Some late celebratory thoughts: long may it continue

By Walter Broeckx

A few days ago Tony pointed at the (amazing) fact that Untold has published 5000 articles since it all started on 14 January 2008 with the first article.

I must say that around the turn of the year I noticed that we were approaching this number. And I decided to write an article about it. But a few weeks ago I saw that Tony had already started writing his piece so I thought that I would leave it to the founding father of Untold himself to have his say about it. After all I only joined him around one and a half years after  the start of Untold with my first article. I had been reading from the early days but didn’t even comment at the time.   And so I let the idea go.

But after reading Tony’s article and the nice comments that followed I thought that maybe it would be appropriate to add a few things. And as I am a man of numbers I want to give you some numerical facts. Since the start of Untold 2589 days have gone by. And that means that we have an average of articles published of just under 2 each day since the start. And as Tony pointed out at the start he didn’t publish daily. Since the start 369 weeks have gone by. That means that we have published 13,5 articles each week on average.

Since the start we have seen 85 months go by.  And that gives us an average of almost 59 articles each month.  And calculating it in years we come to 7,09 years that have passed away.  Meaning an average of 705 articles having been published on Untold each year.

But apart from being a “numbers man” and loving the stats and having written a few articles about all kinds of numbers I also am a bit the man who writes down his emotions.

And I think that on a moment like this emotions are very mixed. The emotion of being amazed. Looking back at how I started at Untold and how Tony encouraged me to continue to write and how before I realised it,  I was hooked up to writing. Fulfilling one of my childhood dreams. You know dreams you have as a kid. Apart from being a professional football player (every boy who loves football his big dream) I always wanted to become a writer. Of course I never dreamed of writing on a blog as in my childhood days even computers were something very extraordinary let alone something called the internet and a blog.

But here I am some 40-45 years after my little childish dream, writing articles for thousands of people on a daily basis.  I still feel amazed and honoured that Tony made this possible for me. I can imagine a few who came by over the years being angry about it but hey,  you can’t please everyone of course.

So writing for Untold really is something special for me. I will not get a Nobel prize for it I guess but I really feel like a writer. Including the occasional writers block and then suddenly the writers diarrhoea. That is the condition that when you write one article you suddenly start the next article in your head and the next one and another one.  I think it is like scoring a hattrick on the football field.

But maybe apart from letting this dream come true the most important thing that I feel that Untold has brought is….friendship. I can imagine a few aaa types now turning away and shout: what?! Yes I do know that aaa types don’t get a warm welcome at Untold most of the time. But that is the same for any Untolder that goes to a blog of the other side of the Arsenal supporters spectrum. It is part of the game one could say.

But if you are into the idea of Untold and share our passion for Arsenal and our vision for Arsenal you will find a place filled with friendship. I have had the pleasure of meeting in person most of the other regular writers for Untold. And my friends who were with me all had one thing to say to me after having met them. They all said what a nice friendly people writers for Untold are.

Andrew who was so kind to take us to the ground from the O2 Arena a few times guiding us trough the underground, pointing out good places to eat before the match. “Blacksheep” who is always very relaxed (or looks relaxed!) and is great to talk with…

Of course one of the people that I will probably not meat in real life is Don. I think the distance is too far alas, but I think and know that I would meet an equally nice guy.

But there isn’t just the friendship from the other writers. No the friendship I have felt from the regular readers and people who take the trouble to write comments and push the post button are just as important.

I do get lots of emails with links to articles I might have missed and that might be interesting. I get lots of messages wishing me well. And I do get a lot of funny messages from some people who make me laugh every morning. Keep sending them!

Whenever I open Untold (or my mail box and find a message from an Untolder) I feel warm and at home. And that is the main thing for me. Untold has given me that and I have a place where I can talk with like minded people. Enjoy the wins, grind our teeth when we don’t win, moan when we lose… but we never stop our support for the players and the manager. We never lose the faith. Because we are The Arsenal. And that is what we do.

I have learned to know Tony better in the last couple of years.  We have been meeting almost each time I come to London and he stayed at my home a couple of years ago for a few days. A very nice memory and some great days. And Tony is a very kind and friendly person in real life. Well he is to me and Carine. Being locked up in a football stadium in Belgium was surely one of the highs of those days and it was a memory that was brought up in one of my last visits to London.  It was funny and embarrassing at the same time.

