal Player, what strikes me most about it is how similar the circumstances are to the circumstances of the allegedly deliberate injury to Sagna that I discussed above.

The following is how Sky Sports reported the injury to Koscielny as occurring:

“Koscielny was taken off after going down with…back spasms… The centre-back was running with the ball innocuously when he suddenly went to ground in clear pain. Liverpool striker Andy Carroll had been penalised for a push to the back of Koscielny minutes earlier but the incident seemed to have no effect on the Frenchman at the time.”

However, based on my own review of the video of Koscielny’s injury, I would have to say that the above report is deliberately misleading. Because while the report claims that Carroll pushed Koscielny “minutes earlier,” the reality is that the push by Carroll occurred at 12:20. and Koscielny showed injury 25 seconds later, at 12:45 (Carroll pushed Koscielny on the upper back at a downward angle that forced him to bend over at the waist).

Also, Koscielny was not “running along innocuously,” but rather went down as soon as he tried to break into a run following the push. Just as in the incident with Sagna, Carroll’s push on Koscielny appeared to be innocuous, and was barely even noticeable in real time. However, as soon as play restarted, Koscielny appeared to collapse for no reason. (I can’t find a video link, but the incident can be reviewed on Arsenal Player).

But why would the above news report choose to mislead us about these facts? It would certainly be possible to report the true facts, and still claim that the injury wasn’t deliberate. In my opinion, the above report almost gives the impression that they have something to hide.

PART 2 of this article follows shortly.

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144 comments to UNTOLD MEDIA: Sagna claims his leg was broken deliberately.

  • Christopher Smith

    I’m very interested in seeing part 2 of this article. Seems a bit X Files to me, and the insinuation would be that there are many players that are part of a conspiracy to hurt Arsenal players in important positions. Perhaps it’s just that a lot of english players have developed a thuggish aproach to the game as they are not able to compete with the more technical abilities of the “foreign” players. Subtle thuggery is still thuggery, and not all dangerous play is caused by Joey Barton-esque in your face brutes.

  • Aussie Jack

    The last time Anne and I exchanged comments she assured me that Barcelona had no intention of signing Fabregas and didn`t even have the money to buy ink for the copier. In a polite(ish) way I was told I didn`t know what I was talking about and that her research proved that my guess work would be wrong. Hmmm!

  • Lanz

    Anne, I saw a name among the Arsenal staff that is a match/game analyst. Would you like to join too? Much as I enjoyed your article, the fact that you are a lady and can analyze incidents this way is much more interesting than the very article! We are waiting for the second part.

  • nicky

    I find it difficult to accept the premise that “Arsenal players are being specifically targeted for injury”. Probably because the idea is so monstrous that, ostrich-like, I don’t want to consider such a thing.
    What I DO think is that Arsenal’s style of play, quick, close-passing attacking, appears only be combatted by physical
    contact.
    As a general rule, footballers cannot combine speed with an iron constitution.
    For instance, Walcott and Gervinho whilst being fast runners are both easily brushed aside by physical contact.
    Clogging sides like Stoke City, QPR and Yes! Man Utd in the days of the Nevilles and Keane invariably used brawn to slow down Arsenal and longterm injuries were the result.
    How else are we to explain the horrific assaults on Eduardo, Ramsey and others.
    Football will always be a quasi-contact sport but much more can be done by referees to protect players from pure thuggery by the likes of Barton, Shawcross et al.

  • Thundertinygooner

    This blog is amazing. It’s part an incoherent series of conspiracy theories and partly a blog blind admiration of Wenger. Seven days after this game we lost 8-2 at Old Trafford ,one of the biggest humiliations in our history. Most of the reporters and virtually all Arsenal supporters could see this coming because Wenger and Gazidis procrastinated during the summer. The late splurge was a trolley dash borne out of bad planning and meanness stroke stubbornness and while it saved our season it shouldn’t have had to happen. To suggest some unnamed ( so far – I can’t wait for the denouement) force is targeting Arsenal player and haha to get us to spend is as daft as anything I’ve ever heard. If anyone had a motive for this it would be thousands of season- ticket holders like me who believe the self- sustainability is a euphemism for ensuring outlays are contained so Mr.Kroenke’s profits aren’t depleted.Please get a life

  • do not feed the season-ticket holding troll

  • nicky

    @Thundertinygooner,
    Kroenke’s “profits” don’t exist. Any returns he may claim will only appear as and when he sells his shares. At that time they MAY be worth less than he paid for them.

  • marcus

    @AussieJack
    If being wrong EVER invalidates a person’s arguments, we must all be silent

    @Anne
    I think you need to tread carefully, but it’s a very interesting line of enquiry.

    I think unless you have a really clear picture of the financial superstructures at the top of football, you won’t get the right answers. If you do, you may well get close to the truth…good luck!

  • Kip

    A bit to conspiracy theory for me. Apart from the Andy Carroll bit. For me it would seem that if you are an England player you are innocent no matter what. Carroll could have cut his head off and it would have been said that it was reckless for Koscielny not to have secured his head properly, no blame can go to Carroll for that.

  • Mahdain

    great interesting article Anne..i have had the same feeling that our players are targeted for a while now…Sagna in particular..i remember the season before the just finished one he was also stamped on in matches vs city(by zabaleta) and vs birmingham TWICE and in both those matches the refs did nothing..the same happened to RVP in the fulham away match this season where he was shoved,pushed and hacked but Lee Probert just let them get away with it..he just didnt blow for a foul on RVP..i wonder why?

  • Gunner

    Nice piece.

    Would be good to have an article on the trouble that Liverpool are having finding a manager and how this would parellel with what it would be like now at Arsenal if the anti Wenger brigade got their wish and we needed a new boss…..

  • W Parker

    Arsene Wenger always seems to have a problem with “British” managers!Pulis,Hughes,Pardew, Alladyce ,Mcleish to name a few!
    Also our players always seem to get serious injuries by British players!
    Diaby broken leg by Dan Smith!
    Eduardo broken leg by Martin Taylor!
    Ramsey Broken leg by Ryan Shawcross!
    Does anyone remember the 50th game at old Trafford and the assault Reyes got!!!
    A certain talk radio station in my opinion were promoting violence against Arsenal.
    The phrases they used suggested that you can’t out play Arsenal so you have to “get in their face”….”don’t allow them time on the ball”…..”get physical,because they don’t like it UP UM”
    I actually called the radio station and asked the presenter who is an ex player, “how do you beat Man united or Chelsea’s”?
    After a pause his reply was ” I don’t know”!
    I then suggested how’s about getting in their faces and not allowing them time on the ball and being physical.
    I then explained that I was a regular listener to the station and that every presenter suggest that the only way to beat Arsenal is by getting stuck into them! I also explained that I had never heard anyone from the station suggest getting stuck into Man u or Chelsea.
    His justification was Arsene is always moaning and hence the reason for getting stuck in.
    The media,Official and certain British managers don’t like Anything Arsenal it’s obvious!

  • Bobby Pliers

    I think we also have to accept that there is a lot of jealousy out there towards Arsenal. The club under Arsene Wenger has done what no other club since Preston NE in the 19th century did and that was to go unbeaten for a whole season. When you actually think about this feat it is incredible in the modern game. We will never be forgiven for that. Also there is the jingoistic angle that we are a team of foreigners who play pretty football and can be intimidated simply because we don’t have this mystical British spine that seems to be the answer to everything. I would hate to think that we are targeted for injury but we already can see that we are treated differently by the media. For example Talksport have a daily segment called “The Daily Arsenal” where Adrian Durham slags off Arsenal for a few minutes. Strangely they dont have this type of segment for any other team!!

  • Rich

    Do you realise that whoever this ‘mysterious force’ is that is behind the attacks on our players, its probably listening to you right now and if they can buy off that many Premiership players, you can only assume your days are numbered!

    Seriously though, this is absolute nonsense. If you want to talk about teams being physical with us, fine. No different to how teams are told to approach Barca and Madrid in Spain but at least its based on fact.

    Instead you bring up unrelated incidents and confuse it with a media ploy to make Arsenal spend money.

    Why? What force could there be that wants Arsenal to not only suffer with injuries but also to spend money? The two are opposing aims.

    Our style of football will always be approached with a more physical one because its the obvious way to counter – see Chelsea’s CL win for proof. We may not agree with it now, but back in the late 80’s and early 90’s its exactly what brought us success.

    Until we find a way to overcome it we will never advance beyond the 3/4th place we have found ourselves in the past few years and that is not going to happen by pointing to a bizarre conspiracy theory.

  • bob

    WParker, Anne, all,
    Whilst waiting for Anne’s part two, I’m focused on your analyses: WParker, of the English managers that you list, how many were/are Fergie-ManUre related, either directly or indirectly? And which were the managers of Shawcross, Martin and Smith? Lastly, which referees were in charge at each crime scene? If we can find this out, there may well be a powerful case study for what are the vehicles which apply the warnings that Anne has possibly detected in the media.

  • bob

    Bobby Pliers,
    I really like your info. I don’t know enough to know who Adrian Durham has been in the football world to guesstimate why he’d grind that axe (in whose interests), or to have the “legitimacy” with listeners to do so (apart from a paycheck). Would you sketch out some of that background?

