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Arsenal: When rightful criticism turns into baseless negativity

By Don McMahon

We beat Valencia 4-2 at their home ground. What a useless lot of twits Arsenal are, taking so much time to beat a team that had almost never lost in Valencia!  That’s the inveterate critics view…..

From a psychological and cognitive point of view, backed up by neurological evidence and a vast archive of research in cognitive and affective functioning, here is what I see:

1) A negative outlook takes less physical and emotional energy to maintain than a positive outlook does. Research has shown that the vicious circle engendered by such negative thinking is easier to maintain than a similar positive mindset, which requires actual rational thought and appreciation of the positives in life,

2) A pessimistic, demeaning attitude has far fewer risks than an optimistic one because it places the blame for what ails that person’s world-view onto others, thus relieving the pessimist of any responsibility or accountability for their views or actions….it’s everyone else’s fault and the wonderful thing is that it will eventually be proven ¨true¨ in their blinkered minds,

3) The constant critic profits from attention, which he or she desperately needs and incessantly seeks. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and immediate, if not prolonged attention. Because their self-image is so deflated and damaged, any attention, whether it is to call them out as whiners or moaners, to support them in their black views or to uncomfortably ignore them, allowing them to take centre stage, is a win-win situation for them, until it isn’t.

4) Pessimism is attractive to the enfeebled mindset that considers itself a victim in all things and seeks to victimize others as a vengeance for their sorry state in life. It offers endless material to criticize, freedom to ignore facts and reality in favour of one’s twisted views, independence from responsibility or accountability because their greatest weapon and most pronounced weakness is to attack anyone daring to contradict or reason with them, a brotherhood or sisterhood of ¨like-minded¨ delusionals whose sole raison d’etre is to lament their lot in life and decry perceived or marginally real events that have little or no relationship to causal effects,

5) These unfortunate people are in a growing minority of negativists and emotional anarchists, best represented by Trump’s base where, denial of reality, perversion of the truth or outright untruthfulness, weaponizing ordinary, civilized dialogue to strike ¨fear¨ in their perceived adversaries, discourteous and prejudiced behaviour and attitudes, denial of scientific and hard statistical evidence, recourse to myths and pseudo-scientific explanations, and the dismissal of skilled experts and proven research, is normalized.

6) I may be incorrect but I suspect British English lends itself wonderfully to the vocabulary a whiner and moaner relies on, which North American English lacks. Such words and phrases as; Wankers, Ponces, Shambolic, Skive, Tosh, Barmy, Bollocks, Chav (not the nickname for Chelsea supporters), Daft cows, Gobby, Gormless, Lose the plot, and my personal favourite, Sweet Fanny Adams, provide beautifully coherent terms with which one can abuse anyone.  In North American English we replace all these words with the f**k word.

 With such colourful euphemisms, the dedicated bitcher can absolutely and fabulously demean, deride, denigrate and diminish his/her own players, manager and club without ever having to look up a new insult in the dictionary.

7) Constant negative criticism and ubiquitous insults, combined with an obsessive-compulsive need to strike out at whatever ails one, is a classic symptom of a psychological disorder I have described in previous articles…suppositosis. For the benefit of those UA faithful who may have forgotten its definition, here it is : a neurological condition where the optical nerve in the brain gets crossed with the rectal nerve in the autonomous nervous system and one ends up with a shitty outlook on life.

Seriously, positive criticism is justified and after a few away game displays this season, merited. I regularly watch Adrian Clarke intelligently and skilfully dissect Arsenal’s games and he NEVER moans, whines, disses, unjustly criticizes or assumes or assigns motives or attitudes to any player or manager.  Rather he analyses why the good and the bad occurred and how it can be remedied.

Not that it is the only kind of evaluation I place any value in…anything else is simply ventilating and bitching based on one’s ¨feeling¨ which, in their mind are facts. I am a former national official and watch AFC’s games with a jaundiced eye to the officiating. However, I know the Laws very well and more importantly, as Walter can surely  certify, knowing the application of the spirit and the letter of the Laws is the cherry on the Sunday. I reserve my criticism for things I possess the knowledge and experience/skills to judge, the rest I leave to the lazy pub-crawlers who pass as journalists.

Ønward to the Europa trophy!!!!

26 comments to Arsenal: When rightful criticism turns into baseless negativity

  • GoonerDave

    Trump Derangement Syndrome –
    Anyone who disagrees with you must be a Trump supporter.
    This blog finds a new way to alienate potential readers every day.

  • Les Martin

    I thought he was talking about rummy

  • Sue

    I just want to say what a week it’s been!! We made it to the EL final!!
    Auba is on fire! Well deserved golden boot!
    I had my doubts about winning yesterday, but we did!!
    Man City won the league 👍
    We won’t see that awful green kit ever again!!
    And we have yet another opportunity to laugh at Man United 😂 Thank you Cardiff!
    I won’t even mention the CL 😉
    So onto Baku… COYG

  • Sammy The Snake

    I came here thinking there’s a celebration for our final, and Auba’s Golden boot. Please stop being negative about negative people. Untold is best when it’s hopeful and positive.

