When Arsenal lose they sneer, and when they win they sneer even more




The media against Arsenal FC

By Sir Hardly Anyone

On 15 December 2021 Arsenal were 15th in the table.  Now, a little over two years later, well, you know where they are.

That rise of 14 places across a period of just over two years is extraordinary, and indeed is the biggest rise you will find in any club between these two dates.  As for who else has moved and how unusual Arsenal’s rise is, here’s the table from 15 December 2021 showing at the end where each club is now and what the change is in two years and one month.


Team P W D L F A Pts NOW Change
1 Tottenham Hotspur 12 7 4 1 24 10 25 5 -4
2 Liverpool 12 7 4 1 27 18 25 9 -7
3 Leicester City 12 8 0 4 24 15 24 14 -11
4 Southampton 12 7 2 3 24 17 23 20 -16
5 Chelsea 13 6 4 3 26 14 22 10 -5
6 Manchester City 12 5 5 2 18 12 20 2 +4
7 West Ham United 12 6 2 4 20 15 20 16 -9
8 Everton 12 6 2 4 21 18 20 19 -11
9 Manchester United 11 6 2 3 19 17 20 4 +5
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 6 2 5 13 17 20 17 -7
11 Aston Villa 10 6 0 4 21 13 18 11 0
12 Crystal Palace 12 5 2 5 18 17 17 12 0
13 Newcastle United 11 5 2 4 14 16 17 3 +10
14 Leeds United 12 4 2 6 17 22 14 15 -1
15 Arsenal 12 4 1 7 10 15 13 1 +14
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 2 4 6 15 21 10 6 +10
17 Burnley 11 2 3 6 6 18 9 Ch
18 Fulham 12 2 2 8 12 22 8 7 +11
19 West Bromwich Albion 13 1 4 8 10 26 7 Ch
20 Sheffield United 12 0 1 11 5 21 1 Ch


Now you might think that some time might be given to celebrating the success of Arsenal, rising up 14 places and asking how the clubs that have risen have done it..

You might also think that time could be given to pondering what on earth went wrong with the likes of Liverpool, Leicester, Southampton and Everton. 

But no, Arsenal’s success in rising 14 places up the table in the space of two years and a month is, as often as not greeted with sneering.    Take, for example, this article from the Guardian in which the theme is set with the opening lines, “The Gunners’ most recent league title came in the 2003-04 Invincibles season, offering absolutely nothing to point and laugh at – but boy, oh boy, did they make up for it in the following years.”

In other words, Arsenal are a club worth laughing at for their achievements since 2004.  And just to remind you Arsenal won the FA Cup five times in those years, and reached the Champions League 12 times to conclude a run of consecutive Champions League appearances which has only ever been exceeded by Real Madrid.

Yet the article speaks of, “The relentless decline of the late-Wenger era” as if no club having had mega-success has ever had a rebuilding process.  With Liverpool currently sitting in ninth and Chelsea tenth that is a bit silly.

So it goes on talking of, “The endless disquiet ringing around the Emirates Stadium, a world-class sporting venue utterly devoid of joy!”   Except I suppose those four FA Cup wins, including one, as I recall from having been there, by four goals to nil.

Yet the piece goes on, “Specialists in failure!”… “For the best part of two decades, sure as night followed day, Arsenal would always find a way to Arsenal it up.”

To be fair the piece does mention Arteta’s cup win by saying, “When he first returned as manager, Mikel Arteta appeared set to fit seamlessly into this rich tapestry. He won the FA Cup – Arsenal’s traditional port in a storm – before the waves of a familiar narrative began crashing down on his head.”

But what really happened?  In 2019/20 Arsenal were the league champions… in terms of yellow cards with 86!  It destroyed the campaign.  Arteta changed the entire defending system in order to cut this in half, but that is not mentioned because… the background statistics to that affair, covered in depth on this site, raises questions about how PGMO and its employees hand out yellow cards.

