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And so the anger starts again, but will negative comments ever do any good?

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 (CaughtOffside)

‘Garbage’, ‘Unreal’: Some Arsenal fans react to midfielder’s display against Watford (HITC)

Arsenal already living to regret four transfer mistakes that Unai Emery must learn from (Express)

‘Wow’, ‘Horrible’, ‘Stuff of nightmares’: Some Arsenal fans slam ‘shocking’ star v Watford (This Is Futbol)

Arsenal legend Lee Dixon delivers withering review of Unai Emery’s team after Watford collapse. (Football.London)

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.

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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  (Daily Cannon – That is Donyell Malen now with PSV).

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…  (CaughtOffside)

Unai Emery explains Arsenal’s second half meltdown in draw with Watford  (Metro)

Arsenal’s defensive issues laid bare: Gunners have faced more shots than any other side in top-5 leagues this season  (101 Great Goals)

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.

22 comments to And so the anger starts again, but will negative comments ever do any good?

  • Well said my god the game was not in to the second half and the knocker were at it. I though to myself this is never going to end so what I suggest is get behind the team or get lost your not supporting by knocking so go. We came back from 2 down against the spuds and I didn’t hear or read the same amount of negative about spurs, which was a great outcome, so please just go.

  • Robert

    “Does this page look different from usual? If so, try loading via Firefox, Google, Bing or any other alternative. We know very occasionally a variant front page occurs, but can’t find the cause. However changing your route in, normally resolves the issue. Apologies for the inconvenience.”

    It is *not* very occasionally. It is daily. Just now, the main page was normal, but this page is the mobile version. And you cannot switch from mobile to desktop view. Seriously, you need to get to grips with the problem.

  • Les Williams

    One thing that is true after hearing the crap from Sky Sports Dave Jones – how does he explain that penalties where the goalkeeper moves off the line and are retaken stops the VAR from intervening on restarts. I may be wrong but isn’t that a restart?

    Like most of the garbage written by “football journalists” the people who present football have little or no knowledge of the rules of the game or they choose to deliberately talk rubbish.

    I am a non Arsenal supporter but even I can see the reporting bias in the crap written about Arsenal – i thought they had been beaten yesterday the way the game was reported!!

    VAR in the premier league is going the way we all thought it would. When “Kipper” Riley can come and say they have already made 4 big errors with VAR and no journalist has asked why then we are in real trouble. I find it astonishing that major errors are made with VAR – I thought the whole point… never mind.

    One interesting point I noticed on Saturday regarding the headlock (MIke “didnt see it” Dean said it wasn’t) on Sadio Mane for Liverpool against Newcastle. It wasn’t referred by VAR because it was a “subjective” call and the referee had decided there was no penalty. Forgive me but what is the point of VAR in the PL – it is becoming more obvious that it is being used to rubber stamp the bias of the PIGMOB. The other point about this incident was the BBC report on the game did not mention it at all.

    I do not hold out any hope of improvement in the antics of PIGMOB – they need to be disbanded and ALL the refs sacked – we could not get a worse set if we tried.

  • John W

    One day, Arsene said, there will come a time when finishing top four will sound like a trophy. I think this has come to pass too.

  • ong huigen

    That’s the point. This whole thing is rigged. Making mistakes with var? Anyway unai is pretty incompetent. Any competent manager would have qualified for the champions league given the circumstances he has and also yesterday match just sums it up. Just look at the substitution. Common sense would have told you they are wrong.

  • Les Williams

    I have realised I made a mistake earlier. Should have been Joel matip in the headlock. The rest stands

  • Masterstroke

    The goal scored by Watford following the goal kick (when a Watford forward had a foot inside the goal area)could not be referred to VAR because a goal kick is a re-start. Should have been seen by Taylor or an assistant though.

  • Masterstroke

    …inside the penalty area, but the rule still applies

  • Les Williams

    The protocol as far as I know is the VAR crew refer the referee to incidents they see as wrong – NOT the other way around So if the VAR crew see something they let the referee know there has been a “clear and manifest error” – foot inside the area at a goal kick missed is a “manifest error” as it is a transgression of the rules. The game should then restar with a goal kick. That is how VAR works as far as I can see. We are of course talking about PIGMOB rules here though and they dont always follow the IFAB rules.

