The Anti Arsenal Conspiracy …FACT!

Anti Arsenal Conspiracy …FACT!

By Paul Blythe

I have read recent articles by Tony, Walter and Phil and to be honest I am just a little pissed off. No, not at the authors, not even at what they had to say, but at the subject to which their ample talents were addressed.

It was one of those moments when a vague feeling of general discontent that I was feeling over the past few days crystallises into firm knowledge of just what was causing this righteous indignation!

Fact! Satan is the ruler of Hell.

Actually as an angel he has never been there, ever, though he may turn up at Armageddon!

Like many of you I listened to the skewed, hackneyed inaccurate and uninspiring commentaries recently. Not just those of live games but the studio wisdom of MOTD, paper articles and some other blogs as well.

Just how does this perceived wisdom and misinformation become accepted as true, a ‘Fact’?

Fact! Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on earth.

Except Mauna Kea is 2100 metres taller!

Have you ever noticed how many so called ‘Facts’ start out as simple gossip that turns into a rumour? You may have indulged a little yourself. The rumour does not have to begin with malicious intent, but instead as a form of speculation. But the more salacious and scandalous, the more likely it is to get a hearing and of course it is much more fun to pass it on. More often than not it seems that as long as it is a generalised blanket statement about what they think has happened it is ripe for repetition. It matters little if it is accurate or true or even half true.

Fact! The Sahara is the world’s largest desert.

Except Antarctica is also a desert and much, much bigger!

Everyone at some time or another has suffered from untrue and unwarranted gossip about themselves or their affairs. Pisses you right off, doesn’t it?

The key seems to be not in the accuracy or the voracity, but in the willingness for someone to pass it on. Even if the person is not well respected in themselves they can garner popularity by spreading such rumours. There are plenty of gullible people out there to listen and blindly repeat, not taking the time to think about it, analyse it, but can’t wait to pass it on. As long as it reinforces their inbuilt biases and bolsters up their own often warped belief systems they will thrive on the passing of such tales. Especially if they can knock a  successful person or one  in a position of authority, as they have no longer have or have never had the ability to do so themselves in that person’s area of expertise. Build them up and knock them down.

Fact! Napoleon Bonaparte was a French short arse.

Except he was Corsican and he was 5’ 6 ½” making him above average for the time!

The more you believe the more you will spread, the more you spread the more will believe, and often the story becomes embellished and gilded as in each retelling claims are exaggerated and modified to improve the story and the telling.

Of course it helps if you hear it from ‘reputable’ people or blogs or media and as night follows day it takes on a momentum of its own. Gossip becomes rumour becomes widely held belief becomes Fact. And because it is fact you have no problem in passing it on as it ceases to become gossip but cold hard fact. No guilt associated in relating cast-iron irrefutable facts is there?

Fact! Goldfish have a three second memory.

Actually they can remember quite well for months at a time!

Except we should expect more and demand more from our ‘free’ media in this country, if you read a piece in the paper or hear it on TV you expect it to be at the very least accurate. No one likes to be lied to or misled. No one likes to be seemed to be foolish and out of the loop, nor do they want their egos stroked.

Fact! Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Except there is no mention of apple at all, a fruit yes, an apple no!

The danger is when opinion no matter how persuasive becomes dressed in the amour of fact. Those wonderful footballing pundits that regularly defecate on Arsenal are a case in point.

Listen to them week in week out repeating the same tired old platitudes, repetition of the gossip come rumour come fact. I thought as a pundit they had a degree of expertise in the subject they are discussing? Other that is, than having shown some aptitude for kicking a ball about in the long distant past.

Fact! The animals went into the Ark two by two.

Except there was a difference, the unclean ones did, the clean ones 7 by 7! So Pigs 2, sheep 14!

I am getting nauseous watching them casting their pearls of wisdom before the swine of us the ignorant, the Gooner audience. We all want well thought out reasoned debate, seeing angles the rest of us miss. We can become educated at the feet of such masters. Our understanding of tactics and rule interpretation grows as we are enlightened by our betters.