    All,
    Bobby Pliers’ comment begs an important question: How is it that Talkshite has this one show to barbarize one team out of the entire league?

  • @ANNE as always you rock me,i mean if really there is nothing hidden or motive as some twats and morons say WHY THEN,WHY FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T WE GET REPLAYS FOR SUCH INCIDENCES??? We can get replays of throw ins would be corners but you wont get Arteta’s replay or Sagna’s give us a brake. Just waiting to see part 2 ,keep it up Anne

  • bob

    Rich,
    As for your lame “parallel,” do you seriously argue that Farca and Surreal Madread have the same level of “protection” by referees such as Arsenal enjoy? As you well know, they are protected, and we are not. If you don’t know it and call that conspiracy, then you’re eyes wide shut.

  • bob

    Anne,
    Your slating the lack of replays/analysis of our injuries is spot on. It’s been mentioned here and there, but to make it prominent is a service.

    It also raises for me the need for fellow advocates of video replay to be vigilant on who it is in whatever review booth that gets to control the IMAGES that the referees would look at when determining whether a manager’s challenge (or whatever the source of the challenge) to a call or non-call is legitimate/correct or not.

  • Mahdain

    @bob i can help with the eduardo and ramsey leg breaks..for eduardo the coach was none other than Alex Mcleish and the ref? Well none other than a certain Mike Dean and as for Ramsey the manager was Tony Pubis and the ref? Peter Walton…

  • bob

    Mahdain, W Parker, all,
    Ok, great, Mahdain. This builds toward a possible working model. Anything on whether any of these or other Fergie-linked minions were “on the premises” during the several assaults on Diaby? (step by step)

  • bob

    Mahdain, W Parker, all,
    And who were the managers on the various, indeed multiple stompings on Sagna (at Birmingham, etc. etc.) – who I think deserves special appreciation hereabouts for what he’s endured.

  • Bobby Pliers

    Bob here you go fill your boots so to speak

    http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/drivetime/120515/daily-arsenal-durham-questions-invincibles-172150

    and this is just a taste of the bile he spouts every day. God only knows why I bother to listen in the first place, perhaps some perverse masochistic tendencies?

  • Bobby Pliers

    Further

    http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/presenter/adrian-durham

    The bit about the soft spot – got to be tongue in cheek surely!!!

  • Stuart

    Anne,

    I still completely discagree that the Sagna leg break does not look deliberate. OK, I agree it may not have been intended to break the leg but the stamp was definitely deliberate. You can see this in slow mo from how the other player adjusts the pattern of his stride to ensure contact is made. IMO it is further enhanced as deliberate with there being no reflex action to turn and check if Sagna is OK. Sign of a guitly man!

  • bob

    Stuart,
    I was shocked out of my boots at how many stompings Sagna endured two seasons ago that went uncarded. There are sharks in the water when it comes to his injuries, and I’m eager to see Anne’s part 2 and what others may come up with by way of connecting the dots. Can it be pure coincidence that so much has happened to him over two seasons, AND that he’s endured two leg breaks in such a short interval, AND that at the time of the last one he was being increasingly spoken about in sections of the press as the best fullback in the EPL. Coincidence is possible; but is it likely?

  • bob

    Bobby Pliers,
    Cheers! That man is off the charts – a self-parody out of central casting for Arsenal-Basher of the Decade. Got me wondering which sponsors run their ads around his segments?

  • ak47

    keep up the good work anne. instantly my mind goes back to the rio kung fu fly kick on sagna which resulted in a ripped shirt and not much else.
    even though i loath cesc now, i will be forever close to tears when reminiscing about that interview after rambo got assulted.
    what implications does it have on performance, let alone transfers?
    only the apathetic cant see it, and unfortunately their the majority.

  • WalterBroeckx

    We should give that Durham person an oik…

  • Mick

    I have on the odd occasion contacted the customer service person at Talksport to complain about A Durham but they stick up for him saying that Arsenal and Wenger gets as much good publicity from him as bad. This of course is utter nonsense, Durham is an arrogant, spiteful know it all who for some reason has his knife into Wenger and our club. I now intend to contact the top dogs at Talksport to see if an explanation for Durham’s persistent character assassination of Arsene Wenger and his insulting comments about the Gunners is forthcoming, details below if anyone else feels the same as me.

    Adam Bullock, Managing Director, talkSPORT and Sport Sales, adam.bullock@talksport.co.uk

    Kurt Edwards, Sales Director, kurt.edwards@talksport.co.uk

    Laura Wootton, Head of Communications, laura.wootton@utvmedia.co.uk

  • bob

    Mick,
    Cheers for the links!
    Do you know whether utv media the parent company/owner of Talksport? Do you know if they are part of a larger conglomerate?

  • Cent

    Guys it is obvious there is a media bias against The Arsenal,both in the print media,television and radio stations in England,there are so many reasons for that but i think the topmost will be how many times Arsene makes this people in the media eat their words,think of how many players he signed and they (the media) wrote them off only for said players to go on and have an amazing career,watch his pressers and see how he makes them look like fools when they ask their stupid questions that suggest they know his team better than him,so many of this media guys will us to fail so they can say “i told you so, Arsene knows nothing” it’s sad that a part of our fanbase has falling for the medias’ wind-up.
    As for Anne suggesting the motive is to make us spend,it may not be just for the purpose of getting money off us,but one thing that is certain is that the media have this theory that a team cant win without spending,imagine the humble pie they will have to eat if Arsenal wins trophies without really “spending big”, if you can imagine that then you will get an idea why they are all screaming for us to spend.

  • Jacobite gGunner

    Hi Anne,

    your work is very detailed and enjoyable to read and although i agree with the ref and media bias against arsenal i think it becomes easy to beleive there are more things going on than there actually are and I would refer to the sagna tackle for this

  • Phoenix Gunner

    ‘And when Theo Walcott was injured stepping out from his vehicle, WAS IT MERELY A COINCIDENCE THAT NO CAMERA WAS AROUND TO RECORD IT?!?!111?!!’

    Suggesting the players can somehow locate camera blind spots and concurrently place well-timed and ninja-accurate injuries on our players, because some un-named force with unknown motives wants Arsenal to splash the cash?

    Err… I don’t think this flash dash of silly conspiracy theories helps the blog’s reputation, particularly when running alongside the excellent ref review articles which hinge on objectivity

  • Mick

    Bob
    Talksport appears to be owned by a company called UTV media.See…..
    http://www.utvmedia.com/
    Having a look around their site there does not appear to be a parent company. They are listed on the Stock exchange as UTV Media plc.

  • bob

    cheers Mick!

  • Damien Luu

    Thanks Anne. This is really interesting. Maybe MAFIA is closer to us than we always think. What if someone wants the Club to have to spend big money, so we have to drop our self-sustaining model and find a sugar daddy, then he will step up and provide his need-to-laundry money? Boy oh boy! Maybe he is “in” the club already!

  • El Gringo

    @Phoenix Gunner

    Or, perhaps, players kick, elbow, stamp, etc. on Arsenal players in plain view of the cameras, but the media companies don’t bother publishing the images. I’ve read Anne’s stuff enough to know she’s pretty darn logical. Give us a real argument against what the piece actually says, not a silly straw man! Then we can have a genuine rational debate.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    @ El Gringo

    I don’t dispute that the media love to hate Arsenal.

    But what’s interesting to me is that even though on one hand we’re acknowledging that some of the injuries were a little weird – an impact occurred, a player stood back up, the game carried on for a few moments (and presumably, the cameras went elsewhere) – when the player subsequently falls and it’s not immediately clear to anyone what just happened, we are upset that they just revert to the limp stage, and there is immediately a conspiracy in the works.

    Sure, at half-time they could probably reveal a Carroll push that led to an awkward fall, but they’re not realistically going to spend their 8 minutes doing everything possible to sympathise with Arsenal fans. In fact, quite the opposite, as we often see – depends on the bias of the pundits. But anti-arsenal media is a far cry from some massive orchestration along the lines of (and this is a real quote) “it only makes sense that persons who might be interested in breaking the legs of Arsenal players would attempt to find ways to do so surreptitiously. In my opinion, with sufficient pre-planning, it would certainly be possible to deliberately injure Arsenal players in this manner on a consistent basis, without the public even realizing that it was occurring”.

    With “sufficient pre-planning”? As if one can plan to the nth degree the probability of Sagna’s leg being exposed at this time and this distance from player X in such a way that he can accurately re-break it? And yet you request ‘genuine rational debate’ with me?!

    I just completely object to the very vague notion (vague because it’s unfounded and without any material backing evidence) of some hidden and evil force arranging for our players to be injured, just so that we spend money on new ones.

    I don’t think I have at all taken Anne’s points out of context, so your accusation of straw man is wide of the mark for me.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    “Which I seem to recall that most of us interpreted at the time as sending a message to Arsenal players that they were completely unprotected from injury on the pitch.

    But what would be the point of sending such a message, if there was no accompanying threat to back it up?”

    “in general, it’s been obvious for quite some time now that there is someone out there who has quite a motive for wanting Arsenal to spend money in the transfer market.”

    Pure postulation without basis.

    In all likelihood, Arsenal are unpopular with most refs, are unpopular with the FA (because Wenger speaks his mind, and rightfully so), are unpopular with the media – but to triangulate the three over a few random series of injuries, a bit of shoddy camerawork and coverage, and a few bits of sensationalist Sun journalism… is really just… well… I’m sorry to see this is on Untold, which I generally hold in very high regard. There is a perfectly good reason we can only accuse something suspicious as being “interesting”, when we really have nothing more to go on… creating that something just makes us all look silly.

  • Matt Clarke

    Something is rotten in the state of Denm…
    wait, no…England

    Good work Anne.

    Re Talksport directors: http://markets.ft.com/Research/Markets/Tearsheets/Directors-and-dealings?s=UTV:LSE

    I compare Talksport with the BBC and my complaint about 6 years ago regarding Mark Bright inciting to violence against Arsenal. His comments were very similar to those W Parker describes above.

    The BBC dismissed my complaint. Pfft.

    Hopefully someone involved will grow a conscience one day soon.

  • bob

    Phoenix Gunner,
    I find your statement interesting: “Sure, at half-time they could probably reveal a Carroll push that led to an awkward fall, but they’re not realistically going to spend their 8 minutes doing everything possible to sympathise with Arsenal fans. In fact, quite the opposite, as we often see – depends on the bias of the pundits.”

    Your snarky 8 minutes argument is a red herring. You’ve assumed the pundits are completely in charge of the talk. To this I’d propose two counter-points for you to consider: (1) That we actually don’t know exactly who (such as a producer, or that PGMOL henchman that attends the TV meetings, whom Anne wrote about a few months ago) provides whatever footage and/or frames that become [or that do NOT become] the talking points of the half-time and post-match studio talk.

    And (2) what sort of pundits have you come across this season that have shown a pro-Arsenal bias? I submit that the pundits are pre-selected because they have some degree of perceived credibility and that their opinions will not stray from the Anti-Arsenal script toward something praiseworthy.

    I’m invested in the facts and wherever they take us; so go on, then, it’s your turn.

  • Matt Clarke

    this link says that largest shareholeder in UTV is TVC Holdings:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/may/17/talksport-owner-utv-media-shareholder-revolt
    and this is a list of their largest shareholders:
    http://www.tvc.com/investors/investors/significant-shareholders

  • Anne

    @Aussie Jack:

    Haha… You’re right, I was sure as hell wrong about that one. Still trying to live it down. I think I’ve kept up a pretty solid track record since then, though. Except for that time when I said Arsene Wenger had been misquoted and then found a video of the quote. I published a retraction and apology on that one.

    But now that we’ve covered all that, did you have anything to say about this article?

  • Anne

    @Christopher Smith:

    It’s very “X-files,” except that it doesn’t involve aliens or anything supernatural. Come to think of it, that would mean that it’s not very “X-files” at all. I would say, as the series continues, think more “Sopranos.”

  • Anne

    @marcus:

    Forget the “financial superstructures at the top of football.” I’m starting to wonder if the real problem is that someone feels we owe them money. I mean, think about it. It’s all about “spend in the transfer market,” “Spend, Arsene, spend!”

    The media campaign associated with getting Arsenal to spend money in the transfer market is approaching the levels normally associated with major government cover-ups. This wouldn’t be happening if no one was interested in getting the money, would it?

    I mean, it’s not like anyone would tell you that “ever since childhood, I’ve just had this burning desire to see Arsenal sign a couple of reliable defenders and Phil Jagielka.” There must be a reason they’re doing it. And considering how strongly someone apparently feels about this, I’m starting to wonder if somebody feels like we ripped them off somehow.

    I don’t know. Just random thoughts. If that’s the case, I would happily offer up everything in my checking account if they would just leave Arsenal alone. But I doubt that would be enough.

    As for the conclusions in this particular article, I’m just repeating what Steven Howard already published in the Sun.

  • Anne

    @mahdain:

    I agree. There are just so many injuries that we need to start asking questions about why it’s happening. I know that this article is a bit “conspiracy theory,” and I knew that I would be opening myself up to a certain amount of ridicule by publishing it. But the questions need to be asked. Particularly if Sagna is willing to say something like this publicly.

  • Anne

    @Bobby Pliars:

    I’ve never heard Adrian Durham’s “Daily Arsenal” segment (thank God), but I would be willing to bet that, in conjunction with all his complaints about Arsenal, the “solution” always leads back to Arsenal needing to spend money in the transfer market.

    Am I right about that?

  • Anne

    @Rich:

    “Why? What force could there be that wants Arsenal to not only suffer with injuries but also to spend money? The two are opposing aims.”

    No, they’re not opposing aims. In fact, they’re completely complimentary aims. If you want Arsenal to buy new players, what better way to pressure them to do it than to take out the existing players?

    I’m not saying that that’s definitely what’s occurring, but it does make sense as a motive.

    Isn’t it kind of a “tried and true” criminal tactic to extort money from people by injuring them? It actually reminds me of debt collection tactics. So, make of it what you will. You’ll never find the answers if you’re not willing to ask the questions, even if you turn out to be wrong.

    And by the way, thanks for that opening reference about my “days being numbered.” Quite a cheerful way to begin your comment.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    bob,

    I hardly think my 8 minutes comment is “snarky”. Neither rude nor sarcastic. Unlike calling what I said snarky.

    Agree we don’t know who controls the talk etc, and I (probably mis-)used the term ‘pundits’ generally (meaning the whole sky team), but I think you missed the several occasions where I freely acknowledged an anti-arsenal agenda in the media, and my specific bias comment was in reference to anti-arsenal bias – I have pretty much never seen pro-arsenal bias and did not mean to convey otherwise.

    As I said (a couple of times), I would draw a pretty big line between recognising obvious media bias (much as I detest it) and a wide scale conspiracy.

    Those truly invested in the facts would recognise that we have no real facts, just very, very questionable assumptions tied together by logical jumps.

    I find Anne’s work interesting to (briefly) consider, but posed far too strongly considering the lack of evidence actually tying these things together. If someone mentioned it in a pub, I’m sure I would enjoy debating it. The problem is when reputable blogs publish the material when it is written with a lot of… self-conviction.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Anne, Anne, i’ve solved it!

    Sir rednose is running a protection racket in the EPL to cover his horse-racing losses (e.g. Rock of Gibralta) and those who do not pay up have their players legs broken and with arsenal standing up to his demands they are on the receiving end of his british brutality.

    Extortion in the premiership, read all about it!

  • Phoenix Gunner

    I actually think it undermines the credence of the ref reviews. If someone new saw the ref reviews, it’s hard enough to persuade them that the ref reviewers are trying their best to be objective (which in my opinion, they certainly are). Many fans (Arsenal and non-Arsenal) already see that project as a persecution complex. To maintain the credence, I would think it best not to go about publishing conspiracy theories on the same site.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    And I think Rich is saying (quite rightly in my opinion) that the goals of (a) “injure Arsenal players” and (b) “make Arsenal buy players” are opposites at the absolute – yes, if you wanted (b), you might effect (a), but it doesn’t make sense for someone to do both, because if they want well for Arsenal then presumably they would not break Sagna’s leg, and if they want ill for Arsenal, why should they want Wenger to go out and make some great acquisitions? Doesn’t add up.

  • Anne

    @kampala gun and bob:

    Glad you enjoyed the article, Kampala. In response to both of you, this lack of replays issue has been bothering me for so long. I mean, seriously, WHY?

    If an Arsenal player is injured, why would the announcer not even attempt to explain what happened?

    Like, would it be so hard to say “Arteta appears to have turned his ankle at such and such moment?” Or something like that? Why do they just say NOTHING? Unfortunately, of the possible explanations for that that come into my mind, I can’t think of any innocent ones.

    I first noticed this in our 4-4 “draw” against Newcastle last year, with the injury to Djourou at the beginning of the second half. And considering that we know what was going on in that match (Djourou’s injury shortly preceded Barton’s aggravated assault on Diaby, for example), I was so suspicious when they just said that Djourou was injured and no attempt was made to explain how it happened. I’ve been keeping an eye on the issue ever since.

    And it just makes you wonder… of all of the infamous Arsenal “collapses” that the media likes to parade everywhere, how many have been preceded by a “mysterious” injury?

    Well, just based on what’s been mentioned here, we have the injury to Djourou that preceded the assault on Diaby and our “collapse” against Newcastle (although that one, of course, would not have been a “collapse” without the extracurricular efforts of Phil Dowd).

    Then there’s the injury to Arteta, which was followed by our “collapse” against Wigan. I mean, seriously, how often do you see Arsenal concede two goals within minutes? Then, later in this article, we’ll get to the “mysterious” injury of Carl Jenkinson…. Again, no replays, no attempt to explain.

    Is it really so crazy to be asking these questions?

  • Phoenix Gunner

    Finally, Sagna saying he thinks it was intentional just means he feels a player purposely stamped him. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last. Hardly means that player was instructed to stamp him, or that the person doing the instruction has the secret goal of getting Arsenal to buy a new RB (why?!), or that the person doing the instruction is paying the media to hide the event from the cameras and then not discuss it. Am I mad for thinking that the number of jumps there are obvious for all to see?!!

  • Anne

    @Bob and ak47:

    Thanks for the support.

