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June 2021

What happened in last four seasons and how football bloggers could learn from politics

By Tony Attwood

If you have been reading Untold for more than a couple of days you’ll probably have got the idea that one of the things that fascinates and outrages me in equal measure is the way the media behaves towards Arsenal – and by extension from that – why they do it.

The media defines what is and what is not news, and then decides how to report it.  In short the reader is told what to think about, and then how to think about it.

It has therefore been of much interest in the little world I live in to watch the way in which the same media approached the general election that has just been held in the UK, how the approach failed, and what those newspapers are doing now.

In the election the Sun and the Mail, and their camp followers like the Express, the Star, the Times etc, spent the entire campaign making fun of Jeremy Corbyn in the most appalling way (appalling given that there were serious issues at stake, such as who runs the country, and how they run the country).

Then, having utterly failed in their objective of getting a landslide Conservative majority, as one they have turned their ire on the Conservative Party and have set out destroying that.

But what was so interesting was that despite the phenomenal wealth and resources of the owners of these newspapers they never got near a major sector of the population (primarily but not exclusively the under 35s) who don’t buy newspapers.

However the politicians on the right wing clung to their view that it was the the Sun and Mail that won the vote in the UK to leave the European Union and that they could therefore once again win this vote for the Conservative Party.  They failed to realise that social media now “sets the weather” as they say in politics, and that far right’s model of using the tabloids is no longer working.

Football has similarities and differences.  Similarities in terms of the media setting the agenda, but differences because while the bloggers in politics have for the most part given an alternative vision to a part of the population, in football by and large the bloggers have taken the view that the Mail and the Sun offer the route to big numbers of readers, and so the rule is to copy them – primarily with an agenda that says

1: Only the last thing that happened is relevant, context is nothing, perspective is pointless, overview is meaningless, theory is gibberish and evidence is irrelevant.

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2: Because of point one it is perfectly fine to make stuff up.

3: Negative agendas without any thought of the future are what readers want.  Hence “Wenger Out!” and “Out means Out”.

Within this context I have been fascinated by the way the football media has pumped up Tottenham’s position of late given that, as far as I recall, they haven’t won anything for a while.  Not since the League Cup in 2008 in fact.  Before that it was the League Cup in 1999 and the FA Cup in 1991.

And although Liverpool’s exclamation mark has been a bit tarnished of late, they are still treated as a BIG CLUB, although their last trophy was the League Cup in 2012 and FA Cup in 2006.

So, just to pass the time of day, I built a little chart covering the last four seasons to see what the clubs in what is now called the Big Six showing what trophies have been won and the number of goals scored.  The final column shows the total goalscoring (according to Wikipedia) of the top scorer in each of the last four seasons.

  League FA Cup Lge Cup Europa F A Top scorer
Arsenal 3 281 157 22-25-24-30
Chelsea 2 1 288 145 17-21-16-21
Liverpool 294 190 31-13-13-14
Man C 1 2 336 155 28-32-29-33
Man U 1 1 1 229 144 19-14-17-28
Tottenham 215 165 14-31-28-35

Note: the goals for and against are just taken from the League, the top scorer’s goals are taken from all competitions.

I am sure. of course, you will have known those details of the trophies in your head without me having to list them, but it was still interesting to confirm that four of the clubs shown have won three trophies in the four years, and two have won none.

Now I know that some people have decided to say that the FA Cup is not a trophy and therefore we haven’t won anything, but then in that case the League Cup is also a non-trophy and so Manchester City, for all their billions of pounds, are then down to one trophy in four years.  Better than Arsenal, but not that good.   I’d tend to agree with crossing out the League Cup since Arsenal put out much weaker teams in the League Cup generally, but I’ve left the LC in the chart, just for completeness.

I also added together the goals scored across the season without knowing what it would give me – the answer is Arsenal in fourth place.  But interestingly across the four years in which Arsenal have not won the League and Chelsea have done so twice Chelsea have scored just seven more goals.  Liverpool, one of the club’s that has won nothing have scored more than Chelsea in winning nothing.

