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March 2021

Why the evidence of your own eyes does not reveal what is happening with Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

During the summer of 2016 Untold set out a number of findings from research into such matters as the success of transfers, the impact of having a top scorer in the team, the efficacy of changing managers, and so on.  The aim was to examine some of the potent myths propagated by journalists and bloggettas that surround football in particular and Arsenal in general.

Unfortunately we are currently getting a large number of commentaries from readers who are saying things along the lines that “it is completely obvious to everyone why we need a new centre forward”, when just a short while earlier we have shown with evidence, statistics, and other assorted facts, why there is a solid argument to show this is not the case.

The problem we then have is that Untold sets out in detail, with evidence, a point of view, and then rather than have anyone say, “actually that figure is wrong, or that analysis can be contradicted if one brings into the picture this evidence” we get statements that claim opposite views are “obvious,” without evidence.

I know of course that this approach, of making a personal opinion equal to reasoned logic based on evidence, is the way that journalists and bloggetta writers work.  It is fairly easy – one has an opinion and writes it, and who cares about the facts, the evidence, the research, the analysis.

The recent case of the Guardian stating that Arsenal only had two players whose goal tally reached double figures last season was a perfect example which is why I have cited it several times.  On the face of it, it appears a clear indictment of Wenger and his methods.  Only two players had a goal tally in double figures?  Terrible.

Until we check the figures (and we did it because no one else could be bothered – not even the author).   But the fact is that Arsenal was one of only five clubs that managed to have two players in double figures – we were at the top end not the “only” end.  The club was worthy of praise not of opprobrium for having two scorers.

So we have the endless claims that we need a better goalscorer.  Maybe we do – but if we do let’s have some justification as to why we do.  We scored three goals fewer than Leicester who won the league, which doesn’t of itself mean we need a new goal scorer.  But we were “only” second in the league – so we need to change something to win it.  But what?

That is the sort of analysis Untold was set up to bring to anyone who wanted to read – not an endless debate based on assumptions and personal feelings.   To give but one other example – the injuries.  Even though we have repeatedly given detailed evidence to show that Arsenal is not exceptional in its injury level we had people writing in recently saying “Five players injured and the season hasn’t begun yet” without bothering to check the data we provide – and which many others provide.

Of course such attitudes are encouraged by broadcasters like Talk Sport who had Stewart Robson on claiming that Arsenal under Wenger had the worst injury record of any club.  Danny Baker interviewing him just encouraged him to keep ranting.  No one suggested that the evidence (which utterly contradicts this) should be gathered.

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Now I don’t want to spend my morning repeating everything I have written before about evidence, but I thought it might be handy to bring together links to some of the evidence and analysis we have published – not least so I don’t keep on having to refer correspondents back to specific articles.  From now on I can just delete comments that go back over old ground, or if I feel generous, point people to this article.

At the heart of the problem is the notion of evidence, by which I mean using analysis, statistics and other elements of the scientific method to reach a conclusion that can then be tested against further facts, analyses and statistics, to show if it is true.   We need this because, as Professor Stefan Stieglitz of the University of Duisburg-Essen wrote (and I have quoted this many times over the summer) because as psychological studies have oft shown, “If people get new information that is in contrast to what they believe then they tend to neglect this new information for as long as possible.”

That is the battle we are fighting.  Maybe it is a battle we can never win, but since I believe in the validity of the scientific method, it is a battle I choose to fight.

But we do this a world in which media is actively feeding the myths that we have been looking to expose, and indeed feeding the negativity that some people who proclaim themselves to be Arsenal fans indulge in.  The “only” comment above, utterly trivial in itself, is one that I pick on because it is the perfect example of what I am trying to combat.

I have been taken aback by the fact that even after correspondents here have been provided with explanations as to what the scientific method is, what research is, what statistical evidence is, and what logical deduction is, some people still don’t get it.  Their view seems to be, “what’s wrong with the evidence of my own eyes?”  

