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October 2016
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The biggest failures in football of 2014/15

By Tony Attwood

It was the Guardian who came up with the Biggest Flop contest.  They did carefully ignore their own magnificent failure to see how a change in Swiss law would cause Fifa a trifle of embarrassment, or indeed how the media would universally refuse to acknowledge its own compliance in Fifa’s dominance of football.

But now what of failures elsewhere?

The first thing to notice is that there is not a single mention of Arsenal anywhere on the list.  No Arsenal failures.  A bit of remorse would be nice, and we ain’t got that, but the Guardian leaves us out of the list.

Now this is remarkable given the way the media and their aaa allies has spent so much time knocking the club, always finding someone, something, somewhere.  But I’ve given them a few reminders at the end.

Harry Redknapp who led QPR such a merry dance gets only mention, which perhaps reflects the way that most journalists have memory spans shorter than the average goldfish more than his ability to create havoc across the universe.

But even more strangely Mike Ashley and Newcastle only got three mentions, despite Mr A’s comings and goings at Rangers, his loan of five players to Rangers, and all of that.  I mean to say, this is wholesale manipulation and destruction of football, and yet only three of the 17 journalists who commented mentioned him.

As I looked down the list I was also looking for our old amusement park: Balo.   Andy Hunter came up with this curious comment, “Mario Balotelli does not qualify in this category as no one expected him to succeed at Liverpool. Not even Brendan Rodgers, a few weeks before spending £16m on him.”   Really?  Then surely that makes Brendan Rodgers the flop of the season, for buying a player he doesn’t believe in.

James Riach however did pick Mario Balotelli. “A dreadful signing for Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers took a £16m punt and it backfired,” and two of his colleagues agreed.

Sachin Nakrani however went for the lot of them, “The committee, which includes the manager, Brendan Rodgers, have questions to answer, as does the entire hierarchy at the club.”  In fact Liverpool get mentioned seven times, which makes one wonder what the rest of the writers think of the word “flop”.

Radamel Falcao is described at one point as “The galáctico’s galáctico” and got several mentions (including Barney Ronay saying “Radamel Falcao. Oh dear. Come here. Come on. Let’s have a hug,”) as did Ángel Di María while Amy Lawrence did a nice bit of individualism with “Ahmed Elmohamady’s comedy dive against Arsenal was a flop and a half.”

So, domination for Liverpool, but no mention of these, which I would nominate as my ten flops of the season.

1.  The attempt at placing press releases as news in newspapers that are struggling.    A failure because the results were so laughable.  The PGMO’s desperate attempt to exhonerate themselves by claiming that they are forward looking, and that 98% of all ref decisions are correct, got full coverage in the Telegraph, while the Independent covered themselves in something utterly disgusting with their word for word run of Barcelona’s president saying they have done nothing wrong, and beside they pay more tax than any other club in the world.

2.  The FA’s continuing foul up over cup final tickets.   I am one of the lucky few, but I would like to be with my season-ticket owning friends, who despite their absolute support simply can’t get in.

3.  The continuing existence of ticket touts outside the Emirates.

4.  The Independent’s recent hilarious attempt to suggest that “Arsenal fans hijack” whatever is going on at the moment.  They did it with Jack Wilshere winning Match of the Day’s goal of the season award for the second year running, “thanks to a collective surge of support from Arsenal” fans.”

Which is a bit like saying that the Conservative Party hijacked the general election by getting their supporters to vote Conservative.  Which I suppose they did in a way.

Gary Lineker “felt compelled” (the Indy) “to point out that there had been something of a rallying cry from Arsenal fans on Twitter to vote for Wilshere.”  Well, yes, there is Twitter.  It is there.  People use it.  It’s part of information technology.  You may have heard of it.

And worse, according to the Indy, Alexis Sanchez became PFA Fans’ Player of the Season after Arsenal fans voted for him too!!!

“If you look back through the monthly winners a pattern emerges – Arsenal players win more than their fair share,” bemoans the paper.  Maybe we are just more literate than the rest.

Oh and “Arsene Wenger was the surprise winner of Manager of the Year at the inaugural Facebook Football Awards last night.”

5.  Chelsea’s great victory parade.  I don’t know how many people really turned out, but the pictures of the bus going past empty streets was amusing.  Or if not that, then their exit in the FA Cup.  The press treated it as “the romance of the cup.”  How would they have reported it if that had been Arsenal?  There would have been talk of the Walsall match – which happened over 80 years ago.

6.  Tottenham’s attempt to stop St Totteringham’s Day.   Actually that is a bit unkind because there wasn’t a Tottenham attempt to stop St Tot’s.  It just, sort of, happened.

