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Abusing a fellow Arsenal supporter on a blog is like shouting at your front door because it won’t shut

By Tony Attwood

When I was a young writer, trying to break into the business full time, I adopted the tactic of writing articles and books that by and large no one else was trying: different approaches, different styles, different ways of looking at issues.

As a result I got a lot of rejections from publishers, and even (to my surprise) a certain amount of abuse.   Indeed there was one piece of abuse I still remember all these years later.

I had sent the manuscript of a course book that I had written for secondary school music teachers to use in the classroom (I was earning my living that way at the time while trying to break into writing full time).  The note I got back said this was the worst rubbish they had ever seen, that I should stop wasting the time of publishers with such arrant nonsense, and the least I could do would be to undertake some basic research into what is actually happening in school music lessons before trying to write a book on it.

Fortunately I’d had several books published by then, so I didn’t despair too much – not least because I believed in the book.   So I simply decided to approach the largest publisher in the field: Oxford University Press.  They took the book, it became a major success going through five editions in the first year, they then commissioned a series of other books from me, and for two years I was their top selling author in the schools book department. I wasn’t a household name, you couldn’t find my books on the bookstands at railway stations, but I was made as a writer.

Perhaps because of those events, abuse directed against me tends to make me laugh more than get angry. Laugh because written or verbal abuse directed by one individual against another simply shows how little the abuser has by way of argument. Or intellect.

And just to be clear, I am not talking about bullying here, not about mass abuse – as some footballers have suffered when the home crowd as turned on them – I am talking about abuse in correspondence with a person you don’t know  whose basic argument is you are wrong, he is right, and if you can’t see that you’re an idiot.

That, in the end, is what abuse is.  It isn’t even sophistry – there is no clever argument which looks real but is false, and which is deliberately put out to deceive us.  It is just “I’m right, you’re wrong and you’re an idiot.”   It is rather like shouting at your front door because the rain has warped it and it won’t shut.

In fact, now I come to ponder that image, being abused on Untold is exactly like shouting at your front door because the rain has warped it and it won’t shut.

I am often asked to be more stringent in removing abusers from this site, and I have asked Dr Billy about this.  (His answers were not that helpful).  So I’ve come up with this instead…

First, if you think a commentator on Untold  should be banned, go to the comment, and you’ll see at the top of it the date and time of the comment.  Click on that and you should get on the top of your screen the complete URL of the comment.  Copy that and email it to me at TonyAttwoodofLondon@gmail.com   I’ll do the rest.

Second, if you feel like replying to an abusive comment on Untold DON’T be abusive in your reply – otherwise you might get reported.  You could always try writing, “Ah, look, abuse,” and leave it at that.  At least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are annoying the abuser – they generally don’t like being laughed at.   What they love is someone abusing them back because it gives them a chance to be more abusive they are strange that way.  (Dr Billy tells me it is because they eat too many beef burgers.  I think it is a fundamental dysfunction within the British social structure as a result of Thatcher’s destruction of social unity, but each to his own theory).

Personally I find comments made up of personal opinions as universal truths without any evidence much more interesting than comments full of abuse.  (Name calling is, after all, the thing most of us grow out of aged about six, so internet abusers are mostly people who have got stuck in their childhood – which is surely something to be pitied rather than anything else).

Here’s an example of the sort of thing I find interesting.  It comes from a comment sent in a week or so back…

Don’t start me on going into a season with 6 defenders in the first squad and not replacing Vermaelen. That’s negligence that is totally unacceptable.

In a very real sense had Vermaelen stayed it wouldn’t have made any difference to the current situation – he has been unfit for most of the season, and so one could actually congratulate Mr Wenger on his ability to screw that much money out of Barcelona for a player would could not play.

Our defence for the season thus far has been Monreal, Chambers, Mertersacker, Koscielny, Debuchy, Gibbs, Bellerin, and subsequently Coquelin – and possibly Hayden.  One can argue that some of them are not good enough – and with statistical evidence that would make a very worthwhile discussion which I would be pleased to have on Untold.

But even if that is the case (and I am not sure it is) the fact remains that Bellerin and Coquelin need to be included, for as with players before them such as Cole, Gibbs, Adams, Keown, Clichy etc, they need to have a chance to come up through the ranks; they need games.

Meanwhile, top players won’t come into a club unless they are going to play regularly.  So you have top players, and up and coming youngsters, or fading out old-timers.

Look at the total appearances for the 3rd league and cup double in 2002.  We did not have eight top defenders at the height of their game.   We had Upson, Luzhny, Stepanovs, Dixon, and Adams backing up the four main men – the last two making 13 starts between them in the league that season.  Had we not won the double there would have been mass criticism of Wenger for keeping Upson, Luzhny, and Stepanovs as backups.  But we did win, so now those who moaned forget that fact.

Now as it happens we don’t have any fading out old-timers to play at the back any more, so it is the up and coming youngsters that make up the numbers.  So, yes, we could debate why we haven’t got any old timers left, and again that is interesting, but we need data so we can have the discussion.

Personally I’d sooner see the likes of Bellerin and Coquelin coming through, because they are the future, not the past, but again that is a different debating point.

