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October 2016
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When is a trophy a trophy, and when is it not? (Clue: when Arsenal win it).

By Walter Broeckx

There are trophies and there are non-trophies. And the difference is rather easy to see.

When Arsenal win something it is a non-trophy.  When other teams win something it is a trophy.

Just look at  how the media reports different trophies.

BBC Sport on 10/08/2014 at 16:52: FT Arsenal 3 – 0 Man City – Cazorla, Ramsey & Giroud goals win the Community Shield for Arsenal.  And a picture of Arsenal players celebrating a goal. With no caption in the picture.

Very dry. Community Shield. No mention of a trophy. And don’t dare to name it as a trophy as you will get the usual moaners saying things like: the CS isn’t a trophy. Never has and never will be. For me it is a trophy. The least of the trophies that can be won, but it IS a trophy.

Let us move on to the next year.

BBC Sport on 02/08/2015 16:50: FT Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea. #afc retain the #communityShield thanks to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal. And a double picture. A celebrating Oxlade-Chamberlain and a picture of loser Mourinho in track suit (noticed the suit yesterday?) pointing at something in the distance.

Again very dry. Community Shield. No mention of a trophy.

Let us move on to yesterday. Same media outlet.

BBC Sport on 07/08/2016: What a start for Jose Mourinho! (yes exclamation mark needed of course) One competitive match as #mufc boss, one TROPHY. Just the start? #LCfc 1-2 #MUFC.

Oh and there was also a picture. With celebrating MU players in it. And strange but this time the BBC found it necessary to put a caption in the picture. I quote “WINNERS” Manchester United win the Community Shield.

Now I must admit it was me that changed the word trophy in the original message from the BBC in to TROPHY in the paragraph before last.

But I did this to show you the difference between the way the Community Shield is being talked up when a team other than Arsenal win it.  In two years with Arsenal winning it, the BBC succeeds in not naming it a trophy and it sees no need to call the Arsenal team “winners” in the picture. As if calling Arsenal players winners is something that cannot be done.

But when their darling Jose wins it suddenly it is a trophy and his team has to be called winners. Fair enough for me, MU has won a trophy this season. Mostly thanks to the work of Van Gaal who won the FA Cup last season. For Jose it was easy to win something in his first match but if it wouldn’t have been for Van Gaal hadn’t won it. I know it is not done but most credit should go to Van Gall who had to play five or six matches to win that trophy that allowed Mourinho to win something in his first competitive match.

Untold has been showing the different treatment of the media this summer in several articles from Tony and Drew. Articles that should have opened even the eyes of those who are blinded by the media. Those who ignore them are incurable I think and will swallow anything the media shoves down their throats.  Poor souls.

And now I wonder how those who called me names for considering the Community Shield a trophy will react? I am pretty sure that it will not take long before they will come out with sentences like: “See changing managers does work as Mourinho immediately won a trophy with United.” And other sentences like that considering the CS as a trophy of course.

The problem is that many follow the media without taking the time to think about it or look at how the media report certain events and the differences on how they report it.  We all have seen in history how media manipulation has led to the most appalling events. I am not willing to even compare those things with the way Arsenal are treated as this would be completely unfair for those who have suffered in the past and those who are now suffering and will suffer in the future.

But the media should get their act together. I think the BBC is getting its money mostly from the UK tax payers and therefore it should remain neutral in reporting the same event for different teams. If they consider the CS a trophy they should consider it a trophy each year no matter who wins it and call it like that.

Anyway as I am not a UK resident I don’t pay for the BBC and so maybe I shouldn’t get worked up about it but the fact that most UK Arsenal fans do pay for it and have to swallow the BBC propaganda I think Untold must speak for them.

Meanwhile those who called me names for celebrating the CS as a trophy for two years could  change their view on the CS. If the good old beeb calls it a trophy who are they to not call it a trophy?


Recent Posts

Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle.  The books are

  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
  • Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace.  By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
  • Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football.  By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
  • Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
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You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page


35 comments to When is a trophy a trophy, and when is it not? (Clue: when Arsenal win it).

  • JonP

    The BBC have their heads up Man United’s arse, always have done always will do. They are so biased United it’s sick!!!

