There are two types of Arsenal supporters



In fact there are two types of person.  Those who divide the world into two types, and those who don’t.

But leaving that aside, there are also two types of Arsenal supporter.  Those who believe that what is in the football pages of the papers is most likely to be true, and those who think it is  most likely to be untrue.

Take the case of our old friend Nic Bendtner.  According to the Daily Invention (aka Mirror) he said “I’m very sorry to see Adebayor injured as we need him fit and to be playing in the league.   But it does not really matter to me who is fit and available.

“I should start every game, I should be playing every minute of every match and always be in the team.”

That was then taken up by loads of other places – newspapers and such august luminaries of the truth as Sky Sports News, and then it appeared on loads of blogs and Arsenal news sites.  From that point on the story feeds itself.

Except that according to Bendtner, he never said that at all.  He claims that he gave a very long and detailed interview in Danish and it did not include anything remotely like these statements.

I don’t speak Dane so I’ve got no idea what happened, but last year a national magazine did a hatchet job on me over an article I had written.  It was a full page attack, had nothing to do with what I had said.

My experience is irrelevant to a piece about Arsenal of course, except to say that when it happens to yourself you begin to realise just how evil some of these journalists are.

The fact is, in my opinion at least, it makes much more sense to start from the proposition that what appears on the sports pages of the popular press, and on broadcast media, is just plain wrong, and to work from there, rather than start from the presumption that it is accurate.

There’s one further point on this.    The Mirror story was picked up and then appeared in loads of media – which of course helped give it the feeling of being accurate.  But it was still the same piece.  In other words the fact that a dozen or more papers run the piece does not mean a dozen or more people were at the original interview.  The papers just copy each other.

Indeed in my own trivial case, once the article about me had appeared in the national magazine it then turned up in a dozen other places, generally copied word for word.  And I actually had a number of people say to me that they only started to believe the story when it popped up in other magazines.

I doubt very much that Bendtner said anything like that which was reported – and that is always how it is.  Start from disbelief – and work outwards from there.  It is safer.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

11 Replies to “There are two types of Arsenal supporters”

  1. I hate how everyone now makes the assumption that bendtner is arrogant. The media have played up to this for atleast a season. Now the fans believe it.

    In evey (video) interview I have seen with him he seems perfectly amiable any “arrogance” is, in reality, confidence and comes with the understanding that he’ll have to work hard to succeed.

  2. I agree
    I know bendtner has a lot of confidence but even I thought those comments were a bit much for him
    Ive never known him to say hes better than other players in the side
    People say hes arrogant but hes knuckled down to a substitute role for a long time know
    The subs bench is where he should be for us in most games currently imo but a truly arrogant player would not be content with that
    In truth he has a pretty good attitude and thats why hes shown improvement over the past year or 2.

  3. I do feel for Bendtner as well, because he has an undeserved reputation for being arrogant, when he is no more than confident. All top players need to be confident and believe in themselves or they will not make it in a tough business. I also think that because he speaks English so well, people assume that he is completely fluent, when no doubt things sound more harsh translated into English than they might in the original language as some languages don’t have all the levels of subtlety of others. This has happened to other foreign players who might use the inappropriate word in English and their comments are then taken literally. However, when people don’t like a player, they are quick to condemn, whereas if it’s one of their favourites, they will get the benefit of the doubt. Actually, if anyone bothered to watch or read his interviews on the official website or magazine they would know that he is a likeable young man who clearly loves being at Arsenal and is prepared to work hard to make it here.

  4. We shouldn’t be surprised at this. Two points.

    First, it is just another variation on the only Arsenal story that the media print, which is “Arsenal in Crisis”.

    Second, ask yourself if you have ever read a story in the press about something that you actually knew the truth about. How wrong was the media coverage? I’ll bet it was off the point if not absolutely wrong. So, if you test the media in that way when it tackles your own direct knowledge and it turns out that it is spouting rubbish, it’s a fair bet that it also talks rubbish when covering all stories.

    Ipso facto. they are overpaid, lazy cowards. They spread filth like vermin.