But sadly no, they just trot out the same old faecal matter, in the certain knowledge that repetition is king. If they say what has already become accepted wisdom, they do not have to prepare. They do not have to think; they do not have to do anything difficult, just sit, spout, pick up the cheque and work out where to play golf next.

Fact! Thomas Edison invented the light bulb!

Hmmm nope, might have stolen the idea and patented it!

I do not want a sanitised, pro Arsenal wonderland; I just want fair, reasoned and accurate reporting.

It is long overdue for the full time whistle to be blown on these pudgy, non opinionated, past sell by date, mental midgets. It is not their fault they are unable to come up with a rational thought now and again. It may not even be a conspiracy against Arsenal as that would take a little effort. It is lazy, uninspired punditry, from those without the talent, ability or motivation to formulate a cogent thought of their own. It wouldn’t even be so bad if they stole wisdom from elsewhere and reiterated it as their own, as long as it was accurate, but sadly they neither have the talent nor the wit to even try.

Fact! There are 10 commandments in the bible.

Um no, 262 ish actually, and still counting¬

Get in some people that have reasoned argument, maybe even some facts and figures! It might even be possible to let someone say what they actually think, having thought of it themselves!  I don’t want to have to agree with them, I just want their input to add to my enjoyment of this wonderful game. I want to learn more about it, see events through the eyes of another, to inspire some real debate.

Not to listen to groundless gossip and rumour regurgitated as Fact.

Fact! Going out with your hair wet will bring on a cold.

Well only if wet hair attracts viruses, which it doesn’t!

Enough said but I’ll leave you with this little snippet.

All great minds discuss ideas, some average minds discuss events, and most small minds discuss people, 87.958% of sporting pundits spout meaningless drivel dressed up as Fact.

Eleanor Roosevelt and A Nother.

38 Replies to “The Anti Arsenal Conspiracy …FACT!”

  1. When I was doing psychology in the second year of my degree I had to do an experiment with goldfish memory. (They took this out of the syllabus the following year because too many goldfish were dying).

    We had to get a goldfish and put three tubes into the tank, one red, one blue, and one green. Each day we had to move the arrangement of the tubes around (so for example one day the red one was on the left, next on the right, next on the left, next in the middle, then the middle again… random stuff).

    But we always had to feed the fish down the same tube. I got yellow I think, other undergrads were given different colours.

    The fish mostly learned that the food always came down one coloured tube.


  2. Hasnt this topic been covered to death this week? Okay, so there is an anti-Arsenal segment of the media. But come on guys, this is starting to seem like “Bitch and Moan Arsenal” rather than “Untold Arsenal”. Can we move onto another topic now? It is starting to grow a bit stale.

    Anyone expecting accuracy and non-biased commentary from the media regarding ANY topic (let alone Arsenal) is being a bit naive. And this article doesnt present any facts itself but merely twists “myths” around to fit an argument so it is as guilty as the media of propagating a particular point of view.

    Everybody thinks the media twists their own point of view and presents untruths. Let’s leave it to the politicians to moan and bitch and complain about media bias.


  3. Paul C for Prime Minister!
    He’s right, this is getting a bit … Tiresome tbh. Let’s change the topic please. And let’s not talk about the Spuds either please.

  4. Maybe this discussion will go totaly the wrong way and sorry for that Paul Blythe but I couldn’t let this story pass.

    We had a goldfish when I was a kid. And my father gave him his daily food. Then my father got seriously ill and had to go to hospital for several weeks. If I remember right it was more than 3 weeks could have been more. So it was my brother, my mother and I that gave him his food in that time.
    And when my father came back home and entered the room the goldfish began swimming like a mad man (fish in fact) and he was even jumping out of the water almost like a dolphin. He was full with joy for some time until he calmed down after my father gave him some food.

