The importance of home support, Wenger agrees with the Untold standing point

By Walter Broeckx

For as long as I can remember we have been saying that it is vital for a team (any team in fact) to feel support from their supporters. In a way this seems natural of course but with a part of our supporters not really being supportive for anything the club does it is something that can cause some worry.

Our standing point is that we support the team. No matter what, who or where. Now supporting the team when we are 3-0 up against Manchester United after 20 minutes is easy to do. But when being 0-1 down against a team it is then that they need the support the most. And it is then that the moaners will rather choose to moan and not support the team.

Of course for a part of our fan base it is that they more or less take a win on the chin. Yes you read it well. They are happy but have a mixed feeling as every win will keep the manager who they hate with a passion longer in his seat. I think those of us who go to other sites or use social media will have seen the people who claim to be a supporter of Arsenal but who are saying things like: “I rather like us to lose 5-0 if that would mean we would get rid of Wenger”.  A rather strange way to support your club but hey each his own one could say.

But the negativity that comes from that view combined with the daily negativity in the media about all things Arsenal makes that on more than one occasion you get a kind of poisonous atmosphere at the Emirates.

I would love to see an atmosphere where from the first whistle the supporters are behind the team and support it completely. But for some the team has to ‘show something’ before they start to appreciate them and give them their support.

On there was an article in which Wenger said a few things about home advantage. Wenger pointed at studies that clearly have shown that the most important advantage a home team has is the home crowd. We have been saying this for years. We must push the team forward from the start of the match. Sitting in silence waiting for the team to show something might give the players a feeling of unease. A feeling of : what is the matter? Why are the crowd nut behind us?

But if they start the match and feel and hear the noise of the supporters it might lift them to an even higher level. Unconditional support is how I like to call it. It doesn’t matter who is the manager, which players are playing… when they go out on the field to play I will be behind them and shout and sing for them.

Of course if you really want the manager out even if he wins things (and this manager is winning things again over the last 2 seasons) because you want a new face for whatever reason you might have I can imagine that you just sit there and can’t really be bothered to give your support. But in such a case it might be a better option to stay away for a while till the manager you hate is really gone. And give up your seat to someone who is really going to give his support to the team. I think there are still more than enough who really want to support the team who don’t get in the stadium as tickets are still very hard to find.

I know some people will blame the ‘tourists’ for the lack of atmosphere. But that is also a rather easy excuse I think. Yes there are tourists in the stadium but surely that few hundred tourists cannot be blamed for the other 55.000 to just sit there and wait for the team to show something special before they start singing? And I think that even in grounds like Manchester United or City you will have ‘tourists’ who take a chance to see that team play at home. The ‘PL-product’ attracts tourists to come and take a look when they are in England but surely they are a tiny minority in the big masses that turn up for a match.

In a way it is more or less down to each individual himself. It doesn’t matter if your neighbour (tourist?-newbie? …) doesn’t sing from the start. If you start singing with the rest that wants to show their support by singing maybe your neighbour(tourist?newbie?…) will join in. But if you stay silent that new one will not start singing himself.

I know some people don’t dare to sing in public as they can’t sing. I am one of those people blessed with no musical feeling at all and when I sing at home my children run away yelling and screaming, hold their hands in front of their ears and beg me to stop massacring their eardrums. That is slightly exaggerated but I really can’t sing or hold a tune very well. But it has never held me back to sing inside a football stadium. If my neighbour who is used to hear Pavarotti sing will now have to hear me sing the only advice I can give him is to sing along as in that way he will hear me sing out of tune that much.

So no need to feel worried about what people might think when you sing or how you sing. The only important thing on a match day in the Emirates is to show your support and shout and sing for the team. Next Saturday I will be in the Emirates for the match against Everton. I hope all Gooners in the stadium will do what I want to do : sing for the team and make sure that that existing home support advantage really is there and will pay off.

People sometimes say: it is Arsenal FC and not Arsène FC. Saying we support Arsène FC. Well I think it is the other way round. Arsène is part of Arsenal FC. Not supporting him (as he is a vital part of the club) is not supporting Arsenal. Hate it or love it but we win together or lose together. So if you really want to support Arsenal you have to forget about the implications a result has on Arsène. A win is a win for Arsenal. And that is all what matters in the end. So get behind the team and support. Don’t give away our biggest advantage at home.

