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October 2016
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Hysteria and disappointment: the defence of Piers Morgan

By Tim Charlesworth

So the Goonersphere is full of hysteria and disappointment again.   Olympiacos was a horrible game and a horrible performance, however you look at it.  We’re all full of blame and recriminations.  

The hysterical attacks on Wenger for picking Ospina are plain silly, as if to imply that it was predictable that Ospina would make a mistake, or than Cech is immune from mistakes (West Ham anyone).  Untold has discussed the pros and cons of rotation on a number of occasions.  I have yet to see a sensible argument that Wenger should never rotate.  So, if we accept the principle of rotation, it is then a judgement about how much and how often.  This is a difficult judgement, that Wenger has to make without the benefit of hindsight.  

It is important for any top club to have two high quality goalkeepers, but goalkeepers don’t get that many injuries, and it is difficult to retain a good keeper who never plays.  Lots of club manage this situation by playing one in the league, and one in the cups.  It is quite common practice.  We have won the last two FA Cups with this policy (Fabianski and Szchezny playing in the finals).  Real Madrid won the 2014 Champions League doing this (using Casillas in the CL, but not La Liga).  So its hardly an unusual rotation policy and, arguably, is one that has proved very successful in the past.

My last article on Untold defended Mourinho after the Chelsea game, for which I received quite a lot of negative feedback (Actually I just tried to look at him from a different point of view, but passions were running high, and senses of humour running low).  So perhaps it is a little risky to write about another well established enemy of Untold, Piers Morgan, but here goes anyway.

In some ways, I quite like Piers Morgan.  He quite often says what I am thinking.  Watching Arsenal lose is a desperate situation for me, and I hate it.  It provokes all sorts of negative thoughts in my head about Wenger, our players, and life in general.  As a rule, I keep these to myself and try to subject my thoughts to a filter of ‘common sense’ and ‘rationality’.  However, I must admit, thoughts such as ‘Walcott is useless’, ‘Klopp would never let this happen’ and ‘Wenger’s past his best’ do fly uncontrollably into my brain.  Actually (like most Untolders), I disagree with all these opinions, and soon remind myself of my disagreement, thereby banishing the silly thoughts.  

Piers appears appear not to apply a ‘common sense filter’, and, as a result, some of his comments are not very well thought out.  During the Olympiacos game he engaged in a torrent of Twitter abuse.  He didn’t think about it, and save it up for the end of the game, after having a chance to reflect on the matter.  He just regurgitated his gut reactions in real time.  

The result was some very daft comments (of which, a claim that he could run faster than the BFG was the highlight), drifting into his old ‘Wenger out’ mantra.  Piers is a man who likes to run with his gut reaction (he is, after all, a tabloid journalist by background).  There are only so many times that you can complain publicly about Arsenal’s performance and remain faithful to Wenger.

If you have complained too many times in public (and he has), then eventually you can only maintain credibility by demanding significant change.  Eventually, you have to publicly call for the manager’s head, and this is a difficult position to back out of once entered into (if we win the premiership this season, I am really looking forward to seeing how Piers reacts).  

I sometimes wonder what would happen it you could talk to Piers privately.  I have a sneaking suspicion that he would confirm that, in Stan Kroenke’s position, he would stick by Arsene as well.  I suspect that, even he, deep down, really knows that Arsene is the right manager for Arsenal. Unfortunately, he has backed himself into a position that he can never admit to such an opinion.

Tony recently wrote on Untold about a man who complained about Walcott during the Olympiacos game.    I am extremely impressed by Walcott this season and I even wrote a pre-season piece for Untold, that we didn’t need another striker, because he would be the solution.  So, I can certainly claim to be a Walcott loyalist.  However, when I see him miss a chance toward the end of the game, the thought ‘Walcott is useless’ comes straight into my head (actually my subconscious brain uses less polite words than that).  No matter that I actually think he is brilliant, no matter than every striker misses chances, the angry thought still comes to me.

Now, to my mind, part of being an adult is learning not to say the first thing that comes into your head.  But I also recognise that, in the name of sanity, we all need to escape from the ‘real-world’ on occasions.  Some people escape the real world by going to a football stadium.  Perhaps the chap who was yelling about the ‘useless Walcott’ the other day, knows that Walcott is not useless.  Perhaps he goes to football to escape the real world, and was just expressing a gut reaction.  Perhaps he is normally a rational and sensible human being, but suspends common sense when he crosses the Ems threshold (or bridge).

