How the media is destroying football day by day by day

By Tony Attwood

Untold Arsenal, as the banner headline on the site suggests, presents football news from an Arsenal perspective.  But as publisher of the site, I’ve always had the vision that we could do more than that, by picking up issues that others ignore and seeing where they lead.

Of course when I launched the site we couldn’t do that at all – the audience was tiny.  But now that we regularly get between 750,000 and 1 million page views a month, I think we can at least highlight some issues that afflict football in England.

One topic that has been occupying my thoughts quite a bit in the past year has been the way the media is not reporting football stories but creating an endless stream of negativity.   This didn’t happen before the internet in nearly the same way – it was there, but the coverage levels in the media was so much smaller that I seem to recall we just laughed at the media much of the time, and used it for our own amusement the rest of the time.  It was so out of touch with what those of us at the match thought, it was bizarre.

Sometimes of course we enjoyed the tat.  When, for example, David Pleat was arrested for kerb crawling and the story was on the front page of the Sun, some bright spark reprinted that front page on cheap t-shirts.  Half the crowd was wearing them at Highbury the next week.  We all laughed and the songs were, well, droll I think is the word.

And when the same papers printed some anti-Arsenal stuff, we just shrugged it off.  But now, with dozens of new stories appearing each day on some newspaper web sites, their influence is much higher.

And they are, I would submit, not just publishing nonsense, they are attempting to influence those people who don’t get to the matches but instead only ever watch on TV or the internet, or hear commentaries on the radio.

Here’s some of their current reality-shifting offers.

1.  You can read something into one defeat

Only one club has gone through a season undefeated in the past 126 years: Arsenal.  And yet now one defeat spells doom.  It is arrant nonsense.  Last season Chelsea lost three league matches and were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by a lower league team.  Everyone gets defeats.  But now, one defeat and that is the end of the world.

2.  You can reject players after one or two “poor” games

Poor Francis Coquelin.  According to today’s commentaries it is all over.  He is not good enough and Arsenal need another defensive midfielder.  But everyone I have ever seen play in that position has had rough times.  I saw Gilberto Silva have the odd poor performance, and Patrick Vieira endlessly get sent off because of sins far greater than anything Coquelin committed.  Once he was sent off, and then while playing the one game before his suspension started, he was sent off again.   But no, all this is forgotten. Vieira is remembered as a god-like figure (quite rightly) and Coquelin who has had just half a season, ain’t as good as he was, so he probably never was that good, so he’s out.

It is mindless gibberish.

3.  The fans are up in arms, the Gooners will be “disappointed”…

Goodness knows where this ability not only to read people’s minds, but also to read what their minds will actually be thinking tomorrow, came from.  But at the risk of being really dull, let me tell you that telepathy is a myth.   And yet day after day the papers and the blogs write as if it is real.

Let me make it clear: most of the time I don’t know how I am going to feel in half an hour, so the notion you can possibly tell me what I will be like next week is just such utter gibberish that words begin to fail me.

But I shall endeavour to proceed…

4.  Ignoring key issues 

No newspaper or blog can cover every issue in football every week, but constantly to avoid certain obvious issues is odious in the extreme.   The cost of going into a Premier League game is not unrelated to the cost of players; to bleat on about one without mentioning the other is thoroughly misleading.

But the corruption and ineptitude of the Fifa poodle, the FA, surely demands more attention than it is given.  The fact that Sport England withdrew its funding, the fact that is it now reduced to making redundancies in order to keep its core work going, the lunacy of the “investment” in bidding for a world cup and getting two votes, the insanity of them saying they will do it again now Blatter has gone… this sort of thing needs attention and discussion consistently, until the FA is cut to shreds.  But it doesn’t happen.

And that’s before I get onto the issue of the level of coaching staff (see last article).

5.  Glorifying a victory is not an insight. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to be in various stadia at key moments in Arsenal’s history, and some of them I will remember until my dying day – memories that (rather curiously) are as powerful as those surrounding the birth of my children and the death of my parents – which must be the most overwhelming moments in all my years on the planet.

But there is no disrespect to my parents or my children when I admit that being at Highbury with my pal Roger for the match against Everton in 1998 to win the League, being there to see the victory in the final match against Leicester that gave us the Unbeaten Season that Sir F Word said was impossible, and (to choose just one more) being at Wembley for the utter destruction of Villa, are some of the most powerful memories I have and in terms of those memories seem as strong as the first and last moment’s of life.

But these are the extremes.  To take two victories in a row and draw conclusions from that, is as dumb as taking two defeats and drawing conclusions from that.

Of course I’ve enjoyed the fact that Tottenham and Kane have stuttered in two matches, but I would not go around predicting that they are going to slip into mid-table obscurity.  It would give me a smile, because I’m an Arsenal fan, but based on recent years I think recovery is much more likely.

What happened yesterday is not a good prediction of what will happen tomorrow.

6.  Hiding stories because they don’t fit.

The way that the actions of the PGMO are utterly and totally ignored is just beyond belief.  I can’t prove there is corruption, but I can show that PGMO is acting in a way that encourages corruption, and that its statistical statements don’t make any sense.  Do you ever seen PGMO examined seriously in the media?

7.  Running press releases as news

The Telegraph reached its lowest point when it took a report from PGMO which claimed it was involved seriously looking at video referee research, and then published it as news.  As was the Independent when they took a Barcelona press release that claimed that they were incredibly highly taxed, and ran that without any questioning, and worse, as if it were their own news story and not a press release.

8.  Suggesting success can be had just because you want it.

All the time we have reports about how this or that manager is “targeting the top four”.  West Ham were apparently doing this last season.

The reality is that the top teams get better each season, funded by Champions League money and TV fees.  So to break into the Top 4, one not only has to be better than before, one has to be better than the ever improving clubs already there.

But every year aspirations are talked up, breakthroughs are said to be happening, and they don’t, because it is much, much harder than just “eyeing a place in the Champions League” or a club being “set to get into Europe”.

9.  Suggesting fans are disgruntled

Some are, of course.  We get them on Untold.  But the numbers are very small when compared with the numbers who are gruntled (if there is such a word.)  I would never dream to suggest that Untold speaks for fans – it is a forum for discussing and putting forward certain issues in certain ways.  Why then does anyone else, without proper research across a broad spread of fans, suggest they know how people feel?

10.  The transfer trick

This of course is what powers the press day by day, and it is worth a whole article in itself, so I’ll leave that for another time.

More anon…


60 Replies to “How the media is destroying football day by day by day”

  1. Thanks for a sober view of what the English media in particular, has become. A true joke! Articles are carved out of tweets from some Venezuela model or some drunk unshaven man from some pub in Spain and when their tweets don’t come true ‘Wenger must go’. ‘Bellerin fetches Benzima from the airport’ really? ‘Deal done, target accepts personal terms and will undergo medicals tomorrow’. Words like target, blow, superstar etc. are freely used to sensationalize rubbish

  2. Thanks Tony for another thought provoking piece on the frailties of the British media concerning football issues. What to do? I guess we true Arsenal fans should just bear with them and get on with our support of Arsenal and the beautiful round leather game.

  3. I heard this on Talksport today:

    “…..John Moss, who was clearly playing for Arsenal on Sunday”

    We have one player who may, or may not, have got away with a second Yellow card and subsequent dismissal and still, two days later they go on.

    Apparently that one single issue, which incidentally is very borderline anyway, infers the referee was ‘playing for Arsenal’.

    Given the shite we have had to endure from referees, without any reproach at all from the media, I find that inference simply incredible.

    The bottom line is this Media storm being whipped up around Coguelin has one purpose and one purpose only, to ensure he becomes a marked man in the eyes of the referees.

  4. What are these tables that keep appearing on the left hand side. Driving me mad getting in the way.

  5. “John Moss, who was clearly playing or Arsenal”
    They even got his name wrong.

  6. Jambug, you could try turning off javascript for this website.

    Referee appointments are out. We get Michael Oliver.

    Saturday 22 August 2015
    15:00 Crystal Palace – Aston Villa_Keith_Stroud______P Kirkup__M Perry_____R Madley
    15:00 Leicester – Spurs____________Martin Atkinson___S Child___M Mullarkey_L Mason
    12:45 Man Utd – Newcastle__________Craig Pawson______L Betts___S Burt______K Friend
    15:00 Norwich – Stoke______________Mike Dean_________A Garratt_A Nunn______S Attwell
    15:00 Sunderland – Swansea_________Neil Swarbrick____D Bryan___M Scholes___A Taylor
    15:00 West Ham – Bournemouth_______Jonathan Moss_____S Long____A Halliday__P Bankes
    Sunday 23 August 2015
    16:00 Everton – Man City___________Anthony Taylor____G Beswick__H Lennard__K Friend
    16:00 Watford – Southampton________Andre Marriner____S Ledger___D Cann_____R Madley
    13:30 West Brom – Chelsea__________Mark Clattenburg__S Beck_____R West_____M Jones
    Monday 24 August 2015
    20:00 Arsenal – Liverpool__________Michael Oliver____S Bennett__J Brooks___N Swarbrick

  7. Tailgunner

    Thanks for that.

