An insult to every loyal Arsenal supporter

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Recently a Crystal Palace blog “ReadCrystalPalace” celebrated the way that Palace fans had turned on the Sun for generating fake after Andros Townsend called out the Sun newspaper for reporting fake news on a ‘sensational team meeting’.

During the transfer window, Arsenal fans were insulted daily by stories of players for whom the club were allegedly making enquiries.   Virtually none of these “enquiries” were reported directly by the website or newspaper that ran the tale: instead the blame was laid at the door of some other unsuspecting webiste or newspaper.  In many cases that source hadn’t ever run the story.  In others it reported the source was the English outlet.  Rarely did anyone take ultimate responsibility.

Yet in normal journalism – even speculative journalism – writers are very willing to take the credit for their stories.  In my own small way I have been pushing the story that just saying Arsenal’s defence was useless was not a satisfactory explanation for the slippage down the league after years in the top four.  What happened was that we stayed very solid at home, but became much poorer away.   The issue was therefore one of what was happening away, and how could that be overcome.

It’s not a great piece of original journalism but no one else was running it when I started, so I take the credit.

As Arsenal supporters, we are being insulted day by day by these fairy stories of transfers and endless tales of incompetence, lack of funds, paying too much for players, etc etc etc.

So welcome to a world in which “Some” means one or two, “Many” means four or five, “are” means “perhaps might be” and “will be” means “I am winding you up.”

Here’s a few examples…

1: “Off you go” – some Arsenal fans are happy to see the back of attacker after recent comments

Read Arsenal‘s tale about “fans” insulting Iwobi reflects poorly on all of us as Arsenal supporters.  But the biggest problem is that future potential signings will seen this sort of dross, and may well then decide that if this is how the fans treat the players, Arsenal is not the club they want.   The supporters I know did not turn on Koscielny for leaving, knowing that almost certainly there was far more to the issue than him not going to the States.

The clue was easy to see: when the media suggest it is just one simple explanation for what is obviously a complex situation, you can be sure they are making it up.  I am not saying Kos was blameless – I don’t know.  I am saying he didn’t simply wake up one morning and say “I don’t want to go to the States.”

2: David Luiz reveals how new Arsenal director Edu is luring stars to Emirates

This is from the Star newspaper, and it says that players are being “lured” to Arsenal by telling the players the club was chasing that, “Game time is more of a guarantee this term under Unai Emery.”   This, it seems is because Arsenal have so few good players that any quality person coming in is bound to get game time.  The problem is that a club with very few top players is unlikely to win anything, and this is not what most players want.  So actually the approach backfires.  

No honest manager promises game time.  He will say he’s putting the player in the first team squad, but as ever, how he performs determines how many games he gets.

3: Arsenal fans will love what former scout has said about Laurent Koscielny’s Bordeaux transfer

Football London appears to have taken on the idea that undermining Arsenal is its prime reason for existing, as here their source insults Koscielny, for having admitted, “he’s got lots of caps, a good reputation, he’s a very good player,” he then goes on to say, “But they’ve signed him for four years! Four years at three million, three and a half million a year! They’re giving him 15 million over four years!”

Just how far this has descended into bitching can be seen by the fact that the person making the comments was a former scout of Bordeaux, now seemingly out of work, speaking about a signing made by those who replaced him.

What seems to be missing is the fact that Bordeaux want Koscielny to move over to a coaching role as he pulls out of playing.  But best not mention that.

4:  Another one we got badly wrong

It is the simplest way to knock Arsenal – by suggesting that the club have let a top player go, and then suggest he was not the first one to be lost, but to give no comparison with how many such players leave other clubs.

It is just plain Arsenal knocking.  And we may ask why they do it.  Is it because it makes the writer feel empowered, rather like a person writing anonymous letters?

5: Asenal’s transfer for Daniele Rugani fell through after Gunners refused one thing

This from the Daily Star.

There’s an implication here that the “one thing” was a tiny detail, one of those stupid issues that Arsenal could so easily have agreed to, but because the negotiators are idiots and the club too rigid, this great opportunity fell fat on its face.

Actually though, it was because although Juventus were willing to loan the player for one season, after that Arsenal had to buy him.  And Arsenal didn’t want to commit to buying him, without knowing first how other transfers this summer have worked out.

6:  It was the Sun wot made it up.

Some vocal Palace do not take the newspapers as the arbiters of truth as some Arsenal blogs like to do.   As witness the fact that a wholly false report in the Sun about a “sensational team meeting” at Palace was denounced vigorously and openly by Zaha and Townsend, and that was celebrated by the blogs.  Now that’s how you do it.

As the Palace commentator said, “For me personally – and I’m sure this view is shared on a national scale – it’s always terrific to see players coming out onto social media and exposing media outlets for reporting fake news. They’re well in their rights to do so and it’s just another reminder that professional footballers are human beings like the rest of us; why should their reputation be tarnished for clicks?

