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October 2017
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Untold is not the only one to see the light

By Walter Broeckx and Tony Attwood

It is no secret that this side has always supported our manager. Of course we didn’t make much of a fuss about it in the easy days when we won things and didn’t have the stadium debt hanging round our neck. At such a moment supporting Wenger was easy. But some 6 years ago when Untold Arsenal started it was made clear that we were behind the manager. We have had all the abuse in the world for taking that stance.

And in those years we had some big set backs. Players who wanted more money than we could afford. Players who heard little children screaming inside and listening to that little child… With short term success. But maybe now he is cursing himself for having listened to this cry for more money and a trophy.

But it affected Arsenal and our manager big time. But he went his way. And even then he never said a bad word about the players that put a knife in his back. He always remained the gentleman we like.

Now of course when we talk about Wenger and praise him for all he has done for Arsenal including keeping us in the CL all those difficult years some people dismiss this. As we are up in his **** as they put it. But if you look further than the negative English press and look at voices and opinions from outside you only see praise for Wenger and for what he has done for Arsenal. Just ask Moyes how difficult it is to take a championship winning team over and do the same.

In Europe Wenger is admired for what he has done with Arsenal in those “x years without a trophy”. And most of all because he could have walked away from us and left us in a enormous crisis. But he kept his promise towards the board that he would do his best to achieve he maximum possible with the means he had and with the players he had. A job well done.

And if you care to listen to some people in the game in England you can hear that there are people who also look differently at the mantra used in the media about years of failure. We never looked at it as failure at Untold, as you will know. And maybe it is even better for Untold to not say what we think is obvious, but leave it to more independent observers. A person like the manager of Coventry. And that is what we will do.

In the run up to the Coventry game, the Coventry manager Steven Pressley, was inevitably chased by the media seeking interviews in which they could get him to say how his team would beat Arsenal.

In fact he resisted, saying that yes, of course, anything was possible but that he would need a lot of luck.  Unlike so many lower league managers who get totally carried away, he was calm, reasoned, and at the same time friendly.   Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live he said,

“I love Wenger because he has never compromised his values. People talk about the eight years (without a trophy at Arsenal) but that’s because there’s financial doping in the game. Wenger has built an unbelievable football club and stadium and a sustainable business model without having the money men behind him that some other clubs have had. Wenger’s been almost a victim of his success. A lot of his values are lost in the modern game with its vast amounts of money. Wenger develops young players, spends money prudently and runs his club in a good financial model. I love the fact that he’s been true to himself and that’s one of the reasons I’d like to see him win something.”

He was asked to explain “financial doping” further, and made it perfectly clear he was talking about Chelsea, Man City, PSG and Monaco.

If you follow British football you’ll know about Pressley.  He played in Scotland – including very unusually playing for both Rangers and Celtic and also had a not very successful period with Coventry City.   But perhaps most famously when he was at Hearts he was the spokesman for the players in various confrontations and difficulties with the owner Vladimir Romanov.

He was Scotland’s assistant manager for a while under George Burley, and manager then Falkirk where he reports that he had to ask his mother not to attend games because of the abuse the fans were giving him – which he didn’t want her to experience.

After that he moved to Coventry in March 2013.  The club went into administration after that and had a 10 point deduction.

Despite that and despite playing to crowds of only 2000 at home because of a fan boycott over the move away from their home stadium, and despite having no money to buy players he has turned an academy group of players into a decent League One side.

Coventry are now well placed in mid table and just 10 points off a play off place (not bad after having had to make up the points deduction), and winning more games than those around them.

Somehow I hope Coventry can pull themselves out of the misery they are in now. Even if only for their manager Mr. Pressley. And looking at what he has achieved starting with a 10 point deduction, he sure looks to be not only a rather good manager but also a smart person.

———————

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26 comments to Untold is not the only one to see the light

  • Dexter

    I saw those Pressley quotes on Twitter. What a refreshing change!!!

    It’s very telling the quotes have been almost completely swept under the media carpet and largely ignored.

