Untold Media Review: The Mirror – Don’t panic

Untold Arsenal Media Watch: The Sunday Mirror

Mirror Coverage of Newcastle and Liverpool Matches

By: Anne and the Untold Media team

Note: much thanks to Stephen for his research contributions to this article.

*Editorial Note following what happened at Old Trafford:

I’m not even going to talk about what happened this afternoon, because I’m not ready for it. However, I do want to point out that the issue in this media watch (the “anxiety and crisis” talking points campaign), is going to be a bigger issue following the loss to ManU. In fact, I’m fairly confident that it will be scaled up significantly in the coming weeks. I’m only covering the Mirror here, but there are also other media outlets involved in this as well, so I think it would be a good idea to pay attention to these tactics now. Best way to avoid letting them influence you in the future. Thanks.


Newcastle Match Coverage

Where the Mirror is concerned, the best thing to keep in mind regarding their Arsenal coverage is to always have the words “don’t panic!” in the back of your mind. However, before I get into that, I’ll give you Stephen’s brief summary of the Mirror’s general coverage of the Newcastle match:

In the Sunday Mirror’s match report (by Brian McNalley), Stephen reports that the actual coverage of the match action is limited. The coverage of the match that does appear is a generally fair assessment of the main points of action.  The article doesn’t pick up on some of Walter’s observations with regards to Stuart Taylor’s fouls, but does mention that Barton should have also received a red card. The referee gets a 6 rating.

Moving on…One of the main reasons that the Mirror’s coverage of the actual match is so limited is because of the amount of space that they devote to “other” topics, such as the “crisis” and “anxiety” talking points campaign that features heavily in the Mirror’s Arsenal coverage.  In the Newcastle match report, these talking points were inserted into their descriptions of Arsenal’s style of play (McNally uses the words:  nervous, hesitant, anxiety), as well as their descriptions of Arsene Wenger on the touchline (worried, wearied, ultra defensive).

Some specific examples of McNally’s use of talking points are as follows:

“Arsenal passed Newcastle off the park but it seemed that the anxiety that has afflicted Wenger in recent months had got to the players…Wenger appears to be ignoring the crisis in his club’s midst.”

“The Gunners dominated in terms of possession but they looked nervous and hesitant when ever the goal came into sight.”

“The response of many anxious Gooners is that if losing two stars of the calibre of Fabregas and Nasri is not his main worry, then it is about time it was…Wenger appears to be ignoring the crisis in his club’s midst.”

In general, the talking points that have been analyzed previously on Untold were intended to convey some type of idea to the readers, by repeating the claim over and over again. However, what the Mirror is doing here is slightly different, in that they are attempting to create a particular mood amongst readers: in this case, anxiety, fear, and even (as we’ll see later) panic. This tactic becomes even more apparent in the Mirror’s coverage of the Liverpool match.

The Mirror’s match report on the Arsenal-Liverpool match (which is not attributed to any particular author) begins with their “crisis” talking point, stating that “[t]here may be crisis clouds at Arsenal but Kenny Dalglish was full of smiles…” Also, on a slightly unrelated note, it’s worth noting that before the Mirror eve gets into the events of the match, they opine that:

“Injuries and ­suspensions aside, this was further evidence that [Arsenal] lack the depth and quality in their squad to challenge for major honours this season… Wenger and his team are in for a tough campaign [unless he becomes active in the transfer market].”

I think that this is a rather strong statement of opinion for a match report, as opposed to an editorial, but moving on… The Mirror also quoted Arsene Wenger as saying:

“Despite all this talk of a crisis, which is coming far too early, I have always maintained I want a good team with good players. Nothing has changed.”

Note here that the Mirror uses Wenger’s refutation of its talking points as a means of re-emphasizing them. One particularly interesting aspect of the Mirror’s match coverage is that, at the conclusion of their articles, they include a “VERDICT,” which gives their ultimate opinion on the match, along with “THE BIG ISSUE,” which allows them to draw attention to any particular issue that they choose. These sections are useful in determining the editorial position of the paper. With regard to the Liverpool match, the Mirror’s “verdict” is as follows:

“There is no doubt that Kenny Dalglish’s side looked strong and will only improve. But the growing crisis engulfing Arsenal and the Emirates is showing no signs of subsiding.” Further to that, the question that they presented as their “big issue” is: “Do Arsenal fans start to think the unthinkable that they might finish outside the top four?”

The second match of the season seems a bit early to be asking this question, no? My take would be that this has more to do with their “fear” campaign than anything else. Nonetheless, the Mirror offers the following opinion:

“On the evidence of their opening two games you would argue that it’s a tall order for the Gunners. Their lack of activity in the transfer market is evident and the home defeat by Liverpool exposed the lack of depth and quality in Arsene Wenger’s squad despite the absence of key players through injury and suspension. Unless the Arsenal boss spends heavily during the final days of the transfer window it is unlikely to ease talk of a crisis and prevent the critics and home supporters from writing them off this season. Yet again the supporters made their feelings clear at the end by booing their side off.” (note: I’m not sure that the booing part is true)

Just below the match report, the Mirror includes a link to the opinion series “Michael Calvin Big Match Verdict,” which reinforces the paper’s editorial position with an article titled “Can Arsenal afford to trust in Wenger as crisis deepens?”

At this point, I would like to emphasize again that this article was published following only the second match of the season, so whatever “crisis” there might have been could certainly not have “deepened” TOO much. And the reason I re-emphasize this point is because it’s very important in terms of ascertaining the motive of the writer. Why would he be calling “crisis” following the second match of the season, if it were not his motive to promote that sentiment? That being said, here is his take on the precise nature of Arsenal’s current “crisis:”

“Arsenal cannot afford the price of Arsene Wenger’s principles.

