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Anti-Wenger racism rises over proposed new signing revealing the darkest side of anti-Arsenal Arsenal.

By Tony Attwood

The Anti-Arsenal Arsenal grouping is in many regards a rather silly collection of people, some of whom are easily led astray, and some of whom hold some extremely repulsive views and only a tiny minority of whom see to be able to put forward coherent arguments with evidence for regime change at Arsenal.

Of late, the silly wing has settled into the annual “Arsenal set to miss out on” variant headlines such as Is this perfect Arsenal player another star Wenger will miss out on? from HITC and Arsenal Fail Again In Bid To Add Striker To Squad from Just Arsenal News.

Attempting to take a more moderate line the Independent says, Wenger plays down move for Lyon’s Lacazette, which means there will be more “Arsenal fail to…” stories in a few moments.

But the really repulsive wing of the aaa has gone on the attack (inevitably anonymously on Twitter) over the story that the Japanese striker Takuma Asano has been approached by Arsenal.

Takuma Asano (浅野拓磨) is 21 and has played 50 times for Sanfrecce Hiroshima scoring ten goals in the league and four times for the national team.  Adding in the cup games for his club he has scored 20 in 75 games.  His team is one of the very top teams in Japan, having won the league twice in the last four years and the cup three times.  He is said to be in his country’s squad for the Rio Olympics.

Apart from that it is quite hard to find out much about the player.  So why the instant abuse?

One reason of course is that the aaa knock every new potential signing, another is that the player is unknown in the west, and so by definition must be no good.   The final one verges on racism and relates to a notion that players from the far east are no good by definition.

It is true that Arsenal have not succeeded with players from that region – but then that is on a sample of three.  Junichi Inamoto came with much promise but never made a league start, although he did play 48 games for Fulham and 21 for West Brom.  Ryo Miyaichi played once in the league but was hit by injuries and after a series of loans he moved to Germany.

Park Chu Young likewise never made it having been a success in Monaco, and is now back in South Korea.  

But a record of three players who did not make it does not excuse the commentaries that are around.  One could pick three players from an English county who have not made it with Arsenal, and then make a similar fuss, and although it wouldn’t verge on racism.  Saying that players from Dorset (to take an example at random) make useless footballers would look stupid and well as being stupid.  Yet there are people who seriously want to put forward racist views on footballers.

What does seem to emerge from looking at the transfer rumours is that increasingly they are used not so much to suggest players that Arsenal might sign, but to propose a specific point of view (in this case a distasteful one).  

The “Arsenal are weak” approach meanwhile continues to explore every possible form of put down.   The Express for example today goes with “Chelsea deal confirmed, Man Utd swap, Liverpool boost, Arsenal offer” – the offer being for Takuma Asano.

It is easy from this to see how those Arsenal fans who are easily swayed in their opinions or who already have a very negative view of the club can see this continuing battering by the media as reflecting the real life situation.  “Everyone else spends £30m on a player, and we buy a Japanese unknown,” is the view, forgetting that we have already bought Granit.

Of course the fact is that Arsenal would not have Iwobi, Bellerin and Coquelin if it were not for the club’s record in bringing forward the talent of such players.  And the ability to find such players has been greatly enhanced by buying StatDNA in 2012.  

StatDNA is based in the USA but has a huge workforce in east Asia, and cost Arsenal £2.165m – which is nothing when compared to player transfers.  Indeed it is less than the recent increase UK clubs have had to pay for a major player where the price is quoted in Euros.  It is now owned by Arsenal Overseas Holdings.

When speaking about it Ivan Gazidis said, “The company is an expert in the field of sports data performance analysis, which is a rapidly developing area and one that I, and others, believe will be critical to Arsenal’s competitive position.  The insights produced by the company are widely used across our football operations – in scouting and talent identification, in game preparation, in post-match analysis and in gaining tactical insights.”