    Whatever they tell I will not believe that a goldfish only has a 3 second memory. Could be we had a very smart goldfish… But we never got so far to test his IQ.

  5. I agree with Paul. They hated Arsenal when it was defense-first under George Graham. (Ironically, a very good offensive player.) They hated Arsenal when it had the greatest offense in English history under Arsene Wenger. (Iroincally, a defender in his playing days.) They hated Arsenal when it was a mixture of the two under Bertie Mee. And they hate Arsenal now. Well, so what? Like the song goes, “We are The Arsenal, and we are the best. We are The Arsenal so (to hell with) all the rest!”

  6. @ Paul Blythe Mauna kea is not a mountain, Its a dormant shield volcano, Chimborazo in Ecuador is the highest point on earth from the earths centre (over 2 km further). so i do agree Facts can be distorted.

  7. I agree with the sentiments of Paul and Mike, it doesn’t really bother me what those ignorant and biased pundits think about the mighty Arsenal.

    Looking beyond the anti-Arsenal aspect, the quality of football analysis and discussion on TV and radio in this country is appalling, which I believe is what Paul Blythe’s article was about.

    We don’t want pro-Arsenal commentary, we want intelligent debate that might actually educate and enlighten us fans about the finer points of the ‘beautiful game’. At the moment we’re just fed lazy myths by guys who couldn’t coach an U11s team, let alone understand (and explain to the viewers) where a top level match was lost and won.

  8. Sorry guys, i never had the education that you guys obviously had but one thing i do know is that there are lots of people out there who dont like what The Arsenal stand for.
    But i for one dont give a shit!!!

  9. Good article Paul Blythe, hopefully the more these issues are put under the spotlight, the more likely the football media out there will rise to the challenge of raising the interlectual level of debate and discussion – as we the customer demand and expect more.

  10. Wrenny – the quality of punditry in TV Sports has ALWAYS been appalling, in every country and every sport. There are a few very notable exceptions but the overall standard is poor. The problem is the need, as with most broadcasting, to appeal to the lowest common denominator in order to get and keep viewers. It isnt surprising that cricket and rugby commentary, for instance, is generally better than football. Football is still, by and large, the sport of the working man (although not as much as 20 years ago). One of the biggest factors in the dumbing-down of punditry is the view that former players, rather than being robotic idiots with talent in their feet rather than their head, actually might have valid opinions on the game and understand tactics and rules (with the “he got the ball” ridiculousness proving their idiocy and failure to understand the basic laws of the game every single time).

    Unfortunately, in order for there to be reasoned and well-informed punditry there would also have to be a reasoned and well-informed fan base. That clearly is not the case so we cannot expect the TV execs to insist on highbrow commentary that would quite obviously make the average fan go “huuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh? What the f**k is this sh*te?”

    It is very interesting to look at American Football in this respect. American Football is played, in general, by idiots. But it is the sport of the middle and upper classes in America as far as viewership and sponsorship is concerned. When one sees the pundits for NFL games they tend to be most highly educated of ex-players, coaches and officals. No dummies allowed, simply because the viewing masses would not put up for it.

    You can learn everything you need to know about the viewers of a particulat program, sport or channel by looking at the commentators employed by the particular program, sport or channel (with Fox News in the US being another great example of that).

    With that in mind, dont complain about the folks on TV, instead complain about the folks watching.

  11. One more point is that Paul Blythe, in his article, says that “we should expect more and demand more from our ‘free’ media in this country” which of course instantly brings up the question “why would anyone assume that the media in ANY western country is free?”. Using Rupert Murdoch and Sky as an example, we the British public have, for the past 15 years, paid Rupert Murdoch a huge amount of our money in support of his particular views and bias. Why on earth would he change anything until people stop paying him enormous amounts of money every year in support of his views and bias’s? It isnt like Sky makes any pretense at all to be “free and impartial”. They dont. It is Rupert Murdoch’s channel every bit as much as Fox is in the US and he makes no attempt whatsoever to hide that fact.

