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September 2019
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Round and Round they fight each other. Arsenal’s negative fan base in action

By Tony Attwood

The change in the attitude of the newspapers, TV stations and the blogs was nothing short of sensational.  From the “We care do you” moan moan moan approach publicised so widely by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Arseblog, Black Scarf, The Gooner, Le Grove, Redaction, 7am Kickoff and the rest, which was in essence a reflection of what some of the media was saying, following AST’s statement that Arsenal only had £40m or £45m to spend, we were transformed in the space of days to headlines such as that from Caught Offside…

“Five in, six out: Emery set to take summer spending well beyond £100m as key star nears Arsenal … “

Although it should also be noted that just 23 hours earlier it was running

“Ex-Premier League star predicts that West Ham could capitalise on poor Arsenal and Manchester United seasons” and “snatch a top six finish”.  But to be fair to one of the much better and more positive sites, they were just reporting a typical bit of bonkers ex-player chatter that is always out there in the background.

Indeed the site has by and large been a contrast to the AST gang who appear to have been going round and round feeding off each other while still being utterly flummoxed that the long rambling document to which they all so heartily signed up in their negativity, was actually based on a total load of balderdash.

And now here’s the problem they all have: if you make a big complaint with a lot of noise, and the whole central premise of your complaint is proven to be totally and utterly wrong… a sort of gross inflated fantasy… well then you can look a bit silly.   Maybe not to yourself because it is so easy to be bound up in the ideas that you have been propagating, you can still think you are right, but you can look a bit dopey to quite a few other people around you.

Or at least the ones who think long and hard enough as the transfers roll in to say, “I thought Arsenal could only spend £45m.”  (Indeed we do have a couple of people writing to this site trying to excuse the £40m/£45m maximum story saying that because the transfers were being paid over a number of years, the earlier figure was right.   I won’t bore you with all the accountancy technicalities but safe to say that even the bonkers Express newspapers gave up on that one after two days and just pretended they had never said anything about Arsenal having limited expenses.)

Anyway, AST told us that “Off the pitch, fans have never felt more marginalised, less listened to or valued,” and that is what all the camp followers signed up.  And of course if you feel less valued, then yes, you might well be signing up to the cause.

But really, it is only when these people finally recognise that when you start to believe your own propaganda the next time you make a complaint or have a suggestion, your credibility is going to be rock bottom.   Some person or other is going to say, “Oh weren’t you the people who signed up to the idea that Arsenal were “at the crossroads” while pointing in the wrong direction?”

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The problem is that these people are trying to take Arsenal back to a magical land of the past where Arsenal won everything all the time and “once again make Arsenal a place where fans have a real sense of belonging”.  Although when that was, and how it was achieved is never made clear.  I certainly don’t remember it and I’ve been going to the club since the days when dinosaurs roamed on Highbury Hill.

So as a result, irrespective of whether you have a great reputation as a reasonable source of information and commentary, support for an idea that has been found to be totally wrong and in essence utterly bonkers can undo that whole reputation in a trice.

For the point is, was it ever likely that Arsenal were going into this transfer window with a budget of £40m or £45m?

Of course once the AST ran with the idea that Arsenal’s approach was “uncoordinated and appears to lack strategy” the newspapers would seize upon it, because, basically, that is what they do. 

And then they would drop it again as they started to lap up the signings that Arsenal were making, leaving Arsenal Supporters Trust and its fellow travellers appearing simply a left-over offshoot of what for many a long year we have called the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal – that collection of journalists and supporters groups who feel either that they have a much better idea of how to run a football club than the current owners, directors and managers, or that the current owners are a bunch of crooks who know only to well how to run a sports club, and rip it off.

(Interestingly no one asked Untold Arsenal to sign – but then our slogan about supporting the club, the manager and the team rather suggests that we wouldn’t really be interested in yet another AAA salvo or AST initiative, so maybe they thought it wasn’t worth dropping us a note).

Ultimately to be side stepped as an irrelevance by the load of journalists who write newspaper columns and spout on TV about football really is something of an achievement. 

14 comments to Round and Round they fight each other. Arsenal’s negative fan base in action

  • Jenkinson

    Arsenal supporters have always been terrible.
    I remember how they use to slag off Sammels in the sixties when he was by far their best player.

  • MickHazel

    Of course Arsenal only made these signings because of the pressure put on them by AST. Tim and his pals shamed the club into rethinking it’s whole transfer strategy.
    So well done AST, you can take all the credit, if it weren’t for you we would have signed bugger all!!!!!

  • Mikey

    I asked AST on their Facebook page when they were going to issue an apology for their £40m claims. I got a response……they gave me a ‘heart’! It may just be me but I even took that to be sarcasm lol.

    On another topic, I see that the BBC is reporting that the Spuds move for Dybala is off. I also note that Man U went for him too. Now strangely, neither of those clubs are being ridiculed for their “failings” in the transfer market. Neither are either of their clubs being criticised for losing big name players.

    In the case of Lukaku, he was either a huge waste of money in which case why aren’t Utd being slated for that, or they’re losing one of the big money stars so why aren’t they being slated for that?

    If we’re allegedly “beaten to” a player that only the media/blogettas linked us to, we get hammered by them. So how come when the above happens, nobody has a bad word to say about the clubs involved?

  • James

    Untold mentioned in previous blog that Sammels was always booed yet I remember (as a clock end stander) that the song went “I’ll walk a million miles for one of your goals my Sammy!”
    (to make goals rhyme with miles it has to be sung in a cockney way!)….

  • Kas

    Kudos to the AST, it’s my belief their pressure eventually paid off. I would expect Mr Payton is popping champagne, rather than bothering about a site who some months ago was telling us how the arsenal owner was bent on running the club to the ground, but now suggests, the same owner doesn’t need ideas on how to run the club

  • Gord

    It appears Eddie Nketiah is off to Leeds for the season (loan).

    https://www.arsenal.com/news/eddie-nketiah-joins-leeds-united-loan

    Good luck Eddie!

  • Sammels was not their best player but certainly could have been. The crowd (Me included) slagged him for pulling out of tackles.

  • Gord

    It looks like it took Sky Sprots 35m to start talking about defensive frailties.

  • Menace

    Alex Iwobi has signed for Everton. I’m sad that we sold him as he was a brilliant player just in the dawn of his stardom.

  • omgarsenal

    Mick Hazel…………you are either a total lunatic or are trying sarcasm to belittle the clowns at AST. I cannot determine which it is but if you are truly serious about maintaining that AST influenced Arsenal, then I’d like to have a little of what you are smoking….

  • MickHazel

    omgarsenal
    I am not a total lunatic, just a partial one!
    I was of course being sarcastic.

  • And yet you continue to come to this site. That is rather nice.

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