    That is why negative bloggers are so damaging. Feeding the media ‘story’ and reinforcing their own sense of importance and prejudice in an endless and thought free cycle.

    Up the Arsenal.

  5. why Johan Djourou and Carlos Vela should start against Sunderland are:

    Kenwyn Jones will be playing.
    Emmanuel Eboue is our only other option on the wing.
    Well, the second is not strictly true, but if the manager’s pre-match comments are anything to go by then it seems unlikely that Andrey Arshavin will start. That leaves Vela or Eboue and for me it’s a no-brainer. Do you pick the player who ran Cardiff ragged on the left on Monday or the man who let everyone down against Tottenham and has struggled for form all season? It’s not a hard choice.

    The decision to play Djourou should be even more clear-cut for Wenger. The pairing of William Gallas and Kolo Toure is simply too short to deal with the power of Kenwyn Jones needs to be dealt with. In my eyes Djourou is the man for the job.

    The rest of the team picks itself. Eduardo’s unfortunate – but minor – injury means that Nicklas Bendtner will partner Robin van Persie up front, although that was likely to be the case regardless of the Crozilian’s availability. Gael Clichy should return in place of Kieran Gibbs while the midfield is likely to consist of Alex Song, Denilson, Samir Nasri and (hopefully) Vela.

    Sunderland are in decent form and have some nice attackers in their side, so the result is far from a formality despite our home advantage. The major talking point of the day will undoubtedly be the debut of Arshavin and Wenger has confirmed that he will definitely play a part. To expect him to have a tangible impact in his first game would be a little unfair, but I’m extremely excited to see what sort of performance he puts in if he gets on the pitch.

    Like every game coming up in the next two months, Saturday’s game is must-win. Confidence will be high after the 4-0 drubbing of Cardiff and if the likes of van Persie, Bendtner and Nasri can continue their good form then our boys are likely to come away with a win.

    Come on Arsenal and good luck Andrey!

  6. Manchester United beat Fulham 3 – 0 to go 5 points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table. Coupled with that stat, United are now 15 points clear of us.

    If anything is more glaringly obvious, it is that our title challenge is well and truly dead. Our recent form, although we haven’t lost recently, has had too many draws and as I touched on yesterday, 3 games ago, I’d say we were in with a shout. Three draws later and it’s looking ominous. Ominous for the title, precarious for the top four. We travel to Sunderland this weekend and nothing but a win can do. Anything but a win and we are really staring at 5th and 6th.

    So, the call to the team is not to be upset that we’re so far behind… but to start the season from Saturday. We have 13 games until the end of the season. We still have to play Liverpool away, United away and Chelsea at home. At a minimum we have to claw back 6 points on Chelsea and 9 on Villa. Yes, we need other teams to slip up, but we also need to start playing with swagger and style, confidence and ability.

    The re-introduction of Eduardo into our team, plus the performances of Vela, coupled with the Arshavin signing and the return from injury of Cesc and Walcott should give us enough impetuous to push on for the last couple of months of the season. Monday’s game was like no other game I have seen this season. We were incensed, we were passionate, we wanted it. The same again on Saturday is the order of the day.

  7. Why is everyone making such a big deal about Eduardo’s hamstring. I knew something like that would happen as it’s quite common just because of the type of injury he had would have meant there was some muscle wastage so that when he returns to competitve action it will take a while to get him up to speed. He’ll be back but we can’t expect too much from him although Larsson came back and it was like he’d nver been away.

    Plus, Why shouldn’t we be optimistic? Why should we be miserable all the time? To be honest, if football depressed me constantly the way it does some of you, I’d give up my season ticket and find another sport to watch. I think what intrigues me the most is how upset you guys get when we enjoy ourselves. I’m truly sorry if you’re sad but let the rest of us enjoy the good for now and we’ll worry about the bad when it happens. Cheers.
    And the other thing I think the board get an unfair press. It’s a pretty thankless task (except for the salaries of course). When things go well, they get little recognition but when things go bad, everyone turns on them. Fact is that it’s their job to ensure the stability – financial and otherwise – of the club and they’re doing an excellent job on that front. They haven’t taken any dividends, which they’re perfectly entitled to, for a while now. No one apart from the board members and Wenger know the exact truth behind how much money is available for transfers but the fact is that any money being saved is going into the club, not the directors’ pockets. If they really were money obsessed, the easiest thing for them to do would be sell the club to Usmanov, something they’re strongly resisting.