They cannot bear the cost of the purity of his approach to an impure game.

They cannot trust the professionalism of senior players, looking for the lifeboats.

They cannot rely on the innocence and exuberance of youth.

They cannot expect to remain ­immune from the insanity of the transfer market.

They cannot even console themselves that the only way is up.”

So, according to Calvin, the aspect of the “crisis” at Arsenal that’s most worthy to head the list is the fact that Arsenal has maintained its “principles” and “purity” in an “impure game.”  Well, we would all define “crisis” a little differently, I guess…Aside from that, the remainder of his points are too ill-defined and vague to really respond to. Moving on, Calvin states:

“Just when it seemed things could get no worse, as the warm summer rain hammered down, they did. Liverpool’s first win at Arsenal for 11 years has triggered a full blown crisis. If a shadow side is eliminated from the Champions League by Udinese in midweek, the panic will be contagious.”

Now, this next part is particularly worthy of your attention, because it concerns Calvin’s opinion of what is likely to occur in the event that there is a “setback at Old Trafford next Sunday.”  And the reason this sentence is worthy of such notice is because it is an indication of where the media is likely to be going this week, and it will allow you to prepare for it. Remember, the Mirror is not the only media outlet working on this “fear” and “crisis” angle, so pay attention and be prepared. According to Calvin, a loss at ManU:

“will force Arsenal to think the unthinkable in the ­international break.

Financial forecasts will be ­shredded. Fans will be in revolt.

The board will have a duty to ask uncomfortable questions of a man who has shaped the club in his own image.

Wenger has used up his reserves of respect. His integrity has been questioned, his training methods have been pilloried, and his CV doubles as toilet tissue.”

So, here the point emerges… This is really about Wenger. And apparently, they are looking for a “fan revolt” to help that process along. So, in the coming weeks, you should expect all manner of inducement and incitement to be coming at you from all sides, whether it be towards panic, or anger, or who knows what else? However, whatever it might be, the most important thing is to always think about the motive or agenda of your information source before you allow yourself to become angry or frightened.  And I’ll conclude by saying this:

There ARE some problems at Arsenal right now, and I’m not going to deny that. Those problems need to be addressed, and I’ll admit to feeling a little bit of anxiety myself following today’s match. And in a situation like this, it’s very tempting to turn to others for advice. However, it can also make you more vulnerable to people who are seeking to influence you. In the coming days and weeks, we’re going to experience an onslaught of people giving their opinions on exactly what Arsenal’s problems are, and what exactly Arsenal should do to fix them.

However, before you allow yourself to be influenced by anyone, the most important thing is to always ask yourself the following question: Does this person really care about Arsenal, and does it matter to them whether Arsenal succeeds? If the answer to that question is “no,” then there’s no reason to believe that the advice that they’re offering is even intended to help Arsenal in the first place. And there’s a good chance that the truth is precisely the opposite. And unfortunately, at the current moment, it seems that nearly everyone on television, on the radio, or in the newspapers, falls into the “doesn’t care about Arsenal” category, thus making their opinions unworthy of much attention from us.

74 Replies to “Untold Media Review: The Mirror – Don’t panic”

  1. A defeat at United is no reason for the crisis to “deepen”. 18 out of 19 EPL teams did so last season. Granted, the scoreline is extraordinay, but the loss in itself not. I do think, though, that we will see something positive happen before the transfer window closes.

    One thing that strikes me in those reports, and in the Sun’s reports earlier, is that they were already speaking about Arsenal in crisis (part) because of the departures of Fabregas and Nasri before they left.

  2. Thanks Anne, thanks Stephen. The detailed analysis of the negative Mirror coverage will hopefully help fans ride out the storm of criticism that will follow yesterday’s match. The quote that stands out for me, however, is from Michael Calvin: ‘Wenger has used up his reserves of respect. His integrity has been questioned, his training methods have been pilloried, and his CV doubles as toilet tissue.’ This is pure abuse. It is not based on facts. It is a supremely disrespectful way to talk about a manager who has just led Arsenal to Champions League qualification for the 14th consecutive year, and who has kept Arsenal in the top four all that time, recently in difficult circumstances, while at the same time continuing to promote the development of young players and an attractive style of football. You would have thought the last two characteristics in particular would have earned fulsome praise instead of constant, debilitating criticism. Strange society we live in!

  3. Seriously what are you trying to say? That were not in a crisis? I don’t even read the papers and I can see this team is mid table material. And with Theo and van persie set to be offered new contracts this year,I can see them doing a nasri and forcing a move away unless there’s big changes, which do you really believe will happen?park chu young suggests not, were down the bottom of the table and we sign a 2nd choice striker from Monaco for £3 million, that will give the players a lift.were acting like a mid table team and that’s what were going to get. For the last 6 years we just needed a tweak here and there, and every year we let important players leave without replacing them and now we need half a team. He relies on players who are injured for long periods every time they are fit, diaby,Gibbs,van persie, he won’t get replacements in for them and you know over a whole season they will be out for a majority.then you get the Walcott,rosicky,vermalean,djourou injuries and we don’t have any depth to cope if more than 2 are out at a time, oh and did i mention the afican cup of nations?frimpong,song,gervinho,chamakh all away for 2 months.wheres the DM,CF we need? Our reserve team should be good enough to beat the lower teams in the premier league, so with the right tactics we could have conceded a lot less. And don’t think for one minute our full team would have won this game, they would probaly have lost by at least 3 goals. So my opinion is were not in a crisis but were very very very close to being in one, after Wednesday we will see, but I’m expecting 2nd rate players to be brought.

  4. Assuming that next May, the title will not be won or lost on goal averages, all that has happened is that we have lost 8 points over two away games and one home game. Not ideal but hardly a crisis.
    Come Thursday morning, it is certain that new blood will have signed and the re-grouping will begin. Our injured and suspended players will start to return so that by Christmas we may well be threatening the top of the table. Either way the rest of the season looks bright after an historically typical Arsenal start. Supporting our great Club has never been for the fainthearted.

  5. We have the money to sign players. If we find players who can strengthen our team then we will do it.Total lieyer

  6. Im not sure wenger has lost all respect.
    I think the club for how its been run is loosing respect Im referring to off the field.

    The way I see it, There are 3 possibilities…

    1. Wenger is Not doing his job strengthening the squad appropriately BUT I dont think I believe that.

    2. Kronke & Gazadis. Are blocking some transfers like the posibility of when we approached city for a swap deal including Tevez its possible the board wouldnt sanction the wages and are doing what Gillet and Hicks done at Liverpool.

    3. It’s a clever ploy by Usmanov & Dein to destabilize the club

    Darren Dein has been the Agent for Toure, Adebayor, Nasri, Fabregas, Clichy, Cole all sold
    And more Worringly his new clients I belive are Walcott, VanPersie, Song and Wilshere.

    Everyone has a theory but no one knows the truth and thats what is driving the fans to disspair.

    Its not the presses fault its Ivan’s and the bullshit he has been feeding the fans at the supporters meetings and in the media, The man has yet to answer one single question its always been a case of fobbing people off.
    BAD PR from Arsenal never denying or confirming anything allow the press a free ride with anything they want to print and until Arsenal come out and stop the nonsense and say this is the position we are in it wont change.

    To be honest I dont think its wenger hes more intelligent than the rest of them put together and has a better track record.

  7. Kentetsu, please don’t say it’s ok to get beat by united, years ago I used to feel sick at any defeat especially against united but over the last few years all of our expectations have lowered, where defeat is exceptable.I was annoyed yesterday but not surprised.I’m over it now,and to concede 8 goals just goes to show nothing has been done over the summer. At the start we needed defenders and a striker, now we need about 3 CBs,2 CF, 3 CM/DM. And all we’ll get at best is CF,CB,CM. Wenger is a legend but I think it’s time he left unless he signs some proven talent,I.e kaka,benzema type players that will give everyone inside and outside the club a lift. If not he should leave, get guus hiddink or rijkaard type managers that will know who to buy or give bergkamp a shot or Steve bould, seriously how can it get any worse with a new manager?

  8. If wenger is being hung out to dry then he’s an idiot for letting them make him look like a cvnt, if there tearing his team he built apart then quit, don’t cover for them. That’s why I think he’s to blame in this aswell, lots of crap managers quit over the same things, why would ours be any different. I don’t even want to go on about fergies kids tearing ours apart, wengers spent years trying to do what fergie done in 2.

  9. RedGooner
    “Everyone has a theory but no-one knows the truth”.
    What true words they are, at last, since the end of last season.
    That is why we have to wait until the official statements from Arsenal are out before judging too early. The Window is still open.

  10. @nicky. Sorry to keep going on but I’ve got so much on my mind. We’ve taken 1 point this season, the title can’t be won in august but it can be lost, your delusional to think were going to go on some sort of run and catch united up. We normally start well actually and fade at the end of season, oh and 2 wins in our last 15 EPL games is relegation form,half a season nearly so your miracle run looks likely. I wasn’t a doom and gloomer or an AKB. The AKB’s have no arguments and the doom and bloomers seem to have been right all along

  11. The only credible source out there is Arsenal.com. Not to say that you should take everything said there at face value, but at least it’s directly from the source and supportive of the club.

  12. @nicky:

    “Assuming that next May, the title will not be won or lost on goal averages, all that has happened is that we have lost 8 points over two away games and one home game. Not ideal but hardly a crisis.”

    I agree that it’s not necessarily a “crisis” at this point, but I’m not willing to say that everything is fine either. However, I do find it interesting that all of this “crisis” talk that pops up all over the place, is always accompanied by this “buy, buy, buy, in the transfer window!” sentiment. Who’s to say that that’s what would solve whatever problems Arsenal has?

  13. Well I must say today we did the job for the press. They don’t even have to write crap a out us today. All they have to do is print 8-2 and biggest loss since 1893 or something.

  14. @Everyone re Leeds united part 2:

    As I said in the article, look for it from all sides, and remember not to panic.

  15. btw, the above was supposed to be a sad smile… sometimes it’s hard to really convey things when you’re just typing.

  16. Wenger even said that we are battling to sign because of our wage structure in his post match interview. The board are hanging him out to dry

  17. look when i was 6 years old i was very good at tiddly winks
    i beat my nan every time we played but when my big brother wanted to play i stopped winning and started to cry i blamed my mum at first my sister and her freinds laughed and mocked me telling me iwas in CRISES but you know what i did not panic and i certainly did not listen to my sister and her freinds i started to listen to mum she said go away get focused grow a little bit and come back stronger
    the moral to this story is we are not a team in crises we have not lost 5-1 at home with our strongest team we had a bad day at the office with 7 of our 1st choice starters not available
    the press are on our backs trying to turn us fans against the club we must stick togeather if we get off wengers back we know he can produce we will have a great season

  18. pls the season is just starting and the window is not closed yet. Don’t for get that the suspensions and injuries are affecting the clubs greatly. I believe the team’s form will get pick up from there next game.

  19. Park Chu-Young 2nd rate striker – we don’t have the ambition, Stan will take the money and run.

    “This isn’t a crisis” only a fool would believe that.

    Would anyone back this team to win the league or even get into CL knockout round?

  20. Talking about crisis is not out of line for Arsenal. All is not well, urgent action is required. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for next 3 days. I hope this was a wake up call for everyone at arsenal.
    Win, lose or draw, Gooner till I die!

