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We need some failure for a while in order to make the good times feel good.

by Tony Attwood (observing it all from Australia)

For all the years of the Wenger regime the media have been pumping out their anti-Arsenal stories, from shadowy fake news references about the manager’s sordid past when he first came to England, through disparaging remarks about him not being English and so “not understanding” English football, to the fact that the Double was now devalued because of the poverty of the opposition, and how the Unbeaten season wasn’t unbeaten because Proud Preston had been unbeaten in the FA Cup as well, and then the constant sniping through the years of cost cutting as the club maintained its top four presence (something no other club has been able to do) while paying for the stadium out of income (something no other club has been able to do).

It’s gone on and on and on.   But just to keep the fanatical anti-Wenger “fans” (the infamous aaa) off balance suddenly a u-turn can be done. As with the appearance of the Daily Telegraph’s headline…

Arsenal fans, stop moaning. You don’t know how good you’ve got it

The story, which appeared before the victory over Hull, is reminiscent of the way the three great nations of Orwell’s “1984” change sides.  One day Oceania and Eurasia are friends, and Eastasia is the great enemy, the next day the alliances have changed and Eurasia has always been the evil land trying to destroy the freedom loving Oceania.

But this one is a story that is not without its moments, in particular this graphic accompanied by the rather unnecessary slogan, “Arsenal fans are a hard bunch to please” which was quite droll I thought…

Stop moaning Arsenal fans. You don't know how good you've got it, as told by fans of clubs in peril

Picture (c) Daily Telegraph

The slogan however does show what Alistair Tweedale, the author of the piece, or perhaps his editor, thinks of the intellectual level of his audience.  Even with a graphic like that, they seem to feel that dumbo Arsenal fans might not get that this is irony, and so reckon it needs explaining to the Arsenal fan base who might take it to be for real.

The point is therefore laboriously made that “Arsenal fandom is a craze. It’s an internet sensation that has created Robbie Lyle a business [Arsenal fan TV] and with it a livelihood. That is in a large part thanks to supporters the world over being keen to listen to the opinions of other fans, but ArsenalFanTV’s popularity has undoubtedly been swelled by the caricatures it has moulded of Arsenal fans as serial complainers.”

And that’s a good point.  ArsenalFanTV makes fun of the people who think they are on there making a serious statement and being film stars.  The joke Lyle plays is of making the complainants look stupid, while they think they are being serious.

But even so this is a bit rich coming from the Telegraph whose anti-Arsenal output could fill all 6000+ pages of this website, but from which archive we might pick gems; headlines for example such as “Arsenal’s 11 big problems” and “Why are Arsenal always so bad in November?”  Several times a month, that’s what we get.

But then every now and then they go in the opposite direction, as with the time they got the ex Evening Standard writer Charlie Eccleshare to write an apology to Arsène.   They had just run a series of articles calling him every name under the sun since he arrived, blaming him for destroying the base of English players playing in England who would win the world cup for England every time it is played, blaming him to not buying players, blaming him for buying the wrong players, for not winning the league, for running a club that didn’t have any money and still having the audacity to get into the knock out stages of the champions league, and above all, for being foreign and having an accent in his name.   And then they published the comment that

“There have been many charges levelled against Arsene Wenger over the past few years – most of them by Piers Morgan – but yesterday’s 3-0 win against Olympiakos vindicated many of the Frenchman’s decisions.”

You knock ’em down, pick em’ up and then knock ’em down again, then pick ’em up then…  well, you get the idea.

Now, after a month of non-stop Wenger battering over the recent defeats having a poor defence and a useless attack [ok we’re the top goalscorers in the Premier League but it is still a useless attack] plus a non-existent midfield, and other perceived calamities, it is all change and time to call Arsenal great again.

But do note, this is not balance.   This is a deliberate case of winding the aaa up with endless tales of gibberish, endlessly ignoring the fact that the past three seasons have been Arsenal’s fifth best run in the 124 years since Arsenal entered the league, and in fact endless Arsenal bashing.   Suddenly it is not Arsenal (Eurasia) that is the enemy, but their crazed fans (Eastasia).  Until the next change that is.

Making their point fast on the heels of Untold’s analysis of the most successful three year periods in our history they say point out (in case anyone has forgotten) that…

“Arsenal qualify for the Champions League every year; they won the FA Cup in 2014 and 2015; only Manchester United and Chelsea have won the Premier League as many times as them; they have finished above rivals Tottenham in every season since 1995; they can attract some of the world’s best footballers; and they are one of the richest clubs on the planet.

“And yet the fans always have something to moan about. An Arsenal-supporting friend of mine said after the recent, and admittedly extremely disappointing, defeat to Watford: ‘I just want something different to happen. I might start supporting Brentford’.”

Then after a bit more in the same vein they ask “But are things really that bad?”

And their conclusion (well not really a conclusion because that needs a weighing up of evidence which we never get here) is “Not at all, in the grand scheme of things. Most of those who want #WengerOut seem to just want some kind of change, when the stability their manager provided has made the club what they are.”

This of course brings us back to the issue of changing managers.

You might recall that the other day I considered the comment by a reader that he thought it was reasonable for Arsenal fans to expect the club to be champions, or challenging to be champions each year.   He then defined “challenging” to mean, “with a chance of winning the league up to the last three games”.  The resultant analysis of the implications of this view show how much better Arsenal are at achieving this lofty aim than most teams.

But I wondered, if the rule were applied what would have happened to other managers in recent years…  Managers of clubs that think themselves capable of winning the league are forced to leave when they don’t win the league or come close.  Managers who should leave under what we might call the “top 2 rule”.

