Anti Arsenal Media Agenda Beyond Ridiculous – ‘I am a lover not a fighter, but if one more pundit slags off my team…’


I am a lover not a fighter, but if one more pundit slags off Arsenal…

Ok so hey,I think it’s time I actually introduced myself, I’m James, a Leeds lad brought up around the blood and thunder football of Leeds United, I was taught many things growing up in Yorkshire, mostly to despise Manchester United and that the media are a load of fickle, agenda pushers.

They say you do not pick a football team, it chooses you and it is definitely correct in my case, as I have always had a chip on my shoulder with authority or at least the ignorant majority. Therefore, when I was in my teens although still being willing to go engage in fisticuffs for Leeds United, I focused a lot of my football time on Arsenal. Both teams have in common they despise Man United but also that the media love to bury them at the slightest whiff of controversy at either club, but Arsenal play football the way I believe in, the way the British media still haven’t grasped on a whole yet, it’s this crusade I have ever since picked up my pen for.

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As you can read in my profile, I grew up watching Italian football in an afternoon, it’s like a game of chess over there, all about tactics, all about formations, skill and players like Pirlo, Baggio, Inzaghi, guys you know wouldn’t have stood a chance getting into a team if Tony Pulis was picking it.

Ok so yeah convoluted introductions aside and kind of keeping to topic slightly, I guess Steve (@lordhillwood of Gunners Town) on the fantastic Arsenal podcast “ A Bergkamp Wonderland “ summed up my thoughts about the media this season, with his rant on the Feb 9th 2017. No one could sum up the media bias against Arsenal better than how he did so check that out if you can, but I will add my two cents as well.

Switch off

I have resorted to turning on games just as they kick off, when watching them on the TV to avoid the routine, diatribe that most Arsenal games are accompanied with. Some even say it’s sometimes more entertaining watching me shout and ball at the TV, when “pundits” like Paul Merson or Alan Shearer are spouting their antiquated views on players like Mesut Ozil and Arsenal. . Even people that hold a hero status at Arsenal, like Thierry Henry and Martin Keown, are press ganged into saying some sound bite they can rehash and use over and over again to beat over the heads of the alleged “crisis club” Arsenal.

But for what reason do Arsenal get this torrent of diarrhoea, showered on them by the great football Einstein’s of our media? Are Arsenal in crisis? Are they about to be relegated? Have they sunk into the bottom half of the table like Chelsea did last season? Oh or have they been ran terribly into debt to the state that they are going to administration?

Einsteins of the Media

Well simply the answer to all these questions is no, a crisis for Arsenal is they are struggling to qualify for the Champions League, I’m sure such clubs as Morecambe, Nottingham Forest, Leyton Orient or even Everton would envy such a crisis. When you look at teams like Manchester United or Liverpool who are have been in decline for years, Man U have only been in the top 4 once since Fergie left and Liverpool are yet to win the Premier League since it’s been formed in the early 90’s. Do we hear how it is a crisis at these clubs? Do we hear how the manager needs sacking? No we don’t for the most part it’s swept under the carpet, like this season everyone’s favourite irritant Jose Mourinho has spent £160 million on a team that had already had £300 million spent on it in the past two seasons. What has the darling of the media achieved with this team? Well actually, they are currently sixth in the league and pinning all their hopes on winning the Europa league, which they scraped into the final last night against minnows Celta Vigo. Sure Man United won the league cup but no one cares about that to be honest, so does Mourinho get people questioning his position? No, despite the fact that he has a worse win ratio than David Moyes did during his tenure.

Mloyed own m ore games as United boss than Jose – Who knew?

Yet here we have Arsenal letting people get away with throwing all the dirt they like at us, just because it’s not part of the old boys club. When all the British hoof ball brigade pundits are going out for drinks, with Harry Redknapp, Arsenal have always kept away from that, kept different, classier to its cost apparently.

I again completely agree with what Steve from “A Bergkamp Wonderland“ podcast says that, Arsenal need to be tough, go on the offensive and say they are not going to allow this kind of unjustified behaviour to continue. Yes, Arsene Wenger needs to be held accountable for the clubs perceived lack of League titles in recent years but does it by no means need or warrant the furore that it has been compared to the aforementioned Liverpool for instance.

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10 Responses to Anti Arsenal Media Agenda Beyond Ridiculous – ‘I am a lover not a fighter, but if one more pundit slags off my team…’

  1. Deji Obe May 13, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    Luv U James#COYG

  2. JackFact May 13, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    The media bias against Arsenal kicked in when the xenophobia against Wenger started the moment the trophies stopped. And make no mistake, it was pure xenophobia (not racism). The most outspoken managers against Wenger have always been English/British – Pulis, Allardyce, O’Neill, Phil Brown, Redknapp et al. And the No.1 reason for this was that Wenger arrived in England and made every English manager look like a dinosaur – which those individuals still are!