My view is that the person who made that point about Vermaelen is in fact far more dangerous than the abusive person, because his point is quite misleading.  It is not sophistry because I don’t believe for a second the writer was deliberately trying to mislead – I just don’t think his brain operates in a sophisticated enough way to be able to see a logical argument through.

Now, was I just being abusive there?   If I called him a moron that would be abuse, because “moron” is accepted as a term of abuse.  But if on the other hand I recast the comment and say that he is just plain lazy (a criticism I have made against a number of journalists of late) then is that abuse?

So there’s a thought.  Don’t call people idiots, pathetic twats, cretins or anything else.  Just say, “I rather think you are guilty of lazy thinking at this point old boy.”  Has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

I’ve quite a bit more to say about the trolls, and their simplistic vision of the world – with quite a bit more evidence drawn from comments of theirs that we have not published, and I will return to this later.   But for now, believe me, we do block large numbers of comments every week, and we’ll try and reduce the level of abuse further.

Meanwhile I’d ask, please don’t be abusive and if you want to reply to an abusive person just have a laugh, as in the example above, or put up a serious logical argument to highlight their lack of rigour – but please don’t respond in kind.

Oh – and by the way – that publisher who rejected the book what made me famous (well, a little bit)… they went bust.  I smiled.

Nothing more.  I just smiled.

And maybe chuckled a bit too.

And many years later wrote about it on Untold Arsenal.

Bitter?

No, I’ll have a glass of red, thank you very much.

Classic Untold

Reforming English football – how the FA lost its way

The stuff pundits are made of

 

62 comments to Abusing a fellow Arsenal supporter on a blog is like shouting at your front door because it won’t shut

  • How can you even argue that we have enough players,,,? you say Maureen doesnt rotate well, that is probably because his squad are fit..

    problem is we end up over using some , they get injured , the squad is bare bones, as soon as the injured player comes back, boom hes playing , no time for getting fitness back, nothing

    if you dont believe me maybe you will Per

    “It’s not that easy,”

    “One [player] came back from a long-term injury and then he is just fit for two or three days, and then he has to play. For example Laurent, he has to play. He cannot train for two or three weeks because we have no players left. It’s always tough at the moment. Players come back but they have to play immediately. There is no time or room for building automatic understanding or the kind of things you need to prepare for””

    What more proof do you need that arsene is mainly to blame year after year for our injuries?

    If we had a year of no (serious) injuries then maybe yes we could rotate less but we dont, we never do.

    Lack of rotation + perennially small squad + * = Wenger ruining his legacy

    * for the purposes of this equasion i have added what i like to call the myopic constant which is there to provide balance and account for the static nature of wengers vision

  • Va Cong

    Thank you Tony you’re words of wisdom are always a pleasure. Do you have any more tips about publishing? I’ve finished writing a novel but can’t find a publisher iare evoke the norm now?

  • Va Cong

    Oh no another broken record

  • bob mac

    Yet again, a thought provoking article.

    Which it should be on this site as it is set up for stimulating, if differing ,opinion and not a ‘chat site’.

    I am all for the present defenders, but with the proviso that far too much is expected of our younger players. It is almost impossible for any of them to play game after game at a consistently high level.Hence the managers rotational/development policy.

    If you actually need evidence of the development patterns of young players then cast your mind back over the path of;Gibbs, Theo, the Ox, Jack, and Aaron, to name the most recent.

    Should you find that even one of them had a pathway which went steadily and constantly upwards I would have no hesitation in thinking you were misdirected on your opinion.

  • Bob

    Great post for the day, and particularly well timed as we go into the frenzy of the transfer window. Where entrenched opinions get disguised as facts by many.

    My particular bugbear is when people base their criticism on assumed or made up information. I have no problem with people criticising the club or Wenger but at least make sure the criticism is valid!

  • Keneth Widmerpool

    Thanks Tony I enjoyed this.One thing that is interesting is when UA becomes more about discussion than debate, discussion is far more open,intelligent and decent, while debate tends to be more about superiority.
    COYG! Aha, oh dear Poldis gone now…erm COYG!and Amen!

  • Tom

    Keneth Widmerpool
    January 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm
    Thanks Tony I enjoyed this.One thing that is interesting is when UA becomes more about discussion than debate, discussion is far more open,intelligent and decent, while debate tends to be more about superiority.
    COYG! Aha, oh dear Poldis gone now…erm COYG!and Amen!’

    You enjeyd this? . Meaning you agreed with Tony’s article , or you thought it was well written and entertaining?

    I’m only asking because I seem to remember your reaction to some of the most abusive comments ever published on here from a certain poster from Manhattan, directed to other posters he disagreed with , to which you replied;

    ‘That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day!. Keep it comming, more please.’

    Or something like that.
    Or perhaps you just suffer from a split personality disorder? 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tony, can only imagine the sort of stuff that gets blocked, but on the whole, think you guys get things right on here.
    Every site will get its trolls, and yes, the aaa come on here in force when results don’t go our way, but you are willing to allow critics of the the club and wenger , some of whom do come up with rational arguments and do not seem to resort to abuse as a matter of practice, so in the spirit of free speech and free thinking, that is a good thing as well.
    Basically, just keep on what you are doing, for the most part, it works very well.