But all in all I can say that Untolders (writers and readers) in general are good people. That is my experience over the years.

Finally to go all emotional I want to say a few words about the people who we have lost during the years. Dogface who stopped after having lost his dear wife comes to mind. And certainly the tragic moment when we found out that Adam Brogden was killed in a car accident is something that still sends shivers down my spine.  His articles about the dealings of transfers were eye openers for me. His knowledge is still being missed.

I don’t know if Tony realised it when he started Untold Arsenal all those years ago. But he started something that has spread all around the world and we have people from all parts of the world joining in, people from all religions, background, poor, rich. I do think that there is always somewhere in the world a Gooner reading Untold. Be it in Australia, China, India, the Middle East, Russia, Europe, Africa, the Usa, Canada, Brazil, South America…. we get comments from all over the world.

Who would have thought that all these years ago. And as Tony was the person with the ideas about the statues around the stadium I want to give Mr. Gazidis a further idea about statues. It’s all nice and great to see our former heroes being remembered with these statues. But Arsenal would be nothing without the most important thing: the supporters. So Mr. Gazidis it would be a great idea to make a statue of “the supporter” and no better person to use than Tony for this.  Maybe a statue with Tony, a woman and a child standing for the support from all would be appropriate.

But as I don’t think this will ever happen I think we Untolders will have to build his own statue on this website. By making it and keeping it a place where we all can come together and share the passion for this club. Thanks Tony for making this possible.

85 Years Apart: the coincidence of beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the fifth round on exactly the same date as when Chapman did it, and won the Cup.

Untold Arsenal

58 Replies to “Some late celebratory thoughts: long may it continue”

  1. Well said Walter. There will never be a suitable article to post this in but…

    Conservations between an AAA hairdresser and a Goonerette:

    A woman was at her hairdresser’s getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband.. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:

    “Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It’s crowded and dirty.. You’re crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?”

    “We’re taking Continental,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!”

    “Continental?” exclaimed the hairdresser.” That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they’re always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?”

    “We’ll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome ‘s Tiber River called Teste.”

    “Don’t go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks its gonna be something special and exclusive, but it’s really a dump.”

    “We’re going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope..”

    “That’s rich,” laughed the hairdresser. You and a million other people trying to see him. He’ll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You’re going to need it.”

    A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome .

    “It was wonderful,” explained the woman, “not only were we on time in one of Continental’s brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.

    And the hotel was great! They’d just finished a $5 million remodeling job, and now it’s a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner’s suite at no extra charge!”

    “Well,” muttered the hairdresser, “that’s all well and good, but I know you didn’t get to see the Pope.”

    “Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I’d be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.

    Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me.”

    “Oh, really! What’d he say ?”

    He said: “Who the f…….. cut your hair?”

  2. I just want to say a massive thank you for all the articles, I always come to untold because I love the way you write and your all Arsenal through and through. The most important thing for me is your support of Arsene and the team come what may. Thank you so very very much.

  3. My big “thank you” to UA will be made through a short anecdote.

    I do not read other Arsenal blogs. So many times, when people complain about AAA and how bad Arsenal are treated in other Arsenal (allegedly supportive) blogs, my impression is that the AAA resemble what we see, from time to time, in Untold (the annoying posters who only complain and show up when we lose). But the bottom line for me, is, or was, that this is a little bit too much – it can’t be true; it can’t be so bad. And the conclusion was that with all the great things done in Untold, there is a bit of a hard line and imbalance.

    One of the professional football blogs I read is Zonal Marking (highly recommended). The guy knows his football and has a different perspective to the usual bullshit of “they wanted more” or “they fought hard”. I really liked the piece that was written after we beat $hitty 2-0.

    The post itself is really nice, but my eye got caught by another article that was linked into ZM’s post – by the Daily Canon. I will not post a link, you can all read it if you wish through the post in ZM (but I recommend that you don’t). And that was the first time when I read something that was written by a Spurs fan who mistakes himself to be a Gunner. It was basically – “Arsenal got lucky, City were shitty, the ref gifted Arsenal the victory, Wenger please commit suicide”.

    And it was the first time I understood what REAL AAA meant. Sick sorry fucks, I have no better description for people like that.