The simplistic answer to this of course is that this type of common sense always leads us astray.  The sun does not go round the earth although your eyes will tell you it does, gravity exists although you can’t see it and there is no common sense reason as to why, the earth is not flat although common sense tells us it is and that my daughter in Australia should have fallen into space long ago etc etc.  For 500 years mankind has known that the world is not best explained either through myth or “the evidence of my own eyes” or indeed “common sense” and yet that is where we seem to be heading.   Back to the mediaeval explanation of reality.  Back to beliefs that become “true” simply because they are repeated enough.

I regret that I must admit it is obviously beyond my abilities to explain these issues to people who have got to adulthood and not understood them.  Quite what was happening when they were at school I have no idea, but they certainly weren’t learning about the scientific method and statistical evidence, two of the fundamentals that underpin a post-mythological grasp of what is going on around us.

So for a while I have tried as patiently as I can (which is often not very patiently) to explain that Untold is a site for people who support the club, the players and the manager, and which accepts the validity of the scientific and logical approach to understanding, but to no avail.

But in the end the amount of time taken up by answering or deleting posts that endlessly project the same vision of reality which is contrary to that upon which this site is based, and by dealing with the abuse that surrounds this argument, has become too much.   

Quite often people write in and ask why this site, with such a large audience, has to take sides – why can’t everyone have their say?  The answer is now apparent.  Sorting out issues using analysis and statistics takes a lot of time.  Writing “Everyone can see Wenger is an arrogant idiot who has lost the plot” takes two seconds and these comments become overwhelming.  Answering it time and time again is time consuming and ultimately, it seems, pointless.  So my reference point from now on will be this article.

Thus I’m not actually changing any rules of debate on Untold, but rather implementing the rules we have had for a long time: this is a site for those who support the club, the players and the manager in a positive way, and who can accept the validity of research and the scientific method, along with the fact that it is a good thing to be polite to each other.   Articles and comments which argue against the view of Arsenal on this site are welcome (although I can’t guarantee to publish them all), providing that they are not abusive, and do provide evidence of a scientific, logical and reasoned type.

Several of the views central to Untold were expressed in the article The truths about turning Arsenal into champions, which are no truths at all and for the rest of this piece I just want to cite some other evidence we have brought forward this year, for anyone who wishes to read it.

The summer 2016 investigation into these matters began with the introduction of the phrase “toxic rhetoric” – the way the media and some supporters talk about football – which is in essence what I am talking about here – the total abandonment of evidence and reasoned argument for the constant repetition of the same point made without evidence.

As I have mentioned the issue of the centre forward is one that the press have pushed endlessly because many have followed without any critical analysis.  Our answer was given in Why the notion that Arsenal desperately need to buy a centre forward is nonsense.

How the high cost transfers only deliver the goods in their first season about 25% of the time is another topic we’ve considered repeatedly.   This occupied us through a whole series of articles such as Transfer spend and league position; Arsenal, Aston Villa and Chelsea.  and  How much did each club spend on transfers for each trophy won?

As for the relationship between the top scorers in the league and league positions: it turns out that much of the time the winners of the league don’t have a top scorer, but actually tend to spread the goals around – which takes us back to the “only” issue from the Guardian.

Spending on transfers is a popular theme, with the built in assumption that spending money on players brings success.  But the average position of the top ten spenders in the league last season was 9th.  But it wasn’t just this last season that happened.  Here’s an article from 2014 running the same theme.   In fact there is no correlation between transfers and results.

Early on we also found that the notion of Arsenal not paying players properly was a myth, debunked in Arsenal have increased their player salaries more than any other PL club in last 3 years. and we summarised much of this with  The truths about turning Arsenal into champions, which are no truths at all.

Dr Drew Grey of the University of Northampton helped us enormously with our understanding on how we got to this position with his article on the media and a historical perspective was also given in Why are the media so critical of Arsenal exploring how the habit developed over time.

There was also the series of articles on first if, and then if so why, Arsenal are treated differently in the media from other teams.  The first article in the series set out the problem here after which we asked

  1. Why the media is so critical of Arsenal: it all goes back to the two Arsenal men who were banned from football for life
  2. Do other clubs get the same level of constant sniping and negative reporting or is it just Arsenal?
  3. Why are people so negative about Arsenal? The first answers
  4. Are Arsenal treated differently from other clubs by the national media and the bloggettas? An analysis of reports.

