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Martin Samuel’s daily mail attack on Arsenal – Part 2

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Untold Arsenal…….Arsenal History …… Making the Arsenal …… Arsenal Uncovered

By: Anne

*Much thanks to Shard and bjtgooner for their research contributions to this article.

Daily Mail columnist (and reigning “Sports Journalist of the Year”) Martin Samuel’s Arsenal coverage beginning on 1 July, 2011 (and particularly in August, 2011) can essentially be viewed in the context of two key themes:

1) Arsenal is in a state of “crisis” (“crisis and anxiety” talking points campaign);

The “crisis and anxiety” talking points campaign that appears to feature in Samuel’s coverage has also  been addressed (to some extent) in previous Untold Media Watch Reports on the Mirror and the Mail. I’ve highlighted many of the relevant talking points in the following excerpts from Samuel’s articles. However, I’m also going to list some of the talking points that we have documented previously, just for reference.

From the Mail (taken from articles not written by Samuel):

“out-muscled a fragile, threadbare Arsenal side; The weakness of the squad was demonstrated; TEARS FRAGILE ARSENAL APART; Wenger’s troops look so threadbare.; “STRUGGLING ARSENAL LURCH TO YET ANOTHER CRISIS; Cracking up! Stressed Wenger forced to admit he won’t walk.”

From the Mirror:

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“inserted into 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); anxiety that has afflicted Wenger; ignoring the crisis in his club’s midst.; nervous and hesitant when ever the goal; many anxious Gooners is that; the growing crisis engulfing Arsenal.”

2) Arsene Wenger is to blame.

In general, whatever “problems” are raised in these articles are always attributed to Arsene Wenger in some way. Overall, the articles seem intended as more of an attack on Wenger than anything else. He is criticized in numerous ways, and Samuel often hints that he should lose his job. The later articles in this series use fewer talking points and focus instead on attacking Wenger more directly.

Another trend in Mr. Samuel’s coverage that is worth noting (and which I’ve highlighted in some of the articles excerpted below), is that Mr. Samuel often appears to cite the media’s “crisis and anxiety” talking points campaign (as documented in this article and in our previous reports) as “evidence” to further bolster that selfsame campaign.

For example, in his article titled “Face it, Arsenal can no longer attract a genuine superstar,” as part of his evidence for why “Arsenal can no longer attract a genuine superstar,” Mr. Samuel includes the fact that:

“All the chatter around Arsenal concerns the end of an era, not the dawn of a brave new world.”

However, who exactly is responsible for the “chatter around Arsenal” that “concerns the end of an era?” While one could certainly make the argument, as Samuel does, that the actions of the club itself have, in some respects, caused this “chatter” to occur, is it not also true that the media itself is the party that is directly culpable for such “chatter?”

Specifically, if there is, in fact, a deliberate talking points campaign in certain media outlets that is intended to promote the idea that Arsenal is in “crisis,” would not the “chatter around Arsenal concern[ing] the end of an era” be directly generated, at least in part, by said campaign? And by referencing such “chatter” in the above context, would Samuel not actually be using his very own talking points campaign as evidence to further reinforce the message of that campaign?

If so, this would be an important factor in understanding the self-reinforcing nature of such campaigns generally. Overall, this is a trend that appears to recur throughout Mr. Samuel’s coverage of Arsenal, another aspect of which is that, in nearly all cases, Mr. Samuel finds a way to lay the blame for the actions of the press directly at the feet of Arsene Wenger.

This aspect of Samuel’s coverage highlights a potential trend that is certainly worthy of further investigation and analysis to determine if, and to what extent, it exists in other media coverage of Arsenal. So, stay tuned, readers.


If Arsene knows, perhaps he could tell the rest of us what is really going on

***NOTE: The following article is Samuel’s match report on Arsenal’s victory over Udinese in the first leg of the Champions’ League qualifier that so offended Shard. The reason I need to point out that this article is actually a match report on an Arsenal victory is because Samuel is so busy discussing “other” topics that the match is barely mentioned.

However, Samuel is not the only journalist to report on this particular match from a similar angle. In our media watch report on the Evening Standard, we reported on a similar article by Dan Jones (covered at the very end of the report) that I think is interesting in relation to Samuel’s coverage here.***

“Perched in the directors’ box following his one-match UEFA ban, watching Arsenal did not seem to agree with Arsene Wenger. Truth be told, it doesn’t agree with many people these days.

The natives are restless, nervous, uncertain. So is the team…They just can’t be sure. Not like they used to be. There is too much that can go wrong these days….

It was not [Jenkinson’s] fault that his arrival came to encapsulate the worryingly threadbare and raw appearance of this Arsenal squad, or sum up the tremendous gamble that has been taken with the short-term future of the club this summer…

They are tottering, they are frail, and the supporters know it. Some passed comment by abandoning this game, played in a stadium with unfamiliarly large pockets of empty seats, others contributed to the general air of tension that pervaded, despite the early lead…

The sale of Cesc Fabregas has resolved nothing. Nobody knows who is in, or out, so nobody knows what to expect from Arsenal this season. Maybe that includes Wenger, who looked no less agitated for his detachment from the immediate action…

For years now, fans have trod the path to this stadium, convinced of the wisdom of the manager until now, when their belief is being tested like never before. …

This frailty will be Arsenal’s cross this season…

If Arsene knows, perhaps he could tell the rest of us what is really going on.”

Face it, Arsenal can no longer attract a genuine superstar


“All the chatter around Arsenal concerns the end of an era, not the dawn of a brave new world.”

See analysis above.***

“Nobody goes on holiday to a country where the people are clamouring at the dockside for a berth on the next boat out. So why would an elite player, the type that could reverse the growing disenchantment at Arsenal, wish to sign for the club right now?…

With so much uncertainty it is only a matter of time… Chelsea are now linked with Walcott and Jack Wilshere will be next because Arsenal are suffering football’s equivalent of a brain drain. It is a matter of time before a rival pops the ambition question to Wilshere. If not this summer, then soon, unless Wenger arrests the slide.

This is a drama very quickly escalating into crisis because it is too late to reverse the process. After six years without a trophy, players of significance have lost faith in Wenger’s way and any new signing will know he is not working for a manager above reproach, but one whose methods are under scrutiny like never before.


The following is another significant aspect of Samuel’s coverage during this period, in the sense that he very frequently concludes his articles with some sort of hint or threat regarding Arsene’s continued employment.****

Wenger has talent as an economist, but his primary job this summer is in the marketing department, attracting a new team of champions to the club. If this was The Apprentice he would be in grave danger of not making it into next week.”

“Fail your Italian test and you’ll look even more foolish, Arsene”


“If [Cesc and Nasri] leave, as expected, what point was there…in dragging negotiations out this long? An increase of 10 per cent, at most? Not to be sniffed at, but hardly worth sabotaging the narrative of Arsenal’s summer, now overrun by speculation that Wenger’s squad is falling apart.”

In the following article, Samuel uses Arsene’s “improper” handling of the Cesc and Nasri transfers as “evidence” to support his claim that Arsene has been made to look “foolish.” He is specifically accusing Arsene of “sabotaging the narrative (read media narrative) of Arsenal’s summer” by “dragging [the Cesc and Nasri] negotiations out this long.”

However, is Arsene truly responsible for the fact that the media “narrative” is “now overrun by speculation that Wenger’s squad is falling apart?” In this instance, Samuel attempts to lay the blame on Arsene for this negative media coverage on the grounds that Arsene took too long with his transfer negotiations regarding Cesc and Nasri.

But is the length of Arsene’s transfer negotiations truly plausible as the sole motive for the current media “speculation that Wenger’s squad is falling apart?” Specifically, are we to believe that, had the Cesc and Nasri transfers been wrapped up back in May, there would currently be no media “narrative” alleging “that Wenger’s squad is falling apart?” Or is it more likely that there were other factors in play as well? ***

“There is this smile of incredulity that Arsene Wenger affects when he is asked about the impending departure of Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri. It is as if the foolishness of his inquisitors amuses him…

Of late, he has increasingly proved his doubters right… And, currently, as the evidence piles up against the confidence of that smile, he is beginning to look ever so slightly crackers… (*note: this “cracking up” talking point was also documented in our previous Mail coverage [“Cracking up! Stressed Wenger forced to admit he won’t walk.”]).

Arsenal have a huge match with Udinese on Tuesday, yet enter it full of uncertainty. You know Wenger is floundering when he talks as if the media is his enemy…

He is as prone to daft, illogical pronouncements as any Premier League contemporary, but..For such a genius, however, he has spent much of the summer acting the fool….

This is going to be a difficult month for Arsenal…Udinese are a threat, have no doubt of that. ..


If Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League, Wenger’s final justification for his methods is scotched. Is there anyone better to manage Arsenal? We would like to think not. Yet in previous seasons that answer would contain no element of doubt. It does now. At what point might that knowing smile become a rictus grin? If Udinese win, perhaps.”

“How can Wenger still be the best if he no longer hits the high notes?”

***NOTE: In this article, Samuel comes very close to overtly calling for Wenger to be fired.***


Arsene “ was equally mistaken in allowing the transfer sagas involving Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to overshadow and disrupt preseason preparations. Maybe had Arsenal not appeared to be in a constant state of flux the club would have looked more appealing to Juan Mata than Chelsea.”

I would personally contend that it was not just Arsene Wenger who caused Arsenal to appear “to be in a constant state of flux” with regard to the Cesc and Nasri “transfer sagas.” Once again, it appears that Samuel is blaming what is, at least in part, a media campaign, on Arsene himself, and then using it as evidence to further bolster his own contention that Arsene should be fired.***

“Who would you have manage Arsenal, then, if not Arsene Wenger? The sentence is phrased as a question, but is usually intended as a full stop; the cocksure closer to any discussion about the rapidly escalating decline of a football club

So, let’s widen the argument. Who would you rather hear sing Come Fly With Me, if not Frank Sinatra? Well, it depends… If…you’re offering Sinatra in his final years, occasionally forgetting the words, no longer hitting the hardest notes, falling over on stage in Richmond, Virginia, well that’s a different story….