  • Will

    My problem here is the AAA label. It is like the lazy racist label if you dare say something about immigration. It’s easy to say, “of, you are just an AAA” and not actually debate the point.

    Then when you say something that has labelled you the mythical AAA, the pack attack like rabid dogs because I am sure they feel they will be labelled AAA’s if they are not seen to do so,. I call it the Diana syndrome. When she died, if you were not wailing with grief you were accused of not being a true blue Brit and lambasted. It is happening here and it is a dark turn when you are labelled an AAA even though 90 of your entries have been in support of the club (the most important entity),the manager (the second most important) and then the players but you dare say something is not right and BANG, you are a filthy, no nothing, non-supporting AAA.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    I will leave it here, moderation in speech and attitude is a must or dark days come.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Diana…..those were scary times, of course it is a tragedy a young mother getting killed like that, but one of the most emotionally repressed nations on earth seemed to lose its collective head. My brother got clobbered in a pub for being overheard questioning why anyone would queue for hours to buy an Elton John record rewritten to a lyrical standard that would be expected of a four year old.
    Sorry, didn’t mean to detract from your point. Think there are different people on here who have different opinions as to what constitutes aaa, there are perhaps fifty shades of aaa.

  • dan

    I’m sad to see Podolski leave, any news on replacements?

  • insideright

    A couple of points re the Madeto Love Magic comment.
    Players only get the ‘automatic understanding’ that is required by playing together so it makes sense to do exactly that. If fans (perhaps like him/her) knew that Koscienlny was fit enough to play but being held back they’d be up in arms.
    Secondly he accuses Wenger of having ‘static vision’. I’m not sure what this means (other than maybe relentless focus) but surely the regular promotion of young players into the team in order to test them at the highest level is absolutely not an absence of vision.
    In the current market (and indeed the one that is most likely to represent that of the future) it is absolutely the right vision to live by.
    It may point to a situation where it’s always ‘jam tomorrow’ but the main reasons why we don’t enjoy jam today lay outside the Club (mainly at Stamford Bridge and in Manchester) where money is still much more available. Second or third rate sticking plaster solutions do not represent a vision that appeals to me.

  • @Tony nice write,as always arsenal is going to buy 20 players this january.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Bad attitude problem is the main reason for some people abusing and ironically they don’t like to be abused. Because if an abuser is returned his abuse, he returns with a harder abuse. I for one don’t abuse any one because I hate abusing. I preferred a constructive argument base on contemporary issues, subjects, opinions, matters, politics and Arsenal football fortune. And this Arsenal football fortune brings to my thoughts if the boss will sign Endison Cavani for the Gunners forward line as Podolski is reported to be leaving for Inter’. I know we have top forwards, Oliver Giroud and Alexis Sanchez with Welbeck complementing their efforts and Akpom is asking to be given a place. With the injuries inflicting our forwards and shortened their numbers for the Southampton game, it has become a revealed priority now for the boss to sign a big striker that will make Arsenal forwards look like Cavani, Giroud, Sanchez and welbeck in a 4-2-4 playing formation which will withstand Man Utd’s Falcao, van Persie, Higuain, Rooney and Mata attacking machines. With Cavani and our other 3 tops leading the Gunners attack line, we can match the attack lines of Man City, Chelsea, the rising Spurs and the rebuilding Liverpool who we are all going to play again in the 2nd round of this season. If signing Cavani will lead to put on hold the signing the much Gooners CDM demand. I will preferred the boss to put the signing of the CDM on hold. Because Arteta, Flamini, Coquelin and Chambers with 2 out of them selected can cover our holding midfield position. And can be expanded with 4 out of 8 of Arteta, Flamini, Coquelin, Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Walcott selected can do the CDM and AMD jobs when the preferred Sanchez and Cavani lead the Gunners line ahead of Giroud and Welbeck and vis-vas in a 4-4-2 playing style. On top most of my argument per say is our Champions League game with Monaco which if we have Cavani in our forward line, we will have a big confidence of making it to the 1/4 final and beyond.

  • Tom @2.02pm,

    Insinuating that Keneth Widmerpool suffers from Split personality disorder? Really (even with the smiley face cop-out)? Dude, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  • Will

    ~Mandy and thart is my point here. If you say one word against the manager or the players you are immediately labelled an AAA and the pack attack. It was never like that a few months ago but the worse we play, the worse the hysteria gets. Wenger made a mistake results in you are not a true supporter, get off this site etc etc and it becomes like a feeding frenzy.

    No matter how many hours and miles you have put in, no matter how many wet, windy terraces you have stood on, you are not a “real Gooner” and I find that quite frankly insulting.

  • Tony,

    Any tips on how to respond to liars when they post disingenuous crap? I usually just say they are full of shit; is that abuse?

  • Will

    “Any tips on how to respond to liars when they post disingenuous crap?”

    Speak your mind, who are you talking about?

  • Will,

    As I told you in our few correspondences before I stopped trying, I don’t think that you are a negative fan so the AAA label shouldn’t apply to you. I don’t think that you were being disingenuous either or I would have told you straight up that you are full of shit.

    I told you what I think was the problem and that was posting while watching a tense game. We all get emotional during games say stuff that we might not when the pressure has been lifted. I absolutely adore Arsene Wenger but – and this might be very difficult for anyone who knows me here to believe – I have swore at him on occasions. It is in human nature to lose it at tense moment but we usually come to our senses afterward.

    Your continuation of the Arsenal players are soft meme shows that you are not disingenuous. I and many other here disagree with you but no one here is accusing you of being a liar. You did start the name-calling on that thread though and your using when you started supporting Arsenal and how often you attend games to score point did not go down well either as already know.

    Lastly, If I have issues with you, I will direct my comment to you. I don’t do passive-aggressive.

  • insider

    we well know as its documented that koscielny’s chronic tendonitis of the achilles has not been properly managed. He has been forced to play through pain over and over because our squad lacks a sufficient replacement… or one that wenger trusts anyway… now arsene is admitting there is a question mark over his fitness and that that means we may have to strengthen. This still likely means we wont as arsene is prone to making misleading comments these days, like when he practiaclly swore if Vermaelen left we would replace him.

    i think Mertes comments are about as “up in arms” as they could be without directly speaking out against his club

    Sorry i was joking about the static vision. Einstein introduced some maths into his relativity theory called the “cosmological constant” you’ve probs heard of it. It was to account for the fact that he believed the universe to be static (which we now now is wrong). My miopic constant was just a piss take of that.

    Actually its interesting that you mention wenger playing lots of youngsters, certainly he does and in the past did even more BUT nowadays we only play youngsters out of sheer need. Sanogo was our only option at the end of last season when giroud was burned out beyond recognition. Bellerin only because our defense is so short and we have so many injuries. My point is that these days wenger seems only to want to play the same 11 over and over regardless of their fitness or efficiency in the team (wilshere anyone?) Jack gets the central berth over ozil for crying out loud.. No podolski no rozzer no campbell for large amounts of this season , sanchez playing practically every game. Im sorry but if as a top 4 team wenger doesnt trust his team outside the first 12 or 13, he has done something wrong,,, but it isnt that, he just doesnt choose to play them..

    remember when we started pod and campbell in the ECL last game? how refreshed, how spirited we looked… We need to do that far far more often against the lesser teams, to keep the team fresh and keep the fringies happy

    I think the jam tomorrow thing being taken by city and chavs while some truth bears from it a lot doesnt to

    Big Big Big example…………. LAST SEASON TOP 128 DAYS, everyone and his hairdresser knew the team was struggling and would never ever win the league with reinforments, not many , not even world class, just a couple of bodies maybe on loan or for slightly over market value and i believe that we would have won the league.. Kallstrom with a broken back anyone?

    I believe the last 5 years have been littered with occcasions where our squad has been kept just out of reach of greatness by wengers reluctence to reinforce when needed…

    So no its not about city or chavs, wenger has the ability to coach a team of lesser players to be as good if not better than them. What on the other hand he doesnt have the power to do is out do the oil teams with fewer great players AND a tiny squad. Its almost arrogance on his part to think he could…

    Our training methods havent changed in ten years, parlour said this just the other day.

    Has the game changed in the last 10 years? yes, hugely in terms of science and fitness. We are no longer fitter than other teams.

    If and animal refuses to adapt to the changing world or the situation they are in the get left behind, they die, no matter how big or powerful they once were..

    Wenger has become myoipic and dogmatic to the extreme

    I will always back him as long as he is our manager , i will never wish him to leave under a black cloud, but as time goes on the nature of his mistakes is getting stranger and stranger.

    I feel as Pers comment suggests, that the players are getting tired of never being given a fair chance to win things, because they are always shattered. Either that or never play

  • Steve Vallins

    Come back Shard i enjoy reading your comments along with many others but recently it seems to me too one upmanship

  • Will

    “You did start the name-calling on that thread though and your using when you started supporting Arsenal and how often you attend games to score point did not go down well either as already know.”

    Well, that is after someone who has been following the team for 3 years tells me (someone has paid his dues on the roads and terraces for over 3 decades) to go “cry somewhere else” which clearly means my opinion is invalid. I strongly disagree, I thinkl my dues paid gives me the absolute right to say what I like about my club and someone who has barely been born into Goonerdom has NO RIGHT to question my support or tell me to go anywhere. That is how I will feel for all my days.

    In my opinion, hours given, miles travelled and hours stood on wet terraces trumps 3 years of internet watching always.

    Not saying people can’t have their opinion and that it is not right but dues paid trumps everything.

  • Will – I am sorry that you feel that way. On the basis of what you have said, that is clearly wrong.

    The problem we have is that the site is under constant attack from people who oppose the notion that there could even exist a web site that has as one of its prime mottos “supporting the manager”.

  • Will

    TTony, there is a worrying trend here that if you even question a decision or play, you are an AAA. That needs to be stamped out. I think Wenger is the greatest living manager of our time but if he makes a mistake, I should be allowed to voice that opinion without being labelled Anti-Arsenal or Anti-Wenger.

