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Exclusive, read all about it – Arsenal in crisis. (Shock horror: feckless liars earn a living)


Exclusive, read all about it – Arsenal in crisis

By Proudkev

Media reporting has always been short on facts and agenda driven but since the advent of the Internet it has gone from bad to worse. It seems anyone can write an online article; all you have to do is have something negative to say because that drives page views. If you can knock Arsenal or Arsene Wenger then you have just increased your chances of getting published. That’s it in a nutshell – if you want to get published then knock the Arsenal. To make it easier for the writer, there are a few key topics that should always be included and those that should be avoided at all costs.

Topics to be mentioned:

  • Arsenal cannot defend
  • Arsenal need signings
  • The transfer window
  • Arsenal Wenger is stubborn
  • Mourinho is better than Wenger

Topics that must not be mentioned:

  • Arsenal had years of austerity
  • Arsenal built a stadium
  • Arsenal have turned their club into a behemoth through astute management
  • Arsenal were at a financial disadvantage to Chelsea & Man City
  • Arsene Wenger has over achieved
  • Arsenal’s approach is good for football

So now we know the rules, let’s take a look at some of the inaccurate reporting about our club.

…Arsenal can’t defend

Arsenal  have a poor defence and no amount of evidence that contradicts that view will be aired.  Watch any of the football shows or live games and count how many times our poor defending is mentioned.  When we drew  0-0 draw with Chelsea in April, it was our seventh clean sheet in 14 games and we were top of the ‘defence’ league table  for having the best defence. Up until that point we had conceded just 9 goals in 2015. Was that mentioned?

Last season we had the second best defensive record in the Premier League. This was despite the fact, we had so many defensive injuries at the start. Did anyone hear Liverpool, Man Utd or Man City being named as being poor defensively as regularly as Arsenal are?

Exclusive, read all about it

Before I move onto the current reporting, I would like to look at one ‘exclusive’ that stands out in my mind. This article went viral (new word I learned) and sent some Arsenal fans into a frenzy, especially the Wenger Out crowd. This was music to their ears.  This ‘exclusive’ was written by Jeremy Wilson and appeared in the Daily Telegraph, on 19 September 2014, almost one year ago.. The sensational headline read: “Arsenal’s annual wage bill moves ahead of Chelsea’s for first time in more than a decade”.

The content was based on Arsenal’s  published accounts, which Jeremy Wilson claimed were, “expected to show that Arsenal are now actually only third behind Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League for spending in salaries”.  This story was milked for all it was worth.  This was gold dust. Just what those queuing up to take pot shots at Wenger wanted to read.  Radio Stations, TV shows, the written media; all mocking Arsenal for paying their players more than Chelsea and still not being able to win the Premier League Title. This was proof that Arsene Wenger was a poor manager.

But despite all the anger was the story true?

No, it was a lie.

Yet despite this story being untrue, the article was recycled so many times you may have thought you had landed in an Environmentalists wonderland., surrounded by people wearing sandals. No doubt Jeremy Wilson was full of smug satisfaction watching twitter and the social media lunatics having a good day out at the office. A certain blog and it’s activists would have been venting more anger than a WOB winning a free tour of the Emirates Stadium and lunch with Wenger.

Jeremy Wilson just laughed the lie off. He said it was just a guess. These journalists really don’t care, the truth has no relevance.

But Jeremy Wilson wasn’t the first to decide to go to print carelessly and he won’t be the last…

Read all about it, Ozil’s nicking a living

Earlier in 2014, on 11March to be precise, that other Arsenal detractor, Neil Ashton, went to print in the Daily Mail, with a damning assessment of Mesut Ozil. His headline read: “The Lost and lazy Ozil might have cost Arsenal £42.5m but he isn’t worth two-bob… and he’s nicking a living”.

Now everyone is entitled to an opinion but this article really is an example of the type of abusive articles we see too often.  Ashton has made it clear that he dislikes our club and our manager. He seems to also dislike our players. He’s a member of the Daily Mail, a newspaper that rolls out anti-Wenger bile on a regular basis;  from such well known commentators as Adrian Durham and his twin brother, a certain Peter Wood. Ashton also chairs the Sunday Supplement show on SKY, where he is never slow in presenting and encouraging, anti-Arsenal comment.