    Lee Mason obviously.

    Type in haste, repent at leisure 🙂

  8. “Negativity”, Tony, is a polite word for describing the fiction on which the media survives these days.
    It’s the old, old story that circulation and/or ratings is the be all and end all of success.
    In order to achieve one or the other, the news must either be eye-catching or manufactured and this is where the storyteller comes into his or her own.
    For the dear reader, separation of wheat from chaff can be difficult. Many of the items are persuasively believable, especially during the two Transfer Windows each football season, when a crescendo of mainly fiction reaches its zenith.
    The answer? We all know by now the established order of things at the Emirates. Until pen has been put to paper regarding signings, for instance, there is a continuing news blackout. The Club’s official site is therefore the only source of what is true and long may this remain so. 😉

  9. The media is not about reporting the news or what is really happening in sport or the world at large. As soon as you realise and understand this then the sooner it becomes just the entertainment that it really is. The stories are headlined in order to get clicks to a site to sell advertising. Its a simple mantra – get more clicks. Get more clicks. The additional layer on top is bias – driven by the culture of the organisation. For example when i worked at Sky it was run by Spurs fans. No one needs to say ‘be nice to Spurs and not to Arsenal’. It just happens because of who runs the business. Its a fairly trivial xample because it is only football. It becomes more serious when you get into political and corporate bias.

  10. The media in all honesty reflects the warped psychology of society on key issues and sadly football is not exempt from this. The era of transfer window and the length so called sports journalists are willing to stoop just to get a click here and there tells us how pathetic it truly is.
    blogs and “chief football correspondents” (my personal favourite) and their daily tales of which player is reportedly seen at the airport or doing this or that medicals really leave a sour taste in the mouth.

    Real issues are sacrificed on the alter of mediocrity, all that matters is clicks and hits. sadly people wallow in it hook line and sinker. Unfortunately,this is a world wide phenomenon and we are forced to live with it. Thankfully, we have sites like this to dull the pain.

  11. Jambug, hope talkshite , in the spirit of balance and fairness for which they are so , so well known, mentioned the Liverpool sympathetic officials from last night.
    Liverpool as a team do not worry me for next game, but the influence they clearly, for whatever reason, have on the media and the PGMOL and have had for a while is of some concern.

  12. Hi I have a question and was hoping someone on this site could answer it for me. Here goes, is the referee from the palace game only a 4th official this weekend, if so is this a demotion, if so is this because he failed to send le coq off, if so is he the only one to be demoted so far this season, with all poor refereeing decisions I have already seen this season including the bias on Monday night are the referees association sending a message to their members of they have a opportunity to damage arsenal they must take it, should I be concerned about this weekend against pool and for the rest of the season. Apologies if my long question is confusing as I’m struggling to understand it myself.

  13. jayramfootball

    August 18, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    “The media is not about reporting the news or what is really happening in sport or the world at large. As soon as you realise and understand this then the sooner it becomes just the entertainment that it really is. The stories are headlined in order to get clicks to a site to sell advertising. Its a simple mantra – get more clicks. Get more clicks.”

    So we just have to accept it do we?

    Not only that, but we are supposed to see it as “Entertainment” !

    With an attitude like that it comes as no surprise to me to find that you worked at SKY.

    Acceptance of the banal, ignorant, misleading and plain corruptness of the media is obvious something to which you have become accustomed.

    Excuse me if I haven’t, and for some unknown reason expect higher, more intelligent and dare I say it ‘Honest’ standards.

    Oh well, maybe that’s just me.

  14. Jambug (good to see you back by the way)…borderline indeed

    Won’t rehash all my grumbling of the last few days but there’ve been a few new developments since then.

    One. Mason has been dropped.

    Two. Old favourite Lieu, and no doubt plenty of others, have been beavering away with stuff that’d make you think Coquelin got away with, say…Cahill’s Sanchez foul,one of Fellaini’s dirtier days, the sort of stuff Utd got away with in game 50,etc.

    Only last night Gomez pulled someone back clearly while on a yellow. No fuss from the commentators. No articles today.

    Playing out exactly in the way you often suggest it does, with the media acting almost literally as the referee’s assessor and guide.

    They make enough of it, presto a ref is dropped. All refs absorb the lessons of the individual case.

    Now Coquelin is surely more likely to pick up soft bookings. Now refs will be that bit less willing to be seen to go easy on Arsenal players regarding 2nd yellows in upcoming games.

    All over a load of nonsense., one borderline decision among dozens of similarly close ones this week.

  15. RagingClue84

    Referee and 4th official are shared responsibilities. If the referee was to get hurt, the 4th official takes over as the referee for the remainder of the game. We had that happen once last season.

    Some referees get “disciplined”, being assigned 4th official isn’t a form of discipline. Or isn’t supposed to be.

  16. Gord & Ragingclue84

    That’s the rules as I understand them, but Rich is suggesting Mason has been dropped (See above at 7.51)

  17. Not sure who it is commentating for BT Sport on the United Brugge match (might be Clive Tylesley) but he sounds like he’s watching it with his hand down his trousers.

    He really does love United and especially ROOOOOOOONEEEEEEEY !!!!!

    I hope the Granny lover doesn’t score because it could get very messy.

    Still, cant see Michael Owen objecting too much as he seems up for a threesome.

    It really is sycophantic drivel at it’s worst.

  18. This Coquelin stuff is utter nonsense. Since when does a player with 4 fouls against him, over 60 odd minutes, none of which are preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity or threatening the physical wellbeing of the opponent, get a second yellow? How many times have you seen Terry, Cahill, Fellaini, Ramires commit way more fouls in terms of impact and physicality and not get sent off? Almost every week I would suggest. We are witnessing the media attempt to build up its latest narrative. Look, understand, ridicule.

  19. Rich you can put a lot of the Coquelin problem down to the Pardew theatrics. Having illegally spoken to the ref at half time he stirred up the crowd at every opportunity. Perhaps he should be sanctioned and vilified in the press.

  20. Well, I checked the ref appointments again, and he is still listed as 4th official. It isn’t unusual for a referee on one day of the weekend games, to be 4th official on another day. It would not be a good idea to have a person be referee on successive days.

    Stroud is in the middle Saturday, and no 4ths. Atkinson is middle Saturday, and no 4ths. Pawson is middle Saturday, and no 4ths. Swarbrick has a middle and a 4th. Taylor has a middle and a 4th. R Madley has 2 4ths.

    I do see a bunch of news headlines suggesting Mason is to be disciplined, but unless you can read 😈 Mike Riley’s mind, I don’t know how anyone would tell. If Mason doesn’t get any referee appointments for a month (just 4th, or nothing), then you could say he was possibly being disciplined.

    It could be that the medja want to make a villan out of Coquelin. Is anyone going to believe he is worse than Shawcross? But, maybe the media are trying to force Wenger to go buy a DM?

  21. If Riley does discipline Mason, he should discipline paws on and his officials from last night. If Mason gets it, and not Pawson and co, I would interpret that as a message for Arsenal to beware, and perhaps a suggestion Liverpool will get the easy ride from the media/PGMOL they got the season before last.

  22. porter

    Aye, his enthusiasm to get his detailed account out there almost amused me. Seemed to be getting a kick out of it.

    Also noticed that while Pardew said Mason gave him a look, no words, as he, pardew, said his bit at half time, a headline in the paper the following day said Mason ‘told’ Pardew he agreed with him- i.e that he’d send Coq off for any other foul

    A look = told. Give it another day and maybe it’ll have changed into an oath written in blood or something.

  23. Pawson’s performance was appalling last night. Two game-changing decisions resulted in a 3 point swing.

    Coquelin’s decision was marginal. 2nd half foul was never a yellow. The ones in the first half were pretty dubious as well.

    A disciplining usually results in the ref going to the Championship, or lower. Even with only 17 refs they aren’t all going to ref every week as there are only 10 fixtures.

  24. Gord

    “I do see a bunch of news headlines suggesting Mason is to be disciplined”

    And that’s the point. Whether he is or isn’t being sanctioned the Media are just letting the referees know. You don’t let Arsenal get away with that sort of thing.

    “It could be that the medja want to make a villan out of Coquelin. Is anyone going to believe he is worse than Shawcross?”

    You certainly wouldn’t put it past ‘anyone’, but again, what ‘anyone’ thinks is not the point, it’s the pressure being put on referees that is the thing.

    The referees know that a mauling in the media is bad for there career, no matter the rights and wrongs of there decisions as regards to the laws of the game, it’s how there decisions are reported.


    “We are witnessing the media attempt to build up its latest narrative. Look, understand, ridicule.”

