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January 2021
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And so the anti-Arsenal Arsenal claim their finest hour: “we’ll take Arsenal down”…

By Tony Attwood

The AAA – the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal – is a movement made up of numerous sub-groups who are brought together by the thought that constant criticism of the club, its players and its manager, is a way to make things better.  They are directly supported by much of the media and many independent bloggers.

These people do not realise it of course but they are manipulated by the media who give mass publicity to their activities and so amplify any feeling of unrest which they causes angst inside the club.  And they have been around since the earliest days of Arsenal.

They were criticised by Henry Norris during the last years at Plumstead, criticised by Chapman who called them the boo-boys, criticised by certain players in the 1960s who shouted at fans at Highbury to stop slow hand clapping (Jack Kelsey often told them what he thought) … but they have never given up and never gone away.

From 2005/6 onwards they upped their game and sub-sets such as the Black Scarf Movement and Arsenal Fans TV took the anti-Arsenal sentiment to a new level, as bloggers began the “4th is not a trophy” comment.  One of the supposed “supporters” groups criticised the directors for secretly filching money out of the club to spend on themselves.  There’s nothing these people won’t do.

Yet from 1997 to 2016 Mr Wenger kept the club in the Champions League, a record only beaten by Real Madrid.  But was this, two doubles, the unbeaten season and the record number of FA Cups both for the club and the manager enough?

No, the back biting, cynicism, antagonism and remorseless criticism reigned free, unceasing.  And of course it was supported by the media who now no longer had to make things up for themselves.  All they had to do was report was the alleged fans were saying.

Of course one might have thought, using a certain amount of logic (which in retrospect is never a good idea when it comes to the AAA – the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal) that having achieved their aim of getting rid of the most successful manager Arsenal had ever known, they might congratulate themselves and stop.

But no, they turned their criticism on the next manager – Unai Emery – and the next Mikel Arteta. plus the players signed.   Any new player who does not instantly deliver is criticised and put down.   No wonder Arsenal find it hard to bring in players and end up having to pay more than other clubs.  Players know what fans of different clubs are like.  They know there is no “Ultras” section at Arsenal, but instead the raging opposite.  The AAA – the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal.

Their negative bile spews forth day after day, attacking the players and the club, so that in the end, the media needs do nothing but let the Arsenal bloggers and ex-Arsenal players do it all for them.

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Of course we know it would take another eight and a half years of straight victories at the rate of two a season for Tottenham even to catch up with Arsenal in terms of wins of the north London derby.  It would also take six successive years of winning the FA Cup (absolutely never achieved before) just to equal our total of triumphs in that competitions.   And 11 years of winning the Premier League to equal the number of top division titles Arsenal have had.

But with the AAA now in such a buoyant forceful mood there is no telling that this is not possible.  Reborn they will stop at nothing.

Indeed after 101 consecutive years in the top division, if the AAA carry on like this they could even quite possibly get Arsenal relegated.  With their negativity and bile anything is possible.

Yes these negativists and their pals in the media have been here for almost as long as the club, and now they are making their final bid for ultimate notoriety.  The people who got Arsenal relegated after 101 years.   And if not this year then next…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Arsenal 11 4 1 6 10 14 -4 13
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 2 4 4 14 16 -2 10
17 Fulham 11 2 1 8 11 21 -10 7
18 Burnley 10 1 3 6 5 18 -13 6
19 West Bromwich Albion 11 1 3 7 8 23 -15 6
20 Sheffield United 11 0 1 10 5 18 -13 1

And if not this season then why not next?   We all have seen what ceaseless criticism of players and management does.  It never makes things better, it simply demoralises the players who are in the team, it makes it ever harder for the club to recruit new players who look at the supporters and think, “I’m not going there” and it makes the youngsters want to leave.

There was so much negativity after the game it would be impossible to record it all, but here’s just a tiny smattering.

  • “Beginning to have major doubts” – These Arsenal fans detail Arteta’s clear deficiency (CaughtOffside)
  • ‘He’s not helping!’ Jamie Redknapp slams Arsenal star for trying to fool supporters (Metro) “Spurs race away from shambolic Arsenal with clinical efficiency” (Telegraph)
  • “Arsenal loss brings back painful memories of final days under Wenger” (Standard)
  • ‘I feel bad’: Some Arsenal fans think 22-year-old is too good (HITC)
  • “Bellerin & Aubameyang woeful for toothless Gunners” (Arsenal Station)
  • Arsenal tipped to sack Mikel Arteta this week after disappointing Tottenham defeat (Express)
  • “Tony Adams claims Arsenal star looked like he’d never actually played football before yesterday” (HITC)
  • “Tony Adams and Yannick Bolasie think Arsenal boss made big mistake with £25m-rated star on Sunday” (The Boot Room)
  • “Wright noticed Arsenal star telling teammates to ‘pass to someone else’ rather than himself” (HITC)
  • “Is it time to wave Arteta-ta-ta?” (Richard Keys Blog)
  • “Arsenal Fan TV regular Troopz is now selling ‘Arteta Out’ t-shirts after loss to Tottenham” (Talk Sport)
  • “Adams tells Arsenal defender Bellerin to “learn your job” in scathing rant” (Daily Star)

It is just like the Wenger days when we came 3rd and 4th 10 seasons running, and then came second.  The endless sniping.  That took us down to 5th and 6th.  This time it is taking us down still further.