Season Winners Pts Second Pts Managers who should be out under “top 2” rule
2011–12 Man C 89 Man U 89 Liverpool! Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal
2012–13 Man U 89 Man C 78 Liverpool! Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Man C
2013–14 Man C 86 Liverpool! 84 Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Man C, Man U
2014–15 Chelsea 87 Man City 79 Liverpool! Tottenham, Arsenal, Man C, Man U
2015–16 Leicester  81 Arsenal 71 Liverpool! Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Man C, Man U

Of course Chelsea and Tottenham have over the years approached matters in this way.  Here’s the Tiny Tott and Chelsea list of managers being kicked off the sinking ship

Season Tottenham Chelsea
2011/12 Harry Redknapp André Villas-Boas
2012/13 André Villas-Boas Roberto Di Matteo,  Rafael Benítez
2013/14 Tim Sherwood José Mourinho
2014/15 Mauricio Pochettino José Mourinho; Guus Hiddink
2015/16 Mauricio Pochettino Antonio Conte

It’s another way of running football, but the point is, it no more guarantees success than any other approach.

Returning to the Telegraph they concluded their article with a series of commentaries from fans of Tottenham, Sunderland, Orient, Coventry City, Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic asking them if they would like to swap places with Arsenal.  

Now that might seem an odd list but these clubs have all seen what it is like to be near the top and then slip back down, sometimes right back down – something some Arsenal fans can’t remember.   Older fans like me do remember the club struggling against relegation.  Maybe that is why we appreciate the current day success more.   If you’ve watched your club struggling at the foot of the table and being knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league teams year after year, you get a different perspective.  

Indeed aside from Orient (who have indeed been in the top division with Arsenal) all those teams have been doing well in the top league and have beaten Arsenal while there.  And surely it is not just me who remembers Charlton really rising up the league under Curbishly, and seriously entertaining thoughts of European football, and then fans then calling for Curbishly to leave so that someone else could take the club “to the next level”.  What a bunch of loonies!

The Tottenham fan’s commentary in this section of the article is particularly interesting:

“Tottenham are enjoying another incredible season, but we know it will all go wrong at some point. We won’t catch Chelsea, Arsenal will overtake us on the last day of the season, all our best players will eventually leave (those contracts means nothing), and Pochettino will one day be poached by one of the bigger boys.

“Missing out on winning the title was gutting, but the embarrassment of throwing away second place to Arsenal was worse for many of the fans. St Totteringham’s Day, Lasagnegate, Michael Dawson celebrating a Newcastle goal against Arsenal that didn’t exist. It’s all just a bit much.”

At the end of the article the question is put to the fans of each club “Would you trade places with Arsenal?”  Of course each is just one person’s view, and not representative of the fan base, but it is an interesting selection across the clubs.    Here are the answers, with a reminder of where the club currently sits…

Tiny Totts (2nd, Premier League): In a heartbeat. And any Spurs fan that says otherwise is lying.

Sunderland (20th, Premier League): League position, finances, champions league football, trophies…what do you think?

Orient (23rd League Two): From a penalty kick away from the Championship to the brink of the National League in the space of three seasons and in danger of going out of business. Now that, Arsenal fans, is something to really moan about.   [Which is, in one respect, why I wrote “Making the Arsenal” – the story of when Arsenal went bust, and were rescued by one man now considered barely worthy of a mention in Arsenal’s history].

Coventry (24th League One):  I understand they are an ambitious club and they want to be winning trophies, but they need to get a bit of perspective. Our overall budget for a season is around £2-3m and that has to pay wages, run the academy etc. It’s a completely different world.

Ipswich Town (13th Championship) Finishing in the top four every year, watching high-quality fare from a cast of stars from across the world – who would really want that?

Charlton: (13th, League One) Yes, of course….but I don’t want them coming back to Woolwich, where they started. That was just up the road from the Valley!

Now contrast this with a comment from a supposed Arsenal fan:

It’s just boring being an Arsenal fan nowadays, knowing you’re about to witness the same season over and over. A new manager doesn’t guarantee success but equally it doesn’t guarantee the same mediocre league and Champions League failings we’ve become accustomed to.

And that’s it, isn’t it?  Success is boring.  Let’s have some failure for a while, just to make the successes feel good.

 

 

67 comments to We need some failure for a while in order to make the good times feel good.

  • finsbury

    The telegraph eh?

    Reassuring that the “friends of untold” like to quote such esteemed hack dwarves as some kind of contextual validation for their own gibberish:

    I guess if you love and admire watching diving cloggers like rose at work then one would obviously have great empathy for Don Revie and all that he did for English Football:

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2011/mar/14/sunday-telegraph-daily-mirror?client=safari

    Just to be clear: these are the hacks the AAA trolls love to quote in order to support their self declared expertise. Perhaps they should support the Arsenal instead of people who’ve modelled their careers upon Alan Partridge?

    ROFL!

  • Norman14

    Good stuff Tony – how’s the heatwave.

    Looks like you’ve yet to catch up with the bollix going on around what Ian Wright has said. Now there’s more “experts” than a Trump ministry, advising Arsenal supporters that we want Wenger to leave. That he’s going to leave, that he’s tired. Max is ready, Steady Eddie is ready, Rafa’s on the Board’s shortlist. In fact, it’s the “Fake” media in the UK driving this fiction towards their own, pre-designated conclusion.

    Just to illustrate that more than one party is involved in this rubbish, apparently Mark Clattenberg went to Hull’s dressing room at half time yesterday and APOLOGISED for allowing Arsenal’s first goal. So what did he apologise for?

    1. Did Alexis cheat? NO
    2. Did Clattenberg cheat? NO
    3. Did Clattenberg miss a call from PGMO headquarters with proper instructions and the accompanying brown envelope? Assume NO

    “I’m sorry that I gave a perfectly legal goal in which neither the scorer or the officials cheated, but I apologise all the same”

    How did the media get hold of the story that Clattenberg apologised?