  21. Park Chu-Young
    Park Chu-Young
    Park Chu-Young
    Park Chu-Young

    Well Wenger knows best, alongside Duojouru and Traore I’m sure this is the missing piece in the jigsaw. I got a good feeling about this and Chamakh is so excited.

    Wenger knows best, we don’t need World beaters, we need players who offer something different. Park Chu-Young offers something quite special, South Korean capt. in my books thats as good as it can get LEGEND!!!

  22. Wenger has got to be the stupidest manager. The media is all over him the fans are losing faith and he goes and signs Park Chu-Young, talk about winning people over.

    Wenger RIP.

  23. Leeds United Part Two/ Anne
    Having supported Arsenal since the mid-1930’s, amid triumphs and disasters in equal measure, I can tell you both that nothing is to be gained by expressing doom, gloom and negative thinking….under the guise of reality. Arsenal will recover as it always has done. Historically, it will clutch victory from defeat and (unfortunately) do the opposite. Old-time supporters have always known and accepted this and it’s about time those of more tender years were made aware that the fainthearted have no place in the ranks of those who unreservedly back our great Club.
    Sorry, folks but it’s true so get real……

  24. Milly Dowler was the height of the media’s aspiration. A story could be created out of the story. The facts of the case – the murder of a girl and the impact of that on her family and the community – was secondary to what the media could make out of the media creating.
    It became bigger than it ever was.

    The ”riots” followed exactly the same pattern. As Peter Ackroyd pointed out, riots have been happening in London since the 1400 hundred.

    Now we have Wenger. The intent is to destroy him. He has savaged the media by presenting an act that is beyond their comprehension – going through a season unbeaten. For that he has to pay. They do not suffer fools gladly and he made them look fools.

    I used to think a free press could achiever something. No longer. It needs to be pushed aside. The gathering and distribution of news and the detailing of reality has to be taken back by the population.

  25. I think there’s a campaign to push Wenger out of Arsenal, and unfortunately he’s not helping himself. If he had bought say 4 quality players and got hammered by ManU, the same players that the media have suggested, then the press would have found countless ways to justify that result. But a Frechman to stay for so long in the EPL, bring in countless foreigners who make the English team trash at international level, fail to sign English players so as to boost their team and finally make a mockery of them by outperfoming them even when they predict a total collapse each year it too much to take. Believe me! Look at the way the press front Parker all the time, some one who captained Westharm back to the championship or even cahill himself. Do you think those two are any better than Song or Djourou? No, but they are English, that’s what its important to them.
    I’m actually convinced that with all this media pressure is some kind of plan that will come to fruition at the end of the season. Assume Arsenal some how fight their way back into contention (even for fourth place), and we’re in the last 5 games of the season. Even with referees blunders, if we lose out on fourth place, the media will have made the ground fertile by saying we told you to buy and you didn’t and now Liverpool has taken your place. And guess who’s at the helm of Liverpool, yeah, the darling of the press Kenny Daglish!
    So it’s not that all these journalists love Arsenal, that they make all these reports etc, but it is because they are trying to give their friend Kenny Daglish some little help. You will see.

  26. Keep up the good work, its important that as many people as possible open there eyes to this media witch hunt? There’s nothing we can do about the wage structure unless we disregard our policy relating to financial fair play, get into a bigger debt or let usmanov use our club as his own personal dildo. Some people want that but i’d rather compete the way we are even if it means no league title.
    Yesterdays game was still a contest until le boss took a massive gamble and sacrificed coquelin. An example of how on a bad day your strengths can also become your weakness, as the same optimistic substitution has turned many games around for us in the past and is one of the hallmarks of Wengers mentality. Most managers would of consolidated at that point, which is what over the years has set him apart from them. However with no defensive midfield cover, djouro collapsing true to recent form and the teams exertions Wednesday taking effect along with fuckface/Webb dishing out soft free kicks, red cards and penalties we were well and truly lambs to the slaughter. Add to that the psychological damage of the fabregas and nasri sagas , and the constant onslaught from all angles of the British media toward our fans, players, manager, board, coaching staff , financial fair play policy and now stadium , the fact that man u had a nice rest in the week ( as they did against tiny fc who had also played in midweek ,@ home week earlier, just a nice coincidence of course…) and I think you have what is called a perfect storm.
    I just hope Arsene can find an uncovered gem in the transfer market, but it’s wishful thinking tbh. Would Cahill have made much difference yesterday?? Djouro looks a beaten man ATM but back on form he’s a better player than gc. Maybe cahill has the never say die mentality that would be a help, but I’m not so sure.

  27. @anne
    Why should someones honest opinion have anything to do with them caring about Arsenal?

    We are in a crisis and their is no hiding, Arsene has been given time and again he invests in unknown young players, but yesterday his group of untalented misfits got whooped by a younger team. Money doesn’t buy success but it sure does buy class. look @ yesterday younger better players you cant hide the cracks, 8-2 does not hide how crap our cheap assembly line of sorry excuses.

    Wenger will not address any of this, today we are expecting Park Chu-Young to sign, he a squad player at best. I dont expect us to compete with shitty/chelsea but neither has Liverpool but they’ve signed better players. Arsene is to blame for too long he failed to bring in the requirements nad for too long he stood by the likes of Doujouru/Traore/Almunia/Senderos/Cygan/Rosicky, ignoring all facts and advise.


    Traore having a medical @ QPR – good riddance and all the worst for the future.