    Constant negative press is absorbed and regurgitated by brainless pundits and unfortunately brainless fans who genuinely believe their ‘opinions’ are their own and not brainwashed into them by the bludgeoning repetition of hearing them – a bit like if you play a song enough times you know all the lyrics and sing along to it.

    But Arsenal are the biggest click-bait in the UK. You only need to see the success of ArsenalFan TV and then read the comments to see the majority of viewers aren’t even Arsenal fans. Negativity about Arsenal has huge market appeal and spawned imbeciles like Adrian Durham who LIES about Arsenal to make his idiotic points, and ex-players desperately trying to climb the media ladder.

    Paul Merson is a Chelsea fan. His comments about Arsenal – and Wenger – are scandalous.
    Ian Wright teeters on truth and wanting to follow the lying herd.
    The bitter tears of Stewart Robson are laughable. His hatred of Arsenal stems from the simple reason that he was sacked twice by the club – once as a player, and then as a journalist on ArsenalTV, for the simple reason in both cases that he was not good enough!

    And then you have vile hatred coming at Wenger from the likes of Mourinho – a parasite on the game. and his hatred comes from one gnawing fact that will always eat away at him. Wenger is a great. As is Guardiola. As is Fergusson. And the reason they greats is because when these mangers win – they win with style. Mourinho never wins with style. He wins with turgid, negative football and will never be a great, and it kills him that Wenger plays the beautiful game and everyone always says so, but no-one ever gives Mourinho that praise.

    • Me May 13, 2017 at 11:37 am #

      Aside from the idiot that is Jose Mourinho and the bitter rantings of Stewart Robson I don’t believe there is Xenophobia against Wenger.
      Arsenal’s performances have been woeful for a long time – lacking the fight to win big games, letting their heads drop when they are losing and seldom showing up for the big matches.
      That criticism is justified and acceptable – you play well you get the plaudits. You play poorly you get the criticism.
      That is life.
      Its time Arsenal and its fans started taking responsibility for the performance of the team. If there had been no criticism it is my guess that the poor performances would have continued…

  3. DB10 May 13, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    We all know that the deluge of toxic abuse towards us will never cease – not really sure why. It seems that if you are an underachieving club that hasn’t won the league for 56 years, or 22 years etc that you will be lauded over and loved by the masses.

    Sadly, for Arsenal it seems that every single ‘expert’ has the right to say what they want and be how rude/disrespectful they wish. What galls me the most is when ex players turn on the club. Merson, Smith, Dixon and sadly even Wrighty have all jumped on the hate wagon. Well what I say is f**k ’em all. They are out of touch and are just scoring points trying to be popular.

    I too – like you gave up many years ago with pre-match show, as they just spend an hour ripping us apart. Not to mention that almost any other televised game shown, the commentary team will always have a negative linked to Arsenal – even games abroad!

    • MarblehallsTV May 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

      I don’t agree. Spurs were shit 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. Liverpool have been poor over10 years. No other team fucks up like we do. Every season, we look good,, and then bottle it in the critical moments.

      Also, we have no issues financially, and are relatively well-run in the grand scheme of things. Liverpool had bad financial problems in 2010, Spurs are only now building a strong financial base.

      What’s more is that the points the pundits make are the exact ones made on any top Arsenal podcast, blog, or fan channel. We DO bottle it. We DO under-achieve.

      I honestly believe that some of us as fans are pretty sensitive. We need to set back and see the criticism more objectively.

  4. Me May 13, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    They pan them because of the simple fact that Arsenal are pants.
    There is no getting around the fact that Arsenal are slipping further and further away.
    What do you expect people to say about that?
    Do you expect them to praise it?
    If Arsenal are playing excellent football and winning big games they praise them – and have done so on dozens of occasions.
    If you sit back and say nothing – if you don’t protest or pan them on the media then the rot continues because unambitious Arsenal figures like Wenger, Gazidis and Kroenke will believe it is acceptable.
    Arsenal deserved to the panned.
    And it needs to continue until the changes that are required are made..

    • Reply to 'Me' May 13, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

      But that;s not true that they get panned simply for being ‘pants’. What praise did Arsenal get for winning 2 FA Cups in the last 3 seasons? If anything they were ridiculed for celebrating. An example of that is how Arsenal are always singled out & attacked for taking selfies after games. EVERY club does that but do you ever hear criticism or exposure of those photos of other teams players? Look at the constant mocking of finishing top 4, the same top 4 that Mourinho will be praised for achieving this season despite spending £160m to do so and currently sitting 6th. We are always told Arsenal finish 4th every year, yet the truth is Wenger has finished 1st or 2nd more times than he has finished 4th.
      It’s not about not getting criticism, absolutely needed when deserved, but when the club achieves certain goals that the likes of United, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool have not achieved in recent seasons like constant qualification for the Champions League, FA Cup wins etc and then they still get criticised more than those that haven’t even achieved that, something is definitely wrong.

