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As football supporters we are being brainwashed

The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now.”

That comment about the future of journalism was written in 1948, but could have made in relation to today’s reporting of football where all we have, straight statement.  And that is not just bad writing, that is perfidious.   For it destroys debate and through its constant application to matters relating to football, it destroys football itself.

For such statements have the aim of shutting down any thought or debate.  There is no chance of thinking that the story presented could possibly be wrong because simplistic assertions are hammered into us day after day without evidence or discussion.    Consider this which turned up on Reddit,  from former referee Jonas Eriksson (pictured left):

“Five years have passed since I was the referee of the latest Euros semifinal between Wales and Portugal…. People often ask: how do you get selected for the last games? Is it performance? How do you rank referees? The one with the least mistakes? Who really makes the judgement of This?

“The truth is dark. A false, political world where friendship corruption, loyalty and nationality matters. The football everyone talks about, the fair play and respect, where the rulebook is the same for everyone, where the four best teams get to play the semifinals in London tonight and tomorrow- but when it’s about deciding the referee, it happens in closed rooms, with political agenda and not for the best of football…

“This time, the best ref of the tournament has already been sent home. The decision has been made by the top level in UEFA, and it has nothing to do with football.”

It is a story not heard by the wider audience.  And it’s just one comment, and maybe it’s a fake post – and really that’s the point.  How can we tell which story is fake?

In fact most people do feel they can decide which story is fake and which is real, but that decision is mostly based on the story they hear the most.

Now I mention this because it comes a few days after we discovered that referees that penalised Arsenal most heavily were given the most Arsenal games.

I suspect most people won’t believe that is true, because it only crops up on Untold, like so many other stories.  Most blogs and newspapers are simply copying each other (look at the transfer file for this summer to see that).

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It is not just these issues themselves that suggest something is not right, nor the fact that these issues are not reported that suggests something is seriously wrong, but it is the fact that a constant alternative narrative is put out which comes from many quarters and contains multiple assertions but no evidence.

Consider this: “The Gunners obviously need an overhaul after a hugely disappointing 2020/21 season which saw them finish without even qualifying for the Europa League.”

That came from Caught Offside, and is a perfect example of Newspeak in football.  There’s just a statement, no room for debate, everything reduced to utter simplicity.  In another statement the same publication says, “The improvement required from the north Londoners in the 2021/22 Premier League season is obvious.”

If you’ve been reading Untold you’ll know it isn’t obvious, and have presented a lot of evidence to show that a total transformation in playing style and results, unreported in the media at large, took place in Arsenal last season.  But most people believe the simplicity of what could be called Football Newspeak because it is hammered at us 24 hours a day from hundreds of sources, and so has become dominant.

It is indeed a human trait; we tend to believe the things we are told a lot.

While we present evidence about Arsenal’s downturn in tackling and massive upturn in results, others just state, over and over and over, that Arsenal were awful and need new players.  It is what in other contexts we would call brainwashing, remembering that brainwashing is a two part affair – repeating the false narrative constantly while also ignoring any alternative interpretation or reporting of events.

When this happens across the board, we get a unity of argument so that anyone who says otherwise is looked upon as an idiot.   It is a perfect example of being brainwashed.

The essence of brainwashing is not to make one believe x rather than y, but rather to make people believe that x is the only story and y does not exist.  In this case the story is, Arsenal were awful last year, so they need to buy new players.  Arsenal are said to be chasing over 100 players.  They only fail to get them because Arsenal dither and won’t offer enough money.  All other clubs get it done quickly and accurately.

No data, no facts, no evidence, just assertion.  That is brainwashing.

More later…

3 comments to As football supporters we are being brainwashed

  • Daniel Kafuna

    Love your insights always!

  • Nitram

    You talk of Newspeak and I couldn’t agree me. The amount of negative assertions endlessly thrown at Arsenal over the years that has become ‘fact’ without a shred of actual evidence to support it is a long one. And it continues. Even in the last article there is a couple of comments from Raj that I have repeated bellow, that even your good self picks up on as true. I assume you agree with him as you suggest you will look in to what he suggests to see if it impacted on our upturn in form. These are his 2 assertions:

    Raj

    “When were the players who were causing problems in the dressing room sold or loaned off. Was it just before Christmas or in January ” ?

    “I do believe the upturn in fortunes came after the removal of Mustafi, Ozil, Gendouzi & Kolosanic from the Club. Please do an analysis of if this was the case”.

    You responded with:

    “Fair point Raj and I will look it up, but of course them leaving doesn’t prove cause and effect. I’ll see what else there is to find. Interesting that it is yet another point that has never been explored in depth by the media”.

    Now you might be wrong you may be right but personally I haven’t seen a shred of actual evidence that any of Mustafi, Ozil, Gendouzi & Kolosanic disrupted the dressing room. Okay Gendouzi had his training ground bust up but training ground bust ups are 10 a penny. In any case from everything I’ve read suggests the issue was between him and Arteta and hinged around Gendouzi being arrogant and was getting a bit too big for his boots. Okay not the nicest of traits but some of the best players in the World have an arrogance verging on narcissism, it’s hardly shocking or indeed a sackable offence.

    But honestly I haven’t seen anything on the others that suggest any of them were disruptive. Ozil was even in the squad so how was he disrupting the dressing room ?

    What I’m saying is, where is the EVIDENCE that these players were “causing problems in the dressing room” rather than just hearsay or Newspeak, as it could be called ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    One of these days , those silly fools who masquerade as serious football writers are going to wake up to the fact the Arsenal tackle less , and do better. So what inference will they come up with ?

    I guessing that they will come up with the ‘fact’ that we sold or loaned off players who tackle too enthusiastically , too or who tackle too poorly . And is the reason we got rid of Mustafi ,Socrates ,Gendouzi , Kolosinac , Torreira , and the rest.

    And Ozil ? Probably for ‘attracting ‘ too much attention and ‘inviting’too many tackles unto himself!

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