The aim of the article is nothing other than an attempt to obtain ‘page views’ or ‘clicks’,  the factual nature of the content is irrelevant. They know fans are gullible and let’s face it, nobody likes an anti-arsenal article more than a member of the Wenger Out Crowd. These guys would believe the Moon was made of cheese if it provided more ammunition for their cause.

But it is funny how you don’t read the same criticism aimed at players of other clubs. Players like Falco and Di Maria; £100 million worth of talent who performed so badly they were moved on after one season. There are plenty of other examples too.

I guess highlighting expensive signings who flop isn’t what the media want to promote. Unless it gives them an opportunity to have a go at the Arsenal.

Arsenal and the transfer window

Wenger is to be criticised because Arsenal are the only club not to have bought an ‘outfield’ player. The signing of Petr Cech has prevented them from really having some fun. The fact that this statement is  factually incorrect, does make you wonder why it is repeated almost daily.

So who are all these players that Arsenal should have signed and who have been scouted by the experts in the media? Read on.

…Arsenal need a CB – spend some money they scream

Now this narrative exposes the ignorance of the media and sections of our fan base. Arsenal did need a centre back – so we bought one. Okay we didn’t go all guns blazing and buy a star player for £30m but we did buy a centre back. The fact we bought Gabriel last season, didn’t break the bank and sat him on the bench, means he can be ignored as a ‘new’ signing. He doesn’t count.

…Arsenal need a DM – spend some money they scream

The defensive midfielder narrative is even more interesting. Not only is Wenger supposed to replace Coquelin with a £25m plus player like Schneiderlin but Coquelin’s emergence in the first place was pure luck.

You will not find it written anywhere that Arsene Wenger scouted Coquelein and bought him to Arsenal as a 17 year old. You also will not find it written that Wenger had so much faith in the lad, that he only released him on a short term loan to Charlton. No, it was pure luck. The media do not want to give Arsene Wenger any credit for not spending £25m and keeping faith in a young home grown player, so they have to find ways of discrediting. Instead of being applauded for his judgement and his loyalty to young players, Wenger is admonished like a naughty child.

…Arsenal need a striker – spend some money they scream

The final attack on Wenger is that he failed to buy a striker. Apparently we only have two and they are rubbish. (Alexis Sanchez is not to be called a striker, perhaps because we spent £35m and he’s good).

Olivier Giroud is routinely abused, apparently because he has very nice hair but can’t run 100 meters in under 10 seconds. I suspect the real problem is that some people have a lack of understanding and cannot appreciate what  he brings to our team. The fact he only cost £12m is another reason, the media and the AAA really take offence when Wenger doesn’t spend £30m on a player as they demand.

What is more annoying is the fact that his ‘actual’ goal-scoring record is never mentioned, presumably because it flies in the face of the narrative. 43 goals in 102 starts is a good return. In fact, Giroud has a record hovering around 1 goal in 2 games, which is impressive.  Okay, it’s not comparable to Henry but who does?

According to the experts in the media, a World Class striker was available to buy, you just have to try. The fact Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd were unable to sign one, with the latter forking out £36 million for a young prospect, is conveniently ignored. So too the fact that Falcao was a £20m loan flop at Man Utd but even so Chelsea dug deep. Why? None of this suggests World Class strikers were available but that doesn’t suit the narrative.

The fact Wenger didn’t buy any of Benzema, Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez, Neymar or Lewandowski is a disgrace. This from the same critics who wanted us to sign Balotelli or Falcao last year.

…Oh Danny boy

I have read that Arsene Wenger has been accused by some of hiding Welbeck’s injury.

Wenger should be applauded for putting the players care before anything else.

Unlike breaks, ligament and tissue injuries become weaker after surgery. Therefore, it is always best to let these type of injuries heal without surgery. This is what Arsenal Football Club does. The downside is when the player breaks down at the final stages of recovery and surgery is needed, the player’s return is delayed.

Another example of Arsenal being criticised when in fact they should be praised.

But it doesn’t fit the anti-Arsenal narrative.

The fact is that Arsenal is a class act. It has tried to grow the club organically and through sensible financial planning. Wenger’s vision and his loyalty to the club is to be complimented, as too his ability to maintain the clubs Champions League status, despite the financial muscle of the oilers.

He gives youth a chance. He chooses to develop players and tries to compete against Managers who use the cheque book to buy success.

Wenger and Arsenal are the good guys. Unfortunately, not in the eyes of our media.


  • 15 September 1953: Chelsea 0 Arsenal 2.  Having won the league the previous season Arsenal had to wait until this, the 9th match of the season for their first win, by which time they were bottom of the league.  Both goals came from Lishman.
  • 15 September 1971: Arsenal’s first European Cup game: Stromsgodset IF 1 Arsenal 3.  Simpson, Marinello and Kelly scored in Norway in front of 23,000.

The Untold Books

29 comments to Exclusive, read all about it – Arsenal in crisis. (Shock horror: feckless liars earn a living)

  • crispen

    Its great to read an objective, article for a change

  • Willie Young's jock strap

    could not have put it better myself – what a refreshing change it is to read well researched and balanced articles on this website rather than the salivating morons who populate the general blogasphere!

  • apo Armani

    Only a complete idiot would argue with your article!!

  • Menace

    Good article proudkev. Wouldn’t it be great if Wenger just spelt out the Coquelin story, with costs, at his next press conference. It would totally flummox the hacks.

  • Mick

    No argument from me. Great article.

  • apo Armani

    OT lads (apologies) if you didn’t read it already; Jack will undergo surgery for the fracture/break 🙁

  • serge


    Arsene has actually mentioned ( a few times ) how Coquelin and Bellerin took him by surprise at a difficult time last season.


    I asw that, so expect another lashing from The Mail ( Durham)


    I think Peter Wood isn’t as bad as people perceive him to be. Definitely not in the same low class as Durham and often very upbeat about us. He did show his disappointment over our recent lack of transfer dealings and his crap followers put the boot in, but on the whole I find his articles humorous and positive . I know not all on UA would agree with me though.

  • jayramfootball

    You can now add Wilshere to the list – out for 3 months afterthe club decided this week he needs surgery.

  • serge


    This injury to Jack. Would you know if it’s a legacy from the McNair tackle or just another freak training ground injury? People were on Gabriel’s case over it, but if it was weakened already it could have occured at any time in these first few weeks.
    I suppose that’s him out for most of the season now.

  • apo Armani


    The first thing that came into mind was the McNair tackle, because (if I am not mistaken) he didn’t play since nor train.

    If it is – lets just put it down to another broken leg due to lack of proper officiating…or as some hacks say; put it down to AFC bring these type of tackles onto themselves – so blame Jack!

    Idiotic world we live in.

  • Josif

    “Last season we had the second best defensive record in the Premier League.”

    Incorrect. Southampton had the second best defensive record. We were third.

  • proudkev


    On the day I write an article about our media, something happens that gets them salivating. Jack needs an operation.

    The media and the WOB’s are going to milk this for all it’s worth, based on pure ignorance and opportunism. Guaranteed. I would suspect that it will be Wenger getting it in the neck, the fact we have an experienced team of medical experts deciding these things will be ignored.

    As I said in the article, surgery is considered the last resort in the management of sports injuries and only if conservative techniques do not work. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Immobilisation, Rehabilitation (exercises) or other Therapies like electrostimulation, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, ultrasound, massage, PRP injections etc will all be part of the recovery process. When these fail, usually towards the end of the recovery, then surgery is necessary.

    It is far more beneficial that the injury is repaired without evasive surgery; and that is what Arsenal have tried to do.

  • Gooner S

    Nice post.

