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The Illusion of change


By ………..Don McMahon

Following recent comical attempts by a few hundred plastic fanboys (mostly kids) to agitate for an alternate reality at AFC, it became apparent to most true Gooners that change for the sake of Russian Roulette style improvements is comical at best and tragically shortsighted at worst!

These fickle fairweather, moaning plastic fanboys want to see the back of Wenger, the Board, Gazidis and half the team and AFC spending vast amounts of cash, in the dubious presumption that changing the aforementioned elements will magically improve AFC’s results.

Wenger will eventually retire, hopefully after another contract is signed, but if not, he will ensure that his replacement is there for the long term and that the transition is smooth and positive

While agitation for change is not necessarily bad, we need to appreciate that change guarantees nothing, other than the unknown and far too often, the unwanted and usually the unanticipated.

Ask Chelsea, United, Spuds, and Liverpool about revolving door manager bingo.

Tony and Walter have ceaselessly proven that big name transfers don’t necessarily bring success, either immediate or medium term and that most managerial changes lead to more managerial changes. They have shown that, regardless of who our new manager would be, or new superstars bought at exorbitant prices would promise, the PIGMOB would even out the pitch in order to ensure that Arsenal fail to achieve their full potential. One penalty for Arsenal in 6 months says it all!

However, IF (and that is a gigantic supposition unsupported by any evidence) there was a consensus and unanimity among Goonerdom about changes needed, then the challenge would be to prepare a strategy and a campaign to be heard and get results.

The real problem is that the booboys and aaa are not going about it the right way, since they only know the classless sniping from the shadows that is their trademark! They insult Wenger and the team in public, at a home game, and what does it get them? Disdain from true supporters, egg on their collective snouts from the fairweather media and derision from the pundits and knowledgeable aficionados of the game.

The best way to sensitize the Club to the need for change is to make a strong, well-reasoned, fact supported case, then present it to the board and owner, backed by a collective fanbase large enough for them to have to pay attention to it. NONE of this has happened because the above criteria are anathema to the aaa booboys,  these moaners are not particularly action-oriented (as proven by events recently), nor are they willing to stand up and be counted, they prefer the anonymity of cyberspace to vent their wrath on the incestuous sewer that Walter referred to in his review of how a commentary he sent to a website was then changed by the editors.

When we had 100k signatures against Dean being allowed to do another AFC game, it was ignored by all and sundry, including the Club*, as far as I can determine! What will a few hundred idiots holding up moronic cue cards at a home game accomplish if 100,000 people are totally ignored by all and sundry?

AFC like any other commercial sporting enterprise is sensitive only to one thing, loss of serious revenue. IF they played to a few empty stadiums, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’d do something….but what their reaction would be is beyond my ken. Maybe they’d sack Wenger, Gazidis and half the team BUT that is not likely for three incontestable reasons;

  • Kroenke wouldn’t accept or let them make wholesale changes, it isn’t his style!
  • The Board know that such changes could drive AFC into a vicious circle of new managers, lowered interest from potential transfers, loss of cohesion in the team, despair in the youth ranks, lowered moral overall, the likely risk of more fanbase disenchantment if things don’t improve, subsequent potential loss of ad revenue,etc.
  • Arsenal’s Board are relatively conservative and prefer keeping it simple. Grand gestures that sweep all asunder are NOT their style either.

What hope do any of us have for being listened to by the powers that be?

  • The stuffed suits at the FA still fawn over FIFA like moonstruck adolescents enthralled by their pop idols.
  • FIFA have simply switched lightbulbs and Uefa seem powerless to even manage their European commitments.
  • The PIGMOB have remained in the shadows, bribing their retiring officials to keep their mouths shut, refusing to face reality and pretending that the Titanic is totally seaworthy as the waves wash over the bridge.
    • The EU is interested but unappreciative of the corruption of football,
    • The British government regularly fails to question what is transpiring in Football despite mounting evidence of corruption, manipulation of match results and even drug abuse.
    • The players are happy to bank their millions and just get about doing their thing, unwilling to rock the boat.
    • The national fanbase is content to hate their rivals, mock the officials, moan about how expensive tickets are, find the catering abysmal BUT still attend football matches in record numbers.

There is a definite sense of ennui and helplessness pervading the Game worldwide and lovers of the Game are despairing of any of these aberrations ever being addressed. Who can blame them?