This of course gets no publicity.  Instead what we find is a lot of headlines such as “Arsenal ‘nicked’ the wrong scout from Leicester, says Gary Lineker” in the Guardian last February after Ben Wrigglesworth left Leicester for Arsenal.  It was a shame to see that story with such a large headline by Ed Aarons, given that the Guardian had earlier done a very good report not just on StatDNA but on Jaeson Rosenfeld the CEO of StatDNA.

Jaeson Rosenfeld is the man who also founded Digital Divide Data a company whose mission statement (if you follow the link) is to help some of the world’s poorest people benefit from information technology by creating sustainable social enterprises.   DDD employs around 500 disadvantaged people in Cambodia and Laos, providing a workforce that can produce detailed video analysis.  It is a part of Arsenal rarely given publicity, and indeed the club itself makes little of it.

The workers watch footage of matches from around the world and then code the data not just in terms of assists, for example, but the exact nature of the assist where the ball ended up, and so on.

This is of course the exact opposite of a social model from those members of the aaa with their comments about Takuma Asano but it shows a level of social responsibility at Arsenal not often commented upon.


Recent Posts

Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle.  The books are

  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
  • Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace.  By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
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  • Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
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You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page


50 comments to Anti-Wenger racism rises over proposed new signing revealing the darkest side of anti-Arsenal Arsenal.

  • ScotchEggsRule

    Careful how you throw the word racism around. It’s the first thing used by the left to shut down any discussion they don’t like. Whether it’s racist or not. Something Labour governments and the Remain campaign specialised in.

    Don’t fall into the same pathetic trap. Free speech is different to racist abuse. If you don’t like what someone is saying, say so. If you don’t like what someone is saying and you cry racism. You’d better be right. Otherwise your merely attenpting to shut down free speech.

  • virg

    Arsenal were once linked with another Japanese player who I always wished we could have signed. The three time Balon D’ Or and four time World player of the year nominee Hidetoshi Nakata. Watch his highlight reel on YouTube and you’ll see all the qualities that Wenger admires in Asian forwards at the best level possible.

    If Asano is good then I hope we sign him. I hope we sign all our proper targets really.

  • Leon

    How did racism get into this? I didn’t see the twitter stuff, so can’t give an opinion on what was actually said (it may have been racist for all I know), but to not like footballers from the far east is a reasonable preference and not in any way an attack on Arsenal as you are suggesting.

  • Leon

    ….not in any way an attack on Arsene. (same difference)

  • Leon


    If you’re the same guy who used to comment on football articles in The Mail (or Guardian) you’ll have a lot of fun here.?

  • Problem is, if I see something that looks to me like a racist comment I am hardly going to repeat it am I?

    If you want to know a bit more about what I think, read some of the earlier articles.

  • virg

    racism: the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

    An example of that, Oxford dictionary of English defined racism is to say something like, “All white people are horrible dancers.”

    And based on this, the following tweet on the issue is racist:

    But it is true that footballers from certain leagues do possess similar basic characteristics (although each player will have other unique traits) because they are all schooled in a similar style of play. So criticism based on the style or the league would be fine, but people like @joelcalv have ignored this and gone straight for race and so that is both illogical and racist.

  • But, such racism seems to be in the minority on twitter, and as other media have been criticized on this site before for trying to generalize an entire supporter base based on the tweets of a few I assume that this post was just to show the negativity of some even when such negativity is unwarranted and plainly wrong.

  • para

    I have again to comment on racism. This as i once stated is a pure political term. No single person can really be racist, it takes a society with all the power to be racist.

    Example, two people of the same nationality and color have arguments and disagreements that lead to fight. No one ever even thinks of racism.

    Yet two of differing nationalities and colour have the same disputes and same fight. All of a sudden everyone is calling “racism”.

    Real racism is ALWAYS institutionalised and used to keep a whole race subjugated, kept back, oppressed and finaly eradicated. Check out Tasmania’s history for a lesson on how it works.

    At least that is what racism means to me.

    No amount of name calling or horrid remarks can equal the refusal of a job because of “differences”, the rejection of loan applications for same, the refusal of a hotel for same, the passing over for promotion even though highly qualified, the list goes on.