    Indeed we are. But look, understand, ridicule, is all very well, and what many of us on here do do, but that doesn’t change the narrative of the media, or the profound effect I believe it has on referees, and especially how they Referee us.

    Personally I think Mason, although not having a great game, did well to not get carried away and brandish that 2nd Yellow, something I think definitely would of happened a couple of seasons ago.

    But make no mistake, it will NOT happen again.


    “A look = told. Give it another day and maybe it’ll have changed into an oath written in blood or something.”

    Or perhaps a public apology from Mason (it’s happened before) will be the next thing we hear, closely followed by a statement from PGMOL assuring all there friends at Talkshite and the rest, that such behaviour in the future will not be tolerated.

  25. We had one loanee in action tonight (to the best of my knowledge), Maitland-Niles at Ipswich (Ipswich won 2-0). Mailtland-Niles played 84 minutes, starting the game. He was fouled once, fouled others 3 times, had 1 shot, and 5 assists.

    The person that replaced Maitland-Niles was Coke. I think Ipswich should go out and find a player named Pepsi. 🙂

  26. The way Coq is being vilified in the media reminds me of the treatment Eduardo got after that penalty (which he didn’t even appeal for) against Celtic, in which the English media even sought blatter’s opinion on the matter. I’m sure they’re even contemplating seeking the disgraced blatter out for his opinion on Coq’s non-yellows this time. If it wasn’t a key game perhaps the manager could have given Coq a rest this weekend, just to take him away from the spotlight.

  27. The thing that seems to have escaped all of you is Pardew’s chat with the Referee at half time. Is that bringing the game into disrepute? He spoke specifically about Coquelin!!!! That stinks of interfering with play/collusion in an unsporting manner. Is the FA going to deal with it or is it going to be brushed under the carpet.

    Every Untolder needs to email the FA ( or & tweet the fact that Pardew spoke to the Match Official about an opponents player at half time. Pardew stated this on TV after the match.

  28. London must have zoo’s? Any gooners at a zoo? Any chance of borrowing a member of Family Mephitidae? When all the medja are in the press box (and the staff and friendlies are out), usher in our Mephitidae, and lock the doors so the press can’t get out. They only have enough scent for 5 or 6 sprays, so after a while it should be safe to go inside and rescue them from the press, so they can go back to the zoo.

  29. Looks like I was wrong in saying Mason had been dropped.

    He may have been- as in, if he’d pleased his bosses, he’d be doing a game instead of fourth official duties- but we don’t know that, and nor does anyone outside Riley’s lair

    Silly mistake ,really, to believe what the Telegraph said. They seem to be about the worst of the lot. Some feat.

    Sky were full of Spurs fans, Jayram said earlier- don’t know what they are at the Telegraph but it sure isn’t Arsenal.

    Oh well, dropped or not, it will surely affect how he does Arsenal games in the future.

  30. Gord – LOL. The probability of the Team Bus being stopped for possession is now heightened.

  31. The thing that seems to have escaped all of you is Pardew’s chat with the Referee at half time. Is that bringing the game into disrepute? He spoke specifically about Coquelin!!!! That stinks of interfering with play/collusion in an unsporting manner. Is the FA going to deal with it or is it going to be brushed under the carpet.

    Every Untolder needs to email the FA & tweet the fact that Pardew spoke to the Match Official about an opponents player at half time. Pardew stated this on TV after the match.

  32. Menace

    I think it has been touched on, but alas I think you are right about the carpet, irrespective of any amount of emails.

    A band wagon is rolling and trifling affairs such as collusion will not be allowed to get in the way.

  33. Menace
    If Pardew admitted to this on national TV then the FA are hardly likely to have missed it.
    I doubt if lobbying will make a difference, but it’s worth a try.

  34. Pardew clearly states “I said to Lee Mason at halftime, that’s his last chance just before half time but then he makes another foul …”

  35. Menace.

    Don’t think they adhere to strict rules on ref ‘visits’.

    Memory is hazy, but in Poll’s book I remember some talk of it being the norm for assistants to drop in the refs room before the match with team-sheet, though occasionally it might be the manager, and I think (this is really stretching the memory now) managers occasionally pop in there after a match, maybe even at half time, depending on whether or not the ref in question allows it.

    More likely, they had a talk on the way to the changing rooms, but even that would have taken a little time given that Pardew had to get his diagrams out, sign a blood brothers pact, and get it in writing from Mason that he’d send Coquelin off for his next foul.