7.  Blatter’s recent statement that he’s not responsible for what Fifa executives do, and the weak attempts by Visa, Coca Cola and others to distance themselves from Fifa.  Notably arch-sponsor McDonald’s didn’t even bother.  “Our customers are killing themselves by being here so why should they care,” a regional manager didn’t quite manage to say but he would have done if he hadn’t just eaten a McDonald’s burger.

8.  West Ham’s attempt to get into the top four, talked up by the media in the first half of the season, which ended, somewhere, down the league, I can’t quite see them, they must be here somewhere, pesky blighters hiding in the lower regions….  Shouldn’t read all the predictions you see in the papers.

9.  FFP.  A tragedy, but there it is.  Uefa is backing off in the face of legal appeals that it knew would happen, the Premier League has refused to help the Championship, and the Championship is now re-negotiating with QPR to allow them to stay in the league, despite breaking all the rules.

10.  The aaa’s attempt to regain the territory it lost during the summer.  The transfer of Alexis, following the arrival last year of Ozil really knocked the stuffing out of them, especially having put so much energy into abusing Arsene Wenger for playing a game of foot volley ball on the beach a few days before.   In fact the whole summer transfer schedule of Alexis Sánchez,  Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina, and Danny Welbeck.  Gave them headaches.  They’d never heard of Oooooooooospina, and as for Welbeck.  What? No! Snort etc etc etc.

And then when we had a few dodgy results early on and because of the injury crisis turned first to Bellerin and later to Coquelin, they were over the parrot and sick as the moon, or whatever the sayings are these days.

Just listening to them, and watching them trying to pretend that they had never done the “won’t win anything with kids” stuff as Bellerin and Coquelin came good, was almost as much fun as watching Bellerin and Coquelin.

“I feel bad for the kid more than anything. He was clearly not good enough(Goonersworld 17 September 2014).

“A good spell in the Championship is not enough to suggest he will…”  (Bleacher Report on Coquelin, Jan 2015).

“Francis Coquelin is not good enough for Arsenal …”  (Football Fancast March 2014)”

And so on.

The writers of this sort of stuff will of course emerge again at the first sign of Arsenal not winning every single match 10-0, but meanwhile it is good to have a laugh at them.


  • 29 May 1905: With no players, no supporters, having played no games, and having had an application for membership turned down by the Southern League following objections by Tottenham, Chelsea were granted a place in the Football League.


26 comments to The biggest failures in football of 2014/15

  • colario

    Sometimes it is nice to gloat.

  • Blacksheep63

    I love the press’ attempts to complain about Arsenal fans dominating MOTD, Sky or Facebook polls. How dare we have so many fans, how dare we vote for our own side! When nearly every ‘expert’ pundit elevates the entire Chelsea team plus a handful of others (but NO Arsenal players) into their team of the season how can we have the AUDACITY to vote for Wilshere, Alexis and Wenger?

    I assume they will be equally outraged when a government elected by the minority of the electorate pass a law that denies the right to strike to union members who fail to vote in an absolute majority for strike action. Or deny proportional representation to political parties that garnered nearly 20% of the votes cast in the May general election. Or am I being naive?

  • Clockendrider

    I would suggest that what really gets the collective media goat (there’s an image….) is that following the non stop barrage of rubbish initiated and perpetuated by newspapers, Sky, idiots like that jug eared BBC clown and his band of mental midget MOTD acolytes, Arsenal fans are showing them exactly what they think of them. We don’t need such anachronisms as newspapers and pundits to tell us what to think.
    The sooner these people are forced to get proper jobs the better.

  • Dgob

    Well said,

    And it’s nice to see people of a like mind (and memory!).

    Tomorrow awaits and let’s just see what those notables make of it – should we win in consecutive years and Arsene make history (once again).


  • Jweeraga

    I’m already having butterflies in my berry about tomorrow’s game. Oh, the things they will write if misfortune happens! Then they will insert us in their columns as the worst team of the year. I bet the AAA are salivating at the prospect.I pray we win, just win, and then we can deal with Mourinho in our own good time in two months time.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Failure to mention ostriches ? Apparently they still haven’t gotten their heads out yet !
    Just for that one insightful and truthful comment , I ‘ll nominate Nigel Pearson as the EPL Sage of the year !

  • Andy Mack

    Three should be;
    3. The continuing existence of ticket touts outside most PL grounds.

  • Al

    “Which is a bit like saying that the Conservative Party hijacked the general election by getting their supporters to vote Conservative.”