These people will of course not be happy if their pressure helps destabilise the club still further and we go down to the championship.  They’ll still keep going.  Who knows how far they will take us down, now they have a taste for it?

17 comments to And so the anti-Arsenal Arsenal claim their finest hour: “we’ll take Arsenal down”…

  • Nitram,

    This made me laugh:

    “Arsenal loss brings back painful memories of final days under Wenger” (Standard)

    FINAL DAYS !

    These guys were abusing Wenger for 15 friggin years.

    As for Tony Adams. I stood by that man when he was throwing my support back in my face. I watched and applauded him in his darkest hour. The man is a disgrace. If anyone should understand humility and compassion it is him, and yet, and yet !!

    Yes, on this particular day, at this particular moment, we are in a poor place. Why I don’t know, but it is what it is. But that’s not the point. This man, along with Wright and many many other ex Arsenal players have been abusing the club they are supposed to love, along with the current manager whoever that may be, for as long as I can remember, even when we are winning things.

    They are an utter disgrace.

    Despite Spurs current position, they have done nothing for 12 years and quite honestly their record for as long as I can remember is terrible, and in comparison to ours it’s laughable, yet I’ve never heard their fans or ex players abuse their club team or players anything like ours. In fact they stick by them admirably. Liverpool similarly.

    I’ve attacked the media endlessly for their constant abuse of our club, but given the complicity of our disgraceful ex players, and the gullibility of such a large proportion of our fans, I’m beggining to think we get exactly what we, or rather what THEY deserve.

  • K Fourie

    Are we going to let the AAA brigade dismantle our rich in tradition and beautiful club? NEVER!! Let them scream, let them rumble morning, day, night. Arsenal and Artete is in a rebuilding phase. Something they dont and never will take into consideration because it dont fit their from where ever concealed hatred and dislike of the club. Be strong give time.As the saying goes:Thats the right thing to do

  • mightygunner

    Fans complaining is part of football. All fans do it at all clubs.

    There may be more of it at arsenal than certain other clubs but that’s because the expectation is higher, as it should be.

    Also, Nitram are you seriously suggesting that spurs and liverpool fans don’t complain?

    Remember Christian Gross, villas boas, Roy hodgson, graeme souness?

    Fans complain because they care and modern football is an unforgiving game.
    It’s not village bowls.

  • Mighty Gunner I think it may be that you haven’t realised just what this site has done over the years in charting the different ways in which referees treat different clubs, and the oddity of the way in which PGMO runs refereeing in the Premier League – something that you won’t find in any of the other major leagues in Europe.
    Of course everyone complains, but it is the level of complaint and the way the complaints are amplified or ignored by the media and bloggers in relation to different clubs that is the issue

  • Andrew Banks

    This website is such a joke. Don’t you have anything better to write about apart from conspiracy theories. Maybe you could write about the flat earth or that Bush bombed the Trade Centre?

  • Nitram

    Tony

    Perfectly summarised.

  • Andrew Banks, what I wonder is why you spend time reading something that you so solidly disapprove of. I could understand that if you did it because you then wanted to enter the debate and take up points that had been made, but to spend time reading something you dismiss as a joke as really odd. Surely, if you are unable to follow the argument and points made, it would be better to do something else with your time, but no, you go on reading and not understanding. Obviously, that is very much up to you, and of course if you want to read, and indeed then spend more time telling us we don’t have anything better to do with our time, that is up to you, but it just seems a strange way to live, to me.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Most of us hardcore Untolders , have neither forgotten nor forgiven ‘them’ for all that they have done in trying to weaken the club , and the fan base . We are still here . Never ever going to allow them pest to win.

    I no longer try to reason with other purportedly supporters of the club , who listen to these dregs and clowns of society . If truly they were smart (Pauses to giggle !), they could advice the club on how to right itself.

    I have my own doubts , if the can right themselves ! Of course , I could always be wrong and these people could be bosses of Fortune 500 companies , or very wealthy investors and cooperate movers and shakers .

  • Lakh

    Wow! This minority which is the AAA is quite almighty. I have 2 questions
    1. If this AAA is responsible for everything arsenal does, doesn’t it mean they should be credited with the league and fa cup wins of the recent past too?
    2. You have claimed they are a minority so many times, if they have been able to achieve so much, can you explain to us what the majority have been doing then?

