Untold Arsenal celebrates: Free beer, free wine, free drinks…who could have imagined that

By Walter Broeckx

Today is just another day in history. Not a day that people will look back at in 10 or 15 years time and say: remember 22/01/2014? That day …the earth stood still, the 3rd world war started, an atomic bomb exploded, a nuclear plant exploded, a tsunami washed away all live somewhere, a disaster happened, a plane crashed…. Well let us hope  such things don’t  happens in the next hours.  I don’t like disasters at all and certainly not when they would involve people dying.

But for Untold this is still a bit of a historic day. As this article that you are reading now is the article that according to our all knowing computer got the number 4.000. Four thousand. I like round numbers in a way even though I don’t know why.  4000 articles since the start of this blog. Time to have a look back I think.

The first article on this site was published on 14/01/2008. That is just over 6 years ago. It was from the hands of Tony of course as he was the one that started Untold Arsenal all on his own. Little did he know that this blog now is sitting amongst the top blogs in visiting numbers not just from Arsenal but also compared to other clubs. That starting date means that roughly calculated 2198 days or something around that number of days with Untold Arsenal has gone by.

And this shows that we have published about 2 articles each day over that period of time. And to think that at the start when Tony was on his own it was only one article a day. But now we do publish two articles each day and most of the time even more.

I still remember the first time I came to Untold Arsenal. I just found my own home. A place I could call home.  Articles written in a funny way most of the time. And articles always written in a positive way. Not the moaning and bitching at all and everyone involved with Arsenal that you can and could find all over the internet. This was not a moan, moan, moan Arsenal website that I was desperately trying to avoid at that time.

I also remember very well that as a non English speaking person I was kind of afraid to give my opinion. In the past on the moaning Arsenal websites when I tried to answer I found out that people quickly noticed it and then even attacked me for not being English enough to support Arsenal.  But after posting my first comment after reading for weeks without opening my mouth (I still can’t get it how I managed to do that) I noticed that this was different. In fact when they found out about me being from another country I was welcomed even more.

And when Tony asked if readers could share their stories about bad trips to the Emirates or Highbury I tried to write an article about my wild trip to the Emirates with my 4 children a little earlier. I send it to Tony and on a very special day for me I got a mail that changed my life.  I remember waking up on that day 11/08/2009. As I always remember waking up on that day as it is my wedding anniversary day. And that day was even more special as I was married for 25 years on that day.  When I got out of my bed and turned on my computer I found a mail from Tony.

He said that he liked my article and that he would publish it that same day. Speaking about coincidences… on my 25th wedding anniversary day I became a contributor to the in my eyes best Arsenal supporting website and blog. To be honest I don’t know how many articles I have written since then but I think I will be good second best after Tony. And I settle for that position.

But I was not alone. Other people joined and wrote sometimes superb articles. I can remember the match previews from Phil Gregory. Who now is earning too much money in the City (I hope he does) and had to stop working for us.

We had the still world famous Dogface who joined us and surprised us with his data on referees and all that is wrong in football and the world of referees. He became my partner in crime (if you may call it that way) when doing the referee reviews. We all know the sad way how Dogface had to cut back on working for Untold when his wife became seriously ill and eventually died a few months ago.

We also lost recently one of our contributors when Adam Brogden got killed in a car accident.  He only was a short while with us as a writer but his articles were amazing reads about the transfer market dealings. Not the ITK stuff about who we should buy but the stuff about how dodgy transfer deals can be.

Mentioning peoples names is dangerous. As you might end up forgetting to mention people you should have mentioned.  So at the risk of upsetting people I will mention a few other persons who have contributed to the greatness of this blog. People who have never stopped supporting Arsenal, the manager and the players through thick and thin.  And it takes strong people to have done this over the years.

So we do must thank people (in random order) like Don McMahon, Arvind, Bootoomee, Drew, Dominic Sanchez-Cabello,  Andrew Crawshaw, Sammy the snake, …. and this is where I will go wrong for not mentioning everyone. Sorry about that.