Of course, the article is meant to be funny, but its ultimate achievement is once more to derail any attempt to look at what really happened in terms of Arsenal with its rise from being the most yellow-carded team, and the team 15th in the league, to a team which across two thirds of the season was the second best in the league, and is now top.

In desperation, the piece concludes, “Spurs are doing a nice job filling in for their rivals, playing soul-sapping football in a gleaming stadium to groaning fans. From fostering title aspirations of their own, their supporters are now left hoping Arteta’s mob let the Premier League trophy slip through their fingers, delivering the greatest pratfall of all just when we finally didn’t expect it. After all, this is still Arsenal we’re talking about. Right?!”

My point is not so much that this is just a very silly piece, but rather that it continues the story that Arsenal always cock it up, Arsenal don’t deserve success, Arsenal are the masters in failure.

But above all it shows that journalists can’t or won’t do any proper analysis.   That rebuilding of the defensive approach that I mentioned, in order to cut yellow cards in half, has never been touched on, probably because it brings into question just what PGMO was doing.   Plus talk of Arsenal’s change then, and it brings up Leicester’s situation and that interesting statistic which you might recall…


Club Tackles Fouls  Yellows
Arsenal 2019/20 584 421 86
Leicester 2019/20 742 418 41


Oh no we mustn’t go there because that suggests the referees were doing something very, very strange.  And of course there is a desperate need to avoid any talk about how the journalists last summer got their predictions so long.  But even with that desparation, stopping to this sort of journalism – it really is a new low.

Even for the anti-Arsenal media this reporting is totally outrageous.

14 Replies to “When Arsenal lose they sneer, and when they win they sneer even more”

  1. Unfortunately you’ve chosen not to mention the scribblers name of that particular piece from the Manure supporting lefty rag that is the Guardian.Perhsps you’d be enough to do us a favour & give him a mention.I’m sure there’s many who’d like to have a chat with the prat on social media & a word with their editor.A great way to lose readership pretty Sharpish.Judging by those smug comments,he undoubtedly either A Jealous manc or chav.

  2. Guys,

    look at it differently : where there is a jester making fun of a king, there is a king to be making fun of.

    Which team is the most positive and spectacular this season ? Just take a pause and think about it.

    So all they’ve got left is making fun. Let the jesters do their silly routine.
    All the while, Arsenal are raking up points, goals are ging the right way.

  3. Looking at the article, it starts in the depths of ‘journalism’ and never raises it’s head above the scum line. The articles header picture is of a solitary Galas sat forlorn in the centre circle at the end of a match. That match was the one in which a colleague had had his leg snapped in half in front of his eyes and he had just witnessed what was effectively the end of Eduardos career.

    I always saw galas’ action as both a visual demonstration of his sympathy for Eduardo, and his contempt for officialdom that was allowing these assaults on our players to occur on an all too regular basis.

    Whatever the reason, in this day and age they wouldn’t even be expected to carry on playing and if they did their performance would be viewed with sympathy and understanding. They would be lauded for their stoicism. Not Arsenal. Just to add insult to injury we got endless criticism. Not only for Galas’ reaction but for drawing the match to a 95th minute joke of a penalty.

    But that day was typical of what happened then, and what still happens to this day. The media somehow managed to turn what was, anywhere other than on a football pitch a criminal offence against us, into a reason to attack US. It happened on the day, and as we can see it is still happening to this day.

    It was a disgrace at the time and it is still a disgrace to this day.

    Using that day as a stick with which to beat us is the act of a pathetic heartless piece of s*** that goes by the name of Niall McVeigh

  4. Nitram,

    I’ll repeat myself. The jester is allowed to make fun of the king…so a king he needs.

    So our getting pissed is exactly what they strive for, what makes them get clicks.

    At present, apart from making fun of the past, they are speechless. The Gunners are proving them all wrong, game after game. And the recruiting is more successfull then quite a few teams in the PL.