47 Replies to “The importance of home support, Wenger agrees with the Untold standing point”

  1. Great stuff Walter.

    I have just checked the last few articles following our win at Watford and not a single one of the “usual suspects” have been on commenting on the performance. But if we should have a poor performance (or even poor result) you can not move on here without all the trolls slagging off Wenger, the team, the team selection (hindsight bias), Gazidis and so on. Just pathetic.

    Sadly, I can’t make the game on Saturday but look forward to meeting you and your fellow Belgian supporters club members at a future date. Please give the boys a cheer from me!

  2. Exactly, Walter.

    I’ll suffer your singing at the Ems, no problem. Just wait till you hear me!

  3. Mr Broeckx, you’ve said well. The home support fan base is very vital for a team to have when playing at home. And I think the Gunners will not be short of any home support tomorrow night as they welcome the Bavarian club to the Emirates Stadium to be put to the sword. I am also positive the Gunners as they get the mass support from the Emirates Stadium faithful will repay their faithful supporters with a hidding of Pep Gaurdiola’s Bayern Munich side by 3 goals to nil at the end of the proceedings.

  4. I am still editing my comment for correction when it mistakenly got posted.

  5. I’m not really a ‘singer’. I’ll have a try occasionally but not often (but then again regrettably I don’t go often now anyway….), so I do understand the non-singers. What amazes me is the whingers and boo’ers. If it’s been a real bad display then being boo’d off after the game is just about understandable but to boo during the game is the least supportive thing anyone there can possibly do. It’s like helping the opposing team.
    Anyone that does that deserves a slap at the very least.

  6. I am not an expert in managing football teams, but I feel the manu game was a blue print for the Bayern game tomorrow. If we sit back, frustration will creep as they don’t need to win here. Maybe 10 mins for blistering attack and get a goal and then sit back? Don’t know.

  7. Great article, Walter! We should all make a supportive noise. It makes the match a lot more fun too. The only chant I don’t like is that slightly grumpy ‘Come on Arsenal!’ It has a kind of whingey tone. A strong shout of ‘Arsenal, Arsenal’, ‘Red Army’ or any of the many similar chants is much better.

  8. By the way, as Tony isn’t here to say it, Jonathan Lieu is very annoying in the Telegraph today. I won’t waste your time giving the quotes but just thought I should report in Tony’s absence. I hope he is not wasting his time in Crete reading the British press!

  9. We should not give up on CL, there is always a chance, this is football. Who knows, we may even do a Chel$, remember that year?

    Of course the PL is important, and to win Bayern will also give or keep our confidence up for PL.

    All in all i am looking forward to the game tomorrow, not forgetting we have Everton after.

  10. I am betting on an Arsenal win tomorrow. I m just so sure about it. (I don’t actually bet on the club any other day)

  11. Apologies for going off topic and jumping ahead to weekend, but…just seen someone tweet that ref for the weekend is Lee Mason.

    Far as i know he hasn’t done a single game since Palace. 7 match weeks, pretty much unprecedented as far as punishments from Riley go.

    Then when he finally brings him back, it’s for…an Arsenal game.

    Now how on earth is Mason meant to ref that game normally?

    There’s a penalty call for us- can he really give it unless it is ridiculously clear? There’s a similar one for Everton? In both cases what he has been through in recent months has to affect the decisions he will make, it has to. By giving anything for us which risks big criticism from the media he could jeopardise his whole career; by doing the same for Everton there is no such risk.

    Riley knows this, and appoints him anyway, or rather appoints him ‘because’.

    Even for him I find it a breathtaking move. One that fits with Mandy Dodd’s belief that Riley is one angry fellow at present, and with Jambug’s view that he can only do what he does because the media is how it is. Were the media ok, they’d call it that bringing Mason back for another Arsenal game is terrible practice, and that it is scarcely believable Riley has done so.

  12. It gets better : he’s picked a Fricking dream team.

    Taylor, of course, as 4th official. The linesmen meanwhile have, respectively, been involved already this year in the mass fuck up that was Spurs v City, an offside goal which helped Utd out nicely when the were losing to Southampton and, drum roll, yep, we got one of the fellas from Liverpool Bournemouth.

    We better play pretty damn well. In boxing parlance, we can’t leave it to the judges on this one.

  13. Rich

    Following the match at Crystal Palace:

    By Jonathan Liew

    “Lee Mason has been removed from refereeing duties and demoted to fourth-official status for the round of Premier League fixtures this weekend, following his controversial performance during Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.”

    “Mason was widely criticised for failing to send off the Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin, who committed a number of clear fouls whilst already on a yellow card.”

    In actuality he committed 4 fouls in total.

    But this is exactly how the media works. Stir up the crap. Make it look like Arsenal are getting away with murder.

    As you say.

    Anything Mason does that goes against us, and it will be just us getting our ‘just deserts’ because of the Crystal Palace game, which will of course of been highlighted before the game, and then every 5 minutes during it.

    Anything that goes our way and Mason will be in big trouble.

    How is Coquelin even supposed to approach this game?

    This must be one of the most cynical pieces of match fixing I have seen.

    This is basically Riley saying to Arsenal, openly, for all to see, that I am going to screw you.

    A very worrying appointment. Not just for the day, but for what it’s saying.

    Arsenal FC must lodge a complaint that it is impossible for Mason to Referee this game normally.

  14. Great article Walter,

    It is important for the fans to get behind the team from the off and keep their support loud and vigerous throughout the match – to encourage our guys and if anything discourage the opposition.

    On a further point, when we have such poor referees in the EPL – it is important for the fans to get on the ref’s case early – and stay on it – embarrass the ref for every wrong or biased decision – with enough vocalism the ref may on occasion be encouraged to resort to refereeing more fairly.

    Re Mason – if memory serves me correctly, Mason in the past allowed Everton to kick the c**p out of us – no doubt that is why he has been selected for Saturday!

  15. I was just thinking to myself: I wonder who’ll ref the game against Everton. So I guessed Lee Mason, then went onto the PL website to check.

    I lol’d and thought, I must pass the news onto Walter, but having tuned in, I see everyone knew before me,and that you all know what that means,especially with having Aston Taylor as 4th-oid.

    We all know Lee likes a bit of rough, particularly if it’s performed against Arsenal.

    ****ing BLATANT!

  16. The Price of football.

    As much as I want to see football for less, Arsenal are worth every penny.

    Wenger was a little slow on the uptake when asked about the Bayern fans protest. He should have said that watching the greatest team in the world playing the beautiful game within the Laws is worth every penny of £64.00. It is not always officiated within the Laws but then Arsenal only control the players not the officials. The winning or losing is a consequence of the bounce of the ball or rather how the officials allow the ball to bounce or perceive the slope of the field of play.

  17. No matter how much importance is attached to support for the team, Arsenal fans have long attracted the description of being “fickle”.
    The atmosphere at the Emirates (more pronounced than at Highbury, IMO) when Arsenal are losing/drawing does not help confidence on the field of play.
    And the outright hostility directed towards players like Denilson, Ramsey and Walcott in the past was an absolute disgrace.
    There is a hard core of so-called home supporters who will never be satisfied with team performance and they could learn much from the behaviour of our away fans. 😉

  18. Jambug

    This one’s different to Riley’s normal shenanigans. In those ones it involves bad refereeing from supposedly top officials.

    Here we have something which is just flat out terrible practice- no matter the name or country- a ref gets dropped after a performance in which he is deemed to have made mistakes in favour of one side, referees only one top flight match in two months, and then gets brought in after a month in the cold against the same team who supposedly benefitted from his poor officiating.

    The story for us, the real one, is different, because he didn’t make any mistake, and was punished for doing the right thing.

    Put that aside, though, and pretend he had done something wrong, something worthy of temporarily losing his status as top flight ref over, and ,presumably, enough to see him now be effectively on trial and in danger of losing his status permanently… and it still makes absolutely no sense to give him this game.

    Common sense, human nature, basic psychology, all dictate it is the wrong game for him and that the only rational reasonable choice is to give him another fixture. He simply cannot do the game normally. He’s had two months to dwell on what happened and knows that to be perceived to give anything in our favour gravely threatens his career, while to give things against us has no negative consequences for him.

    And that’s the version of reality where things are normal behind the scenes, i.e where Riley hasn’t been subtly or overtly making clear in all manner of ways that there are negative consequences for those deemed to have treated us well and positive ones for those who don’t.

    Messed up. As a I say,though, this is a rare case where if Riley and Pgmol were clean as whistle good guys, this appointment would make no sense and would in fact be indefensibly stupid and ignorant of basic human nature and the life of a referee.

    They can’t possibly be unaware of that, Poll in fact mentioned that part of their work is dealing with things like that- i.e discussing the extra pressure exerted by home crowds and how this conflicts with very basic human nature which tends to seek the easiest or least painful route at all times, and trying to use that awareness to help them overcome that phenomenon and do the job well- so there is literally no justification for what Riley has done here.

    Sadly, he is bold enough to do it and make his contempt for us and for good practice pretty damn open. Presumably he wouldn’t do so if there were even one or two people in the media who were likely to say, ‘hang on, surely it can’t be right to bring back Mason for this game?’

    Thing is, he’s right to be bold. Who in the media has been discussing how severe Mason’s punishment has been? Who has made the comparison between that and Dean not missing a single week?

    It should be something they are interested in even if they are adamant we are off our heads here and in fact Mason screwed up bad while Dean didn’t. It’s a good story. They’re meant to like good stories and their desire to produce football content is insatiable.

    But they have no interest. Not one of them.

  19. Great article Walter, supporters need to back the team whatever.
    As for those whose allegiance to the team depends on who the manager is, they are not supporters under any description I know of, they are not wanted or needed… the spcase of some of them, probably not wanted or needed by anyone on planet earth.
    As for next weekends ref, if Riley is up to tricks, the team should watch this weekends Scotland Australia rugby game, and do exactly the opposite of the Scots… once a ref has shown his bias, don’t give him an opportunity on a plate to do his deeds. Sorry Scotland, however heroic you were, with that line out and the play before Joubert turned the game, you played right into a cheating refs hands!

  20. If we beat Everton, we will sit on the top for at least 22 hours. 🙂

    Let’s just play our game and don’t give any space to Riley’s thugs to operate with. Everton will have a huge advantage in terms that they don’t play mid-week European match but at least we play both of our games this week in London.

  21. Pete
    When we win the “usual suspects” don’t come here to comment or congratulate the team, they just come to click the dislike button.

    Mason’s appointment defies all logic. It’s like making clatternburg’s first match, after the Mikel furore, be a match involving Chelsea…, it’d have been absolute bonkers. And so it is in this case. Riley is basically saying to Mason you let Arsenal off the hook and got disciplined severely for it, now go and do them properly to show me that you’ve learned from this, or else…

  22. As far as I concerned , Walter will be there , and we all know what happens when walter is there – yes folks , 3-1 scoreline to us .Or maybe even better !
    We will play our usual game and balls to whoever is refereeing – let him try and do his worst .
    Everton are reeling from a home defeat to ManUre , so let us hit them hard before they have time to recover .
    Hopefully our fans will follow Walter’s suggestion and come in a very positive frame of mind to cheer and sing their heads off – off key or not !

  23. ” If we treat people as they are , we make them worse .If we treat people as they ought to be , we help them become what they are capable of becoming .”
    Wolfgang Von Goethe.

  24. The higher your goals are, the more you need to change hearts, minds and actions of people.

    From- Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

  25. Wasn’t Mason the ref who gave the Everton “offside” goal in the equivalent fixture a few years ago? He is also from Bolton – not quite Merseysie but not a million miles away either.

    To be fair he did do Stoke v Bournemouth on 26 Sep – but that is his only PL game since the Palace match two months ago.

    Agree that Arsenal should be doing more to challenge these astonishing appointments.

  26. I see my first comment has attracted a lot of dislikes – but no one has come on to challenge my view, which sort of supports it… But I’m sure there will be a torrent of negative comments if/when we next do badly.

  27. First year students at Medical School were receiving their first anatomy class with a real dead human body.

    They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered in a white sheet. The professor started the class by telling them, “In medicine,it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor. The first is that you should not be disgusted by anything involving the human body.”

    The Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the anus of the corpse, withdrew it and stuck it in his mouth.

    “Go ahead and do the same thing,” he told his students. The students initially freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the anus of the corpse and sucking on it.

    When everyone finished, the Professor looked at the class and told them, “The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger but sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention!”

  28. Morning all.

    Totally agree about the atmosphere and how our fans can sometimes be a hindrance.

    Red Action do a great job. They are organising a full display for tonight but need everybody in their seats for 7:35 when the teams come out. They have sent out tweets asking fans to turn up on time. RedAction introduced the large flags behind the goals for our goal celebrations and they do a great job. But there isn’t much they can do about how fans act. I personally wish we could introduce a song like Liverpool have, that seems to really stir the emotions. I am excitable in the ground, the adrenalin pumps through my vains and I am one of thos passionate people I guess. But not everyone is like that so they need encouragement and unfortunatley until we remove the unfair negativity, its tough. If we could get a passionate crowd, its worth points.

    Here is their twitter account, worth a look: @REDactionAFC

  29. Al


    Just stumbled upon a similar precedent as it goes. Remember when Mike Jones wronged Leicester with two awful penalty decisions against Liverpool last year? 1st Jan, Anfield.

    So that’s the situation: Jones done messed up bad. That of course means it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to do a Leicester game for a while. The man himself would know this but, more importantly, so would his boss. How could it not affect him? Only thing for it is to let some time pass.

    Months later, if it were that, Leicester’s manager, players and fans would still remember what happened, but the anger and injustice and the suspicion of Jones would have faded a lot. The ref himself would have done other games and got the benefit of the passage of time. He could hope to do a Leicester game normally by then, though the team facing them would have to worry Jones guilty conscience could lead to Leicester being favoured a little.

    Anyway, maybe you guessed right away or remembered how the story ends.

    Incredibly, Jones next match was, one month later, 10th Feb, Leicester.

    Who were the lucky team who got to face a ref who had been put in that position? Begins with an A and it wasn’t Aston Villa.

    I have absolutely no doubt about it- he either has a visceral loathing of us, or it’s the other thing. Decisions like that are impossible to explain otherwise. The question is, how on earth could other parties, the FA for instance, or mr Scudamore, not pick up on it.

    Bad refereeing, atrocious refereeing even, can be debated. It’s a fact that the job is hard, decisions must be made instantly, views can be restricted, laws interpreted differently, some mistakes are an inevitability.

    But selecting officials in these circumstances is a matter of logic as much as anything else. France, Germany, Brazil, Timbuktu- no football administrator can justify putting in a referee against the same team he has recently been judged to have refereed poorly, either to the benefit of that team or the detriment. Doing so increases the (already high) pressure on that referee, in a manner which makes it more likely incorrect decisions will be made.

    It’s something you might do for a Sunday league referee- ‘here you go,lad; this’ll be a test for you to see what you’re made of and get you back on your feet; you messed up badly against this lot last time and, boy, they weren’t happy; you can do it,though!’- but at the top of the game things must be different and you can’t experiment like that.

    So how, when you have hours, days and weeks to make your decisions, and when you have decades of experience in the game, can you make a refereeing appointment which logic demands you do not make?

    Is Riley logically deficient, is the entire organisation that is Pgmol? Is Scudamore,too, plus the FA? Ah, would that it were only that.

  30. Al

    “When we win the “usual suspects” don’t come here to comment or congratulate the team, they just come to click the dislike button.”

    Exactly what I thought.

    So far there’s 49 ‘Dislikes’, and as far as I can see not a single comment by way of explanation as to why they disagree with what we are saying.

    For pities sack will one of you ‘Dislikes’ grow some balls and explain to us:

    -Why booing your own team is good ?

    -Why the appointment of Lee Mason, the Referee that got suspended for supposedly doing us a favour is Logical/Sane ?

    -Why the appointment of Lee Mason, the Referee that got suspended for supposedly doing us a favour, is not something we should worry about ?

    Apparently there’s at least 49 of you out there, so surely one of you can put our deluded, paranoid minds at rest ?

  31. Rich

    If this disgraceful, overtly antagonistic and just plain wrong appointment, does not get the publicity, and in it’s wake the criticism and ridicule it so obviously merits then I believe our suspicions that.

    A) Riley, on a personal level, hates Arsenal FC and is determined to do everything in his power to undermine us as a Club.

    B) The PGMOL as a body are corrupt.

    C) The FA and Premier League do not care about this and may in fact be complicit in the tolerance of it.

    D) The Media are also entirely complicit in the undermining of Arsenal FC.

    As if we didn’t know all that already.

    But this, allied to the Leicester incident recalled by Rich, is such an overt and flagrant case of showing utter bias against, and contempt for, Arsenal FC, that in my opinion, all the above becomes completely irrefutable.

  32. Rich

    “Just stumbled upon a similar precedent as it goes. Remember when Mike Jones wronged Leicester with two awful penalty decisions against Liverpool last year? 1st Jan, Anfield.

    So that’s the situation: Jones done messed up bad. That of course means it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to do a Leicester game for a while.”

    On a similar note to that, even without the issues surrounding the Crystal Palace affair, it seems that Mason may already feel under pressure to do Everton a favour following this encounter between Everton and Stoke last December.

    It just gets worse. Read it and weep.