The issue of management was one we touched on too, asking How long does it take a new manager to win the league at Arsenal?  

Although perhaps in the end it was the article, Football debate declines into the new superstitions and myths, which defined everything.

I am sorry that I have not been able to explain adequately the point of view that this site propagates, but we all of us have limits, and I seem to have reached mine.  If you don’t get what I am saying, I am sorry.  If you do, thank you for your understanding.

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41 comments to Why the evidence of your own eyes does not reveal what is happening with Arsenal

  • Billy bee

    [content deleted]

    Billy bee, what makes your two word comment so interesting is that you not only chose to have a screen name but actually sent you email from a fake email address. I think that rather shows the style and standard that you adhere to, and indeed, if your commentary had any value at the start, it would have been diminished by now.

    Just a reminder, for the 5000th time, fake email addresses don’t lead to publication – except when I choose to do a reminder about the issue. Tony

  • Tone Lane

    Alright, let’s talk facts. Not opinions, not feelings.

    1. Arsenal haven’t won the League in 12 years.

    2. Wenger has never won a European trophy in his entire career.

    3. Taking points 1 and 2 as irrefutable factual evidence your continued defence of Arsene Wenger as an elite and capable manager in 2016 is based on opinion, feeling and emotion and does not make empirical sense.

  • Nick Mills

    I love our club for many reasons, the main reason being we don’t stoop to the levels other clubs (and managers) do. If the league was based on integrity & class we’d romp it. Unlike any clubs with Morhinio at the helm. I’m waiting for the day when Arsene will be victorious again and I’m positive that day will come, & it will come at the expense of all that publicly bash our great club.

  • Accepting what you say to be the truth . Mr W put in a bid in for Vardy which he declined so obviously Mr W he thinks we need another striker ( Wellbeck 2nd striker out till next year )
    So why are you saying we don’t need another striker

  • Tone Lane, sadly you have a lot to learn about empirical data. Just take two points and basing a conclusion on that where there are many other factors to be considered, reflects more upon you than upon the subject you seek to comment upon.

  • Begeegs

    “So we have the endless claims that we need a better goalscorer. Maybe we do – but if we do let’s have some justification as to why we do.”

    The justification should be that Giroud went 15 league games without a goal last year and our form dipped as a result (6 wins, 6 draws, 3 losses). Can we pin all of the blame on him? Of course, not, but we could only offer Welbeck as an alternative and he is now out for nearly the year and Welbeck is hardly prolific to begin with. So there is your justification – Giroud is a good player, but we need another option and preferably one who is as good or better than Giroud who provides something different (preferably dribbling ability and pace).

  • Richard

    Well written piece Tony, most people want to disbelieve the obvious because it’s too damned obvious to be true. Of course there are a lot of frustrated people out there due to seemingly contradictory statements from club saying we can compete for transfers then we can’t can’t compete. Of course finding any real video evidence of such comments prove harder to find.
    Then of course pundits and former stars make statements like they should just go and buy a player making it sound so simple to do that when they know in reality it isn’t that simple. It’s comments like these that add weight to the argument that Wenger does not like to spend or overspend. If you were a van gaal or a lineker and had that sort of profile people may actually start to believe you more even if in the case of the latter you have no idea what your talking about.
    Personally I like the pieces on this site and how you go about trying to prove a point. Keep on swimming against the tide eventually you will get through to at least one person.

  • Richard

    Begeegs that’s better at least you try and counter claim with evidence, even though you ignore the fact Sanchez weighed in with a double figure tally of goals and ozil and rest of team contributed remaining goals.

    Nick I agree I think Wenger can still lift the premier league title he has the knowledge experience and desire to win it.