In it’s history Untold Arsenal has covered all kinds of things. And the idea from the start was that we would and should be different from the rest. Not moan about everything one can moan about. But always being supportive. We can be critical about a player making a mistake that cost us. But we will never write him off for that. We will support him over and over again whenever he puts on the shirt and does his best. Apart from this supportive attitude we have done many things.

Untold was one of the first who wrote about finances and football clubs. And Untold Arsenal was one of the first websites that tried to measure referees and how they do their games. A thing that has got us lots of attention, not in the least from PL refs themselves. I have been told they have been reading our work and that they were rather interested in our end of season reports. Certainly when it came down to find out who got the best numbers behind their name.

We have written about FUFA, EUFA, FA, PGMOL, the Mafia… or is this all the same? All and everything related to football and Arsenal can find a place on Untold.

One of the features of Untold was that when possible,  we try to bring some humour in to the articles. Not always easy and not always a success. What sounds like a great joke turns out to be bad or nobody seeing it or ignoring it. Serious when we need to be, but laughing when we can.  In my mother language there is this idiom that goes : what cannot be said with a laugh, isn’t the truth. (OK probable get completely lost) but I do believe that is what Untold has been trying to do all these years. Talking about serious things (and Arsenal and football are serious things) but when we could share a smile or a laugh live was much more fun.

And that is where you,  who have read this article come in place. If nobody would visit us I think Tony and I would have thrown the towel by now. But each day I am amazed at how good our comment section is compared to others. And even in that comment section we have some people who stand out. Whenever the situation is looking to get out of hand we have our own Doctor Laugh who smothers the heat and who makes you smile. I don’t know where he keeps on getting them but when I see the name of Brickfields Gunner I automatically start laughing.

So Untold is not just about Tony and me. It is a community where the people who read this blog are as important as the people who write and have written.

In our history we have reached and are still reaching enormous numbers of visitors. I remember Tony mailing me when I just joined in saying we got to 100.000 visits a month. Now according to the last numbers I can remember we are having some 750.000 visits on average each month. With peaks going over 800.000 I remember. Can we get to that 1.000.000 readers a month? Who knows?

What I do know is that Tony and me and all the others writers, will be working our socks off to try to write the articles you like.  Up to the 5.000 Tony. Let’s keep them coming.

And thank you  dear reader for your support! Without you it would have been impossible.

Cheers. Oh and for that title? You don’t have to pay your drink sitting in the living room do you? Just have another one….

47 Replies to “Untold Arsenal celebrates: Free beer, free wine, free drinks…who could have imagined that”

  1. Until I discovered Untold I thought I was doomed to reading random, ill-thought out rants from an array of sources none of which reflected the majority………more the moanority!!!

    Congratualtions, thanks and long may it last.

  2. That first article of mine was directly related to the name I chose. I was frustrated that none of the blogs or newspaper articles mentioned what I thought was the blight on the game of time wasting.

    But I still remember what made me decide to set up my own blog. It was the sight of two medics rushing out full speed onto the pitch to attend at length to a player who was clearly not injured. The two-some technique wasted more time, because at the end of the “treatment” they had to pack up two sets of bags, one walked off quickly, the other took time, slowed down the game, frustrated Arsenal further.

    It was because no one mentioned it in their reports that I chose to call the site “Untold”

    It is interesting looking back to the first of 4000 articles how the theme was already set. We’ve not cured football of time wasting, but we have made a lot more people aware of it.

    If you go to the Ems you will find that within five seconds of a keeper getting the ball either for a goal kick or after a save, the crowd starts whistling and jeering, and keepers are getting faster.

    What’s more, at least twice refs have booked keepers at Arsenal for time wasting this season. Maybe it is three times.

    And that never ever used to happen. That is crowd influence – and I am thrilled to have been part of that movement.

  3. PS – Thanks for the article Walter. And all the hundreds of other articles you have contributed. You’ve made Untold what it has become – the largest independent football blog in the world.