*I try to be as light as I can on editing articles from people who kindly take the time to write pieces for Untold, and I don’t want to interfere with their work, but I’m adding this footnote as I am not sure it is absolutely right that the 100,000 signing of the petition had no effect.  Of course when it started, the petition was sniggered at by the powers that be, but as the number grew I sensed behind the scenes that conversations were happening and there was a little uncomfortable shuffling in seats.  Yes it is true, nothing happened as a result, but I think were are in a situation in which each issue edges some people (people with far more power than those of us writing a blog), to ask one or two more questions, and probe a little further.   The powers that be expected 5,000 maybe 10,000 people to sign and I think a few people in significant positions were actually bemused that 100,000 was achieved.  Of course I would like the change to go much more rapidly, but I wouldn’t write off that 100,000 signature campaign – nor indeed our reporting on the workings of PGMO and its employees.   Tony Attwood, publisher.


Honouring the 28 Originals.

On this day in 1893 Royal Arsenal formally became Woolwich Arsenal, in order to meet League regulations over club structure (see more in the anniversary files).   To commemorate this day the Arsenal History Society’s review of every player who played in Arsenal’s first league season, has been concluded today.  A huge array of new facts have been revealed is currently developing a series on every Arsenal player who played for the club’s first team in a league match in the 1893/4 season.  In many ways we’ve re-written a year in Arsenal’s history!

You can read the full index to the articles celebrating the start of Woolwich Arsenal on the Arsenal History Society Web Site 


29 comments to The Illusion of change

  • geekaybee

    Everybody has a right to express their opinions without being insulted. Especially when a great number of fans believe they are correct. I don’t read about fans insulting you because you don’t agree with them. I think I will give up reading this site.

  • Joe

    I’m not one of the AKNs (Arsene know’s nothing) but i’m surprised you want him to sign a new contract with the way we play at present.

    I watch our team and we create very little, we seem to have a halo of “great football” over our club from past glories so no-one really pays attention to the fact that we really just shift the ball about laboriously and it’s really not exciting or beautiful.

    The main issue i have with the side at present is we look awful when we don’t have the ball, play seems to bypass CM and be directly bearing down on our DM immediately after we lose the ball.

    We aren’t fit enough to press teams into mistakes for any more than 25 mins. We win games by having more expensive players playing rather than tactical intelligence. I feel like we’ve become one of the high spending teams we used to regularly beat and look down on at the start of Wenger’s reign.

    Wenger deserves the final year to make it 20 but unless he is able to make the side into a solid unit, rather than just a bunch of individuals, this year should be his last at the club.

    Will it happen? Of course not, he’s not going to turn down £8M per season and silent stan doesn’t give a damn providing the $s keep flowing through the door and the share price is maintained/increased.

  • para

    “so no-one really pays attention to the fact that we really just shift the ball about laboriously and it’s really not exciting or beautiful” anymore.

    Spot on. It is almost painfull to watch sometimes, but more painfull is that people still think we play “beautiful football” except on the rare occasions, but then every team has these rare occasions.

    But change has started as i mentioned before that TH is joining the academy next season as assistant. All we need is DB to join as 1st team assistant?

  • Pat

    Well said Don and Tony.

    There isn’t much about Arsenal I’d like to change.

    We play exciting, skilful football, we bring on young players, develop experienced ones, and are loyal to long-standing players when they are injured. We try to play fair as evidenced by our place in the fair play league. We deliver Champions League football year after year. Last year and the year before we gave our supporters a Cup Winners’ parade. We achieved the ultimate, the unbeaten season and the 49 games.

    Anyway, I think if anybody is always thinking about what can and should be changed, it is the manager. This is not a man who ever wants to just look backwards and rest on his laurels. No one is better qualified to examine our football and make, or do his level best to make, the required changes than he is.

    The 100,000 signatures were a sign that Arsenal supporters have noticed the refereeing and are disturbed by it, which is very encouraging for Tony, Walter, Usama, Andrew and all the others who have never ceased to highlight the problems, basing themselves on factual analysis. I am glad to hear from Tony that this dissatisfaction was noticed.

    A change in the refereeing is the change that would make by far the greatest difference for Arsenal.

  • porter

    Pat and thereby hangs the tale :- We play exciting, skilful football.

    No we don’t , it’s become one paced , turgid and easily defended against. We may have skillful players but they are individuals rather than a team.

  • Pete

    The Mike Dean petition did have an effect insofar as he was kept away from Arsenal matches for several months… slowly reappearing as 4th official, then as an FA Cup referee and finally a League referee. Not long enough I grant you – but certainly much longer than it would have been if nothing had happened.

    As for the griping about our recent performances – the team’s recent form hasn’t been the best – but, as ever, the whingers don’t look at the long term view. Earlier in the season we were playing great football with the same players (Cazorla being the significant recent absentee). As highly as I rate Cazorla I don’t think his absence has been the entire reason for our poor form.