    Shoot the reason we went after vardy and are still in for another attacker/striker is that we are short of viable options the current options up front giroud/Walcott/Sanchez/Akpom now if we lost giroud and either Sanchez or Walcott we would be seriously short of strikers it is that reason and that reason only we are in for a striker to a add cover to thinly populated area of the squad oh and of course to add something different to the squad.

  • Mick

    For the sake of accuracy (and this has been pointed out to you before) the Talk Sport presenter you refer to in the article is not Danny Baker (who works for the BBC), it is Spurs supporter Danny Kelly.
    Unless you can show otherwise Tony is not saying we do not need another striker, he is saying that another striker is not necessarily guaranteed to make the difference needed to win the league.

  • nicky

    Can’t wait for the day when Arsene publishes his autobiography.
    So much will be revealed. 😉

  • Stuart Logan

    I always read your articles, Tony, and nearly always agree with what you and other contributors are saying. Personally, I think that Arsene Wenger has not only been our greatest ever manager but also the best in the game in this country. I hate to see him be repeatedly and unjustifiably vilified and am very pleased to see and know there is a site that knows his true worth and supports him and the club.

    I trust the analysis on injuries but would be interested to know whether we suffer a disproportionate number of injuries to key players than other clubs do. It is far more serious for a club to be without its first team centre forward than one of its reserve forwards. I also feel that last year we suffered more because our injuries were centred more on our midfield and not spread across the team. Willsher and Rosicky missed the whole season and then in November we lost Coquelin, Santi, Arteta and Alexis for several weeks, and in Santi’s case for the rest of the season. This, I believe, greatly affected the way we played, particularly offensively. Our football lacked creativity and the goals dried up, hence the calls for a new striker. So what I am saying is that a team that has five midfielders missing for five weeks at the same time will probably struggle more than a team with say seven players missing, but spread across the team, especially if three or four of them are peripheral to the first choice team. Raw data will say the latter situation is worse, because seven is higher than five.

    I don’t expect you or anyone else to analyse the above, but it would be interesting to know what you think.

  • Mick

    When Wenger finally leaves rather than employing a new manager why don’t we simply ask a committee made up of say Robson, Redknapp and Shearer (randomly selected from dozens of similarly qualified expert pundits) and chaired by the bloke who runs Le Grove to run things. Gazidis could simply phone them up each week to see what needs to be done in running the club efficiently and successfully. We could save millions in managers wages each year and have guaranteed success. Simple!!

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    nah,it would mean we would get relegated Mick! 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Starting your first comment with abusing a regular poster will not get your comment published.
    As Tony is out of town I will do some editing today when I find the time 😉

  • HenryB

    A really thoughtful and well presented Post, which I enjoyed reading.

    There is no denying that a debate or discussion where facts and ‘scientific’ evidence is not required per se gives the strolling blogger a chance to vent his dissatisfaction with the club before blithely moving on.

    This lack of such a fundamental part of meaningful discussions is explained, in part, because facts and other relevant data can be difficult to come by, or the sources themselves can be false.

    That said, mistakes or omissions are easy to make, and as you said Tony – “Until we check the figures (and we did it because no one else could be bothered – not even the author)” – because it can be tiresome and time consuming to verify everything someone says.

    I happen to agree with the body of your excellent Post, but there is a human foible which goes to the heart of why fans blog and that may explain their lack of interest in ‘facts’ and anecdotal accuracy.

    Most fans, I would suggest, basically want to chat somewhere (blog) just to let off steam, and chinwag with others of a like mind, much as if they were in a pub, and where their perceptions of events are the only currency that matters – and where boring things like accurate, factual data is not strictly relevant or necessary to the resulting discussion – and if opinions clash – well many enjoy having a sometimes volatile quarrel just for the hell of it – and the louder it is the better it ‘proves’ their point.

    Not everyone is, or wants to be, of a logical scientific bent – more’s the pity. 🙂

  • Top Guns

    Tony – a good time for this article I think. I am one of those probably a little guilty of being over negative on here recently.

    It is good to be clear about the site and what it aims are. As a newcomer to the site I maybe didn’t take this on board enough.

