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March 2018
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Arsenal should be more like Man U

by Simon Bailey

My mum hates football.

She loves racing, athletics, tennis, snooker, rugby, just not football. But within her dislike of football is her loathing of anything Manchester United.

Even as a dedicated non supporter of football, my mum, I am proud to say, is an ABU. Anyone but united. Whilst they were capturing the Asian markets and building their global brand and bank balance, back home they were the team we all wanted to see lose. Except for the United fans themselves of course.

But while the groundswell of public opinion was undeniably anti-United, the press were always friendly to the point of obsequiousness. United and their British manager and players could do no wrong. The water had been walked on.

Now that United are in decline in terms of global brand and bank balance, Arsenal have emerged as a club with a very good global profile, and a very healthy financial situation. The appointment of Gazidis was inspired and things are so finely tuned that the current membership of the board and shareholders are poised to rebuff any potential hostile takeover.

As United were building their brand, they inevitably did it on the back of good performances on the field and league tables. This is the yeast that rose their bread. Sold out fixtures every week and a unified fan base that loved everything about their club completed the list of ingredients.

If we visit the United bakery today, we can see that many of the ingredients needed are out of stock. There is no doubting their position in the league right now, but their onfield performances have been nothing short of woeful. Rooney aside. Yes, the measure of a good team is to grind out results regardless of how well the game was played, but there is no doubt that they are a shadow of their former selves.

As for sold out grounds and fan unity and complacency, it’s all too obvious that the fans really hate the Glazers and tickets at United have never been so easy to get hold of.  There’s a report in the press today that they are now doing telephone selling of unsold tickets to fans.

Back in London, things are looking rosier . It’s true that there are empty seats at the Emirates sometimes, and that there is a section of our support who do not support, but unlike at United our lot are the minority and they’re wrong. Whilst our D and Gers are unquestionably lunatics, the equivalent bunch at Manchester United have plenty of reasons to be worried. 710 million to be precise.

The British press have a long tradition of building up celebrity only to knock it down at the most unfortunate moment. Almost every famous person or organisation has been held on the pedestal until a suitably juicy story comes along.

They are also fiercely patriotic. The Scottish press slagging the English, the Welsh press slagging the English, the Irish press slagging the English, and the English slagging everybody especially if you have to go by boat or plane to get there.

So the pendulum has swung. Arsenal are now the football model to be envied and emulated. Our refusal to waste untold cash, our resistance to boardroom change coupled with exquisite on field performances and positive results have made Arsenal the latest darling of the press. No hint of financial doping, transfer irregularities, tax avoidance or off field embarrassment. The spot on that pedestal is ours.

Except that it isn’t. And never will be.

The way things have been going, and they look set to continue, it looks like the Arsenal aren’t going to put a foot wrong. We may lose a few, get knocked out of some competitions, and not be top the league, but this is no longer enough for the press to whip us with. After all, it’s been their line for years now.

And this is the point. Where was our build up? All I can remember is the press knocking chunks out of us for years now. This season it’s been Eduardo diving, Chelsea leading us by 11 points and now Gallas and his evil boots.

We have to face the reality that the reality that the press portrays is not our reality. They are never going to like us, especially while we balance the books, employ so many foreigners and play such beautiful football.

The answer then is simple. Let’s be more like United.

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. You should also read the article on, and it would do you no harm to read the Making the Arsenal blog either.

Just do it will you?

(Sorry I read the article and started to morph into a Man U steward. – Tony)

30 comments to Arsenal should be more like Man U

  • Armin

    Uffffff… Imagine you wake up in morning and you suddenly find you are Manure fan. Imagine to date girl who have Rooney poster in room (hm I would really doubt what she id doing with me).
    Imagine day in which they teach you God have wear number 7 on shirt, and imagine next morning you wake with image God leaving for Spain.
    Imagine you 10 years believe you are best on earth and one day they jsut tell you, there is no money, and you have to leave your house…

    Hm maybe we could organize some concert on Emirates for raising funds for saving Traford. Be a Gooner be a giver :):):)

  • walter

    Long live the mums of this world, Simon. 😉

    You raise some very pertinent questions in your article holding a mirror where some people (from the press) can look at themselves.

    The problem that the press is giving a false image of reality upon Arsenal wouldn’t be a problem but helas so many fans really believe what the press is telling.
    Some of those unfortunate souls end up in the D&G brigade not realising how much they are decieved by the press.

    It is a handicap we have to live with and which can work against us but the way I know The Arsenal we will walk our way, undisturbed by the words in the press.

    That is why I like this club so much. Apart from the trophy-side, but for the rest: Let us never be more like United.

  • Rafael

    Great article! I wonder what the press have left to turn to if/when Arsenal win the league this season. It’ll probably be a media black-out, in terms of EPL news that is.

  • Arsesession

    Armin – your imagination worries me. ….. wearing #7; hilarious stuff!

    Simon, wonderful write up. Its easy to influence people – fans when they lack an understanding of the issue, combined with a media who use a formula for creating and controlling the talking points. Facts aren’t relevant. (a big part of Rupert’s marketing strategy)

    The current media pundits, not likely to change. We must patiently wait for a other writers to elbow their way to the foreground.