  • eddie

    Great article It’s easy to do it with a bottomless wallet. Arsene did it his way. Remember what happened to leeds,to Blackburn. The fans at Chelsea and Man city will always know there success was purchased with money that was not generated by success on the pitch. To man united’s credit they did generate there own success. As long as there’s an arsenal arsene will be a legend

  • finsbury

    “In Europe Wenger is admired for what he has done with Arsenal in those “x years without a trophy”:

    http://www.arsenalfc.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=562&Itemid=64

    Friar: “Well, we do not tell everything to everybody.“
    Not when there are contracts with sponsors to be renegotiated!

    The expert and ITK AAA either were incapable of understanding this simple concept or they had chosen to ignore this information that was not hard to find (or guess!) as they pursued a dubious campaign of *coughs* regime change. Not a good look.

  • Gerry Lennon

    Fully agreed on Pressley. I read his interview with a Scottish newspaper, where he said much the same things. He is also aware of his own shortcomings, and now is trying to put things right.

    For one with a relatively short managerial career, he appears to know more about what is needed to be successful, than some more illustrious counterparts.

    I just hope for Coventry’s sake, they can give him the environment and support to be there longer than there last 10(at a guess?) managers.

    Alas the stadium problem is out of his hands. Mind, if they get lucky in the play offs, I would imagine there will be a queue of wealthy people willing to buy the Ricoh stadium, and buy out this god-awful investment group that should never been allowed to keep control a second time with a sudsiduary of theirs?

  • elkieno

    Few and far between… I like the sounds of this guy maybe one day he will make it.
    COYG!!

  • jambug

    What insightful words from Pressley.

    As regulars here will know my bug bear is the media and again it’s at them I point the finger.

    Whenever the most obscure non entity has the slightest bad or negative thing to say about Wenger it’s screamed across the back pages. I give you just this weeks self serving non entity’s comment about ‘Whingeing Wenger’. It’s still coming up on my computers front page today !!!

    Yet when someone comes out with, balanced, intelligent praise, as has Pressley, it strangely slips under the radar. Reading this article is the first time I’d seen or heard his comments. Rest assured the media wouldn’t of allowed me to miss any negative or critical comments from Pressley had he been so inclined.

    One more thing.

    Did Radio 5 Live really have to ask, “What do you mean by financial doping” I mean Really?

    So they’ve somehow missed the 100’s of Millions of unearned income that’s been pumped into Chelsea and City then.

    Agree with it or not, that’s up to you, but don’t take us for mugs and try to pretend you haven’t even seen it happen !!!

    Just finally, good luck to Coventry, Pressley, but especially there fans, in your fight to return your Club to it’s natural home and then back to the big time. On Friday you gave it your all. Not only that but sticking to your principles of trying to play your football and not stooping to the thugary that so many teams have done to us before. As someone else said on here yesterday it was to your great credit that you gave us much more to worry about in that second half than Spurs managed in an entire game. Good luck.

  • brentCPH

    Let’s not forget that Barcelona and Real Madrid are just as bad as Chelsea and Man City if not worse. Barca and RM are subsidized by the Spanish people and the failing Spanish banks and they have a monopoly on viewing rights. If it wasn’t for the cartels and money laundering, Bayern, Arsenal, and BVB would probably be the only top teams right now.

  • Justin Richards

    Knowledgable Ex players such as G Neville and R Keane understand what a job Arsene has done for Arsenal, I also remember after the humiliating defeat by Man U 8-3 you posted how the last time we got a spanking by the same opposition we later went on to the invincibles season, keeping faith will always have its rewards when you have an intelligent manager.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great article, and Pressley deserves huge respect. If , and I hope he does get Cov to a playoff, and beyond, that would be in footballing terms, a miracle. The leeches that run Cov don’t deserve it but would love to see Pressley guide them to the top flight, where they are slightly more fussy on club owners. Good luck Pressley and Cov.
    On a similar point, good luck to Luton Town. They sit top of the conference, and like Cov, have been seriously wronged in recent years, them returning to the top flight would be a small step in righting that wrong, they like many were the victims of a weak FA too scared to take on the big boys but instead flex their muscles on the weakest, as bully’s do.
    Still , back to Arsenal, like the above, this article uses a comparison with a Moyes in explaining wengers achievements
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenals-arsene-wenger-deserves-respect-3053583#.UuUAIX-QGSM

    Another point in this Mirror article…interestingly, John Cross says news articles reflect the readership …..and the journalists perceptions of the views of the fans when spinning articles. This confirms what we all know, journalist trawl AAA material before penning their articles. Shows just how destructive the AAA and their spud sleeper friends can be, luckily this team are seeing them off.