    Where is the middle ground in all this?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Dear Tom, many thanks for your observations.
    Firstly, I enjoyed reading Tony article especially the anecdote with the publisher.Hope that clears that up.
    The paraphrasing you quoted is wrong, but more to that in a moment. I have no idea why pointing out my hypocrisy means that I have a split personality. Im not even sure what you mean by the term, which is a bit archaic.Perhaps you should know that “Kenneth Widmerpool” is a nom de plume, so perhaps you are right, it is a kind of split personality.I must rush out to see a doctor immediately,and get it sorted out in the name of truth and righteousness that you seem intent on hunting down.Or perhaps theres something else at play?
    To clarify my point, I am a human and a hypocrite in the end, like all humans. I do my best to not be, but life in the end tends to test your personal ideology and will render you a hypocrite.
    A short example of this: a friend of mine was a Forest fan back in the days when they were a major team, and some bloke kept on shouting”give it to O’Neil, give it to O’Neil”, and when the ball was passed to O’Neil, he made a mess of things and the bloke shouted”why the F*ck did you give it to O’Neil?”.
    I think you are getting two narratives mixed up.The first I recall (without checking),that BILL steamed into Old Groover in late August?2014
    When I wrote to BILL, I felt at that moment that it was a bit over the top with Old Groover, and to a slight degree still do(note the word Tom, slight), but he wrote back to me about it as did Mick as did Bjt with their thoughts on the matter, and I backed down and understood thats just peoples/BILLS way and at the time, and I admitted it was my issue, as I still do.I have no personal beef with BILL then or now, its no big deal as I wrote to him at that time as he did to me.Its all online for you to examine.
    Next was my interaction with Ash79 from LG in September, who had come over to UA with a few others turning over the tables flexing their keyboard muscles needling and moaning as the LG boys do etc.What I actually said was”BILL, brilliant and justified”and then “second best moment of the day”. And I stand by it.Sorry if you dont like it.
    So as your memory proves correct, I am a hypocrite.However, I do prefer discussion to debate and Im neither a Buddha or God or any divine entity or a thoroughly good chap like you.So perhaps I can be forgiven?
    I pretty fouled mouthed myself and had an ex-friends wife giving me a bollocking about it.Ironically,(and topically) she was rather foul mouthed in doing so.I would even put forward that such words arent “foul”, and this is more a imposition by those who associated sexual words as being anything but their idea of holy.Perhaps that ties in with the article? Sorry, I have no time to discuss that here or what constitutes “holy” even.
    Im not sure how you mix hypocrisy with split personality(whatever that actually means?).I think one of the things that leads people into hypocritical moments, is that contexts and polemics change, and pretty rapidly,its not actually a big deal once you understand that.Most people dont and I assume that you dont either or forgot for a moment.But as for mental illness of some kind, you seem way off the mark.
    Although our worldly system sits in duality, there’s actually masses of paradoxical moments of (seemingly hypocrisy) that tend to look grey and unclear.So for example, there a hell of a lot of music that I think is good, but I don’t like it.
    The key point to understanding this, is that people are moving at different psychological speeds,this causes shifts of understanding through the flux of the moment.
    At the first instant, late on a Friday afternoon, I thought BILL was a bit hard, later on viewing in another context I didn’t, as I didnt watching the September LG thread unfold.History is full of such examples, it doesn’t make it/me, right or particularly wrong unless we are stuck in some rule bound situation, erm like school.But then in the great sweep of history who can tell what’s right or wrong, due to unfolding consequences?And no, I don’t like that any more than anyone else in case that irritates you.

    I will try my very best to not write anything of a hypocritical nature again.Who knows even from your comment that BILL comes back on line…lets hope so, proving my last point.You see Tom, if Old Groover or Ash79 had been disucssing things rather than debating, then BILL wouldnt have irritated would he? Theres a big difference, and in a way thats how I understood Tonys article.Perhaps Im wrong.

    However,you may like to know Ive just got back from Larchwood studios LA where Im filming my new movie its called “Ken or Kenneth”,starring Bela Lugosie, Willie Young, Barbie and Tor Johnson, Charles Stringham and Pamela Flitton.Budget: seventy five pahnd twenty five pee.
    Basically Kenneth loves his wifes (Barbie) angora Arsenal shirt that he steals when shes out filming Toy Story2, and when he wears it he becomes Ken, who makes wildly hypocritical statements and irritates everyone, especially on days when Arsenal aren’t playing and they are bored.Its a serious film based on contemporary societies hypocrisy and prejudice. Kenneth psychologically banishes the wicked Ken and he and Barbie go over and live in her house happily ever after and only wear real Arsenal shirts that are meant for real fans,and Tor and Willie come over for the Arsenal games.Charles Stringham comes over and gets utterly arseholed and Pamela as ever gets nasty with Kenneth and Barbie and runs off with X Trapnel to a strange place called “old toilet” ,its there that they meet the character Bela plays, its a walk on part called Fungerson, who keep shouting out”pull the toilet chain! pull the toilet chain!” and he flushes himself down the kasi.

    Any similarity to Edward D.Wood jr’s film Glen or Glenda is a pure co-incidence.

