By Tony Attwood
I didn’t have to look up the top stories in the aftermath of the draw with Watford to know what they would be, but I did anyway. And I was pretty much right.
‘Sack Emery’ and ‘sell these’ – These Arsenal fans react to ‘disgraceful’ performance vs Watford (
Arsenal already living to regret four transfer mistakes that Unai Emery must learn from (
‘Wow’, ‘Horrible’, ‘Stuff of nightmares’: Some Arsenal fans slam ‘shocking’ star v Watford (
Arsenal legend Lee Dixon delivers withering review of Unai Emery’s team after Watford collapse. (
So it goes on. And on and on. In essence get rid of the manager.
One outlet – the Express of all entities – does pick up on the fact that the Watford goal should not have been allowed with the headline “Picture proves Watford goal in Arsenal draw should not have stood as fans fume at VAR” but no one really seems to want to investigate how come VAR, the system that was supposed to stop these problems, has in fact done no such thing.
Which is a bit of a shame really because VAR was supposed to put the PGMO debate away for good. Everything would be fine and dandy and no one would be able to say that the referees were anything other than upstanding wonderous gentlefolk, doing the right thing at all times.
So what now? Having hounded out Mr Wenger with their placards and demonstrations, and then having told the world the club only had £40m to spend, when that was total lunacy (for which I have yet to see an apology – if you have seen one please let me know and I’ll rerun it here), will they hound out Mr Emery? Seemingly yes.
And then the next manager. And the next. And the next… until we are in the Championship because no player in his right mind will want to come to Arsenal and be subject to these supporters.
Indeed “supporters” is completely the wrong word here. But more than that, the club and its players are under constant attack from the media large and small. From the BBC through Sky and BT Sprout, and on to all the newspapers and then the blogs and the little bloggettas. If you were a top player who could choose which team he wished to play for, would you come to Arsenal to face this level of abuse?
And even if you would, would you come to Arsenal to be on the receiving end of fatuous decision making from PGMO?
In fact, why would you, when almost certainly half of the rest of the Premier League are after your signature when you have to face this:
Ex-Arsenal academy striker scores 5 goals in 1 game for new club (
Arsenal’s ‘semi-pro’ display slammed (Sky Sports)
Arsenal break unwanted club record and are worst team in Europe’s top 5 leagues in this key… (
Unai Emery explains Arsenal’s second half meltdown in draw with Watford (
So now we face the question no one else seems to want to focus on. Why are people writing this? Here are some possible answers:
1: To make money – negative commentaries can get more readers and so more clicks on adverts. And for pundit being negative brings notoriety which means they are more likely to be recruited by TV and radio shows or given money for writing for papers.
2: To get readers and be famous. It doesn’t have to be all about money – just having a large number of people reading your column can give writers a buzz if they feel everyone is talking about them.
3: Because they think it’s true. People do like to talk about their own beliefs, and this approach merges with the explanation that some people give to their psychiatrists that they undertake certain actions “Because it makes me feel good.”
Of course few people admit to this, because it seems less worthy than speaking out in order to change the world. But expressing ones own views can lead to a positive feeling, especially if few people disagree.
Certainly we see that on Untold with people who regularly change their names and email addresses in order to get around our monitoring of comments. It does make we wonder – is it really so important to them to manage to get a negative comment on Untold?
4: To change people’s minds to their own way of thinking. In this regard, there seems little point in posting negative comments about Arsenal, because few people are changing their minds in this debate. The raging anti-Arsenal mania has been with us for years.
5: Because few other people are saying what they are saying. (That’s obviously not the case here since the media is utterly packed with people knocking Arsenal all day long).
One thing is sure, the media love this. Writing anti-Arsenal material is dead easy, and brings in readers, viewers and listeners and that above everything else is what they want. Quite why anyone wants to play into the hands of the media is beyond me, but it seems that lots of people do.
6: To change Arsenal for the better. This one seems unlikely, because this anti-Arsenal stuff has been going on for decades with just the occasional pause when we win a trophy, and it’s not had a positive effect yet.
But whatever the reason, as Arsenal players lose their confidence, and it becomes ever harder for Arsenal to attract new players of quality, or indeed when the time comes, a new manager, who can do the job, the negativists and their fellow travellers in the media will be able to look at the club as it sinks further and further and say to themselves with pleasure, “I did this.”
So what should supporters who want a better brighter future do? I’ve gone through all that many times before, but I will do it again in a later article, although it is all getting rather boring, saying the same stuff over and over. Especially as it seems to make no difference.
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- The abuse of female footballers is appalling, but there is a wider context
- Why Arsenal v Glimt might be tougher than the game against Tottenham
- Is the team that passes the most, the team that gets the best results?