  • Baro

    Numbers 2&4 seem to be talking about those people who like to blame everybody and everything else for Arsenal’s performances, be it the refs, the FA, the other clubs spending their money,the pitch. Any and everything other than arsenal.

  • Harry Barracuda

    I don’t think there is too much negativity, except perhaps on the few twatter accounts that the press relentlessly publish as if a few tossers represent our entire fan base.

    If you want to see negativity, witness the doom and gloom at the Theatre of Dweebs….

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1127640734700642304

  • Ben

    It was mentioned on Petr Cech’s AMA today what a possible outcome fans have on players if the fans are all cheering for the players. It’s a good read.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunners/comments/bnsic8/i_am_petr_cech_ama/

  • Gord

    A coach at Ranger’s is in the medja. He says that Scotland are too physical, and (probably) 10 years behind the likes of England and Spain. I certainly wouldn’t put England on par with Spain; it may be something more like England is 5 years ahead and Spain is 17 years ahead. This Ranger’s coach put some of the change on referees. But the EPL by and large is officiated by “northerners”, people who have more in common with the Scots than the “southerners”. I will accept the opinion that England has more technical players than Scotland, but that is not what 😈 Mike Riley and the PGMO desire. This damn Select Group could care less if a player is tackled and then spends weeks or months rehabilitating a broken bone (see AMN from Man$ity). Or in the last game, that Koscielny gets forced into the advertising boards. To the man with the whistle, this is all just a big joke. It doesn’t matter who has the Whistle: Dean, Atkinson, Oliver, …; they all think it is just a big joke.

    I see Brighton couldn’t wait to sack their manager. He had the gall to lose to the team that won the league on the last GameDay of the season. And he managed to keep the team from being relegated. Surely he must be worthy of the sack.

    It would be really nice, to see news come the beginning of next season, that 5 or 6 of the Select Group get fired, and that 10 new referees with a southern or European origin had been hired to officiate in the EPL.

    And perhaps that 😈 Mike Riley had been made to walk the plank. He is one far more deserving of being sacked.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Whether rightful criticism of Arsenal has turned to a baseless negativism or not, but as far as Arsenal are concerned if the Gunners win the Europa League Cup final match against Chelsea on Wednesday the 29th of this month in Baku Azerbaijan, that can no longer be a rightful criticism that turned to a baseless negativity for Arsenal any more. But a compelling rightful praising of Arsenal that turns to a based positivity I would like to think.

  • Menace

    VAR & Riley what a mix of tools.

    I challenge the BBC to make a programme with Riley watching the footage available of the ’50th’ and a group of international referees on VAR. It will be the most entertaining of all football screenings.

  • Gord

    Rocchi of Italy will be officiating the Europa final.

    Rocchi is renowned for his strict style, handing out 125 yellow cards and three red cards in just 24 matches in the current campaign.

    Most notably, he has awarded 10 penalties in his 15 games in the Serie A, where VAR has been used for the past two seasons.

  • John L

    A further referee reflection: So far as I know, there was no complaint about Dean’s performance at Burnley. Indeed, he evidently had no hesitation in booking a number of their players.

    Before we get carried away, however, let’s remember that there was by then no danger of Arsenal overtaking Tottenham – ie no need for the customary PGMOL intervention to prevent such an outcome.

  • omgarsenal

    Gooner Dave…..the article made 7 points and had additional observations and all you could see is Trump supporters being equated to the anti-Arsenal mob? I hope we succeeded in alienating you?

    Sammy….I agree that positive thinking beats the negativity everyday, and I try to be as positive as possible whenever I write about AFC, but I tried to explain why a tiny minority of our ¨fans¨ moan and complain ALL the time.

    Baro….they are, and as I tried to show, Adrian Clarke’s analysis and breakdowns of AFC wins,loses and draws are far more credible, reasoned and accurate than moaners and whiners who blindly complain about everything and anything. That said, we do know that officiating in the EPL leaves much to be desired….Walter and Tony have repeatedly proven that over the last 3-4 years.

  • Maserstroke

    There’s still a possibility of 5th place getting into CL via Uefa banning Man City following further investigations

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/sports/manchester-city-champions-league-uefa.html

  • Nitram

    Baro

    “Numbers 2&4 seem to be talking about those people who like to blame everybody and everything else for Arsenal’s performances, be it the refs, the FA, the other clubs spending their money,the pitch. Any and everything other than arsenal.”

    Specifically:

    “….people who like to blame everybody and everything else for Arsenal’s performances,…”

    You are a perfect example of somebody who has to grossly exagerate the truth to make make their point.