(Photo Caption: They did it their way: Wenger won the League in 2004 (left) but, like Sinatra, time has seen his powers fade)

So the question of who could do a better job at Arsenal than Wenger depends on which Wenger blueprint is under consideration. Double-winning Wenger, Invincible-era Wenger, sure, there are few to touch him; but six-years-without-a-trophy Wenger, played-off-the-park-by-Liverpool-at-the- weekend Wenger, summer 2011 Wenger, scrapping-for-a-Champions-League-place-with-Udinese-tonight Wenger: plenty could do that job

Of course, Wenger deserves time; but he has had time. He has had seven years since Arsenal last won the League and six since the club last won a trophy.

He is not Carlo Ancelotti, a Double winner in his first season at Chelsea, preposterously sacked in his second for finishing runner-up. He is afforded enormous credit and respect for his achievements at Arsenal and the culture he has brought to the English game; but it is delusional to insist that the proof on which Wenger’s credibility is based is not taken more from the past than the present…we remain trapped in Wenger’s golden era so that his brilliance is immutable, his judgment immaculate, whatever the evidence. Times change

But who could manage Arsenal as well as Wenger? That’s no longer such a tough one. Right now, name any of the big guys — from Pep Guardiola to Martin O’Neill, from Ancelotti to Jose Mourinho or Kenny Dalglish – and they would bring something new to the party.

Emulating Wenger 2011 isn’t the hard part. Emulating him back in the day would have been nigh-impossible; but not even Ol’ Blue Eyes could hold that note for ever.”

“United shot Bambi and even Fergie felt the pain”

***NOTE: ManU match report. To offer my own editorial opinion, I find the gloating tone and fake sympathy in this article (towards both Arsenal and Arsenal’s fans) to be absolutely revolting, and as a result, I’m not including too much of it. Feel free to read the full article yourself if you want to be further sickened.  However, speaking of “sickened,” the “illness” analogy that Samuel uses here is definitely worth a second look because it is very similar to some of the coverage that bob has previously documented in the Guardian.***

“‘You don’t want to score more,’ said Sir Alex Ferguson, and he sounded entirely sincere. All knew where he was coming from…this was difficult, watching his team do more than any other to dismantle the mantra that Arsene knows. United had shot Bambi; and it left a great many feeling uneasy at the bloody scene…

Some boys’ football leagues blow the final whistle at eight goals for fear of turning young men away from the game. Who knows if the callow youth assembled by Arsene Wenger will be affected by this?…

It is like a high temperature, that number. It tells of an infection, a virus, at the club. There is a point when an elite team, a good team, rallies, resists and stems the bleeding

Yet if there is one statistic, beyond the scoreline, that reflects the depth of the crisis at Arsenal, it is that both starting line-ups had the same average age, 23. Arsenal are still planning for some mythical future; at Manchester United the future is now….”

Arsene and Arsenal have shot themselves in the foot this time

***NOTE: After spending the past five months writing articles criticizing Arsene for not buying players, I think it’s interesting the lengths that Samuel goes to in this article to emphasize that, even though Arsene finally bought players, this does not mean that you should like him any better. Note the particularly nasty “Starvin Marvin” metaphor, and also the fact that Samuel takes care to re-emphasize the exact same points on this subject multiple times, in addition to the usual talking points. ***

“What a difference eight goals make. First, nobody was good enough for Arsenal then, suddenly, everybody was….

(Photo Caption: I don’t know! Arsene Wenger has had the look of a desperate man in the last few days of the transfer window.)

Starvin Marvin was the famished Ethiopian adopted by accident in an episode of South Park but, let’s face it, he could be Arsenal’s new centre half. So could anyone, really, now reality has hit. …

Anyone who thinks there has been a grand plan at Arsenal this summer is deluded. ..The club got it wrong; Wenger got it wrong…Wenger secured the expensive recruitment of…Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who looked pitifully raw in his brief time on the pitch…and pressing weaknesses went unresolved…

If Arsenal don’t get the best players, they won’t win the trophies; if they don’t win the trophies, they won’t get the players. Round and round it goes, a vicious circle, not a perfect one. Do not be fooled. There was no no cunning plan….

Arsenal messed up, Wenger messed up, but there is no mileage in demanding a confession from either side; the events of this week are admission enough.”


So, to sum up, in light of the research covered in the two parts of this article, is Samuel correct in stating that:

“No manager in the history of the English game has been treated with such reverence” in the media as Arsene Wenger?

Or is Arsene correct in stating that:

“The media…is very negative” towards Arsenal?

I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to decide, and I’ll be interested to hear your opinions in the comments section.

151 comments to Martin Samuel’s daily mail attack on Arsenal – Part 2

  • bjtgooner

    @ Anne

    Thank you for the mention, but my contribution to these two magnificent articles was really miniscule. Just one quick question – do we know the composition of the “august” body which selected Samuel as “Sports Journalist of the Year”. It might be interesting to determine their leanings.

  • Jay Desai (@JayDesai25)

    Excellent article and great work and effort has been put in, to show what should have been blatantly obvious. There surely are people out there trying their hardest to show Arsenal (and Arsene) in a bad light and keep beating up the club the man over and over again in an effort to both demoralize and destabilize the club as well as trying to gain an undue advantage for the other clubs. The lower they can make Arsenal appear, the higher the others can claim and appear to be.

    Once again, great work and effort…
    Proud to be a Gooner,

  • Anne


    No, we don’t know, and thanks for calling my articles “magnificent” 🙂 However, you really do deserve some credit for this.

    After Shard first alerted me to Samuel, it was the fact that you also noted Samuel’s coverage in your research that led me to the final conclusion of, “ok, I REALLY need to look into this guy” 🙂

  • Anne

    @bobby P:

    You got a repreive on your last comments because I hadn’t followed through in much detail… Any comments on this most recent analysis? 🙂

  • BobbyP


    As per the link below, ‘The Sports Writer of the Year award was decided by a vote by the sports editors of national newspapers.’


    Going to have to get back to you later – looks impressively detailed at first glance though

  • Anne


    just so long as you do get back to me later, I’ll be waiting 🙂

  • bjtgooner


    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Regarding Samuel’s campaign what I am really trying to get at is his motivation – is he self motivated against Arsenal, is he teamed up with other journalists of similar ilk, or is his campaign being controlled/motivated by a third party? We may have to wait for some time before the final answer becomes clear, but for now I suspect there is some third party involvement.

  • bjtgooner


    Many thanks for the link.

  • Arsenal1Again

    That’s nice of you Anne to provide a forum for fans who are not getting the opportunity to see the full picture – namely the BS for what it is. Untold has occasionally proven that journalists use them as a reference source, so perhaps your investigative work will also give the journos food for thought, perhaps even Martin Samuel himself. He does need to come down a peg or two.

  • Once upon a time Samuel had a reputation. He was both straight-talking and he was discursive. He knew his stuff and he knew more than his stuff. He therefore saw the world beyond football. Sometimes he even saw the world beyond football in the football. In this, he was someone you could read when you wanted more than the usual 57 varieties of bull.

    Something though seems to have got to him. Now, like all the other hacks, he takes his turn at the treadmill, regurgitates the same old crap, finds the easiest target, sticks to the range of his bow, doesn’t advance anything new, doesn’t display a new thought, doesn’t display a new meaning, or a new attitude, or an insight.
    This guy, who once was a good journalist, is now just another hand on the row. So, why?
    My own thoughts – for the Mail & the Guardian the writing on the wall for the sports journalists came with the opening of the Mail offices in New York and the Guardian offices in New York.
    Both offices will compete, online, for the same readers. Obviously with each click you hit the basement faster. The country that gave you George W. Bush will now give you the verdicts on Premier League Football. In other words, at the Mail and the Guardian, the sports journalists come in, write their stuff, collect their salaries, shrug their shoulders.

  • Anne


    Thank you for your kind take on what we’re doing here. I’ll be more than happy to hear any objective criticism that you might have about my conclusions.

  • Anne


    I personally believe that Samuel was in with many other journalists on the “crisis and anxiety” talking points campaign that began in early July, and really ramped up going into August.

    If we want to further document this coverage it would be fairly easy (given that the “crisis” talking points are perhaps the easiest to identify out of all of them.) However, I’m of the current opinion that we should let bygones by bygones…

    And what I mean by that is that, if they don’t ramp the campaign up again, I have no interest in exposing it retrospectively.

  • Anne


    The points that you’re making are pretty heavy.

    Indeed, it would be interesting to know if Samuel’s morals still hold any water with him these days… he’s not THAT much older than me, after all, and I still have some semblance of my own morals 🙂

    However, I do have to wonder if Samuel was ever a good journalist. As far back as I can trace, he’s been awarded with plaudits galore,but I’ve never seen an article where he proved himself as a good journalist… Just saying…

  • Anne


    Just out of curiosity, did you take your name from Pulp Fiction? 🙂

  • Ohio Gunner


    Can you please do a review of Matt Lawton of DM too? If you get a chance, take a look at his match report of the carling cup game. Although we won the game, which was important, he managed to find something negative about Arsenal. And he does that constantly…Gosh, these journalist are so biased.

  • Anne

    @Stevie E:

    I think it’s worth noting that the media began this “crisis” campaign before the season even started…

    So, whatever criticisms might exist with regard to the way that Arsenal played last saturday, what I’m documenting here is entirely separate from that.

  • Anne


    I like your $ilence analongy 🙂

  • Anne

    analogy… yes, I’m nitpicky about spelling 🙂

  • Anne

    @Ohio Gooner:

    Based on your comment, I just took a look at Matt Lawton’s match report on Arsenal-Shrewsbury, and it was almost funny the way that Lawton seemed dispappointed that he couldn’t report on an Arsenal loss…

    So, this guy is on my checklist now (a checklist that includes WAY too many journalists, by the way). However, if Lawton asserts himself again (like Samuel did), I might be able to cover him in more detail in the future.