  4. A post truly worthy of being number 4000.

    I used to think that I was the most pro-Arsenal person until I discovered this blog during those dark days of 2008. I utterly understand why Tony started this community (sorry, but Untold is no longer a ‘blog’). Those days were difficult and finding positive Gooner sites was hell.

    To be honest, there were other good Arsenal blogs like, most notable for me, DesiGunner, who is quite adept at match analysis without taking himself too seriously. But Desi’s blog wasn’t the sort of supporters’ forum that I craved. He was measured in his support while I was a near fanatical supporter. I still am. Untold was more like it for me.

    I enjoyed Tony’s ability to use humour in his articles and Walter’s child-like enthusiasm when it comes to Arsenal. That is not a dig; my support for the club is child-like too. I was therefore at home.

    I am grateful for this community and everybody involved with it irrespective of their levels of contribution. We’ve had our disagreements and I am not proud to say that I’ve been the instigator of quite a few but I want to use this opportunity to appeal to every reader that I might have offended that malice was never my intent.

    I lift my glass of sparkling apple juice to many more decades of Untold Arsenal and of great and enduring successes for Arsenal Football Club.

  5. I started reading Untold with your articles on refereeing, as I couldn’t believe what most commentators were saying as it was totally out of kilter with what I was seeing on the pitch. I will always be great full for all of your articles on refereeing as I now have a far better understanding of the nuances of the game, when advantage should be played, why some tackles are always fouls etc.

    I intend to continue with the referee previews and am currently looking at all of the City games trying to answer the question of whet,her or not they have benefitted from referee largesse this year. I also know now how much work Walter’s team of reviewers worked in preparing their data. It’s taking 21/2 hours per game and I’m going into nowhere the same level of detail as they did, certainly not picking up every decision. More on that in due course.

    Brickfields, thank you so much for your comments, they have brightened up many a dark day.

    Tony, thank you for providing me a home where I can visit and have a good chat with others sharing my passion for the Arsenal.


  6. @ Bootoomee: Apple juice?! Me, I’ll seek out Shakabula, maybe he’ll be interested in sharing some ogogoro 🙂

  7. I have been an ardent fan of Arsenal for about 30 years now. I stumbled onto “UNTOLD” in 2010 and from then, I never go to bed without looking for an article. I needed people who would lift my spirit with their analysis of all situations. Those analyses would make me continue to believe that it was necessary to go backwards (if it explains the bad years)to build for posterity. I will forever be proud of “my” Arsenal.

    Emmanuel from Uganda.

  8. I have never given up hope on Arsenal’s project to be come self sufficient. The only folks that do not understand this are delusional fans. I just built a home in Africa where I used my own cash to do this. The project have taken four years with a lot of pitfalls because the economy is not static by dynamically changing almost every four months. I am almost done with the completion and the home is very lovely. Arsenal is building a brand that can survive on it’s own with out a sugar daddy to keep on doping the finance. We need to be patient. ROME we not built in a day.

  9. Tony, Walter and all,
    Untold was discovered through a friend and I was hooked immediately. Apart from being closest to my views on how a fan should relate with his club, I have learned more about other issues related to the game than I ever hoped was possible from a blog…football financing issues, what it will take to raise a nation’s game, referring issues, club academies versus buying players, buying known stars versus spotting and buying young talent, etc., rtc.
    Yet, what I enjoy most about Untold is the quality of writing. Erudite, funny and respectful. Abuse is not the norm even as it cannot be helped in the letters column. We are all encouraged to be articulate and to engage that thing between our ears…I read The Economist regularly and used to be a subscriber to the Esquire (a US general interest magazine) Untold starks very well with these in its field. This is saying a lot for a blog set up for a predominantly “yob” passion and pastime! KEEP IT UP SIRS.

    PS: I come there are no mas at Untold Towers. Though there was gonnergal who reviewed newspapers’ slants for us sometime ago.

    Slysoulman @ 3.03pm
    Who are you re

  10. Congratulations on 4000, look forward to the next 4000.
    You have and are making a difference

  11. Slysoulman @ 3.03pm

    My preference is Guinness Stout. These days, in equal parts with Coke or Fanta. Qualifies me to mediate between you and Boo.

