Arsenal on Twitter: Twisted and Bitter – time for change

Angry Twitter


This comes from my heart, Gooners: Arsenal Twitter deserves to be shut down.

Some of you might have noticed that I’ve been really quiet and didn’t write anything for some time, as well as not interacting much – if at all – on social media; I’m not protesting, boycotting or anything like that, I’m just sick of reading the same stuff after each game we play.

Arsenal Twitter is – in its majority – an embarrassment: its deep arrogance, ignorance, aggressiveness and never-ending race to collect as many likes/retweets as possible with the most-extreme opinions (and vocabulary) and flamboyant headlines – regardless of its connection with the content of the related blog or article – simply is nauseating.

Its logic is totally demential as every loss is a catastrophe and every win is just normal, there’s no way out of this idiotic binary path: every time we lose a game, thousands of self-centred supporters are quick to vomit their views on Twitter and yell to all the “morons” out there who can’t pass, can’t run, can’t finish, can’t tackle, can’t defend, can’t do tactics, can’t pick the team etc. etc.

I’m fully aware I’m using a very crude lexicon but the feeling I have is that too many people are simply throwing words out of their mouths – not expressing opinions.

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Before, during and after the game, an insane amount of people around the world are constantly live-commenting the game in a very toxic way, expressing opinions about everything going on both on and off the pitch; I’m not referring to those who are attending the game – home or away – because Arsenal Twitter and the real world are two incompatible universes: no human being would ever be allowed to uninterruptedly comment anything happening on the turf, firstly because he or she’d be too busy watching and “living” the game and secondly because the person next to him/her would go nuts – yet, it happens all the time on Twitter.

Every pass, every movement, every reaction is dissected and commented in the space of minutes – sometimes seconds – in a very superficial way, but its conclusion often is incontestable.
Opinions require the thinking-time that you don’t have when you frantically type on your smartphone or on your keyboard – hence people often skip the thinking process and go straight to the abuse.

A large majority of people simply throw-up words.

That’s the conclusion I’ve came to in the past two weeks, when I set myself on read-only mode.

If you take the time to read the threads of some highly-popular Twitter accounts related to the Arsenal and you don’t check the actual results and table, you might think that the Gunners have been constantly involved in the relegation battle and none of our players is worth the shirt.

The manager should go, the board should go, some of the best players on the planet should go and no-one of the players currently playing for the Arsenal deserves a starting place.

Whatever happens in the Arsenal universe, you will find one egocentric donkey claiming that it’s “utterly bollocks” or “a f*cking disgrace.”

AFTV - a logical extension of bitter twitter

AFTV – a logical extension of bitter twitter

Is it a coincidence that Arsenal Fan TV is such a huge success, or that online newspapers always come up with controversial headlines about the Arsenal? We are the most over-reacting, easy-to-fool set of football fans in England – or maybe in the world.

It looks like a vast majority of Arsenal supporters are only waiting for the next slip to discharge their anger and hatred towards the Club they claim to love; I know, supporters are entitled the right to protest and make their voices heard, when things are not working – because they ultimately are the ones that finance the whole footballing circus, but the disproportion between our actual results and the toxicity that circles around the Club is appalling.

I’ve seen tons of dissatisfied supporters in my life, thousands of unhappy people booing at the stadium and protesting outside of it – and moaning on their way home – but the sounding board of their voices is simply too large, today.

Supporters are giving away their credibility and integrity in search of the famous “fifteen-minutes of celebrity” foretold by American photographer Nat Finkelstein over fifty-years ago – and the worst part of it is that IT WORKS!

Arsenal Twitter is a place where you can change your mind every other day and still be considered as coherent; it is a place where you can steal other people’s most-popular opinions and pretend they’re yours; it’s a place where you can delete your opinions when facts turn against you and ultimately is a place where the most important thing is to be the first to say something – anything.

There still are a handful of very popular and also very insightful accounts out there, who promote healthy debates and don’t fall for the easy clicks, but they are a minority, today.

Elaborating and sharing proper opinions demands a lot of time and energy, a high-level commitment and usually pays dividends on a very-long term – which naturally proves too much to handle for attention-seekers and fame-chasing users.

The above has become the normal behaviour and there’s no sign things will change anytime soon; we can’t keep hiding behind the “they are a minority” excuse because they are not – we are.
The polite, thoughtful supporters are as frustrated as you are, believe that a change of manager is needed as much as you do and can’t go along with an owner who seems not to care a bit about the Club, exactly like you, but end up in the same blend of petulant people like you.

