One from Adam this morning.
The International break brought some much-needed respite for Arsenal fans. The desperate zero point, zero goal start, the transfer window, the pressure on Mikel, the pantomime villains Stan and Josh, the Edu interview and last but not least, the rather odd yet intriguing rumour that Antonio Conte is sitting by the phone somewhere in Italy with his bags packed just waiting for the call. I wonder who started that one?
It’s been like a 3rd rate soap opera.
But the pause has been a breather and perhaps a chance to take a look around the wider Arsenal world and consider just what is happening off camera.
Personally I have no time for social media. If used intelligently I can see that it has its place, but are the numerous Arsenal websites, like this Highbury House, part of it? Are the ever-increasing number of YouTube channels devoted to the club really anything more than a few people trying to make some money off its back, or is there perhaps something deeper going on here? Then there’s the absurdity of Facebook or Twitter. If that’s the centre of your information diet then I promise that you will never go hungry again. I prefer to starve myself of that particular tyranny.
I ask this because, as I am sure hasn’t escaped your notice, the noises, indeed the cacophony away from the club is far, far louder than those on the pitch these days.
I have seen many YouTube commentators exorcise their own personal demons by spilling a torrent of hatred and general unpleasantness that I imagine could be a lot more to do with their own lives and desperation to be somehow relevant than any balanced and dare I say considered view of the club. Far from being remotely retrospective in their opinions, these people have elevated themselves to soothsayers and prophets, usually of doom. Their mantra is simple and it actually has very little to do with Arsenal. They are in the business of taking a mundane intellectual stance and issuing predictions as to what we will see or have seen. What team should have been played as opposed to that which was played. Who should have joined the club rather then who did join the club. Don’t get me started on shapes and tactics.. please.
Ok, I get it. It’s the old Mystic Meg prophecy shtick. So, after setting themselves up for the inevitable failure they will then defend a losing position by twisting and turning the facts and wrestling with their furious inner demons by adding that of course, they always hoped that this or that ‘might’ happen. Their anger has an upside of course. It earns them money. What a great deal for them! They are disappointed with the inescapable fact that the rest of the world has somehow failed to realise their brilliance so they’ve hitched their wagon to Arsenal and channelled their resentment through the club, the owners, the manager, the Director Of Football, the stadium. You name it, they hate it but won’t turn down the chance to monetise it.
They always know better and they have the platform to let you know about it. Safe and totally secure that they will never be in a position to have to back their ideas in anything other than the virtual world they live in, they will I think always be with us, dragging themselves along by grimly hanging onto the coat tails of a club that they, in no way represent. They just shout louder and get angrier. They are Arsenal’s shock-jocks. For them the opening 3 losses are like a delicious bowl of pasta because they predicted it and they devour it with relish. Perhaps a big club failing is always more interesting than a financially-doped club winning. You just need to present your Arteta Out card at the door. But, it is a free country and all views are um.. welcome? As long as you activate the button of endorsement.
What is evident is that there isn’t enough news and I use the word loosely, coming out of the club to make a daily YouTube channel except in the most tedious and scrappy way imaginable. The next best way to ensure that the like buttons are ‘smashed’ (never clicked) with regularity and that the money continues to dribble in to ensure an endless supply of baseball caps and beard grooming products.
What about the sites that appear when you open the most prominent Arsenal news outlets on the net?
News? – “Newly received, or noteworthy information, especially about recent events”.
You may notice that there is no mention of the word fabrication or made-up rumour within that definition. Who among us haven’t reluctantly pushed the link that might read something like “New Arsenal Manager To Be Announced” only to read the words “According to reports on (yet another click-bait site)…blah, blah,blah? What a bundle of utter shite! Yet, they get the hit. They know it’s rubbish. We know it’s rubbish. It certainly isn’t news and in some perverse way these sites have no issue with deliberately misleading and winding up fans of the club they claim to endorse. These people I imagine see themselves as sports journalists. I don’t see them in that way. Most of them are chancers and some of them, we know the ones, are leeches, sucking the blood from the club and their readers for a few measly pennies while making a name for themselves for being angry men, forever sowing the seeds of discontent based on little or no real information.
Misery loves company and there’s money in it too.
But, should you think I don’t like or frequent any of these sites and channels, that actually isn’t the case. I listen to 3 or possibly 4 of the regular podcasts and I think they are excellent. Arseblog, Arsenal Vision and Handbrake Off are really intelligent, insightful, amusing and respectful too. A deeply held belief or ideas with some reasoning behind it is fine for me whether I agree with it or not. A couple of YouTube discussion channels seem well worth watching as well and some websites like HH have their heart in the right place as a platform for polite discussion but surely everyone could up their game, cut back on the abuse and have a bit more respect for each other and even the club.
Perhaps we just need to be a little more selective and pause for a moment’s thought before pushing that button because, where Arsenal are concerned, negative propaganda is literally everywhere these days which will go on until the club shakes itself out of its torpor.
Personally, I hope it’s soon.