    My next film will be called “the bride of the AAAA” its a horror movie about digging skeletons out of cupboards,I can assure you Tom, its pretty tedious.Though you may like it.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Will, if at times being a critic of the team and even manager makes you aaa, then guess I must be in their ranks. Like Bootoomee, despite a love of the club, the players and manager, I have sworn at him/them at times, at least in the comfort of the house or car… especially this season, some of the things that have happened have been exasperating to say the least. I also sometimes find myself in agreement with the more gentle constructive criticism of the likes of Blacksheep and sometimes the more biting views of the likes of Tom who to me at least backs up what he say, as well as the most pro wenger people on here.
    As Tony says, this site and those that use it are constantly under attack, sometimes by subtle attempts to gain favour only for a user to reveal themself as a complete hater of all things Arsenal so it can be hard to differentiate between a constructive critic, a genuine passionate supporter frustrated by some aspect of the club, or a troll/hater. But agree with Bootoomee, you seem to have been pretty consistent on your views on here from what I have seen at least, so guess you just got to be yourself! No rule that I know of saying everyone on here has to agree with everyone else, that would just be down right boring!

  • Will,

    You were posting REPEATEDLY about how a team that was leading in a game was being soft. You were losing your shit posting panicky comments that were anything but supportive while the rest of us were trying to cheer each other up while hoping that our team wins on the same ground where the league champions and runners up have been well beaten this season.

    Alex was right to tell you to go and cry somewhere else and as I told you before, he merely beat me to it; I was going to tel you the same thing. You were stinking up the thread by posting negative comment DURING a difficult game on a positive Arsenal blog. Alex was telling you to go to to a different site where such comments would be appreciated after he had made some effort to calm you down but to no avail.

    From your obsession with you using how long you’ve been following Arsenal as a cudgel to beat up those who disagree with you, it seems to me that you believe that no one born after 1974 can ever measure up to you as a supporter. Well, that is just messed up – in far too may unpleasant ways.

    I never bring up how long I have been a Gooner up in debates because I can’t see how that makes my opinion more valid than that of the next person. I know teenage Gooners who have vast knowledge of the game and the club and are absolutely passionate and positive about the club. How are these youngsters inferior to you again? Why can’t Arsenal13 challenge your opinion on Arsenal just because he started following the club 3 years ago?

    For me, the only thing that matters in the debate is the ability to use logic and evidence to back our opinions. To Arsenal FC – and based on their red carpet treatment of the Vietnamese Gooner popularly known as the Running Man – it seems it is our passion for the club and not just how much money we spend that makes us great supporters. You might want to think about that.

  • Will

    You were posting REPEATEDLY about how a team that was leading in a game was being soft. You were losing your shit posting panicky comments that were anything but supporti

    It’s called passion. It comes in many guises, embrace it will make you live longer.

  • Will,

    You and I clearly disagree on what passion is. I think that it is singing out loud and believing in your team even when all the odds are against them. You think that it is calling them soft while they are battling to win on a ground where the league champions and runners up have already been defeated.

    Let’s just agree to disagree then.

    Cheers!

  • Charlie Mclaren

    Agree insults on either side aren’t helpful. More interested to see who is bought in January though. Say what you like Walter but Per hasn’t been close to good enough and a new CB is required.

  • nicky

    Boy, that sure was a series of thought provoking comments all about being polite to each other.
    One in particular stayed in my mind.
    “Einstein introduced some maths into his relativity theory called the “cosmological constant,” you’ve probs heard of it”.
    No, I haven’t actually, but I appreciate the thought. 😉

  • OK – my article is about abuse so in response to it, it is fair enough to write about abuse, but let’s just keep it to this article.

    After this one, no more.

  • Mick

    I think anyone who crosses the ‘Abusing a fellow Arsenal supporter’ line should have ten minutes in the cyber sin bin with Bill from Manhattan so as to be taught how to use appropriate language on a football blog.

  • Will

    Bootoomee
    January 3, 2015 at 4:53 pm
    Will,

    You were posting REPEATEDLY about how a team that was leading in a game was being soft. You were losing your shit posting panicky comments that were anything but supportive while the rest of us were trying to cheer each other up while hoping that our team wins on the same ground where the league champions and runners up have been well beaten this season.

    Alex was right to tell you to go and cry somewhere else and as I told you before, he merely beat me to it

    And that is you on my Christmas ignore list.

    Oh and the passion thing was humour, try it sometimes, you will live longer.

  • “And that is you on my Christmas ignore list.”

    What have I done? How did I bring this on myself? My life will never be the same again. The horror!

    Don’t flatter yourself dude and I am not sure about your sense of humour.

  • Will

    Oh my god. Lighten up. It’s football and everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  • “Oh my god. Lighten up. It’s football and everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

    Okay, I get it now: only your type of humour is humour just like only your opinion is valid right? Got it!

  • Will

    You win the internet. If you ever want to debate football I will but fuck, you are hard work.

    Honestly, Are you under 18?

  • gouresh

    You see what we have become. People cannot discuss / debate / put their point of view without being shouted down by one side or the other. Sad really. And the best part is we support the same team.

  • Jammy J

    Will you really do make yourself sound like a idiot sometimes. You think people have issue with some of things you say because you are accused of being a aaa. Its not that, but rather because of the way you come across sometimes.

