By Tony Attwood
The journalists don’t exactly say that we are a lower form of life, but there is constantly something within the way in which they describe fans that suggests that we are, as a group, of low intelligence, limited attention span, and lacking in any ability to understand, discuss, debate, consider…
We are there as fodder. Fodder for the football clubs that we support, and fodder for the journalists and writers who feed us claptrap, and treat us as a fifth rate sub-species grubbing in the dirt for scraps of food…
Consider this latest example, from The Athletic. The article is called, “How Granit Xhaka survived his darkest hour.”
“A year ago today, Arsenal’s then-captain Granit Xhaka was substituted in a home game against Crystal Palace. He walked off to a soundtrack of jeers and boos. He removed his armband to cast away. He cupped a hand to his ear. He pulled off his shirt to toss aside. He swore at the crowd.
“The furnace heat of the moment was too much for a lot of people. Xhaka himself went home and seemed to have had enough. Lucas Torreira wept by the side of the pitch, so distraught to witness something so deeply against the heart of being part of a club, and all in it together. There were fights in the crowd between those who felt it was wrong to treat any Arsenal captain in that way and others who felt it was wrong for an Arsenal captain to treat the badge, club and supporters in that way.”
So that was the fans reaction was it? Fighting. I was there, but I didn’t see any, but maybe there were some – although certainly nothing around me. If there was some fighting then out of the 60,000 people in the ground it probably involved what… maybe 50? Let’s say 100 to be generous. That is about 0.08% of the crowd. 100 people fighting, 59,900 not fighting. And yet they mention the 100 people fighting (and to reiterate, from where I was in the first row upper tier east stand, looking down on the crowd, in the lower tiers I saw none).
But no, for the journalist, this is an obvious chance to knock the fans. “There were fights in the crowd.” Not just one, but many.
The fact is that journalists and those bloggers who try and make money out of running a blog, will always look for something sensational which knocks the fans. Like the 130 odd players we were tipped to be buying this summer – but didn’t. Running that story is treating us with contempt, as is this piece.
All we get from the media is ceaseless negativity, despite the fact that as we showed yesterday, the first six games of the season is in no way an indicator of what happens next.
But look at the headlines
- “Lost possession 17x: Arsenal lightweight surely embarrassed after awful Leicester show – opinion” Football Fan Cast
- ‘Please sell him in January if you can!’: Some fans want Arsenal star gone after Leicester show
- Collymore thinks rivals will target Arsenal man; tells him to flirt for move”
“Arsenal: So much attacking talent but so few goals…..”
“Arsenal boss urged to make these changes ‘sooner rather than later’”
And on and on. Of course we lost, of course that was disappointing, but to think that wholesale changes are needed at this moment after we have just had two summer windows of spending record amounts of money is just daft. Or indeed to think that blog writers know more about managing a football club than the people who do it – that’s daft too.
And let us not forget that the journalists are deliberately biasing the news, not carrying news that doesn’t fit their agenda, but only carrying the news that does.
If you have been reading our match previews this season you’ll know we’ve had a little focus on injuries, and how many more injuries Arsenal have than most teams. Only two teams have got more than Arsenal at the moment (Everton and Palace).
But you might also recall that for years the high number of injuries we had compared to other teams was always put down to the training methods of Mr Wenger. It was in December 2014 that we ran the piece The causes of injuries: how the press drew false conclusions and that was by no means the first. But we kept on with it, as the following year we ran The desperation of the journalists who try to blame Mr Wenger for the injuries.
It went on and on and on and always Wenger was to blame. Now again we are near the top of the injury league and I get the feeling the journos would love to blame Wenger again – in fact they are probably even now writing up a piece which says that Wenger has been influencing Arteta and that is why we have so many.
This fanatical negativity towards Arsenal and its fans just will not stop, and the tragedy is there are still some people out there who believe it.
As for the Athletic, they recently noted that the number of home wins is down when there is no crowd there, without relating this at all to the influence of the crowd on the referee, which has been proven in the academic studies – that we have repeatedly reported. Why is this I wonder?
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP