Untold Arsenal is setting the tone and the media follows in our slipstream

By Walter Broeckx

One of the things you have in mind when you write an article is the question : will someone read it. And that is something that we know will be the case because we do have a lot of  (loyal) readers.

But another question is : will people like the idea? Will they support my point of view? Or will they say : what a load of rubbish is this?

What is the impact I have when writing for an Arsenal blog like Untold Arsenal? These are questions that enter the mind of most writers on Untold from time to time I think. Well I do think about that from time to time.

As I am what can be called the main writer about referees I do admit that as myself being a referee,  I am very interested in seeing how my rather progressive ideas on how we can improve refereeing standards are looked upon. I know I take positions that are not completely popular with colleagues. Some support me, others think we should leave it as it always has been. Lucky all those people who are fighting to overcome terrible diseases in the past, present and future are more of my mind set and say: this is wrong, we should do something about it and then go and find answers, solutions and try to make things better for everyone.

In my position I have been a strong advocate of introducing video replays for as long as I can remember when writing for Untold. I didn’t invent video assistance for the referees. But I have always said it was the way forward to help referees to make better and fairer decisions. The Dutch and Belgian football and referee authorities have embraced this idea and want to push it further.

And as we have shown (but doubted the honesty) even Mike Riley has now said that we should get the use of video technology in the laws in order to help referees with their decisions. 1-0 to Untold Arsenal one could say but there still will flow a lot of water to the sea before it really will be introduced. The main problem is the big bobo’s like Platini who are pushing the brakes as hard as they can. Maybe playing in the past for a team that liked to cheat its way to titles has done something with his brains and honesty is somehow scrapped from his brains?

But back to one of my initial questions: do my or our ideas get any support in wider circles apart from Untold? And who reads Untold apart from Arsenal supporters?

I know that in the years we did full PL reviews of many matches and teams that a few referees from the PL read our articles about them and their performances. I got this from a few rather reliable sources.

But do other people read Untold? Mike? Richard? Joe? And what about you Martin? Yes Martin Samuel I mean. Writer for the Daily Mail. Even Sports Writer Of The Year as his header is saying.

Because on March 12 I wrote an article saying how to stop diving and how to stop harassing referees. And my suggestion was to give the captain a yellow card each time a mob of players would surround a ref.

And look what Martin Samuel, sports writer of the year wrote on the website mail.online on March 15 published.  The article can be read if you follow this link.

For those who don’t ant to follow the links, I wrote this: “So it takes only one memo from Uefa to remind the local football authorities of this instruction and pass it on to the refs and start doing it again.

But I would suggest that the football authorities act also in another way. In fact in 2 ways.  I would suggest that in case a team surrounds a referee the captain of that team should get a yellow card. He is responsible for the behaviour of their players and so he should make sure they don’t do it. And if the players do surround the referee in group it is he who should at least be booked apart from the most aggressive harassers.  A result would be that if a team surrounds a ref twice in a match, they would lose their captain. And the second action should be that after the match the football authorities look at such incidents and mark each player that joined the group with an extra yellow card. It will have no direct impact but if a player would surround a ref on a frequent basis (and the serial harassers do this) he could be in trouble after a few games and get banned.”

Mr. Martin Samuel, Sports Writer Of The Year wrote this and I quote from his article:

Football always thinks its problems are so much greater than they are. Take the issue of referee intimidation. Michel Platini, the UEFA president, is very concerned, apparently. He is talking initiatives, campaigns, possibly new regulations. Michel, don’t sweat it. We can have this whipped by the end of next week.

First, send a directive to all clubs, recapping the rules regarding dissent. Individual offenders will be shown a yellow card, the way it has always been.

Next, outline a new approach to pressure when applied by a group of players; the sort of behaviour we saw from Chelsea when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off last week, the antics we witness in every game if a penalty is awarded, one mob trying to get the miscreant sent off, another attempting to have the decision reversed.

In these instances, the directive will say, the referee will book the captain for failing to control his players. If it happens a second time, he will send the captain off. It does not matter if he is absent from either incident. It does not matter if, on both occasions, he has disengaged and stood away from the controversy. He will be deemed responsible. He will go. You can be damn sure that if John Terry was to be dismissed if Chelsea’s players stepped out of line, there would be no repeat of the scenes we saw against Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge.”

Now that looks very similar to me, doesn’t it?