So let’s not be too harsh on Piers Morgan, or the chap who shouts ‘useless Walcott’.  Its not the way I like to behave.  Like most Untolders, I believe in positively supporting our team, but the inner, angry me, can see their point of view and feel their pain.  Maybe, by expressing their ill-considered gut reactions, they avoid the need for me to do so, thereby freeing me to have a sensible dialogue about the world’s greatest team.   Football is all things to all men.  I can forgive someone for venting a gut reaction, even if it is Piers.

PS – please can someone arrange a BFG v Piers Morgan 100m race? I would pay good money to see this.


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35 comments to Hysteria and disappointment: the defence of Piers Morgan

  • A little more information on Morgan you might find interesting…

    Morgan left the News of the World in 1995 after publishing photographs of Catherine Victoria Lockwood, then wife of Charles, Earl Spencer, leaving an addictive disorders clinic in Surrey.

    In 1996 Morgan was forced to apologise on television for the headline “Achtung Surrender! For You Fritz Ze Euro Championship Is Over”

    In 2000, Morgan was the subject of an investigation after Suzy Jagger wrote a story in The Daily Telegraph revealing that he had bought £20,000 worth of shares in the computer company Viglen soon before the Mirror’s “City Slickers” column tipped Viglen as a good buy.

    Morgan was fired as Editor of the Daily Mirror “with immediate effect” on 14 May 2004, after refusing to apologise to Sly Bailey, then head of Trinity Mirror, for authorising the newspaper’s publication of photographs which had been shown to be false.

    On 7 December 2005, two journalists were convicted of conspiracy to breach the Financial Services Act. During the trial it emerged that Morgan had bought £67,000 worth of Viglen shares, emptying his bank account and investing under his wife’s name, too

    In May 2005, in partnership with Matthew Freud, he gained ownership of Press Gazette, a media trade publication together with the British Press Awards, in a deal worth £1 million. Press Gazette entered administrative receivership toward the end of 2006.

  • Amos

    “So let’s not be too harsh on Piers Morgan … ”

    So it’s perfectly understandable to call for the removal of Wenger on the basis of a disappointing defeat as every manager in the game has experienced – or describe Walcott as useless for missing a chance – just as every forward in the game has done – but we are not too be too harsh on a pompous, pretentious, gobby buffoon with an inflated sense of self importance? This article is it’s own contradiction. Bit I’ve a better idea. Let’s treat him with the same respect he affords others.

  • Moses N.

    Piers Morgan as stated in the article has backed himself into a corner and is too proud to admit his error. What was meant as humour seemed to kind of get out of hand and he had to follow through with it or risk losing all his credibility; which he lost eventually anyways, hence the constant flip-flopping of saying one thing now and the complete opposite a minute later for example his comments on Ramsey. He abused Ramsey during that time when he was not playing well then when he hit his stride later, Piers then quickly tried to change his stance to someone that had supported him through his bad spell which of course no one was buying much less Ramsey himself.
    People find him funny but I personally don’t; except when he was talking about gun control in America when for the first time he appeared to make sense, but that only led to a petition to depot him from America which was rather amusing.

  • Peter Benovsky

    When the board will understand that the time of Wenger was over a few years ago, when Wenger himself will have the goodwill to leave immediately, alone…
    Arsenal need a new coach with energy and ambition. Wenger did what he could, had star moments in its history. But everything has its end. Now is the time to do so with dignity, without hatred but with applause. If Venger slow down even months, Arsenal will lose many things, lost love, players, trust, positions and a lot of money in the end.
    Arsene, you’re an intelligent man, go yourself now with thanks and honors, not torture yourself and all of us …

  • Tom

    I like your posts even if I don’t agree with you.

    Mourinho is not funny, or at least when I think of him ( which is not a lot) , funny is not the first, second or even third word that comes to mind .
    Piers Morgan I couldn’t give two shits about either.

    But you bring up important point of rotating players.
    There’s a difference between rotating and whole sale changes.

    Against Dinamo Zagreb six players were replaced from the last league game , and five against Olympiacos.
    Simply put that’s just too many to keep continuity and top level of understanding.

    It doesn’t matter that they all are internationals for their respective countries, it’s still too big of a rotation against any decent club.

    Also, if you describe the game as a “must win” , and state that the Man U game which was five days away, had no influence on the squad selection, then it becomes even more difficult to understand it.

    And then you have Ospina starting against both CL opponents, so the argument for starting him against Olympiacos only because Cech was injured, even though he declared himself fit, is kinda weak.

