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October 2016
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Football’s winners and losers in 2015: the Untold list

It’s the end of the year, and a good time for looking back at who has down well, and who not.  Here’s the first part of the Untold List of Winners and Losers in 2015.

1: Man U – LOSER

Man U have had two approaches of late – changing managers (three managers in three years) and spending money on players (£324,300,000 in three years).  In theory that should be giving them the League title, FA Cup and European Cup. Year after year.

At the moment they are sixth in the PL, nine points off Arsenal.  Not an insurmountable deficit, but bigger than they would like.

Their last win was on 21 November.  Since then they have played eight games without a victory, drawing four losing four.   That’s relegation form.

No one is saying that Man U is going to be relegated but then no one said it in 1973/4 which was, I believe, six years after they won the European Cup.  And they were relegated.

Sir F Word was always going to be a tough nut to follow, but even so, they could have done a better job of it than this.

2: Jose Mourinho – LOSER

It’s not so much that Chelsea started to slide down the table that cost him his job, but Mourinho’s inability to handle the situation which marked him out as a loser.

The affair with Dr Caneiro should never have happened, should have been settled at once, having happened, and yet is still dragging on through the employment tribunals.

Mourinho could have stopped the fiasco at any time, just as he could have sorted out player problems, and admitted his errors, but he didn’t.

Because many club owners are deeply in love with him and his publicity machine, he will walk into another job any time, but one more cock-up and his reputation will be cut to shreds and that will be that.

And there are already mumblings about his transfer policy.  The Fabrigas fiasco is just one that will make owners question of whether he is a safe person to be running their transfer policy.

3.  The Anti-Arsenal-Arsenal – LOSER

The group of hobgoblins circling around a couple of so-called “supporters associations” which are no such thing, have been dying for Arsenal to fail, and attempting to re-write the past, present and future of the club for years.  Indeed Untold did a little piece exploring their murky world a couple of years back.

And for a while they had the media eating out of their hands as they spouted their nonsense about lowering ticket prices (without any analysis contemplating the effect on Arsenal, if player salaries were not stopped from escalating), needing to buy new players, needing to relay the pitch, needing to change training methods because we got more injuries than anyone else, needing to dump Giroud and sell Ozil at a cut price and above all needing to get rid of Mr Wenger because of some imagined worse start to the league in 30 years etc etc.

But slowly even the wild and whacky world of the sporting media in England has turned away from them, and given their ideas up as too insane to foist on the British public.   The aaa will be there for many years to come, but the fact of Arsenal being the top team in 2015, the top team in the league at the end of the year, the only top league club that has paid for its own new stadium without getting relegated, and become the FA Cup winners two years running has rather dented the reality of their position.

4.  Arsene Wenger – WINNER

It’s not just the Cup double, being Arsenal’s most successful manager, being the most successful FA Cup manager of the 20th and 21st century, making Arsenal the most successful FA Cup team in history, being the only manager to take his side through an Unbeaten Season etc etc.   It’s the fact that the “fourth is not a trophy” issue was finally shown up to be a load of old cock.

Fourth and third for Arsenal were financial trophies that helped pay of the stadium debt more quickly, and continue to attract quality players.   Without that Champions League slot every season, many players attracted to Arsenal would not have come but would have gone to Tottenham, or whoever took the top four place from us.  Mr Wenger did that.

And it’s the delivery of Alexis and Ozil – supreme masters.  It is the finding of Koscielny for a fee of around £10m and turning him into a brilliant reliable centre half.  It is the finding of Coquelin and bringing him up through the ranks until he was ready to become one of the top players in Europe.  It’s the finding of Bellerin.  It was the finding of Fabregas and then selling him back at a mega profit just as his ability was starting to fade.  It was the persuading of Ramsey to come to Arsenal not go to Man U.  It was the perseverance with Joel Campbell, so this year he could play for us when needed.

And yes, at the moment it is Ozil.   Real Madrid didn’t really want to sell, their stars did not want him to go, but through long term developing of a relationship with Ozil, waiting his time, and then helping Ozil to settle into the Premier League, that we have indeed got a player who can be spoken of for years to come alongside the names of Bergkamp and Henry.

5.  The Premier League – WINNER

The news that the Premier League is pushing for video referees shows that at long last it has thrown off the shackles of the autonomous PGMO which employs and monitors referees and is willing to face up to the impossible body.