So could it be that as Untold is running in front of the rest of the media, we are slowly making enough waves to being noticed by them and to have an influence on them? Are our ideas being picked up by the media and then recycled in their own words?

I do know that I will continue to bang on the nail with my hammer and seeing such a thing gives me some encouragement to continue the banging. If ever our ideas will be implemented in a few years time I know that I will have been part of the basic movement for the change.

Untold is still leading the pack with our new ideas and it sure looks that even the serious media is picking up on our ideas on how to improve football and most of all the refereeing standards. Without acknowledging us of course. After all they are the ‘serious’ media, we are just a bunch of jolly volunteers…


Anniversary of the day: 

26 March 1896: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 3.   The crowd was 3000 the largest so far for a game between the two teams – but within three years a crowd of 14,500 was recorded for this fixture in the United League.

22 Replies to “Untold Arsenal is setting the tone and the media follows in our slipstream”

  1. Ben,

    Thanks for the link. Great to read Arsenal cares about its supporters.

    Hilarious by the way:
    – that the Gazette cannot properly count numbers of questions or number of responding clubs.
    – Liverpool’s pathetic response

  2. Wow Walter!

    That piece is damning and confirms all my suspicions. It should be must read for all.Wow!

  3. I am a relatively new reader of Untold and I really look forward to the work Walter, Tony and all the other writers. I personally am against teams who mob the referees to try to influence his decisions and the idea of yellow carding the captain is a great idea, however do you think that it is beneath any club to name a lesser light as the captain and give him the armband while the real captain on the pitch will be spared the ultimate 2 yellow card sending off situation. Just a thought!

  4. Martin Samuel guilty of plagiarism? – wow – how on earth did he become “Sports Writer of the Year”?

    Having viewed Mr Samuel on Sky from time to time, I have been less than impressed with his comments and also his untidy appearance.

    I do not have any time for journalists that gloss over (and hence protect) the incompetence of the PGMO refs – that incompetence which permits skilled players to be kicked off the park and protects the thug approach often resorted to by certain teams – those same teams being highly acclaimed by the media.

    The kicking of skilled young players, with or without the accompaniment of serious injury, must slow development – but, once again this consequence of the PGMO incompetence is ignored when the national team does not progress in major competitions in the way we all hope it would.

  5. Shame they don’t plagiarise Untold when the club , players and manager are praised. this site is clearly leading from the front on issues like referees, and other aspects of the game.

  6. I read MS’s article and pointed out the idea had been brought up here first, trying to spread the word and get all the believers over to the homeland.

  7. Walter

    Just finished reading the ‘long’ interesting story about dailymail.com. It goes to show what we have been talking about. 99% of titles used for articles are sensationalized just to get traffic and has no bearing on the article. It also purports our notion that 99% of transfers stories are made up at the desk.

    My favorite it that coming from totalfootballmadness.com which always starts with the words “Reports are out claiming that…” which gives them leverage to publish any made up story unscrupulous as it may seem. And these idiots will finish reading such rubbish, will come sprouting them as facts because they believe anything published online. I can’t get madder even if I want to.

  8. I forgot to add Walter that Martin Samuel just did to you what Mail Online does and basically with no apologies and I am sure he is not alone and this will not be the last time.

    Cheer up mate, its the way of the online world.

  9. As Steve rightly points out, to overcome the actual Captain being held responsible for the mobbing of the referee, would be a simple thing to do.
    In my view, all the referee (with the help of his assistants)need to do is to single out a few of the main
    protesters and yellow card them. It may well be that a number are already on a yellow, in which event an early bath would result.
    There is far too much camaraderie these days between players and referees in my opinion.
    The officials are there to see that the rules are properly followed, without fear or favour and do not need all this touchy feely nonsense from players OR the constant chatter from pests like Rooney.
    To keep a game flowing nicely for the benefit of the fans is all very well but the players should play an equal part in ensuring this is done.
    In this regard, football could learn from rugby….a much more contact sport, where the referee’s decisions are accepted even in the heat of the moment.

  10. Let’s just say, Walter and Mr Samuel, were you submitting pieces of courseworks at university you’d both be hauled before the plagiarism committee. The committee would find you not guilty, Walter, on the basis your piece was submitted and published before Mr Samuel’s 🙂

    But seriously that’s an embarrassing cut and paste job on Mr Samuel’s part. Thanks for that damning longish link about the Mail’s unprofessionalism too. I’ve no doubt that is what went on.