    I have NEVER seen a ref refer an incident to VAR because that is not the way it works.

    How come in Germany last year a penalty was given at half time when the players began to leave the pitch. FIFA said they were correct in giving the penalty. Surely a finish has happened there – does then VAR become null and void?

    That is how VAR works as far as I can see We are of course talking about PIGMOB rules here though and they dont always follow the IFAB rules.

    The none understanding of the rules or rather bending them to fit a particular circumstance has been used many times. Kane “not being offside” before being tackled for a penalty – This ones excuse was the the foul was a greater transgression than the offside even though the offside happened before he was fouled. Technically he was out of bounds in the play.

    It reminds me of a world cup game where an Italian player was laying injured beyond the goal line, not interfering with play, and presenters tried to say he was offside when a goal was scored. How could he be offside if he was off the field and also not interfering with play. To his credit i remember a ref on German TV said that he could not be offside.

  • Menace

    Les Williams “I do not hold out any hope of improvement in the antics of PIGMOB – they need to be disbanded and ALL the refs sacked – we could not get a worse set if we tried.”

    Absolutely true.

    The VAR was introduced to enhance Rileys income from the corrupt practices of match fixing for the betting markets. Manchester City have had to face some dire cheating from VAR just as Arsenal will in coming matches. The FA ‘mother of all corruption’ do not appear to challenge their appointed lapdogs as they all profit from the blindness.

  • omgarsenal

    The point of these comments is to prove that the writer is more knowledgeable,more skilled and better placed to manage our EPL team than the entire bunch of incompetents actually paid big money to do it. Like little ong huigen above, who has such vast experience in managing and coaching professional sports teams, the wannabe FIFA football pseudo-managers all know better than the ¨pretty incompetent¨ Unai, who only won the Europa three times and a few league titles as well…..but what the hell does he know when compared to the bitchers and moaners infesting the Arsenal universe. This is the 5th game of the season, MC lost to the canaries but there isn’t the whining that is going on about AFC! These people aren’t real supporters, they’re just here to moan and bitch about the club they are supposed to support through thick and thin!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Wearing my sweater today!!! I figure it is after an unhappy or unsettling result that our support is most important! Up the Guns!!

  • goonersince72

    Tony

    It’s nos. 1-5 all the way! Even I had to chuckle at #6. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember and it won’t change. I never read any of it and ignore the click bait. Depending on the outlet and the bias, you can’t even get an accurate match report, FFS. I watch as many matches as I can (usually w/o sound) and form my own opinion as to how the team played or the referee’s performance. I read Walter’s match report and the AFC report with highlights. For the rest…..it’s just headline garbage.

  • Had to fend off a couple of Chelsea and Man United fans trying to gloat!

  • Menace

    @Masterstroke the restart on its own cannot be looked at by VAR but after a goal is scored, everything must be looked at because anything that is wrong should be raised for the on field official – hence Video Assistant Referee. The VAR didn’t look at the goal like it did when Manchester City scored and the foot that was off side wasn’t, because he didn’t interfere with play. VAR is more of a cheat because there doesn’t appear to be a method of challenge.

  • Jason Belle

    So far this season – in just five games – we’ve allowed 96 shots on goal, more than any other team in the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga, or Ligue 1 (via @ollysailor). That is shockingly bad, and when you throw in the fact that since Unai Emery took over we’ve conceded 10 penalties, more than any other team, there are alarm bells going off all over the place for me.

    People will point to individual mistakes and say that no manager can legislate for an experienced defender playing the ball to the opposition, or giving away penalties, and that’s true to an extent. However, if the way your team is set up invites pressure – and yesterday we were under relentless pressure from the team sitting bottom of the table – then that can manifest itself in individual errors. You know what else makes players do stupid things? A lack of organisation and understanding as to what exactly the manager wants from them, and looking at this team yesterday, that was my clear takeaway. The team was in panic mode, hence decision making is all over the place, and players who feel desperate do desperate things too often. It’s not to excuse Luiz but merely to try and explain why a player so experienced does something so daft.

    The players are confused, because there’s no clarity of purpose in how we’re supposed to play the game. What are we trying to do? What kind of a team are we trying to be? What kind of football are we trying to play? We’re into Emery’s second season now, I’m still none the wiser, and I think that’s reflected in the performances. One of his key remits was to make this team better defensively, because under Arsene Wenger it had become comically bad. Are we better? No. Are we worse? Quite probably. Yes, I know, we’ve got Bellerin and Holding and Tierney to come in, and we all hope that they’ll be improve us, but do they address the fundamental issues of organisation and defensive discipline that run through this team? As good as we want them to be, I’m doubtful they can have that kind of impact.

    For a manager so touted for his tactical approach, how often have we seen that have a positive effect on the way we play? Think hard about when the last time you saw what you might consider a complete performance from Arsenal? Valencia away, perhaps (even if that felt like more like the Auba and Laca show)? Sp*rs in the 4-2 last season when Emery’s half-time changes had a very positive outcome? Beyond that though, I struggle. I struggle to understand what we’re trying to do from game to game, and I think the constant chopping and changing of formations and systems prevents us building any kind of cohesion.

    Yesterday, the game management, one of the things that gave people encouragement last season (oh, he’s not afraid to make half-time changes!), were a key contributor to the dropped points and the paucity of performance. He made things worse, and it could have proved even more costly. I just wonder where it is we’re trying to go under Emery. I can’t see progress, despite the fact he’s been hugely supported in the transfer window. Are we any better than last season in spite of jettisoning some of the players considered part of the problem? I know it’s just five games, and I realise a draw away from home is not the worst result in the world, but you have to look at the context too and consider the underlying stats which tell you things are as bad as they ever were defensively, if not worse, and nowhere near good enough offensively.

    Sometimes a result feels more significant than it might look in isolation. A 1-1 away, fine. A 1-1 away against the bottom team who absolutely batter you for 45 minutes, during which you exacerbate and contribute to your own downfall, raises very serious questions about the team, but ultimately the man in charge. I think this is the kind of performance that should worry fans, but also the people in charge of running the football club. If Raul, Edu and Co aren’t making notes over this one, I’d be very, very surprised. It was that bad.

    We have Europa League this week, and I worry a little that in order to make up for yesterday, we’ll go stronger than the competition merits with our team selection, but that’s something we can touch on during the week. The way to respond to this properly is next Sunday against Villa, but let’s see what midweek brings us.

  • Masterstroke

    Menace
    Actually I think you’re right. I was looking at the rule too literally.

  • Les Williams

    @masterstroke one of the problems is that the rules are interpreted in the wrong way by PIGMOB.

    I assumed, wrongly, that every goal would be looked at as in other sports – it appears they are not. Makes me wonder what the VAR crew are doing most of the time!

  • Menace

    Les Williams – do you remember the $ signs on springs that bounced out of greedy eyes?

    Thats what the VAR crew are doing!!!

    The added ‘clear & obvious’ can’t stand up in English Law – just look at Boris 😉

  • ong huigen

    hey omgarsenal.
    You have a problem with me.
    It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that the substitution was crap.
    He made the substitutions after the first goal was scored against us and thus inviting them to attack us even more.
    Why are you so thick.
    Hey, if someone is messing with our club, we need to have the courage to call them out.
    Just like say missing out on champion’s league this season.It’s pretty clear that if Unai got his priorities right, we will be playing champion’s league football this year.
    You are not the real fan. You fail to see that he is messing up with our club. The thing is, if this had happen in an actual corporate world, he would have been sacked last summer for missing out on champion’s league. You are living on la la land idiot.
    Only in football world, someone who made a monumental mistake like what Unai did can be allowed to stay on. Tell me, whose fault is it that we miss out on champion’s league this season.
    If you support a club without thinking, you are not a fan. You are an animal that barks.

  • ong huigen

    omgarsenal.
    Sometimes I do question if you have a brain.
    At least Pep won the title the last 2 times.

    If Unai did his job properly, there will be no way that I will be able to criticize him. But then if even I who is not a football expert can see the issues, then question has to be asked right?

    Yes they are paid big monies, so why are they not accountable? If I were unai. I would have just walk from the job seeing the monumental mistake I made previous season.

    Use that thing in your head a little will you

  • Les Williams

    @menace when you put it like that I realize how naive I have been. Please excuse me…

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