    But the key thing to remember is that form is temporary but class is permanent.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    So this change punditing won’t go away but keep coming back after the change agitatiors have been delt a serious set back at the Ems last Saturday.

    I think it’s about time the sleeping dog should be allowed to be liying down without disturbing it unecessarily.

    Man City have been knocked out from reaching the final of this season’s Ucl by Real Madrid. Arsenal will go to Etihad on Sunday to engage Man City in a battle for a BPL league 3rd place table finish supremacy. That’s the only thing Man City can fight for now. And they fight Arsenal for collecting all the 3 points with the vengeance of being knocked out of reachiing the Ucl final.

    But if I were Manuel Pelegrini, I’ll start to leave the fight for a 3rd place for Pep Guardiola to come next season to Man City and do the fight himself.

    Arsenal will be better placed to overtake Spurs who are sitting in the 2nd position in the table now, if we win our last 2 matches of this season than Man City are likely to overtake them. For me, this is my focus now.

  • WalterBroeckx

    as my picture is on the header of this site I can say that I am one of the “faces” of this blog.
    Just today I went on the internet and got some twitter notifications that my name has been used in a tweet.
    It was someone from the moaning aaa part of the fan base who had written that as I don’t want Wenger out I am a spud. Someone I didn’t know (and don’t really want to know now) but he found it fine to insult me (and a few others as I went digging a bit deeper).

    And yes I feel insulted by such a thing. When I replied to him with the words of Herbert Chapman that a club should be one big family with all its members from top to bottom pulling in the same direction I got an answer that had another insult in it.
    I used the words of Chapman because he had a picture of Chapman as his avatar.

    And then I don’t even mention the insults behind the scenes that are never published…. So if we hit back from time to time this doesn’t come just because we like to do it. Maybe more because we are fed up with having to deal with those insults?

  • Slade

    “These fickle fairweather, moaning plastic fanboys want to see the back of Wenger, the Board, Gazidis and half the team and AFC spending vast amounts of cash, in the dubious presumption that changing the aforementioned elements will magically improve AFC’s results.”

    The hubris of the authors of this blog site to censor those that disagree with your opinions…and then post such childish vitriol like the paragraph above is astonishing.

    It is nothing more than tit-for-tat and you are as guilty of arrogance (without the resume) as the people you criticise in each and every post.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice one Don . I for one am looking forward to next season as we again battle the other clubs who already have changed or are going to change . By this I of course mean the managerial changes and also the style of play as the new man dictates . There could be quite a few bargains when their clearance sales start .

    As for us , I suppose that there will be some new players blooded in , with a few leaving too. Not sure if the Foxes will be changing too much either. Unless crazy money comes in.

  • bushido

    what more proof that u want that some of aaa n wob flocks is a nasty human being when they start to pretend to be someone else and start to create this so many lies n false accusation as mr Walter pointed on the comment above, how come some people can be so full of negativity not to mention the insult n abuse this aaa n wob flocks dish out especially to Arsene Wenger n Arsenal supporter who still believe in him n the direction the club is heading. nobody ask this aaa n wob to come to this site, n as the creator n founder of this site mention so many time before everyone is welcome to this site.untold arsenal is 1 of the site i visit if i want to know about the club news n free from all the negativity n where u dont have to hate if u want to be accepted like some of the so call Arsenal site(not all of them’ i guess?). some of this aaa n wob flocks keep dishing out their agenda that as long as A.Wenger is the club manager, Arsenal football club will always be in dire state n not capable to compete for title. some of the channel i stumble upon this so call Arsenal fans even invite fans from other club to abuse n insult Wenger, even if Arsenal draw in a match is a meltdown, abuse manager n players n their favorite of cos Wenger is useless n had to go’ if this the new age of so call Arsenal fans some who seek 5 minute of fame on the internet with their childish rant.

  • omgarsenal

    Geekaybee…….sorry to bruise your fragile ego but please answer the following If you can:

    1) Why don’t you write an article for UA and see how people react to your ideas?

    2) What is a ¨great¨number of fans for you……05%/1% ???