Everything about PGMO is wrong – it is secretive, it is self-judging, there is no outside control whatsoever, it is never called to account, it pushes and prods media outlets not to discuss it.

But week after week Untold has put it in the news, and gradually the embarrassment level within the League has risen and risen, until they know they are in danger of becoming a laughing stock if the current situation gets any worse.

When your official referee organising body claims that 98% or more of all referee decisions are accurate, and a group of referees analyses games week after week after week over a five year period and shows that the figure is more like 65%, you know you have a PR problem.

Very, very slowly, the Premier League has put its worries to PGMO, and each time been rebuffed with platitudes.  So the League has found an answer.  It is hoping to get video refs.

Of course the FAs of Wales, N Ireland and Scotland could vote against, and the FA of England could still turn it down, and the whole thing needs Fifa’s ok, but we are inching there.   Full marks to the Premier League for opening the box.


Untold Arsenal: you know it makes sense (sometimes).

From the History Society…    The 13th instalment of Arsenal in the 70s is now published…  July to Dec74. Flirting with relegation

16 comments to Football’s winners and losers in 2015: the Untold list

  • shakabula gooner

    Untold Arsenal – WINNER!

  • @Shakabula, spot on. Untold Arsenal is one of the winners in the out-going year. Tony, Walter, and the entire team behind the scene, all Untolders and regular visitors to this blog. All winners together. Give yourself a pat on the back if you please.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Ditto from me in echoing the sentiments expressed by shakabula gooner and Stan The Man – great winners , Untold Arsenal and the Untolders ! A true beacon of truth , faith and hope for all .

    Am looking forward to the next article . Hope it has a look back at all those players who didn’t believe in the AW dream and ditched the good ship , or were too chicken to fight the good and noble fight .

    And to those who stayed firm and unshaken , a statue for them all !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    How ‘them’ losers could give joy to us AKB winners – really , please !

    ” Give the gift of your absence to those who do not appreciate your presence.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Do we care if there are no winners here ?

    Jamie Carragher hits back at El Hadji Diouf’s “turkey” jibe – ‘It’s better than a donkey’ .
    Wife disagrees – does not at all mind him being a total ass .

    There is a new study out about women and how they feel about their ass. The results were pretty interesting.
    85% of women think their ass is too big.
    10% of women think their ass is too little.
    The other 5% say that they don’t care – they love him and would have married him anyway.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A man came home from work, sat down in his favourite chair, turned on the TV, and said to his wife, “Quick! Bring me a beer before it starts!”

    She looked a little puzzled, but brought him a beer.

    When he finished it, he said, “Quick! Bring me another beer! It’s gonna start!”

    This time she looked a little angry, but brought him a beer.

    When it was gone, he said, “Quickly! Another beer! It’s gonna start any second!”

    “That’s it!” She blows her top. “You bastard! You waltz in here, flop your fat ass down, don’t even say hello to me and then expect me to run around like your slave! Don’t you realise that I cook and clean and wash and iron all day long?”

    The husband sighed. “Oh shit. It’s started.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    He laid her on the table.
    So white and clean and bare.
    His forehead wet with beads of sweat.
    He rubbed her here and there.
    He touched her neck and then her breast.
    And then drooling felt her thigh.
    The slit was wet and all was set, he gave a joyous cry.
    The hole was wide…he looked inside.
    All was dark and murky.
    He rubbed his hands, then stretched his arms…and began to stuff the turkey.

  • John L

    Fifa…..big loser

    Blatter/Platini…big loser

    Football….i hope a winner

    Arsenal…in regards to the afore mentioned losers i think is a big winner. for a club that does things above board the cleaning up of the game can only be a good thing. i hope our patience is rewarded!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Every club in the prem league is a winner with all this money floating around.
    Sometimes, unexpected events with unexpected consequences occur….could this new found wealth be the great leveller that the failed FFP was meant to be …..for a while at least?
    Whatever does or does not happen for the rest of the season, the classy Claudio Ranieri will finish the season a winner.
    Hit the nail on the head with the losers. After the comment on FIFA, have to put Greg Dyke as a loser, if he had any integrity he would resign.

  • Jambug

    Untold is certainly a massive winner.

    Brilliant blog, brilliantly run.

    Fantastic articles, tackling a wide range of subjects with intelligent and insightful interpretations, and with a degree of neutrality far beyond which might rightfully be expected of a dedicated blog.

    I don’t agree with everything Tony, Walter etc. say, that would be ridiculous, but on a vast majority of there musings I am in complete accord. A massive well done from me guys.