    Once again, dont complain about the folks on (or making) TV, complain about those watching. We set the agenda (with “we” as an amorphous mass of course) through our viewing and spending habits. Those TV execs simply respond to OUR wishes.

  12. im sick of all the anti arsenal bull! i dont no whats happening but evry comentator, pundit etc you name it is aginst arsenal and arsene wenger! why? the only positive remark i have ever heard recently about arsenal is what souness or however its spelt said during last weeks chaps league match.i really hope arsenal give chelsea a hammering and shut everyone up and prove we are the best. FACT!

  13. I think this were brilliant points…. C’mon I had to look up the first fact to the last…. And, if you did I believe Paul Blyhe’s article was successful… And, to his point that if you did check well you are in the right site supporting the right team… Funny enough it seems some don’t hence AAA… Am I wrong? To the politics and whatever else well the same can be applied right? Truth is the truth right? Rumour is rumour right?

  14. @Gooner Gal

    I try my best…. Ironicaly his name is now attracting a lot of traffic as this story is snowballing – karma.

  15. Some media will always gravitate towards the lowest common denominator, but overall the football coverage in mainland Europe seems superior to here in Britain. And I believe this is reflected in the wider involvement with the game – the number of UEFA licensed coaches in the UK is embarrassing when compared to Italy, Spain, Germany, France and others. There’s so much interest in football in this country, but there’s an obvious lack of knowledge, skill and qualifications to teach and coach the sport. I think you can attribute that to a large extent to the poor ‘education’ of football given to us by the media and press.

    As for Sky’s involvement in this, they have the monopoly on football, so the public has little choice in the matter – if you want the Premier League, you need Sky. Their low-brow football coverage has played little to no part in making them successful, they could fill the bits in between the football with anything they liked (topless foxy boxing or Tchaikovsky) and we would still tune in to watch the match.

    I for one don’t believe the majority of football fans to be gormless idiots. The stupid shout the loudest and a vocal minority can seem like a majority, but I’ve always seen the average fan as being a fair bit smarter than the ‘swearing yobbo’ supporter. Unfortunately, it seems as if the broadcasters still see football fans as fitting that stereotype, and give us the kind of coverage they believe befit us.

    As you say, it’s up to us to make ourselves heard and bring about change. It would be fantastic if Untold and other websites were to take action and make our feelings known to Sky and other broadcasters regarding the quality of their coverage.

  16. Wrenny,

    Brilliant commentary! Don’t sell yourselves short in regards to lack of football licenses, skill, etc. You all have it but as the author states manipulation has a power of its own. England invented the sport and has bought a bill of goods that just doesn’t produce! A player is a player is a player! This game is simple. It needs no money, no license, nothing just hard work and passion! If you lack it as a player you lose! Work in fundamentals at a young age and progress in passion by seeing the stars do what they do! Show me a superstar that has had none of this recipe than I say one off! Call me old fashion but Pele was brought up with a ball of rags. Sir Stanley had what? If you have belief as England has always had she will win!

  17. Regarding Paul C.’s comments about how American football is broadcast, he has some points. While nearly every NFL player has gone to college, an appalling number of them never graduated. Yet the players who become broadcasters are very literate. And with the exception of Tony Siragusa (sadly, a native of New Jersey like myself), none of them sound stupid. Even Troy Aikman, an Oklahoma kid who sustained 11 concussions (now you know why they wear helmets), sounds like an educated Southerner rather than a redneck.

    Whereas I can barely understand Andy Gray, and at the World Cup, I found it impossible to listen to his fellow Scotsman Ally McCoist (although when I could cut through his brogue, I tended to agree with him), and most of the English announcers sound like morons when they describe what’s happening with (and to) Arsenal. They’re seeing what they want to see, not what I think I see. Frankly, I’m shocked at the number of ex-Gunners who’ve been allowed to become pundits: Graham, Smith, Dixon, Wright, Parlour, Keown, and I may have missed a couple. Still, they’re not as regarded as the “true Englishmen” like Shearer and, please shut up, Lineker.