  • Mandy dodd

    Great piece of research, confirms what we all know about the uk press vs wenger. If I were wenger, I would be using all this to create a siege mentality, one of the greatest of motivational tools

  • Ohio Gunner


    It is so saddening to even read those match reports. A big thanks to you though, for covering and analyzing the Samuel’s reports. The whole summer we read negative stuff about Arsenal. The Sun even covered a story, when Wenger was in vacation on a boat with David Dein. In the picture, they show him sliding into the water…And guess what they wrote on it. “Leaving the sinking ship Arsene?” That was the caption under the picture. That was when they were a lot of tension and rumors about Cesc and Nasri. They cant even let the man go in holidays!

  • Arun Mor

    In DM report of the carling cup match ,the author points out that the stadium is emptied out only 3 MINUTES FROM THE START.
    This nonsense summs up the whole report

  • Anne

    @Mandy Dodd:

    I hope that’s what Arsene is doing.

  • Stevie E

    At the moment I’m noticing alot of harking back to the cc final and claiming that’s the beginning of the crisis. It’s the point at which our run of form starts (4 wins or whatever in however many games). Interestingly, nobody seems interested in noting we actually beat man u in this period but we cant let’s facts get in the way of a good smear campaign.

    For all those who don’t believe the media do this sort of thing, bear in mind that whichever political party the Sun backs during an electoral campaign will get into power. Do not underestimate the power these rags wield, prime ministers have been toppled by the press, England managers have been sacked after some terrible stories. Even the national treasure and icon of English football, David Beckham, was torn apart in the media after being sent off in the world cup. It seems its Arsenals and Arsene’s time. Be afraid, the press usually get what they want and don’t let morality get in their way, hacking a dead girls voicemail proves that.

  • Anne

    @Ohio Gunner:

    If you didn’t like that Sun article about Arsene and Dein. you should definitely look at my previous article about Antony Kastrinakis’ reporting in the Sun:

  • Anne

    @Stevie E:

    I honestly have to admit that Arsenal’s drop in form following the Carling Cup final last season is very worrying to me. The media has most definitely milked that defeat to a point that’s well beyond what it’s actually worth, but Arsenal never seems to have recovered from that….

    Any thoughts?

  • Anne

    @Ohio Gunner:

    Off topic, but how did you end up being an Arsenal fan living in Ohio? I’m an Arsenal fan living in Atlanta, so this is actually an issue that’s of interest to me. 🙂 Are you a Bucks fan as well?

  • Adam

    I take my hat off to the people behind these articles. You certainly have more patience than I do. When I used to read the papers (stopped about 4/5 years ago) I used to skim over articles for the quotes and make my own conclusions, As to the context in which they were meant. However even the quotes I realised became unreliable at best. For you to dissect the writings of these sports journalists, trying to find there reasons for negativity and influence is a cause I do not envy. What I find worrying is the fact that there are Arsenal supporters out there that probably need to read articles such as this to find a sense of balance But have not yet found this site.

  • Stevie E

    In all honesty it seems they’re only interested in us if we aren’t doing great. We’re all aware that we’ve been off form, but does that warrent such a viscous attack? It does seem to fill them with delight that they can keep rehashing the same old story, day after day. I even read the other day about Cesc wanting to return to arsenal! I mean come on, let’s all move on now.

  • Pete

    The chap that *really* winds me up, is the chief windbag sports writer in the i/Independent – James Lawton. Good grief…!

  • Ohio Gunner

    Off Topic to answer you question,
    I became an Arsenal fan long before I establish myself here in the US. That might be some 10 years ago. Beautiful country it is. As for the Sun Article I just laughed, I couldnt do anything else. The Buckeyes as they like to call them here, are poupular,but the NFL dont take any of my time unfortunately.

  • Abhishek Kumar

    Hi Anne

    You might be happy to note that others also have started keeping a tab on media..

  • Donnyfan1

    Apparently, the Editors of all the papers now want sensationally hyped articles which are either sychophantic or condemnatory. What they want to avoid is balance. Since most of sport,in reality,is about balance– what Editors want is a distotion of the truth–surprise surprise! Somebody once derided distortion of the truth as- ‘mere lies’. If there is one activity that desperately needs balance– it is football. Why pay to read a windbag nutter’s version of hyperbole. Don’t buy the tripe!


    This clip from Charlie Brookers “Newswipe” sums up the medias usage of “controversy” to perpetuate and carry anything to do with it, normally through a narrative, and repeated talking points. All sensationalism no substance thats the problem. No accountability = no standards.

    Enjoyed the article as always by the way!

  • Anne

    @Arun Mor:

    “In DM report of the carling cup match ,the author points out that the stadium is emptied out only 3 MINUTES FROM THE START.”

    I’m assuming that this wasn’t true. It wasn’t, was it?

  • Anne


    Thank you very much for your comments. What we are trying to do here is to make these issues accessible to the widest audence possible. Thanks again.

  • Anne

    @Stevie E:

    I believe we’re on the same page here.

  • Anne


    Good (or “bad” 🙂 ) link.

  • Anne

    @Abhishek Kumar:

    You’re correct that I’m VERY happy to hear that “others also have started keeping a tab on media.” I thought that the article that you cited here was good, and I’m including the link below:

  • Anne


    I agree. Thanks for commenting.

  • Anne


    Glad you liked the article, and I enjoyed your link as well. I’m glad that people like you are able to understand the manner in which these campaigns operate.

  • Anne

    @Ohio Gunner:

    Off topic, and thanks for getting back to me. I personally am a die-hard Georgia Bulldogs fan 🙂

  • Anne

    @Jay Desai:

    Thanks for your compliments, and I’m glad that there are people like you out there who can understand how these campaigns operate.

  • Anne,
    the time has come to call a spade a spade. these aren’t journalists; they’re hacks, flacks or worse than senseless things. journalists work for the national enquirer while samuels and his fellow clowns couldn’t get an internship there.

    i appreciate your fine work and note that the looney tunes could learn a lot from you. once again, it’s time to fire back. let’s email this article to the other gooner blogs for a start.

  • here are three i just found:
    Just Arsenal

  • Jas777


    With reference to form dip I think that other teams now see Arsenal as a potential 3 points rather than 1 or 0 so are playing accordingly and also that unlike previous years Arsenal may only score 1 or 2 goals a game so easier to keep up.

    And of course as teams attack Arsenal more the defense is prone to make mistakes more often and this is self perpetuating as the players start to have less faith in each other so the problem gets worse and worse.

    The fear or respect (may be not quite the right word) has gone so the deep down thought that you can’t beat this lot isn’t there anymore.

  • Anne

    @mike in Atlanta:

    Please feel free to email this article far and wide to anyone you feel might be interested 🙂 Thanks, and glad you enjoyed it.

    -Anne in Atlanta

  • Anne


    I think that the points you make here are quite valid. However, I also think that Arsenal’s current dip in form is something that the club can still remedy. Based on talent alone, I don’t think that any other EPL club can compete with Arsenal. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens…

  • Isaac

    Hi all at UM/UA, good effort guys for your hard work,with exception of Paddy Barclay all these journos have been after Wenger since 2003 after making them look stupid. It all started when he dared state his team could go the whole season unbeaten and went on to lose the next two games but the following season, his prophecy came to pass and they had their ridicule shoved straight back down their throats. After that they have seen player after player turn into super stars not one single English,hence the blatant racism, i won’t even qualify their attitudes as xenophobia its too big a word for gutter press to understand. On another note DM has always been a fascist paper historically which is right up Samuel street. Why won’t they say the same about the rest, they have England players and won’t want to destroy their confidence as a result Samuel trying to perpetrate Wilshere and Walkout moving to Chelsea

  • Mike the max

    This is the first time I have responded. Great article love the style of this site. You have done the work why not fire it off to the press complaints commision. Even if they do nothing they will have to investigate and that might just be a shot across the bows?

  • Laundryender

    I have said it before and no doubt will say it again

    The press DO have an agenda

    It is to sell papers, to do that they need headlines.

    We have to stop creating headlines, or at the very least, we need to stop creating negative headlines. We are in control of that element of our public image.

  • Shard

    Really Laundryender? We have to stop giving them headlines? Or at least negative headlines? SO we shouldn’t buy 5 players in the last 2 days of the transfer window to strengthen our squad because that just leads to headlines saying there is no grand plan, panic buys, Mertesacker not as good as Cahill? So we should not beat a League 2 side with a young team, because actually it didn’t restore confidence?

    All negativity in light of a victory. Even the fans singing Wenger’s name “may turn to despair when they see their manager in almost complete denial.”

    Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Martin Samuel’s article after Arsenal beat Udinese 1-0 was another case. Also a one off right? Because we gave a reason for a negative article by WINNING.

    It’s not because ARsenal aren’t perfect. No team is. Chelsea’s loss to ManU still gave them reason to be positive. Chelsea complain about offside goals but that isn’t excuses. Liverpool’s loss to Stoke shows journalists why they are actually back on the road to greatness.
    Tottenham’s Carling Cup defeat on penalties shows that there is a greater plan at work, and something the fans should be thankful for because the Carling Cup doesn’t matter.AT least “as far as the white half of north London is concerned.”

    Want more examples? What about the pictures of an ’empty’ stadium and fans voting with their feet, when Arsenal had by far the highest attendances in the day, and nearly as much capacity (77%) as Chelsea managed for their Champions League tie against Bayern(81%). ManCity couldn’t sell over 1400 tickets for their first ever champions League match.

    Not enough? What about the imaginary feud between Wenger who was unhappy “like a lead balloon” with Gazidis’ “vote of confidence”.

    Well seriously. If it’s only about hits..tell me why it is Arsenal who have to be taking them. It precedes our bad form by the way. An agenda is clear. Selling papers isn’t the primary motive. Selling papers on the ‘death’ knell of Arsene Wenger’s reign definitely is. (and yes..there have been death analogies drawn many times)

  • Shard

    Chelsea’s tie against Bayer*

  • Sean

    The press have an ‘agenda’?
    Not really, do they?

    One of the ‘Big Four’ haven’t won a cup for six years and get a tonking 8-2 at Old Trafford.
    What do you expect Martin Samuel to write about?
    Fulham’s recent one-one draw with Blackburn Rovers?
    That’s hardly going to set pulses racing or going to shift any papers.

    If Manchester United fail to qualify for the next stage of the never-ending ‘Champions’ League, Martin Samuel et al will be all passing the Emirates to grill Ferguson on Man. U.’s ‘disastrous campaign’.

    Arsenal are just the current story/current basket case.
    Four years ago, it was Tottenham.
    Three years ago, it was Newcastle.
    Last year, it was Liverpool.

  • Shard


    RRrrriiiiiiiiiiggghhhhhhhttt.. Like we haven’t been told how bad Arsenal are every year for the past 3-4 years at least. How we’ll be out of the Top 4. How we haven’t won a trophy in x,y,z years. When was the last time you heard about Liverpool’s trophy drought? When was the last time you saw every aspect of a club attacked in such terms? I would say never. It is unprecedented and a sustained attack on all things Arsenal. The odd ‘balanced’ article doesn’t prove anything. We all know the narrative, and we’ve been suckered into believing parts of it.

    But lets say they just want something to write about. SO you are ok with someone taking the piss out of your club, attack it constantly, as long as it makes them a quick buck?? I guess its far easier to go with the flow than try to stand up and call a spade a spade. At least you won’t be called paranoid, or a conspiracy theorist, or a whinger..Right?

  • Mandy Dodd

    See the old boys are at it again in the press, Tony Woodcock is predicting a relegation dogfight.
    Lost the plot?

  • Toye

    I guess some people still don’t get is not talking or writing about Arsenal or Arsene Wenger that is the problem,it is the deliberate twisting of stories to achieve certain goals that is annoying.
    Take as an instance Arsene’s post Shrewsbury interview and John Cross initial write up(can’t find it again) and you’ll be amazed by his conclusions.
    It is evident that a lot of people including Arsenal fans are pouring to much negativity into the system and hoping things don’t work out so that they can claim to know more than others whereas probably they cannot even prepare an under 10 team for a match.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Arsenal are on the counter attack with the media (and some blogs??) it seems. I think the board is getting fed up with the negativity.
    Just look at this article on

  • Ronnie Brown

    Course the press have an agenda, to sell papers and create hits to their websites etc, so a story will rarely be balanced it is either triumphant or calamity, they want their stories to be decsive and easy to tell whether it’s a positive or negative story, this had been admitted by some journalists that this is their editors demands. Also some do have an agenda directly against Arsene and Arsenal for reasons I have mentioned previously. Someone mentioned in part 1 that if Arsenal beat Man U 8-2 what the story would be like in the same circumstances, my guess is it would be something like “Arsenal beat/thrash depleted United” it would be positive BUT there would be a an excuse for why it happened, and people wouldn’t just take it as a beating, they would go on and on about United’s weakened team and the circumstances surrounding it, maybe even a 10 reasons list of why United lost that day, the coverage wouldn’t have been identical for certain. Need to keep showing Arsene and the team support, hopefully we can get the 3 points on the weekend, need to build some momentum and confidence.

  • Ronnie Brown

    Good post Walter, lol that article completly destroys all that negative nonsense they were talking about attendance, they should pick that article up and publish it.

  • Ronnie Brown

    I heard some of the negative sites were on radio too, would be nice to hear someone from Untold on instead, would be fairer to hear two different opinions than the same bile we been hearing constantly.

  • bob

    It would be great if you or anyone could come up with a link to Cross John’s first response to Shrewsbury. Absent that, could you describe or characterize his conclusions? Cross John (thinking himself San Juan de la Cruz) is obviously influential, so your highlighting his actual words for us would be a real plus. Cheers.

  • Shard


    The link’s available in my previous comment. Cross said “Wenger clearly feels his record since taking charge in 1996 should be enough to spare him such difficult questions in his first time of real crisis. But even more clear was that the Arsenal manager feels he is beyond question.

    Wenger was a man in denial. Denial that his team is struggling, denial that his defence looked fragile again and denial about recent results

    Last night was supposed to be some respite from the poor form in the league which has seen Arsenal endure their worst start for 58 years and concede 14 goals in five games.

    Sadly for Wenger, it did not work like that. Arsenal were jittery in defence – Johan Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski looked particularly vulnerable – and survived an almighty scare against League Two Shrewsbury.

    Thankfully, 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Francis Coquelin, 20, shone through to show maturity beyond their years to complete a stirring comeback.

    That left Arsenal fans chanting Wenger’s name towards the end but their defiance and support may turn to despair when they see their manager in almost complete denial.”

    So young players performing well is apparently just down to luck. Something to be thankful for. Fans chanting Wenger’s name will son turn to despair because of Wenger being in complete denial about his team’s failings. And Wenger CLEARLY had a problem with Gazidis’ support (which makes absolutely no sense but is a line that multiple papers are carrying)

  • bob

    Arvind, all,
    I’m sure there’s a few left out, but just to list some of the most blatant anti-Arsenal jornos and TV commentators, here’s a few whose one-sided stories have recently been analyzed. Please add to the list, so it’s complete. And, one hopes that maybe, just maybe, some will become more fair and balanced in their future coverage
    M. Samuels (Daily Mirror)
    J. Cross (Daily Mirror)
    D. Hytner (Guardian)
    R. Williams (Guardian)
    P. Wilson (Guardian)
    T. Woodcock (London Weekly, etc.)
    A. Katsakis (Sun)
    S. Robson (ATV, TalkSport…)
    I. Wright, MBE (Sky, TalkSport, MOTD, etc.)

  • bob

    Many Thanks. In my view, the wholse host of Arsene’s lost the plot, in denial, imploding, rictus grin, head-in-hands photos, are not “mere” forms of character-assassination, but carry a sub-text to zillions of readers that Arsene’s actually going mental. It’s more than they’re trying to make Arsene into a national cartoon of sorts (or a ready punch line to a lame “knowing” joke), but adds up to a portrait of a man who is on his way to a nervous breakdown (which they’re willing to induce) and he’d best step down or, even better, have it in full sight at a press conference. That would be the cherry on all their ice cream sundaes (football Sundays).

  • Ben

    One point Samuel did notice was when Massimo Busacca put Barcelona through by cheating Arsenal. That he was made Head Ref of EUFA. But it was a tiny tiny article that he mentioned this, last month or so.

  • bob

    Yes! One hopes that AFC finally goes proactive. The passive, they’ll go away if we ignore them routine is clearly, clearly not working. The media cannot do worse than it’s done, and letting Arsene shoulder everything – including being the sole point man/flak catcher to the media shrapnel – is unfair to say the least. Let Gazidis and AFC website and any oases of fair to pro-Arsenal sentiment in the media choose this time for a very long overdue pushback.

  • bob

    Yes, that he’s able to show/remember that Arsenal was hard done by the new EUFA chief of referees shows that Martin Samuel clearly knows the terrain and how to work it. This is a conscious operative who is not blind, but willful and intends to undermine when (as usual) he so chooses.

  • @Walter

    LOL @charliewyett is getting pwned on twitter right now – everyone is ramming that Arsenal article down his neck – very funny!

  • bob

    for the few of us who remain Twitter-challenged 🙂 , please share the news of the hammering!

  • Toye

    @Bob,Shard.His initial comments weren’t available when I went back to highlight.Part of it is how he was very angry with Gazidis for trying to defend him in public

  • Gooners from far and wide are tweeting links for the story bundled in with a bit of abuse for good measure… even the black scarfers are doing it – maybe the media who have gone so far to divide and conquer can ‘jump the shark’ and unite us?

  • Toye

    @ All.Has it occurred to anybody that the real culprits could be within especially with the way even former players think it is within them to start unnecessary criticism?
    Is it possible that some people are looking for a way of taking over AFC?
    If Arsenal does not begin to respond, then I might believe my conspiracy theory because you dare not try this nonsense with Sir Alex

  • Mahdain

    haha i see the club has decided to stick up to the haters..puts everything in perspective and show just how much of fools the media are

  • Rhys Jaggar

    ‘However, who exactly is responsible for the “chatter around Arsenal” that “concerns the end of an era?” While one could certainly make the argument, as Samuel does, that the actions of the club itself have, in some respects, caused this “chatter” to occur, is it not also true that the media itself is the party that is directly culpable for such “chatter?”’

    I think you have to include fans blogs, fanzines and phone-ins like 606 in the list of what causes the ‘chatter’.

    There’s no question many fans have become increasingly worried the past 3 years and their comments are sometimes worried, sometimes saying ‘an era’s over’.

    There’s a fine line to be trod between not creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and becoming deluded that problems which exist aren’t problems.

    The best way to confront blinkered prejudice is to be found in Yes Prime Minister or the like. They include:

    1. Require assertions to be backed up by concrete examples – I confronted a hater of socialism (I’m not a socialist but I hate blind hatred and prejudice of anything) by asking to name the socialists who created CDOs and sold them, who populated the Boards of RBS and HBOS, not to mention the Irish banks, investment bankers on Wall Street and senior officials of Ratings Agencies etc etc. They couldn’t……

    2. Provide counter examples which comprehensively demolish the assertion – I asked whether Brazil had caused the credit crunch or suffered under it. The answer is a categorical No! Whether China is actually socialist/communist is more moot, but they didn’t cause it either!

    3. Where other causes clearly were to blame, enunciate them with the corroborating evidence to back up your cause. In the case of Ireland going tits up, it was bankers punting on a speculative property bubble and going tits up (victims of capitalism, not socialism). In the case of Europe, it is the single currency fuelling the German economy and draining the lifeblood out of Greece, which also has issues to do with taxation non-compliance and retirement straight out of University. Germans believe in Sound Money, all Greeks pretty much free of political persuasion avoid paying tax.