    My own particular gripe at present is the scheduling of matches over the season which I think in particular does not help Arsenal. It is no coincidence for example why we keep losing the first match of the season. Once the season settles down I don’t mind writing an article on this issue.

    Anyway keep up the good work.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Tone Lane

    May be i can add a point or 2 in Wengers defence

    1) Liverpool and Spurs also havent won the league for more than 12 years.Even changing managers didnt helped them.You must be Knowing Liverpool has the biggest trophy cabinet in England.

    2)Arsenal has qualified for CL for 20 consecutive years under Wenger even while paying for the stadium.City Chlski United couldnt match the feat even after spending millions of $$$.

    Wenger has beem doing miricales even on tight budgets and low spending.

  • KR

    As a once major Wenger fan, I believe what I watch from my seat. I don’t require stats, football is understanding talent, opening up defences and ensuring you are hard to beat. Sadly under Wenger we struggle on all of these at the level that Wenger once got us to. Tony you preach stats and come across as someone who really takes themselves very seriously. If you had an once of integrity you would admit that what we are watching under Wenger in 2016 is not anywhere near the level under Wenger in the first half of his reign. That’s why so many loyal fans are frustrated. We pay a lot of money and hear promises that never materialise. It’s the same weaknesses year after year that really do not require shed loads of money to fix. If Wenger gets a top four finish then he has a job for life, that may be enough for you but for many and the number is growing it is not enough. 4th is a great finish if your a business but we are a football club.

  • pop

    We all know that Arsenal have lots of injuries because of no protection from the Referees. Also, the Refs seem to have something against Arsenal. No matter what we say about all the reasons why Arsenal are not performing, most of us can see that Wenger’s tactics are non existent. And yes, I do know better than Wenger, as do many other Arsenal supporters, because he is not fixing the issues. Am totally fed up with the way the club is being managed as all the flaws are so obvious and no action is being taken to correct them season after season.

  • ob1977

    Great article and long overdue for you to get firm with people coming here just to start argument without reason, my whole reason for coming here is to get away from the screaming diatribe that is everywhere else on the internet.

    I like it when people with other opinions come on here and take on as it were the beliefs of the majority on here, but this needs to be done in context with the sentiments of this site…

    I would just like to add with all the talk of needing to add goals, that with Theo and The Ox showing signs of having at least half decent seasons we can expect a minimum of 20 goals to be added to our tally this season…


  • Zuruvi

    An argument can be regarded strong if it is backed by reason, logic and/or statistics.

    I have been a strong advocate for my beloved club to get a new/additional striker because of the following reasons:

    1). I know Giroud is a good striker but a club that hopes to win the league needs a centre forward who scores more than 16 league goals. I have checked the occasions when Arsenal won the Premiership title and the evidence is that we always had strikers who scored more goals than Giroud.
    2). Over the last 4 seasons, Arsene Wenger has been trying to buy clinical strikers like Suarez and Vardy. Is this not evidence enough that even our great manager has looked at the statistics and the football logic and decided that our football club needs a striker?
    3). Le Prof has said (only last week) that the team creates many more chances than others but we are not clinical. Is this not evidence and logic for us needing a more clinical central striker (especially as Giroud on average about 14 league goals per season over the past 4 seasons)?

    We are not asking to have the top goalscorer (but it would be nice to have one). We are asking for what Mr Wenger wants ie to get another top quality goalscorer.

    We have seen Sanchez as a central striker on a number of occasions (including our last game against Liverpoo). The evidence is clear to me as a genuine Arsenal fan (who also likes Wenger), Sanchez is a brilliant winger but he isn’t a good centre forward. It is no wonder Barcelona never used Sanchez as a central striker. It is no wonder Wenger normally uses Sanchez as a winger and not a striker.
    The same applies to Theo and Welbeck. Theo and Welbeck are both brilliant wingers but very average as central strikers.
    We definitely need a central striker to compliment Giroud. Sometimes Giroud plays, sometimes the new striker plays.

    Has any premiership title been won by a club with a goal-shy main striker who scores only 15 or 16 league games? (And please don’t give me evidence from 1943 or 1967. Let’s talk modern day football ie the Premiership period).