  18. @Arsene Apprentice

    No – I just posted a link that posts a very good case that most of the silly season rumours pertaining to our club [that got us all fuming] eminated from a single source.

    “a one man rumour machine”

  19. Unkle Mike – Dixon is not SO bad – though hardly excellent.

    Andy Gray know his stuff – I don’t find him hard to understand and I don’t feel he has a particularly strong accent.

    I do feel he is one of the worst for encouraging the strong tackle however, though he’s a bit of a neanderthal in this respect, I usually appreciate his tactical insights nonetheless.

    Great link ACO – very interesting.

  20. Adam, I merely stated a mountain taller, not necessarily the tallest!
    Paul C, I think you may be surprised at what people would like, better quality attracts, after all you are here!
    ACO rather prooves the point.

    Jonny, thanks for the translation the other day….brilliant!!

    Will mail you the next instalment so the translation becomes part of the article,!! Tony willing

  21. The ‘expert panel’ was invented by ITV for it’s Big Match programme in the ’70’s in order to extend the running length of the show (otherwise made up of match highlights) thereby permitting more advertising time to be inserted into it.
    Football punditry exists not for educative purposes but for commercial ones.

  22. Actually, in relation to the question right at the start about haven’t we talked about this enough, in recent days there have also been articles on

    Can Man C and Chelsea make it through the financial hurdles?
    Demand for tickets in the Benelux supporters club is growing
    Alex Phillips of Uefa to speak this coming week at the AISA AGM
    The Ozzie view of Arsenal
    How the ref did in the Partizan game
    Does the Champs League affect the way we play?
    A comparison of injuries between Arsenal and the other major teams

    The articles about Arsenal tend to be focussed around games, with a couple of previews and then the match report, ref report and injury report – so that’s why I tend to look for other themes away from the games.

    But the offer is always there – if you would like Untold to cover something else (as long as it is pro-Arsenal, pro-Wenger, then just send it to

  23. And the article which was written here clearly has specific targets which the author is too cowardly to name.

    Name them, kind sir.

    Name them.

  24. ‘All great minds discuss ideas, some average minds discuss events, and most small minds discuss people, 87.958% of sporting pundits spout meaningless drivel dressed up as Fact.’

    I’m afraid you define a ‘great mind’ as someone detached from the reality of what happens and the people that cause it to happen. The place for that is a monestary or the spires of Oxford. Rather other worldly places………

    In the REAL world, what happens and the people there is what matters.

    AW can discuss football philosophy all he wants but the reality is that he stands or falls by who he picks each match, which subs he uses and what he says at half time.

    That’s real world.

    And if you say that someone is beyond rebuke, then idolise Adolf Hitler. Because that’s where you’re headed if criticism is not allowed……….

  25. Rhys,

    Don’t you think Arsene is criticized enough? And, if god forbid Arsenal lose tomorrow what then? There is only on person I have learned of in the history of the earth that is beyond criticism and he was crucified.. So if you aren’t him expect it (criticism) .

  26. Arsene Apprentice

    Fair points, yes I do think he’s criticized quite a bit, but certainly no more than Harry Redknapp has taken (apart from the paedo stuff about AW which is so far beyond sanity as to be worthy of articles in itself), particularly from the NOTW before they allowed him a column in the Sun.