  5. Simeon Low May 13, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    Spot on!
    The problem for me with the media abuse towards Arsenal has always been that it moulds opinions of fans but worse the authorities. How many challenges have we seen this season that were far worse than either of Xhaka’s red cards with at best a yellow given? (Rojo alone has at least 4 examples) For years we were derided for being ‘soft’ (read: dirty) yet any change to bring in more aggressive players (Xhaka, Gabriel etc.) they are immediately labelled dirty and liabilities. It harks back Ian Wright’s time when the Highbury faithful used to joke that he only had to say hello to the ref to pick up his yellow for the game, yet Shearer (statistically the dirtiest player in the EPL in a number of seasons) was a ‘strong and intelligent’ striker who barely saw a card. My view has always been that the Invincibles season embarrassed the FA (unbeaten seasons only happen in dead leagues – Italy, Germany and Scotland). AW proved so good that he cold achieve it in the middle of SAF’s lauded tenure. The following season our 50th game at Old Trafford was roundly celebrated in the media, ignoring the appalling challenges and the clear cheating of the future England captain to turn the game. Of course these views make you a ‘bad loser’, as does pointing out that the Spuds ‘success’ this year relied heavily on rotational fouling which, if properly officiated on, would have led to a record number of red cards and a series of dropped points. Remember though, they carry the mantle of England’s future and are therefore untouchable (The last Euros showed exactly why they should not be considered that at all). I challenge any football fan to watch an EPL game and note who the ref calls by his first name (all England internationals and any big name signings of big 4/6 teams I’ll wager) and see how they are treated far more leniently than others.
    Starting to get a nose bleed on my soapbox, tea time I think.

  6. marblehallstv (@Marblehalls_TV) May 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    i don’t believe there is an agenda. I think most criticism is pretty sound, and things we fans say of our own club.

    Rodgers was under serious fire before he got sacked. As were Dalglish, Hodgson, Benitez, and Houllier. Moyes was under pressure, van Gaal got sacked for dull football and little progression. They all got their fair share.

    I think for Arsenal, well Wenger has been here for literally decades. And over the past seven/eight years, we have shown the same frailties. I think because we have seen major/stellar success in PL history, more is expected of us. Fans who bemoan the media for Spurs not winning anything in nine years miss the point. Spurs only NOW are a decent team. For much of PL history, they were average. So why expect more of them, compared to us, who has won multiple FA Cups, two Doubles, and league title win without losing a game. Also achieved with a striker who still stands as the all-time PL Golden Boot winner? In life imho, more is expected of those with more power, it’s Spider-Man-esque in a way.

    ESPNFC, Sky, Bein Sports, BT Sport, or the top journos, all say things that are spot on. And I don’t believe there is a bias. No other top six team performs as we do literally every season.

  7. Victor Thompson September 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    James, Arsenal supporters pay the highest price in the world of sport for their tickets. Are they watching world class football – patently not.

    When Wenger supporters list the achievements AW has provided he has received full credit for it from fans and pundits alike. Those achievements are one of the reasons why our supporters should not be ranked with Spurs, Everton or even Man City. They have all been smaller clubs than us and until the money from Qatar and Russia arrived, they were all guaranteed 6 pointers for us every year. We expected that because it happened every year. Liverpool are our equals because they have a solid history including 7 European Cups , but they haven`t won anything worthwhile for many years whereas Wenger has been here for 21 years, it has been a regular game of musical chairs for all the rest.

    I for one, had supported Arsenal for almost 20 years before Wenger arrived and no one expected their team to win championships every year. With the advent of TV,the clubs which featured most were Arsenal, Leeds, Liverpool and Utd. Their fans more or less expected their teams to be in the running each year and we were reasonably content with our lot. That all changed with Sky. The matches were more numerous, reportage of games was more intense and the exposure to all the big continental clubs as well changed the whole outlook on football.

    AW arrived at the perfect time. We had David Dein who was a fanatic at Arsenal and who was responsible for signing him. The rest is history. The media were in awe of him and he was dubbed “Le Professeur” by the press. We had a powerful defence and supremely talented players arrived. We had a heady mix of big athletic players and magical ball players. The trophies arrived culminating in “The Invincibles”. Our annual battles with Leeds morphed into those with Man Utd. and the football we played had never been seen from a British Team.

    Life for Gooners was very pleasant indeed and our appeal to fans and media alike expanded. Sky showed more Arsenal matches than any other, because neutrals preferred to watch them as they delighted them with their fast flowing football. Alas since 2004 that style of football has steadily declined. The Wenger inspired decision to move to a new stadium restricted our outlays on players and we entered a period of austerity ( a word the whole country has got used to ). Nevertheless, we managed to qualify for the top 4 every year and we still had international football without ever looking like winning it.

    The years went by and Wenger was unable to compete with City, Utd. or Chelsea in the transfer market and we understood that, but mistakes in signing dud players and a mediocre brand of football emerged. we kept getting to the top 2 in the league by Xmas and Wenger repeatedly told us we had a team capable of winning the league. That the squad of players we had were committed, dedicated, strong of spirit etc. Alas , our hopes were dashed every year come February and we were out of the running by March.

    Then we were told that the stadium had been paid and we were ready to compete with the elite teams. We were no longer a selling team, a nursery for Man City or Man Utd. but still we see our best players go to all 4 of City, United, Chelsea and now, Liverpool. Meanwhile we have managed to win 3 FA cups which are now regarded as minor trophies and all the while, the ticket prices have been going up and up.

    When we see how much the income from SKY and BT, along with the ticket revenue and commercial contacts is, yet we seem to be struggling in the transfer market every year. We are always panicking on the last day and we have to pay over the odds for B class players ( Ozil and Sanchez excluded ). During these years we have had to swallow horrendous results against all of the above teams and also Barcelona, Bayern and Real Madrid.

    Wenger`s magic has long since disappeared. He has been overtaken by sharper more tactically aware and more ruthless managers than him. He is tactically incapable of matching them and he doesn`t appear to have any discernable coaching ability. He makes the most monumental selection mistakes of which the latest 4-0 drubbing from Liverpool was a classic but it is not his fault. The dissident fans who don`t understand the game are the cause of the poor performances because they show their discontent at the game and in the media. Well seriously, the rapture with which he was followed has long since gone. We are kept in the dark of what the true financial position is with the club because we can`t get the big signings and now none of them want to come to Arsenal.

    When we read the papers and watch the TV, it appears that Kroenke may well be funding the development of his new Los Angeles NFL venture from the profits he makes at Arsenal. £3 Billion, I believe and he has disregarded the existing fans who don`t live in Los Angeles and who were opposed to the move. In other words he has complete contempt for them and obviously it is the same with Gooners.

    You may say that Kroenke, not Wenger is to blame, but the fact is that Wenger is in charge of every detail of Arsenal FC. The signing and firing, the coaching and the PR. He says he stayed so long at Arsenal because he loves the club. What part of it does he love? The training, the team selection, the acquisition of players, or the fans? Graham Perry whom I really respect, is like you James. He says that he is not a shareholder or a member of the board. His ticket does not give him any right to be involved in the workings of the club or to take part in the acquisition of players. He is a dedicated supporter of the club and the team and he is content to follow Arsenal and Arsene Wenger whatever the outcome. Apart from discussing the club with other fans he accepts that all it gets him is the right to sit at the Emirates for the duration of the match.

    If that is the reality for Gooners, then I am afraid that that is where we part company. The fans were here when the team played at Woolwich and they were there when they moved to Highbury. They were there during the WW2 and they are there now that we have moved to The Emirates. Arsenal has evolved from the Woolwich team to a World Class club which we were in 2004 thanks mainly to Wenger. The fans will be here when Wenger and Kroenke are gone.

    If he had left in 2005 and another manager had taken his place, anything he might have achieved would have been gained by building on the foundation Wenger created. There was no appetite for Wenger to go at that time and all of the fans would have been devastated if he had. Unfortunately, it all went downhill after then and although the fans were patient, the patience was unrewarded. It began to wear thin when our best players left and we were rightly being ridiculed by the pundits. “The top in December-gone in February” mantra became an annual event. Wenger has presided over a constant decline. He moans regularly about a lack of consistency but in fact the team has been a model of consistency for 10 years. The lack of skill, commitment, spirit, determination etc. which he annually tells us they have, has been non-existent when it mattered and entirely also consistent.

    I accept that supporters like Graham and James are absolutely entitled to support the club and the team as they see fit, but it is patently not fair to lay the blame of the division within the club at the door of those who want Wenger out. Your support is taken for granted By Kroenke and the Board so it matters not what side of the fence you sit on as far as they are concerned. In reality, your support has no more value than any dissenters is. As an illustration, it is a common situation to see the attendance figure as 60,000 when there are huge spaces in the stands. You know because that is how many season ticket holders there are and are deemed to have attended the match. What price your loyalty?

    I am sorry that this comment has been so long, but to any Arsenal supporter the issue of blame is now one of the most poisonous ingredients in the current situation and I think it is important that you understand why people like me take the time to try to explain why we feel as we do without being abusive or insulting.

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