  29. Every team has got to a stage where the manager has “lost it”. Barca had it with rijkaard n livpool with benitez to name a couple. We are havin it now. Whats the point in havin a billionaire owner who cant relax the wage budget for a few quality players? or is it just coz o wengers ego we dont spend? If its the former then we are the “new livpool” n if its the latter then wenger should ring up old trafford for a hands on “youth development” course. Sad to see fergie showin us how it should be done. I dont buy the idea anymore that we have a debt to pay off n stuff… By all means do it. But get the guy who owns you to loosen his purse for that quality signing. Why is he there in the first place if he cant do so much for a club he owns? or is it just another venture for him to earn some extra wad o cash? As much as I support wenger he is clearly lost the plot both on n off the pitch. I’d love to see someone counter this with a valid argument. Pls save yourselves from mentioning we were missin 1st choice players n had a young squad. It was the same with man utd too… N they whipped us 8.

  30. Nasri: fabregas
    how are you?
    Fabregas: i am doing great.
    Nasri: are you watching the man u vs arsenal match?
    Fabregas: yes….the prof
    has really gone mental o!
    Nasri: thank God i left that club cos i would have played that match.
    Fabregas: me too
    Fabregas and nasri: who is that?
    Voice: it’s me , whilshere..
    hey pal, how are you doing?
    Wilshere: i’m great. Please help me find out if
    your coaches want me, i want move too.
    Not for money but for trophy, though the
    money is involved somehow.
    Strange voice from behind: and me too
    Nasri and Fabregas: who is that……..?


    Jayj is having a medical @ Le Grove – good riddance! and all the worst or the future

  32. Well done Anne and Walter yesterday for posting great articles in difficult circumstances.
    Great respect to the Gooners at Old Trafford for their defiance.
    Didn’t go to the game but saw Robin and Theo go over and applaud the fans – hope the other players did the same. To not do so would be shameful.
    No-one is going to deny that there aren’t big problems. We all knew beforehand that we were going to lose, barring a miracle.
    BUT I trust Arsene to sort this out. He deserves our support as no other manager has ever done so much for the club in so many ways. He will get it right.
    Please don’t turn on the club fellow gooners. Today more than ever we need to stick together.

  33. @RedGooner

    I honestly think you have hit the nail on the head.

    Something is wrong on the inside of AFC, and i think now this is why D Dein left as he obviously lost his power to change anything, and the fact that he stands behind AW, seems to suggest that AW has also lost power.

    The fact that AW says he will not abandon AFC, suggests that they asked him to resign, and are now trying to make him the scapegoat. They probably made Dein resign too.

    Something is wrong, wrong, wrong, since 3 seasons ago, and it has now become much more apparent.

    I hope that our club can come thtough this, but at the moment i see that the club is being deconstructed from within.

  34. Another issue, when our two tough engines, Song and Frimpong were red carded, (come on, both of them?) i realised this was planned, because they thought we would have a stronger team than expected.

    People may say i am crazy, but i follow my instinct and it is rarely wrong.

  35. As always, it’s nice to have something positive to feed the mind after such a huge loss yesterday. I don’t know what is the intention of the media, but the amount of negative news circulating looks suspicious. Well, I hope that most of the Gunners are aware of the trap and back the team, the players, the manager. Perhaps, the huge loss can motivate all people in the club to do better. Even can force the people in the management level to work harder until the transfer windows is closed.

    @Mr Venger: LOL… hopefully many will follow.

  36. Think it was Fizman who get Dein out after what the former interpreted as a boardroom coup. Many fans, including myself had and have a lot of time for Dein – he thought as a fan, was on the board and had huge influence, possibly even in persuading Wenger to part with money if some including the likes of Edelman are to be believed.
    BUT Dein was not infallible, as proven by the ill-conceived desire to move to Wembley. His main aim was to make sure Wenger always had a major transfer kitty but this went against the clubs stadium and self sufficiency model.
    In short, it was Fizman rather than the current owner who got Dein out.
    But as you say, something is wrong.
    My guess, the current board may be trying to apply more pressure on Wenger than he wants, possibly to buty more, or possibly even denying him all the money that could be available , or as Bob said in his post, maybe they forced him to cash in on Nasri against his instincts who knows. And maybe this pressure is not welcome.
    Wenger may now be in a corner whereby he has to buy in the next 2 days, emergency purchases, again I would imagine not something our meticulous cost conscious manager is happy with.
    But Wenger will also know a couple good signings and improved results will make everything look a whole lot better.
    All will be revealed in the next couple of days. Traore is going, we now have only an unfit injury prone LB. Is this clearing the decks for a couple CBs with TV as cover for LB or injured CBs? Is this just getting rid of dead wood?
    All will soon be revealed. No signings will not go down well with anyone, including I suspect key players.
    But at the moment, panic and crisis are the wrong words


  38. Whats the plan selling players and not having any reinforcements, is this really the end of Wenger? Everything is falling apart, what else could go wrong?

    Wenger not having the backing of our board, Wenger has already been made a fool of by Stan (cesc/nasri sales), gazidis? who is he? is he in to watch over the finances, make sure Stan isn’t losing out making sure Wenger doesn’t buy players with big ambitious demands? Wenger isn’t helping himself as quiet as Stan.

    The media may hate Wenger but they’ve also stated this league will be worse without him, ex players have been critical of the team but have defended Wenger. Its something pro Wenger and Anti Arsenal Arsenal have both failed to see. You cant just buy players and just cant keep blind faith their has to be a middle ground.

  39. @para
    I agree with your sentiments on the red cards. Also take a look at the schedule for man utd compared to it’s rivals and you could easily be suspicious of something that goes beyond even that.
    I’m not so sure about all the rumours of problems within the club for the last few years. There are definitely pressures, but they come from outside and it’s mainly due to having to keep pace with the financial doping we face from our rivals. These pressures are obviously causing cracks throughout the fanbase , team , so why not also in the boardroom? Maybe but I think the main problems with signings is that we are only able to compete for the leftovers or unknowns, due to the problems mentioned above.