    1. Did Clattenberg hold a press conference and admit this?
    2. Did Silva say it in his press conference?
    3. Did a Hull player say this either in a press conference, or more likely, on Twitter?
    4. Did the media make it up?

    From the minute of the first slow motion replay, I said that the media would be claiming that the goal was illegal. Not wrong there then.

    Finally, if you believe this “apology” story, then, it must be the first time a referee has made a public statement since June 2009 (when Riley took over PGMO).

    That in itself suggests that this is a fake news story – sorry, a “Fake Arsenal News Story”

  • MickHazel

    I read the article yesterday and was immediately reminded of the Jean Giraudoux quote….

    ‘The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.’

    The absolute joke of it is that it is rags like the Telegraph that serve up the ‘feast’ for the AAA etc to gorge on.

  • MickHazel

    Question for Walter or any other ref….
    Is it permissible for a ref to go to either teams dressing room at half time? What is the protocol in this regard?

  • porter

    Norman it came from the Hull dressing room as per the post match interview with two of their players. What was Clattenburg doing in their dressing room discussing it at half time is more to the point. Surely only the captain would be allowed to speak to him and that should be on the field of play. In all my years of play a ref kept clear of players during the break mainly to avoid the accusation that his actions in the second half were influenced by his half time conversation. I was only ever called once to his dressing room along with the captain of the other side to calm down a very heated situation.

  • Minesy

    Norman14 – Tom Huddleston was on a TV interview saying that Clattenberg had apologised, so if we are to accept he is telling the truth it did happen …

  • Norman14

    Porter:
    Well, it would explain the last 20 minutes when he gave them absolutely everything, and us nothing. The Clucas “save” must have really annoyed Clattenberg, because he was trying his damned hardest to get them an equaliser up to that point.

  • MickHazel

    porter
    I suppose it is possible that Clatterbug spoke to the Hull players whilst coming off or coming back on the field of play at half time rather than going to their dressing room. If it was when they were coming off then how did he know he had made a mistake before he had the possibility of seeing a replay on screen.
    Do refs have a screen in their changing room where they can review decisions at half time?

  • Norman14

    Minesy: “Tom Huddleston was on a TV interview saying that Clattenberg had apologised”

    Why on earth would he (Clattenberg), do that?
    It’s been spun, surely?

  • finsbury

    Sounds like there was an exciting rugby match yesterday. None of the headlines are about the officials…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I really do think Arsenal fans should be given a chance to voice their suggestions – seeing that they seem to have all the answers and solutions .
    The catch is that it must be sent to the club by hand or by post or by e-mail from legitimate addresses , in legible handwriting or typed with double spacing (for official comments and corrections )and bereft of any political , religious , sexual or national innuendos. But humour would be most welcome .That is , in addition to your suggestion.

    I will await this suggestion to be undertaken by the club ….or else I shall make up a suitable and detailed questionnaire myself that you will be able to download on UA . That is if Tony or Walter are willing to post here . Am open to your suggestions as per the questions that be needed to be asked.

    You know where I would like to put a mailbox at the Ems ? That ever widening hole developing in the Henry statue’s butt crack ! Somehow apt , I feel .

  • Norman14

    MickHazel
    I don’t think there is a screen in their dressing room. I thought the assessment of the referee’s performance was down to the Match Assessor. As we have seen recently, this takes days, rather than minutes.
    We’re in dangerous territory if referee’s are self assessing!

    Clattenberg was in discussion with his Assistant and the goal stood.

    Perhaps what he ACTUALLY said was “We had a chat. It hit his hand but it was ball to hand – a deflection. It’s not deliberate and it was a goal. I’M SORRY, but that’s how we saw it”. Or words to that effect.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ MickHazel – 12/02/2017 at 11:14 am – ” Always be sincere , even if you don’t mean it !”
    – From an old Benny Hill skit .

  • MickHazel

    Minesy
    Did Huddlestone say the apology was given at half time or full time?

  • MickHazel

    Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Hull City defender Andrew Robertson revealed that Clattenburg apologized to Hull’s players.

    “The referee apologized to us after half time and said it was a handball. He obviously realises he was in the wrong. It must be tough for him, but often decisions don’t go your way when you come to these big stadiums. The ref told us he didn’t give it because he wasn’t 100% sure. Not many referees can admit they’re wrong, so it’s good when he does though it doesn’t make things better.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A trivial pursuit question for the older fans .
    ‘Which former European Footballer of the year was signed by and for Charlton Athletic when they were in the old second division ?’

  • Minesy

    Tony … funnily enough I was in a box at the Emirates for this game, (celebrating one of those pesky birthdays with a “0” at the end I have coming up), and Perry Groves was doing the ex-player bit … extremely nice man, and great fun … we got to talking about TalkSport and I asked him how he managed to stop himself punching Adrian Durham … interestingly, he said the reason they do the anti-Arsenal thing is simple, it lights up the switchboard, gets the social media overheating and therefore ticks the boxes for listening figures and advertising … other clubs don’t get that response, (if they do the same thing for Man City, no one bothers !!!) … and so it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle … and on and on and on we go …

  • Minesy

    Norman14 – All I saw was the clip they used on MOTD, and that was what he said … doesn’t appear to be on YouTube … if I can find a link, I’ll post it for you

  • Nitram

    Tony

    It seems it’s catching. This from Oliver Holt in todays Mail on Sunday.

    The headline in the on line version says:

    CALL ME AN IDIOT, BUT THOSE WHO WANT ARSENE WENGER TO LEAVE ARSENAL WILL END UP REGRETTING IT WHEN HE’S GONE

    Or on the back of the paper it says:

    CALL ME AN IDIOT, BUT THE WENGER OUT BRIGADE WILL REGRET IT WHEN HE’S GONE

    The article continues in a similar vein to that of the Telegraph, placing at it’s core the notion that Arsenal fans should be careful what they wish for, claiming:

    “SOME OF ARSENAL’S FANS HAVE GOT SO BORED OF BEING WELL, THEY APPEAR TO WANT TO MAKE THEMSELVES ILL”

    Excuse me for thinking that that’s a bit rich coming from a journalist, but pleeeeeease !!!.