    Sad is, that this, the real racism is not well known by many. It is the silent deadly racism that costs lives, but all we hear about is the false psuedo racism that the media(well i never!) constantly projects.

  • lee

    Tony sometimes I think you read too much into things that aren’t really there and think the whole world is against Arsene Wenger and arsenal. So much that it has become an obsession with you. You state to others ,usually the AAA that evidence is required but you use none of this yourself in some of your blogs. I have read many of the sport columns this morning and can not find one shred of evidence that they have been racist in any way. It is too easy to call people racist these days ,hell if you voted Brexit you were deemed a racist by the IN brigade .Quite sad really.

  • ClockEndRider

    Recently this blog has become some kind of lower 6th political playground. It would be great if it could return to being a haven of sanity with respect to Arsenal in particular and football in general and less of a forum for the spurious linking of football stories with writers political preferences.

  • Jambug


    I know what you mean to a point, but surely you have to concede that the way Wenger is treated by the Media is rooted in the fact that he is ‘French’ ?

    Isn’t that racism?

    From all he has achieved, and contributed to the Premier League, to what a decent human being he is, you would of thought he would of been revered.

    Indeed I believe if he was English he would be a National treasure.

    Alas, he is ridiculed and derided on an almost daily basis, throughout our media.

    Is this behaviour Racist? Is it Racism? Maybe, maybe not, I personally think it is.

    If not, what would you call it?

  • Al

    I find a lot of people in England very ignorant about lots of things. It’s like to them if they don’t know something then it mustn’t be good. I kept getting questions like so you’re from Africa, so is it one country… or is your country in South Africa… I did geography at school and could tell you more than three quarters of the capital cities in this world, when I was in school I could tell you more than 95% actually, and someone thinks not knowing if Africa is a country or a continent is cool.

    I’m with Tony here; questioning someone who you’ve not seen in action, but choose to dismiss by virtue of location they come from, making disparaging remarks in the process, is racist.

  • colario

    June 30, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Your comment reminds me of this comment.

    On being asked what he thought of Arsenal’s appointment of Arsene Wenger as their new manager Mr (as he was then) Ferguson manager of the club we know as manure said:

    “What does a Frenchman from Japan know about English football?

    By the time of his appoint Arsene and won both the French League and cup and been cheated out of more success by corruption in French football and had taken Monaco to the semi final of the Champions league and much to my surprise and delight persuaded Glen Hoddle the wonderspud (Glen was a skillful and talented player one spuds best – thus my delight) to leave his beloved spuds and play at Monaco.

    Mr Ferguson new all this but still he derided Arsene in public.

  • Al


    Exactly 🙂

  • Chris


    right on spot.
    The press behave like lemmings, just mobbing on and on.
    They need an ennemy, they supply one and everybody looks ther and nowhere else.

    Reminds me of other situations in far and recent history….how about you all ?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    OT (sorry) but has anyone just seen Boris’ speech? What does he mean this is our chance to think globally again?
    Whose “our”? What does he mean “thinking”? And what does he mean “globally again”? Does he know what he means?

  • finsbury

    It was not Tony Atwood who made a fool of himself with jingoistic scream:

    “Au revoir Venga”

    On the national state broadcaster

  • finsbury


    “Our” = the Bullingdon Bad Boyz
    Including his old chum the outgoing pig *****er, our current and next PM.

    The old one two around the box. Shame the England footballers have forgtten such manoeuvres. apart from St.Jack who made lots of ones but there was no technique out there that could provide a return two

  • Al

    Jambug 1:20pm
    I hadn’t seen your post as I was composing mine… but I’m afraid you’re right. Change Wenger’s nationality to anything else that’s not French and he’ll be worshipped like some demi-god. Even a scumbag like mourinho is thought of highly here, and that tells you something. To pose your question again, what would one call it, if it’s not race-related?

  • Leon


    Don’t know about a national treasure, but Wenger WAS awarded an OBE in 2002. Not bad for a Frenchman.