    This from the Mirror at the time:

    “Roberto Martinez criticised referee Lee Mason and accused Bojan Krkic of tricking the official into awarding Stoke a penalty.

    Martinez was unhappy that Mason did not show Jonathan Walters a red card for tugging Leighton Baines’s shirt when he was through on goal moments before he awarded a penalty for James McCarthy’s challenge on Bojan who then scored from the spot.

    ‘The decision on Walters is difficult to understand,’ said Martinez. ‘It’s outside the box but there is no other Stoke defender. He’s the last man and it’s a clear goalscoring opportunity.

    ‘I don’t understand why it’s a yellow card. It should be a red. It’s very different to play against 10 men than 11, especially against a side who worked well defensively.’

    Martinez pointed to an incident in Everton’s draw at Sunderland last month when they were awarded a penalty by Mason but the referee took no action against Connor Wickham who was the last man.

    ‘My disappointment is we had the same situation last time at Sunderland that was a clear mistake. It was a real bad sign to see the same referee make mistakes applying the same rule.”

    The more you dig, the worse it gets.

  33. All this should be sent to Arsenal FC for there information, (assuming they are not aware already of course), as well as to the PL and the FA, with a request for an explanation as to why they consider this refereeing appointment to be in any way, shape, or form, appropriate.

    I know we want get one, but think we have to at least try.

    Untold Arsenal is a well read, and as far as I can tell, pretty well respected blog, and may just have a chance of at least getting the ball rolling in fighting back against this disgrace.

  34. Jambug

    Bloody grim isn’t it. Always been the case that some of them, Dean, Atkinson and the new contender taylor are used like weapons against us, but, though to us that is a fact, technically speaking it is only our opinion.

    With Mason doing this game and Jones the Leicester one it’s no matter of opinion- technically or otherwise, limited knowledge (us) or full knowledge (those who live it behind the scenes)- it’s objective fact : anyone with a modicum of football experience and real life common sense knows the are wildly inappropriate appointments and that there can be no justification for making them.

    Before a whistle goes Mason and Jones, even if they were scrupulously clean officials, are/were, because of past events, in a position where they are under more pressure than for a normal game and aware that, effectively, giving decisions for one team increases that pressure in the short and long term, while giving decisions for the other team alleviates it.

    If Jones had to make a penalty call against Leicester during that game it would be a case of man who recently gave two dreadful penalties against them once more giving a penalty against them, in his first game back (as it happens there was, ironically, a fairly strong case for a handball, which of course he didn’t give). In other words, human nature as well as the particular context of that situation dictates he is much less likely to award us a pen when there is a case to do so. And, obviously, much more likely to award Leicester one if the opportunity arises.

    So, administrators with a modicum of competence would see there is no way he should do that game. Same with Mason now. Therefore, this time it is not an opinion that a particular ref is, because of how he operates, being used as a weapon against us; this time it is a fact that, because of the situation, a referee is being used as a weapon against us, to increase the probability of us losing the game.

    The implications of that are pretty huge. First there’s that Wenger has to know, and Riley knows he knows, that it isn’t right. Even more eye-opening, however, is that, yep, the premier league and the FA also know.

    Mind you, like us he knew it full well a decade ago during game 50. And if there was a slither of doubt left afterwards, it disappeared when Riley was chosen as the boss.

  35. Jambug.

    Interesting that so many of the WOB’s use abusive language in their comments. Social Media certainly opens your eyes to the type of people that treat anonymity as a badge of courage and a license to exhibit their IQ.

    I suspect being criticial and disrespectful suits a certain demographic and that may explain some of the ignorance that is often baffling. What fan goes on a blog after thrashing Aston Villa to moan about the manager and the players?

    Just a guess but I beleive half the so called WOB’s are actually opposing fans pretending to be Gooners – I certainly know a few that have been outed.The fact you cant tell them apart from soem of teh genuine fans speaks volumes about that agenda.


  36. Rich

    What you say here sums it up:

    “The implications of that are pretty huge. First there’s that Wenger has to know, and Riley knows he knows, that it isn’t right. Even more eye-opening, however, is that, yep, the premier league and the FA also know.”

    I would add to that, the Media know.

    A fortnight of ridicule from the media about our ticket prices being the highest. NOT TRUE (if analysed fairly)

    In recent history, a media accusation that we fiddle match day attendance figures. NOT TRUE

    Media Lies about our wage bill.

    The list of Media exaggeration, half truths and lies about Arsenal FC, and the manager, players and staff is, it seems, never ending.