  • Aniruddh

    I live in India and until recently (last two years) I have not been up to date with the british press and articles that have been posted, was it the same back then when we were the invincibles or when we did the double? or has the anti-arsenal brigade a recent thing?

  • Armin

    Interesting question Aniruddh. Though I am not most experienced gooner here, let me say as far as my remembrance goes back (and that’s somewhere 1984), last 25 years sow some fierce anti-arsenalsiam as branch of sport journalism. From accusing us to play boring football (and forgive me God we did, at some point, but who didn’t at that time)till being cheaters, week, foreigners, sellers and so and so.
    But I guess explosion of blogging make it too obvious, because as we all know journalists and pundits aren’t nothing else than “tribunes” telling what people like to hear or talking between each other.
    Now you would have to go in psychological research to find why there is so many blogs “against” Arsenal. But it can be generalized as phenomena which came with generation grown on Instant Success made by Chelsea and Manure.
    Of course there is lot to blame different Football manager games, in which players can post Clichy as CF and make him best scorer of league, and that such player take right to question Wenger logic because on computer he proved Clichy can be Forward. And make it crown evidence that Arsene is dilettante..

  • gunners lover

    arsenal only pretends to play beautiful football, more often than not they are thrashed by more than ordinary physical no big deal about beautiful stuff.. as for the financial stability, it hardly matters as it is not brining in the quality we all demand. where s the keeper? silvestre as 3rd choice left back? no forward for the next 4 crucial games?
    its all hypocritical nothing else.. arsenal has fooled us into believing in them..
    but yet am a gooner.. call me fake but thats the truth!

  • Paul C.

    Is “gunners lover” for real or just a joke post? I assume a joke post since it is hard to imagine stupidity like that revealing itself intentionally. But if it is a joke post, and surely it is, I had a chuckle at that.

  • Now then, Gunners Lover… You said, and it is on the screen as I write this…

    “more often than not they are thrashed by more than ordinary physical teams”..

    They, refers to the Arsenal.

    So, let’s look at this “more often than not” bit. Arsenal are currently second in the league, and the top scorers.

    Now I am not a mathematician, but I was fairly decent at maths at school, and it seems to me that if we where “thrashed” as you say, we would have a terrible goal difference, to balance out the goals we have scored making us second in the league. And yet, it seems, our goal difference is the same as Chelsea.

    Let’s try it another way. If Arsenal were thrashed more often than not then we would have lost more games than we won. So how could we even be in the top half of the league, let along be second?

    No, no matter how I work this out, I reach the same conclusion. You are talking nonsense. Or maybe it is sense but as seen from a different part of north London.

    And by the way, if we didn’t have a keeper or centre forward, how come we moved from being way behind to second in the league?

    (Actually I was going to point out that Bendtner is back but I suspect you equate him with Silvertre (who is actually 4th choice, not 3rd choice left back.

  • walter

    I think gunners lover is right. We only make our selves believe that we are in the top. are just a bunch of lying cheets, as is all the other sites who keep the league table up to date.

    In fact gunners lover is the only one in the universe that knows we are in the bottom 3 of the league… oh wait a minute, he held it upside down like you told us Tony… 😉

  • Simon. Great article.

    Speaking of family allegiances, I don’t know whether to rejoice at the fact that my wife hates Man United with all her guts, or hide my face in shame because she’s a die hard Chelsea supporter.

    I guess it’s true what they say about marriage being a compromise and finding common ground to work with and stuff like that.

  • abiodun

    “Arsenal has fooled us into believing in them”? And this from someone who claims to be gunnerslover? Please someone tell me this makes sense to them!

  • Jonny

    Are you all watching this so-called battle for Smalling unfold? Man Utd claim to have a bid accepted from Fulham but the word over at Young Guns is that we are willing to match their offer and are trying to gazump Fergie. The further fruitiness to this juice is that Smalling is a ‘allegedly’ a lifelong Arsenal fan.

    Will this be a Ramsey situation all over again? I have never seen Smalling but I’d LMAO if Fergie got beaten to the punch again. TBH it’d be worth offering 2 million more than them, just to bump the price on poor cash-strapped Man Utd and see how they respond!

    The bids are allegedly at about £8Million which does seem a lot but if both Arsene and Fergie say he is good the chances are he is good.

  • a

    I can smell Lajic all over again tbh.. Manu bying some young prospect, postponing his arrival and “suddenly” deciding he is not good enough and deal. The deal is off. How anyone can conduct big buissness(because purchases in the region of 7m definitely is) with such an unreliable economical power as Man U is at the moment is beyond my understanding. Looking back at the Lajick deal one should think twice before doing long term agreements with Man U. I did not even know it was leagal to break deals like they did. or have i missed something?