  • bushido

    since the Brexit result and England are out of euro i just observe the situation and refuse to make any comment cos i know how sensitive the issue really is to some English people. i see many people has shown their true color, you may try to deny it but racism among the western country is on a rise due to some gullible people been brainwashed by the mainstream media. let the AAA,WOB and the concrete thinker say what they want and in the end they just embarrassed themself cos it don’t matter whether Arsenal gonna sign or not signing any players or some Arsenal fans demand Wenger out cos Vardy turn Arsenal down and Chelsea with no CL football next season just made a 35mill bid on Belgium subs striker, Arsenal will always remain competitive and AW will once again show how childish some of this so call Arsenal fans really are. about Takuma Asano, he even admit that if he make a move to Arsenal, he will probably not going straight into the 1st team and accept to be loan out to continued his development. you be amaze by some people acting like they have a crystal ball that they can see and predict the future.

  • finsbury

    Sterling who is not even close to chamberlain but still a international is getting the old John Barnes treatment.

    He was not England’s worst performer. Not by a long way. But there’s no bigotry in English football? Right? Sure it’s better then elsewhere, or it was but those above trying band failing to argue otherwise are doing themselves no favours *puts fingers in ears and starts to sing*

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Fins, shurley you dont mean the British Empire mk2?

  • Jambug


    “To pose your question again, what would one call it, if it’s not race-related?”


    So to Leon, and again to ClockEndRider

    True, but my point/question remains, would Wenger be treated by our media differently if he was English and not French?

    A simple yes or no would do.

  • Leon


    I honestly don’t know. He’s a one off and that seems to have scared the media over the years. Maybe he would have more respect if he was English, but I don’t think it’s an anti French thing, just an anti Wenger attitude because he’s so different.

  • Jambug



    But frequent usage of the French ‘accent’ when deriding him, such as ‘I did not zee it’ for one, suggests that it is, to a large degree, his ‘Frenchness’ that is being used as a weapon to belittle him.

    That to me is racism.

    For example, if I was to refer to a west Indian in a derogatory way, it may well be accepted as a genuine criticism, but if I did it with a mock West Indian accent it would completely change the context in to something with racist overtones, that definitely would not be acceptable.

  • Leon

    After all, managers from Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina & Chile get a fair shake.

  • Leon


    I have to say I’ve never seen that “accent” thing. If that’s true it’s taking the piss and by todays wimp PC standards mildly racist.
    Who says that anyway?

  • Andy Mack

    Sorry this is rather ‘off topic’ but I’ve been watching a Brazil ‘subtitled’ comedy thing on Chanel4 (part of their world drama series) called ‘Son of a B****’. It’s an amusing story of a Ref, on field but mainly off field with his separation from his wife and son etc, sometimes quite dark but usually quite funny.
    In the penultimate episode (gold whistle, black whistle) one of the finalists is trying to bribe him and at around 21 minutes he explains how to effect a game without being obvious. Basically he mentions most of the ‘tricks’ we’ve seen the PGMO use against us for the last few seasons….

  • Jambug


    Are you honestly saying you haven’t heard or read it?

    This from the Daily Express in 2014:

    ‘Please mind zee gap!’ Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to make Tube announcements

    HE’S infamous for claiming ‘I did not zee it’, but hopefully Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be more alert when making announcements on the London Underground tomorrow.

    This from an article in the Telegraph today:

    “20. Watching matches from a blind spot in the dug-out

    Younger readers think of Arsenal as a pretty, creative team; many others remember them as dirty cheats. Wenger worked out early on that turning a press conference blind eye – “I did not see zee incident” – to a Keown hack or a Vieira elbow was the path of least resistance. His Arsenal team have accumulated 104 red cards over the last 18 years.”

    Mark Hughes famously gave a very embittered interview once with a series of Wenger criticisms done in a mock French accent, much to the delight of the assembled hacks, but unfortunately I cant find it. Someone may be able to help? Was he at Stoke at the time?

    It took me 5 minutes to ‘google’ them. I’ve heard it literally dozens of times. And you say you’ve never heard it?

    Come off it.