    Sadly, it’s not easy to write such arguments at the Daily Mail – it’s why they limit entries to so few characters. At the DT at least you can do that.

    You could fax something to Paul Dacre, cc’ing it to the Three Parliamentary Party Leaders, in which you in a measured way comprehensively demolish the arguments and then ask Mr Dacre if his raison d’etre is peddling half-truths or no-truths which cause hurt, outrage and anguish to decent people.

    It’s usually difficult for an Editor to admit he’s a venal pile of nasty dogshit, but that’s the clear aim.

    Because once he’s admitted that, his credibility is gone.

    And if he goes, then you could explain to any new incumbent the reasons he left and suggest they work on a slightly more even-handed approach.

    No need to be nice to newspaper editors – I wrote a satricial skit on my PC about David Dein/Maggie Thatcher years ago and one of Dacre’s journalists got hold of it when I never sent it to anybody. For the record it was why they would make an absolutely appalling Chair of the FA. I think it’s called computer hacking. So I wouldn’t have any mercy with that bunch of shits at the Daily Mail – they’re just as bad as the Made Up News of the Alices in Wonderlands…..I’m all for Paul Dacre being strung up and preferably having a red hot poker straight up his Arse…….might teach him how to experience pain……..

  • Ronnie Brown

    People forget Arsene was the manager when we had the invincibles and 3 title winning teams, along with finalists in several cups including champions league so he knows about defence too or you can’t do that, wasn’t he also a defender as a player? Also when Keown was the defensive coach didn’t we finsh 4th in the league? Just? That was probably our worst season of recent years, so that doesn’t neccessarily hold all the answers, personally I am not oppossed to a new defensive coach as some of the Arsenal vets, such as Keown and others have a strong mentality and could drum it into the players with Wenger, Pat Rice and others help how to defend better, Arsene can’t be everywhere at all times so a defenive coach to do ADDITIONAL work could be a bonus, but Arsene knows a lot more, all we can do is look from the outside cause I have no doubt if Arsene thought bringing in a defensive coach was the benefical he would do it, even Sol Campbell could be helpful, shame he left for Newcastle as he could have been a good addition behind the scenes as a player/coach.

  • Ronnie Brown

    If we lost the league cup game it was a completly different set of players, same that we won it we can’t go overboard because it was mainly younger and back up players, pleased we won but it’s two different sets of teams, maybe though some of the youth or back ups could help us in the league games as there was some talent there. But the point was people were trying to sue the league cup struggle as something extra to dig the knife in about when it’s a completly different teams, there were 11 changes to the team, there unrelated really….

  • Hetang Desai

    I’m a fan of Arsenal from India and would like to share my thoughts about being an INDIAN ARSENAL supporter. How do i go about it?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Hetang Desai,
    you can always mail us. Just look at the main page (click at the top of this page) and there you can find the email address where you can contact us

  • Sean

    Don’t you understand that it is precisely because Arsenal (the manager right down to the supporters) are perceived to be paranoid that Samuel et al do write about the club!

    In a sense, you should see it as a badge of honour.
    Former stalwarts of the Premiership (Leeds, Southampton, Coventry, Ipswich etc. are virtually off the radar, and even some Premiership teams garner zero publicity other than when they play the ‘Big Four’), yet Arsenal’s demise (and it is a demise, fourth ‘isn’t’ success) is easily more interesting than those cases.

    I think it’s interesting because many of us (yep, me included) saw it coming a long way out…..but precious few people affiliated to the club saw it until about a year or so ago.

    Rejoice, Shard, in this dire era we live in, there is simply no such thing as ‘bad publicity’.

  • @Sean

    “I think it’s interesting because many of us (yep, me included) saw it coming a long way out…..but precious few people affiliated to the club saw it until about a year or so ago.”
    What… so if they saw it coming [like you did] they could have gone off and drilled for oil and got a few billion in the bank for transfer funds? I’m assuming that was your plan to ‘compete’ with the big boys?

  • Shard


    No such thing as bad publicity.. So lets be happy with whatever they say about our club. Whatever they indicate, insinuate and incite.. Lets REJOICE!! Let us all sing praises of the Good Lords Bacchus and Mammon(or Rednose if you prefer), and drink and indulge in orgies while we’re at it because all this dire world needs is to rejoice in the ‘glow’ that the great scribes choose to bestow, upon our club, once great, which is in such a sadly befallen state.

    One of the Top 4 has fallen and the manager is senile, the fans-the dear lambs, too, are perceptibly paranoid. The destruction caused by this flood of bad press will only lead ever more toward the resurrection, of the club, which will repeat the glory days, and all those who have an objection, should see the foolish error of their ways, and thus they shall receive honour, in patches of badges, from those sentinels of the Sky and others up on high.

    Blessed be the one seer who saw this coming through the tunnels of time, in his Magic Mirror, while the rest of us, and those at the Arsenal- who must ‘die’ for the good times to return- were asleep in their chambers, unaware of the coming flood.


  • Sean

    What on earth are you going on about?
    Few billion?
    ‘Compete’ with the big boys?
    Calm down!

    No, it’s simple.
    A new (more odious) kid on the block came along (Chelsea) and Man. Utd. maintained their form, Arsenal over 15 years haven’t exactly been the form team in the latter stages of Europe, and Wenger has virtually written off the League and FA Cups by his Youth Team policy.

    Ipso Facto – Exactly what were/are Arsenal going to win?

  • @Sean – you seem to have missed the repayments for the new stadium from you calculations there… and I’m still waiting for your suggestions on how the club should have been run better?

    However what I’m deducing from your statements is that you were commenting more on the ‘trophy drought’ and think we should concentrate more on the League and FA cups as targets?

  • Sean

    Yep, I do.
    Dalglish has sussed it.
    Can’t win the League.
    Can’t win in Europe (not in it).
    So it’s very strong sides against Exeter City and Brighton and, presumably, throughout both League and FA Cup runs.

    Alas, I suspect that it is far more important to Arsenal to finish 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd for eternity.

    The record of 15 straight seasons in the wretched ‘Champions’ League (a competition that has dulled the ambition of not just Arsenal) is, in my book, not a reason to rejoice and the club appear to be on a roundabout ‘enjoying’ the same season over and over and over again!

    Winning something would soon shut Samuel up.

    I’m just pleased I watch my sport at a less obsessive, and far more enjoyable, level.

  • Shard

    Champions league qualification is not a reason to rejoice while the abuse from the media is. 6 years, or 10 even, is an eternity. Maybe the seer don’t see-eth too far into the future. Winning something would soon shut Samuel up. Like the press were silent when Vieira got kneed in the back and Van Nistelrooy got hurt with the air around him getting kicked. Or when the number of red cards and the Frenchness of the team was the talk of the town. Winning something when the media is silent and dismissive of the impact of the stadium and the impact of the referees on Arsenal’s performance and results…Well..can I please partake in this wonder drug that keeps you aloof..oh no.. less obsessive, and makes sport more enjoyable? Or maybe you just have a penchant for scripted drama?

  • Anne

    @mike the max:

    Glad you chose to respond this time. But I’m unfamiliar with this press complaints commission that you refer to. Care to enlighten me?

  • Anne


    Thanks for that twitter link.

    @Dog face:

    And thanks for the update on the repercussions 🙂

  • Anne

    @Laundryender, Sean, Shard:

    I don’t think I could have responded to Sean and Laundryender any better than Shard did, so I’ll just second what he said.

  • Anne

    @Mandy Dodd:

    Are you saying that Woodcock is predicting that ARSENAL will be in a relegation dogfight? If so, that’s so ridiculous that it’s almost funny. Most journalists are just going with the “out of the top four” line, but this would be a step further, wouldn’t it? 🙂

  • Anne


    I think that you make such a good point in this comment that I’m re-posting it in full. Thanks for responding. I don’t recall seeing you on here before, but I hope you stick around.

    “I guess some people still don’t get is not talking or writing about Arsenal or Arsene Wenger that is the problem,it is the deliberate twisting of stories to achieve certain goals that is annoying.
    Take as an instance Arsene’s post Shrewsbury interview and John Cross initial write up(can’t find it again) and you’ll be amazed by his conclusions.
    It is evident that a lot of people including Arsenal fans are pouring to much negativity into the system and hoping things don’t work out so that they can claim to know more than others whereas probably they cannot even prepare an under 10 team for a match.”

  • Anne


    If you’re correct that Arsenal are finally going on the offensive against the media that’s the best news I’ve heard for a long time.


    Yeah, like you said 🙂

  • Laundryender

    The simple fact, which some of you appear to want to deny, is that we are writing our own headlines

    Correct me if i am wrong but
    Did we not lose 8-2 recently?
    Did we not concede 4 goals to a Blackburn side whom had only managed 1 in 3?
    Are we not specialists in throwing commanding leads (Wigan, Newcastle, Spurs and many more?
    Have we not lost our best players consistently for far too long?
    Did AW not say we cannot be considered a big team if we lose Cesc and Nasri?
    Does our back four not look shaky every time someone kicks a ball at them above head height?
    Do we not consistently dominate possession yet drop point against inferior opposition?
    I accept 100% the reporting is then over emphasised by the media in an attempt to sell papers as they embellish the story. That is what the media do; it is what they have always done.
    However we are in control of our own destiny as far as creating headlines is concerned. Reverse the recent performances and bad habits and guess what, we will disappear from the back pages. Simples!!
    Any suggestion of a media agenda would have to be backed up with a motive, Oh yeah sorry selling papers, that’s the one(we have already covered that.)
    @ anne
    It would appear the press were right, Cesc is at Barca.
    And for the information of all you, I go to the Emirates with many friends, we all have season tickets, some of us have been going for 30+ years (I hate the way people do that point scoring thing to add credence to their arguments) we travel away, and into Europe watching the mighty Gunners. I would guess that 100% of are currently unhappy at paying very high prices to watch average players. Some bought on the cheap (Chamakh) I believe that if the club asks the supporters to pay top price for a seat, they should be prepared to play top price for a player (Cahill), that is what moving away from Highbury was all about. It is also how to create positive headlines, and a positive buzz
    Finally, sport is not a place for hiding, hiding from headlines, hiding from performance, or hiding from facts. Neither is it a place where you hide from your critics, you gather your strengths and prove them wrong. Failure to do that results in, well failure!!
    PS Arsene Wenger will not be appearing at the AGM this year, which I think is a terrible shame.