    I haven’t watched Sunday Supplement since Neil Ashton took it over. I find Ashton’s brand of sports journalism odious.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Proud kiev

    Excellent post.
    You are a brillaint writer
    Keep it up.

  • serge


    So far nobody’s laying any blame, but it’s only the first day.
    I was wondering in an earlier post to apo if this was the same leg that McNair injured.
    He thinks it is so that would be both Jack & Danny having hangovers from last season.
    On the plus side, none of our players have succumbed to on-field injuries…… far this season.

  • nicky

    Of course its a well constructed article, in which our great Club is brilliantly defended.
    But why should we be on the defensive all the while, against the “slings and arrows” allegedly aimed at us from all parts of the media.
    Why not simply ignore this “chaff” and concentrate on the “wheat” about which we are so good.
    Arsenal Football Club are followed and admired throughout the World for its integrity and flair for exciting football.
    We should have no need to defend such envied status…certainly not in our native land.

  • Al

    Excellent article, Proudkev.

  • Menace

    Luke Shaw just broke his leg in a tackle against PSV. I don’t think it was a bad tackle just a bad contact.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Excellent read ProudKev,. Yes we need this player or that player and it is Wengers fault if we don’t get them. The benzema story…..if he really were available at 45mil, I can conceive it is possible we may have been interested. But so would others, who would pay far more than that for him in desperation.
    As for the media, they have their agenda. Some do not like Wenger, some support other clubs, some are doing what their bosses tell them. Others may be part of something even more unpleasant. But the one thing that keeps them going and let’s them away with it, though some are beginning to run us close, we probably have more cry babies than any other team on the planet.

  • Pete

    Obviously a large part of me is laughing hard at the Manchester clubs embarrassing themselves… but a growing part of me is becoming increasingly concerned at the threat to the English 4-club quota. We have to collectively outperform at least one of Germany and Italy this season… otherwise it will be Top 3 to qualify in 2016/17 for the 2107/18 competition.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Best wishes to Luke shaw, brings back bad memories of our own. Hope he uses the likes of Ramsey as inspiration during what will surely be a long recovery.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those who have watched Real Madrid – Shaktar tonight and who wanted us to buy Benzema I hope they have seen his terrible miss in front of on open goal from 5 meters out. He also missed a few other clear cut chances. If it would have been Giroud he would have been quartered by some of our own fans. But hey Benzema is better of course… 😉

    I also noticed that having 6 refs is no good but only video referee could have shown that the first penalty for Real Madrid was not a penalty as the ball clearly was blocked by the back of a Shaktar player. The ref behind the goal indicated the penalty and made a fool of himself.

  • Walter, also a ludicrous decision in favour of Man City for their goal. Even the BT Sport commentators saw it.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Pete, agree, that quota thing is becoming a worry. But with the way we play the game, referee the game, the way Scudamore bows to TV companies and refuses to do more to provide help for our teams in Europe, help that other European teams get …..well, maybe the English game has it coming. Or maybe just a cunning plan …..the only way they stand a chance to get us out of the ECL !

  • Menace

    Wishing Luke Shaw a quick recovery. It wasn’t anything like the tackles that Ramsey, Eduardo or Diaby had. Theirs were stud first. This was from the side & unfortunate.

    Billy The dog – absolutely right. I thought it was like most Crouch goals. Defender held down while ball headed into the goal.

  • apo Armani

    Luke Shaw injury: waiting for Neville and co to come public NOW!

  • Andy Mack

    serge, I think everyone was surprised by Coquelin, even those of us that had seen he was good. The surprise was that his 1st game back he was better than good, he was excellent, and that’s something we were hoping would come when he’d had a few games, not immediately.
    I think the situation is the same with Bellerin, in as much as AW expected him to ‘cover’ for Debuchy last season and to be competing with him next season for a starting role.

  • Goonermikey

    I also think that even if Wenger had been proven to be lying about Welbeck’s injury, that would be perfectly sensible if he was trying to buy another forward at the time (nobody knows!). Why tell the club you may be negotiating with that one of your forwards has a long-term injury? All that could possibly do would be to put up the price……