  • Leon


    Seriously, I’ve never noticed it written like that, with the cod French pronounciation. I’m not saying he didn’t, just that I’ve not seen it, and i read the papers. Maybe because I’m a bit relaxed about these sort of things it just goes past me or is quickly forgotten.
    I believe you, but to me it’s still not much more than a bit of piss taking, but can see that some more sensitive people might be offended by it.

  • Al

    Basically, in Leon’s eyes, Wenger is treated the same as the rest of the managers by the English media.

  • Al

    And before you start bleating in your defence leon, anyone can clearly see where your argument is leaning.

    I have got a question for you though, on a different subject;

    What did you mean by “I’ve been a passive visitor to Untold for ages without posting….” then a couple of weeks later “I’ve only been on this site a few weeks but I already know who the head case is”? I’ve been trying to figure out, and struggling, how it can be possible for that to be possible, where one individual is concerned.

  • Leon


    Not true. Arsene does get different treatment because he’s better.
    Jambug is suggesting it’s because Wenger is French that he gets targeted. If you look at one of my earlier comments you’ll see that I say that: “managers from Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina & Chile get a fair shake”.
    I don’t see a racist campaign here.
    It doesn’t mean I’m right, just my opinion.

  • Al

    By they get a fair shake what do you mean? I take that to mean they get fair treatment, so you’re basically agreeing with Jambug’s view then, because Wenger doesn’t get a fair shake in the English media.

  • Leon


    You really are obsessed aren’t you.
    Let me put you out of your misery.
    I thought it was clear that I had been reading Untold without commenting for some time and then after starting to make posts I said “I’ve only been on this site a few weeks:, meaning I’d only been making comments for a few weeks.
    Does that help?

  • Al

    Oh really? So even though you were reading the comments previously without posting you needed to start posting in order to tell who the head case was?? That’s left me scratching my head.

  • Leon


    My point is that if there was racism then all the foreign managers would get targeted too.
    This isn’t about Wenger being unfairly treated, we know he is, but my contention is it’s not because he’s French.
    Have you seen any racists remarks about the other managers?

  • Leon


    So why are you so concerned over who I think the “head case” is?
    Surely I can’t mean you?
    Why are you making such a big issue out of something I said weeks ago?

  • Al

    I don’t think your argument that Wenger doesn’t get fair treatment because he’s better makes much sense, at least not in the eyes of the people who ridicule him. The English media are consistent in their collective view that Wenger is useless; they rate mourinho, Guardiola, klopp, koeman, pochetino, or anyone else for that matter, as being better than Wenger. So if they were treating him different because he was better, why don’t the same apply to the list above, as clearly the media think they’re all better than Wenger. Unless I missed something?

  • Al

    Leon 6:02
    Nobody said he’s targeted because he’s foreign, but because he’s French . How can you discount being French being the issue, because the other managers you speak of, none of them is French, so can’t make that comparison. I did say change Wenger’s nationality to anything else and they worship him, showing I do not believe it’s being anti foreign on the media’s part. They’re being anti French, that’s the only argument that makes sense here.

  • Leon


    Look, I can’t keep repeating that whatever treatment any of the managers including Wenger are subjected to, it’s not because of a racist media campaign. I see him as better, the media obviously like building people up to knock them down. Jose will get the same treatment when he fails (like he did before), but not because he’s from Portugal.
    That’s my final post on this issue.

  • Al

    Leon 6:05
    I’m not so much concerned about who you think the head case is, because i know you mean me, and it doesn’t bother me. But what you’ll find is i am consistent; even if you changed your name again tomorrow to something else, you’ll find i will still be seeing things differently to you, as long as you continue in the same tone. A clear demonstration that i don’t single any individuals out here for special treatment (to answer your ‘obsessed’ jibe), but if you speak and behave in a certain way (which others might want to refer to as a closet aaa) I will still call that behavior out. I thought you would have figured that out by now, or as you prefer to call it “sussed it out”, by the number of times we have clashed all these years 🙂

  • Leon

    Al 6.20

    Just out of interest. Do you go back over the archives looking for clues that link me to Rupert and all those other people you don’t seem to like?
    I’ll tell you what, by the sound of it he’s just the sort of bloke I could go down the pub with & enjoy a pint or two.
    Bye, Bye Sherlock.?

