By Tony Attwood
To begin at the end. Arsène Wenger has given an interview in which he has said Jack Wilshere can become Arsenal and England captain.
So with Thomas Vermaelen injured and Arteta still out maybe our Jack could become Arsenal’s youngest-ever captain today. Tony Adams’ is the youngest ever captain thus far at 21 years and 82 da. Jack is two months younger.
Mr Wenger said, “He is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader. If you are asking me if I will take the captaincy away from Vermaelen, no. It is not a question that holds me at the moment. But do I think Jack will be captain of this club one day – yes, of course.”
Meanwhile the FA has followed Untold’s suggestion that Eden Hazard should be banned for quite a while over the ballboy incident. This is quite a turn around for the FA who, in January 2002, refused to do anything about Jamie Carragher when he threw a coin into the crowd at Highbury. Of course it was utterly wrong for anyone to throw a coin at Carragher, but his action of throwing the coin into the crowd was far worse, given that it was bound to hit someone. Throwing a coin onto the pitch is quite wrong, but since it often misses the damage potential is less. I am sure the person who threw the coin was banned from Arsenal for life. Carragher should have been banned from football for 3 months.
The FA said the three-match ban for Hazard’s dismissal is “clearly insufficient” and a regulatory commission will decide next week how long it should be. Chelsea will appeal. What is interesting about Chelsea however is that the manager could make this claim: “We do not have too many players and we are playing too many games. We have played nine games a month, we have two players at the African Nations, we do not have too many bodies, we have to change players and it will be another approach.” Well, at least they have the money, and they knew what was likely to happen this January.
Back to Hazard – he won’t be giving evidence to the commission. There will be written and video submissions by the FA and Chelsea.
Which leads me on to part two of this ramble…
It is one of the more amusing (but also simultaneously slightly worrying) aspects of life at Untold Arsenal that members of the footballing public do, increasingly often, like to tell us what we can and what we should not write about.
Typical is the comment that we should write about Arsenal only. Further commentary suggests that we only write about other teams or other teams’ supporters because Arsenal are doing so badly, or because our supporters are not happy, are too quiet, or whatever the current word on the street is.
This “what gives you the right to write about…” notion is not exclusive to football. I can remember years ago being challenged by a person who worked for the Dyslexia Institute who wrote to me demanding to know what gave me the right to write about dyslexia.
It was a strange question, although one that I could answer readily, given that I have degrees in psychology and education. But as I think I pointed out at the time, a greater question is: “What gives you the right to suggest that I might not discuss a certain subject?”
The beauty of the internet and of blogs is that anyone can write about anything, as long as in doing so one doesn’t break the law (and by and large they can get away with it even then). Arsenal supporters are often kind enough to send in articles for publication, and sometimes we publish, sometimes not. In this case it is generally me that decides, and I have that right because I publish Untold.
The notion that one might not have the “right” to publish anything is utterly repugnant and authoritarian. It is the gift of the work of Sir Tim Berners-Lee that we can all do this. No one has to read what you write, and indeed it is quite a tough job to get a big audience for a blog. I know – I laboured for four years to get us up to half a million hits a month. Now we are way over that – but the work of expanding the audience continues.
So, we will continue as a site that publishes (as it says on the masthead) “football news from a positive Arsenal perspective.”
We are also occasionally told that we really should not be this biased in favour of the current management of the club. The answer again is “why not”? There are lots and lots of sites that are anti the current management, so why not have one that is positive? The notion of balance in the media has, as far as I know, never existed. Everyone has an agenda. So do we. Perhaps the only difference is that we make it evident. Many others, in my view, take a view and then try to suggest that they don’t.
If you would like to write for Untold, either on a one-off basis or regularly, do drop me a line. Tony.Attwood@aisa.org usually works.
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