  • Anne

    @Damien Luu:

    Nothing to add 🙂

  • Phoenix Gunner

    Anne; almost no question is crazy to ask.

    I would just plead that in the interest of UA’s reputation, you are slightly more delicate in how you present your theories. The ref reviewers have done buckets of good work and if this site becomes a conspiracy theory spinner, it will all be for nothing.

    Walter is often presenting gentle conspiracy theories but he does so very carefully – milder language, less conclusive comments. It does make a difference to the article.

  • Anne

    @El Gringo:

    Thank you very much for that response to Phoenix G. You are now one of my favorite commenters. 🙂

  • Thundertinygooner

    I didn’t know so many Arsenal supporters were complete nutters. Yes Adrian Durham is a slimy,gruesome shock jock but on TalkSport you also regularly have Ray Parlour and Frank McLintock and George Graham are regularly interviewed. The tactics at Talk Sport are to stir up people with outrageous comments to generate telephone calls which are cheap radio.
    I am deeply concerned that such a preposterous article with no obvious discursive thread has actually elicited support from a few people who obviously think this sort of rambling hogwash constitutes a premise for rational discussion.
    There might be an interesting article to be written about media bias against Arsenal but ‘part one’sure isn’t it!

  • Phoenix Gunner

    Anne, I see you are unable to answer to any challenge, which is very sad. I had teachers with that trait. Inevitably it was hard to learn much from them.

  • Anne

    @Phoenix Gunner:

    All I’m doing is presenting a theory. And what I’m starting with is the fact that Barcary Sagna, not me, said that he had been injured deliberately.

    Bacary Sagna, an actual Arsenal player who actually had his leg broken, and then said that the injury occurred deliberately. I mean, he would be in a better position to know than either of us, wouldn’t he?

    Specifically, what Sagna said, as I interpreted it, was that the stamp was deliberately placed right where the plate was, so that the plate would pressure the bone and cause the break.

    So, the particulars of the “conspiracy theory” that you’re deriding were actually advanced by Sagna, based on my interpretation of his words, which was why I started the article with that premise.

    Specifically, I started with the hypothesis that Arsenal players are being deliberately injured, and I’m attempting to look at the surrounding evidence in order to present a QUESTION. Not a conclusion.

    If you want to make fun of me for asking a stupid question, fine. But I think it’s worth noting that your responses haven’t really strayed much beyond that.

  • Anne

    @Phoenix:

    No, I was actually typing my response to you as you were ridiculing me for not responding. Although, as I said, you haven’t given me much to respond to. All you’ve said, basically, is that my argument is a stupid conspiracy theory, and that I’m hurting Untold’s reputation by publishing it.

    Obviously, Tony doesn’t agree, since he made the decision to publish it. I don’t agree either, and now I’ve told you so. What other sort of response are you looking for to that “challenge”?

  • Phoenix Gunner

    I made fun of you what you’re saying with my Theo statement. Everything else I have said beyond that has been perfectly serious and it is telling that you cannot answer to any of it. Only bob/gringo have actually countered anything.

    Precisely what bugs me most is that, to me, you are dragging Sagna into your theory, almost hiding behind his words. What he said does not lead to the jumps you have made. What he said is very simply that the stamp was deliberate. I don’t have an opinion on that, but I don’t need one. He could well be right. That just means a player took advantage of him. He has not said anything more, and you shouldn’t suggest that he has.

  • El Gringo

    @Phoenix Gunner,

    It’s been pretty clearly proved in other leagues (the NFL) that there has been specific pre-planning to injure opponents. They call it the bounty system: the New Orleans Saints are in lots of hot water for paying their players to hurt the opposition.

    Now I’m still waiting for Anne’s Part II, because, like you, I’m not wholly convinced yet. But what she’s saying is still just plausible. Consider:

    1. Professional athletes can be very aggressive, and plenty of them are scumbags that would injure opponents without being told or paid; they just need some slack refereeing.
    2. There is, as you very rightly admit, plenty of media bias against Arsenal. If they don’t make stir, people rarely notice things.
    3. It’s common knowledge that the FA applies double standards for retrospective bans: Song is punished for a stomp, Yaya gets away with one. If I were that sort of a player in the EPL, I’d slyly kick an Arsenal player much quicker than, say, a Man U player.
    4. At best, the referees are massively incompetent. More likely, they’re consistently bent against Arsenal. Again, that implicitly encourages dirty players to kick away.

    Put all those together, and there’s a serious problem. For example, everyone knew that Sagna had come back from a leg break. Since no one gets carded for doing what the heck they like to Sagna, a scumbag player could have easily stepped on him purposefully, even aiming for the recently-broken leg, relatively sure that an off-the-ball incident wouldn’t get him in trouble. (BTW, I can’t judge Johnson’s intentions since I don’t know him; I’m only working on appearances).

    All that to say, that even if there isn’t a plan similar to that enacted by the New Orleans Saints, there is at least a systemic failure of the FA, PGMOL, the media, and the EPL players to treat Arsenal players with the respect they are due as human beings and professionals. There are enough individuals and organizations that are failing their duty of care that, even if there are no direct orders to injure, injury to Arsenal players too likely, and the entirety of the system is complicit.

  • El Gringo

    @Anne,

    Please convince me! It won’t take too much effort, I promise.

    BTW, what is the sound-deadened room by the media theatre? I was confused by that.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    Fair enough, can’t account for typing lapses – hard to know you were leaving me till last. Accusation withdrawn, and I apologise.

    I suppose I can’t expect you to argue with every point I threw up (it would take a long time and probably lead nowhere), though pretending there’s nothing there is a bit rich – anyway, you are right that at the core, so long as Tony published the work, then my opinion does not matter on whether it’s reputationally damaging for the site. It’s his choice. I’ll leave it at that then!

  • Phoenix Gunner

    El Gringo, I agree with everything you say.

    I certainly think there is a lot of Arsenal hatred built into the system (the FA, refs, media, pundits etc).

    I also think Johnson may well stamp Sagna. And he’d probably do it again.

    And if that was where the article went up too… fine…

  • Anne

    @Jacobite Gunner:

    Thanks for the theory, but I would say that that one is a bit far out and unsupported by any evidence. If we assume, for the moment, that my extortion idea is even anywhere close to being correct, we would be looking at something that is specifically targeted at Arsenal.

    So, for a culprit, I would be looking for someone who had invested money in Arsenal in the past. Or perhaps in Arsenal’s infrastructure.

    Of course, we’re still very far from actually saying that that is occurring. Or anything like that. Just throwing it out there as a possibility.

    As I said before, you’ll never find answers if you’re afraid to ask questions. And I, personally, will not be intimidated away from certain questions just because people call me a “conspiracy theorist.”

    In fact, if no one even tried that tack, I would probably just assume that my theory was completely wrong.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    But NFL is a very, very different sport. Monsters against a normally built QB (easy for them to go for that dodgy knee, and they will try every time – it’s not even a foul!)

    If a coach tells his team, “If you get a shot at stamping Sagna’s right shin, take it,” I wouldn’t be surprised – he’s a scumbag coach but I’m sure it happens. But I would hold that that is almost certainly a separate event to coverage. Otherwise you’re basically saying it’s every part of the entire footballing universe against Arsenal. And nobody has answered the key question – why?

  • PeteGooner

    I was at the Wigan game and I’m 99% certain Arteta injured himself over stretching for a cross on his left foot (weaker foot) and turned his right ankle, he did so at pace too as he smashed into the boards. There wasn’t a Wigan player near him.

    So you can scrub that injury off your theory.

    As for the collapse, that’s because sadly Arteta is the only midfielder we have (bar Wilshere who was crocked) with very good positional sense. Arteta was our midfield glue this season.

    Anne,
    I like you articles but in this case I can’t go along with this.
    In my opinion our players get injured so much because other teams get the hump with chasing the ball all the time – due to our short passing / possession approach and then lose thier heads and maim a player, nothing more than English thuggery. The media bias is another issue, but I highly doubt our players getting injured are connected.

  • bob

    Phoenix Gunner,
    Advocating that UA isolate the ref reviews (which you consider respectable to the outside world) from the conspiracy hypothesizing (which you consider disreputable to the outside world) is saying get rid of the rotten apples to save the barrel. UA is about free inquiry. Your tacit assumption of coincidence and fine distinction between chronic bias and conspiracy are now plain to see. We can explore and debate these here, as you are doing to an extent. But your advocacy of purging the conspiracy theory mongering as if there’s no evidence being aired here is dangerous to open inquiry. Everything ought to be put to the test of available evidence and is further pursuit.

    You, with your respectable coincidence assumption and logical separation of chronic bias (chronic because the patterns have been established via the ref reviews) from attempts to theorize why the bias is so persistent and chronic would banish such inquiry – like Anne’s – to the trash/looney bin.

    The discussion of evidence – partial, I suspect, hypothesized, tendential, shards, what do you make of, does anyone think that, etc. etc. – wherever it leads is at the heart of free inquiry. And, like it or not, this is what UA has been about, and why we’ve risen in the web visitation rankings, despite your complaint.

    I urge Tony to recognize and reject your attempt to split UA into the parts you don’t like into one website; and the parts you do like (or tolerate) into another website.