  • Al

    No, I don’t have time to go trawling the archives for that, leon. I just happen to be able to remember things people say, and like I have said the way people speak online is very much similar to the way people talk in real life, it can be quite unique and distinct. Enjoy your pint with Rupert, if you run into him, if that were possible 🙂

  • Andy Mack

    Wenger most certainly does not get treated fairly by the media. They will take any and every opportunity to ‘take the piss’ out of him. Even our CL record is more often mentioned as being the team that gets there but never achieves anything in it.
    Yes there’s a certain amount of truth within that but the fact that he even gets us there every single time is an awesome achievement.
    They spend more time looking for his zip malfunctions than they do as how often we’re on the wrong end of officiating and continue to perpetuate the myth that he will not spend (rather than the truth which is that will only spend big when he’s certain the player is worth it).

  • Jambug


    Would mocking a West Indian in a West Indian accent be seen as ‘racist’?

    Would mocking a china men in a mock Chinese accent be seen as ‘racist’?

    Would mocking an Indian in a mock Indian accent be seen as racist?

    You know damn well it would.

    You say, “Jose will get the same treatment when he fails (like he did before), but not because he’s from Portugal”.

    He possibly will but it wont be done in a mocking Portuguese accent will it?

    By the way, how does Wenger ‘not seeing something’ equate to Wenger failing? It doesn’t does it. It’s just an excuse to take the piss. They don’t do it to anyone else do they, and they all say it.

    I am not saying the moment Wenger arrived, all the hacks thought to themselves en mass, ‘He’s French’ ergo we don’t like him.

    After all the media loved Cantona and Ginola to name but 2 popular Frenchmen.

    It’s more complex than that, and difficult to explain, but if I can I’ll try using an analogy.

    Three West Indian guys arrive at your work place. You’re happy to see them, and you will, as with everybody you meet, judge them as individuals once you get to know them.

    Fine so far.

    But as it turns out you don’t like one of the guys, for whatever reason.


    If you tell everyone you think he’s arrogant, that’s up to you.

    If you tell everyone you think he’s rude, that’s up to you.

    If you tell everyone you think he’s rubbish at his job, that’s up to you

    To me, whilst repeating all this to others is not a particularly nice thing to do, it is simply your opinion and you are entitled to it. To use your example, this may be how people would talk about Jose if he fails at Man Utd.

    But as unpleasant as it may be, whatever it is, it is NOT racism.

    On the other hand, if you said all those things about your new West Indian colleague in a mocking West Indian accent, what has it then become?

    Now, in an instant, it has gone from being about him as a person, to being about his race.

    This, whether you like it or not, in this day and age, would be seen as racism. And rightly so.

    And this is what has happened to Wenger. A simple dislike has become something more.

    So, okay maybe they don’t dislike Wenger simply because he’s French, as I say, it is far more complex than that, BUT a big part of it was the fact that he’s a Frenchmen showing us English how to do it.

    Certainly the way there dislike manifests itself, in the contemptuous way they talk to him at times, the discourteous way they write about him, and the mocking accents, definitely expose some very unsavoury racial overtones. In my opinion.

  • Leon


    You sound like you’ve been on the same equal ops/diversity training courses that I did and these attitudes were discouraged in the workplace.
    You’ve made some great points, but I still see this Wenger/Frenchman as PC gone crazy over not a lot really.
    I can’t get excited or precious about any of it, some of which can even be quite endearing; Le Prof, Le Boss are national stereotypes and harmless enough, but still references to his Frenchness.
    I know it’s a cliche, but I’ll have to agree to disagree with you on this one.

  • para

    Yes, this would count as racism if it is because AW is French, and because they are many organisations that perpetuate and allow it.

    Another month and football starts again. 🙂 In the meantime dont forgat that football is since a very long time very political.