    We can both forgive Boo for his choice: he’s been too long in obododoland. I won’t believe him though, until I confirm that his tea or coffee in winter is not heavily laced with something from Alex Ferguson’s homeland’s special…smooth blended whiskey and the like.

  12. Congratulations on reaching this milestone, UA! I recall the first day i ‘discovered’ UA, I was frustrated at the lack of mention in the mainstream media about some blatantly biased refereeing. And I thought, surely I can’t be the only one mad at this, so decided to search in Google for ‘ biased refereeing against Arsenal’ or something like that, more in hope I would find someone who had commented about this on a forum or such. Its fair to say I spent the next 6 or so hours glued to my coimputer reading article after artcile. I don’t think I did anything else that day 🙂
    UA had opened a world I never knew existed to me. See, I used to go to BBC 606 daily was a regular contributor there, but was getting disillusioned about the way Arsenal was viewed and how everyone would go on about whingers, the need for Arsenal fans to grow up, etc. I had all kinds of feelings going through my mind at once; relief at realising i had not been crazy to think there was something seriously dodgy with refereeing in the epl, anger at the extent of the bias, frustrated at the complete blackout by the media of this …. I think I would have either quit folowing football or gone mental had I carried on relying on the mainstream media, but thank goodness for UA, here I am, still folowing my beloved team 🙂

  13. My story with Untold is a bit different. I vaguely remember when it started – I think it was from a link on SwissRamble(!). What definitely hooked me in was the referee reviews – it was incredible to find something that I would have never thought it’s possible within the human efforts. It was the confirmation of what I thought I’m seeing but never with enough certainty. After my mother died, some one year and a half ago, Untold has been one of the bright spots in my life, and I am deeply grateful for that. It was mostly thanks to Untold that I decided to go to London and attend an Arsenal game – the NLD last September. I dropped at The Aulde Triangle before the match, secretly hoping to meet some of you guys, but nobody there seemed to remember you, so I took the opportunity to direct them to Untold. Hope that at least a few of them did. Long may Untold continue! And if Arsenal wins the Title this year, I swear you’ll hear me celebrating all the way from Seattle:)

  14. 4000!!! That means I’ve contributed not much more than one tenth of one percent of the articles and yet it still feels like home!
    Well done team. Thanks for the chance to contribute and for making the difference that you have.

  15. Thank you Walter for the acknowledgement, and thank you Tony for giving me the opportunity to write for the most positive and supportive football community. Congratulations on the milestone!

    I stumbled across Untold quite early on, and loved Tony’s humour and his unending support for my beloved Gunners. It took me years to start even commenting, and then on a special night I read Tony’s invitation to new writers/contributors. I have achieved a lot in life, but writing for Untold has a special place in my heart.

  16. Congratulations on six years of positive support and many thanks to all contributors – not forgetting Anne who contributed a lot to the media watch.

    It is great to see Arsenal information and news reviewed in a positive atmosphere – a positivity which the various moaners, trolls or AAA zoological specimens from the underworld have been unable to dent.

    As for the ref reviews – they have been priceless.

    Congratulations again!

  17. Congratulations to UA on the 4000th!

    Without necessarily repeating all the wonderful comments above, UA represents EVERYTHING I’d wanted about Arsenal.

    Before I discovered untold, I used to have a cocktail of 5 arsenal related blogs everyday- one in particular was becoming very negative that I wonder if it was an Arsenal fan blog in the first place. But since the first day I read from untold, I stopped visiting others altogether. I recently return to reading L* G**** just see ’em eat their vomit.