    As long as we ask for evidence of each other and will tolerate raising questions – as Anne has done in her Part one -, then we have a free inquiry zone. What you seem to propose – in the name of being respectable – is to drive a wedge into that zone; and I think you’d do well to carefully consider the full range of consequences of what you’ve advocated so far today.

  • Anne

    @El Gringo:

    I can’t convince you because I’m not convinced that I’m right 🙂 The reason I wrote this article is not because I’m convinced that this is something that is actually occurring. Rather, as next season unfolds, I want fans to be looking more vigilantly at these injuries.

    For example, with all of these “off camera” injuries, the fans who actually attended the games would actually see what happens. I think this is something that we need to be looking at and considering.

    My specific basis for writing this article, as you’ll see as the series continues, is that Howard made some really vague and bizarre statements in his article that, to me, sounded like he was saying that Arsenal players are being deliberately injured.

    And in fact, just in my own mind, I feel pretty damn sure that that’s was what he was saying. But it’s too vague for me to say it for certain in a way that will convince anyone. You might interpret it completely differently, and that’s your right.

    If you want to look at the article, go to my “sun goes bananas” link at the beginning. It’s the second article, the part about how “Arsenal players are ALWAYS injured” in particular. I’ll cover it in the next part of this article as well.

    But at this point, all I’m really trying to do is present a theory and raise some questions. My hope is that the debate this generates in the comments will actually give me some ideas. And above all else maybe inspire some “constant vigilance” in Arsenal fans.

    As for the opening quote, it doesn’t really mean anything of substance. Just in writing the article, and looking at how insane the media coverage was during this time period, that just seemed to encapsulate it all in kind of a metaphorical and ironic way.

  • Anne

    @Phoenix Gunner:

    This combined article is over 4500 words, and that’s where I’m making my argument. If you’re not convinced by my argument, then you’re not convinced. But I don’t see much that I can add here if you find the actual article to be so ridiculous that it is worthy of ridicule. So, no hard feelings, but I just don’t see much to add here. Sorry you didn’t like it 🙂

  • Anne

    @Phoenix Gunner:

    I’ve prevented one theory of a possible answer to the question of “why?” That theory was an attempt to extort money. So, you might not agree with that, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that I haven’t tried to answer the question.

    What about you? Can you think of any theories?

  • Anne

    @bob:

    Well said.

  • Anne

    As a follow up to this series, I’m planning to make a list of all of the injuries that Arsenal has suffered this season, when they happened, to whom, and what position they play. We’ll be able to look at that to see if there appear to be any patterns or if it all looks to be random.

    Our entire defense being injured in that one extremely short time period seemed to me to suggest a pattern, but it’s not fully fleshed out unless we look at the entire season.

    But one thing I have noticed in the preliminary research is that there seems to be a real upsurge in “injury crisis” talk around the transfer windows. This suggests to me that, whether or not this has anything to do with the actual injuries themselves, these injuries are, in fact, used to pressure Arsenal into spending.

    And I just find it interesting. I mean, you should always ask “who benefits,” right? Even if it does sound far-fetched. Maybe by analyzing it, we’ll discover something that makes it appear logical.

  • bob

    Phoenix Gunner,
    Why, you ask. There have been entries on UA for at least two years as to why there’s a form of complicity to take down AFC/AW, as in the August-September-October 2011 all-out blitzkrieg. Perhaps Tony/UA would find an occasion to provide links to some of the many long and intensely argued debates from the past. You ought to get off the “nobody will answer why” and consider that for many of us, this field is still being plowed and explored; and for others, at this moment, it is a bit wearying to continue to argue the same old stuff with everyone who next decides to demand why and then throw a tantrum.

    Ok, you surely have a right to ask that; but I equally have a right to ask you to start: make the case first that what is going on vis a vis Arsenal – the perceived conspiracies – can actually be fully explained as a set of coincidences. Start anywhere…

    Go ahead. Start with the serial stompings against Sagna. Look at W Parker’s earlier entry today, and at Mahdain’s, and at Matt Clarke’s, and Mick’s, and our interchanges, and make the case that all that people together are trying to work through is in fact futile and paranoid, because you know – in advance – that it’s just come down to coincidence.

    Go ahead, then. Make your coincidence case(s). The ball’s in your court. Then you’ll get all the “why” answers you can handle.

  • Cent

    Looks like nobody noticed my 1st comment,well i will state my points again,my explanation to anne’s theory is that the media already have their theory about winning trophies which states that “the amount of money a team spends on transfers is directly proportional to the success such a team can achive” so the media seeing the possibility of Arsenal winning things without “spending big” uses every means possible (legal and illegal) to try and make Arsenal spend,they may not be gaining a dime out of the money Arsenal spends on players but their ego stands to be heavily bruised or boosted depending on the action Arsenal decides to take, Example,begining of this season they all predicted doom for us only for us to shock them and finish 3rd, untold ran an article on how Bbc “experts” predicted our season wrongly,imagine how sad they will be reading that article that exposes their lack of knowledge,now imagine we finished in midtable as they predicted,imagine the noise they will make telling the whole world how right they were about Arsenal,imagine how many new followers they would have won.

  • bjtgooner

    Anne, an interesting article and a good starting point to lead into a review of all our injuries this season.

    Certainly it is a strange fact that Sagna has had his leg broken twice this season following last season when he was deliberately stomped on several times. It does look as if he has been deliberately targeted.

    Anne you made a number of interesting points – e.g. was there a deliberate attempt to get AW to spend money on a particular player? I remember Bolton were trying to market Cahill at approx £20m at that time. Or was the effort by Howard part of a wider attempt to get AW to spend money for the sake of spending money – so that the same money would not be available to him at a later date? Or perhaps the aim was more sinister – to move Arsenal rapidly from the self sustaining model?

    The other point is – has there been a deliberate attempt to injure Arsenal players. If so, the origin could may be the match when ManU kicked the Invincibles out of their unbeaten run – thanks to Riley. Since then there seems to be an attitude of “kick Arsenal and see if you can get away with it, if so keep kicking”. The ambivalence of the PGMOL and FA to Arsenal being kicked on the pitch and to Arsenal players suffering career threatening injuries continues to be a sickening background to each season.

  • Mahdain

    what happened to the formatting again? a deliberate change?

  • marcus

    @Anne….maybe

    but let’s use Greece as an analogy.

    Greece is up to its TV aerials in debt because the bankers have forced that situation on the country.

    The battle going on is whether the Greek plebiscite (don’t know why I am using that ridiculous word) accept being debt slaves…..

    This is the way the world rolls these days.
    The banking system seeks to make everyone debt slaves. Particularly countries and larger entities, by which means they hope to consolidate their grip on power.

    Why would football be any different?

    Maybe someone high high up detests AW’s “stubborn” adherence to a policy of NOT getting into debt.

    There is a huge battle going on here Anne,
    and to be perfectly honest, were it not for two leftfield events, Arsenal would be out of the top 4.

    Event 1:
    John Terry threw Spurs and Chelsea into turmoil at a critical juncture

    Event 2:
    Patrice Muamba’s plight threw Spurs into turmoil

    I am almost wondering if God is faintly interested in the football canvas…

  • Aussie Jack

    @ Anne. “do I have anything to say about your article”? Good question.
    I think you`re a talented journalist and surprisingly pretty. Oh! yes, the article, at my age a pretty girl beats a well written script any time. I`m one of those odd people who likes to read the end of the book before I wade through it from the beginning, just to see if it`s worth while.
    Look forward to part two.

  • bjtgooner

    @Aussie Jack

    Why are you surprised Anne is pretty? Is the combination of intelligence, wit, charm, humour, good looks, elegance and grace not normal in Aussie land?

  • marcus

    @phoenixGunner

    Since you are not part of the AAA, then clearly you are not suffering from Gunnerhea.

    But you are really making some wild statements:

    QUOTE
    Otherwise you’re basically saying it’s every part of the entire footballing universe against Arsenal. And nobody has answered the key question – why?
    QUOTE

    This is simply untrue.

    Many many people support Arsenal. Tons of people have them as a “second” club.

    I almost wondered if one or two EPL players supported Arsenal…because of their actions…but let’s leave that aside.

    The problem is

    Amongst the people who wield power, there seem to be very few who are favourably disposed to Arsenal.

    But Anne has raised a very powerful point, the systematic sanitization of foul play (as well as errors) when it comes to Arsenal.

    There are clear patterns involved

    e.g. brand Eduardo a filthy scumbag Latino diving cheat….and then systematically deny Arsenal penalties…

    These are the things we are discussing….

  • Stuart

    Phoenix
    I think you have missed the point of Annes theory re (a) “injure Arsenal players” and (b) “make Arsenal buy players” being linked.

    The sentiment here is that the people who want Arsenal to buy players do not want success for Arsenal, they want the money which is spent on transfers & fees.