    3) If you choose to grace UA with your absence, I offer you the old Irish blessing, ¨Everyone brings joy into UA, some by entering and some by leaving!¨

  • Ken1945

    At the Emirates on Saturday we saw first hand how many the 80% of Arsenal fans who want A.W. out actually amounted to. It was fantastic to chant and hear A.W.’s name chanted from the 55,000 plus fans who actually support Arsenal Football Club. Yet here we are again reading how the mindless few think they know better. The dignity Arsene showed versus the “200 mass protesters” is what Arsenal F.C. is all about and it made me proud to be a real gooner.
    Walter, I would take it as a huge compliment that one of these morons actually follows you on this page. The only one of the aaa’s that I know is Piers Morgan, you know the one that couldn’t tell a fake photograph from a real one!! I cannot think of another team, apart from maybe) Manure, that have had the injuries to key players that we have had. Yet here we are again pushing for Champions League and maybe even second spot.
    Of course we all want to be champions, but there are 14 clubs in the premier league who would love to be in our position and come next weekend maybe even seventeen.
    As for Mike Dean, I was one who signed the petition and cannot believe that he has been allowed to officiate one of our games again. It was proven that he got all the important and game changing decisions wrong against Chelsea and OMG(surprise surprise) they were all against us!!!!!
    Thanks for this site and how it lets me voice my opinion without being intimidated by loud mouth idiots. Keep up the brilliant work.

  • porter

    Were you there Ken ? I was and I did not hold leaflet out of respect to a man that has done a lot for the club’s history. But there is one thing I can tell you , there were a lot more than 200 being shown on the Clock end alone. From where I am on the North Bank I could not see the blocks 4 ,5, and 6 where Red Action the people organising the protest were but I am informed that it was about 1 person in 15 and this is borne out by a report in the Eastern Evening News from a Norwich correspondent who could see the whole of the Arsenal lower tier who described it as a sizeable minority. As the people that support the manager are loudly trumpeting how they shouted down the protest I would suggest that as it was a silent protest that was hardly difficult and I might add that stewards were in action separating people attacking ones holding the leaflet. One incident 3 rows in front of me.I find it sad that these things took place and that people were not allowed to peacefully display their leaflets in peace themselves.

  • Andy Mack

    Whether AW should extend his contract would be quite a difficult vote. As mentioned previously, of my 20+ Gooner mates, only 3 of them want AW to leave now (all under 30 y/o kids of long time supporters). However of the rest of us, a few would like him to stay forever but there’s an equal proportion that want him to see out his contract but not to extend it. That would cause issues between the supporters as well as the ‘Fan Boys’ unless we won some silverware next season.

    Hopefully the ‘Fan Boys’ will finally understand that the only way the club will notice them is when they don’t renew their season ticket.

    (Don’t mention the season ticket waiting list and the chance their ticket may be taken by a real ‘supporter’!).

  • porter

    Sadly it does come to that and many season ticket holders like myself have invested too much of their lives to going to Highbury and now the Grove to just walk away. It’s the cleft stick that the club have us in . I can’t remember a scintillating performance this season since the first half against United there have been glimpses but in all honesty it’s the tradition that keeps you going and the hope that things will get better sooner rather than later.I would be the first in the queue to call out his name if I thought he deserved it however like a few of your friends I too don’t think that lately , he does.

  • Why if you don’t agree with a Site that clearly shows at the top Pro Arsenal, Pro Wenger do you come on it at all. It’s just to whine people up if you can at least admit that much. How someone can sink so low as they have with Walter is a total disgrace and shows cowardice. You see what this site stands for and have the audacity to come on here and insult the people this site was set up by and for.
    Stupid and childish things to do. Go to your anti Wenger and Arsenal sites and throw insults till your fingers bleed because if you insult be prepared to take it back and own it.

  • Ken1945

    Re: Porter
    I am a season ticket holder in the clock end and before that, at Highbury, had season tickets in the East and West stands. Now then Porter, let’s check the facts: This was not billed as a silent protest by the anti Wenger boys or the media. It only turned out that way because their was so few prepared to hold up the ridiculous banners. (i.e. this is Arsenal F.C. not Arsene F.C.). Linda’s point further down is absolutely spot on and I fail to see why those against Arsene would want to come on Untold, it’s beyond me. I would never dream of visiting aaa sites after reading the bile that is printed there. I tried to participate but was ridiculed and called names that would have made Charles Manson blush!! At the clock end we had the usual bigmouths shouting out, but they were drowned out by Arsene supporters. I did not witness any kind of violence or restraint and, while not disputing your version of events, it usually follows that those who failed try to get some crumb of comfort from events that did not support their views. We have two games to go, so why can’t we just support the club, manager and players and see where we finish the season? You sound like a reasonable guy and I respect your views but you must admit the demonstration against the owner, club and manager was a total damp squid, so let’s go forward and relish in the thought that Spuds are in one hell of a mess and we could still pip them for second place!

  • Pat

    Come on Porter, if a true Arsenal supporter saw someone holding up one of those signs and tore it out of his hands – as I saw one woman do – are you really surprised?