Manchester United and Chelsea have the tightest defences in the league across this period, within one goal of each other, but the margins are small.  Arsenal on this analysis let in on average four more goals a year than Chelsea and score two fewer goals a year than Chelsea.

The last column is there because of the debate we had for years about Arsenal needing a top striker.  A quick look at Liverpool’s sequence shows what happened to them – they had, as we all know, a top striker who could get 30+, sold him, and since have not been able to find anyone half as good.  Literally.  But I retain my view that having two or even three players who can knock goals in regularly is better than one man who scores 35 as Tottenham had last season. The issue is simply injury.  If that man gets injured, who have you got who steps up.

In all, the issue is one of how you spin the news.  By deciding the FA Cup is not a trophy Arsenal can be reduced to the level of Tottenham or Liverpool – although the media has actually managed to spin Arsenal as being below the level of Tottenham.

In politics, it seems that a lot of younger people have had enough of such spin, and instead started to think.  In football, the story is still pumped out by the bloggettas, following their cheer leaders in the national press.  But as the general election showed, it doesn’t have to be like this.

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30 comments to What happened in last four seasons and how football bloggers could learn from politics

  • ClockEndRider

    Yet more lefty politics under the guise of an Arsenal blog.
    To your point about under 35s perhaps the alternative view is that they’re too young to have grown up in the failed socialist state many of us did in the 70s and it is therefore easier to sell them pipedreams about hoe nationalisation will pave the road to their tomorrows with gold. British Leyland Anyone? British Rail? Bin collections strikes? Grace digger strikes? Ahh the good old days.
    Ive had enough of this non stop assault.this blog has just become a cllckbait advert for Corbyn and his regressive band of 70s students who have never grown up.

  • Seydlitz

    We have never lived in socialist state,we all live under capitalism which never fails?or did 2008 happen at all.

  • Clockendrider

    You can’t have been around in 1978 then.

  • Clockendrider

    Please feel free to Google William Tyndall school for enlightening reading on the wonderful progressive nature of Islington schools under the Marxists. And Margaret Hodge Islington Council scholdren homes scandal for more enlightening reading on the unimpeachable morality of the Islington mayor..
    I don’t believe politicians are any better than the rest of us, no matter what hue they are from. But it’s important people are in possession of facts rather than simply taking things as true when put forward by those with an agenda.

  • Bernard Cordell

    As a determined Remainer and a committed AKB (most of the time), I have often wondered if most AAAers are also Brexiteers.

  • MickHazel

    For someone who complains about the amount of political content on Untold you seem remarkably keen to get involved in the ensuing discussion.
    Seydlitz is quite right, there has never been a socialist state in Great Britain. There is a world of difference between a Labour administration which still operated within a capitalist framework as in GB and a proper socialist regime such as those seen in Cuba or USSR.

  • I too am puzzled by Clock End Rider.

    The statement

    Ive had enough of this non stop assault.this blog has just become a cllckbait advert for Corbyn and his regressive band of 70s students who have never grown up.

    seems to be a “farewell” message, and that’s fair enough, everyone can choose to see the articles here in any way they wish. But it is curious to write that, and then keep coming back and publishing more.

    You are of course welcome to do so Mr Rider, but I am bemused. I do look at the Mail and the Sun to see what they are up to, but I don’t write to them to tell them that they have got it wrong. They wouldn’t publish it for one thing.

    And if I may, can I point out your definition of click bait is wrong. To be click bait this would have to be an article that had a link (“click”) to something relating to Mr Corbyn, which I don’t think it does.

  • Leon

    You can use the comments section on the Mail to tell them what they have got wrong, and as long as you avoid certain swear words (or disguise them) you can put in just about anything. Corbyn does seem to be getting a lot of PR on here lately, I even said something positive about him myself on Friday. I must be really slipping.

  • finsbury

    Mike T was complaining about Corbyn a long time ago.

    The MP for Islington North who substantially increased his majority a few days has received plenty of praise upon Untold for a long long time primarily because the looney lefty did not oversee a process where the public purse was used to help pay for a private insitutions stadium whilst cosying up to a number of developers who are not from the UK (as in they are also being subsidised by the UK taxpayers and citizens).

    Unlike other examples in N17 and the stadium thatt Uncle Boris gifted to his mates on a dodgy contract, as can be observed and understood by the watching world.

    Nice try but it looks like the trolls fails again!

    Must be time to oragnise another a4 protest inside he stadium? Who knows this time they might be more successful then Aunty May, and hack dwarves like Marr with their blinkered projections? What are the odds?

  • Nitram

    The Liverpool love-in I can understand, just.

    I simply believe it’s down to there European exploits back in the day.

    I just think those fantastic European Cup achievements built such a massive cache of respect that it resonates to this day. I can understand that at least.

    Plus of course our media is inundated with ‘x’ Liverpool players who actually do still love there Club, and by and large will not have a bad word said against them, unlike our bunch, who are almost to a man the most disrespectful, disruptive and just plain nasty bunch of ingrates you are ever likely to have the misfortune to come across.

    As for Spurs, the only reason I can think of as to why the love-in just keeps rolling on is simply because they are our direct North London rivals.

    It seems just being our neighbours is qualification enough to merit the medias undying love.

  • Clockendrider

    Mr Atwood,
    I have greatly enjoyed some of the articles published on here. As you say, now is the time to go. Rose tinted goggles and tin foil hats just don’t do it for me.


  • Gooner S

    Some folk are taking these posts far to literally and far to seriously. For me they pass the time whilst I eat a sandwich at work.

  • Paul the gooner

    I have said before,this site I believed to be for supporters of Arsenal and football.I think Corbyn brought votes, just like City and Chelsea buy the league.The difference between the two, is that City and Chelsea can afford it, but the Country cannot.

  • finsbury

    Gooner S
    It’s almost as if these earnest and upright commentators are upset? Must’ve been something in the news, I guess that whatever it was must be passing us by 😉

  • frOOm en ski (fr)

    Each year just one club on 20 can win the League and for the Champions League that is far more, something like one on 60. That shows how thin are your chances to win one of these 2 major trophies.
    So I really don’t understand how some people can think that the FA Cup and the League Cup are not trophies.Sure they are less prestigious than the 2 first but they are trophies, maybe minor trophies but trophies!
    There are not so much things to win for a football club that you can throw in the bin the national cups like these were nothing.
    For Arsenal, wining 3 Cups in 4 years is not the end of the road, this is a great accomplishment and a step in the right direction which is really competing for the Premier League and finally wining it!

    All this is a bit like qualifying during 2 decades for the C1 means nothing but the first time the Club fail since that, it means a lot.
    People who writes these things just want to bring negativity around the team we love and it’s easy to recognize and ignore them…

    Thanks a lot for your great, great job, I feel less lonely!

  • Nitram

    Politics, Religion and Football.

    3 topics that will always create prolonged and furious debate.


    The fact is there is no right, there is no wrong.

    Ultimately we all vote as our conscience decrees. But even that is not straight forward.

    Do we vote for the good of the Nation or ourselves?

    Do we vote for the good of the World or our Children?

    Do we vote for the now or a promised future?

    Whatever you chose who has the right to tell you that you are wrong?


    Do you have faith or don’t you?

    And if you have faith which is right and which is wrong?

    They cant all be right, but they could all be wrong.

    Whatever you believe, or do not, for whatever reason, who is to tell you that you are wrong?


    I would suggest that football, and opinions about it, are as varied and imponderable as either of those 2, which surely gives us enough to be going on with, without this much politics (or Religion).

    So come on lads, lets stick a little closer to the really important issues in life, namely, is Alexis staying or is he going?

  • Matt

    The fact he hasn’t really spoken openly yet would lead me to believe he hasn’t made his mind up yet, so there is still hope.

  • Matt

    Vote Corbs !!!