  • Simon Bailey

    darius, i can empathise with your position, my missus goes on and on about rafa and gerrard like they were gods.

    its tricky when were both on telly at the same time, but as she says, i’m more computer literate so i can watch a stream. unless were both on different sky sports channels and then we can both sit in different rooms and cheer our respective teams.

    gunners lover, i would argue your point that our financial stability isnt bringing in the quality. well last year we bought 2 players, arshavin and vermaelen. with that simple statement i know i have won the arguement, but theres more. a lot of our money is spent on scouting and youth development. the list of ‘quality’ players that have come through this direction rather than the multi-million direction is too long to list. also, our stadium has cost us a fair few quid, but it will be the magic porridge pot when the mortgage is paid off. more money for youth development, scouting and even a few astute purchases.

  • don't believe the hype

    He has been charged, not found guilty yet Jonny.

  • Jonny

    Yeah sure, I know.

    Nonetheless it was clear as day. I’d say if he appeals, he will lose and I think most would agree – even Man Utd. I doubt they will appeal as it’s hard to see on ‘what grounds’ and they surely won’t want to risk a longer ban.

  • The Law

    Hmm, Simon, I’m the opposite of you here. My mum loves United with a passion. Heck, out of four kids, I’m the only one who supports Arsenal. My kid brother was also able to resist the Borg conditioning, though he ended up at Liverpool, yikes!

    Back home, cruising the internet always gave one a sense that that MSM had it in for Arsenal. Back then, you could only rely on very few blogs for a positive outlook on the Arsenal life. Nowadays, it seems even supposedly pro-Arsenal blogs, have taken to bashing the team, the manager, the players, etc. Myles Palmer, who I once read with some respect, suddenly morphed into this snide, sniping, prick who used every opportunity to slag off the team, the manager, everything, and a lot of bloggers out there probably followed his lead.

    I remain eternally grateful to Sir Tony for creating this sea of calm amid the raging oceans of negativity one has to put up with out there, and to Walter and you Simon for your capable assistance to the big man.

  • LRV

    ‘gunners lover’, I guess your ‘points’ up there must explain why we are second from bottom, musn’t we? Our points on the PL table must be fake as well, musn’t it? Yeah, It’s all a mirrage; some sort of ‘Abrakadabra’, isn’t it?

    Wow, I definitely underestimated the power of ignorance. ‘gunners lover’ is the mighty ignoramus itself.

    Good piece Simon.

  • Getty

    Gooner lover today, neutral fan yesterday, and others before them making claims without merit and disappear. Is this what they call rotational fouling? It’s fine with me as they get the best out of everyone. We tend to get more history about the Arsenal and detailed explanation. I’m enjoying this.

    Simon great write up there. I’m a rehablitated Arsenal fan came back from the brink of distruction with ManIOU. Long time ago, that is.

  • LRV

    ‘gunners lover’, I guess your ‘points’ up there must explain why we are second from bottom, musn’t we? Our points on the PL table must be fake as well, musn’t it? Yeah, It’s all a mirrage; some sort of ‘Abrakadabra’, isn’t it?
    Wow, I definitely underestimated the power of ignorance. ‘gunners lover’ is the mighty ignoramus itself.
    Good piece Simon.

  • The Law

    LRV, is that really you?

  • tim

    Simon — excellent, well-written article.

    Getty — I agree w/ you about posters like “neutral fan” and “gunners lover.” It’s good to have different voices, even if most of us completely disagree with them. Like you say, it gives people here a chance to make better arguments.

  • tim

    Armin — your comment about video games and the ability of fans to be manager is sharp. I think you are on to something.

    I think these games and simulations have probably played a role in the “spend, spend, spend” philosophy. Take EA’s FIFA Soccer, for example, which I played maybe 8-9 years ago while in college. I’ve always wondered how games like these could give players such exact ratings for things like “tenacity” and “vision.” How the f&ck do you measure that?

    In these games, you always want to play with the fasted, most-skilled players because that makes the game more fun. But players’ “ratings” don’t change. Which means the only way to improve your team is to “Buy, buy, buy.” So you go out and buy a player like Luis Figo (who in the version I played was God-like).

    In these video games, long-term development means nothing. And there is always an allure to get the biggest names in football all on your team.

    Man City, Chelsea, and Real Madrid run their clubs like video games.

    It’s all a fu^king illusion.

    (Sorry Simon and others…quite off topic…)

  • walter

    Well now we are off topic: What has Ferdinand done to get charged ? I haven’t seen the game and haven’t seen any higlights so I really don’t know what he is charged for.

    About the video game I think it would be intresting to see if there is a difference between the video game generation and the older generation ? I have never played such games but I can imagine that if you win the league time after time you could imagine that you know better than Wenger. In the game that is, not in real life.

    And on topic: I was just wondering Simon, if we would be more like ManU would your mother not start hating us ?

  • Cujo

    No surprises there, a Brittish ManUre player commits a foul which he is being charged with and no media uproar… Tisk tisk. If that had been an arsenal player…

  • Prick

    The way I see it, it’s all Tony’s fault that people like ‘gunners lover’ thinks we’re 2nd from bottom. Quit asking us to read the table upside-down Tony!

    There’s quite a few infants here among the readers lately. They’ll get the joke as they grow up. I certainly hope so.

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