  • AL

    Interesting read, and refreshing views of Wenger by one of his peers. I have a soft spot for Coventry (they’re my local team) but this manager has had them playing some very good football, as we could see during some spells at the Ems. I really hope they get back playing at home and in front of their fans again soon, and I have no doubt they will.

    Of course the mainstream media chose to ignore these comments and focus instead on the vile ones coming from the self-anointed odd one.

    I’m with you 1000% jambug on the complicity of the media in all the negative stuff afflicting our game. I was chatting about football with a scouse friend of mine the other day, a rarity as we usually don’t even talk for a minute if it’s about football (our views are poles apart) but this time he quite surprised me when he said he could see utd going Liverpool’s way. Upon asking what he meant exactly he said when they go out of the champions league places they’ll find it hard to attract top players due to lack of champions league football. He said he suspected that’s the reason they bought Mata now, or he wouldn’t be joining them in the summer. He added they’ll probably buy another high profile player or two during this window, as the only players they’ll be able to attract in the summer are most likely going to be mercenaries, rather than players motivated by football reasons(like a certain club in North London found out recently). Indeed, it appears utd are buying for next season, rather than this one. They could easily have waited and got Mata on the cheap in summer rather than pay nearly double what Chelsea paid for a player who’s only made a handful of appearances, but would Mata have wanted to play europa football? Highly unlikely. And it also is difficult to see anybody else paying more than half what utd paid; yes Mata is a good player but his value has fallen due to lack of opportunities at Chelsea. Anyway, it just goes on to show what an amazing job Wenger has done, keeping us in those champions league places without having to break the bank, nor resorting to purchasing high profile mercenaries to appease fans, etc. Hope AW stays at Arsenal forever 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think you have to be very mature and probably of an introspective nature to fathom what AW has achieved in his time at Arsenal .It’ll help too that you don’t allow others to do your thinking for you !
    It would help if you too had physically or otherwise built something all on your own . It could be a house or a building ; a practice or business , or developed an unique concept or some cutting edge invention. Especially when at the start you were told that it was not feasible nor plausible .It would have been very lonely without any support but you went ahead anyway because you BELIEVED .
    If and when against tremendous odds you do reach you goal ,don’t expect those naysayers to congratulate you ; not everyone loves to be proved wrong !Be glad if they shut up and back away – that’s thanks enough!
    There’s always a time when you have to take the road less traveled , and having had taken it , you become a better 9informed ) person for having traversed it .

  • Perhaps the likes of Adam Kemp, Stuart Robson and their ilk might have the courage to reply to this article.
    I would love to hear how they explain away the views of a professional manager versus their obscene negative views against the greatest manager this club will ever have.
    It beggars belief that they have not once aired any positive views about our season so far and the buying of Ozil.
    Still, just like the bully boys that Mandy mentioned, they are hiding under their stone waiting for the opportunity to crawl out again.
    Thank you Mr Pressley for your comments, thank you Coventry F.C. for playing the game properly and thanks to the Coventry fans for their support of a excellent football club. Hope you get what you deserve.

  • Mandy Dodd,

    That John Cross’ quote shows why the media are pathetic. It is not their job to regurgitate the opinions of their readership; they are supposed to be enlightening their readers by reporting the truth and producing insightful and thought provoking articles. Not reinforcing their often ignorant biases.

  • jambug

    AL

    You say “the negative stuff afflicting our game” and within that one phrase lays a multitude of issues that have contributed to our ‘difficult’ last few years.

    More than just afflicting OUR game, more importantly it has had a profound effect on how we are treated by referees.