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The sudden root cause reason for the anti- Wenger cries and chants by some Arsenal supporters and a group of football pundits who are being assisted and unwaveringly backed by the mainstream media, is no other reason than Wenger’s Arsenal have not won the Premier League title in the past 12 seasons and have not lifted the Ucl trophy too.

    Under the tutelage of the Boss, Arsenal have thrice lifted the Barclays Premier League title. The lack of lifting the Ucl giant trophy is not peculiar to the Boss as no Arsenal manager has ever lifted the European Cup or the Ucl trophy since our history. Therefore the Boss will then have the ice broken for us when he lifts it.

    I am not a Soothsayer neither am I a Medium nor a Fortune teller and I am not a Rosicrucian neither am I an Astrologer nor do I gaze at the Crystal ball.. But my insight is pointing to me that Arsenal will lift the BPL title this season haven came 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the table in the last 3 consecutive seasons. And they won’t stop at that, they’ll also add the Capital One Cup to it which the Boss is yet to win during his management at Arsenal. That not all, the Ucl trophy is been waiting for Arsenal to lift it. And that what they will do this season as well.

    My charge to all the anti-Wenger Arsenal fans is, they should all calm down and hold their peace. Because Arsenal are set more than ever in recent years to turn their frustrations into unrivalled confidence and also turn their angers and sadness to peace and joy this current season by gifting them 2 domestic title and the biggest European title as well. Hail Arsenal! Hail Arsene Wenger!!

  • Emmanuel Chike Bassey

    Tony Atwood, I am disappointed that you, a supposed proponent of the scientific method, fail to bring other data before making your conclusions(regarding the need for a striker). Giroud, based on evidence is the worst Centre forward Arsenal have ever had since 1998. The statistics show that Giroud is not a 20-goal season striker. Ozil created a record number of chances last season, yet Arsenal’s goal scored was below Tottenham’s’s and Leicester’s. I particularly remember Giroud missing at least five clear chances in a 1-1 n/l derby against SPURS. Now, others missed Ozil’s created chances but OUR SUPPOSED MAIN CENTRE FORWARD missed more. I humbly suggest you include more data in your analysis before making conclusions. It is an error to argue in front of your data. Generally, your post is good piece of writing. Signing a striker doesn’t guarantee winning the EPL. BUT, a lot of other factors. Wenger still has the goods but reinforcements are important.

  • goonersince72

    If anyone does not understand the impact of a top scorer I point to the performance of Diego Costa on opening day. It’s the difference in the waning moments of a tight contest, someone who just has the ability (gift) to put the ball in the net. Granted there aren’t a lot of these players but the difference and the threat when you you have such a player are palpable. Who in the Arsenal squad gets that extra attention when he’s on the pitch? Or in the waning moments of a tight match? Having said that, I’d put a defender as priority. Did AW look at Ashley Williams? He used to rate him. He’d have been a solid bet to hold the fort until injuries and lack of fitness were overcome. And, may I add, found within the bargain bin where we lately shop.

  • ob1977

    A certain Arsenal one the PL season 97/98 with a top goalscorer Bergkamp hitting 16 goals, Overmars 12 goals, and our best striker but a little injury prone that season and on the periphery scored 10, so yes you can win the league with a goal why too scored scoring 16 goals.

    Touching on the “Arsenal only had two scorers in double figures” article this may well show the sound reasoning of having a team that shared the goals, as Wrighty points out himself the season he scored his least amount of goals is the season he wins a league title…

  • Goonermikey

    For those AAA’s and the media who love to use one game of the season to substantiate their argument as to what the whole season will be, try this one.

