Maybe I ought to shut up and let this guy talk…

By Tony Attwood

Journalists and bloggers were delighted with the performance of Arsenal on Tuesday as it gave them the chance to trot out their usual lines of hosts of missed opportunities by the Arsenal attack, mistakes at the back and above all the urgent need for more players.

Such commentaries are written because they require no thinking nor a need to write anything new.  Instead the chatter is of the need to build momentum and get back to winning ways, to be more ruthless “in front of goal” (as if one ever could be more ruthless behind the goal). There will undoubtedly soon be talk of worry about the season proper being only a few weeks away and the team not looking sharp enough, and our transfer window has been a grave disappointment.

(Except the Express of course which will say that the 6-match tour of South America tired our players out and left them ill-prepared for the new season). (And Turkish Football which says the Arsenal playmaker went onto say that he needs to become more egotistical.) 

Ruthlessness “in front of goal” (or in Turkey egotisticality) is the cornerstone of reports, and questions will be raised about the forward line. And defence.  And midfield.   In particular there is the standard anti-Arsenal fare of how many chances were missed, without any comparison whatsoever with how man “chances” other clubs miss in the pre-season games.

And that’s really the heart of the problem.  Most football journalists and their editors behave as if their readers don’t understand statistics – whereas in fact the problem normally is that most football writers don’t understand statistics.  (It is like this truly hilarious video of Mourinho in which he spends the whole interview quoting figures and then says that people who don’t understand football use statistics.  It is an utter scream.)

What in fact would have been interesting is an analysis that showed the comparative number of tackles and fouls – you might remember that we did this analysis for Arsenal and Hibs based on last season’s figures, before the match, and quite revealing it was too.  Only Untold ran that.

Thus there is the same problem in reporting an Arsenal match as there is in reporting the invasion of Wembley on Sunday.  The key points can’t be mentioned.

Thus with the FA at Wembley the failure of the FA was to recognise that 20,000 empty seats in the stadium would mean that a lot of fans without tickets would try and get in, because once in, they’d know they could find somewhere to sit.  Normally that’s impossible, and so any invaders get kicked out.

Also of course years and years of slack organisation at Wembley has meant that people will have approached the stadium knowing they had every chance to get in.  Their device was simple – getting two people through the gate with the same ticket, something that is quite easy to do.

It’s all the fault of the FA, since they have the overview of Wembley.  But is anyone blaming them for poor organisation? No.  Just as we can ask, “is anyone talking about the biggest tactical change made by a club in the last ten years?”  No – except Untold of course.

Instead at Wembley there is a condemnation of hooligans (what good will that do?) and at Arsenal the need to bring in new players in defence (when we had the second best defence in the league for that last two thirds of the season).

Meanwhile, we’ll shortly be publishing the next edition of the Arsenal transfer list, showing every player that the all-knowing pundits is tipping to come to Arsenal.  As of today that list is at 112 – the largest number we have ever had when running the summer rumours list.  And we still have a month and a half to go before the window “slams shut” as it always does in the strange lingo these journalist-types use.

We, the football fans at large, really are being treated with utter and total contempt.  The blogs, broadcasters and newspapers won’t talk about the key facts of football, such as the success of the tactical changes, nor the prime cause behind the problems at Wembley, such as poor organisation by the FA.   

112 players coming to Arsenal?   This indeed the world that Orwell predicted in “1984”.  OK it is 35 years late, but we have what he said we would have.  A situation in which a definition of reality is proclaimed by the media and only stories that fit that definition are published.

And yet maybe there is a benefit here.  I rather suspect that most managers and players we play against still don’t realise the changes Arsenal made last season.  That’s why we had such an incredible run in the last two thirds of the season (even though we have had readers try to run another fake story, one that says it was all because we had easier fixtures in the last two thirds of the season than we did in the first two thirds.)

So maybe we should welcome this attempted brainwashing by the mainstream and fringe media.  For if it convinces managers of the fact that Arsenal are easy to beat, they won’t realise what Arsenal are up to.

In short, perhaps I ought to shut up.

The Glorious 2021 Revolution



4 Replies to “Maybe I ought to shut up and let this guy talk…”

  1. I ‘m just flabbergasted that so many morons were able to break into the stadium , at the same time seeing some other ‘loyal’ fans trying to stop them !
    A few managed to get in a free kick or two , too !

  2. And should we feel proud that 112 players want to come here and play for Arsenal very badly ?
    Or should we rephrase that ?

  3. @BG

    A similar incident happened on Jan 6 in the U S of Trump so why not in the corrupt state of football.

    Therefore I am surprised you are ‘flabbergasted’.

    Mising your jokes!! 🙁

  4. A few years ago I had attended a Holland game at Wembley and a gang of hooligans (some from Huddersfield) broke in and rushed the stairwell without a care in their minds. There was a young girl in front of me that I protected and moved into a row of seats for her protection. I then backed out of the stairwell and left the seating area. There were police in the gangways who said there was nothing they could do as the volume of people was above and beyond their control.

    Personally, I would have stopped the game and had teams of police clear the areas where the thugs had got in arresting and tie wrapping hands and feet of those without tickets to be charged later. That should have been a lesson not forgotten but the FA do not learn because their focus is on money.

    I have not attended any International matches at Wembley since that date.

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