    The attitude of contempt, dislike, even hatred towards Arsenal is endlessly fuelled by our media, incessantly weaving a myth of deception and misdirection that we are just a bunch of cheating (same old Arsenal always cheating) foreign softies that cant take it but love dishing it out (same old Arsenal always cheating).

    To emphasise this, to the best of my knowledge Bobby (Pires) only dived the once, against Pompey. Yet, last week during a debate on diving, who was it Gary Neville (whom I rate very highly as a pundit) cited? Yep, Bobby. Since that day many years ago there must of been hundreds of dives and dozens of serial divers, many of whom play/played for his old team, but yet it was still Bobby that came to mind. Not Ronaldo, Bale, young, Rooney, Gerrard (The list goes on)but Bobby. Why? Because he played for Arsenal and it will never be allowed to be forgotten. A similar fate awaited Eduardo, even though he was exonerated, for his tumble against Celtic. If I remember they wanted him hung, or at least exported back to South America !!

    What this creates is a climate in which referees know damn well that no matter how bad there decisions against us are, they will get away with it, totally untarnished. (I give you the Villa and City games).

    Conversely if they have the temerity to give US an even slightly contentious decision they know it will be scrutinised to the umpteenth degree.(I give you the disallowed goal at Sunderland).

    This is why I’ve always maintained that I don’t think our referees are corrupt, at least not in the conventional way, i.e. via bribes etc. But, perhaps equally as bad, they referee as to how they, and in turn there bosses, will be portrayed in the media.

    In other words there standard of refereeing is never judged as to how many decisions they ‘actually’ get right or wrong but how many they get right or wrong as judged by the media.

    The Media love Man United, hence the ridiculous refereeing bias shown towards them as proved by Untold Referees.

    The Media hate Arsenal, hence the ridiculous refereeing bias shown against them by Untold Referees.

    In case you’d missed it, I hate the biased, Manc loving, Jose fawning Media !!!

  • you know, when your team is called “arsenal” and your manager is named “arsene” it’s almost as if some sort of benevolent deity out there wanted to have a little fun when he decided on this epic pairing for the ages. it’s perfect.

    i’ve heard supporters of other teams say that arsenal comes off as haughty to them, that arsene’s up in his little ivory tower above all of us looking down from his perch of football omniscience and rah rah rah blah blah blah / etc. and hey they’re certainly entitled to their opinion, much like i’m entitled to mine that LFC/scousers are a bunch of entitled little [insert your favorite slang/euphemism for female genitals here] who are perpetually chomping at the bit to come out and slag anyone and everyone off with more pedantic overtones than your dad giving you “the talk” when you were a teen that ended up with him getting all exasperated and saying “…just don’t get her pregnant, ok?”

    however, being relatively new to arsenal/fandom i can tell you that whatever doubts the AAA/WOB/ABAs might have installed in my head through this last brutal transfer window have all been alleviated and thensome as i pay attention to the arsene wenger method, and as time goes on i gain more and more respect for the man, the myth, the legend who it seems was literally put on this earth to come to his near-namesake and put us on the map in terms of the top football clubs across the world.

    and i’m really really really hoping that right b4 our little gauntlet run in march we get news of a 3/+ year extension to his contract, because etymologically speaking i would like to see some ex-tension in having to even so much as fathom arsenal FC going forward without the Man who bookies would give you terrible odds on whether or not he gets a statue outside emirates someday!

    so thank you arsene wenger, and of course thanks to you guys @ untold arsenal, aka the faithful, for helping to ingratiate me to ‘the beautiful game’ without resorting to the typical tabloid sensationalism that defines contemporary media coverage. it’s nice to know you’re amongst rational people whose football existence isn’t mired in the perpetual misery of the out-and-out financial hedonism that has become centrifugal to the game of football over the years. jolly good show!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry … better (informed) person..