    Yet something as blatantly corrupt as this appointment will not get a mention, other than on here.

    This appointment is blatant. This appointment is SHOCKING. This appointment is newsworthy.

    And yet !!!

    By the way, I notice we still don’t have a single person (one of the 49) with the balls to come on here to try and defend the appointment of Mason.

  37. Depressing doesn’t even begin to describe it.

    NB: Don’t get me wrong, I have perspective. I realise this is not life and death. But I love Football. More over I love my Arsenal. And what’s more I believe in fair play.

    I swear on my life, I have NEVER cheated. When I was injured as a player I ran the line for a few years. I never cheated. Ever. I ran the gauntlet with my own mates at times screaming for me to ‘put the flag up’, but I would not just do it. In the end I got a reputation with referees and I was trusted and it worked out for the best. As it should. But whatever happened I would NOT cheat.

    And in the context of that, my sense of fair play, and me wanting the best for my football team, I find what is happening right now to be utterly depressing.

    This to me is a very worrying, and crucial event.

    It cannot be allowed to pass under the radar.

    Untold, please do something, anything, to raise awareness of this appointment.

  38. Already the signs that this appointment is going to even raise an eyebrow are not good, let alone get the criticism it so obviously warrants.

    A quick look at a blog entitled ‘You are the’ doesn’t suggest we should be too hopeful.

    ‘You Are The REF.Com’ was founded by former Referee Keith Hackett, and proclaims itself as being “The Only Independent and Credible Refereeing Portal”

    Very grand !

    It’s lead story is Clattenburgs appointment in the Manchester Derby claiming:

    “Mark Clattenburg has been handed the Manchester derby in recognition of the imperious form that is seeing him mount a strong challenge for selection at the 2016 European Championships.”

    ‘Imperious’ Hmmm. That is good.

    They go on to say:

    “I believe the improvement in refereeing performances this season is no coincidence. This has stemmed from a more careful and logical criteria – in short, picking in-form referees for the bigger games.

    “Professional Game Match Officials Ltd. have taken heed of what is required. I am sure that Mark Clattenburg will fully justify their confidence in him this weekend.”

    So they believe PGMOL “Have taken heed of what is required” Have they indeed.

    It begs the question though, given recent and past events, how has appointing Lee Mason to the Arsenal Everton clash shown that the PGMOL “Have taken heed of what is required” in any way shape or form?

    But alas that’s only me asking that question.

    Apparently, You are the, ‘The Only Independent And Credible Refereeing Portal’ does not seem to deem it as a question worth asking.

    Whys that I wonder?

    This is the blurb from there MD Jock Waugh

    “You Are the Ref is a unique media channel supporting everyone affected by the sport of football. We are here to offer an informed voice to all match officials across the world and provide unprecedented insight into the key decisions that challenge the sport, in the local park or on the game’s biggest stage.

    We want referees, fans, parents, players, clubs and the media to join in the big conversation that we have now started. This is about understanding. For us we want to play our part in seeing referees develop and their skills grow leading to performances that enhance the world game.

    Our role is to supplement the standard programmes offered by national federations and provide unrivalled analysis, education and insight to colleagues seeking to achieve the standards they set for themselves.

    We are not constrained by the politics of national referee administration and as the truly independent commentator on all match official issues we can observe openly on all aspects of the game, with authority.

    At our very core is education. All our insight, all our analysis is about improving understanding and standards.

    We are delighted to offer you the services of the hugely experienced You Are The Ref team and look forward to hearing from you. The big conversation has just begun.”

    Jock Waugh (Managing Director)

    Heads in the sand. Still proclaiming our referees as fit for purpose. Totally ignoring one of the worst Refereeing appointments ever.

    Credible my arse.

  39. Jambug

    You’ve got me feeling a bit guilty here for banging on about it to the extent I do.

    My motivation for doing so is that it makes me feel better about it to think/talk it through, as well as trying to return the favour others do me here by pointing out new things or presenting the old ones in clear new ways.

    But..I wouldn’t want to do it if I knew it was making decent people a bit more unhappy about a bad situation.

    To be honest, spotting this activity from Riley ,which for me is indefensible on the level of objective fact, isn’t painful. If anything it’s clarifying.

    In the same way I find the idea of Fifa cleaning up laughable without radical and pretty much unimaginable outside intervention, I can’t imagine any events which can lead to Riley being stopped. If there were the people with sufficient power and will to do either, well, things would not be the way they are, i.e those same would-be fixers would never have let things develop as they have.

