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June 2021

Arsenal planning to sack Wenger, the player breakthrough, squad discontent, Rowley Birkin.

By Tony Attwood

As far as I can work out (and I must admit I am only an amateur historian) fake news was introduced into English newspapers as a method of filling their pages during the first world war at a time when the government imposed a strict censorship on the war news.

If you have been reading the recent Arsenal History Society articles about Arsenal in the Henry Norris era (which have now reached 1917) you’ll know the papers were full of stories of gangs of wealthy young men (who worked in the munitions factories) roaming the streets and terrorising law abiding citizens, and of Belgian refugees who had escaped their homeland following the German invasion, harbouring German soldiers in secret nightclubs that they had set up.

Having once set up the fake news mechanism after the they just kept it rolling, since it was a source of cheap – not to say free – stories.  No one admitted the news was fake of course and they only invented the phrase “fake news” when social media became more proficient at inventiveness than the old time hacks in the pubs.

Now the problem with fake news, whether it is to scare the elderly and susceptible with tales of undesirable foreigners or simply to gain readership in the hope that advertisers will follow is that once started, it needs to be kept going.

The arrival of fake news blogs operated by newspapers and the like (rather than fantasists sitting in bedsits) has taken the whole thing to a new level.   The Daily Cannon for example last night published seven separate stories in three hours last night, each one just a hundred words or so, with only an occasional nod of the head in the direction of reality.

Take the headline, “Alex Iwobi confirms highly-rated ace will join Arsenal squad.”

If you haven’t read this one, take a guess as to who is being talked about here.  Who is the highly rated ace about to join the Arsenal squad?

Well, it is, wait for it…   Chuba Akpom.

And in relation to this you might just decide to say, “Err?”  Because Akpom was in the squad that went to BATE, but didn’t play.   But then what about “highly rated”?   Chuba is a member of the Arsenal 25 (being over 21 he has to be counted in the group) and has had a number of less than outstanding loan deals, but has also had a bad injury, meaning that the excitement he caused when he did have a good pre-season in 2016 has dissipated somewhat.  So not quite the story we might have hoped for.

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But let’s carry on and try another headline: “Mesut Ozil provoking Arsenal team-mates with training ground behaviour”

The entire source for that headline which comes from the Metro is, and I quote it in full

The Daily Mail report that sources at Arsenal claim his effort in training has dropped alarmingly and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by his team-mates. They report that staff are growing increasingly worried at his lack of effort this season.

Let’s try something else.

Arsenal board really set to sack Wenger for Ancelotti?

This one comes from Just Arsenal and is based on a piece by Joey Barton (at least I think it was him, they actually wrote Jopey Barton, which is the sort of twerping error I’d make) in the Metro.

Or you could try

This looks bad for Arsenal star but even worse for Wenger

from the same source, although having run that headline they then say, “It would not surprise me to hear that a story giving a negative spin about something to do with Arsenal had been made up, ”

One more…

Want-away Arsenal winger names which club he hopes to join next summer

This is one of the Cannon’s, and it is about… Joel Campbell saying he wants to join Real Betis.  Now since his contract ends next summer he is free to do that, if he can get a deal.  It is hardly a major story – the big story would be if he were to be recalled from his latest loan and given a place in the Arsenal 25 in January.  I believe he was to be sold this summer, but then got injured playing in an international just as the new season started, and that put an end to that.

It all raises a question: where next?   Just making up stories soon won’t be enough.  The output of the Cannon shows that it feels  the need to pump out more and more stories each day.  How can anyone who wants to put forward serious stories actually get readers to realise that the stories they are reading are inventions?

We tried of course last summer and the summer before with the transfer index, finding in both cases that only 3% of the transfers listed, actually came to pass.  Anyone else getting an accuracy rate of three out of 100 would crawl away and hope not to be noticed, but no, these guys just carry on.

I’ve been pondering for some time and wondered about running our own fake news stories that counteract the fake news stories, but with a clue within them that tells regular readers that this is totally invented.  Not quite sure how, but just leaving the fake newscasters to get on with it doesn’t appeal, given that quite a few people seem to believe these untrue stories.

Since many of these people also seem to have no understanding of the notions of evidence, deduction, logic or statistics, the stories just go on and on.  Maybe Rowley Birkin QC might want to take this on.

Oh and as for the sacking of Wenger, apparently that is due soon and we will get the former Liverpool now Celtic manager in his place.

24 comments to Arsenal planning to sack Wenger, the player breakthrough, squad discontent, Rowley Birkin.

  • naz

    The Metros slogan – ‘News… but not as you know it’ – aka ‘made up’

  • Mandy Dodd

    would be amusing if it wasnt all a bit tragic!
    Like Stan would give wenger a two year contract, then sack him, it is said by some Stan has attachment issues with money, so i am not too sure about this story.
    the only genuine concern I have, if things go badly wrong this season, and the players for whatever reason do not perform, significant numbers of fans turn, I could see a scenario where wenger just has had enough,despite his legendary stamina, and as he puts it, masochism. then we get to see who Stan and co replace him with, and how they do on a self sufficiency business model competing against teams owned by countries

  • aleer gideon

    i will not agree with you mr mandy, because the team is not perform to the way we be in good term with coach hence i myself agree he can go

  • Nitram

    It’s the same old same old.

    We win a few games everything goes quite. One defeat and it’s another catastrophe.

    The notion of ever keeping a simple defeat in any kind of perspective has long gone.

    After being robbed at Watford I thought I’d risk the post match analysis, just to see what they had to say about the ‘non’ penalty.

    First up we had Keown. Yes, he agreed, it was never a penalty. Great I thought.

    So you would of thought the diving cheat would of got both barrels? Nope.

    So you would of thought the incompetent referee would of got both barrels? Nope.

    Nope, he reserved his vitriol for the victim of this laughable miscarriage of justice, Bellerin.

    Apparently he wasn’t happy that Belleren didn’t kick the referee in the bollocks and stamp on his head in disgust.

    At that point I gave up and I haven’t read or listened to a word since, but I don’t need to do I, because we all know exactly what we’re going to get every time we drop a point, let alone lose a match.

    Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe how we are treated in the media.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    After the anti-Arsenal signing role of Luis Suarez which he played that boders on insulting Arsenal when he said, Arsenal is a small club, It will be wonders never ends episide that will make Arsenal to appoint Brendan Rodgers as Arsenal manager after Le Prof has departed the Emirates Stadium on the high and not on the low that could see him renewing his managing Arsenal by another 2 years more after his current 2 year deal has expired in year 2019 I would think. But honestly, if to buttress Le Prof’s case, Arsenal have got to win the Premier League title this season. This singular ahievement alone if achieved will diffuse the unabated anti-Wenger cries which are being heard all over the place for the past seven years now.

    Having won it thrice before, the last one been in 2004. I am strongly of the belief that Arsenal can still win the Premier League title again under the stewardship of Le Prof with the current 25 man squad he has in place but sanitised it and streghtened it during the coming January window to improved on the capability of his squad to finish off the job of winning the PL title successfully during the 2nd half of their season campaing.

    despite Le Prof seems to be alluring to the notion that it will be difficult now for Arsenal to catch Man City who are sitting with arrogance of goals scoring depth on top of the PL table buare not immune from having problem of theirs inthe PL. Therefore, as time go on; I stiil believe Arsenal can still catch all their PL titke rivals of Man City, Man td, Tottenham Hs and Chelsea and surpassed them all and top the table as they are still very much in this season’s Premier League title win campaing and not out of it. Since there are still 30 PL matches to play for maximum 90 points collection. All Arsenal who already on 13 points so far need to do is fo Le Prof to setup a special playing task-force squad within their present and coming January 25 man squad with a mandate to collect 80 points unfailing from the remaining 90 they are pursuing collect. And if they succeeded doing this, of course the Premier League title will be theirs for lifting on 93 points with some games to spare at the end of the season. Therefore,Le Prof should as a matter of urgency setup this playing task-force before this week runs out when he returns from Belgrade and code name it, ‘OPERATION COLLECT 80 POINS UNFAILING’ to earnestly begins operation from the Everton game next Sunday.

    Let me add and also caution the Gunners to take their Europa League title win this season very seriously. For,it is a big title worth winning by Arsenal and they MUST win it by all means as opportunity is said to come but once, Arsenal should seize this opportunity that is flying through their domain by winning the EL Cup thus season and keep it. For, they never can tell when such an opportunity will fly past their domain again.

  • A J

    The situation at our once great club has long since become farcical, and way way way beyond a joke.
    It has long since become apparent (10 years and counting!) that the club are NO LONGER INTERSTED in competing for the top slot.
    Apathy, complacency and arrogance aligned with an overblown belief of how good a number of the current squad are has long since become the norm.
    The hard core of true supporters (who actually CARE on a daily basis how the club performs, and is being run) have long since come to come to realise we have now become a pale imitation of what our great club once stood for.
    Let’s not forget, we were once disliked for our stoic approach, strength, reliance on defensive qualities and the ability to grind out results when necessary.
    How many of us would actually settle for a few “Boring, Boring Arsenal” results in the key games throughout a season against sides who were once termed as our “direct rivals” for the title.
    Then along came “The Invincible”. Who could deny, a golden era in our clubs history – but did we build and step on from this glorious foundation?
    Just take a look at the litany of sub-standard players signed since. It has almost become a pleasant surprise when an Arsenal signing is of the expected quality.
    I could go on. But to get to the point – AFC (the great Arsenal Football Club) DESPERATLY NEED REGIME CHANGE, ALIGNED WITH A COMPLETE CHANGE IN PHILOSPHY!
    As drastic and destabilising as it may sound (be careful what you wish for merchants) we need very, very seriously to look at the Owner, Board, CEO and Backroom Staff and Manager.
    I know this cannot happen overnight, but we MUST start the “revolution” to get Arsenal Football Club back – OUR ARSENAL – THE ARSENAL!
    For too long now the bar has been set far too low with regards to expectations for the club as a whole, and this squad in particular.
    We have been managed into MEDIORITY, never knowing what Arsenal “will turn up”, throwing games we should be winning, fast becoming an average Europa Cup side who see’s the saving grace as attempting to hang on to F.A. cup each season.
    PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE will someone in the corridors of power at our beloved club address this dire situation.
    We the supporters, the heartbeat of the club, HAVE HAD ENOUGH – NO MORE!!!
    Penalty or not, referees, levels dropping physically, playing with the handbrake on NO LONGER WASHES – ENOUGH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have resisted long and hard to buy into the Arsenal are only a “Money Making Cash Cow” for those in positions of power. Of late I am beginning to agree with this view.
    What other reason can there be to sit in the dugout, for us (the rank & file) in the stand, and watch the level of utter mediocrity being accepted week on week out on the pitch – THIS HAS BECOME TOTALLY UNACCAPETBLE.
    Everything is relative. Teams who find themselves in the bottom half of the table on a yearly basis still demand EFFORT, DRIVE and COMMITMENT as a minimum and will by and large accept where they are if they see all is being given to at least maintain the level, whilst striving to improve year on year.
    We as a football CLUB are undoubtedly REGRESSING.
    Mealy mouth words are constantly trotted out, “Catalyst for Change” being a prime example.
    Particularly given the two year managerial extension (?) NEVER HAVE THESE SLOGANS RANG TRUER!!
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE can this current dire Groundhog Day like situation be addressed !

  • GoonerDave

    Fake News
    This concept is now used because informed people are spotting holes in news stories. We will not know what to believe…
    The truth is that the vast majority of the news we have seen in history was fake too – usually one truth mixed in with a bunch of lies for plausibility.
    A simple obvious one is the world’s money – no matter how much money we make, how much profit businesses make, debt rises by the minute. All of the money is disappearing and always has.
    No matter who we elect, the will of the people is not done. Elected officials have very limited power and entire countries are being run by non-elected people in the background.

    The proof of scripted news is all over the internet, as well as identical scripted speeches by politicians at opposite sides of the world. Believe nothing. Check reality to see what is happening – it rarely aligns with the news.

  • Mark overmoon

    Very nice piece, again finding poignant analogies from the world outside of football. I have recently been pondering if it is better to acknowledge to news which I know to be laced with falsehoods, or rather not listen at all. I have concluded that I will not listen to anything which I cannot influence myself. As a biologist that sadly means there really isn’t much at all in the news I can impact and therefore I opt to ignore the news now. I’ll read the party manifestos the day before the general election and vote accordingly.

  • Nitram

    Mark Overmoon

    “I’ll read the party manifestos the day before the general election and vote accordingly.”

    That’s after you’ve stopped laughing I presume?

  • Drew

    I am not too sure what I find more depressing the Fake news or the fake belief that this once great manager deserves to carry on any longer in his job.
    Forever picking tuneless one footed square pegs for wrong holes, for God knows how many seasons now I have simply lost count.
    And now it seems he is to give our most valuable assets away for either nothing or a pittance.
    As the fools who run(or ruin) our club do not seem to give a Damn. I have decided to get in touch with the Vatican to see if they can send their best Exorcist along preferably
    before Halloween!!

  • Jax

    Hey Mark overmoon, you vote the same way as I do; manifestos and not parties.
    Hope you’re one day in a position to influence the world.
    Keep it up.

  • bonaroca:

    Bonaroca:- I have been Arsenal supporter since 1946, and I think all the articles and comments
    about Arsenal for the last 4/5 years have been just a question whether Arsenal would be able
    to win the PL League or the EU Cup. Let’s put it this way they never had a chance in hell
    because in my humble way of thinking when you see most of the Teams even those promoted give
    value for money when playing when Arsenal are still playing a system when Arsenal won there
    last League Championship.
    Iam very sorry to say Mr Wenger has to go after giving all his good services with Arsenal,
    otherwise the team will continue to play a game with passing the ball more backwards instead
    of forward then it means that while the Manager has run out of Ideas.
    During the 1950’s there were two outstanding teams Austria and Hungary and obviously Brazil,
    but at a point in time those teams were overtaken by Germany? why? because they have changed
    their system of play, today they are still at the top.
    In my humble opinion Mr Wenger has to leave and a younger manager with different ideas has to
    engaged. Apart from changing the playing mentality the new has to make use of the many
    young talent have at the club. Unfortunately players are used in many ways out of position then
    their actual talents there particular positions
    It seems this is a question the Board to decide what they think is good for its paying

  • You might be right, but if you are the new manager will need a load of money to refresh the team. Are you saying you believe Kroenke will give him a budget the size of Man City’s?

  • AJ you obviously spent so long writing your comment that it seemed unfair not to publish it, although it breaks so many rules of publication on this site, it shouldn’t be put up. But I felt a bit mean not publishing it.

  • NuttnTiddy

    A bit off topic, sorry if this offends but I am getting concerned with Martin Keown.All of a sudden he has gone from being a pundit and a person whose views I respected to one who simply slags anything to do with Arsenal and perhaps because of his Arsenal past gathers support from the anti Arsenal clowns. it has reached the stage where anything that Ozil does is wrong. I know this does happen to pundits and blogs, witness Arseblog with Walcott but as Keown is employed by the “official” media I wonder if he has been told to criticise more in line with the norm.
    We know that the powers that run the Premier League want Man U to win the league because of the great following they have all over the world which means that TV income can be maximised and if other clubs can be destabilized so much the better.Watch out Man City.

  • Mark overmoon

    Of course! ? That said, I’d rather see 80 % of my core beliefs ignored than 90

  • Mark overmoon


  • Xi_gunner

    Please run a story that AFC have successfully cloned Arsene.

  • I can’t do that but we could run the story that a lot of “people” who comment on Untold are in fact clones of other people who just commented.

  • nicky

    Well said, Tony.;)

  • WalterBroeckx

    This article didn’t go down well with some people. Some vile comments behind the scenes…

  • Yes Walter, I’ve picked up some of them and dealt with them in the usual way. Thanks.

  • Polo

    @Tony, I don’t think the top banner Supporting the club, the players, and the Manager is getting seen by some of the guests. Maybe you will need to enlarge the current font size by 100 times.