    Poll recounted getting along ok with John Gregory and a few funny moments together in the refs room after a match. It all sounded authentically legit, but the point is, why risk it- Gregory might be a good guy, Poll might be a good guy, but you design systems which are realistic about the possibility of even one person not being a good guy. Therefore, there should be strong rules about how refs and managers mix. Simple sense. As little as possible.

    Likesay, memory isn’t great on it, but I’m about 90% sure there are no absolute rules about managers not speaking to officials and, more importantly, even if there are, refs are willing to relax the rules at their own discretion, with no apparent consequences. I think Poll said things along the lines of, to paraphrase, ‘it’s not meant to happen, and I have the authority not to let them in (to the refs room), but occasionally, if I thought it was ok, I would’.

    A flashing light for me was the little detail, last year, that Warnock was able to ring Clattenberg’s mobile immediately after a match when unhappy with a decision.

    If Warnock can get their numbers, what about other, more powerful managers in years gone by?

    Meanwhile, I found it funny that Mourinho was supposed to have struck up his good friendship with Halsey, but all strictly after they were no longer working in the same country.

    How would that work- eyeing each other shyly beforehand, thinking, ‘hmm, now that’s a guy with good friend potential, should it not be against the rules to be pals… but, of course, wouldn’t be proper right now, at all,… who knows what the future can bring,though’ ?

    Aye right, their friendship started while they were living in separate countries, not while they were in the same one interacting occasionally in the same workplace.

  36. Clearly the Palace players and Alan Pardew were trying to get Coquelin sent off and the home support was, too. That is to be expected even if Pardew’s intervention with the officials is beyond the pale. I am convinced of an anti-Arsenal bias (as opposed to an anti-Coquelin campaign) in the media though, and I think they just needed something to throw at us. Having said that, Per Mertesacker’s hand gestures to AW right after Coquelin’s last foul would suggest that the team is aware of either a) Coquelin’s un-hidden aggressive(naive?) play or b) that the other team was diving and he was on the cusp of a sending off. We will see in the next few games if he learns to be a little more circumspect with his play or if there really is an agenda out there but it is still early doors.

  37. Sometimes i wonder if they are trying to influence Arsenal to buy a backup for Coq, or if the articles come as a result of the fans calling for a backup.

    Personally i thought he was lucky, whether the first card was a foul or not, it was one because the ref gave him a yellow. He should have been removed at half time by AW. Imagine him getting the second yellow, or forbid a red, we would have lost that game and have to do without him for a few games. This is not acceptable at all. We were taking chances with our progression.

    Advertising is the worst thing ever to hit Earth, and i am so surprised that it brings so much money. If we think we’ve been swamped by ads, then we have not seen anything yet, trust me.

  38. So, Pardew gave instructions to the official, and nothing from the FA or the PGMOL? No objections from the media. The silence is deafening.

  39. To Le Coq , the team , and the Arsenal faithful –

    When people hurt you over and over , think of them as sandpaper .The scratch and hurt you .But later you will be shining and polished , while they end up useless .
    ( Most of ‘them’ are useless to start with , anyway !)

    The end result ? A diamond from the rough .

  40. Because of poor refereeing in one match Coquelin is now being talked about as if he were rash and inviting cards. It puts me in mind of Jack Wilshere being made responsible for the fact he keeps getting kicked off the pitch.

    Funny that in six months of last season none of this was mentioned about Coquelin. He got nothing but praise. He hasn’t suddenly changed, surely?

    On something completely different, isn’t it possible to move the league table back to the right hand side under its headline? Currently it hides large parts of every article.

  41. After we have won the FA Cup (again !) , the EPL , the CL , the League Cup , the fools would then shift the posts again and claim that we have never won the UEFA Cup and second division championship.
    They would even point out that even Bournemouth have won it , as well as so many others , over and over again, over the last 95 years or so. And that we should hang our heads in shame as there is no such trophy in our cabinet !

    They won’t take time to tell you what is in those cabinets , but Wikipedia will !


    First Division (until 1992) and Premier League- Winners (13): 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1937–38, 1947–48, 1952–53, 1970–71, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04

    FA Cup- Winners (12): 1929–30, 1935–36, 1949–50, 1970–71, 1978–79, 1992–93, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15 (record)

    League Cup- Winners (2): 1986–87, 1992–93

    FA Community Shield (FA Charity Shield before 2002)[130] Winners (14): 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1991 (shared), 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015

    London Challenge Cup Winners (10): 1921-22, 1923-24, 1930-31, 1933-34, 1935-36, 1953-54, 1957-58, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1969-70

    London Senior Cup Winners (1): 1890–91

    Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy- Winners (1): 1988–89

    Sheriff of London Charity Shield Winner (4): 1931, 1933, 1965, 1966

    Southern Professional Floodlit Cup Winner (1): 1958–59


    European Cup Winners’ Cup- Winners (1): 1993–94

    Inter-Cities Fairs Cup- Winners (1): 1969–70

    I note that all those Zenith Data Cup wins have not yet been recorded ,as well as the recent Emirates wins !