    Jesters to the King

  5. Chris

    I know what you are saying but I’m afraid not saying anything hasn’t stopped them in the past, and unforetuneately the eternal negativity written and spoken about our club has had, over the years, a detrimental effect on our club. I believe so anyway.

    This has alas manifested itself most starkly in the behaviour of certain sections of our fan base who brought in to all the negativity.

    He says:

    “The endless disquiet ringing around the Emirates Stadium, a world-class sporting venue utterly devoid of joy! Specialists in failure!”

    “There have been some bad nights at the Emirates, but the 1-0 defeat to Burnley in December 2020, in front of 2,000 returning fans whose howls of derision echoed into the night, must be right up there”.

    Who hasn’t had bad nights at home? Who created that disquiet?

    It wasn’t the club, the manger or the players. Yes we were not as successful as the early Wenger years but we were paying for a stadium and operating on a zero transfer budget. What we were doing in maintaining CL football was actually remarkable, but the media still turned it into a narrative of endless failure, and a lot of our fans into wall to wall whingers.

    Now we have won 4 FA Cups in 9 years, and that is still some how portrayed as failure.

    We get all this criticism about a soulless joyless stadium/club and what happens when we have reason to start Celebrating? Constant ridicule for over celebrating. We cant win.

    Liverpool went over 30 years without a title. You would never have believed it given the endless media fawning they received. Now they have won ONE championship the media act as if it never happened. It’s basically wiped from history, where as our meagre years are thrown in our faces on an almost daily basis. This article being a prime example.

    We drop out of the top 4 for a while and questions are asked as to whether we were still one of the ‘big six’. Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd have all spent at least as much time out of the top 6 as us, but never would the media dare suggest they were no longer a ‘big six’ club.

    And don’t even get me started on Spurs and their big six status. No title for 60 years. 2 league cups in 30 years. Come on.

    I do not see it as just harmless ‘clickbait’, I see as an endless media narrative, to undermine, criticise, and insult us at every turn.

    I believe it has had, over the years, a massively detrimental effect on our club, our fans, and ultimately our team. Given Artetas’ extraordinary efforts at reconnecting with the fans I don’t believe these negative effects were lost on him either.

    They needed to be addressed by him, and they need to be addressed by us.

  6. When we win all these “experts” will suddenly start supporting us. Steve Nicholl on ESPN for instance, has begun speaking kindly of Arsenal after insisting at the start of the season that we would not make top four, but Liverpool would. Everybody loves a winner.

  7. @Nitram,

    I share your thoughts but IMHO we need to change our tune and adapt. Take the high road. Call them out as deadwood journalists playing jesters to the king.

    Don’t give them the importance they crave, same with the idiot/moron Keys. They relish the limelight, don’t give it to them. Turn out the lights instead of pointing a projector to them. Make fun of the ‘alternate’ reality and the incapacity to report the now instead of being on auto-repeat like a broken record.

    We’ve got enough positives to make our supporting Arsenal enjoyable and fun. Let them play in the manure.

    And if we want to be constructive, concentrate our energy on why referees get multiple assignements tp the same team, on why their is such a Grand Canyonesque discrepancy in home and away statistics, etc. Those are important subjects pretty much no one except Untold is interested in. This is where it matters.

  8. Chris

    As I say, I know what you mean. Don’t give them the oxygen and all that. And you may well be right. After all they’ve been insulting us for decades now, more even, and no amount of moaning has stopped it, but neither has any amount of silence either to be fair. So honestly I don’t know what is the best thing to do. I suppose it comes down to your own way of thinking really.

    All I know is it has had a detrimental effect on the club. And as I say, the fact Arteta has put in so much effort to get the fans back on side suggests he too thinks it has had a detrimental effect on the club.

    As I say, I cant pretend I know the answer, I don’t. All I know is, what we face is disgraceful, and as you may of noticed, it’s just not in my nature to let injustices, inaccuracies lie.

    As a saying most often attributed to Edmund Burke says: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing”.