    But the biggest problem I have with Arsene Wenger is his contempt for the fans in his presser.

    He doesn’t have to tell us anything about his thoughts or decision process, but he is the mouth piece for the club we all support and some level of keeping us informed is expected.

    If you expect thousands of supporters to haul their asses across Europe or England to scream their collective hearts out, that’s the least you can do in return.

    It’s understood Wenger doesn’t divulge his transfer dealings, especially ones that don’t come to fruition, but if he’s not going to talk about simple decisions like players selection , then we might as well scrap the media outings all together.

    Being disappointed, angry or simply pissed off is not a justification.
    ” I know things you don’t or chose to ignore”
    That’s great, I sure hope so. But if it’s not a state secret then maybe you can let us in on them.

    When I go to a game in London , it roughly costs me a couple of Grand $ ,
    each time . I don’t expect Arsenal to win but I do expect the players and the manager to be professional and answering a simple question falls under this description.

  • Shard

    I think also what needs to be mentioned is that the reason such uncharitable and angry thoughts come to mind instantly is because people in the media, like Piers Morgan, keep voicing them.

    Nobody likes to think that the media affects their thinking, but it affects all of us.

    How often do such thoughts come to mind regarding media darlings even when they are more deserved? Probably not as much, if ever.

    Nope. Morgan isn’t just one of the lads. He’s part of a group that both feeds off and feeds into hyteria.

  • Ando

    What a refreshing admission, that you also entertain dark thoughts about the team, the manager and individual players before dismissing them with rational argument.
    When i used to go and watch the Arse, back in the Billy Wright & Bertie Mee days, I used to draw great satisfaction out of heaping opprobrium upon whoever it was displeased me on the day, as well as cheering the team on if they were applying themselves, whatever the result.
    My special delight was to excoriate the opposing team’s penalty taker, esp. if it was missed. Let us be honest – there is not very much adult about that, but it feels great!
    And to slag off the ref, for some piece of bias or incompetence (even better) was very sweet. Gaveme a sense of outrage to revel in.
    And so – if one of my team favourites ( David Court, Alan Skirton, Vic Groves) missed a sitter, I would heap abuse on their parentage and skill level and…do you know what? So did the entire stadium…and those guys were man enough to take it and bounce back.
    Saturday afterroon foitball gave me a chance to taste victory and defeat and to treat those two impostors just the same (ap. Kipling, R.) and then to go up West in the evening and have a great time.
    To me, football support is about latching our own grander aspirations onto a totemic force and living out our dreams through them.
    I like to see the Arse do well, but I also revel in their defeats, especially if they are self-inflicted. Why?
    That’s what 50 years of being a Gooner has given me and I’m quite happy with that.
    In the end, I want them to win everything but I now they’re not going to.

  • Clockendrider

    I find no redeemable traits in a man who authorised the hacking of phones. The author seems to be trying to make some kind of reputation as a defender of the indefensible. It is not in any way clever or interesting.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic I know but at halftime our Ladies are one goal up against City in the Continental Tyres Cup quarter final. COYLG

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    The Boss has become synonymous with Arsenal. He’s Mr. Arsenal. Rotation is very necessary to do a times, but timely changes are imperative.

  • Laen

    Tim,In some cases it’s blind optimism, in others bravado but the reality is that Arsenal need nine points from four games to claim second place, beating both Dinamo and Olympiakos by two goals just for added security. Can you see that happening? It isn’t unbelievable but defeat at home to Bayern puts them under immense pressure to claim even the Europa League spot.

    Many think that being eliminated from Europe will be a blessing in disguise, allowing Arsenal to concentrate on winning the Premier League title. There is no evidence to suggest that Arsenal will respond that positively to a hammer blow for their confidence. You can never be sure how this squad will react after defeat. A European exit could as easily spark an unbeaten run as more stumbling around in the dark.

    It’s interesting that the prospect of a Europe-less season is more appealing than competing in the Europa League. It’s largely an Anglocentric view and one born of arrogance. Two decades of the Champions League has left the junior competition with an image problem at Arsenal, an even bigger one that it has in English football. The Spanish, Sevilla in particular, love the competition. So do the Portuguese, even if their clubs seem to lose finals more than they win them. English clubs?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The Ladies have held on to their one goal advantage to book their place in the Continental Cup semi- final. Well done!