    A member of the very band of merry men who have consistently, at the mere drop of a hat, or should I say, at the mere drop of a point, call for his head, time and time again.

    So can I suggest Mr Holt, that instead of having a go at the Arsenal fans, why don’t you try naming and shaming the enormous number of journalists, some of which work at the very same address as you do, that criticise, ridicule, and insult Wenger on an almost daily basis, and whom, on every possible occasion, attempt to incite and stir the very section of fans you are so keen to criticise.

    Names such as:

    Howard

    Reade

    Cross

    Lawrence

    Samuels

    Ashton

    Draper

    Beasley

    To name but a few.

    And this doesn’t even include an entire radio station that follows an anti Arsenal/Wenger agenda on a daily basis, which broadcasts a specific article aimed squarely at enraging and inciting Arsenals own fans, every day, and has done for the last nigh on ten years.

    And this doesn’t include the TV channels, one of which, ESPN, has as recently as last week, ridiculed Arsenal fans for NOT rising up against the club sufficiently, calling them ‘cowards’ I believe.

    So before ridiculing these Anti Arsenal Arsenal fans, perhaps you should be asking yourself, why are they the way they are in the first place?

    I would suggest that 10 years plus of bating by the likes of yourself, your colleagues both near and far, has had a massive roll to play in creating these very people you now chose to deride, wouldn’t you ?

  • Josif

    @Brickfields

    If that player of the year had another “S” added to his initials, his initials would be the same as Mike Dean’s middle name.

  • Norman14

    Josif
    Which part of Dean’s middle name – “Swings” “Both” or “Ways”?

  • Nitram

    MickHazel

    The truth is Mick, he had very little choice did he?

    But then again, I thought it was impossible to call last weeks assault on Bellerin as a non foul and look what happened there, so what do I know?

    Personally I think the penalty is a tougher call. It all hinges on whether you see the defenders stance as natural, and therefore not a penalty, or did he indeed deliberately make himself bigger/wider, in which case it is a penalty.

    As has been highlighted on here only recently, neither us, nor the referee, can read what is in the players mind, so therefore it all comes down to personal interpretation.

    Now with that in mind, we know that every interpretation made by a pundit or a media person will be of the ‘opinion’ it wasn’t a penalty. I mean, that goes without saying.

    Similarly our friends in the aaa will no doubt see it as a non penalty.

    So I fear that leaves just us at UA, who will be the only ones to see it as a penalty, and quite right too I say.

  • Ștefan Alexandru

    Good stuff as always here. I always come here expecting a piece written with optimism and a good foundation in reality (hard to find one on other sites, though some do exist out there). Though regarding Wenger’s future replacements some things have to be said:
    1. We’ll need more than one man to replace him, he’s a dinosaur (in a good way), he handles more tasks than any other manager at the top level, we’ll need at least an excellent director of football, along with a top-top manager. I don’t see any one person capable to handle so many aspects of the job Wenger has been doing for so many years.
    2. You don’t have to agree with the fans that clamour for instant success, but you have to understand where they’re coming from. Different people have different definitions for success and each fan judges Arsenal with a different stick, so it’s natural that some see the last decade as an utter failure. I for one am grateful for the last few years, especially for the 2014 FA Cup, but I’m not considering the last years as a successful period.

  • Ștefan Alexandru

    There’s a pretty large community over at sofifa.com that agrees it was a penalty. And not just Arsenal fans, a lot of United ones too. But most of them also agree that Gibbs should have seen red.

  • Steve Vallins

    Brick fields I think the Charlton was Alan Simmonson(or something like that)

  • Bobome

    Tony, be careful what you wish for!! I’d rather continuing modest success, in the event that we fail to attain outstanding success – Champions League trophy and or EPL trophy with the FA Cup thrown in. Modest success of top four finishing plus all the others will guarantee AFC’s ability to continually challenge and build on past attainments. To have ‘…some failure for a while…’ is for me a ‘No’ ‘No’ at this point in the Club’s ascent to the very top of dominant success in years to come.

    The ‘AAA’ and their cohorts only know how to react emotionally to defeat in a soccer match by the Club. It is either they are unwilling or are unable to effectively use their brain cells to reason dispassionately on such defeats and get behind the Club and players or they have an agenda to humiliate Arsene out of the Club. If it is the latter they have so far failed woefully and will continue to fail until the man chooses to leave in a decent manner and in a time agreed to by the Board and himself.

    Had the AFC Board been behaving like all the other boards that sack their Manager at a whim I doubt if AFC would be where they are today and with a fighting chance to greater successes now and for a long time to come. Anything built with an eye for long term success will follow the trajectory the Club is following. I don’t think Arsene factored ‘overnight success’ into his planning when he took on the task of building a new stadium while remaining competitive for these many years.

    Personally, I think he might not remain around long enough to reap from the fruits of all that hard work that brought the Club to this level. It just might turn out that way. Keep the Untold Arsenal flag flying and don’t even think of retreating we are on to something and time will tell you had been backing the right horse all along.

