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June 2021

Media re-interpretations of Alexis statement suggests all pretence of balance and evidence has gone

By Tony Attwood

Ian Wright, Martin Keown, Paul Merson, Thierry Henry, Tony Adams and Lee Dixon have, as you may have noticed, all been having a go at Arsenal of late.  Which has become rather dull and boring, not least because none of them have been successful club managers, as far as I know.   Merson and Adams have at least had the guts to have a go at management – and for that they should both be given credit.  But they both failed to be a success at their chosen clubs.

And not just that, they failed to reach any of the heights Arsene Wenger has reached with Arsenal.  No long term spell getting into Europe.  No Unbeaten Season.  No Doubles.  No three FA Cups in four years. No highest number of wins of the FA Cup by any person ever in the entire history of the FA.  Nothing.

Now if Merson and Adams were to use that experience and compare what they did with what Mr Wenger has been doing, that would be interesting, but if they have done that, I’ve missed it – probably because when I heard them speak they were saying the same thing as the rest of the crew.  “I know how to do it; he’s useless”.

Much the same as the journalists say.  “I know; he doesn’t.”  It is just so pompous, so self-centred, so totally lacking in any sort of evidence.

Worse, that the endless repetition of the same thing in the end gets rather boring.  Yes, some people will pay attention, just as regular readers of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sun seem to like to hear the same anti-immigrant message over and over again.  In a democracy they are free so to do, but in terms of taking the debate forwards, not much happens.

Yes some people do go further, taking information and reinterpreting it, which is also part of the agenda of many newspapers.   Indeed the media now gets away with it so much that the journalists and ex-players who give their opinion without evidence seem to be getting even sloppier and sloppier barely bothering when what they say is totally contrary to such evidence as we do have.

Alexis’ statement expressing frustration with the media, which we published yesterday, is just such an example, as it is now being interpreted by the media as an attack on Arsenal for not transferring him to Manchester City.  As a result we are being told that Alexis is likely to become half-hearted in his performances this season.

We are also told that Alexis was “assured” that he was going to Manchester City.  How the journalists know this we are not told.  There is no evidence.  Nothing we can check.  And because in excess of 95% of the Arsenal transfer stories that the media came up with during the transfer window turned out to be untrue, you will perhaps forgive me if I don’t believe this story.

But I suspect that failure to get virtually any transfer stories right might well  be the reason that we are now being told Alexis’ message was a coded threat to Arsenal?  The media cannot allow the truth to spill out – that all through the summer they were making stuff up, and their sources are worth less than a spin of the dice when saying who is coming to a club and who not.

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And the problem we are now told was – oh yes the usual one.  Arsenal’s inability to complete a deal.  In a summer when Arsenal, quite amazingly, brought in a man who appears to be a brilliant defender on a free transfer (something that must have taken some doing) we are once more being told, Arsenal were incapable of even the simplest of negotiations in bringing Lemar to Arsenal.  Not that the price changed, or that the player didn’t want to come to Arsenal, or that Lemar was hoping to move elsewhere, or that Lemar actually wanted to stay put, or that the club didn’t want to sell him or that Lemar took a look at the behaviour of British journalists or the “Wenger out” groups.  No it was Arsenal’s fault.  And we know that because the people who got 98% of the summer transfer stories wrong, tell us so.

No, somehow, in some convoluted way, Alexis’ message was a coded rebuke to Arsenal.

According to one report, “It did not take a psychologist to detect a man whose frustration is overwhelming and whose focus has to be open to question.”

And that you see is the problem, because for a realistic interpretation of the meaning of a human’s behaviour, by and large you do need a psychologist.  The notion that this sort of work can be done without trained, qualified and experienced experts, is the story we are told each day.

The world can be seen without experts.  The British public has had too much of experts.  (That was Michael Gove just at the time we were being told that if we left the EU we could have £350m a week spent on the NHS).

No, I’ve had far too much of journalists who want to give us a world without experts.  A world in which the sun goes round the earth – I know that is true because I see it each day with the evidence of my own eyes.

Now, without a psychologist, we are told there is a sense of “battle fatigue in the dressing room.”  Not a sense of being totally fed up with a bunch of lying toads who write newspaper columns and pontificate on TV and radio stations.  No, a group of people who somehow, without training, without being there, really, really know.

The attacks on Arsenal by all those players named above, and by the media in general continues to bring both the players and the media into disrepute, as does their abject failure to find any way to put an alternative viewpoint, or to ask for evidence.  It really is totally appalling.

40 comments to Media re-interpretations of Alexis statement suggests all pretence of balance and evidence has gone

  • Chris K

    I couldn’t agree much more.

    What little I do know about psychology and the human brain is that a negative environment naturally breeds negativity, and thus I totally back Wenger in saying the team needs support. I want to see Arsenal win games and I believe we the fans have the power to have a positive influence in the way in which the players perform on the pitch simply by cheering them on, especially when things don’t go right.

  • Congratulations. At last an intelligent appraisal of Arsenal’s transfer situation and an exact condemnation of the pea-brained journalists and pundits that spout egotistical, ignorant opinions, that change with Arsenal’s results, rather than giving an accurate overview.

  • Goonermikey

    I loved AW in today’s press conference. “You [the media] work very hard to get our fans on our back and you do it very well.” Radio 5, of course, summed the press conference up with a comment about Santi’s injury………….

  • Steven Rose

    I entirely agree with Tony Atwood. The main concern iof journalists is to sell newspapers and advertising, which is most easily achieved by publishing sensationalist stories regardless of whether they are true.

  • Nitram

    Funny, all but one of those are English.

    And I’m guessing you could add Robson to that list.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wouldn’t piss on one OF them if they were on fire.

    Henry and Adams inparticular should hang their heads in shame.

  • jjgsol

    Well said.

    The problem with pundits is, like journalists, unless they say something contraversial, no one is interested in what they say.

    If that happens, then their lucrative jobs will be given to others who are prepared to toe the line.

    I wonder, did we ever hear Hanson say anything really unkind about Liverpool, during the last, nearly, 30 years that they have achieved precious little.

    Did he not once say that you cannot win things with kids, and yet PSG have just agreed to pay an enormous sum for an 18 year old?

    Nevertheless, I dare say that AW will need to watch Sanchez carefully this weekend, and I suspect he may, very well, start him on the bench.

  • Goonermikey


    I see Tony Adams claims that AW didn’t teach him anything. Sadly Mr Adams, just because you didn’t learn anything it doesn’t mean you couldn’t have done. Given you failed so badly at management, I suggest you should have listened a little harder…………

  • Akan

    As someone once said “you do not need evidence to form an opinion”

    So we (Arsenal) had a successful transfer window then? the manager improved the team, we are now going to be winning the title, europa cup
    and challenging for all competitions. We’ve got rid of all the substandard players like Jenkinson, Debeuchy, Xhakha, Walcott, Giroud, Wellbeck and others and you are going to show evidence of how “successful” his dealings in the last transfer window were. Make me laugh.

    I think you are missing the point. The manager is PAID to bring success to the club, that is his job, having said that we cannot be certain that it is written in Wenger’s job description nor what bench marks / criteria the new owners use to measure success by.
    Journalists and pundits are also paid to do a job

  • Jax

    ‘Did he not once say that you cannot win things with kids, and yet PSG have just agreed to pay an enormous sum for an 18 year old?’
    Take your point but Alan Hanson made that statement over twenty years ago (directed at one of the best Man U teams of any period) and has been continuously ridiculed for it since.
    According to Wenger & the 18 year old himself we tried to buy that player, although not for the ludicrous fee that PSG has paid. Hope it works out for him though. I love French strikers.

  • Vinnie Losada

    Wenger had a good one in the presser today (@ around 14:10 ). When asked if about the fans being on the teams’ back, he replied “you work very hard to get our fans on our back, and you do that very well!”

    I was expecting the chuckle from the journalists present, as is the norm when Wenger makes a quip in that style, but I guess it hit a bit too close to home! There was the merest of murmuring, and then silence. Great stuff.

  • Jammy J

    I truly believe that there is a link between our wretched fan-base and the way in which we are treated by the media. What other team is treated like this by the media and what other team has a fan-base like ours?

    If any of you WOB morons are reading this, it’s true, you really are a horrible lot. literally every time I have to defend Arsenal to an opposing fan, the very first thing they bring up, is the absolutely embarrassing and shameful way in which some of our “fans” treat our team, board and manager.

    I hate what they are doing to this club (both the WOB and the media) and if anyone thinks that the negativity doesn’t have a knock-on effect on the players, well, you’re kidding yourself.

  • Scuba

    If the board and manager want to be treated differently, Jammy, maybe they should think about changing their approach. At least during the stadium building years, there seemed to be a solid plan. Play youngsters, develop them, let them leave, and pay larger fees and wages for unproven players than most of the market was paying. It was somewhat risky, as we got stuck overpaying underperforming players for the life of their contracts in many cases, but it was a clear strategy that probably helped us outperform our means.

    In the last 4-5 years, however, I just don’t see the adaptation to reflect our better financial situation. The rest of Europe has learned from Arsenal, and started overpaying Europe’s top young talents. They’ve learned the value of having those players under long term contracts. We’ve gone the other way, allowing our players to run down their contracts and decrease our leverage, and keeping players past their prime instead of replacing them with up and comers.

  • Dom

    Since Henry is such a hero to the Gunners, I’ve been very reserved about my feelings for the guy.
    However if anyone was to have a look at his behaviour before, during and especially after the French South African World Cup debacle, he is not quite so held in awe in France.
    These ‘legends’ speak as they do, because they do not want to be tainted with the same perceived incompetence that the media thrusts on the current Manager and Board. Their public image and the £ they receive is far too important for them to reject.
    However, should Arsenal avoid relegation (as predicted by some) and actually qualify for the CL one way or the other…well that would be interesting indeed. 😀

  • MickHazel

    ‘The manager is PAID to bring success to the club, that is his job,’

    Indeed he is and success is exactly what he has delivered over the last four years with three FA Cups and three Charity Shields.
    Even the most blinkered supporter cannot deny that outstanding achievement.

  • Nitram


    Do you truly believe that 3 (6?) Trophies in 4 years is not success?

  • Menace

    Akan – you are just soooooo clever. There’s a place for you in child genius. Please take a ball with you or you might forget that the world is spherical.

  • Jax

    “we cannot be certain that it is written in Wenger’s job description ”
    Wenger’s got a job description? If he has I’d bet he wrote it himself.
    According to Kroenke he didn’t buy Arsenal to win trophies, so Wenger’s safe enough.

  • Menace

    Kronke is so damned rich that if he wants trophies, he’d have them made & encrust them with gold coins!!! There is no place for sporting competition in his world. His world has sporting club income & value.

    Wenger has football in his blood stream. Even his white cells play against his red cells. There is very little else that excites him. There is his mate Jose that winds his blood pressure up but that is around football. Wenger has not yet figured a way of deflating Jose’s ball.

  • Arsenal_62

    i am sure the commentators here who have a go at the refs every other day are as qualified as Collina, who have a go at the journos are pulitzer winning journalists themselves, and who attack the pundits are football specialists. the irony.

  • Gord

    OT: WordPress Stability

    ArsTechnica is running a 3 page thread (with comments) on the Space City Weather website (which was hit by hurricane Harvey). It is pretty much a vanilla wordpress website. Might be interesting reading for the Untold backroom people? I guess for a while, they were serving 10-20 pages per second.

  • para

    Tony, i am nit picking here, but please dont take it too seriously though.(Lack of Arsenal playing i guess).

    Many people do and create amazing things without being trained as “experts”, in this they become experts.

    We all can only speculate and form our own opinions, especially when there is no guarantee that all the so called trained “experts” are not just spouting what they have been taught. F.I doctors are trained and i dont trust most of themm much. Why?
    Because there are other doctors that give us opposite views to allow us to make decisions ourselves. These are villified and character asassinated for no reason, why are they not allowed to air their views?

    In a way it smells just like the official “media” that all tend to proclaim one agenda and refuse to acknowledge other reporters who have different information.

    You for instance are ignored except when they steal your reports and use it as their own. As long as one has the backing of much money, like the media(who has no real voice), they will continue to spout the agenda dictated to them.

    It is good that we have sites like Untold and others who try to portray it as it is observed. Dont forget that.

    Humans have a thing called intuition which is very usefull when one pays attention to it alongside their observations.

    “Worse, that the endless repetition of the same thing in the end gets rather boring.”
    Advice that should also be taken by those who say it?

    “A world in which the sun goes round the earth – I know that is true because I see it each day with the evidence of my own eyes.”
    I highlight “evidence of my own eyes” here.
    This seems to suggest that you are aware that “Experience also comes through observation”.

    “for a realistic interpretation of the meaning of a human’s behaviour, by and large you do need a psychologist.”
    I really doubt that, especially as i do not trust them one little bit.

    And lastly, those ancient cultures who created lots of concepts we still use today used lots of observations and measurements to come to their conclusions; The flat Earth being one of them.

    This does not mean i know the Earth is flat, but i have begun to mistrust the “evidence” presented to us by those who have repeatedly lied to us over the years.

    ATM i am researching both sides to get a valid picture for myself. Being a space and sci-fi fan, i would love to prove to myself that it is a globe, but intuition warns me strongly to take a look at the other side and not just to accept, after all, this is why i have a brain, to think for myself.

    Yet even that is being attacked by one-sided reporting and manipulative media too.

    Without hearing both sides we will always fall prey to those who can project their “facts” the most.

    Sorry for the long post, but hey, 2 days before our beloved team play again.

  • para

    I am trying to find where AW said this:

    “Arsene Wenger remains steadfast in his belief that “winning ugly” is not the way forward as he attempts to revive Arsenal’s faltering start to the season.”

    so i can send him an email if true.

    Come on, for real?

  • jjgsol

    Pullitzer prize winner do not make up stories, they research them fully and painstakingly,even risking their lives to do so.

    The shower who over a period of months made up story after story on a daily basis, should not be mentioned in the same breath.

  • Bobome

    The recent reported interview by Cech with a newspaper, in summary, claimed AW would rather play ‘football’ than win ugly when compared with another EPL manager. AW himself said he didn’t believe in ‘kicking balls high into the crowd’ as a way to win matches. Also, from the AW press conference today he said he’d rather play according to a set philosophy and values. For me this is the conundrum he faces in convincing a highly sceptical fan (perhaps a minority – not found on Untold) base of AFC that he knows what he is doing by sticking to this previously successful football philosophy.

    Many, it appears, want AW to dump that philosophy and join an apprent majority who would prefer to win every match at all costs. For this group ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ – the end justifys the means. Any wonder the World is in so much turmoil? All decorum and decency in public and even private life have been jettisoned for pragmatism in winning, fairly or unfairly? Quite a few believe football is a war and should be executed as so. That for me is why AW has attracted so much opprobrium and antagonism for being such a ‘purist’ in football.

    I think he believes very passionately that football is a game of entertainment for the benefit of the paying public that troop to football matches every weekend and not a do or die affair. I am afraid he is in the minority together with me who see it the same way as he does. Many focus on the prize than on the process that leads to it. That process empowers all and leaves you with a satisfying feeling of being part of the beautiful game. AW is not going to bend to ‘winning at all costs’ come hell or whatever. He will always have my support for holding true to the process and not the prize.

    The contradiction will continue for a vey long time, it is like the struggle between good and evil, there is no end in sight.

  • omgarsenal

    Akan….the one hit wonder! Never seen you on here before and hope we won’t see you here again! LeGrovel is desperately recruiting moaners like you, as someone flushed their WC’s once too often and they lost all their regulars in one go!

  • Menace

    To have an opinion is a freedom. To have an educated opinion is virtuous freedom. To understand the difference is a gift.

    Where a set of Laws are written, it does not take education to understand them. It takes study of all the detail including the interpretation. Officials that do not see incidents are either not fit for purpose or incorrectly positioned. In either case there are assistants who should in theory see the incident. It is not acceptable for officials to ‘not see’ by choice. This however seems to be the norm of PGMOL officials. One who has both played the game & officiated, and pays good money to attend a match, has the right to query the officiating, without having to be bald, Italian or paid to advertise product.

  • JP


    I was wondering how Spurs managed to get work permits for Aurier and Sanchez? I know that Aurier’s conviction was lowered by the French courts just before he was bought by Spurs, but how did they manage that?

    Sanchez is also in much the same position as Joel Campbell was a couple of years ago, and we had immense struggles to get his work permit approved. I was wondering if anyone else noticed this, and if someone can explain why their permits were approved so easily and quickly.

  • markyb

    A lot of that happens in the Manchester and Liverpool area as well. Strange innit.

  • Stephan

    Common, I read the statement, in no way did they say his statement was targeted against Arsenal.
    They just pointed to the fact that the player is really having a bad time now with his country and club, who he obviously didn’t want to play for no more.
    You are the one who is twisting statements here, not them.

  • I disagree. I don’t think he says in any way that he doesn’t want to play for his club or country.

  • Jax

    He doesn’t actually say that he doesn’t want to play for his club/country. He wouldn’t do anything so stupid, but I’d say he’d rather not be playing for Arsenal right now, and is very disappointed that his transfer to Man City did not complete.
    Lets see how this develops over the coming period; he still needs to remain marketable, so will most likely play to his full potential.

  • Jerry

    Great work as usual. I’ve been getting tired of the Arsenal/Sanchez bashing by the media, especially ESPN. It’s crazy, you would have thought he put in a transfer request or refused to train with the team (i.e. Coutinho).

    Not sure how Aurier was able to get his charges dropped prior to the work permit considering it was just last year he couldn’t get a visa with PSG to play against us.

    In regards to Sanchez, it’s about the money. Essentially, he gets a work permit based on his transfer fee (top 25% off all PL transfers = 3 points) and wages. Here’s a link about work permit details.

  • Nitram

    Vinnie Losada

    Great stuff indeed, but alas I feel they will, as they always do, turn it against him.

    I would expect headlines such as:

    ‘So it’s all our fault now is it Arsene’

    To emerge sooner rather than later.

    They are a bunch of lying, devious, shit stirring bast***s, and Wenger has just told them that.

    I’m afraid they wont let that pass unchallenged..

  • Jammy J

    Scuba “If the board and manager want to be treated differently, Jammy, maybe they should think about changing their approach.” – That’s complete rubbish. We do better than 99% of teams in England. Can you think of any of those 99% of teams, that have their fan-base treat their club in the same what that ours does? You (along with the rest of the WOB) have been manipulated by the media. That’s all it is.

  • para

    If others are playing ugly and your way is to play pretty, and you find that it just does not work, than it is foolish to keep on doing it.
    Adjust (that is, play pretty and ugly) or bow out.

    Menace 🙂

    Jammy J
    Maybe us fans have held Arsenal for too long as competing with the “money clubs” and it is apparently clear now that we are not in their league ATM.
    We are(at least we used to be) at the top of the rest, but now the fans fear that we are slipping back.
    And yes, other fans are no better or worse than Arsenal fans, that is according to comments i sometimes see from them.

  • goonersince72

    It seems a lot of fans? commentators? experts? have forgotten that AFC actually have values. From the off. Read Tony’s historical columns if you’d like to be informed. This nonsense about winning ugly? Tell that to Real, Barcelona, Bayern, PSG and any other non-British club that regularly beats the EPL lot. Arsenal play football, maybe not the brand ‘we’ invented but a game played by the previously mentioned sides. If a club has values it commits to a style of play win or lose. Like a Stoke City. In their case, mostly lose with their archaic ‘style’. In Arsenal’s case, mostly win with their ‘style’. Clubs (via the manager) choose a style. I like watching FOOTBALL so I support AFC. If they ‘lose pretty’ rather than ‘win ugly’ so be it. Have values, stick to them. COYG

  • Bobome

    Play pretty and ugly? How does that work? Anyway we are mostly exchanging opinions here. Bottom line – the way you play ought to reflect your values as an entity, because if there is a disconnect between the 2 you’ll be known for nothing, stand for nothing and will fall for anything pretty soon.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Oddly, the Chilean public is accusing AS7’s new girlfriend of making him a less focused and less fit player, especially after the last two games that the Chilean National Team has lost.
    My interpretation of his interview is that he is upset after two consecutive counter performances and all the criticism that goes with it.
    As to the transfer to Man City, Gazidis told his counterpart at Man City (Soriano) that the transfer would happen if Arsenal (as expected then) could sign a replacement. If Soriano contacted Sanchez without specifying that there is an “if” to the possible transfer, then why would they be so upset? They could have offered the sixty million quid in July, when Lemar was available for eighty million quid rather than wait for the last day of the transfer window. Never mind the fact that they tapped him up repeatedly.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I meant Man City tapped up Sanchez repeatedly. Our approach to Lemar was always after conferring with AS Monaco.