  40. Continued…
    Hence the difficulty finding players good enough to compete for the top honours

  41. Jayj, maybe Wenger was told he had to sell before he could buy – and lets face it, the likes of Barca have not exactly been co-operative – punishment for poaching their youngsters? Wenger made it clear he wanted to keep Nasri and risk losing him for nothing, the board over-ruled him. I just cannot believe it was Wenger along who lost out on the likes of Mata who we could afford, Mata would be a dream player for a manager like Wenger
    The media just want a story but do have an agenda as research on this board is proving. Their big story would be Wenger out.
    I cannot prove it but I have an increasing feeling the more we knew, the more sympathy we would have with Wenger this summer. Wenger is probably staying quiet as he is contractually bound to do so, very few employees are allowed to have a go at their employers in the media. But again, I cannot prove it but just get the feeling he is far from enamoured with Stan / Ivan and possibly with very good reason. Maybe he is sacrificing himself in an attempt to protect the club against forces from within as well as forces external? Who knows, and that is the frustration at the moment. Wenger has asked to bid for certain players we need, we know that. Is it Wengers fault we do not yet have such players, or the bidding teams / management?
    Anyway, sorry for going off topic, I just think it may be wrong to jump to blame everything on Wenger and some of the media articles are wide of the mark.

  42. Mandy Dodd
    We dont know anything about our own club, but believe me when taking us for granted is the worst thing anyone could do.

  43. Just to prove the ignorance of some media pundits we are exposed to:



    Agree it looks like some may be taking us for granted, and maybe taking Wenger for granted but we need to know more. I would love to read Wengers memoirs when he retires from Arsenal.
    On that note the official site has just stated away fans who travelled to Utd will be compensated – a start I guess!

  44. It is possible that this team was sent out to lose badly. I get the feeling Wenger is totally fed up with the charade of English fair play

    A few points to consider:

    1) Wenger called recent offside decisions “scandalous’

    2) Events at Newcastle…last two matches…US – 3 sendings-off, 9 matches banned. Joey Barton…sweet FA …nothing…go figure

    3) The media have a nasty vendetta against Wenger

    4) The English Managers may be playing the proverbial with Wenger in the transfer market. It sounds like they are reallly dicking him about not selling players. Gartside’s alleged lies may be the final straw for Wenger.

    All in all I think Wenger may be playing out his final year at Arsenal and thumbing two fingers at the entire rotten English media-football complex.Its just possible he was so brassed off with the FA that he sent out a shambles to stick 2 fingers up at the FA.

    Also …..the word “scandalous’.

    I wonder if Arsenal have some private detectives investigating corruption with English Football…..

    wouldn’t surprise me….

  45. To which I would add this:

    I believe the team itself is seriously demoralized.

    Song for instance must be deomoralized because when he breathes too closely to an opposition player he gets yellow carded.

    The entire team must know and discuss the fact that there is a massive agenda against Arsenal.

    Nasri said he hugely respected Wenger, but he knew winning anything at Arsenal in the present climate of corruption is impossible.

    And all the players must have discussed this.

    Wenger said the reason why we lost was a young team, but VP flat contradicted Wenger and hinted at problems in the camp….

    The players are tired of trying to win in a game with a stacked pack….

    end of

    roll on the scandal….

  46. Mandy Dodd
    They needed to do something.
    Tony Cascarino, can anyone take this slap jawed baffoon seriously, i have no time for this moron.
    Arsenal is my concern.

  47. Mandy I don’t think it’s as simple as just bidding for players like mata. If it was i believe we would have signed him. The agents of these players know that the likes of Chelsea, Man c, Inter etc are lurking so will wait until the end of the transfer window before accepting an offer from a club like arsenal( who are a real football club, not some oligarchs toy but unfortunately because of this we have financial constraints). Thats where the big payday is for agent and player, until arsenal fans accept this and see that Wenger is the only person proven to find players potentially good enough under the radar of these clubs, and in these difficult circumstances they will just make things worse by creating an environment that puts players off joining our club, and destabilises the current players This is already happening, our last 2 high profile departures have said as much.

  48. Mr Wenger
    agreed to a point but wasn’t this a 5yr plan which is rolling over to it’s 6th year, Arsenal have been playing hard ball and not just in this transfer window but many before it. Youth development and yesterday was the final nail in the coffin. Arsenal are not a poor club, we have more money than man u,liverpool and spurs. Our problem is we are too greedy, its a taken you cant compete with the chavs or shitty but we’ve lost players because our board is too tight.

  49. Anne and Stephen,
    This is great work!
    It’s on full-tilt and UM is bearing witness – documenting the tactics and strategies of those who are cashing in on their blood sport; which, in turn, serves (consciously and/or not) the motives of tho$e who are set to swoop in and will soon APPEAR to try and “save the day” for Arsenal. In addition to this stellar piece, I think that bobome in the previous UA posting sheds some important hypothetical light on how/why the shitstorm that you’ve continued so well to document and warn us about is taking place. The more that we continue to document, the closer we will come to identifying the hands of the string-pullers and shite-stirrers, because there is nothing of this magnitude without major players pushing the tectonic plates. But, of course, all this is but a coincidence. For my part, there’ll be more to come on the ongoing mendacity by the unholy trinity at the Guardian (Williams, Wilson and Hytner).