    We don’t need a striker because this season we’re second highest scorers in the league and we haven’t even played our main striker………………………

  • Polo

    How Costa didn’t get a second yellow for his tackle on Adrian is unbelievable, if that was an Arsenal player he would be walking to the dressing room. Had Costa got sent off would Chelsea have won the match? Sometimes you need luck or in this case leniency from the ref to win games.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    It is the insults and profanities aimed at the players and the managers that put me over the edge. I don’t think it is too much to ask that people posting possess a modicum of manners and decorum when discussing people. Even if a player is a poor player from most statistical points of view, he may be a good person and it is worthwhile remembering that. And, as soon as he puts on our shit, he’s OUR player. Shouldn’t we support him? The way people talk about AW or our ‘deadwood’ makes me cringe. I wouldn’t want to think that people outside my workplace, who do not know me, talk about me that way…would you? So, attaboy Tony! Thank you for this website and the work that you, Walter, and whomever else do moderating it.

  • Goonermikey

    As a slight aside I was interested to see an article on the Daily Cannon on 09/08 which gave evidence of how “Arsenal fans pay a higher percentage of the players wages” than any other club. It had a table with numbers and everything and quoted an academic source too. Excellent, I thought, another site that does provide evidence.

    Sadly, a cursory reading of the figures showed that both the arithmetic and the conclusions were wrong. In actual fact the figures (if analysed correctly) showed that Chelsea fans were in fact paying the highest percentage towards players wages and Arsenal weren’t (for once!) in the top four.

    I kindly emailed both the author and the Daily Cannon with an in depth explanation of where they had made what could well have been a genuine mistake. I had asked them to print a retraction on the basis that some gullible fans will end up believing the mistake and use it as a club with which to beat the club/AW/Gazidis/Kroenke. Sadly, this did not happen and neither did the author or the Daily cannon have the courtesy of even replying to acknowledge what I had given them in good faith. Pretty unprofessional really and rather shoddy really.

    May I just add, to put things into context, I have emailed both Walter and Tony on several occasions and always received a prompt and courteous reply. It’s good to see that some sotes have standards……………….

  • TJ

    Arsenal don’t need a striker, they need an owner with sporting ambition, not an absentee landlord content with accumulating wealth and watching supporters pay off the mortgage on his appreciating £800 million asset in London for diminishing returns. You get what you pay for, unless you’re an Arsenal supporter who attends games

  • Emmanuel Chike Bassey I am not going to answer you line by line because these topics have been covered so many times before, but I will answer just one line, as an indication of where you are wrong.

    Giroud, based on evidence is the worst Centre forward Arsenal have ever had since 1998.

    These figures come from Wikipedia – if you feel they are wrong, then go and change them.

    2006/7 top scorer Robin van Persie 13
    2008/9 top scorer Robin van PErside 20
    2009/10 top scorer Cesc Fabregas 19
    2012/13 top scorer Theo Walcott – 21
    2013/14 top scorer Olivier Giroud 22
    2014/14 top scorer Alexis Sanchez 25
    2015/16 top scorer Olivier Giroud 24

    Really I do not have time to go through these commentaries with their assertions and correct them, especially when I have done it before. So I give this an example, and a reason for not publishing each and every critical piece with assertions about facts which from the data I have are quite wrong.

  • Polo

    @ Zuruvi,

    ‘Has any premiership title been won by a club with a goal-shy main striker who scores only 15 or 16 league games? (And please don’t give me evidence from 1943 or 1967. Let’s talk modern day football ie the Premiership period).’

    Taken from Wikipedia I have collated the following:

    Season: 92-93
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Mark Hughes 15 goals
    Season top scorer: Sheringham 22 goals – Tottenham finished 8th

    Season: 93-94
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Cantona 18 goals
    Season top scorer: Andy Cole 34 goals – Newcastle United finished 3rd

    Season: 95-96
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Cantona 14 goals
    Season top scorer: Shearer 31 goals – Bkackburn finished 7th

    Season: 96-97
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Solskjaer 18 goals
    Season top scorer: Shearer 25 goals – Newcastle United

    Season: 97-98
    Winner: Arsenal
    Club top scorer: Bergkamp 16 goals
    Season top scorer: Dion Dublin 18 goals – Coventry City finished 11th

    Season: 98-99
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: York 18 goals
    Season top scorer: Hasselbaink 18 goals – Leeds United finished 4th

