Consistently wrong but never in doubt
by Don McMahon
While surfing various Arsenal and Football websites this week I was impressed and astonished by the number of spurious and unsolicited, unsupported and undeniably wrong posts that misnamed supporters feel it is their democratic right to publish.
There are numerous memes that filter through the Ethernet and countless opinions that rise like gas bubbles out of a swamp, expand temporarily then burst under the weight of their own putrid and noxious hot air.
However there are certain things that ring true when these posters appear;
- They are almost always way off the mark, but they are never in doubt about the validity of their opinions.
- The Arsenal family is wonderful and sweet but like any great mix it has its share of nuts.
- It must be frustrating that they know all the answers but nobody is asking them the questions.
- Wisdom comes with age but in their case sometimes age comes alone.
- The last thing they want to do is hurt the Arsenal but it’s still on their list.
- Light travels faster than sound so these people appear intelligent until you hear them speak.
- If we agreed with them we’d all be wrong.
- They claim they don’t say its Wenger’s fault but they’re still blaming him.
- They used to be indecisive but now they aren’t sure.
- To ensure they hit the target they shoot first and call whatever they hit the target.
- Attending a Football match doesn’t make them experts anymore than standing in a garage makes them mechanics.
- They are never too old to learn something stupid.
- They never grow up but a small minority of them do learn how to behave in public.
- They never let their prejudices interfere with their ignorance.
I know this tongue-in-cheek humour will be seen by some as sarcasm and unfair but as Monty Python aptly demonstrated, it is possible to have a sense of humour transplant. Indeed despite taking themselves very seriously, the aforementioned moaners will still be rebutted by us on UA.
And beyond all that, there is a special group of people whose place in journalistic Hell is assured, simply by their incessant stupidity, laziness, perfidy and divisiveness; The Media!
Arsenal seem to be their preferred target whether it is a positive or negative story(which is their favourite bad news go-to target). They refuse to do basic research and due diligence before launching into a diatribe about supposed Arsenal failings, transfer rumours or what AFC supporters are supposedly thinking.
They excel in exaggeration, hyperbole or bold-faced provocation. They have the nerve to pretend there are players nicking a living by inventing pseudo-dramas, rumour-mongering and then re-inventing themselves once their delusions are exposed.
What does it take to become a media muckraker? I am retired and would like to earn money doing nothing……if anyone on UA knows the secret, please let me know!
A reply, by Tony.
Actually Don, I do know how they do it, and it really isn’t too difficult.
First, write the name of each players in the “25” list on individual pieces of paper (or if you think you might do this more than once, on bits of card). Then do the same for the half dozen under 21s that we are regularly using or looking to bring through.
Now put all those cards in a hat, a bowl or anything else that comes to hand.
Next, write a list of complaints about players. For example, “not a team player”, “gets injured too often”, “goes missing in big games”, “can’t shoot straight”, “won’t track back”, “a mercenary – he’ll soon be off”, “nicking a living”, “hates London”, “wants to return to Spain / France / Uzbekistan…”, “demanding a new contract or he’s off” …
Put that lot in a separate container.
Finally, build a third collection of cards each with a comment about Mr Wenger. Here are a few to start you off: “Is too stubborn and won’t sort it”, “Uses out of date training methods”, “Won’t listen to advice”, “Insists on doing everything and won’t delegate”, “Won’t spend any money,” “Is out of touch so nothing gets done”, “Really has no idea how to handle this,” and so on.
Now pick one card from the first pot, one from the second, and one from the third.
So you might get
Pot 1: “Mesut Ozil”
… is …
Pot 2: “Demanding a new contract or he’s off”
… but Mr Wenger …
Pot 3: “Insists on doing everything and won’t delegate”
The more cards you put into each pot the more stories you get. Nicking a living? – that is exactly what the journalists are doing.
Anniversary of the day
5 December 1981: Last game for Pat Jennings, the first man to play over 1000 senior games. Arsenal beat WHU 2-1 with Hollins and Whyte scoring. It was the 5th of 6 consecutive wins, but the 6th game was not played until January 20 because of bad weather.
All the anniversaries of the day are published on the home page.