Twitter Kills

Arsenal fans on Twitter currently are the laughing stock of English football and the ideal target for any media outlet that wishes to attract easy click; we have an army of keyboard warriors always ready to pollute every piece of news with spiteful comments, often unrelated to its content; we managed to create the infamous WOB and AKB groups and make sure that no independent thinking is tolerated: give credit to the manager and you’re an AKB; criticize the manager about anything and you automatically are a WOB – regardless of the context.

Like many of you who put their opinions on paper and share them on social media, I came across some weirdos, whose contribution to the debate was to tell me that one of my blogs was “hot air” while admitting that he didn’t read it, just “quickly went through it”.
It happened to me and to many others, because this is Arsenal Twitter today.

This is why Arsenal Twitter deserves to be shut down.

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8 Responses to Arsenal on Twitter: Twisted and Bitter – time for change

  1. NuttnTiddy November 1, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    Well Said.

    • AndreaR November 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

      Thank you

  2. Victor Thompson November 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    “The manager should go, the board should go, some of the best players on the planet should go and no-one of the players currently playing for the Arsenal deserves a starting place”.

    Andrea , this is a copy and Paste reprise of one of your paragraphs.

    Taking this as an example of the extreme right of the spectrum of the tweets you refer to, despite your expressed distaste, it is a condensed example of the more polite criticisms which are apparently part of the soup of tweets comprised of the polite or radically impolite opinions of fans. I have had extremely abusive comments, most of whom are made by semi-illiterate people because I have on the one hand, praised a particular performance by the team as a whole, or an individual player, or conversely, I have given a reasonable and logical critique of the team, the Manager and the Board. My most severe criticism has been directed at Kroenke.

    Most of my correspondence is on “Gunners Town” which I believe that you consider to be moderate, as you do contribute to it.

    I have recently read the accounts posted by a number of people, who recorded the content of the EGM at which 140 shareholders and fans voted to remove Lord Chip, Gazidis and Kroenke`s son. The original vote taken with a hand count was refused and a second vote by means of ballot papers brought about the same result. Kroenke immediately reversed the fans vote by committing his overwhelming rights to vote against the resolution and that was the end of the fans revolt ( and incidentally any future contrary vote ).

    So; we who are disillusioned by the manager, the CEO, The owner and also of the direction the club is taking, which is remorselessly downwards, are ruthlessly put down. The dissatisfaction is aggravated by the constant misinformation and misrepresentation we are told by Gazidis and Wenger, that the team is ready to challenge for the top trophies and to compete with the top 4 in the Premiership.

    All legitimate means to present our dissatisfaction are ignored and even polite and measured points of view on sites like Gunners Town are disrgarded by Wenger who stated himself, that he never listens to the fans` opinions.

    You say more fans of Arsenal than any other club resort to public media sites to vent their disappointment. Clearly if that is the case, do you think it would still be, if we were looking upwards and onwards most seasons instead of hoping we would see promising starts to the season, only to see a collapse from November to February? To see the transfer windows being mostly wasted and mis-management of our transfer policies?

    The empirical evidence of which you mention in the public media are clearly a symptom of a malaise which has been affecting the club for 13 years and has seen its status decline inexorably from a top 4 club to a top 6. A club which is now in the Europa League instead of the Championship.

    I would be grateful if you would suggest a remedy to the current decline or alternatively, a means by which the Board would cease issuing dishonest statements to describe the condition of the Club since Kroenke took over.

    Arsene Wenger himself in his recent statement at the AGM ironically failed to see the irony in saying that in his actions for the club he is acutely aware of the history and the status of Arsenal FC, which he sees as the keystone of his actions. How can that sit with his failure to strengthen the club; by better class signings, or by proper coaching to eradicate defensive catastrophes. Admittedly he has improved the defending by belatedly adopting the three CBs which he is now using.

    In summary, we have to accept that Arsenal FC is now Arsenal PLC and that Kroenke has an iron grip on the Club and its policies. Perhaps it is futile to protest but whichever side of the fence you are on, we all share the position, that it is not on the table to walk away. “Once a Gooner, always a Gooner”. I don`t condone abuse and I regret that the loyal fans are now divided, but it is some small comfort to know that many other Gooners share my feelings. I actually enjoy debating with articulate writers like yourself but I
    think that if our Tweets were closed, then what little democracy there remains at Arsenal FC will be all but extinguished. The effect would be that sites comprised of only toxic opinions will be found on alternative sites.

  3. AndreaR November 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Victor, it feels awkward to do so but I will quote myself here:

    “supporters are entitled the right to protest and make their voices heard, when things are not working – because they ultimately are the ones that finance the whole footballing circus”

    So the point isn’t whether we should protest or not, the point is how necessary it is to use a vulgare, hateful and violent vocabulary in doing so.
    The point isn’t about suggesting a remedy to make us a dominant force in English football, otherwise I’d be preparing the team to face Red Star instead of typing this reply.