    Lol! Brilliant, Tony 🙂

  • blargh

    I guess it was only Arsenal supporters that voted for their own teams players

  • john

    All right thinking football fans will agree that player of the season should be Gerrard, manager of the season Brendan Rodgers, goal of the season a choice from Rooney, Hazard, Costa or Terry (with honourable mentions for Adam and Benteke).

    The only way to avoid future highjackings is to ban Arsenal fans from voting.

  • apo Armani

    Brilliant Tony, and of course PATHETIC Media!!

    Lets lift the cup tomorrow and feed (all of these fools) truck loads of humble pie!

  • Gord

    MOTD is running another survey, best goals of the last 50 years. They chose 5 goals, and to keep Arsenal fans from running away with the survey, none of the 5 chosen are Arsenal scoring.

    Let’s go out and win the FA Cup Final first. Then if successful, we lift it. We earn it, we don’t assume it is ours.


  • Gord

    Someone called in a bomb threat at FIFA Congress. There are headlines of Bladder calling for FIFA to unite in presidential vote. I wonder if Bladder was the one who called in the bomb threat? Anything for unity, eh?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    It is so clear…See, obviously Arsenal fans want Arsene Wenger out, so therefore they voted him to be manager of the year of the Facebook Football Awards so that he would be satisfied and no longer want to win trophies and therefore resign…no? Or, maybe Arsenal fans don’t want him out…nah…can’t be.

  • Lanz

    I would have been very surprised if Sepp Blatter did not feature somewhere in the article!

  • Confucius

    Confucius say great error not taking head injuries seriously enough.

  • Jambug


    “The writers of this sort of stuff will of course emerge again at the first sign of Arsenal not winning every single match 10-0, but meanwhile it is good to have a laugh at them.”

    What chance have we got when the likes of Perry Groves, who actually works on Arsenal TV, comes out with crap like this:

    “Coming 3rd and Winning the FA Cup is a good season, but if Arsenal don’t win the FA Cup Wengers position will be under pressure”

    I can understand the aaa types and the idiots at places such as talksport saying that sort of thing, but an employee of Arsenal football Club?

    What’s that? He does also work for Talksport?

    Well I never. At least we know where his loyalties lie.

    Even the ones on the payroll just cat help themselves.

  • Gord


    Ars Technica is running a story about ethics, journalism and the laziness of journalists. And that county just to the east and north of London gets alluded to.

    In Canada, we see blurbs on TV about things like “broadcast standards” and “truth in advertising”. This Ars Technica article revolves around an unethical experiment involving the food and diet industry, with this comment:

    > … the diet industry is full of shysters who produce information where the truth value is so low that it can’t be measured. This information is ignorantly repeated by the mainstream media because journalism is hard.

    The first part shows that these attempts at broadcast standards and truth in advertising are just so much BS. The second part reinforces stuff you have mentioned on Untold. 106 comments as I write this, I suspect many are useful comments.

  • Mick

    Groves needs to be careful or his position at Arsenal could come under pressure. Just like Robson, he should beware a loyal fan backlash.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hilarious, Arsenal fans voting for their players, now there’s a novel concept. No mention of the type Arsenal fans that undounitedly voted everything Chelsea judging by the majority of posts on certain forums

  • The most interesting of all the results (and the most satisfying for me personally) is Arsene winning the Facebook awards manager of the year.

    This more than anything else vindicates those of us who have been saying for ages that the aaa and other disgruntled noisemakers like the WOBs are a tiny minority of Arsenal fans. The vast majority of us respect our manager and greatly appreciate his genius in keeping us up their with the Oilers with bottomless pockets.

    Considering the fact they so love to tell us how mad Arsenal fans are with Arsene Wenger, instead of moaning about Arsenal fans hijacking awards, shouldn’t these yappers be doing serious soul searching on how they could be so wrong about the support of a club that they love to claim to be expert in?

    I fucking hate the media.

  • Micheal Ram

    Finally, the people are standing up against the media. And the truth came out. How satisfying!

  • Mick

    I think we should encourage Arsene to put himself up as a candidate in the next general election, then we could hijack the vote and get him elected to No 10.

  • Sav from Australia

    We hate it when the propaganda denigrates Arsenal.

    But when the same machine attacks other things….its all good.

    Doesn’t matter now.
    Its over.
    Russia gets their world cup, Asia and Africa stand up to intimidation.
    And now onto the cup final.

  • Masterstroke

    It’s hardly over. In fact It’s only just started and if Russia do get their World Cup it will probably be vastly diluted.
    Yes. onto the cup final

  • Dgob