    She didn’t attack him, insult him or abuse him, she just tore up his silly little pre-printed poster. And I’d still like to know who produced them, because the people on another stream who claimed to have done so were clearly lying.

  • Mark

    I saw the guy and his daughter handing out the signs.
    Whether he printed them is another matter..

  • Porter

    Actually Pat I consider that the woman in your example was in the wrong. We do live in a democratic society and one of the main ideals is that people should be free to air their views as they wish.

  • bushido

    so porter you consider the woman was wrong to do that you said but the protester was so right in your eyes that you see nothing wrong to protest during the match when the team need the full support and still fighting for CL spot for the next season. how do you think the players feel when they see that, maybe the protesters main aim is for the team to lost focus and lose the match so they can keep pushing their main agenda thats the club manager is useless and had to be sack or if he had any dignity is to resign.the aaa and wob flocks argue thats the owner dont give a toss and wont spend any money, they seem to forgot that the club spend 250 mill in the last 4 or 5 season bringing in new players. they had their way the protester with their bigger then ever protest and we all can see they fail, even some of the media back track and change their tune after the match. many supporters around the world still believe Arsenal football club is moving in the right direction

  • omgarsenal

    Slade…………..I have no trouble with posters offering alternate opinions and contesting my vision of AFC and do NOT censor reasonable posters, provided they;

    1) Make rational and incisive arguments backed up by facts,

    2) Do so respectfully and with tact, unlike you

    3) Offer positive criticism, again one of your failings,

    4) Actually take the time to write what they post rather than cut and paste like so many aaa do.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Here ‘s a guide on the rules on how to be always a gentleman , from –


    Say please and thank you .
    Work hard .
    Mind your manners .
    Offer a lady your seat .
    Don’t curse .
    Extend a firm handshake .
    Keep your word.
    Respect your elders .
    Always make eye contact.
    Open doors for others .
    Stand up straight .
    Stay well groomed.
    Act chivalrous.
    Read books often.
    Have a romantic sensibility .
    Shy away from gossip.
    Be punctual.
    Love well .
    Stay humble .

  • porter

    Bushido :-If the lady is aggressive which it sounds as if she was then yes , she is wrong.
    If the protest is peaceful then it is their right to hold it.
    I very much doubt the allegation that the protesters wanted the team to lose , many of the faces have been around since standing at Highbury days.
    It does appear that The owner is not as committed to winning things as he might be.
    It is the right of those many supporters to consider the club to moving in the right direction , just as it is the right for the protesters to feel that it isn’t.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Linda I came on here to read Tony Attwood’s pieces on the F.A , FIFA and other things on the governance of football in general which are well thought out and interesting. However as along standing supporter of the team home and away I felt it was a good thing to pipe up on subjects about the club. I am always polite and I believe that my comments are measured and thought about before I post them. If you feel that because I don’t necessarily agree with you that I should stop then so be it. I will continue to read but will not post again.

  • omgarsenal

    Porter……… the contrary, I respect your views and find your posts interesting and reasonable. In fact I would encourage you to actually write an article, as we need different perspectives at UA. We are all Arsenal family here and support Wenger, but don’t hide from his faults and pecadillos…..personally I like to take a balanced view about him and the team. What really bothers me are those fake fans who are actually cutting and pasting, spuds in disguise or relentless in their hatred of Wenger and his Club, without any redeeming opinions whatsoever.
    This is NOT your case. I agree that Silent Stan is a passive owner and really doesn’t care about Football but he does care about his investments and so takes a hands off approach to the Club, as long as it doesn’t fall into the red (excess debt) and as long as it is well managed…..which is the case so far.
    So I respectfully offer you the challenge of writing for UA, like I do….I am sure your contributions would be welcome by Tony & Walter as well.

  • Porter
    I was not getting at you but at those who come on here with their cut and paste and some come on just to start arguments and some of the comments are really out of order. If people come on a Pro Wenger Pro Arsenal site with their snide remarks they can expect an answer. I’m sick and tired of the whining and moaning instead of getting behind the team when anyone with a pair of eyes can see that this is the time they need us cheering them on the most. That protest done no one any good at all especially not Arsenal FC and only seeks to undermine those men out on the pitch.

  • porter

    Thanks for your replies , I don’t always agree but I try to keep things civil.

  • Top Guns

    Linda I agree. I just posted on another article that the fanbase really does need to come together from now on. In a way I think it was a good thing that the protest happened as you can argue that it has cleared the air a little. They have had their say, now let’s all get on with supporting the team!