  • Anne


    I think it was a good idea to make that list. Maybe we could write something up along these lines and post it. Would you like to do it? I think I’m going to be looking into John Cross myself.

    Also, I was curious to know what you thought about that “illness” analogy Samuel used in relation to that Guardian article that you covered in your second article? (I think it was your second..linked to it above)

  • jazbo

    I’ll say this again, we should ban certain sections of the media from our club grounds, and banish those who write garbage about us from the press room and back into the stands.
    I’d also like to know why the press are given a free ride on our chartered airline flights to matches in Europe, ban them all!!!!
    Then they would start to sing a different tune….. no doubt!!

  • Anne

    @ben, bob:

    In response to your comments about Samuel and Busacca, I’m actually just going to quote you a part of this article that I wrote but that didn’t make the final cut due to length:

    “One technique that Samuel has used repeatedly to convey negativity in a backhanded way is to actually frame an article as a defense of Arsenal, but use that article to subtly insult Arsenal or an Arsenal player…

    Samuel used this tactic in an article published following the Champions League 2nd leg, bearing the headline: “Bungling referee Massimo Busacca makes it easier for Barcelona masters,” and which Samuel presents as a criticism of Busacca and the Van Persie sending off.

    However, the article is littered with comments along the lines of: “it goes without saying…[that Barcelona] played the best football,” and clearly “are a better team than Arsenal and, over two legs and three hours, that much has been obvious.”

    Samuel concludes the article by lamenting that, due to the Busacca decision, “Arsenal were left smarting at the injustice, rather than acknowledging…Barcelona’s sublime philosophy, which is like theirs, just better.”

  • Anne


    You said: “@ All.Has it occurred to anybody that the real culprits could be within especially with the way even former players think it is within them to start unnecessary criticism?
    Is it possible that some people are looking for a way of taking over AFC?”

    Once again, I think that this is a VERY good point. Can you think of anyone who is linked to the club that might fit this description?

  • Shard


    The issue in question isn’t of criticism.. Do the press have an agenda. You talk about this sort of coverage as if its completely new. As if UM just came up out of the blue so as to manufacture excuses for the clubs poor form. The fact that we have made a beginning by looking at some of the usual ‘talking points’ that create a certain narrative about Arsenal, is actually because we have been noticing it for long, and hoping that it will go away if we ignore it. But it has only kept being cranked up. Look at the photos of Wenger. Talk about his appearance. The manufacture of feuds based on a logic which baffles any intelligent thought. The pressure isn’t just of our making. Arsenal can do no right in the media’s eye, and some people are stupid enough to buy that. Literally.

    Its nothing new though. For how many years have we been told that Arsenal won’t finish in the top 4 this year? How often have we heard of how many years it has been without a trophy? Oh But it HAS been that long. How long ago did Liverpool win anything? Do they face constant reminders of that? They finished out of the top 4 last season, and the coverage was largely positive..because they spent money?

    AAhhh..Money..The money you say Arsenal should spend. Because you pay top price for your seat. So Arsenal should pay top money for a player like Cahill?? If you say top money for a top player, I could agree with that. But Cahill? At 17m? No way. Did you not see Coyle try and flog him again at the press conference?

    Thats what the stadium was supposed to be about…Sigh.. Firstly, a project that size is a LONG TERM investment and takes time to pay off. Its been what 7 years? Secondly, can you not see how the football world changed since the stadium was planned? Would anyone have predicted Chelsea’s money. and that they would then be dwarfed by ManCity’s money? Well, granted that Arsenal need to adapt to that. But don’t you think the adaptation will take more time. Then when you add in the refereeing decisions that have cost us points at various stages over the past few years, I don’t understand why a Season Ticket Holder for the past 30+ years would rather give the w***ers in the media and the referees possibly, the benefit of any ‘doubt’, rather than stand up against the attacks. Who cares what the motive might be? Hits or not? Have the strength to see what is happening beyond the negatives which are of the club’s making.In fact even the problems of the club’s making are in part down to other factors. So we crumble under pressure. But are we put under that much pressure by the ref calling random fouls, extending time, etc? Do other clubs not feel pressure and crumble? Are they put under the same external pressures?

    I am making no excuses for the club. In fact, it is you who are making excuses for the pathetic, disgusting and sickening articles in the media. Stand up for your club, whether you consider these attacks ‘fair’ or not. You want to navel gaze at clubs like ManU, be like their close minded bigoted fans who moan about good or at least balanced decisions which go against their club (rare as that is) until it becomes established fact that they were robbed. (See Chelsea and Atkinson last season)

    Wenger did say that we can no longer be considered a big club if we sell both. Wenger also said that the press is too negative and if our fans go the way THEY WANT THEM TO, then Arsenal have no chance. So. Where do you stand?

  • Shard

    Oh and Cesc is at Barca after 3 years(?) of the papers saying so.. Well whoop-de-doody-do..they really do talk sense most of the time. I suppose if we drop out of the top 4, the press would have been right again.. Just like they were the past 5 years..oh..wait..

  • Shard ask for what motives the media might have? the idea of it being just about selling papers has been covered..but so have many others. None of them can be proved, and if you can’t even see an agenda, I don’t expect you to want to/be able to see any motives that might drive that agenda. Its more comfortable to say UM is in denial. Just like Wenger is apparently.

  • Anne


    Yes, Cesc did go to Barcelona. As I said on many occasions, I didn’t think it was going to happen, so I stand corrected on that one. However, I don’t see how that is relevant to the article above.

    The main thing that you overlook in your argument above is exactly what Shard pointed out in his earlier response to you. While you provide a list of events in Arsenal’s recent history that would have justifiably merited some negative press coverage, what you omit from the list is all of the positive things that have occurred within that same time period, but which also generated negative coverage.

    As just one example, here is Samuel’s take on Arsenal’s victory over ManU. How do you explain the negative tone towards Arsenal in this article?

  • FrostyGooner

    Great work Anne et al. Wow am I ever glad I don’t live in the UK. No Arsenal coverage is better than the excerpts you’ve posted here.

  • Anne


    Once again, well-argued. I’ll second you. And I’m particularly glad that you highlighted that quote from Wenger:

    “Wenger also said that the press is too negative and if our fans go the way THEY WANT THEM TO, then Arsenal have no chance. So. Where do you stand?”

    The reason I began the article with that quote was because it was a direct message from Arsene to Arsenal’s fans, and I thought it should be highlighted. Clearly, rather than take Arsene’s advice, Laundryender has chosen to go the other direction, and go the way that the media wants him to go.

    I’m glad to see that most of the fans responding here have chosen the other alternative.

  • Anne


    Thanks 🙂

  • Laundryender

    @ anne

    Go the way the media want me to

    Get real!!!!

    I have been a Gooner, and a diehard Gooner through the reigns of
    Bertie Mee
    Terry Neil
    Don Howe
    George Graham
    Bruce Rioch
    Pat Rice
    And Arsene Wenger
    And also through whatever the future holds. I am always there, always vocal, and with my team through thick and thin. I have been at Highbury on a freezing cold March night with a gate of about 17,000, and also squeezed into the Highbury with 60,000 plus.

    Please don’t patronise me assuming that because i do not think all is rosy within our club that I am being led. In fact looking at recent results (I was at Wembley for that capitulation) I am being realistic

    WE are writing our own headlines!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Laundryender

    @ anne

    re the article by the Daily Mail

    I try not to explain the Daily mail other than to say

    It is a sensationalist rag with no history of factual journalism nor any pretension to intellectual thought.

    On those grounds I refuse to buy or read it

  • Shard


    “I try not to explain the Daily mail other than to say

    It is a sensationalist rag with no history of factual journalism nor any pretension to intellectual thought.

    On those grounds I refuse to buy or read it”

    Unfortunately that doesn’t apply to everyone. And UM intends to expose the writings of the Mail and other such sensationalist rags and write ups. Which shouldn’t get you so worked up, should it? Strange that you stay away from the daily mail but are dead set against some article about the daily mail. You want to focus JUST on Arsenal’s failings, that’s your call. But that doesn’t mean UM isn’t justified in what it is doing.

    If we can absorb or restrict any possible ‘harm’ to Arsenal, that these write ups might do, then surely it doesn’t in any way take away from Arsenal, or indeed even from the need for the team to improve. So I guess I don’t understand your dismissal of the efforts of UM. Maybe you could help me understand if you could reply to any of my comments to you.

  • Anne


    I’m a little bit confused by this response. First of all, I want to clarify that I was not attempting to patronize you by claiming that you aren’t a real Arsenal fan. I just said that you are an Arsenal fan that appears to be going the way that the media wants you to go.

    And you responded to that by saying “Go the way the media want me to. Get real!!!!” You then went on to make the case that, rather than going the way that the media wants you to go, you are actually a diehard Arsenal fan and have been for some years.

    However, what confuses me is that this argument makes the implicit assumption that the media DOES in fact have an agenda (ie, “the way they want you to go”), which involves causing you to lose support for the club. It appears to me that this actually contradicts the other argument you are trying to make.

    It also appears that you may have overlooked the reason that I linked you to that Daily Mail article. As I said before, the flaw in your argument that “we are writing our own headlines” is the same flaw that Shard pointed out in his first response to you.

    Specifically, and as that Daily Mail article exemplifies, the press has a lengthy track record of generating negative coverage even based on positive results for Arsenal. In addition to my Daily Mail example, Shard provided you with the following as examples of this:

    “SO we shouldn’t buy 5 players in the last 2 days of the transfer window to strengthen our squad because that just leads to headlines saying there is no grand plan, panic buys, Mertesacker not as good as Cahill? So we should not beat a League 2 side with a young team, because actually it didn’t restore confidence?

