Making fun of Daily Mail journalists, and calling 999 when the team loses.

By Tony Attwood

Apparently the social media team at Arsenal sent an animation of Mesut Özil to Daily Mail journalist Adam Crafton. The tweet related to a feature in the right wing newspaper in which their journalist did the usual thing that papers seem to do when they have some space and nothing much to put in it, picking a combined Arsenal-Tottenham XI.  This time they picked only Tottenham players, making the point that Tottenham, despite the lack of any trophies since 2008 (when they won the League Cup) now have a team better than Arsenal (three FA Cup wins since Tottenham last won anything, and nine out of ten seasons of finishing higher up the league than Tottenham) and are currently superior to Arsenal on every part of the pitch.

Looking back at the tweet, the Telegraph has sprung to the Mail’s defence saying “given the trajectory of both teams over the past 18 months, [the tweet] was not entirely indefensible.”

Or was it?

OK let’s take the last 18 months.  In the last 18 months Tottenham have won no trophies, Arsenal have won the FA Cup.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Trophies
Tottenham Hotspur 50 33 10 7 106 35 71 109 Nothing
Arsenal 50 30 7 13 99 60 39 97 1 FA Cup


So yes, as we all know, Tottenham ended the season above Arsenal for the first time since 1995 – a feat Tottenham achieved not so much by the excellence (they came 7th) but Arsenal’s poor display.

Clearly those figures show that Tottenham have scored seven more goals than Arsenal in 50 games – not exactly that overwhelming.  And of course they have had a much better defence than we have had – that is obvious.   But still they only won three more games and didn’t win a trophy.  Is that really a trajectory?

Anyway the Daily Mail journalist has reported that some of the comments he subsequently got included  antisemitic and homophobic abuse.  Very, very much to be deplored and abhorred and I trust that Twitter will hand over the IP addresses of such people to the police, and that they are now taking action.

But now the Telegraph raises the issue “to what extent should Arsenal have anticipated such abuse and are they responsible for the reaction their content provokes?”

An interesting question, in that although I don’t get antisemitic or homophobic abuse for obvious reasons, I do occasionally get death threats and vile threats against my family, as a result of Untold.  So am I responsible for that because of my writing here?  If so, maybe it was the Mail journalist who was responsible.  I am not sure that is so – and if it is, free speech pretty much goes down the drain.

As the Telegraph has the decency to point out.  “The content of Arsenal’s tweet – a player sipping a cup of tea – was not incendiary. It was perfectly innocent.”
But the Telegraph argues that by “personalising their response,” Arsenal should have known that the reaction they “would provoke might also be personal”.   Maybe, but it was the journalist’s decision to produce some strong anti-Arsenal copy in a world in which Twitter and Facebook seem to march on in disregard of any thought of the consequences of what they do.

For example, just before this story broke, the Telegraph produced the headline “Beating Spurs is Arsenal’s Cup final”.  Was that incendiary?  Or was it just bonkers, given that Arsenal are actually the FA Cup holders.  And the holders of the Charity Shield.  Probably utterly bonkers; a headline written by someone who actually doesn’t really know very much about football.

What the paper also said was, “It is no trade secret that Arsenal are a particularly fat target for bloggers, writers and editors. … [but]  Why Arsenal have such a forceful online presence is unclear. That they are all tech-savvy Islington dwellers is far-fetched in the extreme. A more likely explanation is that Arsenal were successful around the turn of the century, and so captured the support of a sizeable proportion of 18 to 30 year olds.”

Well yes, maybe.  Here’s another one: some clubs including Arsenal do seem to get more odd referee decisions than others, and Arsenal supporters and others have done detailed analysis over about six years to prove this (it is all on this site if you want to go looking).

To make this point then invites a huge level of abuse from people, and this generates more and more social media activity.  The mainstream press refuse utterly to engage in discussion about the PGMO, its structure, its behaviour and the refereeing of its members, so the only place left to discuss matters is on social media.  So it must be the newspapers fault for not covering the topic.

Curiously, the Telegraph got quite close to this conundrum when it said,

“Arsenal, and other clubs, should be able to have a laugh at the press’s expense without the Celebration Police being called. Talk of the need for an ‘inquest’ or ‘serious questions to be asked’ grossly overstates things. In future however, clubs might look to aim their mirth at faceless organisations like themselves rather than a person.”

Faceless organisations.  You don’t think they also meant PGMO do you?  Oh no.  Because the rule is, the only time one talks about PGMO is when they put out a press release.

Anyway, there was one little twist at the end of this, for West Ham United fans have been warned to stop calling 999 to complain about their team.  The Guardian pointed out that

“It seems some supporters have been taking their grievances too far though, with the Essex Police Force Control Room urging them to stop using the emergency number.

“A tweet from the @EPControlRoom account read: “Ringing 999 because @WestHamUtd have lost again and you aren’t sure what to do is not acceptable! It is a complete waste of our time. #999foremergenciesonly.”

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I am now starting on my journey to Cyprus via Manchester (I know it is in the wrong direction) and so may not be able to report on matters large and nonsensical in my normal astute manner in the coming days.  I’ll do my best – even if it is just a short piece on Facebook.  You can follow us there UntoldArsenalToday.

15 Replies to “Making fun of Daily Mail journalists, and calling 999 when the team loses.”

  1. I wonder how many abusive messages the journalist got before Arsenal posted the Özil giff.
    I’d say alot

  2. Arsenal is so envied by many, that fact is clear.

    The twits and the book of faces are all beyond my comprehension, was there not My Spaces and countless other similar as well?
    Oh well, it’s a new world.

    Long ago, I used to read(for the youth, we once had a thing called books) a Sci-Fi(before TRON) that somehow the people got sucked into the internet and became part of the data world.

    Well, with “robots” steadily replacing people, i suppose it would not surprise me if this did happen, hopefully not before i find myself back in the Cosmic stream, or Akashic field(Zero point field) where i first became sentient.

    Jamaica is now proposing/embracing the ID Card thing and going one step further, if you refuse, you will be denied all Govt services and fined, ending up with a criminal record.

    I wonder if the internet is recorded in the Akashic field as well? Or maybe it is just a part of it. Maybe this thing we call life is just the dreams of some entity and we do not really exist?

    Life is a Dream, shoop shoop du wah. (The song tells my age). 🙂

  3. It was so funny. Had a laugh.

    BTW, Ferdinand has opened his mouth, and says we’ll lose against Burnley. Arsenal Twitter should be ready with a Ozil tea sipping gif…. hahahahahaha

  4. Oh yes and Fat Frank was doing the mentality questioning in the Standard, no doubt there will be much ‘get in their faces’ before and Dyche will send them out to rough us up knowing they will get away with loads and get plenty of chances to throw the ball in the mixer from Mr Mason

  5. Tony,

    Unfortunately your article failed to mention Henry Winter (of The Times) whose tweets on the incidents were much more incendiary and accusatory compared to the Telegraph article.

    He tweeted that:

    “Arsenal’s social media is usually very good, as it should be with so many people working on it, but that cheap tweet was a misjudgement.”

    Arsenal are a great club. But this is small-minded of them, causing the recipient “anti-Semitic, homophobic abuse & people wishing me dead”.

    “…AFC should be above retaliation and mindful of the reaction”

    Funny that the journos can make fun of a club, its players, its managers and fans as much as they want, but they can’t take any banter in return lest it produces an undesired reaction by a handful of the millions of fans!

    He further stated that:
    “bigger clubs don’t do it” and also “don’t see many other major clubs behaving this way”. But he forgot that Man Utd also sent a similar tweet to a fan when one of the players (I think Ibrahimovich or Lukaku) scored.

    He further tweeted that he was “just standing up for someone being abused” and “just sticking up for a young sports writer”

    Mr. Henry again forgets that the journalist in question writes for a main-stream publication and wasn’t a 16 year old johnny-no-friends writing a blog from his bedroom. He should’ve been more measure and responsible in writing his original article which was far far worse than the innocuous response by Arsenal’s twitter account!

    The hypocrisy of these journalists is mindboggling!

  6. Arsenal13

    It was sad to see some supposedly Arsenal sites, essentially agreeing with Ferdinand.


    OT: Corruption News

    There is some kind of mysterious corruption investigation active in London. Perhaps others know something concrete. Most of what I have read is supposition.

    Craig Whyte, formerly of Glasgow Rangers, is apparently trying to publish a book on corruption.


    OT: Lyme disease in winter

    In the news today, was a wakeup story. Apparently every season is Lyme disease season.

    I don’t know if this applies to colder places, the threshold mentioned in the article is +4C. It would probably apply to Europe and the UK.

    Speaking of this disease, I hope your wife is doing well Walter.

  7. It seems Niasse was unsuccessful at protesting he didn’t dive.

    I think Anthony Taylor (the “referee” that was hoodwinked) should also be banned for 2 gamedays.

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