    I hope folks don’t use smoke ‘n’ mirrors allusions to impute stuff when I comment on non-Arsenal stuff. Would be impossible to predict how people would see stuff – after all, I wrote once a paper about the Olympic Stadium post 2012 which included Arsenal. I shared it with a lawyer who sits next to me at Emirates. Now I hear Phil Anschutz’ outfit is with Spurs…..can’t blame me for that……….short of sayin’ ‘football is about you keepin’ schtumm’……

    If Arsenal lose tomorrow, they lose. I will see it pretty honestly and say: ‘no Robin, no Theo, no Cesc, no Thomas – we did our best but we were beaten’. And I hope we can all say that it is because Chelsea were better than us if they were, because my opinion on the Arsenal-Chelsea matches I saw in person was always ‘they were more clinical in their finishin” – a CC final, an FA semi, four matches at the Emirates. It was, sadly, Didier better than ours.

    So far as I am aware, I’m not Jesus Mark II! Surely that’s a topic where only others can be the ref………..

  27. Rhys,

    Well it would be sad if others were given the “ref” authority (not in my realm )… I don’t know II Mark?

    Arry.. Well funny he is written about here and Jamie is no better than the rest… Funny irony, no?

    As for past recent Chavs vs YGunners.. I fear you are right. But, honestly cannot be used as “The excuse anymore.

    You cited an interesting notion in regards to ‘they were more clinical in their finishin” – a CC final, an FA semi, four matches at the Emirates. It was, sadly, Didier better than ours.
    All that said I am s huge supporter of the Wengerian philosophy…. But, But, this game for the sake of the AAA has got to be snatched by any means at the morrow… This is momentous and for once I wouldn’t mind a boring 1-0 less than 250 pass game where we are bullying those Blues… It would be an interesting win wouldn’t it? Kind of Like Arsenal going to WHL CC midweek with a couple of Aces up our sleeves… “How do you dem apples Arry?

  28. Rhys, I know you will find great minds amongst those you know, were you to look. You may just posses one yourself. Great minds do not soley dwell in the dreaming spires of Oxford. I cannot think of a pundit off hand that is great unfortunately, so rather than name an individual, consider the idea! (geddit?)
    Oh and great to see Godwin’s Law proved again.

  29. Good article. The anti Arsenal stuff is everywhere, see below for a completely typical example:

    But to be honest, I do not really care too much what the media / pundits think of Arsenal, I am just baffled by it! I doubt Wenger is too bothered either, the problem is, some of our supporters seem taken in by it all.
    As a footnote, I was listening to the Wolves game, apparently Karl Henry was sent off for what sounded a horrendous tackle (I am going on the report here). Yet another serial offender up with Shawcross, just hope someone will start heading Wengers words on these violent tackles but in reality, flying pigs, temperatures dropping in hell etc etc.

  30. kiwi

    ‘Godwin’s Law proved again’ – didn’t hear of that one before, so looked it up! I’ll listen out in the pub……….

    My mind? A bit distorted sadly. Not bad analyst, bloody useless at channelin my self-interest………..

    arsene’s ‘will you hire me? will you fire me?’

    I’d take 1-0 ter the Arse en al 1-0, mate…….Wilshere’s knee, Nasri’s backside, Chamakh’s head, who cares. I couldn’t care less if they missed 7 penalties too to be honest……if the score was 1-0…….to us………

    Cesc was 18 when he showed Zidane, Beckham, the Old Lady, how to play.

    Has Jack seen the tapes? Cos we’d all enjoy somethin like that eh????

    Hope so………

    PS Lord Saccharine was quite nice about Arsene on FF today, as well as sayin that Mourinho could do with bein Barry Hearn’s assistant……..

  31. Paul I think that was a very astute observation on your part (about the American football commentators). In general I think you are spot on, the announcers really generally are excellent, mostly quite cerebral ex-coaches or smart ex-players. Maybe I don’t see it (seeing the international feed and announcers as opposed to the local English feed) but I quite like most of the announcers and pundits on the Prem games as broadcast here in the states. Thankfully, we don’t usually have to listen to Shearer et al.

  32. KiwiGooner – my point was a gross generalisation. Of course there are many people who would like a far higher standard of commentary and general discourse on football. But I dont think it is the majority, and the TV execs must look at the majority.

Comments are closed.