  • marcus

    Maybe the real problem is that in the near future

    1) Arsenal’s youth academy could provide half the England first XI

    2) Which would cause a serious problem, because systematically screwing Arsenal, (were that happening), and expecting the Arsenal-England XI to have a success-oriented mindset would become mutually exclusive

    3) Therefore the Arsenal youth system needs to be shot at birth

    4) Doing this can be achieved by

    a) demonstrating the futility of fostering home grown talent and the corresponding necessity of buying in

    b) which itself is achieved by a variety of means

    including

    rigging matches
    &
    nobbling our players

  • Stuart

    El Gringo @ 9:12pm

    Further to the start of your comment, these people are to be found in all competitive industries. Recent high profile events in the UK include a certain Sunday paper, politicians and prior to this there were companies misrepresenting their performance to share holders….(Enron anyone). The competitive nature of all these industries / organisations is a breeding ground for both success and corruption.

    In my industry (recruitment) there are those of us who play the long term, ethical relationship building game and those who play the quick buck, stitch you up and disappear shortly after game. Some of these guys (and girls) will go out of their name to make your name mud and it can only be because it is the only way they know how to “win”.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    Quite a reaction – many points to respond to so forgive me if they come out piecemeal or I miss something.

    Bob, very well said, though I think you are taking what I have said beyond my actual words – you’ll see my comment to Anne saying that I feel any question is fine to ask, but I feel that the manner in which it is asked is cautious, not over-presumptive, not making too many leaps together. For me, Anne’s article makes many leaps indeed. It is almost supplying proof by induction for something which at the core is postulation. I don’t mind a theory – I just mind if it is presented with an authority it has no inherent right to. It should, in my opinion, be appropriately reflective of its guesswork. If UA wishes to be purely exploratory, fair enough – not for me to speak out. If it wishes the work of the ref reviewers to have any potential value in the future (say, when being considered by third parties), it would probably sensible to take caution.

    I appreciate you may all have trod these roads before and are tired of asking/answering “but why?” – the communal mindset seems to have absorbed that there is indeed something very nasty and organised at play, so you are all (in my opinion) quite forgiving in the manner in which information is delivered – where I read something written in such a way that discredits the message, the general community here seems to worry less about the delivery and instead focuses on the theory. Fair enough – I can understand, and may be the same if I had read for years.

    For me, there are many theories for Arsenal’s injuries, but I suspect it’s a mixture of things, and not all coincidences (which are words which have been put into my mouth) – hard physical training to the limit (it’s possible, I would hope, that some injuries are natural), the style of football we play, and yes, of course, brutality at the hands of the opposition. I accept the last in plain sight. The question is how organised that brutality is.

    For this concept to be true, you would be suggesting that some power has bribed or incorporates (in some form or other) key coaches, key referees AND key members of the media to undertake/permit/turn a blind eye to violent acts against Arsenal players. Perhaps that in itself may be true. I find it somewhat unlikely that all parties have for some reason conspired together against us, but recognise it could be true. Certainly, as I have said before, we are unpopular with the FA. We are plainly unpopular with many refs. And I believe we are unpopular with the media. But my primary explanation would be far simpler – people consciously or sub-consciously love the fall of a winner. I think it’s merely non-organised but unfortunately harmonised bullying from these parties, and I certainly don’t see why it needs to be co-ordinated or financially motivated. It may be a simple behavioural trait, shared by anyone who remembers but didn’t support The Invincibles. They don’t like us.

    The theory that the motivation is that new acquisitions must be pursued is very strange to me and I struggle to reconcile with the obvious intelligence of the board. Anne’s thinking (echoed by Stuart) is that this alleged entity wants us to spend big money on transfers. Well, it has been a good long while since Wenger did that. Breaking Sagna’s leg isn’t realistically going to prompt us to pay Man City prices for a replacement. If Wenger was forced to “splash”, my guess is it would be in Wenger’s style, something reasonable for someone with potential. And besides, even if we did spend a lot, drill down a little further – who would benefit? One club? One agent? If half our team were “injured”, surely we would buy players from a range of places – I can’t see how one entity would benefit. Unless this entity was, frankly, massive – and was basically, as I said in an earlier sweeping gesture (considered very wild), everyone but us, for some reason.

    If we assume Wenger himself is not part of this dark cabal, then presumably he will continue to invest reasonably well – cash will flow one way, talent will flow the other – in theory, it’s an even swap. Breaking Sagna’s leg is not the same thing as getting Wenger to hand over a bag of cash to someone for little/nothing in return. It still does not add up.

    I appreciate that in my haste I have used some expressions which have been taken very literally by some people – however, I hardly think my viewpoint is “wild” – quite the opposite. I think my viewpoint is dull and realistic and far less interesting. The senior powers in football just do not like Wenger/Arsenal and many things are permitted to occur against us which should not be.

  • Anne

    @Cent:

    I think your theory about the media is interesting. However, it seems to go against logic, to a certain extent.

    We begin with the premise that a certain group of people (in this instance, particular members of the media), are determined for Arsenal to spend money in a particular manner. It’s all about Arsenal spending money.

    And I’m getting called a “conspiracy theorist” here, but what I’m actually presenting is the most logical motive for the behavior that we’re observing. Which is that, if someone is so determined for Arsenal to spend money, it’s because there’s someone out there who wants the money. Why else would you care?

    It appears to me that you’re attempting to present a theory about why certain people are so determined for Arsenal to spend money, which completely eliminates the possibility that those people are in any way interested in where the money goes, and who gets it.

    To me, the logic of that seems kind of convoluted. Just in general, if someone wants you to spend money, they care about who gets it.

    Can you think of any instance in your own life where someone has demanded that you spend money on something, but without caring about who will be receiving it?

  • Stuart

    Classic example of what has happened to Arsenal. Quite moving actually.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz_R5rUQUzk

  • rantetta

    Anne

    “You can keep your predictions”.

    A few weeks ago you sought comments on the possibility that Man $ity could win the title. I don’t recall many responses to this question/assertion. I (proudly) was first to respond – with the above quote. I was of course attempting humour, based on T Pulis’s “You can keep your opinions”, following the assertion by Mr Wenger that Shawcross’s tackle was “unacceptable”.

    It turns out that Anne was right to ask the question or make the prediction. I don’t think anyone has congratulated Anne so let me be the first (or wherever on the list I come). Anne’s prediction rate is better than those at the BBC, innit?

    (A podcast following Ramsey being Shawcrossed):
    http://clb.mine.nu/pod/18_The_Shawcross_Redemption.mp3

    There are replies here that acknowledge Arsenal’s propensity for being kicked. I call it Kick the shit out of Arsenal (KTSOOA), and I developed the acronym having seen Arsenal players kicked – for a number of years.

    (“Rooney…can be a bit of a rascal when it comes to the tackles”):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM747L9Wf8M

    I find this article very good. I’ve written here before stating my belief that Sagna’s 1st broken leg this season was due to something other than an accidental clash. The ref reviewer disagrees with me. So be it. I appreciated an answer from the reviewer even if it wasn’t what I wanted to read. How strange then – that a few months later, Sagna’s leg’s broken again, and again the ref reviewer reports nowt wrong with the tackle, despite Norwich seemingly having license to KTSOOA, just as Wigan, QPR, Newcastle (h) and Milan had.

    These teams do not kick Man U. No sir. I read somewhere that Stoke committed 5 fouls against Man U. **** me! FIVE? In a whole game? Oh come on, you’re pulling my plonker. What were Swansea up to down at the (taking) Liberty stadium a few months ago? I could go on and on. (You’d like that, wouldn’t you?)

    Have the meedya not urged Arsenal to SSFM? (work it out). Besides the thing of blaming Arsenal fans for shouting it – why such huge coverage and why has the coverage happened as part of a long line of articles that seek to destabilise the club and its manager? What lengths will/have they gone to – to continue the negative image they portray of this wonderful, historic club? (A club that sacked a successful manager because he took a bung – albeit, he paid it back).

    The questions in this article have to be asked as there is such blatancy in KTSOOA and its general lack of punishment and implied encouragement, for the offending players/teams/managers.

    I’m very much looking forward to Part 2, Anne.

    Dogface: ‘Get your finger out’. I’m waiting for comprehensive data/graphs of this season’s shenanigans. OK, even if I can barely understand the graphs, they’re so pretty, and their text is rivetting.

    NB’s: Arshavin’s form dipped once he started to get frequently kicked, without punishment of course.
    Shawcross, having injured Adebayor off the field, was said by the commentator of the time to be; no respect-er of reputations, or summat like that. Slurgy was one of the first on the phone to console his former charge. Either prior to or following that call there was another… from … England! Shawcross joined the England squad.

    I’ve spent so long writing this there have been several great comments. A superb debate.

    Ta for the link, Stuart. My eyes moistened, somewhat.

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    Glad that you’ve enjoyed the series so far. I think that the situation with Cahill is certainly an interesting one, because I found the media coverage to be quite strange at the time. There were all these reports that we were in for him and that offers had even been made, but I always was very suspicious of that coverage for some reason.

    He ended up going to Chelsea (who is known for nothing if not the honorable manner in which they handle their transfer business. I mean, if the transfer involves Chelsea, you can say for sure that all of the money is going to its stated destination, right?).

    But what I’m actually getting at here is that there might be someone who is interested in this money, in a way that goes beyond which player we’re “officially” spending it on. Howard, for example, is saying that “Arsenal HAS to bring in a centre back before Sunday’s trip to United.”

    What’s it to him? Why does he care if Arsenal spends on a centre back? Or could it be that, when he says “centre back,” he actually has something else in mind? Perhaps something that Arsenal is supposed to understand but that we’re not?