    Case in point for the above would be a disgruntled elderly( meaning pre-internet!) Arsenal season ticket holder deciding to fight against the vicious and vexatious vitriol perpetrated by the bent media against his beloved club ,and the manager, by starting a blog to right the injustices .
    The only tool he had was that he was a writer of some repute ( you know , of books ,and pamphlets and brochures – that sort of thing !)and he went on to attack the conventional media with the unique concept of revealing the Untold !
    Like minded people the world over who ‘just said no’ to the crooked media , threw off their shackles and responded to his clarion call and joined him in his just cause .
    There were others who saw the danger posed by these rebels ( now called AKBs ), called them unprintable names and tried to denigrate them but it was too late, the force was strong in them !
    Latest reports show that it’s the number 1 blog with close to a million hits ,and having achieved all this ,
    it is rumoured that he now spends more time dancing, traveling to watch nearby non league team games and to try their capuchino and meat pies !

    You just cannot make this up !

  • jambug

    Typo. Penultimate line should of read:

    The media hate Arsenal, hence the ridiculous refereeing bias shown against them ‘as proved’ by Untold Referees. Sorry.

  • AL

    jambug
    Yeah, I noticed Gary Neville’s reference to Pires too and was disappointed by him. I mean, how many years ago was that? I bet half of the fans he was telling that didn’t even have a clue what he was on about.

    I also thought I’ve noticed Gary’s high standards he set himself (punditry-wise) come down a notch or two since Caragher came onto the scene(of course I might be wrong on this one). I think I’ve seen Gary disagree with Caragher on one or two decisions he would’ve condemned before. I just hope he’s not slowly turning into ‘one of them’, as I rate him quite highly(despite all the evil he dished out while under the red nosed one).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Patient: Doctor, what I need is something to stir me up; something to put me in a fighting mood. Did you put something like that in this prescription?
    Doctor: No need for that. You will find that in your bill.

    Nurse: Doctor, there is a man in the waiting room with a glass eye named Brown.
    Doctor: What does he call his other eye?

    An AAAA walks into a doctor’s office.
    AAAA : Doctor, people ignore me.
    Doctor: Next!

    A dentist, after completing work on a patient, came to him begging.
    Dentist: Could you help me? Could you give out a few of your loudest, most painful screams?

    Patient: Why? Doctor, it wasn’t all that bad this time.

    Dentist: There are so many people in the waiting room right now, and I don’t want to miss the four o’clock ball game.

  • jambug (@3.30pm),

    I looked and looked for you on this thread: http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/33620

    I know that we share the conviction on why the refs are biased one way or the other. It’s the media more than anything or anyone else.

  • jambug

    AL

    You may have a point. Following United’s embarrassing exit from the FA Cup he really did have trouble calling it as it was and spent most of the time trying, despite everything, to find as many silver linings as he could, the most embarrassing being “At least United won on the night”

    I’ve heard(on many occasions)ex Goons giving us more grief AFTER WE’VE WON !!!

    I, like you, really do hope he’s not slipping into Manc, Liverpool, Jose, Loving Club so prevalent in the media.

    He was a breath of fresh air, lets hope he stays that way.

  • Hazard just took a dive. Replay shows Palacios clearly moving out of the way. Hazard fell like a baseball bat had been forcefully applied to his leg. The commentator said the ref had a difficult decision to make. Nonsense! It was a very easy call for the ref to make.

  • Stuart

    Admiral Awesome,
    “you know, when your team is called “arsenal” and your manager is named “arsene” it’s almost as if some sort of benevolent deity out there wanted to have a little fun when he decided on this epic pairing for the ages. it’s perfect.”

    The other recent instance of this was Mancini at Man City. When we played city, the TV stations had the teams abbreviated to Ars – Manc.

  • jambug

    Hi Bootoomee

    Just before xmas my 10 year old laptop finally gave up the ghost and I’ve only just got back up and running on my new one. It’s great to be back and venting my spleen against my Nemesis, THE MEDIA.

    Liverpool at home. Won’t be easy but at least it’s at home.

  • colario

    From the Uxbridge dictionary of English journalism.

    ‘Exclusive’ Something that no one else wants.

    ‘Rumour’ Information for which there is no evidence written as fact and believed by readers incapable of thinking for themselves.

    ‘Assume’ To make a female donkey of yourself and others.

    With appreciation to, ‘I am sorry I haven’t a clue’.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, if Coventry are your local team why aren’t you supporting them? Bloody glory hunter 😉