  42. @ Kenneth Widmerpool -August 19, 2015 at 9:44 am – Yes there is , and nothing to be poo pooed , but they will , nonetheless !

  43. The runners up list gives a much greater picture. Plus there’s all the semi finals that are forgotten.But I agree with you Bricks!

  44. Pat

    Maybe the most bizarre thing about it all is that there was yet another concerted drive to brand the team wimps just before the season started.

    Those drives sicken me- because they are lies, because they make no mention of the horror challenges and fouls, and because for me they lay the groundwork for more of those challenges on us- but when you combine them with all the brouha about Coquelin this weekend that’s when it truly becomes apparent something strange is afoot.

    Neville writes his article about us being ‘precious’ for a decade, Oliver Holt tops that by calling us ‘mentally and physically squeamish’, then ,when we have a combative player who may just have done enough to amass two yellow cards in a game, there’s a giant fuss about how he deserved to be sent off.

    Where would that leave us, if correct? Supposedly we’re a bunch of, well, pussies, and that obviously won’t do, and arguably deserves a bit of rough treatment as a sort of corrective, yet Coquelin’s play was too aggressive…

    Someone, an expert anyway, who slams you for doing something wrong, has a duty to set out what the right thing is, so what is supposed to be the right thing, in terms of aggression and physicality, for us?

    ‘Precious’ and ‘physically squeamish’ are, make no mistake, suggestions we need to massively increase our aggression in order to compete with other teams who are doing it right in that regard…but it has to be less than what Coquelin did?

    We’re contemptible wimps, whose players should be sent off any time they make 3-5 low to moderate fouls in a game, and that does not add up whatsoever.

    “Arsenal under Wenger stand for so much that is good in the game. It is just that their refusal to get their hands dirty, the mental and physical squeamishness most recently identified by Gary Neville, has cost them titles.”

  45. Re Pardew speaking to Lee Mason at half time: imagine the media frenzy if a bookmaker had spoken to match officials at half time, Pardew and the bookie want the same result i.e. Le Coq red carded. I agree with @Menance – email the buggers!!

  46. Re the Pardew and Lee Mason affair, I’m putting together an article on the topic. I would agree, it is a matter of considerable significance

  47. I had missed that Dan Crowley played yesterday. As noted, he played the entire game. He was fouled once, he fouled someone else once, and he had one shot.

  48. Cue Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me

    Some websites try to follow you. For many websites, it is not the website itself which is following you, rather it is the advertising which is following you. Advertising changes with time of day, and often who the client doing the browsing. If you browse with a different web client (lynx versus chrome) can change advertisements. If the destination thinks you are from a different country, you could get different advertisements. If the destination thinks you are an IBM employee, you could get different advertisements.

    If you run Firefox, Mozilla has a tool called Lightbeam which can help understand this tangled web. You get it from the standard add-ons place, or

    If you Firefox or Chrome, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has PrivacyBadger, which will try to stop websites from tracking you, and gives you some idea as to how hard the site is trying to track you.

    Tony’s two sites (UntoldArsenal and MakingTheArsenal) get PrivacyBadger scores of 1 and 2 for me. Arsenal,com itself gets a score of 3. The highest scores I seen were from Fox Sports Australia and Sports Illustrated, both with 8. scored 0, whereas scored 1 and 3 (3 for the Sports page).

    When I surf the web using Firefox, I have NoScript turned on, so by default no Javascript runs. For some sites, I can decided to turn on javascript on a per-source basis. A particular website (Golf Channel comes to mind) may be trying to draw in javascript for 20 different locations on the Internet.

    Of all the Arsenal sites I visited today, AllArsenal displayed nothing at all, until I allowed Javascript for that website.

    If you aren’t sure about a website, it may be useful to visit the website with a text only browser, such as Lynx, as it may display a plain HTML page, and not try to run javascript in your browser.

    This is not intended to be an all inclusive list, it is just what I found today.