  • para

    Not football, but this stinks to high hell and back!

    I really cannot take it that people still swallow the BS from politics, (so much like religon too) and really think they have a voice?

    If this does not open eyes about politics then there is no hope:

    “Elite private scools get £522m subsidy”

    It cannot be right that state/public schools have to pay business rates while private schools get 80% discount.
    This guarantees that elite schooling and public schooling end up being so different, especially in curiculum and ways of teaching.

    This is where you budding politic fans need to set your attention(to the FACTS) and forget all the posing and noise and promises etc.

    For more education info check:
    “The Prussian (German) Educational System” and how it allowed the parasitical elite to manipulate minds first in DE than USA and then UK and then in rest of Europe/world.

    Football please come back soonest! 🙂

  • JimB

    Tony – you rail against spin and then shamelessly proceed to write an article that makes liberal use of spin. Bravo!

    But this is nothing new to you, as I’m sure you are aware. I have noticed, over a period of time, that you routinely employ spin in addition to all manner of logical fallacies to make whatever case it is that you are trying to make. I have no problem with that. It is your website, after all. You have your views and you try to make your case compelling by any means possible – fair or foul. But you can’t then try to claim some sort of moral high ground.

  • Jammy J

    Did Leon honestly just say that the Daily Mail comment section wasn’t censored (excluding swear words)? Yet another embarrassing display of naivety.

  • Alexanderhenry

    …more interestingly, it looks like sanchez is leaving us and joining city.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Personally, I think it’s terrible news and an indicator of wherever club is at.

    We’re back to not being able to keep our best players

  • Leon

    Jammy J
    Yes I did “honestly say that……”. I’ve never had anything edited out of or not used in the comments section of articles I’ve commented on in the Daily Mail., but I can’t speak for you or anyone else.

  • Leon

    Jammy J
    I get it! Your on a troll again aren’t you.
    Now that’s “embarrassing”

  • Leon

    ….and naive of me for not spotting it immediately

  • finsbury

    Jammy J

    Slight correction if you don’t mind good Sir:

    …”The Daily Heil”…

    It is what it is.

  • finsbury

    The dear reader can easily understand why such a feeble and flatulent troll has tried & failed to troll a blog that supports a football club that does not promote or practice the extreme and long discredited ideology* of debt-peonage.

    It’s the thought that counts?

    *As can be evidenced in the writings of Charles Dickens, George Eliot and other works of other crazy militant atheist communists that most sane people in the world associate with (the best of) quintessential “Englishness” 😉

    Nevermind chaps, keep it up! Don’t let ten years of constant failure get you down. Perhaps at the next protest you’ll get fifty more people to hold up a piece of A4 paper and the Eton Old Boyz or the Stan the Man and his Toupé will be truly trembling. Because of course not practicing debt peonage makes one a Looney Lefty *yawns* (it is an extremist ideology so I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised at such gibberish)

  • John L

    Great that both Arsene Wenger and Jeremy Corbyn are staying.

    Both are men of integrity as well as ability Jo

  • Menace

    I don’t know what the problem is! Arsenal have played socialist football ever since Wenger introduced them to sharing the ball before putting it in the ballot box. It is so disappointing that those who believe being selfish & keeping the ball till a high bid wins it think that socialist football is bad.

    The other way is an Eaton mess. It has a way of education (also called brain washing) that makes its students come across as positive with an accent. The fact that they couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery but can organise a picnic in a park because of the serviettes (or in Trumps case soviets) & prawn sarnies.

    Football was a poor man’s sport but it has bee robbed by the wealthy & corrupt. The timing of matches has screwed up it’s social beauty & forced the youth to screw up their studies & sleep patterns. The sale of season tickets to juniors is shameless robbery & depravity considering several games (charged for) are played in unsocial hours. It is time all evening matches should be refunded to juniors.

    For what it’s worth, only the likes of Corbyn will enforce educational values on this sport that is being prostituted to the greedy.

  • Andy Mack

    MickHazel, Do you mean a communist state or a socialist state?