    And for that, I think that UA is one of the most important things for Arsenal supporters out there.

  4. Thanks for that Tommie Gun. The article does seem to be well thought out and worth reading. I don’t necessarily agree with everything written, but they are using logic. It would be nice if there were many articles like that, so that a person might look for concensus.

    Gord Albertan (a person from Alberta, Canada)

  5. Walter,
    I make no excuses for asking again who you think we will meet in the next round of the FA Cup. You guessed right last time.

  6. Wonderful article and sentiments Walter.
    Would like to see a statue of Krazy Claude, just so fans in the future can look back, possibly with some amusement on the madness that has followed our most successful ever manager. Would be the maddest looking statue!
    Bradford…..interesting, leaning more towards either west brom, or Liverpool away…..but not long now! Personally, I hope our next cup game is Preston at home, for a number of reasons!

  7. Well Mandy, you got some of what you wanted. Fancy going to Deepdale for a game?

    Gord Albertan (a person from Alberta, Canada)

  8. Thanks for yet another article Walter and of course thanks to Untold – the only blog apart from Arseblog I bother to read.


    ESPN can’t contain their glee… the choice of words is interesting I thought. And I wonder why the 9 years thing needs to be brought up again now.

    They gave both sides on show a mouth-watering pre-match incentive, a chance to depose Arsene Wenger’s Gunners whose Wembley success over Hull last May was their first silverware in nine years.

  9. how about they finish the game now and give united the damn promotion to QF?

    What the f***?

    Goal offside (interfering)
    and Second was a damn push by Fellaini (what a cheat this man is)

    But no, we are not supposed to blame the refs, we are deluded.

  10. My intergalactic telepathic-pals from the Sirius system reads Untold too, and watches every Arsenal game.
    They come visit me sometimes, as i still have not mastered the use of my stargate (third eye) to travel.

  11. Can’t wait to read the media say Rooney with a clever play to draw the penalty! You know English players don’t dive! shaking my head. On a side note, I hope Falcao is playing against us, because United seem completely out of sync when he’s in.

  12. Looks like it will be Manu. Means we have to beat them twice now, i am relishing watching us smash this hurdle too. Then on to Chel$.

  13. Utd certainly helped out. Atkinson at OT to help give them the final they really want? If so, means we get Atkinson twice more this season

  14. To be honest, United was the easier draw (as preston is a better team)
    how on earth are they 4th and still in the FA Cup?
    let them give us fair game and we will show them how sh*t they are, at Old toilet.
    I am overly hating this Fellaini cheat, he always push to get the ball. Disgusting cheat, add the Rooney and Dowd and united turn 1-0 to 1-3.

  15. Commentator on the dive by the ugly granny shagging little git – “the ref was right to give it”.

    We are a better team than the Manures, but the danger is old Red Nose will call in some “favors”.

  16. All that was missing was Dowd scoring the fourth.
    am totally frustratee, look how much the football went down, and how the football viewers are brainwashed. Every Damn time! They dont even try to hide it. 3 goals? what the hell? 3? That is too much. Someone has to go down. But am sure nothing will happen as most will enjoy the sh*t they make them drink on the TV.

  17. @Btjgooner,

    I dont think they will need Red Nose. Already the favors are ready. And its either atkinson (as mandy said) or Dean to destroy our game.

  18. Am not bothered by Man united game and I aint worried about them. Am worried from the cheating, the obvious that no one see. If they needed 3 cheated goals to win om 3rd league team, what will they do when its our time?

  19. It may sound a bit perverse, but I’d rather we play United ( who are beatable ), than PNE and get one or two of our players crocked by Davies. He really still is a thug.
    Three major wrongs calls by Dowd tonight.

  20. Shame about Deepdale Gord……..but something depressingly predictable about the game this evening.
    Think we all know the final they want, and will strive to get…..plenty of northwest refs available

  21. To listen to the England manager and the window licker Neville call it a peno was nauseating, but fair play to Kevin Kilbane for going against the grain and calling it a dive

  22. The Independent (Ireland) raked Keown over the coals, in large part because he doesn’t know the laws. I don’t know if the manager of Preston is clueless, or he was aware of what PGMOB referees can do; but what he said paints himself clueless about the laws. And to top it off with Hodgson painting himself clueless on the laws was just wonderful.