    Arsenal,com 3
    101GreatGoals,com 3
    ACLFArsenal,co,uk 4
    ADifferentLeague,co,uk 0
    AllArsenal,com (Javascript) 1
    Arsenal-Mania,com 1
    ArsenalNews,co 0
    ArsenalNewsHQ,com 5
    ArsenalStation,com 2
    BBC,co,uk 0
    BBC,com 1 BBC,com/sport/0/ 3
    BleacherReport,com 2
    ByFarTheGreatestTeam,com 0
    CaughtOffside,com 0
    DailyMail,co,uk 1
    DailyRecord,co,uk 7
    DailyStar,co,uk 2
    EPLIndex,com 4
    ESPNfc,com 1
    EveningStandard,co,uk 2
    Express,co,uk 3
    EyeFootball,com 0
    FaceOfFootball,com 1
    Fanatix,com 0
    FastOneTwo,com 0
    Football-Talk,co,uk 0
    Football365,com 2
    FootballColumnist,com 0
    FootballFancast,com 2
    FoxSports,com,au 8
    Goal,com 5
    GolaZoGoal,com 0
    GoonerNews 2
    GoonersDen,com 1
    GunnersTown,com 2
    HITC,com 2
    IBTimes,co,uk 0
    Independent,co,uk 2
    JustArsenal,com 2
    London24,com 2
    MIUSoccer,com 0
    MakingTheArsenal (blog,woolwicharsenal,co,uk) 2
    Metro,co,uk 2
    Mirror,co,uk 4
    MyArsenalBlog,com 2
    NastyTackle,com 0
    NoEasyGames,com 1
    OohToBeAGooner,com 2
    PressAndJournal,co,uk 1
    SBNation,com 1
    SI,com 8
    SkySports,com 1
    SoccerLens,com 0
    SoccerSouls,com 2
    SoccerTransfers,net 0
    SportsKeeda,com 3
    SportzWiki,com 1
    Squawka,com 1
    SqueakyBumTime,com 1
    SuperSport,com 2
    TalkSport,com 5
    TeamTalk,com 1
    Telegraph,co,uk 3
    The4thOfficial,net 1
    TheBigLead,com 1
    TheGuardian,com 1
    TheSportsCampus,com 1
    Turkish-Football,com 0
    TurnStyle,co,uk 0
    UntoldArsenal,com 1
    VivaFootballCalcio,com 4
    WashingtonPost,com 4
    WorldSoccerRefereeing,blogspot,ca 1
    ZapSportz,com 1

  49. Tony
    Insightful post. The irrelevance of most football coverage in the media will eventually lead to less coverage, not more honest coverage. With all the page views Untold gets the message is getting out there. While I’m glad you shred these incompetents for what they are, the seeming complicity between the media and the PGMO is more insidious and dangerous. You are one of the few pointing this out (can’t think of another, but to be fair, there must be at least one). I urge you to continue to hammer the (Un)PGMO as hard and as often time and space allow. The message is getting out there.

  50. I have been saying the Media run the PGMO/Referees for years.

    I’ve said it on here so many times I was boring myself 🙂

  51. @ Gord -August 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm – thanks for highlighting this . While not really fully understanding everything , but , I now have a badger watching all my moves !

  52. @ Gord – Wow ! After installing it , I find out that more than 80 sites are tracking me!
    Does that mean that I am popular ? Is it similar to the very many likes I get on Facebook ?
    But I think that unlike Rockwell , the IRS is not one of the trackers . Phew !
    Wait a minute , could it be ‘them’ ?

  53. I don’t think you can blame Pardew for speaking to the referee at half time. If it was a valid question regarding an apparent yellow card foul from his limited place of view, I think it’s ok. Referee is still in charge anyway. Probably, Coquelin’s inexperience will allow the Palace players to target him due to the heat of the moment. The crowd was noisy as well. Per, as always, noticed that and acted brilliantly as a leader. Come on, guys. We cannot be like the AAA. Making things up without really investigating is wrong. I really enjoy the match. Both teams were fast and technical. Arsenal nicked it because we wanted it more. I actually like the work Pardew has done in moulding Palace into a exciting attacking team since he arrived. However, the media took this opportunity and stole the show. Let’s concentrate on the fact that Arsenal team actually beat a tough, dangerous side where most team will struggle this season. I am still wondering how on earth Monreal had successfully kept Bolasie and Zaha quiet in one match without cramping himself. A great left back. Forget the media and keep the hope up.

  54. Brickfields

    I just got back to town after a couple of days. I am glad my note was useful to someone.

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