  • Mac

    Tony I know Arsenal have a great PR team but they have noghing on you .You are Arsene Wengers spin doctor.The way you effortlessly use different teams to try and push your point that we are doing brilliantly and everything is rosy at Arsenal.A handfull of posters on here in your cult certainly think so.The reality is that less and less supporters see yours and Wengers slant on things and can really see that the club have become stagnant and our managers tactics and philosophys are now outdated and stale.It is time for change and its only out of respect for what Arsene did in the first 8 years of his tenure that mass protests hav3nt taken place,but theres one thing for sure if he doesnt judge himself in may and signs a new contract things will start to get very ugly.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Josif – 12/02/2017 at 12:30 pm – True , but then again that would apply for many of ‘them’ that come on here !
    Anyway , I’ve always thought that his middle name was Precious.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME –

    Munchausen syndrome, referred to as factitious disorder, is a mental illness that involves the sufferers causing or pretending to have physical or psychological symptoms in themselves.

    Adults aged 20-40 years are most likely to develop Munchausen syndrome. Women with knowledge of health care and men with few family relationships are particularly vulnerable to developing this disorder.

    Munchausen syndrome often follows or coexists with Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

    Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is a fabrication of illness by a third person that allows the third person, usually the victim’s mother, to assume the role of caregiver.

  • Stevo

    Just watching Burnley v Chelsea and was surprised to see the fuss that Chelsea made when an elbow from a Burnley player struck the Chelsea player with about half the impact that they all deemed was OK the week before when Bellerin was the was the victim of an elbow from Chelsea.
    Sorry this is not the topic but I just feel a bit aggrieved how the ref lectured the Burnley player when Alonso did not even get a whisper from Atkinson.

  • Norman14

    Stevo
    Absolutely right, I saw that too.
    Double standards.
    Now get this for bias in the media:

    We have been copping it for continuously finishing in the top four, right?
    This morning, those “experts” on Sunday Supplement were praising the Spuds for finishing “consistently in the top 6”
    FFS, you couldn’t think these things up.

    But they can – DOH!

  • Nitram

    Mac

    It’s has nothing to do with ‘spin’, but everything to do with interpretation.

    Tony, Walter and UA as a whole, interpret what Arsenal and Arsene Wenger has achieved over the last decade as success, as do I.

    Of course the success has to be judged ‘relative’ to the situation we found ourselves in, what with the financial restrictions we had to bear, due to the building of the Stadium, measured against the massive spending power of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, over the same period.

    But of course if you are not prepared to allow for that then you could interpret the last 10 years as a failure.

    Personally I think not taking that into account as a massive factor behind our relatively baron years would be wrong, but that’s up to the individual.

    But for those of us that do, it is not ‘spin’, it is just our interpretation of the last 10 years.

    If you don’t like our interpretation you don’t have to come here do you?

    And as for the insinuation that anyone who dares to agree with Tony’s views are in some way ‘cultist’, don’t you think that’s a bit of a cheap shot, just because you don’t?

  • Menace

    Mac – why wait till May? You’re showing the ugliness already.

    Stagnant at the top of the wealthy Premier League is not sufficient to measure success! I suppose a couple of tin pots as a dustman is success. The seat I sit in (North Bank) & the vista of the Arsenal stadium from there is just awesome. It came about because of Wenger & his philosophy. The idiots who call themselves fans, who have never run anything in their lives, just cannot see how magnificent a job Wenger is doing. The squad & the team he selects from it play beautiful football. Football that is lost in this corruptly officiated league. As Arsenal supporters I always say look, learn & enjoy the best football you will ever see.

    Its almost 50 years that I’ve been watching Arsenal & what Wenger has brought is priceless. The reported £8 million is not enough to compensate the amazing work this man has done for the club & the game in England. Just think idiots like Rooney & Beckham get paid fortunes & neither can write a proper document let alone read a set of accounts.

  • Flares

    Nitram

    I try never to miss an episode of the Sunday Supplement. It’s wonderful entertainment, providing some of the most deluded pub-level opinions you could ever hope to guffaw at. This morning’s reach-around gave us the revelation that Chelsea have ‘at least four’ – yes, four – nailed on world class players. Notwithstanding this footballing equivalent of the Avengers was absolutely dreadful this time last season and needed the input of a fresh manager to invigorate them, I’m struggling to see past Hazard and possibly Costa to make up this glut of elite players. I’ve overcome my blind hatred of Ollie Holt to actually look forward to the moments he takes up Wenger’s stead, despite his annoying habit of bookmarking every sentence with ‘I think..’ Thank goodness we have a journalist on the show who knows how to think, I’d almost given up hope….

  • Zedsaunt

    Travelling on the mainline train from the North, or going up to the North, passing the Emirates Stadium, which looks exactly like a stadium should look through the window of a passing train as you are just about at the railway terminal in the nation’s capital city – huge, exciting, with a shape that invites you, with huge images that get you dreaming about football – you’re minutes away from the capital – where’s Wembly?

    First – Mr Wenger is a foreigner.
    Second – Mr Wenger is a Frenchman.
    Third – Mr Wenger is a Professor.
    Four – Mr Wenger speaks five or six languages.

    How is Mr Wenger intelligent?

    He has degrees in economics and enngeering. The very foundation stones of the British Empire. What it means to be English.

    He built the Emirates. The FA re-developed Wembly. You travel from the heartland of the industrial base, which drove the Empire which ruled the world, and what you see when you get to London – the stadium Mr Wenger built. Where’s Wembly? How do you get to Wembly?

    How long will it take the FA to pay off the debts on Wembly?

    If he had been a French Professor who had stuck to something French – turning pages for a pianist say, or pastries – a space would have been created in the English family of football to fit his shape.

    There’s no way you can fit a guy in who takes a team through a season in the world’s ‘toughest league’ without defeat, who then goes and builds the biggest and brightest football stadium in the English capital and knows economics and engineering to such an arc of exactitude he doesn’t run into debt.

    Mr Wenger is so dangerous that to analyse why he provokes such scorn you might have to start reading French books.

  • Zedsaunt

    Another way of seeing Mr Wenger – travel from Manchester to Leeds and note down the football clubs, the rugby union clubs, the rugby league clubs, each one built and defended with a jutting jaw.