    Also, and probably most importantly, we are blessed with some fantastic posters, too numerous to mention. They know who they are.

    Back to the subject of the day.

    I was interested in this paragraph:

    “But week after week Untold has put it in the news, and gradually the embarrassment level within the League has risen and risen, until they know they are in danger of becoming a laughing stock if the current situation gets any worse.”

    This may or may not be right. Others are certainly in a much better situation to judge as to whether or not Untold has been instrumental in causing embarrassment to the PL, and in turn making them take a closer look at Video technology.

    But has it touched the general public in the same way? I don’t think it has because talking to friends, family and work mates, they all still hold the same old views they’ve always held.

    And that is, yes whilst being generally pretty poor, the refs are no better or worse than they ever where, they just get more scrutiny because of all the cameras. They certainly believe there is no intended bias, except perhaps for that old chestnut that all the ‘big Clubs’ get favoured, and that includes us.

    So despite all the evidence produced by Untold regarding the diabolical bias shown towards Arsenal, and the generally terrible overall standard of referees, I sense no perceivable change in the general view of referees from the guys I speak to.

    99% have not got a clue even of the existence of PGMOL, let alone who’s in charge.

    From everything I hear the only time the average football fan takes any notice of how bad a ref is, is when it directly affects there team.

    And as a result of that, nearly all the guys I speak to are convinced it is there team, and only there team, that gets screwed by referees and for the rest of us it ‘all evens out in the end’.

    I just don’t believe the average football fan has a clue, or even cares, at least to anywhere near the level we do, about what a diabolically biased bunch of fools PGMOL and there staff really are.

    In summery, if I dare suggest how badly we get stitched up by referees I get laughed at, especially by Arsenal fans.

    Sorry but that’s my reality of all this.

  • Andy Mack

    I have to disagree. The PGMO have survived another year and are therefore a winner. They’ve run the games like circus ringmasters trying to turn each game into a scripted show, whilst collecting substantial salaries for this corruption of the game. It’s true that Video refereeing could break their game-plan in the long term but it’ll be a fair few years before that happens as it’ll be a PGMO man doing the video reviewing….
    Also it’s too early to all MaureenO a loser. His CV still has ‘manager of CFC PL winners 2014/15 season written on it, whilst he’s also drawing a salary that most would retire on. The world view on his abilities is definately changing and many see him as the cheque book manager and nasty human that he is, but he’ll still get another job as soon as he wants one. Although I doubt it’ll be any of the jobs he really want. So he’s lining up to become a loser but not really there yet.
    Blatter and Platini are big-time losers but have had so many years running the thief-dom that they can just walk away with their fortunes, so it’s just their image that’s the real loser. The next question should be ‘will this allow the FA to become a winner or continue as a loser, run by losers?’.
    The 3 teams relegated at the end of the 14/15 season are serious losers by dropping out at the very time the PL money makes finishing 17th a serious win, whilst the 3 that came up have hit the jackpot.
    Obviously WHU are winners of the State Aid lottery which is the Olympic stadium.
    Whilst Leyton Orient appear to have been royally kicked in the gentleman’s vegetables by having a PL team moved onto their doorstep.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Tim his excellent article about the possible bias from the North in refereeing in the PL has made the newsletter that is sent towards referees in England and the rest of the world.

  • Jambug


    “……has made the newsletter that is sent towards referees in England and the rest of the world.”

    Sorry if I’m being stupid, but what is this ‘Newsletter’ you refer to?

    And to whom is it addressed?

  • omgarsenal

    Jambug and other interested UA members, here is the e-mail of Mal Davies who puts this newsletter together….simply write him and ask him to add you to the mailing list he sends out every week (usually a Friday): or
    I send this newsletter to my friends who are thinking of studying to be a referee in order to show them what they can expect!

  • Norman14

    Agreed – UNTOLD is the big winner because we basically tell the truth on here – and Walter and Tony undertake proper research before publishing anything.

    I partly agree that PGMOL was a winner because the authorities failed to take them to task. Even our petition against Dean didn’t manage to stir either media. EPL or FA into action.

    However, there is is one mostly under valued action that took place last year, in what could be the beginning of the end of PGMOL as we know it – the resignation from heir apparent, Howard Webb. His appearances on SPROUT, critisizing referees and decisions may be seen as the straw that will break the PGMOL back.

    Keeping up the pressure in 2016 can only help!

  • Jambug


    Thanks for that.