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August 2021

A far from comprehensive dictionary of modern football


Don McMahon

It all came to me in a flash like a blinding inspiration, but less reliably. Why not create a ¨dictionary¨ or compendium of terms,sayings and common words/names regularly used to describe Arsenal in particular and Football in general? So here goes my first trial balloon:

Arsenal: a professional Football Club that, depending on the observer, is either heading to relegation, having not won silverware for  X  years, plays ticky-tacky Barcalight Football or is the most attractive team in the EPL, and/or the most financially sound football club in the country.. It is generally denigrated by the media pundits and AAA’s and hugely admired outside of England’s fair shores.

AAA: (Almost Always Asses) a motley collection of very gloomy, whining, depressed pessimists who cherish two core principles; Arsenal are sheer excrement and that they know what is good for AFC more so than the professionals who are paid to run the Club. They inevitably confuse themselves with those people whose opinions AFC actually cares about.  [Editorial note: the term AAA was actually created by Untold Arsenal and actually has its own page on this site]

Anti-Wengerites: Mostly members of the AAA herd but with a specific chip on their collective shoulders (replacing their heads) against Arsene Wenger. Quite often xenophobic, chauvinistic and even racist when it comes to commenting about him. Their preferred approach to all things AFC being to cast blame, aspersions and negativism like confetti at a Greek wedding.

Arsene: the manager of Arsenal and considered by most intelligent fans to be among the pantheon of legendary managers worldwide or, as the case may be made by AAA’s, the root cause of all that is wrong with the universe.

Almunia: also known as the Spanish waiter, was Arsenal’s principal keeper until it was discovered that he suffered from severe fyslexia and fsycalculia, the equivalent of dyslexia and dyscalculia which Redknapp proudly displays.  In Footballing terms, it meant that he couldn’t read the game and always miscalculated his options when coming out for the ball.

BS: defined as totally fallacious, unproven and misinformed excrement that is spewed out by bird-brained denizens of the media and almost anyone else who gave up critical thought when they stopped wearing diapers. It is mostly constituted  of regurgitated crap rumours and speculation fed to these sad creatures by profiteering net trolls and misguided AAA fanatics.

BAD BOYS: Players who are often seen in groups beating up innocent bystanders or their girlfriends and named by unreliable media sources as being ¨high-spirited¨. While often  in conflict with their clubs or behaving as loose cannons, they are lauded as having British spine or criticised as cheating,diving Continentals as the case may be. If you look in a real dictionary, you will find a photo of Joey Barton, Nasri and Suarez beside this terminology.

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C**ts: a rather salacious term referring to former Arsenal players or opponents who have displayed a total lack of propriety,respect or class and who may have also sold their souls for a few silver coins. See BadBoys for more clarification.

Coaches: A title awarded to former players at AFC or other Clubs, in recognition of the fact that they won’t be rivalling or replacing Arsene Wenger or any other first class manager anytime soon. In this respect Redknapp was an assistant coach.

Conspiracies: The persistent theoretical belief, often unproven but still possible, that someone or something is out to ¨get¨ Arsenal. The PGMOL, the FA, EUFA and the EPL are implicated in these theories with some justification but barring any proof to the contrary, I think they are listening in on my phone or is that Rupert Murdoch?

Deadline: a specific time or period when someone at AFC is supposed to perform an astonishing miracle superseding the loaves & fishes, based on the collective fantasy of fickle fanboys and latte sipping absentees to see desired results. Often used in conjunction with transfer periods or the run-in. The best known deadline at Arsenal is, you guessed it, ¨if we don’t win silverware soon I’m not renewing my  season tickets¨…

Deadwood: Closely related, in a metaphysical fashion, to the deadline as in the great Arsenal Galleon is full of deadwood (players who are shite) who are rotten to the core, consuming scarce resources, unfit to wear the AFC shirt and long overdue for a complete spring/fall/winter/summer clearout. The candidates regularly change each 6 months but the ultimate fraternity remains the same. Coincidentally, some become folk heroes like Eboue (see below) or are so bad that they become poster boys for ineptitude (Almunia?)

Dilitantes: Players and,in some cases managers who are high maintenance, full of themselves (and other noxious substances) and regularly flatter to deceive. Names such as Denilson, Bendtner, Arshavin and Redknapp are bandied about to illustrate this species. They have become the objects of players’ agents feeding frenzy.