  • omgarsenal

    Tony….an excellent approach to dealing with abusive and mean-spirited bloggers on UA. I tend to gravitate to the passive-aggressive mode when confronted by the ignorance of the aaa trolls, but then revert to my usual rational and realistic character and write an article about the Arsenal.
    Will, the aaa label is meant for posters,some more or less like you, who repeatedly regurgitate the same memes that go totally counter to UA’s core philosophy and values. Your negativity and ceaseless criticisms, regardless of the success or lack of at the Arsenal, and your insistence that your countless years of ¨supporting¨ the Gunners justifies your opinions, possibly more than your fellow Gooners is less convincing than debating honestly and factually, without resorting to the Wenger blame game or the reliance on self-important boasting about how good a supporter you are.
    Made to love magic…..your argument is spurious and ill thought out. Wenger did bring in replacements (particularly defensive ones) and also bolstered our attacking options, which in a sense is a defensive strategy as well. Would Jose M.have handled losing 8-9 core players from his squad any better than Wenger has done? Chelsea have lost 2 matches with 99% of their best players available….we have only had 2 games where our first choice 11 played together this season, and we have played with 4 new academy players at least 50% of our games so far….so try some other arguments please.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool: quite magnificent. I suppose the extent of ones hypocrisy is all a question of upbringing.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    FH,Chips Lovell mentioned something about that at Lady Mollys, as he was eyeing the angora Arsenal shirt…hows the lads at Casanovas Chinese restaurant? I havent been over in a while…

  • Will

    OMG, when have I blamed Wenger and surely in 2015, we have the right to question authority?

    This has to stop, we as fans are allowed to question the direction the management is taking the club in without being told we are Arsenal hating devils and to cry somewhere else and yes, I do think the fact I have spent my time on the terraces gives me a little more right to get pissed off when a Johnny come lately tells me to shut up about Arsenal. If you don’t like that, I really don’t care.

  • Jayramfootball

    Applause for the sentiment of this article. Debates are healthy but all too often there are those that try and bully, abuse and target others. Those that do it should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Quincy

    I must admit using abuse too readily myself, and I hope to keep it under control. The thing that really irritates me is when someone repeats the same comment over and over and over and over. The sort of comment you can read on 10 000 other websites, and then they come here to repeat it as though it was some startling insight that we surely hadn’t come across before.

    But the thing that really irritates me that no matter how much you rebut their arguments with facts and a sound counter-argument, they just continue repeating the same old opinions. I suppose I will be accused of the same! Football support are just entrenched in their own views and basically nothing can ever change that. The people who come here on Untold with their negative comments know this, they know they are not going to win any converts, so why do they do it? Just to cause trouble? The whole reason I read Untold is because I don’t like reading the same old negative guff that’s everwhere else.

    It’s not that I can’t stand criticism of Wenger or the club, it’s just that many people come here with very extreme or very aggresive comments. I would mind opinions contrary to my own if people would (1) not midlessly repeat what others have said, (2) try to consider both sides of the argument, (3) consider the argument and the value of the other person’s argument, and (4) be civil, and don’t assume you know everything, that people who disagree with you are idiots etc.

    Of course, I could be accused of all of those things myself, but I just find it very difficult to be restrained when I read some of vicious and extreme comments. In future I will try to follow my own advice 😀

  • Quincy

    * I would not mind opinions contrary to my own 😀

    Lazy fingers 😀

    Regarding the term AAA or AAAAA, it’s not one I use myself, I prefer the more common WOB, and I don’t mind if someone labels me a AKB. I can’t see much difference in the acronyms AAA and WOB, in terms of how people would respond to being labelled with either. I will agree though that sometimes we are too quick to use such labels.

    The whole problem is that many football supporters are, or seem to view the world, as very black and white. Either we WOB or we are AKB, and there is very little if anything inbetween.

    I must confess in recent times I have become less and less critical of the club in response to the extreme WOB opinions I seem to meet more and more.

  • Jammy J

    @Will – Im not accusing you of being a aaa, but perhaps if you stopped mentioning how often you have been to see Arsenal play in literally every other post you make and how that makes you more of a supporter than anyone else, then you might be received a bit better. I know your going to want to reply with “but someone said i wasnt a true supporter” but that was just one person and youve made your point already and we get; we get it a thousand times over.

  • R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Also

    What is an AAA or AAAAA ?

    Sorry for two quick posts

  • R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Technical players are good to view an style of play when fluent an on form is good,
    But I would love to hark back to the army days of wenger when he had skill players but always endured we were beefed up , not psychical like Wimbledon but good pro’s on the pitch who handled the game.

    Not so long ago were were playing football that had all the pundits creaming us accolades,

    Let’s have it again .

  • Will

    Jesus, I am not saying I am more of a supporter, I am saying my history and dues paid gives me the right to question Wenger and Arsenal and also gives me the right to tell a JCL to fuck off when he questions my support.

    Yes?

  • Gord

    You can question Wenger and Arsenal at the stadium, you can question them at their offices, you can question them in your car, you can question them when you are on a walk, you can question them when your car is stuck. Quit ragging on the team when you are interacting with a blog site which SUPPORTS the team. Your ragging on them is not support. Once in a thread is okay, and so is probably twice. But getting beyond twice is not support.

  • Will

    So, seeing teh same mistakes over and over and we have to congratulate?

  • bjtgooner

    A very interesting article Tony. One which certainly seems to have stirred up one of our relatively new trolls. I always become fascinated with the antics of our AAAAs and trolls – every now and again the established trolls/AAAAs disappear, only to be replaced by an almost equal number of new creeps -(that wasn’t really abuse was it? – I was lost for an alternative and suitably mild description!)

