Obviously I encourage comments on my blog, but some of them surprise me. Sometimes I respond in the comments, sometimes I ignore things. Sometimes comments seem so way off the mark I am amazed that anyone could hold these views. Here’s a comment that was left on my last post, Gazidis: Substance or Spin?:
“This article is so full of hyperbole, cheap-shots, half-¨truths¨and the usual regurgitated bollocks that is floating around among the AAA sewer that it beggars belief.
1) Noone has any idea what is available or not since nobody has access to AFC’s finances other than the BoD, Wenger and administratiors, and they’re definitely NOT talking so you may have met everyone at AFC Phil but you don’t know more than any of us about what money is available. SwissRambler has shown AFC’s possible financials but even he admits its all apeculation.
2)All the signs point to lack of ambition? So buying Podolski,Cazorla and Giroud was an exercise in lethargy and defeatism? You really mean your ambition is being ignored by the BoD and Gazidis! Wahhhhhhhhh Phil wants a shiny trophy and will call everyone losers if he doesn’t get one!
3) Arsene gets paid to produce attractive, enjoyable and competitive Football at AFC and to keep us in the top competitions, in the top 4 and maybe win something against all the big spenders. He NEVER ever guarantees a trophy or title since he knows, far more clearly than you AAA whiners, what the process requires. If you are unhappy with the results go find someone to replace him……you’ll be looking for a very long time.
4) Your article is a sad reflection of the tiny minority of so-called Gooners who blame Gazidis, the BoD and Wenger for our oft-repeated ¨trophyless 7 years¨ but who are AAA and anti-Wenger Goons whose principle purpose in life is to denigrate, ridicule and diminish Arsenal and Wenger’s achievements. You are definitely a prime candidate for LeGrove member of the month title….I hear they have a nice pewter trophy for the most vitriolic attacks on all things Arsenal.”
I’ve left that verbatim. The first paragraph tells us nothing other than the author is obviously one of those who cannot stand any criticism of Arsenal or anyone within the Arsenal organisation, no matter what they do or how badly they do it. Whether things are ‘cheap shots’ or not is of course largely a matter of opinion, but some people will say anything that they don’t like the look of is a cheap shot.
Point 1) says that “Noone has any idea what is available . . . nobody has any access to AFC’s finances”, nobody in the club is talking and I don’t know any more than anyone else. Whenever anyone says ‘Noone’ rather than ‘no one’ I’m tempted to make a joke about sixties band Herman’s Hermits (look it up), but that aside it would be most generous to call these statements ‘half-truths’. The fact is that lots of people have a good idea what is available because they study the club’s accounts, which are in the public domain. Everybody has access to a certain level of financial information, and if you’re trained in interpreting it, there’s quite a lot you can learn from a set of accounts. The commenter clearly doesn’t believe this, but that’s his loss.
Then he says that nobody at Arsenal is talking. This is not a half-truth, it’s just wrong. Some of the people in the AST who are cleverer than me are having one of their regular meetings with the club’s finance guys very soon, to talk about – guess what? – the accounts!
Kieron of Swiss Ramble is far cleverer than I, but he doesn’t have the advantage of going to meetings with the club, what with him being several hundred miles away. Nevertheless, he does demonstrate that even without that advantage it is possible to glean quite a lot of information. He does caveat some of his statements, of course, but he is invariably correct with ballpark figures. So actually, quite a lot of people know more than the commenter about Arsenal’s finances, because they have been bothered to look and/or listen.
Point 2 descends into rather childish name-calling, but I am pretty sure I’m not alone in thinking that buying the three players who arrived in the summer and retaining the two first choice players from last season who were sold would have been seen as far more ambitious than, for example, selling the club captain and PL top scorer. Call me old fashioned.
Point 3: while I generally agree with the comment, the person writing it has fallen into the usual trap of those with tunnel-vision and decided that if I criticise ANYTHING about Arsenal that must mean I hate EVERYTHING about Arsenal, which is, to put it bluntly, a load of cock. People criticise their children when it’s appropriate, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love them. Also I believe Arsène did pretty much promise a trophy two or three seasons ago at the start of the season. He hasn’t repeated that since we lost the Carling Cup Final.
Point 4. Oh dear. Where is the evidence that I am one of a tiny minority of Arsenal fans to hold these views? In fact I am one of the reasonable majority, not an extremist ‘sack everyone’ type and not a tunnel-visioned ‘Wenger can do no wrong, the Board can do no wrong, Arsenal can do no wrong’ myopic non-thinker.
Where indeed is the evidence I am anti-Wenger? Is it here? Where is the vitriol in my blog post? It doesn’t exist.
The same commenter followed up with the following, in response to someone telling him he was perhaps a little biased:
“It is very easy to parrot the AAA, anti-Wenger line and make all sorts of spurious claims about what YOU ¨think¨are the motives behind the BoD, Gazidis and Wenger’s perceived strategy. You haven’t a shread of proof…just a firm conviction that you and the other Wenger-hating¨supporters¨ know the ¨ truth¨, regardless of what others say or also firmly believe. However don’t let your lack of facts and your profound ignorance interfere with your prejudice.
Personally, this dialectic does nothing to improve our cherished Club and we have very little influence over the Board,Wenger or Gazidis, we are best to enjoy the great Football we are seeing for the moment until the next opportunity to whine about Arsenal presents itself..”
I am losing the will to continue dissecting, and in any case this is more of the same: basically insults thrown without any justification, never mind hard facts. The conclusion that we can do nothing and should enjoy what we’ve got is fine if you are happy with second best, but if you’re happy with second best that’s all you’ll ever get.
And you’d think someone who uses the word ‘dialectic’ would come up with something better thought out.