    Thanks to Tony, Walter and everybody for your contributions. And yes, we can hit a million+/month. Just tell somebody about UA. COYG

  18. Thanks Walter for your kind mention and Tony for your tolerance and support of my feeble creative efforts. UA represents quite a few things to so many fans and others:

    1)A haven from the constant BS excreted by the jaundiced media and press.
    2) A community of appreciative but positively critical and intelligent (with rare exception) writers and bloggers who all love the Arsenal and its manager.
    3)A bulwark against trolls, AAA cretins and other bottom feeders who try to destroy AFC but like feeble waves, smash themselves to foamy froth against the bulwark that is UA.
    4)A place where intelligent debate is encouraged but morons are quickly flamed out of existence.
    5)All that the Totts will never have or be.
    6)A place where game officials are dissected fairly but profoundly and where their lacunae are evident for all to see.
    7)A place to pick up some great jokes from BG and other twisted colleagues.

    Long may we all have fun on UA, especially if we celebrate an EPL and/or CL title this season.

  19. Well done all for all the great work through good and tough times.

    Also, well done Don Mannone!!!

  20. Congratulations to Tony and the boys for reaching the 4000 article mark. I have been a avid reader of Untold Arsenal since its inception. It has been an oasis in a desert of Anti-Arsenal crap in the media and cyberspace. I was watching the 2nd leg of the League Cup. At the finish While Sunderland was celebrating on the Old Trafford pitch, Phil Shane and Ray Hudson The Benin Sports commentators said Vito Mannone has put Sunderland in a cup final. Their next words were that the Arsenal haven’t been in a cup final in the last 8 years. I recall Arsenal being in 3 Cup Finals during that time-frame. Shows that you really don’t need to know A rat’s ass about the game to be a so-called expert. When will the bullshit cease. Some people say that there is no Media bias toward Arsenal. You could’ve fooled me. The Britsh media never stops with their Anti-Arsenal agenda.

  21. Having just seen Sunderland beat Man U and Mannone save the last penalty, where else would I come to celebrate but with my friends on Untold? Thank you for being here!

  22. Can only agree with the other posts, well done Mannone. Remember him doing well in a spell for us, he is doing well again under poyet, unless he is playing against us, hope he goes from strength to strength, just like the AAA removed Gervinho.
    Has a team ever fallen so quickly as Utd? Not sure Mata Rvp and Rooney combined can save them this season. Says it all that Chelsea are willing to sell mata to them, when they considered us too much of a threat to even loan Ba to us.

  23. Great job Mannone! Especially since this means no trophy this season for manure. Long may it continue! 😉

  24. Congratulations on your 4000 article long time reader, sometime contributor, Untold Arsenal truly the best football blog on the internet thanks to everyone that helps make it happen great, great work.

  25. Anne was a part of the staff and not just a contributing writer. Her name being missing is loud. I understand how some people go unmentioned, but how is it possible to leave out Anne?

  26. Anne Thompson. Mandy Dodd. Shard. AL. Stevie E. Tom. Anne Thompson. bjtgooner. Anne Thompson. rantetta. Anne Thompson…

  27. I started visiting untold in 2010 nd I dont think I’ve missed a single article since. being a kid growing up in Nigeria my only source of Arsenal news used to be the negative garbage printed by media till I discovered Untold. I especially loved the “snooping around other club’s websites” by Sammy the snake. veeeeeeery hilarious. congrats Walter nd Tony.

  28. And bob may I add 😉 . Thank You Tony and Walter and everyone who made Untold work. It’s an oasis in a desert of doom. Nothing more I think needs to be said.

  29. Congratulations UA – well done ! Great job Tony, Walter and allyou awesome guys and gals .
    Thanks for the acknowledgementS too ,as well as allowing me come on and have fun here ‘doing ‘ my thing .
    @ Walter – Doctor Laugh ? I think I’ll have it printed on a tee shirt and wear it with pride !Better than OBE or MBE !
    @ OMGArsenal – Don , being called insane and now twisted,
    really chokes me up ! Sniff ! My cup runneth over !

    I made back my $ 5 loss from last week by picking Sunderland ! WOO HOO, HOO !

  30. Tighten your belts…

    There’s a few guys who always get together on Fridays after work for a drink…

    One Friday, Jeff showed up late, sat down at the bar, and kicked back his entire first beer in one gulp…

    Then he turned to Bob and said, “Times are getting tough my friend, I mean, just today my wife told me that she’s going to cut me back to only two times a week… I can’t believe it”…

    At which point Bob put his hand on Jeff’s shoulder and said reassuringly, “You think you’ve got it bad, she’s cut some guys out all together !”