  8. Last season Adebayor had a fantastic season. He scored plenty of goals and even when he wasn’t scoring he at least put in a good shift of grafting for Arsenal’s cause.

    Players like John Terry and Rio Ferdinand said he was the hardest striker to play against in the Premiership; that is some compliment if you ask me.

    This season he seems a shadow of himself. He isn’t scoring as much but the worst thing for me is that he isn’t grafting and making defenders miserable like we know he can.

    He believes he has made it. He has in a financial sense of course but that shouldn’t be enough. He should want to improve and become one of the worlds best strikers. He has the potential to do it but does he have the hunger?

    He is out for three weeks. This time out could really benefit himself and Arsenal. He needs to get his head straight and rediscover the Ade of old.

    It’s obvious his head was turned in the summer. He began to believe the hype surrounding him. Maybe it was a mistake to offer him such a well-rewarded contract after just one good season.

    What I do know is its time he earned his money. I hope he reflects on his season so far during the period he is out and realises he hasn’t been good enough. This time could do him the world of good.

  9. Get with the programme Mason.

    You need to get your act together and be more of a miserable g*t. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know that misery is ‘de rigeur’ for Arsenal fans this year?

    The next thing you’ll be saying is that football is meant to be entertainment and that teams should play attractive football.

    If I want fun I’ll go down the pub and have a good old moan with my mates, the miserable f*uckers. Either that or just slit my wrists.

  10. Tony, it’s not too difficult to discover what Bendtner actually said (some of it at least):

    http://www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=513332

    That blog, plus goonertalk, are the only two Arsenal blogs (before I saw yours) that challenged the Mirror’s twisted interpretation of Bendtner’s interview with a Danish magazine.

    The guy at goonertalk provided this interesting piece on Nik’s words: http://www.sportwithoutspin.com/football090216bendtnerspin.htm. Check it out.

    What’s important here is that the media do this all the time when one of our players does a FOREIGN LANGUAGE interview. They twisted Hleb’s interview (in which he NEVER attacked Cesc for being “selfish,” he was instead praising Cesc for being more amibitious in front of goal and criticizing himself for not being that way) and they did that with Gallas last season when he was wrongly quoted as saying that he has no friends at Arsenal — when in fact the question he was asked had to do with the England national team and who on that team, if any, he was friends with.

    ALWAYS BEWARE OF THE ENGLISH MEDIA’S TAKE ON A FOREIGN LANGUAGE INTERVIEW OF ONE OF OUR PLAYERS.

  11. Tony, it’s not too difficult to discover what Bendtner actually said (some of it at least):

    http://www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=513332

    That blog, plus goonertalk, are the only two Arsenal blogs (before I saw yours) that challenged the Mirror’s twisted interpretation of Bendtner’s interview with a Danish magazine.

    The guy at goonertalk provided this interesting piece on Nik’s words:

    http://www.sportwithoutspin.com/football090216bendtnerspin.htm. Check it out.

    What’s important here is that the media do this all the time when one of our players does a FOREIGN LANGUAGE interview. They twisted Hleb’s interview (in which he NEVER attacked Cesc for being “selfish,” he was instead praising Cesc for being more amibitious in front of goal and criticizing himself for not being that way) and they did that with Gallas last season when he was wrongly quoted as saying that he has no friends at Arsenal — when in fact the question he was asked had to do with the England national team and who on that team, if any, he was friends with.

    ALWAYS BEWARE OF THE ENGLISH MEDIA’S TAKE ON A FOREIGN LANGUAGE INTERVIEW OF ONE OF OUR PLAYERS.

Comments are closed.