    Even the FA Cup wasn’t considered that good a trophy when Arsenal won it back to back and stopped the BBC rattling on about how long it has been since Arsenal won a trophy….then it changed to how long since they have won the league. You just can’t win with the dickheads at the BBC!!!!!

  • minion

    Totally agree with you Walter

  • Mick

    Good stuff Walter.
    On a similar theme I would like to point out to the AAA and Wenger critics who discount his FA cup successes as being some sort of minor achievements that I read an article from one of the national papers about Rooney in which all his major trophies were listed and guess what? The FA cup was there. And even the League cups.
    So there you are, the FA cup is a major trophy, at least for Man U, if not for Arsenal.

  • Iro

    I share your view completely I do not understand why the Engish press are so biased against Arsenal , I was just arguing with my cousin who is a Liverpool fan on the same , I told him see how Jose is being carried shoulder high for winning the same Community shied that Arsene Wenger won two times without respect I share your view my brother Iro from Nigeria

  • ozed

    Good point Nick.
    Last season when Arsenal was on the cusp of winning a third FA cup in 3 years back to back, the FA cup was made to look like a poor compensation for zero silverware. We the Gooners bought this warped logic and spewed it all over the blogosphere.
    Is it then surprising that the Arsenal players were thus unable to summon sufficient desire to beat Watford at the emirates?

    We may not realize it but what we say and do does affect the team. After all a significant part of what drives them is the satisfaction of the fans.

  • Robert

    Next year, when another team wins, the Community Shield will go back to being a non-trophy. The BBC’s current stance has nothing to do with Arsenal and everything to do with the Malevolent One. Why the Brit press fawn over the nasty little man is beyond me. But the first cracks have already appeared due to his treatment of Schweinsteiger, his substitution of Mata and his digs at Klopp and Wenger.

    I’m delighted Man U hired him – they deserve each other. He’s the only manager capable of bankrupting them with Pogba-style purchases, and ruining them by driving the players into the ground over two years. And having the press fawn over him will only make him more reckless, so all is good in the world.

  • Josif

    Excellent write-up, Walter. I have been naming CS a trophy for years and celebrated it as one. It’s English version of a supercup and that’s it.

    It’s funny that Guardian have joined the collective masturbation (pardon my French) on the picture of Mourinho at OT. They have predicted Arsenal to finish 5th and United to finish as the champions. City 2nd, Spuds 3rd, Chavs 4th. Some people never learn.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Good post and completely agree re Mourinhio and United they belong to each other and i wait for the day United players turn on their manager sooner than later.

    Re CS now being hailed as a trophy when MU wins but it was a non event when Arsenal won.

    Surprisingly the AAA blogtettas declined to give Arsenal any credit when we won 2 back to back FA cups.It was a complete U turn from there agenda that Wenger haven’t won any trophy since 10 years and when we deliver 2 trophies they simply back out and change there demands and start harping that FA cup is no trophy and Arsenal should won the league to vindicate Wenger.
    I am sure when Wenger will win the league they will come out with the demand of a CL medal and the PL will be of no worth.

  • laos gooner

    It has allowed the beeb to completely ignore our victory over Manchester airport yesterday. I may be wrong and the report may have passed in the blink of an eye, no mention at all. A Hart howler for an easy way out on their reporting if they wanted but not a dickie bird. I do believe there was a trophy at stake in the Arsenal game. Only a little one but worthy of mention if moan rhino gets his irritating face on our screens for the scum result.

  • ogban

    My grouse really is not with the likes of BBC or Mourinho (notice how he was grinning ear-to-ear yesterday and compare that with last year when he pooh-poohed Arsenal’s victory). My disgust is with the Arsenal ‘supporters’ who make the team feel ‘guilty’ in victory by playing down on our achievements even with so little resources. Those people have started the annual ritual of ‘Arsenal will struggle to make top four’. And when they do, it is nothing to write home about. It is Wenger trophy!

  • westwing

    Like that song we are singing now ‘why is everybody always picking on me’ Poor poor Walter my nephew says. I think difference with BBC is they maybe saying a new manager might get people excited again. Arsene not much person and Jose bit of rock star. Such is way of things. Loving English!