    The good news is, I’m so thoroughly negative about the goodness of people in power – governments as well as football, the media and all else- that, hell, there has to be a chance I am overly and incorrectly negative.

    If Riley falls,though, chances are it’ll be some strange, unforeseeable combination of circumstances. In the extremely unlikely event of that happening, bang, those great minds in the media will suddenly notice strange circumstances, practices and connections- such as his inexplicable decisions for Jones and Mason- which have been visible all along, but only then.

    Until then, there’s nowt for it but to try steel yourself for more of the same. I mentioned it in that post after Saturday’s game- I’ve undoubtedly reached the point now where it doesn’t make much sense for me to keep following football. It’s not enough for me to be aware that I can handle it all well enough when the going is good, i.e. when we win anyway.

    Football isn’t and shouldn’t be like that, and it makes me uncomfortably close to being one of those chumps who whines and moans through the bad times and then is all smiles in victory. Football support might be a bit like that, even among the best and most balanced, but it’s about degrees. Judging by how I felt as I caught the end of that first half on Sat, my steeling technique aint working too well, or at all.

    Hope it’s not the same stage for you.

    Anyway, I’ve only gone and banged on about it again!

    Enjoy the match tonight, mate. We could easily lose against a top top side, but we could also win. Can’t wait.

  40. No doubt that Mason has been briefed that his career is on the line, should he deviate from Riley’s instructions. I can already hear the junk spouted by commentators at every opportunity that ‘Arsenal did have a lucky ride from the official last time.’ Total bollox. If any appointment ever intimidated a club (and Mason, himself, of course), this is it.

    In the past we have objected to appointments that included the Riley Goblin’s band of rubbish (Dean, Dowd, Taylor, Probert, Atkinson), but this is a giant leap smashing those repeated offences. Nowhere will we read from any hack writing about the blatant corruption from pgmol. The club must object to this appointment, just like the pressure Old Purple Nose used to only get the referees he wanted. Diabolical and hugely concerning.

  41. What NEEDS to happen on Saturday – is what Swansea supporters did last night for which their club is being charged with breaking the rules. With hindsight, and without the advantage of in ground big screen replays, every foul, by an Everton player that goes unpunished should be responded to with a constant booing – a bit like thy do at Roma (or Stoke). We should ALL be extra vigilant to ensure that every mistake made by Mason is catalogued on Untold, and if excessive, should result in another petition.

    It’s time WE stood up for OUR club – and if that means repetitive petitions and hounding of unscrupulous officials in the game, so be it. Remember, we ARE right, and therefore, as supporters, we can take the moral high ground until somebody in the media takes notice.

    It’s taken Andrew Jennings nearly 15 years to see the fall of FIFA – so our fight may take a long time to get to fruition. But we must persist, and perhaps, supporters of other clubs will join in (Swansea for example).

    We must keep going!

  42. Genorm,

    I actually thought that Mason was quite good in the Palace game. Even though Pardew said he thought it might have been a 2nd yellow to Coq, he didn’t remonstrate (unlike Hughes last night).

    It just shows that the number of refs in Riley’s pocket is growing. Mason has become another official forever grateful to Chief Riley for a second chance.

  43. Rich

    I’m not about to jump my friend, but within the context of football in the broader sense, and Arsenal in the narrower, this appointment is a very worrying development.

    -An overt fingers up to Arsenal.

    -Absolutely ignored by everyone but a few of us here abouts.

    To be honest I, and indeed yourself my friend, are beginning to sound like a broken record, but personally I feel that strongly about this I don’t care.

    I’m really hoping the brains trust at UA do too, because our only hope is if they push this. Even if they do I doubt much will happen, but at least they may get it in front of a few more people and you never know.


    Well said.

  44. Jambug

    You’re being too kind there to say I’m only now beginning to sound like a broken record!

    Anyway, forget that. What a thrilling couple of hours that was, and what a result. Brilliant.

    Topped off by seeing an emotional looking Howard Webb really stick it to Mourinho just now. Strange moment when I felt a dangerous amount of sympathy for a nervous and uncomfortable, well, Howard Webb.

    Speaking of people I’ve cursed a lot in my time, can see why jose likes this counter-attacking lark.

    Difference is, we only tend to do it against very good or incredible teams, do it cleanly, and still play plenty of bold, skilful football.

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