Events in human history can be described in three ways.
1, As a series of cock-ups. We go out to fight the Germans in world war I, put a total cretin in charge and manage to slaughter half of our young men with a campaign that should never have happened in a war that could have been avoided. We win because the other side are bigger idiots than the Brits.
2, As a series of conspiracies. MI5 shot Kennedy because they were worried he was getting a bit liberal, and that might encourage the Labour Party to go further to the left, with American support, and thus win a big victory… You know a conspiracy when you hear about it because conspiracies are everywhere – but that of itself doesn’t mean they are not true.
3, As an inevitable progression towards a pre-ordained outcome. Curiously both Marxism and Christianity are at one on this although the outcomes (workers paradise or the second coming of Christ) are somewhat different.
I have always believed in the cock-up theory of history – in that even if there are conspiracies they always implode – simply because society is so complex that no one can ever really cover every eventuality.
But even a hard-bitten ol’ timer like me is starting to wonder. The level of destabilising material on Arsenal in the papers at the moment is beyond anything I have seen before – having been following the Arsenal since 1958.
I thought I had seen it all, but then suddenly we are back to Cesc is leaving stuff, and the odd attempt to reactivate the Adebayor stories. Kolo’s ailment was so bad he’d be out for months, and we had no one to replace him, and Eduardo has had a setback, and Arsenal are so broke that board has over-ruled Wenger and sold Senderos while Mr W is out of the country…
But if there is an anti-Arsenal conspiracy then the question is why?
Either to knock the club about financially so someone can buy some shares, or to knock the club about in terms of morale so that the players feel they are unlikely to win, or the manager feels he is wrong and must rush out to buy someone quick. Peter Crouch anyone?
Working backwards, I just cannot believe that Wenger is influenced by any of this. In fact I don’t think he reads the papers or watches TV, apart from actual football matches. How can he – he has 50 scouts dotted around the world and they are sending in reports which he has to evaluate; that must take up all his time.
But what is clear is that a huge number of fans are influenced by such talk, and that a lot of people really do believe this year, as they did last year, that Arsenal are going to crash because Wenger won’t buy big. You just have to read some of the news groups to see this – and indeed I’ve now retreated to the RedAction group as it is one of the few that seems to have a bunch of people on board who are never swayed from their devotion by nonsense.
But as for the financial suggestion – yes, I can go with this. That is not to say it seems likely but it does seem a way of doing business. You want to buy shares so you call up your mate in the press and run a story by him that says Arsenal are in real trouble financially and have to sell someone. That undermines everyone and a few more shares change hands.
So, the conspiracy might well exist, and it exists because people who want shares are trying to force the price down. As a side effect this also causes a lot of supporters to turn against Wenger – but that is just a side effect.
Somehow we have to fight back – just as the Curse of Arsenal fights back against such people as Birmingham City FC and M Flamini. But how.
Telling the truth is never an easy way to overcome someone who is tipping out a load of old cobblers, so maybe we have to make up positive stories about Arsenal that are just as wild as the Mail and News of the World’s negative stories.
No one will believe them, but still, it could be fun. Thus I offer, ladies and gentlemen The Arsenal Conspiracy – reversing the rubbish in the Mail.
Incidentally if you do like conspiracies you might enjoy www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk It tells the story of Arsenal 1910 to 1931. It has only just started and it is all a bit slow at the moment I know, but still, there is one hell of a conspiracy that happens in 1913 when Arsenal move to Highbury – and an even bigger one in 1919 when they get promotion.
Thanks for all the emails. The idea of this blog is that it expresses ideas that are not elsewhere – and results in the odd smile too. Good to know that for some people it really works. (Incidentally if you have a nice conspiracy idea I’d like to hear it – it doesn’t have to be a reply to an article – you can write a whole piece and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org if you like.)
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- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal