Why do they treat us with such contempt?
By Billy “the Dog” McGraw, senior consultant in social deprivation at the University Hospital of the North Circular Road.
I would like to start by telling you exactly who the deal is done for, but unfortunately this is where things break down a bit.
I mean, I wouldn’t lie to you and I am not trying to be funny or anything but all is not always quite what it seems.
Because the headline I have just seen on the Gooner News site says “Arsenal fans all smiles as£30 million man announces he will be at Emirates!” actually tells us that Jack Wilshere has admitted he is going nowhere and will be playing for Arsenal next season.
Which I am sure is not what all the people who clicked on the story actually thought it would be about, nor what the ! at the end implies.
Now I appreciate at this point you might be saying “but you have just done the same thing” by writing the headline I have, which is true, except that I think all regular readers know what Untold is about, as opposed to the little sites that pop up with a burst of these headlines and then fade away. And as for those who don’t, well, I am here, rather like a 19th century missionary in Gondwanaland, to rescue your lost soul and show you the way to enlightenment.
GREAT NEWS: Arsenal Finally AGREE DEAL With CLINICAL FINISHER tells us that Theo Walcott is about the sign a new deal.
So what’s the point? Well the site in question has taken itself up the Google rankings a few notches. It hasn’t done its own reputation much good, but then, in these days, who cares about reputation when one’s position in the rankings might go up a page?
Now these headlines are not picked at random – for they all appeared this morning in the “most popular stories in the last 24 hours” section of Goonernews.
Let us move on, for hanging around some of these sites is not recommended as you never know what you might catch. So we have DONE DEAL:£25m Arsenal target set for medical this week which tells us Jackson Martinez is going to sign for Juventus not Arsenal, but you wouldn’t really get that from the headline. Which, if I may remind you, is on an Arsenal site.
Now I like Goonernews, because it does track a lot of what people are saying, and I am not in any way saying it should not publish these headline stories, because it seems to be what people want.
UNBELIEVABLE: South American Star AGREES SHOCK Arsenal TRANSFER Tells us Joel Campbell is going to Fenerbache. Which might be true or it might be unbelievable, because half a dozen other sites have have a dozen other clubs where he is going to. Not quite sure why it is a shock transfer though.
DEAL! Arsenal Make SHOCK BID For£100,000-a-week Giroud REPLACEMENT says that Arsenal are bidding for Eden Dzeko. Ah, that would be a shock then would it? And is it true? Oh.
PICTURE PROOF: Arsenal SHOW-OFF Arturo Vidal Picture, DEAL DONE reveals that there is a rumour quoted in the Sun which Vidal of Juventus is coming to Arsenal. Quite how the picture of him is any proof of anything is beyond me but maybe I was looking at the wrong bit of the picture.
So what’s it all about? Well, let me explain. It is, in its own sort of way, fraud. And it reveals a rather horrible attitude by the site owner towards us fans. And there is a disturbing medical condition lurking beneath it all too (which is, after all, my department).
Web sites try and earn money by having adverts which people can click on. When you click, the web site earns a smattering of money. Not much, but if the site has a big enough audience, it can pay for the server, the IT support, and (at least on Untold Arsenal) the desperate rescue work that goes on when some nutter starts to put the site under attack.
Now what some of the sites running the above stories have done is set themselves up so that their advert pops up over the top of the article. In the top right is a box that suggests that if you click on the box the ad will vanish and you will go straight to the story.
But ooops, no, you click on the x top right of the ad and what happens? You go to the ad that you have tried to stop seeing!
Of course it is just a technical glitch and no one is committing any fraud, absolutely not, no way, but it does mean sometimes one never gets to the story at all! Or not until the third time.
Meanwhile it continues
SHOCKING: The Blues Set To SIGN £90,000-a-week Arsenal Star NEXT WEEK! tells us that Everton are going to sign Podolski. Is that shocking? Why is NEXT WEEK in capitals? We should be told!?!?!?*
Wenger opens up and admits delight at Arsenal’s brilliant signing! on the other hand says that Arsene Wenger has backed Gabriel Paulista to succeed at Arsenal.
“The Brazilian arrived at the club this season and has looked good during the few glimpses that the Gunners have been given off him,” is the amazing piece of news.
OFFICIAL: SHOCK £25M Deal DONE & CONFIRMED For Arsenal PRIME Target, reveals that Arsenal have been dealt a final transfer “blow” with news that key summer target has completed a move to the Serie A.
According to fresh reports emerging from Portugal, Arsenal have been beaten in the race to sign Porto hitman Jackson Martinez.
This report is according to popular Portuguese media outlet Porto Canal,who claim Milan have beaten Arsenal and Liverpool to the signing of the Colombian hitman.
Now if there is a Colombian hitman in the offing I would actually prefer him to go to Liverpool (where I suspect he will feel very much at home) rather than in peaceful N5. They do a good line in cocaine in Liverpool 8 I’m advised.
There really is a deep contempt being expressed here for Arsenal supporters. I don’t mean by Goonernews, which as I say I like, and often use – not least because it is easy to flip through the gibberish and find the real stories.
And it is the same type of contempt that is being expressed by the some writers on the national dailies – as per the report on Jonathan Liew yesterday.
But the deeper question is why? The amount of money earned is tiny, the rise in the Google rankings is temporary, and it all seems rather silly.
But if you read the article yesterday about the wholesale poison pen campaign that was waged against Jimmy Logie you will have become aware of just how far people (normally known as “trolls” and “journalists” today) will sink.
There is indeed a technical medical explanation for why people can get into such a state that they are reduced to the childish pranks of the misleading headlines, poison pen letters abetted by those people whose whole lives are just endlessly negative, complaining and based around the ludicrous notion that they can see how to run a football club but Arsene Wenger can’t. Indeed the argument of that branch of journalist, blogger and professional moaner is that if only they were the manager everything would be fine. If only Jonathan Liew was running Arsenal, we’d have cleared out the dross long ago and be endlessly top of the league.
As I say, there is a technical medical explanation for such behaviour. It is called being a prat.
I just thought you would like to know.
16 June 1934: Margate became Arsenal’s feeder club. With the school leaving age of 14 but clubs prohibited from signing players until 17 the nursery idea allowed Arsenal to train youngsters as amateurs and monitor their development.
Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910