    You show me ONE and I mean ONE Untold regular who blames ‘everybody and everything else’ for Arsenals poor performances.

    It is true a number ofus believe the way we are refereed is different to other teams.

    It is true a number of us think, for whatever reason, there is an agenda against Arsenal by most of the referees.

    It is true a number of us believe that the above 2 have cost us points.

    It is true a number of us believe that the above 2 have had a detremental effect on the teams physchy.

    It is true a number of us believe the enormous financial advantage that some clubs have make it very difficult for us, and others, to win the PL (exceot for Arsenal 1 non mega spender in 24 years)

    But the amount of posters and to what degree any of us put stock in those beliefs is many and varied. Some beleive it has a massive effect, some very little.

    But I do not know ONE who thinks ‘Everybody and everything else’ is to blame for Arsenals problems.

    Personal I believe all those points have a negative effect, or make life difficult for us, to some degree or another, but that doesn’t mean I cant see when we’ve played crap. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe certain players are of the quality we need to challange for the title. That doesn’t mean that sometimes I think the manager (including Wenger) has got his selection/tactics/substitutions wrong, but then of course we are all experts aren’t we. I just choose not to come on here ranting and raving, insulting and abusing, the club, manager and players I SUPPORT.

    So anyway, back to the point, come on show us who you are talking about?

  • Gord

    I believe I pointed out the continuing inconsistency between fouls/cards and treatments.

    Someone (and the medja reported it) pointed out that Koscielny was shoved into the advertising. No discipline was apparent, on a potentially serious quite likely injury. Luckily Koscielny did not get injured.

  • omgarsenal

    right on Nitram…………very well said!

  • goonersince72

    GoonerDave

    What you and like minded individuals are missing (among other things) is a basic understanding of the English language. ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ means, literally, DERANGED LIKE TRUMP. And I bet you are. Cite a positive statement or philosophy of Mr. Trump or his supporters unless it’s about himself. The negativity and criticism of everyone and everything perceived to be ‘other’, i.e., non-white, progressive, believing in the rule of law as opposed to white,conservative, (pseudo)Christian and tending toward the autocratic is unrelenting. It’s also neurological as Mr. McMahon has pointed out. A deficiency in the area of the brain associated with empathy. In simpler terms, brain damage.

    Re the posters on this site; read the banner FFS, it’s about SUPPORTING AFC. Of course one can be critical and most of us are at times but we’re mainly here to discuss the Club and football in a constructive way. If that offends your worldview you don’t have to read any articles.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Regular,faithful and long term Untold Arsenal readers and contributors, negative ? NO !
    After following the Arsenal for almost 50 years , I still look forward to the new season with unfailing optimism . And hoping that we continue to play the game in the beautiful style we have been accustomed to.

    While not speaking for the others , I do complain some and believe the following to be true –
    – That the EPL is totally fixed . Exactly by whom , I don’t know. Money and power are the reasons.

    – That the PIGMOB are either of a very,very poor standard, or are probably. May even be in cahoots with the fixers .

    – That Arsenal are regularly being shafted , especially when we seem to threaten the chosen hierarchy . This I would attribute to Arsenal not playing to ‘their ‘ tune.

    – Despite all the above , I like to think that it may all change , when enough people with influence speak out or act to rid the game of vermin and crooks.

    Up the Gunners !

  • Andy Mack

    goonersince72, TDS appears to be more like deranged by the existence of Trump in a position of authority.

  • Andy Mack

    The Club, Manager and Players can all justifiably be criticized but the high level of criticism is the thing that shows me that many people really don’t understand the game anywhere near as well as they think they do.
    We supposedly have a number of players that shouldn’t be in the PL, even though they’ve actually been ‘Man of the match’ for us on occasion. In those cases the straight ability really isn’t the issue with the players, it’s just their level of consistency that’s the problem. There are a few crowd favourites with similar consistency issues but they’re overlooked by the sheeple.
    Hopefully this off season the manager can get a couple of players to galvanize the team, whilst some players naturally get more consistent as they get older and some can work on it as well…
    We shall see if he’s managed to do this next season.

  • Andy Mack

    The above doesn’t mean I would have a problem losing certain players and don’t want other to come in. But we really don’t have any rubbish players in the squad, just some inconsistent players.

  • Casmir

    @Nitram, I think you should calm down. The blog -it’s authors &regulars frequently exaggerate, just like its common to read Walter write that pgmo always screws us up, even though he’ll agree that pgmo do make a few wrong calls in our favor sometimes. Or the fact that occasionally the press do write good things about us has never stopped Tony accusing them of total bias against us. So if Baro decides to also exaggerate it’s definitely in keeping with things here. Besides, he didn’t even accuse untolders, I suspect a bit of guilty conscience

  • goonersince72

    Andy Mack

    Good point. Perhaps a little of both.

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