  31. When We Grow Up…shifting parameters …


    The teacher asks the kids in her class: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

    Little Johnny says: “I wanna be a billionaire, go to the most expensive clubs, find me the finest girl, give her a Ferrari worth over a million bucks, an apartment in Monte Carlo, a mansion on the beach, a jet to travel all over Europe, and an Infinite Visa Card and have sex with her three times a day.”

    He sat down with a big self-satisfied smile.

    The teacher, shocked, and not knowing what to do with this horrible response from little Johnny, decides not to acknowledge what he said and simply tries to continue with the lesson, and asks: “How about you, Sarah?”

    “I thought I wanted to be a nurse. But now I want to be Johnny’s girlfriend.”

  32. Being plugged in…..
    The minister of a small congregation was about to start his sermon when he noticed a young woman in the front row, wearing a tight dress with her boobs almost hanging out.

    He couldn’t concentrate on his message to the flock, so he dismissed the service and asked to speak to the woman after everyone else left the church.

    When they were alone, the reverend said in his sternest lecturing voice. “Just what do you mean, coming to church dressed like that?”

    “Why reverend,” the young woman replied, “all of my boyfriends tell me that they can hear the angels sing when they put their heads on my breasts.”

    “Hmm. Well let me check,” said the reverend, placing his head between her tits. After several minutes, he raised his head and said, “I don’t hear any angels singing!”

    “Of course not, Reverend,” she said. “You’re not plugged in yet.”

  33. Well done Tony, Walter and everyone else who make this the best place to meet like minded positive Arsenal fans. Interesting articles on a variety of Gunners and football matters and by and large educated, interesting comments make this THE football place to visit every day. My daughter often walks past me whilst I am ‘logged on’ and says ‘are you on that bloody Arsenal site again, haven’t you got better things to do’.
    Keep up the great work.

  34. Congratulations and Thanks, Untold Arsenal.

    I reckon I was the last person in England to get a regular internet connection. So when I found Untold, having become pretty depressed due to reporting of everything Arsenal, in 2008, you’d possibly struggle to know how much relief I received from finding and reading UA.

    Really, the above comments mean I don’t need to repeat the things already written. However, I’d just like to say a couple of things, please.

    Tony – thanks.

    Walter: I vaguely remember your writing prior to you becoming a writer and editor for UA (which rightly didn’t take long, given the undoubted quality of your posts).

    I also remember you writing about Arsenal Benelux and providing links to that site. One thing so great about that period was that, as a result of the posts from foreign (farin), I was able to see this blog as a ‘community’. This is something truly wonderful.

    I still wonder how the family’s of the tragic tunnel accident are coping. I wouldn’t have known about it unless you’d written something. There was a AAA at the time – who wrote complaining that you were merely promoting Benelux/yourself. I had to reply with a long and emotional post. That guy was the first regular AAA I remember, and he really was horrid. But the way you dealt with him and his ilk – back then, and since, is simply remarkable.

    UA remains the site I’ll always check first. The writers and most of those who reply are simply fabulous, allowing me to feel sane – when all around us, people go out of their way to poison everything Arsenal.

    I’m especially pleased for those who’ve discovered Untold – having survived brainwashing attempts from the plunditocrasy (inc. Sky) to utterly dismiss the myriad miracles performed by our beloved club. I’m not gonna go into names as most are mentioned in posts above, but I’d like to give a shoutout to one of my heroes, Dogface.
    I sincerely hope all things are as good as possible for you, DF.

    Thanks again, Untold. You’ve made a significant and positive contribution to football.

  35. Tony/Walter

    Cogratulations on the 4000 articles on this very classy blog its always refreshing got hooked onto this blog when i moved to NZ it has stayed with me ever since even though i dont comment much my day doesnt end untill i read few articles from untold keep up the good work ur doing

    Wishing you all the Success Walter 1milll will happen soon 🙂

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