  • Mandy Dodd

    I am sure many of us have had reactions varying from disappointment, to anger, even fury at games like we saw this week. Morgan is a fan and a shareholder, he has every right to express his opinion like anyone else, but with someone like him, his opinion in the media and in certain sections of the fanbase takes on a weight beyond that which such a character deserves.
    Tony’s post highlights flaws in this man . It is not just Arsenal, he used his name and media contacts to put huge pressure on the England cricket team, to pick his admittedly highly talented England team who ended up regaining the Ashes without said talented friend. For what it’s worth, I agreed with him at the time on England picking KP, but the England coaching setup and Andrew Strauss seemingly knew better than myself or Mr Morgan. Piers Morgan….all fine, as long as you just see him in the context of a genuine fan, but one who doesn’t know as much as he seems to believe he does

  • ob1977

    Piers Morgan is a ranting lunatic with platform, a very unpleasant thing for the sane to be subjected to…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not sure he is a lunatic, but he is certainly ranting, and he has a platform beyond his skills or knowledge
    The people with an agenda will always flock to people like him, the rest have the option of being a bit more objective. His main thrust is Klopp for arsenal, no doubt a good manager, but would he do better than Wenger in a new league, with new players…..and the pgmol?
    The fact is if Wenger left tomorrow For whatever reason, it would not be pep, Klopp, Jose or others that get the WOB hard, it would most likely be bould or arteta as an interim manager. …they might be brilliant of course… fact, I think either would be, but a hard act to follow……and not what the WOB would expect…..

  • thierryhenry

    Ye I definitely don’t agree with you because a lot of stuff Piers says is sheer hate and shock to get attention- i’m not sure he actually cares about Arsenal that much, some of the stuff he says is too disrespectful. Either way I totally get where you’re coming from- but me personally,I just can’t stand him.

  • Gunz

    Laen (9:35 pm)

    Copied from “”

    We have a repeat offender here. Warrants a Red card, I think

  • sukebe

    my question is: “should we talk about PM?”

    please stop making stupid people famous.

  • sukebe

    as I have been taught, there is no such thing as negative advertising, as i still recall the exact word of the basics.

  • goonersince72

    Hey Tim,
    I get that you try to see the humour in things and sometimes we can all be too serious but you need to consider the source. Mourinho’s entire body of work and, thanks to Tony, some of Morgan’s greatest hits. These are vile people, nothing funny in that.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Everyday I thank God that AW is firmly and solely in charge of Arsenal. No matter how much the dogs bark and bray , he alone is the pilot of the good ship . There are times when we don’t get the performance that we had hope from the team , but we move on , hoping for a better showing the next time round.
    A piece of shit , on the other hand , is just that – shit ! You can dress it or garnish it , give it a fancy French or foreign name ,but nothing changes. Some people are just beyond repair and really do not need our attention or our understanding . Let them roll in it if that is their desire .
    But then again , like Tim , I do see them as being funny and clownish in a perverse way and do take great pleasure when they get their comeuppance – very much like mimes who get roughed up by their offended ‘victims’ !
    That look of feigned hurt is always priceless !

  • gouresh

    Really not interested in any twat journalist. Period. My main concern is that our forwards seem to try to take glory for themselves when there are 2 /3 players in open goal scoring position to finish the game. Not to mention the lack of collective defensive game through the full game.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Then again , I found this very , very , very disconcerting . Again the usual warning – refrain from eating, drinking , driving or operating heavy machinery when viewing this . You have been warned !

    Mourinho And Wenger Love Each Other Really ?

  • Peter Benovsky – where is the evidence for anything you say?

  • Polo

    Piers is just an attention seeker who tries to have relevance in this world. Hearing him on Talksport a few days ago peed me right off, he degraded most of our players. Opinions are one thing but attacking your own club is another. He needs to lighten up.

    I like Wenger as our manager and sometimes I do get frustrated and rant at him and our players, that’s just emotional but I will never go on the Internet and abuse him and any of our players. To say Wenger doesn’t have a clue, he’s stupid, or he has no ambition etc is just ridiculous and offensive.

  • apo Armani

    Piers Morgan=Self Centered Clueless Moron!!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes tried, tested and proven methods don’t necessarily work for everything .

  • WalterBroeckx

    I must say that I like your articles Tim.
    I know they are a bit rowing against the stream at Untold but in fact this shows that we are not that bloody dictatorship that some call us.