7.  “What a summer”, “Lovely” – Many Arsenal fans thrilled by latest news “just like a new signing”

But no, let’s insult our players and hope future players don’t realise this is what Arsenal is like.  Thus Gunnersphere celebrates a report that Mustafi is leaving.   And every player who knows his form can go up and down thinks, “I’m not going to Arsenal to be treated like this.”

8: Another one leaving

“Kelechi Nwakali IS in talks with SD Huesca over a move to Spain according to his brother/agent who just last week said there was no truth to the rumours at all.  Daily Canon.  

Meanwhile the Guardian in Nigeria says “Kelechi Nwakali distances self from Huesca move”

If only supporters in general would realise that a) 99% of this stuff is made up and b) negative stories harm the chances of future transfers, and c) endlessly reading such rubbish does not do anyone any good, then things would improve.

Now I know some people then say, “But Untold is encouraging people by publicising these publications.”  My answer is that I have tried ignoring them, but rather like ignoring bad refereeing decisions, these stories don’t go away.

Of course I don’t expect people to stop reading these negative stories, but it would be nice if there was an upturn in blogs making fun of them.  Maybe then they’d back off a bit.


6 Replies to “An insult to every loyal Arsenal supporter”

  1. It used to be that we took these silly stories with a pinch of salt, but now with age and hypertension (for some) , its no longer the right thing to do.
    Merlot is the better and healthier alternative !
    That , and if said Arsenal news is not on Arsenal.Com , and/or on Untold Arsenal , its probably fake .

  2. As I don’t read the newspapers nor hear the news , or troll the internet, yet still, here I am wondering what is going on on the Man Utd blogs regarding the Sanchez saga .

    How are his doggies faring ? They must be rather happy having him around most of the time at home ! Imagine being paid 500 Quid per week , with so much free time and just to play with your pets.

    Will an imminent transfer overseas be too much of a stress for them ? Will BREXIT affect them much ?

    Am sure that like minded Man. Utd fans will be thinking along the same lines.

    But then again , I may be wrong !

  3. Transcript courtesy of

    In an in-depth interview, Josh Kroenke, the vice chairman of our owners, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, and an Arsenal board director, discusses the aftermath of Baku, the summer transfer window, Unai Emery, his hopes for this season and the future.

    He sat down with the BBC’s David Ornstein to discuss it all

    -Did fan unrest cause you to act in the market?

    “I would say that if you’re reacting and doing club record signings based on public opinion, you’re not going to go very far as a club.

    We weren’t reactive this summer, we were actually proactive. It was unfortunate that the summer unfolded publicly the way it did with some of the supporters groups.

    I tried to answer some of their concerns to the best of our ability, but we had instruments in place behind the scenes heading into the window where we knew we were going to be aggressive and we weren’t going to be reactive to anything, we were going to be proactive.

    The transfer market is an evolving, living, breathing thing. There are certain moments in time; sometimes those moments are sooner, sometimes those moments are later in the window. We identified a few key targets, worked on those deals and over time we were able to execute them.

    I hope that our fans are just as excited as I am about the upcoming season, because I think we’ve got some talented new players in, at an age profile where they’re going to grow and improve on the pitch over the next eight to 10 months or so and well into the future. It’s an exciting time to be an Arsenal supporter.”

    AST are you reading this:


    So as every sane human being already knew our magnificent summer dealings had nothing at all to do with those fan groups.


    And in fact it seems from Jose Kroenke’s use of the word ‘unfortunate’ that it could, as UA often intimates, of actually been counter productive.

    Anyway the entire interview is on and very interesting it is.

  4. All the fan unrest did was to create a fog of negativity around the club, making their work in the transfer market more difficult. I’m sure that’s what Josh alluded to as ‘unfortunate’. Enabled by the media,those groups that organised the protest were actually doing great damage to the club as the owners and managers of the club were portrayed as disinterested, incompetent and corrupt. Thank God,the world of football, agents and players live in bubble where the rabble rousing at Arsenal were completely ignored. Some of these people are arrogant enough to believe they jolted the owner into being aggressive in the window.

  5. Arsenal being linked to so many players is not an ‘insult’. It is in the fact the opposite.
    It’s flattering that there is always so much gossip around players coming to arsenal. We are a big club and that is how it should be.
    Most fans enjoy the speculation and it seems odd you take such umbrage on this.

  6. Not for the first time Alexander Henry it seems I have completely failed to explain my thoughts in a way that you can understand. The stories are fantasies with no basis in fact in the same way that the £40m or £45m transfer budget limit was a fantasy. But they are presented as facts by bloggers and journalists, with the implication that we should take them seriously. And sadly, some people are misled and do take the stories seriously. Just as many people (Arsenal Supporters Trust, Arseblog, Black Scarf, Gooner, Goonherholic, Gunnerblog, Gunners Town, Highbury Squad, Hugh Wizzy, Le Grove, RedAction, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Highbury Library, You are my Arsenal, and 7am kick off) took the totally fanciful £40m / £45m transfer budget story seriously. It makes proper debate of issues impossible when so much misinformation is circulating.

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