    Season: 99-00
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: York 20 goals
    Season top scorer: Phillips 30 goals – Sunderland finished 7th

    Season: 00-01
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Sheringham 15 goals
    Season top scorer: Hasselbaink 23 goals – Chelsea finished 6th

    Season: 04-05
    Winner: Chelsea
    Club top scorer: Lampard 13 goals
    Season top scorer: Henry 25 goals – Arsenal finished 2nd

    Season: 05-06
    Winner: Chelsea
    Club top scorer: Lampard 16 goals
    Season top scorer: Henry 27 goals – Arsenal finished 4th

    Season: 06-07
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Ronaldo 17 goals
    Season top scorer: Drogba 20 goals – Chelsea finished 2nd

    Season: 08-09
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Ronaldo 18 goals
    Season top scorer: Anelka 19 goals – Chelsea finished 3rd

    Season: 10-11
    Winner: ManU
    Club top scorer: Berbatov 20 goals
    Season top scorer: Berbatov 20 goals

    Season: 13-14
    Winner: ManCity
    Club top scorer: Yaya Toure 20 goals
    Season top scorer: Suarez 31 goals – Liverpool finished 2nd

    Season: 14-15
    Winner: Chelsea
    Club top scorer: Costa 20 goals
    Season top scorer: Aguero 26 goals – ManCity finished 2nd.

  • Menace

    Well done Polo – a perfect chukka!!

    Only the RMT need strikers! Arsenal need a share in the FA’s PGMOL.

    A committee of some of the commenters on this site would be a hilarious addition for us senior Gooners to laugh at. They would be worse than the ugly Neville sisters.

  • Alexanderhenry

    Dear untold, my last few posts haven’t been published. I have no idea why this is. They are not abusive or provocative and I’m pro wenger. Any reasoning behind this? Thank you

  • steve Hamblen

    OB, nobody likes complaining about their club. It hurts to say negative things about something that you love so much, but there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough and force a change. Yes, we’ve qualified for the Champions League for years and we won a couple of FA cups recently but do you count that as true success for a club as big as ours? I don’t and neither do most Arsenal fans I know.

  • steve Hamblen

    I think Tony’s articles on this subject are interesting but yovbbu can’t ignore the facts. Since Henry left the cub(apart from 1 decent season from RVP), we haven’t had a clinical striker. We’ve always had midfielders that chip in a fair amount of goals but we NEED a classy striker. What’s the point of having players like Ozil if we have nobody to for him to aim for?

  • Alexanderhenry and others… Untold has around 6 million page views a year which generates a lot of comments, dealt with by just a couple of people on very much a part time basis. Partly the system is automated to cope with the volume, and that of course means we don’t see them, and there is no way I can go back and find past comments that have not been published. Most of the reasons for not publishing comments are given in but if having read that you think something has gone completely wrong, please send me a copy of the comments not published and I will have a look and try and give an answer.

  • Steve – and indeed others – just saying that something is a fact, doesn’t make it so.

  • Robert

    Robert you have written a long piece explaining why my logic is faulty. I simply disagree with you in detail on every point, but I feel it is going to be pointless to engage in a debate like this – I can’t see that you will convince me nor I you, and worse I think it will bore the vast majority of the readership who are looking for a site that supporters the manager and the players and enjoys a bit of reasoned argument backed up with stats.

    So I think it is better if you take your arguments to one of the thousands of other football sites there are – or indeed set up your own site.

  • ob1977

    Yet some people love to say I told you so, and by criticising all the time they guarantee themselves some gratification during the season rather than suffering the way the rest of us do…

  • arse_or_brain

    KR, The problem with your comment is our judgement from our seat is based on emotion and a imagined memory. Stats are there to remind us what really happened and also adds in the extra factors that may not have been in play in seasons gone by.
    Secondly you are judging Arsene against himself and not against our club in general or some of our adversaries.
    Our football today is lightyears away from some of the ARSENAL teams of the past I have seen.
    The oil and TV money changed football massively and to just brush that aside by saying the view from your seat has changed is a little naive.