    You dare to take Untold-controversial points of views. And in a way that is good. Take Piers. As a non-Englisman I never heard of him till people mentioned him for his rants and tweets. I never knew who he really was or what he had done. I thought he was just another Peter Wood (or whatever that LG person his real name is). A negativist. An aaa. But slowly I was informed about him and understood why so many people hang on to his lips. Of his fingers when he types. 😉
    It is possibly a human nature habit of trying to find people who think likewise and who are ‘important’. Important is rather relative because as I said before he started ranting about AW and Arsenal I never knew him. So he is as important to me as John Doe or Jack Smith. Whoever they may be.

    And for him as you say it is a bit the same. He knows he will get an audience with his rants so why would he stop. Or show he has a brain. As the media figure he seems to be he lives on being mentioned and quoted and no better way to do this then by being controversial and shout your frustration like the spoiled kid he seems to be.

    I completely understand why people call him Piers Moron. But as with most morons they are not that stupid really to recognise what keeps them in the news and will continue to keep it that way.

    But by writing your article I came to this important conclusion: Piers Morgan is a human being. Maybe a smart-stupid human being, but still human. But I still detest his opinion and the way he comes out with it.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    If Piers had Ronaldo, Messi and Suarez in his team and, God help them, they fail to score in a game, never mind if it is their third game in 10days, the Piers of this world will call them “useless”. For them, winning at all times is a right and it is everything. Those who have this attitude and whom we happen to know personally, we quickly recognize the attitude to be evidence of acute personality disorder. However, for remote media creatures like Piers, we prefer to err on the side of caution; to excuse or even to kow -tow to their dark traits.

  • omar

    Im an athlete myself and i can tell you that the first thing you need to have to be succesful is dealing with tough situations and learning how to control your emotions even in desperate situations. So when piers morgan rants after every dissapointing result, abusing arsene wenger, some players too, you should straight away know that he shouldnt be anywhere near sports. I dont think anyone takes him seriously to be honest, its tough to respect someone who has no clue about sports

  • Successful people, like Wenger and Morgan, are rarely stupid, although they may sometimes say and do stupid things. But if you have no obvious talent (and it is difficult to put your finger on why Morgan or Katie Price are successful), and you want to be a celebrity, you need to work hard at self-promotion. As i see it, rabble-raising for the WOB team is simply one way Morgan does that. Clever really, because the AKB team foolishly launches in and adds to the free promotion. I should think Morgan is laughing all the way to the newsstand.

    (ps you probably could, if you got the chance, put your finger on what makes Katie Price successful)

  • Pete

    Moron has some qualities – but knowledge of football is not one of them. The man is also morally bankrupt, both personally and professionally.

    The key things to consider are:

    – to what level has he played the game?
    – is he a qualified coach (or referee)?
    – what other involvement, if any, has he had with football other than watching a few Arsenal games from the posh seats?

    I would be very surprised if he has any credibility at all to support his rantings. He is part of the problem at Arsenal and certainly not part of the solution.

  • proudkev

    “So let’s not be too harsh on Piers Morgan”

    You reap what you sow.

    I have never liked Piers Morgan or types like him. A nasty, vindictive piece of work who wears lying and bullying as a badge of honour.

    The fake photos of British troops in Iraq which he published, caused tremendous problems for our service men and women in Basra. This is an example of his moral ineptitude. Can you try to imagine how that affected the family of the servicemen in Iraq, once those ‘fake’ pictures were circulated as a propoganda tool to illecit hatred against our troops? Morgan was sacked quite rightly by Mirror Group but the damage had been done. Morgan has no shame because shame isn’t in his DNA.

    He has an over inflated ego and takes pleasure out of other peoples discomfort. He once admitted that he had a “Grand Canyon-sized ego and “embarrassing adoration of the television screen particularly if my head is on it”.

    Read his twitter account. Nasty.

    He is an attention seeker.

    You have to take everything he says with a pinch of salt. He goes completely over the top and sensationalises everything he says.

    Talksport love him, of course they do. So much so, they even get him to co-host from time to time. Its like Count Dracula inviting Frankenstein to Tea.

    I am not interested in anything he has to say. He is an odious human being and I would choose Jose Mourinho over him any day.

  • proudkev

    “If Piers had Ronaldo, Messi and Suarez in his team”

    …..he’ld only have 3 of his back 4?

    He probably thinks Ronaldo is that clown with the red nose who promotes Burgers.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Piers is a man with a relatively low pain threshold when it comes to AFC,hence his out-pourings.If hes not aware of it that’s one thing, if he is, what does that show us?
    People who attack first tend to attack as a form of defence. But its not easy to deal with the pain of others, as we often see at UA,I would personally like to see people like him get behind the whole club especially going into the game against Manure.