    I think the FA should rule a replay is needed, at Deepdale, without a PGMOB referee.

    I am beginning to think nobody wants the Gord Alberta (a person from Alberta, Canada) to try and get people to quite using Gabriel Paulista (a person from Sao Paolo state, Brazil) signatures.

  23. I reckon we can beat them and this is our chance.

    I know all the cheats will be against us and it’s at Old Trafford. But now that Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes have freely spilled the beans, the kicking strategy of Ferguson and his team is out in the open. There was no magic, it was just cheating. I hope if there was any lingering sense of awe in any of our players that has totally killed it.

    Responding to Walter’s article, one of the many things I like about Untold is finding out now and again what part of the world people live in and feeling part of a world wide net of people who are joined by a common love of Arsenal, its manager, its players and its principles of beautiful football and fair play.

    Long live Untold!

  24. Its all written – United vs LIverpool.

    Hello everyone… welcome to this SPECTACULAR occasion of football!!! What a TREAT awaits us!! Two of the most historical clubs and teh GREATEST rivalry ever!!!!… HOW FITTING is it that they meet in the FINAL!!! We have with us today… two MEN who have been on opposite sides… and seen it all.

    Welcome Phil Neville and Michael Owen.

    Phil: United had a tough path. They beat Arsenal in the QF. As usual, Arsenal didnt like it up them and couldnt deal with the “physical” presence at Old Trafford. Its been the same… all these years, ever since I kicked Reyes off the park. I mean… er..

    Presenter: oh phil hahahaha .. of course you were joking..

    Phil: (nervously) of course haha

    Presenter: Michael…

    Phil: Arsenal need a better keeper than Szczesny, he’s no good and smokes. Mertesacker is too slow. Wilshere is the only gutsy player they have but he’s got glass ankles. I really think Wenger ought to leave…

    Presenter: right but what about United vs liverpool?

    Phil and michael: hahaha yeah they have so many problems Arsenal..that i almost forgot.. haha..

    Replace names on every broadcast and replay. Depressing thinking of it. I have a good mind to give up football if we get screwed again. I’m serious. Its become nothing but a big big soap opera.

  25. Riley will be all over this game, LVG has declared he wants to win the FA Cup, perhaps we are not,the draw they wanted, we could beat them, but we will have to beat 12 men.

  26. Arvind, doesn’t Phil two foot a person every day? 🙂

    A day or two ago, I seen a news article about how the NBA could teach the EPL something about TV with their upcoming All Star game (I think they wanted the EPL to have an all star game). Well, that game was broadcast the same time that much of the USA was also broadcasting the 40th Anniversary of Saturday Night Live. SNL blew the NBA out of the ratings water.

  27. I commented, two days ago, that Gérard ‘needed’ a little going away present and utd needed a trophy to restore their reputation and repair the damaged brand. And I could see one of these two clubs being given the cup. Nothing has happened to make me change my mind. I thought it’d be against West Bromwich but for some reason before the draw I started thinking it’d be against either utd or Liverpool away as they could not risk letting us get to final before trying to screw us.

    We won’t be allowed to go to Wembley to defend our cup. The best ref for our encounter with utd would seem to be clatternburg; best of the worst. But I see someone like Atkinson getting this one, simply because his cheating isn’t even subtle and he simply doesn’t seem to care.

  28. Apparently HITC is running an article:

    > Ashley Young sends message to Manchester United fans on Twitter …

    Wonderful, one of England’s great divers, is sending a message to fans because another player on his team is diving.

    I looked at the schedule, ManU has the next 2 mid-weeks open. I want a replay because that game is 1-1 once you get rid of the false goals.

  29. Nice article , Walter , thanks . A statue of Tony and the Untolders ( aka defenders of the true faith!) sounds like a good idea .
    Could I suggest one that shows a man ( Tony) striding purposely against a forceful wind ( ‘Their” persistent negativism.), one hand holding on to his hat , while with the other shielding and protecting his family , a lady and child ,behind him ( that ‘ll be us ,then !)
    Thanks again to all of you AKBs that come on here and elevate the rest with your contributions and undiminished optimism .

    ” Friendship is like standing on wet cement . The longer you stay , the harder it’s to leave , and you can never go without leaving your footprints behind .”

  30. “Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”

    Anthony Robbins.