    All negativity in light of a victory. Even the fans singing Wenger’s name “may turn to despair when they see their manager in almost complete denial.”

    Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Martin Samuel’s article after Arsenal beat Udinese 1-0 was another case. Also a one off right? Because we gave a reason for a negative article by WINNING.”

    Thus far, your argument has failed to account for or explain this trend.

  • Tasos


    “The club should pay top price for a player(Cahill)”

    Have you watched Gary Cahill play recently?

    He’s not worth anywhere near the money Bolton are stubbornly/stupidly asking. Bolton may want top dollar for him but that price is a long way off his true value.

    Judging by today’s press conference with Owen Coyle, Bolton are now desperate to sell their prized asset before his contract runs out and will do well to receive anywhere near the rumoured £16m asking price.

  • Tasos

    Andy Carroll’s former agent reveals football’s dirty secrets

  • Anne


    Definite propaganda, I agree. Thanks for the link. For more on “journalist” Steven Howard, see this media watch report:

    Untold Arsenal Media Review: The Sun goes bananas (even by their own sub-basement standard)

    Howard’s article is the second one covered.

  • Anne


    Great find on that article. It will be interesting to see what comes of it, if anything. However, I have some concerns about Harrison because he clearly isn’t a disinterested party. He has an axe to grind against someone.

    I also find it curious that he has chosen to announce to the press in advance that he plans to bring down two EPL managers, without naming which two managers. He also hints about a particular club without naming the club. To me, this sounds like a threat, very reminiscent of blackmail.

    So, will anything come of this? Or is Harrison just looking for some kind of payoff or quid pro quo to keep him quiet? We’ll see. Please let us know if you hear anything more about this. Thanks.

  • Anne


    Agree with you about Cahill by the way.

  • Anne


    By the way, as of now, I’m planning to use the article you linked to above as part of my next Media Watch submission. I would like to credit you as a contributor since you brought this article to my attention, but I’m not going to do so without your permission.

    So, with that in mind, I would appreciate it if you could let me know whether I have your permission to do that, and if so, what name you would like me to use. If you would prefer to contact me privately, you can find my email address here (it’s at the end):

    Thanks, and hope to hear from you.

  • well-endowed gooner

    There’s two ways of looking at this:

    1. EVERYONE in England has it in for Arsenal, from the referees to the media to FIFA, the Government, the milkman and the three white cats who nestle underneath the cannon on windy days.

    2. It’s not the result of a conspiracy that we’re 17th on the table, have been in relegation form for the past 19 games, have a defence that seems incapable of holding onto a lead (despite changing 3 out of 4 starting players)…. maybe we’re just not very good at winning football matches.

  • Laundryender


    Guess what

    You don’t have to read the press nor trawl the internet to reach the conclusion that at the moment, something is not right at our club. All you have to do is go to a few games. And draw your own conclusions. I have shuffled away over the bridge from far too many in the last 4-5 years thinking this is Groundhog Day.

    My opinion is based on what I see in front of me, we are underperforming, and crucially every time we have looked like pushing on and picking up some silverware we have collapsed, every time! that cannot be down to coincidence nor campaign. i fear it is ourselves we really need to look at.

    I glanced through the daily mail link you provided, a sad, sad newspaper i have referred to as the scary mail in my house for its consistent distorting of facts and negativity about all things not just football. The Daily Mail is a racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, Xenophobic, right wing rag that has openly supported many campaigns that turn my stomach. The quality of its journalism should not surprise anyone.
    And for your information I get my Arsenal news from the best source I know, which is this one, I visit no other sites, and only the Guardian or Independent websites for reviews. I chat with buddies who all know the game well, I go to games, and I use that collective experience as a basis for my opinions.
    I feel that on the press campaign bit, and on many other bits, I actually sing from the same hymn sheet as AW. The only way to turn it all around is on the pitch, Over to you this sat Gunners!

  • Stevie E

    What is your opinion of the ref bias Walters reviews last season (and this so far) clearly demonstrate? I’ve been following Arsenal for about 20years and can’t remember seasons where the refs were so blatantly biased.

  • Shard


    guess what

    you still haven’t replied to any of the points raised against your argument. Nor do you acknowledge that nobody has denied that Arsenal need to improve on the field. Do you deny that Newspapers have an effect on the thinking of the populace? Actually, this seems to be beyond you and that’s fine, but I again do not see why you would try to discredit UM’s work. In any case, enjoy the match tomorrow, and I hope, like you that the Arsenal turn in a good performance and get a good result.

  • Shard

    Stevie E

    Regarding referees. I think we haven’t really focused on the referees so much this season because all of us have been looking at the team more closely. But thinking about it. Newcastle, we had a penalty denied. Liverpool, we conceded an own goal from an offside position. Blackburn, we conceded an offside goal, and were denied a penalty right at the end. That is a total of 2+1+3 points potentially, that we have lost because of refereeing decisions this season in alone.

  • Stevie E

    You’re absolutely right. Look, we’re all aware that we haven’t been playing the best football and there are problems which need to be addressed (Personally I think the issues have been addressed and we are just going through the bedding in period). However, if the refs hadn’t screwed us out of those 6 points, we would be 4th in the league. Just think what a difference that would make to the ammo the press are attacking AW and the team with at the moment. I’m not saying they wouldn’t be on the attack because they would, probably about how we aren’t playing fluent football etc. But the damage poor/biased refs can have on the club shouldn’t be underestimated and can directly affect the way the media write about us. People seem to be of the opinion we’re bringing it all on ourselves by the way we’re performing on the pitch, but there are other factors at work which some don’t or won’t see. It’s great to see these debates being had all over the internet now, it would appear the press have pushed too far trying to get Wenger out.

  • Shard

    @Stevie E

    I hope you are right. I know that I, at least, hadn’t really thought about the points lost due to poor decisions this season. In fact I try and do that at the start of every season. I just thought of it last night, and it actually took me by surprise. I know the Untold Ref reviews must already have covered it, but I’ve not really been looking very closely at them. If anything I’ve looking closer at other teams’ ref reviews. Imagine if we’d had the same ‘luck’ that ManU had. Actually scratch that. If we’d had the luck of just the correct decisions. 6 points more.

    I must say I was disgusted by our second half performance at Blackburn. I really was, and I can even say that we didn’t deserve anything from there. But whether we ‘deserved’ it or not, on the balance of the major incorrect decisions is where we lost. A lot of our problems are a combination of years of wrong decisions impacting our team. Both in terms of personnel (maybe) and in terms of confidence.

    Another thing I don’t understand is why people are so keen to blame their own club. As if they are afraid to be called out as looking for excuses, or being a conspiracy theorist.

    But you are right that people are discussing these issues all over the internet now. I hope your conclusion is correct too, that they have gone too far in trying to push their agenda, and that people will not fall for it anymore.

  • Shard

    Also Stevie E..I think pushing Wenger out isn’t their ultimate aim. I’d still say its to do with the way the club operate. They have maligned that for years with talk of buy buy buy, and they will drop out of the top 4 because they refuse to buy.

    Now they have a more defined target in Wenger (aided by results, which in turn have ALSO been aided by referees). In my view, they see pushing Wenger out as the same thing as destroying Arsenal’s current model. I don’t think there has been any other manager who has demonstrated the ability to manage a football club as well, and as successfully as Wenger has, within the self sustaining model.

    And this is when some part of the money that we generate through that model is still going into the stadium, and when we still have new deals to come within a few years which will boost our revenues. No wonder actually that they had to step up their propaganda at this point.

  • Mahdain

    @anne no problem at all and just use the one im using here

  • Anne


    I think we may have finally discovered the basis of our disagreement:

    Your opinion is based, not on the media, but on your personal observations of the club’s performance. So, based on that, you can see legitimate reasons for the media to be negative towards Arsenal. And from that perspective, I would have to agree with you.

    However, when we say that there is a media campaign targeting Arsenal, that’s not what we’re talking about at all. It’s something more than that, and separate from it. And with all due respect, if you only read Untold and the Independent and Guardian match reports, I have to say that you really don’t have a frame of reference to understand the type of coverage that we’re complaining about.

    Specifically, how could you know whether or not the Mirror, the Sun, or the Mail is conducting an anti-Arsenal talking points campaign, if you’ve never actually looked at any of the papers?

    So, I guess what I’m saying is that I think we’re actually arguing about two separate issues here, which would probably explain why we can’t come to any agreement. 🙂

  • Laundryender


    Given the size of our club, our history, our stature, I would expect a sales driven gutter press to highlight our current shortcomings. They will embellish regardless.

    There is only one way to create a positive vibe about a club

    That is to create a positive vibe; I will be doing my bit tomorrow at the Ems I can assure you.

    Negative media is a consequence of recent failings, in my opinion we have to address those and turn it around. We look at ourselves first; it is all we have absolute control of.

    @ Shard
    What the rest of the populace feel will be influenced by the media, of course it will. How do you reverse that, certainly not by blaming the media, you go and win something!

    @ Tasos
    Judging by what I have seen I would swap Cahill for Metesacker tomorrow, and Squillaci, but what do I know, I just stand on the terraces? I bow to Arsene Wengers judgement and hope he is right but, football is about opinion, take that away and it is diminished as a spectacle. I hope I am wrong about Metesacker, and you are right about Cahill, One plays for us the other does not. Time will tell! (Ps I was desperate for us to sign Metesacker over Cahill, and have been disappointed so far by his lack of authority in the air)

    @ Stevie E
    My opinion on the ref bias is well documented on this site; I believe that refs have cost us titles through a Northern weighing and a failure to apply the laws as FIFA / UEFA wish. We have a British interpretation of the laws unrecognised in the rest of the football world. I believe that the work this site is doing is highly commendable and i take my hat off to all involved i the project.

    Much respect

    Now if we win well tomorrow, and are solid at the back, we will have made a very small step in the direction of a positive season!