    And that is a mantra I have put great stock in all my life, work, personal and yes football.

    It’s just how I am. So alas staying silent on this particular issue, rightly or wrongly, is not an option for me. Doesn’t mean I think it will make the slightest bit of difference unforetuneately.

  9. @Nitram,

    stay as and who you are !!! Our energy is better used on PGMOL and supporting the Gunners.

    That is what I am trying to express. And to drink to the moment.

  10. I share Nitram’s view that there has always been sustained media hostility to Arsenal, which the occasional complements (usually a bit grudging in any case) cannot disguise. One contributory factor may be common media support for Tottenham, accompanied by jealousy. That’s in addition to the widespread love-in for Man Utd and Liverpool, and the emerging blind admiration for Man City. In their turn, Chelsea and now Newcastle have also benefitted from a media which does not have any concerns for what Mr.Wenger referred to a financial doping.

    Throughout the history of the game, this has been evident. First it was Lucky Arsenal, then boring Arsenal, followed by lack of recognition of our success during the early Wenger years, reverting to Incompetent Arsenal, Indisciplined Arsenal. The latest attention to Mr. Arteta’s on the touchline is simply another diversionary exercise by media who are dismayed by this season’s good performances, which they find hard to criticise. Even the occasional positive comment is qualified by some ill-informed remark about lack of squad depth.

    At the end of 70-71 season, we were written-off for the league, because their beloved Spurs would beat us at WHL, Then we were tipped to be hammered at Wembley by super Liverpool. The consolation for us is the frequency with which the media are proved to be wrong. The annoying fact remains that so many of our own supporters have been influenced by their nonsense, ever since the days of the “boo-boys” observed by Herbert Chapman.

  11. John L

    “The consolation for us is the frequency with which the media are proved to be wrong. The annoying fact remains that so many of our own supporters have been influenced by their nonsense, ever since the days of the “boo-boys” observed by Herbert Chapman”.


    It’s human nature to be influenced by propaganda and make no mistake, this endless diatribe against Arsenal is a form of propaganda. In his 1965 book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, philosopher Jacques Ellul provided us with some of the basic characteristics of propaganda: it thwarts dialogue, it is geared toward the masses, it utilizes various media, it is continuous, it is not intended to make one think.

    Ring any bells?

    These are generally accepted as the best ways to counter propaganda:

    Research and analysis.
    Reveal true origin of propaganda.
    Expose reasoning errors.
    Dissemination of exposed propaganda.

    In other words, as a rule ignoring it doesn’t really work because it wont just go away. It needs to be countered.

    This is a good article on propaganda and how it works. Sadly it is all around us. Every single day.


  12. @John L.

    As far as I am concerned, I see what follows :

    – the Emirates is a fortress….you can’t be negative about this….
    – Arsenal are top of the League, 5 points ahead with a game in hand. We beat Everton and could lose to City twice and still be points ahead of them.
    – Our football is spectacular, the team is a real team, full of youthful energy and giving every viewer bang for the buck
    – Mr Arteta is just focusing all the negatives on himself and getting his players out of the firing zone.
    – Mr Arteta is being used by a guy who nobody sees in the UK because he had to exile himself as a mercenary to a foreign TV multunational as a way for him to still be relevant. So he is obsessional, looks for any headline that is offensive to Arsenal fans and relishes in the fact that he is being quoted. We ought NOT to ever again mention his name or stupid/idiotic/moronic/hateful/incompetent eructations (i am being very polite in my choice of word)
    – the team is firing on all cylinders, and not much negative can be said about it.
    – the negatives are mostly : player X missed a (pass/tackle/header whatever) at minute mm:ss – that’s it.

    The deadwood journalists and deadwood bloggers have earned a fortune blogging Arsenal negatives. If we ignore them, their revenue will plumet and they’ll have to change tune.

    In parallel, nothing speaks against going after real issues like the total incompetence of PGMOL

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