    There are numerous incorrect things in the way you report the behavior of Arsenal board at the latest AGM, in particular when you say that Ivan Gazidis was submitted to a vote to be ousted from the board – as it never happened.
    Also, while it is true that both Josh Kroenke and Sir Chips Keswick’s re-election was pushed through by the “weight” of Arsenal board – not only Silent Stan – it is not the coup that you’re presenting.

    There’s a majority shareholder and there’s a board, whose influence on such formal meetings HAS to be different from shareholders whose participation in the Club is very limited.
    You sound very far from being an idealist, I shouldn’t tell you that not every vote counts one in such circumnstances – it’s the same in politics and many other associations, corporates and companies.

    What the “minor” shareholders have done during the AGM is nothing short of heroism and the most powerful way to let the board understand the frustration and disenchantement currently surrounding the Club.
    Although completely futile and without any ambition to change the current status quo, they insisted on voting against the re-election of two members of the board who already had 97% of the votes.
    It only delayed the re-election but surely caused irritation and some embarassement within the board, especially as the press was there.

    This is the proper way to change things, instead of wishing death to this or that and call everyone a c*nt or something similar.

  4. Victor Thompson November 3, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Thank you for taking the time to rely so comprehensively Andrea. It appears from your account that you were actually at the AGM or had first hand information given to you, so I bow to your better knowledge of what went on. The gist of what I said was still fairly accurate, in that the will of the fans was trumped by Kroenk`e s superior influence.

    As I have said, I do not condone any unnecessary vulgarity and I deplore the kind of abuse a certain section of fans habitually use. We are as one on that. My main point was to disagree with your wish to close down twitter to prevent it. I am among the “Arsene” out brigade, but I am light years away from some of the master minds we see on Arsenal Fan Radio. I value Gunners Town which allows me to present my opinion in a logical and reasonable way. I find it therapeutic to be able to sit in front of a PC and compose something literal which I hope like minded fans will appreciate, and even if someone like you finds it worth considering and responding to, then it is better to do that than close my avenue to such reasonable dialogue.

    • AndreaR November 3, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

      You’re welcome, Victor.
      You are one of those fans I often disagree with, but also one of those reasonable people you can discuss with.

      Unfortunately you, I, and hundreds of other moderate supporters are a minority among the millions of Arsenal fans whose hatred is polluting the platform.

      When I first joined Twitter, the most popular hashtage related to the Arsenal was #Goonerfamily, a very inclusive and positive hashtag.
      Today, the most popular are #WOB #Wengerout #AKB #Arseneknows – which are all divisive and underline the polarisation of our online fanbase.
      You can disagree and be mad at the board, the manager, a player or the whole team but there are limits to the way one is allowed to vent his discontent.

      Incitation to violence, death, terminal diseases and similare are way beyond those limits – yet Twitter is doing nothing about it – nor are the reasonable supporters.

  5. Graham Perry November 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    Dear Andrea

    First a comment on your position and then a comment on Victor T
    Just so you know where I am coming from I am on the pro-Wenger side.
    I like him, admire him, do not think he is a fraud or a cheat as some others do – using their words.
    I have frustrations and reservations re Wenger but could never bring myself to criticise him in the style and language of some of his detractors.
    I have also distinguished between the Wenger Haters and the Wenger Antis.
    The first category are the worst – gen freedom by twitter they engage in rank hate – each tweet outdoing the previous tweet in bile and acrimony. For me this Haters Group are off the radar.
    The Antis contain people some of whom are fair and reasonable and some who aren’t but those who aren’t never descend into hate. They are frustrated by our failure to challenge for the title and want Wenger to go. That is not an unreasonable point of view to have – provided it is expressed without personal rancour and vitriol. I have no problem with the Antis.
    The Haters are a quite different bunch and if it was possible to set them adrift in the ocean with a sextant to enable them to find a place of eventual safety I would be content.
    Victor Thompson – with whom I disagree is one of the people with whom it is perfectly possible too have an exchange of views – Kevin Whitcher is another.
    Thanks again for your article

    Graham of Arsenal Circular

  6. AndreaR November 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    Thanks for your comment, Graham.
    Being anti-something or someone isn’t a problem per se. As you wrote, the real issue is being hateful towards something or someone.

    You, Victor, myself and many others are people who enjoy an healthy debate, no matters how much we disagree. Unfortunately the majority out there is only chasing fame through exaggerated, extreme opinions and violent behavior.

    We can resist, be patient and keep behaving reasonably but it’s getting more and more difficult – at least for me.
    I hope you’re stronger than me!

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