  • Lakh
    The AAA is not responsible for everything ARsenal does

  • Nitram

    Lakh

    The noisy minority often has a far greater, or at least a disproportionate influence than the silent majority. That is true of many many things in life.
    There’s also the saying that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. So this notion, or actuality, of small groups or individuals having far more influence than they perhaps should is nothing new or unknown.

    Surprised you’ve never heard of, or even come across the phenomenon before. Or perhaps you have, but just wanted your sarcastic little dig anyway.

  • Lakh

    @”mr I too know” Nitram, I’ve heard about noisy minorities being loud and all. However what I’ve not heard before is them being blamed for the bad performances of a team(only the bad and not the good), moreso from a member of the silent majority. If you are loud on the blog how come you are silent in the stadium where you claim to be a vast majority? Especially when you claim that the loud minority is able to achieve a lot negative things?
    You nitram is always ready to pick a fight on the internet with any poster who has the effrontery to disagree with you even on the slightest of issues, yet in the midst of a majority of your kind, all these evils are being perpetrated against our arsenal? Forgive me for finding it difficult to agree with

  • Lakh I really don’t think you have quite got the whole point that has been made here repeatedly. I can’t speak definitively for Nitram but I think he is in agreement with the point made here many times to the effect that Arsenal tends to suffer from attacks by the media far more than other clubs, and that we have a number of people who follow that lead while calling themselves supporters. Indeed if you have been with us for a while you will recall that we did a huge analysis of a whole weekend’s coverage of the media and found the negative responses to Arsenal far outweighed the positive and neutral.
    Arsenal has lurking behind it organisations like AFTV and Black Scarf, not to mention the sniping against the financial doings of the board by AST; very few clubs suffer from the same situation. If you know one, please do write in and say because I would love to follow it up and see just how much sniping they are getting.

  • Lakh

    @tony, nobody is debating that we’ve got bad press. And as has been said many times, you get the press your performance deserves. Nobody is even debating that we’ve got fans who have been very critical of the team. What is being debated is this conclusion that everything bad that has happened with the team is due to a set of fans who you claim are an absolute minority. There is absolutely no cause-effect relationship established before going on to make absurd claims. (just like you claimed without evidence Liverpool would find it hard to attract players just because the club chairman lied about the clause in Suarez’s contract).
    Secondly, a while back a commenter did his own analysis of NewsNow stories on Man utd when they were doing really poorly and concluded that Man utd had even more negative stories than arsenal when both teams were doing poorly, so this conclusion that arsenal had the worst press without taking all factors into consideration is selective reporting at best. But it’s not an issue as long as it is reported as the opinion of the blog and not conclusively researched facts

  • Lakh I fear I have, as so often, not expressed myself well. But I will try and set it out more clearly.
    We have evidence for negative behaviour of Arsenal fans going back to the early part of the 20th century, but it seemed to be particularly bad in the 1930s such that Chapman complained about it. Both then and since the negativity of some people in the stadium has been amplified by the media through constant comments, particularly from a few key ex-Arsenal players who gained a high media profile.
    That in turn set up the landscape for the Black Scarf Movement, AFTV, the stories about directors removing money from the club that AST propagated, and the disruption of the pre-season event that Arsenal arranged for supporters group. That in turn led to the pre-season event being cancelled for future years.
    You claim that “you get the press your performance deserves” but also say “there is no cause-effect relationship established” and yet you set out no evidence for “you get the press your performance deserves”.
    This is an area where cause and effect are hard to establish I would agree, but what I am doing is trying to establish that through looking at various scenarios as I have done here and on the Arsenal History Society, which has studied the matter over time.
    You are saying, as far as I can see, that we have got a bad press – but that Arsenal deserves it. However through the evidence we gathered when (to give one example) we examined every article on Arsenal over one weekend, it was clear that we were getting a far more negative press than other clubs.
    If you would care to do even a part of the research we have done on this site and on the Arsenal History Society site over the past 12 years then of course I would take note and reconsider, but for the moment, no.

  • Lakh

    @tony I am willing to concede that I have no evidence to prove that “clubs get the press they deserve”. And I am also willing to do a research on the volume of negative news any other big premier League club gets during a bad patch. Currently I’d say the big clubs except arsenal are doing average to okay. But as soon as any goes on a run of poor results, I’ll be willing to aggregate the press they get. Though like I said I remember a commenter posting that for Man utd, at least a year ago

  • Lakh

    And to reiterate, it’s not just about the press we get being good or bad, but this appropriation of all bad results and all things bad about the club to a set of fans who are in the minority, without any shred of evidence to back up such claims. You did the same with Liverpool, saying without any support evidence that they would find it hard to sign players after the owner “lied, lied, lied again” about the clause in Suarez’s contract. Liverpool doesn’t seem to have found it difficult to buy players since then, so much so that you have begun to accuse them of buying their way to success recently

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