EPL: a league composed of a few very wealthy profligates, a few financially responsible Models of good management, and many fiscally challenged, albeit sincerely mediocre clubs. Each one is either, scrapping to win the title, to stay in the top 4, to obtain at the very least a Europa League berth, to hold firm to mid-table anonymity or avoid relegation each season. Examples of each,from former to latter are: Manchester city, Arsenal, then Liverpool, Spuds, Spuds again, Liverpool and Blackburn

EUFA: (Europe’s Unquestioned Flatulent Asses) is a ubiquitous disorganisation whose sole raison d’etre is to ruin the Beautiful Game while harassing and fining Arsene Wenger or BadBoys such as Nicholas Bendtner and ensuring that racism remains a mainstay of the aforementioned Game, all done at a huge monetary profit to themselves. They also energetically promote a pretence that they care about limiting big money’s influence in the Game but in actual fact prefer to ¨redirect it¨.

Eboue: the archetypical phoenix whose career was resurrected by Wenger after he was booed off the field by our wonderfully empathetic fans following a less than sterling performance. He now plays his trade in Turkey where he is regularly racially abused, pelted with used batteries and sundry objects and has once again become a legend to all misfits and underachievers.

Fairplay: a notoriously amusing and apparently antiquated concept dating originally from Britain’s Imperial days, that posits the possibility of actually respecting the Rules, defeating racism in the Game, respecting officials and opponents and managing Clubs in a fiscally responsible manner. See EUFA for a more lucid understanding of what is actually happening.

Football: Originally known as Association Football but transmuted into Soccer in the North American colonies (or former ones) which is a gentleman’s sport that commoners play, while the ¨other¨ football – rugby is a commoner’s sport that gentlemen have played, not to be confused with cricket which is an English sport dating from the 16th century. for which most modern supporters are still awaiting a conclusion.

Fans: Also known as supporters, fanboys,fanatics, fickle fans and similar descriptors are actually marginally normal people of  all ages, both genders, religions and sexual preferences whose tribal instincts, having been left unsatisfied after 10,000 years of countless wars and slaughter (see Germany for further references) have chosen to instutionalize this madness and mayhem on a 100 x 80 metre surface where they can vicariously dominate the world, if only for 90 + minutes, at reasonably affordable prices and generally without excessive bloodshed. They are also well known for frequenting pubs or the national equivalent, eating treacherously tasteless ¨food¨ at the interval (excluding the French and AFC’s corporate boxes) and dressing in a manner usually reserved for asylum patients, buskers or Labour supporters.

In order to shorten this already laborious opus, I would ask that any esteemed reader(s) of this article feel free to contribute their definitions to my humble beginnings.  All I ask in return is that anyone proffering additional terminology refrain from taking themselves or me too seriously. I thank you in advance,for your understanding and compassion.


37 comments to A far from comprehensive dictionary of modern football

  • Oh goodness do I disagree with some of this – which I suppose shows what a liberal and open-minded editor I am!

    Conspiracies for example – I think we need an entry on “Conspiracy Theories” with the definition being:

    Any well-argued and logical theory which the reader does not like. Then we could have one of Proof

    Proof: Evidence which shows that x is likely to have been the cause of y. The requirements of the proof can be raised further and further the more and more you don’t want to accept the evidence.

    Football: No, not originally known as Football and corrupted by the Americans. The original rules of football as drawn up in London in the latter part of the 19th century did not exclude handball, but were drawn up by the Football Association and so became the rules of Association Football to distinguish it from Rugby Football. Association Football was then shortened to soccer (taking part of the word “Association”. In the UK we have moved away from calling it “Soccer” because it has become “Football” as rugby is such an insignificant little game played by violent thugs. But in the US they have “football” where foot and ball don’t meet (logical?) and so they continue with the ancient word of Soccer.

    But, as I say, as a nice, reasonable, open minded guy, I publish. Thus

    Editor: When used in terms of the British media, a bigoted idiot generally with neo-fascist leanings and no grasp of humanity. When used in terms of Untold Arsenal, a gentle soul, who wishes no harm to anyone much, and who thinks the football produced under Mr Wenger is the best the world has ever seen.

  • Fred

    Football Blogs: sites where opinion is stated as reality and of course phenomenonologically they are right. All the way up to the point when somone else reads them.
    Football Bloggers: Psuedo dieties who believe that the way they experience the world is the same way as everyone else and who are unable to understand any variant opinion due to lack of empathy. (see psychopaths)
    Football Blog Repliers: Up their own arse due writing such stuff above!

    Getting tired of blogs, tired of people telling me their viewpoint from both sides and tired due how opinion is beginning to get in the way of a simple game of football.