  • Nitram

    Flares

    A day of enlightenment indeed, what with the revelation that Spurs finishing in the top 6 is something to admire, and now I’m informed Chelsea have at least 4 World Class players.

    I’m glad I’m wearing my corset because I think my sides have split.

  • omgarsenal

    Mike Hazel…….In almost every league (from amateur to professional) that I officiated in, the referee was NOT authorized to enter any team’s dressing room during the game (half-time). This was a strong and common rule to prevent accusations of influence peddling and connivance.
    normally IF the referee wanted to talk with either or both teams before the end of the match he or she would take the captains/managers aside (usually before entering the field or in the officials dressing room, before play restarted and read them the riot act as needed. I never saw a referee worth his or her salt excusing themselves at half-time! That only acerbates the situation and raises doubts in the players minds about the officials.

    Mac……enough of the hollow threats and spurious misrepresentation of what ¨Arsenal fans¨think….as if you were the spokesperson for any of us! You are just another aaa wannabe cheerleader vying for your 15 seconds of fame and regurgitating the same shite the media and fellow aaa losers have loaded your brain with. Try another website that actually cares about what you think.

  • Mac

    Omg
    I know enough abot the game of football and the rules to make my own mind up without having to agree and read what the media write.I can see that we have become stale as a football team and our managers philosophys tactics and team preparation are not good enough anymore to win us the top awards.You on the other hand do not, and will try and anything and everyone to deflect the blame away from Arsene Wenger .You can insult me for having these beliefs and use your facy words to try and make you look clever but in reality your just a scruffy old tramp who used to referee at a low level.You and your handfull of Wengers cult followers on here will probably stop supporting the club when he leaves and cant see Arsenal Football club being managed by anyone apart from your God.Football moves on,players move on and managers move on .Its part and parcel of football and as is always the case nobody is bigger than the club.I hope arsene sees this ,as hes not stupid and stands down in the summer to let the club move forward again.

  • Wengever

    Mac
    This site would much rather you leave this site than Wenger leave arsenal. So why don’t you just shove off! Go start your own blog. You are not wanted here.
    You say we ‘insult your belief’. What you spew forth is not an evidence grounded reasonable set of claims. More accurately it is little else than a malicious, devious and scurrilous attempt to to destroy a man who stands head and shoulders over you. Now I understand the world’s fascination with zombies in popular culture – a sheer mindlessness that is easily manipulated by what the crafty media ordains.

    Go play in your own sandbox!

  • bill from manhattan

    Mac, You are so correct in stating that Wenger is not stupid. Over the last several articles I’ve read your comments and I can’t say the same about you. I will state that you are one stupid person and your tiny little pea-brain is screaming out for help from a mental health professional. You are someone not to be taken seriously and should be pitied. If I was a much of a asshole such as yourself, I would keep my asinine opinions to myself. Post your propaganda on Le Grove. You would be a big man over there. After all, In the valley of the blind, The one-eyed man is king.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It is forbidden for a referee to look at incidents on TV during half time. it is in the manual of the referees written by the PGMO. I have a copy of it. Shouldn’t have one 😉 LOL

    It is even written that referees are even not allowed to use any communication device that brings them any contact with the outside world around 1,5 hour before the match and till the end of the match. Then they can switch their phones back on.

  • Zuruvi

    Mac, OMG and others.
    We should respect each other and respect the opinion of others. We are all Arsenal fans and supporters.
    Please let us show support for our team. And where we find need to criticise our club, players or manager, please let us be constructive in our criticism and respectful of others.
    Untold Arsenal is for genuine Arsenal fans who want the best for Arsenal.

  • MickHazel

    Walter
    So how would Clatterbug have become aware during half time that he had (in someones opinion) made a mistake in awarding the goal?

  • omgarsenal

    Mac…..I feel pity for you as you seem completely compelled to spew your tripe and obsessed with your your own self-importance and expert ¨opinion¨about how the Arsenal can be saved, based on what?

    The real tragedy here is that you try and demean others out of a false sense of superiority and supposed knowledge of the game but likely have NEVER played at anything but pub football and certainly NEVER officiated, as your inability to spell correctly and compose anything above simple vitriol attests. You couldn’t pass a beginner’s test on the Laws and I doubt you could handle an under 5 game!

    I can acknowledge Wenger’s faults and failings but I don’t pretend that I know better than him about how to run a professional team, having seen the real thing personally, as a referee. Just because you MAY have sat in a stadium once or twice doesn’t make you a Football expert….but don’t let your prejudices interfere with your ignorance. If my big words hurt your brain, I’ll try and write in one syllable words just for you next time.

  • omgarsenal

    mick Hazel….either his assistants told him or perhaps the EPL assessor paid a half-time visit to warn him about helping the Arsenal too much?

  • Wengever

    Zuruvi,
    Despite your possible good intentions of being ‘respectful of opinions’ – this is proven to be a trite and senseless platitude. How can one be possibly demand respect for slanted opinions that not only without reasonable rigor, but are also patently disrespectful. One should not expect vile and malicious opinions to be met with any measure of respect. And do not expect it on this site.

  • Wengever

    Zuruvi: 10:52
    Despite your possible good intentions of being ‘respectful of opinions’ – this is proven to be a trite and senseless platitude. How can one possibly demand respect for slanted opinions that are not only without reasonable rigor, but are also patently disrespectful. One should not expect vile and malicious opinions to be met with any measure of respect. And do not expect it on this site.

  • Pat

    Bill from Manhattan

    You’re back! Where have you been so long?