  • Pat

    We beat Man City 3 – 2 in a friendly. I look forward to at least a picture for my scrap book in the Telegraph. Guess what – no report, and a big picture of Gabriel on the ground with a caption about Wenger’s injury crisis.

    Huge report on the Community Shield. And a one and a half page psychological analysis of Guardiola – whom we beat.

    Not long ago somebody else’s friendly got a report AND a picture.

    Anybody who doesn’t think we are discriminated against in the mass media is not looking at it.

    Anyway, on my screen saver the Community Shield will forever be ours. The smiling faces of our players celebrating cheer me up every time I start up my iPad.

  • Mandy Dodd

    On those lines, saw a link on PA …….that completely supports this article…’s what BBC sport tweeted when we won the CS.” What an over reaction, calm down Gooners it’s only a friendly”…….see link below

    Here’s what they tweeted for Mourinho yesterday

    ” what a start for Jose Mourinho….one competitive start as MUFC boss….one trophy….Just the start? “

  • Menace

    Mandy – it shows that an organisation run by greed feeds the stupid. How we pay for the Beeb & have to put up with their ignorant behaviour beggars belief.

  • para

    Get rid of the telly and stop paying for the Beeb.
    That’s all i have to say.
    A TV free house is great.

  • Jerry

    Great job Walter pointing the media hypocrisy in reporting the Community Shield this year compared to the past couple years when Arsenal won.

    Another example is in transfers. All hell would have broken loose claiming how inept the Arsenal board is if they sold a player for £800,000 and then bought that same player a few years later for £89.3 million (€105 million)!

    Hell, Arsenal got ridiculed for bringing Henry back on loan a few seasons ago for cover. The media is completely useless in regards to Arsenal football.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Mandy and Jerry

    Great posts.I live in Asia and wonder why Arsenal get such hate from the media.
    I simply fail to understand the bias.

  • ARSENAL 13

    So….That makes ARSENAL the most successful club in the last 3 years. Now that the ‘media’ has acknowledged this, time for aaa to shut their bottoms….

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think that I would be more than suspicious , if ever they started to praise us ! ‘them’ hating us is quite normal . It just shows that we ARE on the right tract .

  • Josh Sng

    Thanks, Walter and all at Untold Arsenal, for the work you do in providing an alternative and objective perspective of the way Arsenal is written about in the media.

    It’s especially crucial in a time when the negativity is so overwhelming and so wont to lead Gooners into despair.

    Keep it going! Just wanted to show some appreciation for all your sterling work and effort 🙂

  • Justin Chinedu

    BBC and their lopsided coverage, the way they gave the Euro 2016 trophy to England (team made up of spuds average players) before they kick the ball…..,the rest we know. I worry no more about their shit reportage and the sickening commentary by their pundits, even sky and the rest of them.
    Since i came across the Untold page, am now a better gunner, i can’t fall for their rubbish. Go Gunners, win all you can, to us its the best; to them, even the champions league will not be that big with Arsenal winning it…..BuT WE LOVE IT, WE LOVE THE ARSENAL WINNING THE ARSENAL WAY….we are what they can’t be…we are the GUNNERS…gunners till i die…

  • Yellow Canary

    I see it as a glorified friendly. Yes I was glad when we won it but I wouldn’t have broke down in tears if we’d lost. My levels of joy were about equal to those I feel when we win a league game. It was very pleasing to see the players happy though, of course.

    As for Van Gaal deserving credit didn’t Mourinho thank him for his work last season? I think he did.

    I think the media have sort of given up on Arsenal. Many of the papers and radio shows are convinced that we’ll do much the same as every year and I guess it’s hard to get excited about a club that rarely does anything revolutionary. Most Arsenal fans can predict our season: fail as soon as we leave the CL group stage, claw our way into a CL position usually a good many points behind the PL champions and pick up plenty of injuries. The two FA Cup wins were a welcome change to a depressing narrative. I sincerely wish that this year our manager can surprise the media and everyone with another PL champions trophy.

    Oh and I suspect when Wenger retires and a new manager is installed the media will suddenly discover a new interest in Arsenal.