    I don’t know… It just makes me wonder.

  • Anne

    @Stuart:

    I haven’t had any specific responses, but I want to say that I’ve really enjoyed your contributions to this thread. Thanks, and please keep it up!

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    Thanks, that was quite the compliment 🙂

    @Aussie Jack:

    Thanks for your compliments as well. They came across as so sincere.

  • Anne

    @Marcus:

    I’ve considered this “debt slave” angle as well. And while I agree that, whatever is going on, it’s certainly more complicated than the basic thug standing on the corner saying “hand over the dough or I’ll break your knee caps,” I’m still seeing the targeting of Arsenal as being too narrow and specific for the broad, systematic explanation that you’re offering here.

    I don’t know. Just what I’m seeing. Of course, other factors come into play as well.

  • Anne

    @Marcus:

    I meant to say “systemic,” not “systematic”

  • bob

    Phoenix Gunner,
    Am I right here, and if not please clarify:

    Your “they dislike us” theory is basically that there’s an unrequited jealousy stemming from the Invincibles that continues to exact its ongoing revenge?

    If so, I ask whether you would argue/maintain that this jealousy persists even though there’s been no Arsenal trophy for the past seven/eight seasons?

  • Anne

    @Lanz:

    “Anne, I saw a name among the Arsenal staff that is a match/game analyst. Would you like to join too?”

    Are you offering me a job with Arsenal? Have to say, I would be tempted, although I would settle for a discount on my Arsenal Player subscription 🙂

  • Anne

    @bob:

    That’s some serious jealousy…

  • bob

    to continue…
    3) and this intense jealousy takes many forms, explaining everything from documented the barbarity on the pitch, referee non-calls, the bias of the punditry, the lens-crafting of the anti-AFC/AW press, and so forth. All down to hating us for the Invincibles season?

    So we/all can discuss further, is this basically what you’re saying?

  • bob

    Anne,
    Is this (my 3 above) not in essence PG’s answer to the question “why” they hate us?

  • Anne

    @bob:

    It would seem so.

  • Anne

    By the way, just looking back over the first thread. To everyone who was working on players and managers who have been linked to serious injuries to Arsenal players, I think this is definitely a wortwhile line of inquiry

  • Anne

    Does anyone remember these comments from Arsene about Stoke?

    “”It happened at the weekend. Do you think Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch? All the players have been injured deliberately.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/3381677/Arsene-Wenger-says-Stoke-City-intentionally-injured-Arsenals-players-Football.html

    In retrospect, I should have worked these comments into the article.

  • meditation

    just a thought. Is there a way to find out which team has made the bookies the most money over the past fifteen years stint? or lost the most money?

  • meditation

    @Anne
    I feel your right in some cases where i feel some players have been targeted. Eduardo being the case.It was strange how it was dealt with. Ramsey seemed more of a case of arsenal dont like it up them and ramseys eagerness. Before his leg break i could see he was gonna get injured. The best players players know how to evade. Street smarts. Ramsey would reach for every loose ball. That can be the loss of a battle. The difference between a scrap and controlling a fight. The difference between a boxer who doesnt mind being hit in the face and wing chun/tai chi. Thierry henry was great at using opponents against themselves.This team shuttle runs where as the unbeaten team played chess. The shuttle run team cause mental an physical imbalance. Because there is no predetermined structure ,mentally and physically they have to overcompensate which leads to injuries also. Also this team is not agile enough to be playing the system they play. You see arsenal players are quick thinkers so a choice becomes an action but physically they are not capable of physically achieving there thought. It becomes scatter gun like. rushed. random like the balls in the lottery machine with many outcomes. Look at the way sagna tried to control the ball. gung ho.street smarts may have made him let it go out for a throw in. Just look at the 10 seconds leading up to sanga going down.If you dont control the game u wont control the football. It doesnt matter what style of football you play there is always the fundamental science of the game.

  • meditation

    @Anne.
    Personally i dont trust djourou. Those injuries were in key games at key moments and he seemed to be faking. Always back sooner than thought.Drop in performances.Pretending like your marshaling somebody but letting them get closer to the danger zone. Fake ass smile and then he gets wheeled out on arsenal. com. Very strange. Is he crap , is he taking orders,or is he conning a living?

  • meditation

    Personally i think arsenal are being targeted and i have been banging on about it for years. Tony will vouch for me(i think). Always follow the money trail. WHO PAYS WHO?and the moment we talk about billions WHO OWNS WHO? PS i hate typing

  • meditation

    At president Sepp Blatter’s personal request, FIFA’s disciplinary chairman reviewed the matter, suggesting that the Football Association increase martin Taylor’s punishment from the standard three-match ban; they refused to do so as there was no suggestion of intent

  • meditation

    gary porter is/was martin taylors agent. sold from blacburn to birmingham. souness was manager. mcleish let him go to watford for free. malkie mackie was watfords manager. Scots love this guy. I wonder if a rednosed one does as well.

  • bob

    Anne,
    That’s a remarkable article, your link to. To quote further from it: ?

    Arsene:

    “All I can say is they [Arsenal’s players] are brave and, for me, you need to have more courage to play football when you know that someone is tackling you from behind without any intention to play the ball.
    “The only intention is to hurt you and I can show some tackles where I can prove what I say. The one who is tackling is not the brave one. For me the brave one is the player who is trying to play football.”

    So they don’t get lost here in the comments, why not consider using these at the top and bottom of your part two? or sprinkled throughout. Kudos, it’s a real find. 🙂

  • Sav from Australi

    @Anne

    Thank you for your hard work. The article was very thought provoking.

    @Stuart

    Thanks for the Eduardo link. Football seems a microcosm for the world at times.

  • meditation

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kia_Joorabchian
    This guy was in the back seat with mark hughes in the qpr chairmans car just before mark was given the job this season. I seen this on sky sports news. Follow the white rabbit ha ha

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice work young lady !Took a long time to read as there were many detours and detractors along the way !
    There is something fishy going on in the EPL ,especially against the Arsenal but we will persevere because we are morally righteous .
    Looking forward to part 2.
    Cheers !

  • Walter

    Stuart
    May 25, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Classic example of what has happened to Arsenal. Quite moving actually.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz_R5rUQUzk

    THANK YOU !!!! How I loved that guy. And how sad it was after his injury. He wasn’t the same player anymore.

    I rarely hate people but that M.T. fellow is one of them…

    thanks for the link to the video as a reminder of what a great player he could have been for us

  • Phoenix Gunner

    7 years is not so long in business. Point is, the same guy is in charge. I’m not saying it’s just jealousy. I think a lot of people can’t stand the idea of Wenger winning again.

    Anne, your tendency to speak to my points indirectly is peculiar and only continues to undermine you in my perception. I’m sorry, I know we both support and want the best for Arsenal so I’ll just leave you be, as you clearly have a supportive community.

    Bob – discussion is one thing – blogging content is another. Talk till the cows come home, of course. My original point stands – when these articles cross a line, I think credibility is undermined. It is up to the side where it wants to land on that scale, but I maintain it’s a shame for other writers on the site.

    I haven’t anything more to add.

  • Mahesh

    It has been too long and too many instances where we had to face this type of violence. I guess its time that Arsenal responded. I have a theory, that the teams that follow the principle of ‘Arsenal do not like it up them’ do not have more than 1 or 2 players who help them stay up in premiership (their goal scorers). So (even though it feels horrible to say this), we should have a couple of enforcers in our squad, who play against such teams. Lets say the team is called S. So, when we play against team S, we play an enforcer. If we face the rugby/foul play, his instructions would be take out the oppositions most valuable player for a month. It may cost us that game or a few more games, but it will tell everyone else out there to not mess with our players again, ever! And yes, it should be done deliberately so that it appears accidental! This would also make the whole team pay for the tactics when their survival becomes unsure. (Even as I write it, I feel terrible to have even suggested it. But, this world is not fair. And if fairplay does not work, we have to do whatever works!) And yes, the enforcers must be English so that no-one can question their character or intention.

  • Anne

    @Meditation:

    I’ve had that “has the transfer market become self aware” article in the back of my mind for ages now. But thank you for linking me to it again.

    And I’m actually thrilled to hear from you more in depth, considering how valuable I’ve found your comments to be in the past. Reading, and I’ll get back to you.

    But I do find that to be kind of dirty where you blame Arsenal players being injured on a lack of “street smarts.” It might be true, but is it right to hold them blameworthy? (No 🙂 )

  • Anne

    @Meditation:

    Thank you as well for that agents link. That’s gold. I’ve actually been looking into Jerome Anderson myself. Cheers.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mahesh,
    I hate what you proposed but I admit in a weak moment I have been thinking the same… 😉

    Problem is that our player will be quartered, hung and drawn when doing this. Not specifically in that order.

    And get a red card so we have to play with 10 men.

  • Anne

    @Meditation:

    I’m also well familiar with Kia. Agents is actually where I was going next with my money laundering series, before I got distracted from it.

    Should I finish the series over the summer, or will Euro 2012 be too exciting and suspenseful for all of us to pay attention to anything else?

  • Galway Gooner

    In football players get injuired and I would say that we as a club pick up more knocks than most. But we are not top of the injury chart, from what I remember from an article LadyArse did we come second over the past 3 seasons to United.