  50. Yes, “the panic will be contagious” – BUT the victory at Udinese, despite that shite-call by the seventh goal line ref (UEFA’s new goal line technology = greater control with less accountability than ever) put the planned-for panic on hold. Well, the press coverage in the wake of yesterday’s defeat is consciously fulfilling that prophesy. Making panic contagious. Who is in the wings, at the strings to benefit from the panic – that is the question. Blindly calling for Arsene’s head is to play right into the hands of someone who is happy to stoke and reap the current whirlwind. A moratorium on panic and knee-jerk emotionalism is essential. Let’s see what happens at the end of the transfer period, take stock, and analyze more deeply. Time for real mental strength to kick in, Gooners.

  51. @Anne and Untold Arsenal Media Watch
    Thank you for another well delivered report on the negative media on AFC and AW. Sunday’s match result will provide them with more fuel to stoke their fire of hatred towards AW. This does not mean that the fans of AFC should watch and squirm at the pot shots aimed at our manager helplessly.

    ‘Letters to the editor’ are a very powerful way of fighting back. The hate mongers in our fold and other AFC supporters can individually pitch in to write to the editors of these newspapers expressing their disgust at the level of attack on AFC and AW which is not shown towards other football clubs.

    Their bias shows there is much to this than meets the eyes. My hunch is that someone on the inside in AFC is part of this negative media campaign. If we have to wait for people like Sir Alex to come to the defense of our manager whilst the entire AFC hierarchy thinks there is nothing wrong with it by keeping quiet then there is cause to worry. Why are the league of professional football managers not also speaking out?

    There are no persons in the football world who can speak out for AW? Even the ex-editor turned television talk host is spewing hate towards AW. If such people can only use their exalted positions to cause disaffection then we need to worry. SAF does not excite me much but he has my respect for siding with the truth on this occasion.

    The newspapers you have exposed their unbalanced reports are using the power of the press in a negative and unjust manner. Unjust towards AW, unjust towards AFC, unjust towards AFC supporters and unjust towards all persons who derive their means of livelihood from working for AFC in one way or another. They are acting as irresponsibly as the NOTW did in hacking the telephones of innocent persons. Why is there no general outcry against the media (the negative ones in particular) in this instance?

    The newspapers are not serving the cause of justice and fairness to all and are as bad as the Ghadaffi regime before it was toppled. The said media section has shown disregard for fidelity, truth, competence, industriousness and would also distance itself from its social responsibility to inform, educate and entertain in a civilized manner. It appears they do not ascribe to any code of ethics or the need for balance and truth in their reports on AFC.

    Calumny, backbiting and disdain for objectivity seems to carry the day in their reports. AW’s fundamental right to his good name is being violated with such impunity you would marvel that any one would earn a living from calumny and hate mongering; which is precisely what they are doing. the few good men we have around should speak out and rise to the defense of AW.

    You would help this letter to the editor campaign by supplying the necessary contact information to those who wish to be part of it.

  52. UM, all,
    Time to Break Radio Silence, yet?
    I ask this in response to the famous quotation from Gazidis who, in July, as we were recovering from the end-season hangover, was personally vouching for Silent Stan:
    “He will be an owner that you can get to know, fans will get to know, our staff will get to know better. He is an engaging guy and very focused and interested in what goes on the pitch.
    “He is a believer that what drives the success of any club and particularly Arsenal, where we are in such a competitive environment, is on-field success. I think you will all get to know him better and I think that will be good.”
    Is it not time Stan broke the Silence and let fans get to know him better? If not now, then when? Or does AW get left dangling in the windstorm, while Stan does whatever silence allows for?

  53. Wenger has been our best manager n doesnt deserve the abuse which both the media and some fans dole out to him. But, from a neutral viewpoint, he has clearly stagnated past few years. I think the deliberate tactical blunders yday were him suggesting at a deeper rot in the boardroom. Money not arriving when the mata deal almost went thru is another eg. Have a feeling this is goin to drag on for a while. I really wish we get more info on that front.

  54. @bobome: Indeed, letters to the editor can work.. but someone would have to prove bias (subjectively at any rate) by looking at other reports. It’ll be great as Bob suggested in a previous thread, if some one can look at ManU, Chelsea, Pool and City articles as well.

    @Bob and UM: Maybe one thing you could do is to create a list of criteria/keywords in an article that are insulting or show bias. That list can be shared with all doing UM work .. and can speed your work up as well. Just my thoughts.

    @Bob: The defense thread is up .. enjoy 🙂 (if you can)

  55. Mashh,
    Very interesting hypothesis there: That if the lack of spending and delay is coming from the board, and not AW, then a debacle at ManUre might be a way to lose a battle in order to win the war. If that is what AW has, in part, done yesterday, then we will hopefully see its benefits – as he says, three weeks is not enough to judge me on… So interesting what you raise. We shall see in three days what the window lets through, or not.

  56. Arvind,
    Many thanks! Will get on it later today,
    and greatly look forward to the debacle to be. 🙂

  57. I still say Arsenal FC fuel the media and press frenzy and dont care what the fans think once the money keeps rolling in.
    They simply dont refute enough of the press stories.

    Another thing that annoys me about the Arsenal side of things is the web site itself. This little thumb they have at the bottom of every story click here if you like this and next to it how many arses like this story.
    Theres no fucking thumb for click here if you dont like the story, you dont get to have an opinion as an arsenal fan and they dont want to know what your opinion is if its in disagreement with how they run the club.

    As Gazadis said at the questions and answers sesion the fans will decide Arsens future he pretty much tried distancing himself from anything going wrong at the club.
    He also never answers questions talks around everything and has a reason why every answer it is best not give that info out in the public domain.

    Treat us like mushrooms feed us full of shit and keep us in the dark is Ivans/stans way.

  58. @ Anne et al.

    Good post. Your work in analysing the media slur against our club is so so important.

    At present some of the media are so intent on whipping up an anti Arsenal hysteria that one wonders if there is a faux pas en route!