  • Shard


    You are right. But only to an extent. Once again, I don’t understand why it bothers you so much that someone exposes the media tripe for what it is. Even you argue it is tripe. So what’s the problem? We all know Arsenal need to perform on the pitch. But if someone hears that in fact Wenger is not deluded, in denial, a sick and frail man, and that the stadium in fact was NOT empty, and that Wenger and Gazidis don’t have an ongoing feud, instead of the usual narrative, how is that a bad thing?

  • Laundryender

    @ Shard

    The point is it does not bother me!!

    What bothers me is that we give them the chance to create negative news. It is an old journalistic adage that good news does not sell.

    I want Arsenal off the back pages and out of the headlines, we can do this, but only by getting our performances right and forcing the gutter press to switch to another club. Let’s hope we can achieve this. Like RVP i believe it is down to the players to stand up and be counted.

  • Anne


    After this response, I’m going to let this argument go, because I think we’ve reached a point where we’re just arguing in circles. And I don’t want to be overly argumentative with you, because, based on your previous comments on this site, I respect you, and enjoy hearing your opinions generally.

    However, I’m honestly at a complete loss to understand why you’re insisting on arguing so persistently about media coverage that you freely admit that you have never read. As someone who has,in fact, read the coverage at issue, I can tell you that they “create negative news” about Arsenal regardless of whether we give them the “chance” or not.

    It’s a deliberate and targeted campaign. And I just don’t see how you can feel that you are in a position to contradict me on that without actually reading any of the news that you’re arguing about. That’s all 🙂

  • Laundryender

    @ Anne

    Because it is a consequence of performance, not contributing to performance

    In sport the only thing that matters is performance

  • Laundryender

    @ Anne


  • Laundryender

    On another subject

    Watching with my lady Old Grey whistle Test from the 70s

    Argent come on

    God gave Rock N roll to you

    Bassist is a Gooner in a 70s Arsenal top, not retro, just an old Video, Go Gooners

  • Anne


    Good lord,

    Isn’t it a little EARLY to be beginning next summer’s transfer saga?! Thanks for the link though 🙂

  • Sean

    Yep, I do have a ‘penchant for scripted drama’!
    Actually finished a script yesterday!!!
    Straight up, you’d love it.

    I feel for Wenger, I really do.
    Yesterday, on Sky it was clear that he was considerably hurt by the constant insinuation of the media’s questions, and I think he is an honourable and intelligent man who clearly warrants far more respect than that.

    I simply think that this obsessive ‘they’re all against us’ mentality that appears to exist at Arsenal (and some of it is warranted, I grant you) actually fuels the media’s obsession and that many of the problems at the club ‘are’ self-inflicted.

    Not all the yellow and red card decisions over the last few seasons have been wrong, surely?

  • Stevie E

    What’s your script about? Turning the other cheek? Taking it in the chin? Bending over as and when required?
    How can you be sympathetic to the “constant insinuation” by the media then insist an “obsessive mentality” is to blame? Bringing it on ourselves is total nonsense. If is wrong is done, what should you do, just ignore it in case you are seen as “them against us”? Stick your sympathy, Arsenal needs its support to stand up and fight against the onslaught, not drop its trousers and hope that that’ll satisfy the bullies. It doesn’t. And no, not all the red and yellow cards have been wrong, but if you are consistently getting 40% of decisions made against you wrongly, well at some point you’re gonna think maybe something isn’t right and need to do something about it. Well, some do…
    Good luck with the new script, I’m sure, just like your opinion, its highly original, well thought out and not at all contradictory… Maybe its about a soldier who refuses to fight cos he thinks his people have brought it on themselves, just the kinda guy you want by your side in times of trouble.

  • Tasos


    Comparisons between Mertesacker and anyone else are a little premature given our German defender has played only two games.

    You expect the club to pay top money for a player and then used Gary Cahill as your prime example. I’m not sure why any club, let alone one as financially well run as ours would consider paying top money for a player when said player will walk away on a Bosman free next summer. Bolton have very little bargaining point, as Arsenal found with the Cesc saga, its extremely difficult to drive a hard bargain when you are negotiating with only one club.

    Finally. I myself am not opposed to the idea of Arsenal paying top money for a top player. And Gary Cahill is a decent Premier League player but certainly not a “top player”, therefore not worthy of such a transfer fee.

    Rational idea, bad example.

  • Sean

    What a complete load of tosh.


    Look, Arsenal can’t win the league.
    Very, very unlikely to win in Europe.
    Stick out reserve teams in the two tournaments they can win.
    So I don’t understand the logic behind that, but think that Wenger is an honourable man nevertheless, but, hey, I also believe that much of the stuff at the Emirates has been self-inflicted.

    Absolutely, straight.
    What contradiction?
    What on earth are you talking about?

    If even a fraction of this ‘woe is us’ mentality has reached the dressing room, the team is clearly starting each game at a disadvantage.
    I’m sure than Bolton, rather than eyeing up a typical 0-0 or 1-1 today, will be setting themselves up for all three points, if this is the general air around the Emirates.

    Anyway, as I posted last year, the team who seemed to be getting the worst decisions week-in week-out last season were Wigan Athletic, not Arsenal, and that almost cost them their place in the division, rather than the purely financial position of 4th or 5th.

  • Laundryender

    @ Tasos

    Then when you factor in the amount of money we lose for not competing at the top level, being knocked out of or not winning trophies because we did not go the extra mile, the players then bought who do not perform turn out to be more expensive. Example had we bought a C/H last January would we have had to pre-qualify for Europe, would we have gone closer in the EPL, would we have won the CC. We will never know but, we do know we had the money and could have secured one with a big enough offer. I know it was a judgement call, especially on TV returning, but that judgement call was proven wrong and we ended up pot less and dejected. Sadly we have yet to recover so what was the ultimate cost of not investing?

    I accept what you say about Metesacker, my analysis of him is entirely down to his inability to command in the air. Big centre half, small centre forward, who should win the ball in the air? So far he has disappointed me. Adjusting to the EPL has nothing to do with that one. He has though made a few well timed crunchers that i enjoyed. Like I said I hope I am wrong on him.

  • Laundryender

    @ All

    PS off to catch a train, excited and optimistic, Come on you Guners

  • Shard


    If 4th and 5th is purely financial..A place in the league isn’t?? Oh and I don’t think anyone has argued that Arsenal face the WORST of ALL decisions in the league.

    My earlier message was actually me agreeing with you that the media onslaught calls for us to Rejoice!! You didn’t like me rejoicing?

    And its funny that you talk of the attitude that a team should have, and then already concede that you won’t win the biggest trophies. That’s some real winning attitude right there.

    Plus contrary to what you are saying, the people here aren’t exhibiting a ‘woe is us’ mentality. It’s a fighting mentality if there ever was one. The only ‘fight’ you show is self flagellation, and the only drive you demonstrate is to act as a spoiler.

    I really wonder why it bothers people that there can be more than one factor at work at a certain time. It has to be JUST the results. It has to be JUST the team’s failings. Nothing else can ever coexist with that. Every other factor has to be mutually exclusive, and thereby ignored, or else this perfectly, wonderfully scripted world of ours will collapse around us.

  • Stevie E

    I see, make predictions of the future and state they are fact…and that’s the basis of your argument? I see you’re also able to get into the mindset of Tue bolton team. If you don’t even bother to read what I’ve written why bother replying? Isn’t it strange how so many teams are desperate to get into the “purely financial” 4th place. Some have spent hundreds of millions to get there, I can’t for the life of me imagine why… Tosh indeed. You’re my favourite type of commenter, don’t listen to word anyone says just blurry out meaningless nonsense. For a scriptwriter, you really struggle with irony.

  • Anne


    “I’m sure than Bolton, rather than eyeing up a typical 0-0 or 1-1 today, will be setting themselves up for all three points, if this is the general air around the Emirates.”

    Good call, that 🙂

  • Stevie E

    Seems yours powers of prediction are way off the mark. Makes all your “fact!” statements look exactly what they are, bollocks.

  • Sean

    You have to accept, surely, that relegation has always been a factor.
    4th/5th place is an ‘artificial’ concept, imagined by the Big Four, Sky and UEFA, which you mugs (you’re not the only ones) have been completely sucked into.

    And Stevie Wotsit
    I didn’t say a Bolton win was going to happen, I said that that’s what Bolton, and the likes of Bolton should, right now, be ‘aiming’ for at the Emirates.

    Actually, I’m delighted.
    2011 is crap (economy, violence, music, graphic design, cinema etc. etc.), so what does the odious football industry deserve more than the traditional procession at the top of the Premiership.

    We could ALL name the teams, pretty much in order, now!

    Even though you think I’m special, hey, wake up…..EVERYBODY already knows what the league’s going to look like at the end of the season.

    They also know that Arsenal are likely to win nothing, zilch, zip, zero…..again, and I know that you both know that that statement is accurate.

    P.S. I saw ‘competitive’ sport today, and it didn’t cost me the ludicrous price that many in the Premiership paid…..and the people at the Emirates paid for seeing a walk in the park against an also-ran.

    You’ve been mugged off (once again, I stress, you are not the only ones).

  • Stevie E

    I don’t think you’re special, you can’t even put E after Stevie, instead resort to “wotsit” (really???) as a really shit insult. If you dislike the EPL so much, stop pretending to know everything about it. You’re just another knowall bar bore who’s recently discovered the internet.

  • Anne

    I’m posting this on every thread I’ve been on. MAJOR statement by Wenger at post-match press conference, claiming that the media want to get him out of Arsenal.

    I’ve asked Walter to update my most recent article to reflect these comments by Wenger:

    Wenger: Media “consistent in wanting to get me out”

    Q: Arsene did you receive a call from Inter Milan over the past week?

    A: I won’t say that to you now. Anyway, I think in one thing: you were consistent in wanting to get me out and I was consistent in wanting to stay in and to show my commitment to this club and so we have both been consistent.

    Q (mumbles) I never wanted to get you out..unclear…

    A: What?

    Q: I never wanted to get you out, Arsene.

    A: (with sarcastic smile) Oh, thank you.