  31. Who was the co-commentator on the match ( last night ), who kept insisting that you had to “touch the ball to be interfering with play”?

  32. TailGunner
    I am afraid to say it was our own Martin Keown. It is pathetic that these ‘experts’ do not even know the correct interpretation of the laws and are permitted go on national television or radio and misinform the populace.

  33. Notice the media is very quiet on 3 suspect goals scored by Utd, compare and contrast when Webb didn’t give a second penalty for Liverpool against us in the FA Cup last year.Some things never change. Has Fellaini overtaken cahill as the pgmols cheat of choice? Rose getting a few mentions in dispatches as well.Rooney of course has always been up there.
    Still, we can beat them, despite the claims of the Utd legions now outing themselves on aaa sites.

  34. FA look to be fixing a Liverpool v Man Utd final.

    No surprise to see last night’s outcome. Rooney shows he is still as big a cheat as ever, with very little media comment on the subject.
    Roy Hodgson described it as him taking “evasive action”, but seemed to believe that that still justifies the penalty. That opens up a whole new dimension for players to claim penalties by saying that they only threw themselves down because they knew they were going to be fouled.

    Any forecasts for the PGMOL choice for our sixth round?

  35. Hi Walter, Tony and the rest of the gang – congratulations on reaching the milestone of 5000 articles. Untold is a great place for any Arsenal fan…I first came to this site after our 8-2 drubbing at the old toilet…and was absolutely crestfallen but then there was Untold to help me understand that not everything was lost and helped me to put things in perspective…helped me define what being a fan is all about…and till date it continues to be my favourite blog.

    So thank you folks for doing all the great work you do and keep it up!

  36. As far as the Rooney offside goes, had a blurb about the reason for problems is that the law is too complex. And they point to the Arsenal offside (where the ball goes between a player’s legs) a few months ago as a goal which should have been allowed to stand. Sorry, players do not run with their legs that far apart. As originally kicked, that ball probably would have contacted the player, who was in an offside position. Anything he did was in the eyes of the keeper, playing the ball.

    Rooney and his dive. People said the goal keeper went in rashly, and hence even if the goal keeper didn’t touch him, Wayne was just evading (sorry, I missed that special edition of the Laws where evading is mentioned). Look at the seris of 6 pictures.

    Where Wayne is closest to being tripped, the goaltender has his foot of his bottom leg, next to his bum, and the foot of his top leg is on the ground, running along the ground. There is nothing rash about that. Long after Rooney has passed by him (and entering the pike position), the keeper’s bottom leg extends and comes through. It was not a two footed approach, and studs weren’t showing on either foot.

    You would think that Neville would recognize how to properly two foot someone. Knowing how much Neville regards his fellow players, he would probably go in wtih the bottom foot studs extended with heel aimed at the bottom of the tibia, and the top leg studs extended with heel aimed at the groin.

  37. @Brickfields Gunners
    Surely, surely you can find a better pic than that for a statue. If that was put up as statue i would surely leave Arsenal.:)

    Seriously, it don’t matter who we get, we have to win, that is all.

    When we play as a team, hunt in packs, defend as a team, we usually win anyone.
    To deal with ref, we have to be aware and not do silly things to get us carded. I sense there will be a sending off in our next FA game, they have nor done that to us for a while now.

  38. 1st United goal: An absolutely nailed on off side.

    2nd United goal: An absolute nailed on foul.

    3rd United goal: An absolute nailed on dive.

    An ex Arsenal pundit !

    An ex England manager!

    Even the opposition manager!

    All refuse to condemn any of it !!!! WTF!

    Arsenal away at OT…..sorry, not a hope in hell.

    This years FA Cup final(if at all possible) is already decided, but if they cant fix that then they’ll at least ensure one of them wins it.

    On Monday, when I saw the draw, and then the match, I felt sick to my stomach. The post match bullshit was just the nail in the coffin.

    Can I suggest that anyone who wants an insight into what to expect at OT should have a look at the highlights (if you can call them that) of the infamous ‘Riley’ game. It makes for truly shocking viewing.

    And you know what makes it even more shameful?

    As we’ve heard from the horses mouth recently via Phil and Gary Neville and Scholes, it was all pre planned, and worse, all 3 are actually PROUD of it.

    SICK !!

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