    Bye fred

  • nicky

    What about Paranoids. Those who are so beset with the lack of silverware over the past 7 years that they forget what HAS been achieved. Consistent membership of the CL fraternity and playing the most attractive football in the land under the best Manager in the game.

  • colario

    ‘Exclusive to us.’
    1) Meaning something so boring no one else wants it
    2) Millions already know.

    What followers is a total waste of time.

    ‘Untold Arsenal’
    What follows is worth a read.

  • Matt Clarke

    Hilarious stuff Don.

    I would add:

    Football: “Small boys in the park, jumpers for…”

    Goal: The next transfer fee.

    Goalkeeper: see Player’s Agent

    Loyalty: An important part of the modern game. Supporters show their loyalty to club and players by turning-up, tuning-in, cheering-on and wishing well. Clubs show their loyalty to supporters and players by bringing-on and coughing-up. Some players show their loyalty to club and supporters by playing-up, cashing-in and moving-on.

    Offside: The correct side of the Range Rover to get into (when not drunk).

    Opinion: A nerd’s way of getting attention.

    Player’s Agent: A contraction of the French term agent provocateur. Something to do with money and lingerie.

    RVP: An acronym for Robin Van Persie. A Dutch footballer whose name translate into English as Robin of Percy. A semi-mythical figure. Some belive that he stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Some say that he was the son of Sir ‘Arry Hotspur (founder of the ‘other’ football team). Some say he was one of Arsenal FC’s MOST loyal players ever see Loyalty.

    Bitter?: Don’t mind if I do, danke schoen.

  • Matt Clarke

    [ugh – an html disaster – sorry all :(]

  • Lanz

    More! More!!! Lmao.

  • Ezigbo onyearse

    Mental strength:an arsenal related trait that they like to test especially after allowing aviodable goals and they use it less often than require.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Don, very tongue’n’cheek, very good!

  • Goona Gal

    @ Tony – you nerd! I can almost imagine you pushing your glasses further up your nose as you typed…quite interesting all the same.

    @ Matt Clarke – great additions. Plus you have worked out how to do italics and bold on here!

  • Mahdain

    Trawfies: empty pieces of silver awarded to the winners but recently they are being awarded to the highest bidders

  • goonergerry

    @nicky-paranoia? How about referees, the media, injuries-i.e the usual agenda of untold or is that conspiracy?

    Trophies-silverware that Arsenal FC no longer compete for-deemed un worthy by a minority of supporters.

    Captain- since 2006, a temporary position granted to the best player at Arsenal FC as a bribe to keep him at the club for one more season prior to his departure.

    Arsenal transfer targets-a leaked wish list developed by the chief executive solely in order to generate season ticket sales.

    Lord Wenger- a football sect term reflecting the attempted elevation of the status of the manager of Arsenal FC to that of landed gentry by a small minority of its supporters.

    Arsenal Anti-Arsenal- more accurately described as a term used to discredit Arsenal fans who don’t agree with Tony Attwood.

    Retards-a term of abuse reserved by Untold followers for the AAA.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Thanks for the added ideas folks and Tony. My next effort will be even less reverential and totally politically incorrect.Again a plea to those readers lacking a sense of humour…please don’t take this stuff too seriously.

  • Gooner Gerry, as the person who invented the term AAA I think I have the right to define it, and by it I mean

    People who claim to support Arsenal, but whose statements are highly critical of Arsenal and yet who rarely put forward arguments based on a logical analysis or clear theory.

    Thus a typical AAA statement is “If you think Wenger is the best man for the job you are an idiot”. An argument about why Wenger should leave which incorporated issues relating to who else we would get, how we might overcome the financial might of the couple of dozen clubs now owned by billionaires, how we might overcome the bias discovered in the referee analysis, and how we might survive FFP would not be an AAA article, but simply an article arguing against the continuation of Wenger, as I once argued against the continuation of Rioch as manager.

  • Stuart

    @ GoonerGerry

    I’ve never heard ‘Arsenal Anti-Arsenal’ before, that’s a new one on me.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Alse-hores – not a learry vely nice telm for Arsenal fans in these parts( its a dialect thingy )!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A cunnilinguist – any AAA ,reporter or pundit who creates mischief and orgasmic excitment with the (mis)use of his sharp tongue .
    Applies to C**nts too !

  • nicky

    I read your comment. Typical from someone who’ve never liked me and always had it in for me. 🙄

  • Mandy Dodd

    “sarcasm” given its own unique meaning by mr terry, but racism to you or I

  • Gooneraside

    Just a few more:

    News Article: a piece of writing which is usually false when told. A piece of writing that is usually true when Untold.

    Football manager: one of the following, take your pick –
    “I accept this contract renewal to which I feel entitled even though I’ve done little but use your millions to buy the title for you.”
    “Look, I realy, realy tried to make a team from wot you got me – but found it all too taxing, no, that’s not the word I meant – anyway, I left you in a nice ‘igh position, couldnt be more rosie, no, that’s not wot I meant iether. I’m off before I get you relegated.”
    “I apologise, mes amis, for once again producing a player that other teams want. Quel dommage.”

  • Micko

    PGMOL, Premiership Game Make-Overs Limited – an organisation that takes a perfectly fair game of football and changes it into something hideously false looking and totally unrecognizable.

  • Matt Clarke

    @Micko: lol!

  • Matt Clarke

    Away Strip: Formerly a fine outfit of Gold & Blue befitting the Kings of Football. Now seeming likely to become some sort of tellytubby-like ring-striped lemur pyjama-set with purple heavily featured. Purple! (Yeah, yeah, I know it used to be the colour of kings, but that is soo-o the millenium before last.)

    Inside Right: Where Mr Arsenal pleased Her Majesty for a while.

    Fullback: No room for any more tattoos there…try my leg.

    Winger: Moan, moan, moan.

    Free Kick: In some regions/instances, “Quick, the ref’s not looking!”; but in these parts, “Free?”. (Subtly is called-for).

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Keep it coming lads and lassies….this is beautiful stuff. Here’s another one:

    Evens out: As in ¨it all evens out in the end¨ which were the famous last words of the Titanic’s captain as he calmly watched the iceberg bearing down on his ship. Also used by TV pundits, EPL administrators and referee apologists as they try and explain away bias and other underhanded manipulations of games.They are of course referring to the shite they spread.

  • Matt Clarke

    Sportsmanship: A luxury yacht harboured in the Med.

  • Matt Clarke

    Fowl Throw: The practise adopted by BrrkBrrkBurn Free-Rangers FC of throwing turkeys onto the pitch instead of players.

  • Matt Clarke

    Handy Player: One who regularly gets away with handling the ball.

  • Stuart

    LOL @ Sportsmanship

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Usmanov – a large tub of lard ,native to Usbekistan , tasteless and of no nutritional or caloric value .Also known in a far ,far, away galaxy as Jabbathehutt.

  • Matt Clarke

    Team Spirit: At Chelsea it’s vodka, obviously.

  • Matt Clarke

    I’m ruubish at creating aphorisms (JUST aphorisms? you unkindly ask, shhh) but I don’t mind recycling them. So here are some old ones they could be given a timely new, football-related, slant. I’ll leave to the reader to decide who might say them:

    “I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.” W C Fields

    “Why be a man when you can be a success?” Bertholt Brecht

    “I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.” Ashliegh Brilliant

    “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” Groucho Marx

  • Wooby

    Referee: individual assigned the task of ensuring that Arsenal must overcome the equivalent of a 2 goal deficit each game they play due to the club’s insistence on being run in a sensible manner

    Barcelona DNA: innate desire and willingness to go down at the slightest of touches on the soccer pitch, then while lying down and pretending to be in agony, scream or make motion for yellow card, and once said card is produced by referee (see above), immediately bounce up and take the associated free kick or penalty

  • Matt Clarke

    talkSPORT: The process of talking about sport whilst wearing a blindfold. Participants have been likened to Tommy, the Pinball “He plays by sense of smell” Wizard, in as much as they rely on thier prejudices to formulate commentary. Phrases such as “Did you see that Arsenal player then? He must have attacked that defender with his shin!” are believed to have been stolen from the John Watching-a-Different-Game-Mate Motson handbook.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Kroenke – personifying a strong ,silent ,brooding ,macho image .
    To be associated with strength and power, and symbols of manliness, eg; Rams ,Cannons ,(phallic )Nuggets and even the Mammoth.

  • Matt Clarke

    FFP: Financial Fair Play. see original entry on Fairplay An attempt to get billionaires to drop the habits of a lifetime.

  • Matt Clarke

    Linesman: obsolete term. Formerly a personal assistant with responsibility for arranging the correct and adequate dispersement of social substances.

  • Matt Clarke

    Dribbler: An example of Youth Policy taken too far.

    Counter Attacker: Footballer involved with the Tottenham riots.

    Box-to-box Midfielder: see Joey Barton