    And that would be reasonable as both teams generally keep the ball a lot and face frustrated opposition players who may go in harder as a result.

    However, its a big step to go from that to thinking that there is some big undercover operation in place to get Arseanl. Even suggesting it makes us seem a bit mad.

    I dont for a moment think that Sagna had his leg broken on purpose. And in all honesty if we look at the challange without our red tinted glasses I think it’s pretty clear it was just a coming together. Nothing more.

  • Anne

    @bob:

    I’m going to be continuing with this subject through the summer, so I’ll try not to let Arsene’s comments get lost. Hard to include it in this particular series, though, since part 2 is already up 🙂

  • Anne

    @Sav and Brickfields:

    Thank you.

  • Anne

    @Mahesh:

    The reason I support Arsenal is because Arsenal fights the dirt with real football. If that changed, perhaps Arsenal would achieve better results. But I would also stop writing articles about them.

    I see this as a last stand for 100 years of football. Time to draw a line in the sand 🙂 If Arsenal goes over, I’ll start supporting my local team in the park. But it would be a shame to lose all the history and tradition.

  • bob

    Galway Gooner,
    You can single out this one instance and decide to reject what Sagna himself says in the context of the entire game; but that leaves you with another (coincidental?) leg break, chronic uncarded multiple same-game stompings last season, carding his retaliations – but not the fouls against him, etc. I think we’ve got more here than meets your eyes, and I don’t blame you for the discomfort it may cause to what you prefer to believe.

  • meditation

    @Anne
    Thanks for your reply. I just think certain things need balanced thinking. trying to distinguish between internal equations and external equations. interior influences and exterior influences. I think its a mixture of both.I believe arsenal are targeted. plus i also believe injuries are brought on themselves.Its just the distinguishing of those two which is vital. Sagnas first leg break was in my opinion his fault(if faults the right word). Being a warrior is one thing but the choice of your action is another thing. He won the header and the individual duel but he broke his leg and gave a throw in to the opposition. The street smarts can be used to outwit your opponent. Anticipation, reflexes ,awareness, composure, also faith and balance.If you control the game you control the ball.If you control the board you control the chest pieces.

  • meditation

    Its hard for me to get my thoughts into words sometimes. here is two examples of controlling the game and you control the ball. Ill use henry as the example. its a different scenario to injuries but sometimes touching the ball nullifies the collective cohesion of the team game. Not every ball has to challenged when you have a bracket of 90 minutes that means your equation has a roof. a starting and finishing point. with two teams fighting for one for there own objectives which is dictated by one piece. the football. Everything then is cause and effect. Like when somebody upfront is greedy or unproductive the ball comes back to your defence and u can be exposed and you may have exerted yourself mentally and physically more than what was needed.

  • meditation

    heres the examples http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9yT824RAwY thiery henrys 100th goal for arsenal. pires could have passed it to henry. but it was 2 steps ahead. Henrys awarness made him be able to jump on the moving train.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MyTmG7pi8o&feature=fvwrel go to 9 minutes 40 seconds. its henrys goal against portsmouth in the fa cup. collective cohesion. Not every ball has to be touched . Henry was in the game. Control the game and u control the ball. How many times have you watched a game and said pass it to him its open, but the player doesnt pass it the ball gets loos bounces around then players try to win it then after ten seconds the ball goes to the player who was open in the first place. Like ive said it doesnt matter what style is used to play there is a science to the game buecause the ultimate objective never changes.

  • rantetta

    For me it was the spurs left back making sure Sagna wouldn’t pass him. Smash him off the pitch. If you can shoulder someone when they’re in the air, you’re laughing, unless you’re an Arsenal player. (Exactly which skills are needed to receive a kung fu kick that rips the shirt – and then not have it even called a foul?)

    I made some comments above, at 1:03 am. There’s a link to a podcast that followed Ramsey being Shawcrossed at Stoke, and a YT clip that has been highlighted here before.

    I’ve seen Arsenal get a lot of kicking.

  • Anne

    @Rantetta:

    I somehow overlooked that comment above. Not sure how. I’ll check out your links, but thank you for giving me credit for my ManC prediction 🙂

    The reason I was calling ManCity was based on the media. Before the season even started, they were already foreshadowing the “two horse race.” So, I knew from before the first ball was kicked that it was going to come down to a race between ManC and ManU at the end.

    Based on that early media coverage, I felt that they were foreshadowing ManC to take it. The tone of the coverage has gone back and forth since the season started, and just before the conclusion, there was a real shift to ManU, in the sense that they were trying to give the impression that ManU would win. But based on their early coverage, I still had the strong gut feeling about City.

    Of course, the implication of that is that the journalists knew who was going to win the title before the season even started (Personally, I’m starting to think that all trophies are for sale. That’s why someone could promise us one just by spending money).

    Of course, I could be completely wrong about all this, and it was just a coincidence that I was right about City. Who knows? 🙂 Again, thank you for your comments.

  • Anne

    @meditation:

    You’ve given me a lot to think about with those comments. It’s a way of thinking about the game that I’ve never thought about before. I think my favorite thing about you is just the way your mind works. You make me think about things from new angles, which ultimately makes me smarter. I appreciate that 🙂

  • Stuart

    Walter,
    Talking about Eduardo, he was in my opinion the most exciting prospect we have ever had at Arsenal and was due a great future. I often hope Wenger brings him back to claim his place at Arsenal one day. I also had huge hope for Quincy Owusu Abeye (spelling?) but he never really got the chance to shine.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Stuart, I admit that Eduardo is one of the Arsenal players that has brought on a few occasions tears in my eyes.

    When he broke his leg I was broken myself at the time. I really was.
    That summer he greeted the Arsenal audience in the Emirates cup and got a standing ovation and I admit that my eyes were wet when I saw him standing on his crutches and I was not the only one.

    When he played his first game again I had water in my eyes.

    And when he scored his first goal I greeted his goal with a great smile and tears of emotion

    And when he finally left I felt so sad for him…

    He was a real great player in the making and I think a really nice person on and off the field. On his twitter he still speaks about Arsenal every now and then and you still feel a lot of sympathy for our club

  • rantetta

    Anne
    Thanks for your reply. My comments were in moderation overnight – possibly due to the links within that post.

    I’ve long held the view that: come what may, Arsenal will get a good kicking. I know I express that over and over (especially in my head) but that’s what I see. I visit a few other blogs but always with trepidation, and the reason for this is that following a bad result for Arsenal, such blogs talk of our players’ weaknesses but fail to take account of the refshite that went on in said match. This is why I keep linking to the old toilet Debacle of 2004, when our unbeaten record was ended by our favourite ref, Micky R.

    I think you (and Bob, and others) show such patience in further explaining your articles and comments to those who ‘write-off’ parts/all of these articles, and thanks for that.

    The thing is; I’ve been thinking some of this (deliberate injury) stuff for years based on the games I’ve seen. I simply become suspicious of some commentators motives. Fortunately most posts aren’t from the naysayers and I just find some blessed relief in reading well researched articles – beautifully articulated, that speak to me about what I think I already know/see. So, for me, I entirely disagree with the notion that refwatch/reviews are somehow undermined by an article about possible deliberate injury, and I’m looking forward to further articles during the summer.

    I hope you enjoyed the “Shawcross Redemption” podcast, and would like to note that Arseblog’s ‘Arsecast’ of the time was a goodun’ too. “Blogs” referred to a radio footy broadcast in Ireland where the presenters likened Shawcross to “Lenny” from “Of mice and men”, which made me giggle, following my tears after that dreadful match.

    ****ing Stoke, eh?

    ♫♫ Fast as he wants
    drives fast as he wa-ants
    Tony Pulis – drives fast as he wants ♫♫

    (2nd + 3rd verses: Head-butts when he wants, and Rips off clubs when he wants. Infiniti an’ shit.

    http://sportwitness.ning.com/forum/topics/premier-league-manager-brings-out-cringeworthy-excuses-to-escape-?xg_source=activity

    “In the lead-up to Stoke’s FA Cup final appearance last May, the Gillingham chairman described his former manager as the most “evil and despicable person I have ever worked with”.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/9671341.stm

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/4044638/Paul-Scallys-long-running-feud-with-Stoke-City-boss-Tony-Pulis-continued-yesterday.html

    But of course none of this bears any relation to Arsenal players being deliberately injured, surely?

  • bjtgooner

    @rantetta

    Good post, fully agree.

  • bob

    rantetta,
    What was Scally’s gripe against Pull-This?

  • rantetta

    Bob
    Have a look at this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2001/apr/27/newsstory.sport1

    And, by the way, I’ve done my best to write something about “Englischer Fussball”, on the page where you asked he question. My reply is in moderation, so please check back there when you have a chance.

  • bob

    rantetta,
    Cheers for the link. Interesting games were played by/against the crown prince of agro-ball.

  • bob

    rantetta,

    p.s. sorry, clown prince of agro-ball

    and so many thanks for the radio link to the (Alan Davies is it) 2010 brilliant commentary on the deliberate Shawcrossing of Aaron Ramsey.

    Your links are great. Keeping them in circulation is a real service and totally relevant – then is now, indeed!