  • bill from manhattan

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful to anyone, But I will say that some of these mindless know it all numbskulls who post on this site aren’t deserving of even a modicum of respect. I don’t claim to be a holier than thou kind of a person, I’ve made my fair share of faux pas and mistakes in my lifetime. I’m just a simple, self-educated, working class person who can think for himself. I can see what certain weak-willed individuals who post here are trying to accomplice. They come over here spewing their false and stupid rhetoric thinking they are some kind of prophet or wise man. Thinking they are so fucking brilliant. I can recognize an asshole when I see one and have never been shy about calling a spade a spade. So many of these cretins are so full of shit that it’s leaking out of their pores. I can see what time it is, And I’m not drinking their particular brand of kool-aid. I believe the editors of this site are far too lenient towards these morons and should start to crack down on them really hard. These shit for brains assholes are ruining the site for us true red-blooded Arsenal supporters. UP THE ARSE.

  • Mac

    Wengever.
    of course you would rather we were nearly rans for the next 2 years and keep Wenger than let him leave at the end of the season .Some of you cult followers on here are not interested in Arsenal being sucessful as you watch your foreign streams from abroad.You just want to continue your cult like existance and believe there isnt life at Arsenal once your god leaves.
    Bill you can see things that only the real clever football fans on here can see,things that only untolds few faithful can see.Shame the majority of Arsenal fans are blind and dumb.They are only able to see a manager that will never win us the league again.
    What a few on here seem to suffer from is PWSD (Post Wenger Stress Disorder) This a real problem on this site and can be treatable on NHS or whichever health service you have in your country or thats if you have one.

  • Wengever

    Mac,
    Presumptious and irredeemably delusional. What a pathetic little man!

  • Well Bill, those of us who run the site do it as we think is right. What else can I say?

  • bill from manhattan

    Tony, I hear what you’re saying. I been coming here almost from the beginning. Most of us real Arsenal supporters appreciate the good work people such as Yourself, Walter, Bulldog, Andrew, Sir Hardley and all the others far too numerous to mention do for us real Arsenal supporters. It’s gotta be a labor of love, Because I don’t think you guys are filling your coffers with a whole lot of lucre running this website. I think you and the other administrators are treating the AAA much too nice and take the high road much too often. That is just my opinion. Opinions are like assholes, Everybody has one including myself. I’ve never been a turn the other cheek type of a guy. These AAA idiots are just so annoying and I find them really trite. I gotta call them out. What part of the masthead don’t those fucking morons understand? Let me tell them real plain and simple-like, UNTOLD ARSENAL SUPPORTING THE CLUB, THE TEAM AND THE MANAGER. Did the Communist Russian newspaper Pravda publish capitalistic viewpoints in their editorials. I think not, What makes these thick-headed douche-bags think they can just come on here with their nonsensical clap-trap and expect us to take what they are saying without a goddamn Whimper. I think a lot of us real Arsenal supporters have had it up to here with these mindless simpletons. If those morons don’t like what this website is all about, Then just fucking leave and don’t come here anymore. Begone you motherfuckers and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I am just taking my therapist’s advice not to hide my opinions under a bushel, To speak up more. I think it might be working. HA HA HA. UP THE ARSENAL.

  • Bill, the issue of what we publish and who we publish is one that is often debated. One view is that our terms of commentary are very clear and published on the site (http://untold-arsenal.com/untold-comments) and so we shouldn’t publish them.

    Another is that we don’t want to be like some other sites that refuse to publish anything against their view point, or worse take arguments they don’t like and then change them so that the comment that appears is not that which is sent in. Le G for one has been known to do that.

    I tend to delete all the abusive ones, and the ones that just say “you are an idiot” but I do let some of the others through – and a perfect example of why comes with the guy who said that all he wanted was for Arsenal to be challenging for the top spot up to the last few weeks of the season. It sounds reasonable, and it allowed me to do the analysis of exactly what that meant. I wouldn’t have thought of the analysis without that comment.

    Likewise I would not have done the research into the effectiveness of transfers without everyone shouting for more transfers. So the comments do encourage me to do a little more research and thinking.

    But perhaps the biggest reason for leaving quite a few of these comments in is that they are so silly they give us a laugh. It is as if these guys found a magazine about bee-keeping and wrote in saying “bee-keeping is stupid” and then complained when they didn’t get published. It really does give me a chuckle. And that’s not a bad thing.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Bill – as usual accurate and to the point ! A big LIKE from me ! Cheers !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    THE 99 CLUB
    Author unknown.

    Long ago, there lived a King. This King should have been content with his life, given all the riches and luxuries he had. However, this was not the case.

    The King always found himself wondering why he just never seemed content with his life. Sure, he had the attention of everyone wherever he went, attended fancy dinners and parties, but somehow, he still felt something was lacking and he couldn’t put his finger on it.

    One day, the King had woken up earlier than usual and decided to stroll around his palace. He entered his huge living room and came to a stop when he heard someone happily singing away. Following this singing, he saw that one of the servants was singing and had a very content look on his face. This fascinated the King and he summoned this man to his chambers.

    The man, his servant, entered the King’s chambers as ordered. The King asked as to why he was so happy? To this the man replied: “Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but I make enough of a living to keep my wife and children happy. We don’t need too much, a roof over our head and warm food to fill our tummy. My wife and children are my inspiration, they are content with whatever little I bring home. I am happy because my family is happy.”

    Hearing this, the King dismissed the servant and summoned his Personal Assistant to his chambers. The King related his personal anguish about his feelings and then related the story of the servant to his Personal Assistant, hoping that somehow, he will be able to come up with some reasoning that here was a King who could have anything he wished for at a snap of his fingers and yet was not contended, whereas, his servant, having so little was extremely contended.

    The Personal Assistant listened attentively and come to a conclusion. He said “Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of the ’99’ Club.” “The ’99’ Club? and what exactly is that?” the King inquired. To which the Assistant replied, “Your Majesty, to truly know what The “99” Club is, you will have to do the following: place 99 Gold Coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep, you will then understand what The “99” Club is.”