  • Minstrel


    As much as I’d like for Wenger to be just a bit more “ruthless” in the transfer market (we wanted Mkhtaryan and
    we could – probably – have got him if we would have made a stronger effort to fight of ManU) and for us
    to collect a major trophy again, I’ve been rather dismayed by two facts lately:

    –the lack of critical analysis of ManU and now Mourinho’s dealings. Where is the sportsmanship when
    you spend such huge amount of money on transfers? The media should be writing about Mourinho always
    buying titles. Also, look at the immense resources United have squandered post-Ferguson to very little avail. I can only surmise that if that were Arsenal, we would have been ripped apart by the media and the pundits.

    Also, where’s the critical analysis of Pep Guardiola? “One of the world’s best coaches.” Sure, with the kind of
    massive investments he’s making… He said he wanted “a new challenge” after Bayern. So he goes to City, one
    of the richest clubs in the world! And gets a transfer kitty of at least £150m! Come on, if he had some guts and
    really wanted a challenge, he should have gone to Stoke or a similar club.

    –the lack of recognition for what Arsenal are doing, i.e., aspiring to be self-sufficient

  • Andy Mack

    I do think that the combination of DisUtd and MaureenO is the hack journalists wet dream come true, so they are a bit more enthusiastic than they would be about pretty much any other team (They’d possibly trumpet a tiny totts win like this but we know there’s a large portion of tiny totts supporting hacks).
    However there’s still a notable gap between what they’d write about us and say $iteh or Chavski winning.
    As mentioned by others, the lack of support from our own plastic fans is the depressing bit. They moan on about a ‘winning mentality’ and then play it down when we win.
    I understand that it’s not the PL or CL win that everyone wants but if they actually registered it as a win and encouraged the players by calling it a trophy then we’d more likely have a bit more of that ‘mentality’ in the PL/CL to get what we all want.
    Everyone knows ‘money makes money’, well ‘winning breeds winning and confidence breeds confidence’.

  • porter

    Walter :- You want a comment from one who considers the Community ( ex Charity ) shield to be no more than a season warm up friendly .
    As far as United go in my opinion it’s just as much anon trophy for them as it was for us . However I expect nothing less from our media than to fawn over the Portuguese pigmy . He gives them acres of column inches and sells their rags.

  • Goonermikey

    Interesting how people have different perspectives. Some believe the BBC to be anti-Arsenal (its definitely the whole of the media); some believe they are pro-Maureeniho; others see them as pro-Man U. Personally I think it’s all three but definitely the latter. I offer this tenuous evidence.

    On Sunday I was scrolling through the BBC sports app on my tablet whilst hitting my first cup of tea. On BBC football I think seven out of the top nine articles were about Man U be it their TROPHY, Maureen, Pogba, Ibrahimovic etc., etc. On the general sports page of the app, I believe it was 5 of the top 9 (despite the Olympics being on. What really capped it for me is when I then switched to the BBC News app and there amongst the ‘Top Stories’ were two articles about Man U. These people are so far up the Man U posterior it is unbelievable.

    It really capped my day to listen to Kevin ‘one brain cell’ Campbell giving us his insightful analysis of everything that was wrong with Arsenal and AW……..with friends like that!

  • Markyb

    Campbell got massive grief from the Highbury crowd before he was sold. Might be a factor.

  • Goonermikey

    The same crowd who thinks it’s beneficial to get on the players back?!!!!

  • Pat


    Very good points.

  • Menace

    para – TV Licence is required for receiving any broadcast including Internet. It is very difficult to avoid the net (no pun intended).

  • David M

    Great post Tony!

    I still would like to know why it is like this? Why do we get ripped, by the media, the FA, the Refs (PGMOL)…

    Why? I totally agree its happening, but would like to understand why its happening

  • Vala

    I don’t agree with most of what’s on here but this I definitely agree 👍 with

  • Gideone

    In the ‘journalists’ and the ‘AAA’ books,both UCL and EPL will become non-trophies if Arsenal wins them.

  • David M – there are a number of articles explaining why it is like this, with answering ranging from the earlier history of the club to the way the media works. I am working on an index of them, as they have been the most popular articles we have published in the last year – which given our 6 million page views a year, is saying something.

  • Cheadle

    After last season’s surprise. Some journos are desperate for a predictable season. They can’t wait for sound bites from Mou in the months to come.However all clubs have some money and they know how easily so called big clubs can suddenly have a melt down if things don’t go their way.