  59. @bob:

    Thanks, glad you liked the article, and I agree that the last thing anyone should do is rush to blame Arsene for this. In fact, based on the general level of trust I place in the media, the only conclusion that I’ve drawn from there reporting is that firing Wenger, and signing new players in the transfer market, are two things that will definitely NOT solve Arsenal’s problems.

  60. @bobome:

    I agree with you that, in the ethical sense, what the press is doing right now is absolutely nauseating. I can’t even say that in strong enough words. But the only reason they do it is to influence people like you and me. That means that they’re either as dangerous or as harmless as we choose to make them.

  61. @Arvind:

    “but someone would have to prove bias (subjectively at any rate) by looking at other reports. It’ll be great as Bob suggested in a previous thread, if some one can look at ManU, Chelsea, Pool and City articles as well.”

    First of all, what I’m talking about in this article isn’t media bias. It’s a media campaign, using talking points. It doesn’t matter how many other clubs have similar campaigns waged against them, in the sense that it wouldn’t change the fact that one is targeting Arsenal. Does that make sense?

    Also, I’m not sure if I agree with you that it’s absolutely necessary to analyze media coverage of different clubs to prove media bias. It’s just a question of whether the coverage in a particular article is objective. In a match report of an Arsenal match, for example, you can see whether they’re being more critical of Arsenal than the other team.

    That being said, it would be good to have some analysis of coverage of different clubs. But I’m not sure it’s all that important in this case. You don’t need it to be able to see what’s going on. I appreciate that you took the time to comment though. 🙂

  62. @bjtgooner:

    “At present some of the media are so intent on whipping up an anti Arsenal hysteria that one wonders if there is a faux pas en route”

    What exactly do you mean by that, if you don’t mind my asking? 🙂

  63. I’ll try and stick to the topic of the article, instead of venting my frustrations at Sunday’s horror show.
    Firstly, thanks to Anne for another great article, I’m amazed by some of the stuff “journalists” are allowed to write.
    I mean, “his CV doubles as toilet tissue” is a hell of a statement to make, regardless of how you look at it. Only fans of rival clubs make such statements, not professional journalists, so maybe he’s a spud? And how would he describe the CV’s of the rest of the managers (except red nose) in the EPL then? And how the f#$% did that get past the editors, etc and STILL get published??? Arsene’s CV has had Real Madrid, amongst many others, chasing him for years. I believe he’s been considered for the England job before as well, right? I suspect they wouldn’t be so mediocre (media-ocre?) internationally if AW was in charge… His CV should be engraved on f%$#ing gold plaques, for Pete’s sake, let alone compared to toilet tissue. Prof. Wenger should sue.
    DP and others have said exactly what needs to happen now. F$#! the media and their garbage, get behind the team and be the 13th man. Cheer wildly at each good move to encourage the players to keep doing it. Be like the away fans who sang their hearts out at OT, I’m willing to bet they’re not from Le Grovel, and I would be far from shocked to discover that they read Untold.
    The anti-Arsenal / Wenger campaign is picking up steam, and Untold is being closely monitored, because it’s undermining years of carefully calculated effort towards this agenda. Anne, Tony, Walter and co. are showing many in the flock of sheep the cliff’s edge that they’re being led to. They’ve made headway, but we can fight them with the power that WE have, on Untold and with voices at the stadium. Potential players must be scared to sign for Arsenal when they see the aggression we suffer from media, match officials, and rival clubs’ players who know they have a free ticket to kick us and win free kicks at the slightest touch. Players can see this, and it’s a hell of a deterrent, more so than the recent lack of trophies. Many players grew up idolizing Arsenal, Henry and AW, but they’re afraid to join and play against Phil Dowd and Howard Webb’s teams, or end up as the next Eduardo, Ramsey or Diaby. As much as we might want new players, we have to back the ones we have now, help lift this immense pressure on them, or they won’t be able to perform at their peak. And do whatever we can to create the awareness in the fans so they don’t get duped into destroying their own club and manager. It can only happen if we allow it.

  64. On a lighter note, wanna hear a joke?
    A mate of mine who supports manure calls me after the match to try and taunt me, and half way through he realizes I’m not biting. So he starts telling me about how there’s a media campaign against manure!!! Some crap about how red nose doesn’t speak to BBC because of this media campaign against them…
    I couldn’t beleive it, so I asked him when last he read or heard a positive bit of news about Arsenal, even after we beat his team last season, WITHOUT Fab. Only then did he reluctantly concede that there’s a real media campaign against us. I guess he just never noticed. And he’s a pretty bright chap. Such is the influence of the media.

  65. @C4,
    Yeah, it’s a bit much when the media is bemoaning the state of the English national team and then masturbating furiously over the teams that are the root cause of the national team’s problems.
    At an international level, England’s problems stem from cowardice and an inability to retain the ball, according to the media.
    At club level, those same players are praised for their bravery and traditional English play, whilst a team that dares to play in continental style is pilloried for their rejection of core English values.

  66. C4,
    You write:
    “Many players grew up idolizing Arsenal, Henry and AW, but they’re afraid to join and play against Phil Dowd and Howard Webb’s teams, or end up as the next Eduardo, Ramsey or Diaby.” This may or may not be the case, of course. My question is do you have any source/quote where any player actually states or write this? Because it is a very important point to know/to make, I would ask you to provide some statement/quote to back it up.

  67. @ bob:
    No I didn’t get that from a quote, it’s an assumption, I should have said so. I think it’s a reasonable assumption though, considering how players have come out before and said they admired some of the people I mentioned (e.g. Gervinho, and I think Ashley Young as well), but I suspect many are afraid of the treatment they can expect if they join.

  68. @Woolwich Peripatetic:

    I agree with you about this hypocrisy regarding the English national team as well. Thanks for commenting.

Comments are closed.