    That very same evening, the King arranged for 99 Gold coins to be placed in bag at the servant’s doorstep. Although he was slightly hesitant and he thought he should have put 100 Gold Coins in the bag, but since his assistant had advised him to put 99 that is what he did.

    The servant was just stepping out of his house when he saw a bag at his doorstep. Wondering about its contents, he took it into his house and opened the bag. When he opened the bag he let out a great big shout of joy…Gold Coins…so many of them. He could hardly believe it. He called his wife to show her the coins and they were besides themselves.

    He then took the bag to a table and emptied it out and began to count the coins. Doing so, he realized that there were 99 coins and he thought it was an odd number so he counted again, and again and again only to come to the same conclusion…99 Gold Coins..

    He began to wonder, what could have happened to that last 1 coin? For no one would leave 99 coins. He began to search his entire house, looked around his backyard for hours, not wanting to lose out on that one coin. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to make up for that 1 Gold coin to make his entire collection an even 100 Gold Coins.

    He got up the next morning, in an extremely horrible mood, shouting at the children and his wife for his delay, not realizing that he had spent most of the night up conjuring ways of working hard so that he had enough money to buy himself that gold coin. He went to work as usual only not in his usual best mood, singing happily and whistling all day. He didn’t even seem to notice that the King was watching him as he grumpily did his daily errands.

    Seeing the man’s attitude change so drastically, the King was puzzled. He promptly summoned his assistant to his chambers. The King related his thoughts about the servant and once again, his assistant listened. The King could not believe that the servant who until yesterday had been singing away and was happy and content with his life had taken a sudden change of attitude, even though he should have been happier after receiving the gold coins.

    To this the assistant replied “Ah but your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.” He explained: “The 99 Club is just a name given to those people who have everything but yet are never content, therefore they are always working hard and striving for that extra 1 to round it out to 100!
    We have so much to be thankful for and we can live with very little in our lives, but the minute we are given something bigger and better, we want even more! We are not the same happy contented person we used to be, we want more and more and by wanting more and more we don’t realize the price we pay for it. We lose our sleep, our happiness; we hurt the people around us just as a price to pay for our growing needs and desires. That is what joining The 99 Club is all about.”

    Hearing this the King decided that from that day onwards, he was going to start appreciating all the little things in life.

    Striving for more is always good, but lets not strive so hard and for so much that we lose all those near and dear to our heart. We shouldn’t compromise our happiness for moments of luxuries!

  • Mac

    Tony i agree that you leave some comments on for a laugh.That is why posters like menace and Angry bill from usa get their posts seen.What planet are you on bill??Ban him tony boohoo because he doesnt agree with me.i suggest you see a different therapist if the one you have tells you to come out with what you have everytime you disagree with someone.Have you got tourettes by any chance.Either that or you have anger issues.I post and read a variety of arsenal messageboards and read what a broad spectrum of fans post ,mostly Arsenal but not all.I make my own mind up on Arsenal and the problems within the club.Rather than just coming on here where all have the same opinion and arent able to be challenged on views i suggest you do the same .It might open your eyes a little.

  • Pat

    Bill from Manhattan

    We’ve missed you. Great to hear from you again. It always gives me a boost to read your posts. I appreciate Tony’s dilemma. But without true outspoken fans like you, this site would be the poorer.

  • Mac

    Yes bill what a real true great fan you are .Pat loves you and it always gives him a boost to hear your Epletives and vulgar language..Hopefully see you in Munich on wednesday night..

  • bill from manhattan

    Mac, People like yourself and a lot of other morons are just so comical. You come on this site farting propaganda out your pimply ass and expect everyone to accept your nonsense unequivocally. Hey D-bag let me tell your lot how the real world works. I don’t go to the symphony and expect to hear rock music, Then have the audacity to whine and complain about what’s with all those violins. I certainly don’t go to ethic nightclubs spewing racial expletives cause there is a good chance I’ll get the shit beat out of me or worse. But meatheads such as yourself come here and constantly do it again and again. Here’s the cherry on the sundae. You then bitch and cry when people call you on it. Your stupid ilk are an affront to a lot of real Arsenal supporters. Living here in the States, I don’t have the chance too often to see the Arsenal live and in person. That is just down to geographics, But I am tenfold the Arsenal supporter you and your band could ever hope to be. Not that it means anything, I attended my first Arsenal match in 1976. Grow the fuck up, Stop crying because I used a few bad words in my diatribe about your select little band of morons. A degenerate gambler once told me the best feeling in the world is winning a bet, The second best feeling was losing a bet. I guess for you idiots it’s hoping the Arsenal lose, And when they win you guys are so disappointed so you come here and nitpick and whine like a child. I really find your kind of Arsenal supporter so pathetic.

  • bill from manhattan

    ethnic nightclubs.

  • Mac

    Bill.
    And i find your kind of support quite sad.Ive watched the Denver Broncos once but i wouldnt class myself as a bigger fan than those who live in denver ,go regularly cheer the team on.I certainly wouldnt go on a Broncos messageboard where fans arent happy and call them plastic supporters as its not my place.Same for you with Arsenal.You stick to American football or baseball or whatever sports you Yanks are good at.As well as worshipping Tony and Walter of course.

  • bill from manhattan

    Sorry Bill but this one goes too far. It can be said that I should have stopped this argument before, and I would agree. My fault, should have interceded earlier.

  • Pete

    Aw Tony – I was really enjoying Bill’s re-emergence. Sometimes the truth needs to come out unvarnished.

    Great to read you again Bill – it’s been too long.

    As for minority/majority of fans. I remember the pathetic placard protest last season (when we did dreadfully badly to finish the season 2nd) when the low hundred of placard bearers in a 60,000 stadium were humiliated by a rousing rendition of “One Arsene Wenger”.

    That tells you all you need to know about what the fans really think.

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