  11. Steve h, being the captain is a privilege which I can’t see anyone giving up easily. Having said that, even if a team do that and a ‘lesser player’ gets sent off as you suggest it’s still reducing the team by 1 player.

  12. I still don’t think the introduction of video technology is going to go the direction you do, of instant replays and what not.

    Yesterday I posted a link to a Forbes article about Big Data in sport, which has a paragraph about Arsenal.

    In that article, they say the 8 special cameras set up at Wenger/Emirates are used to provide 10 locations on each player at a rate of 10 per second (I think that is the frame rate). A frame rate of 10 per second, is slower than ordinary video, it may be that 24 fps video is used and it takes 2.4 frames into consideration for each location at some specific time.

    Those 10 locations are of players. I suspect that another thing that is happening, is the position of each of the 3 (5?) officials is noted (at 10 per second) and that the orientation of said official’s head is determined. They cannot tell where the official is looking, but I suspect they can tell where that head is pointed at. And knowing where all the players are, they know if the officials view is blocked.

    And I suspect something like, “We know that 2 of your officials had a clear view of this incident (there were no obstructions and their heads were pointed in that direction), and modeling the positions of the various players as a function of time, we found that the force opposition player X exerted on our player Y is 3.6 times the force required to break his ankle, which is what happened. Why did your official not even call a foul?” could come up in meetings.

    PGMO could continue to keep its head buried in the sand, and pretend its employees correctly call 99.9% of incidents. But what if simulation data of incidents from the point of view of the officials is available to the general public? PGMO and the FA are going to say the data is wrong? On what basis?

    Happy birthday to Mikel Arteta.

  13. If you try to hound these writers to give proper credit, they might not publish the message. It can have a detrimental effect and force these writers to publish the same old negative Arsenal tripe.

    While it’s not my writing being plagiarized. I’d rather have the message out there than not.

  14. Superb, Walter.

    Thanks for links to the kids letters, and especially the piece about the journo from the USA.

  15. In 1984, when I start my M.Eng., a GFLOP computer was a Cray Supercomputer, and they weren’t cheap. Wikipedia has a page on FLOPS (Floating Point Operations Per Second). In general, numerical modeling requires floating point. Single precision is okay for some applications, double precision is usually better, especially if the
    hardware supports it. Lesser precision often restricts what algorithms can be used, but an unstable algorithm can turn double precision or quad precision results into nonsense.


    Any, inflation adjusted price for 1 GFLOPS of capacity in 1984(ish) is 43 million dollars. In January of this year, a GFLOP of capacity could be had for as little as $0.08.

    For the home user, close to the best we can do is: using commercially available parts, Intel Celeron G1830 and AMD Radeon R9 295×2 tops out at over 11.5 TFLOPS at a grand total of $902.57 USD. But, just because a lot of calculation needs to be done, isn’t automatically a reason to find some other way to solve the problem.

    I have done several things for Untold, which involved more than 1 GFLOP of calculations.

    Have any of you seen a Raspberry Pi? It is nominally about the size of a credit card. It has a particular System on Chip (SoC) driving it.

    A slightly different SoC found in smart phones is the SnapDragon 200 from Qualcomm. The actual silicon die is about 0.5mm by 0.5mm, the packaging makes it a bit bigger. But it is this 0.5×0.5 that we are going to want to put on the athletes, stick in their shoe, put in the center of the soccer ball, or what not. In any event, the SnapDragon 200 is done in 28nm, which means that the die has about 318 million element areas on it. Now you may understand how they can put tracking devices on insects, such as bees.

  16. Nice ,Walter . Am not at all surprised that articles from UA are being plagiarised as the standard and research of article here are of very high order.
    And journos aren’t too bright to start with. Along with fans …
    Do they have a competion to chose ‘The best sportswriter ” award ? Is it a knock out format ? Are there seedings ? A swim suit portion to tittilate ? Seeing that most of them are big boobs !

  17. Martin Samuel is very selective with the facts he likes to pick up on.

    If we can go back to Joses little tantrum about penalties, this is what we had from Samuel, in the London Evening Standard I think it was.

    “Chelsea are getting a raw deal………Jose has a point you know”

    He then went on to select stats for this season. Very convenient.

    The fact the statistics, (as shown by untold, and which we now know he must of seen), show a massive penalty bias in Chelseas favour over the preceding 5 or 6 seasons is completely ignored.

    Selective plagiarism. Now there’s a thing !

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