    In addition to the trolls and AAAAs (i.e. pains in the proverbial), I have noted a couple of supposed supporters who by adopting the disingenuous approach, achieve the result that the AAAA often aspire to (and usually fail to convince anyone) – i.e. convincingly appear to be a genuine fan and use that false position as a platform to launch an anti club subtle propaganda campaign.

    I fully agree that an Arsenal supporter should not suffer abuse – but of course the trolls, the AAAAs and the disingenuous are not supporters – and it could be debated – deserve all that they get!

    But to support your viewpoint Tony, rather than kick their asses into orbit – we will just have a talk with them – about astronomy!!

  • RSPCA
    AAA is the Anti Arsenal Arsenal – the fans who claim to be Arsenal but actually spend their time knocking the club. You can read more at http://www.untold-arsenal.com/the-aaa

  • TommieGun

    Tony, thank you very, very much for this.

    I thought this kind of an article was a long way coming, and to be honest I was always a bit embarassed that neither you nor Walter had never stepped in to intervene when silly abuse and cyber bullying were present.

    I really urge all of you to get this: we are a family. We, who support Arsenal. There are others who support other clubs. They are not part of our family. And in families you have annoying members: your pricky aunt who never says a good word; your spoilt young brother who never helps out; sometimes it’s even your parents that can have issues. But they are YOUR family for fuck’s sake.

    What kind of a family member are you? Ask yourself.

    You might think and might be correct to think that you are the one doing a lot of the actual work like cooking or planning and executing family activities or just investing most of the positive energy in order to keep the family up and smiling, fighting against negative energy coming from grayer, somber members of the family.

    I know I am. And you know what I almost NEVER do ? Call them out. It never helps. When they go on with their negative shit I look the other way, I change the subject, I do my best to cheer them up and get the energy flowing to a more positive place. I might go over and whine to my mom – “why is your sister such a lousy person?”, and even “please don’t invite her again”. But I’ll do that in private. And will never invest more than a gram of energy in that kind of thing. It’s fruitless, it’s pointless, and in the end I find that it brings out all the negativity in me.

    I admit that when things REALLY get out of hand, then I might explode. But that would be rare.

    But as SURE AS SHIT is that it won’t be ME looking for a fight and provoking. That’s downright stupid in my opinion. You know you have a more sensitive memeber of your family? So why poke them in the eye? Why even call out their name? They are sitting quiet right now, so be smart and shut the fuck up. Maybe they won’t talk over dinner at all and everyone can keep happy!

    So, and I apolgize in advance because I am sure that some of you will imagine that I’m talking about them –
    When an incident happens, which has nothing to do with Arsenal directly (like the Chelsea yellow card), there is absoultely no fucking reason in this UNIVERSE to divert the conversation into someone who might have complained about Arsenal in the past.

    What’s the point? What are you trying to get? Can you (anyone who done that) explain to me, please, because I don’t understand: what are you getting out of saying something like “now all of the aaa will crawl out of their holes”. When they crawl, and you feel you HAVE to tell them to crawl back – go for it. But to be the one who draws first, or the be the one who is eager and proud and “ooooh I got to be the first to tell that whiner off…”. Why?

    Fair enough, there are poisonous people who come here. People who want AFC to lose just so they can blame AW; people who just go on and slag our players, never writing a good word. But some just express their feelings, and blaming them for having negative feelings when shit might not be so great is just – in my very humble opinion – not the right thing to do.

    COYG and PEACE among gunners, cheerful and somber alike.

  • mickess

    Thanks Tony for a great post. My post a few days ago only touched on what you are saying. I am only an occasional poster on this site but have been put off my daily dose of Untold by some of the ill-considered and sometimes libelous comments from some of the replies to postings. I trust we can now get back to some intelligent conversations and support the club we all love and not get dragged down to the base level of some blogs I have seen.

    This blog would not be the same without emotional replies to postings but if posters stuck to the subject and ceased using this blog to perpetuate a kind of ‘I am right and you are wrong’ attitude we could all get down to the real purpose which is supporting the Arsenal! If they cannot then then they should perhaps post elsewhere.

  • Menace

    Will you’ve not paid a bean, because you haven’t learned a thing. Just in case you didn’t realise the ball is the thing with the wind inside. You are soft and can’t even get the second ball !!!

  • andy bishop

    @ mickess…if only but not while the site is patrolled by the self appointed UA police most I doubt have never kicked a football

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Kenneth Widmerpool -January 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm – love your movie ideas!
    Your Kenneth/ Ken is so much like me – the mild mannered and respected Dr.Rajah ,who when faced with abuse by the two faced clowns against the club and manager he loves , transforms ( albeit ,gleefully !)into the devilish, fiendish and the arse kicking Brickfields Gunners .
    What’s that you say ,Don ? Stop taking the purple pills ?
    Oh , ok !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Keeping it simple ….
    http://www.gocomics.com/wumo/2015/01/03

  • andy bishop,

    When did “ever kicking a ball” become a pre-requisite for posting on a fan blog?

    If you have a point to make, please go ahead and make it. Whining about being “patrolled” is becoming tedious and lame. If you are unable to defend your point of view, don’t whine and blame those who disagree with you.