Tag Archives: story

Calling out the bias and clickbait with a cup of tea.

Published originally on Goonersphere

Mertesacker leaned his shoulder into his marker and shifted his weight. The corner was ready to be whizzed in, and a goal here in the 93rd minute would surely mean the winner.

The away crowd bubbled in anticipation. The whole game had been nip and tuck but they had been buoyed by the effort their team had put in. Snapping into tackles, running at their opponents. It had only been a combination of the goalkeeper and the woodwork that had stopped them breaking the deadlock.


The fans and the players knew they had deserved all three points. Still, this was Arsenal – when had that ever been a factor in a result?


This match could be different though. A win here would be huge, a real game-changer.


Mesut Ozil looked into the box, and delivered the ball. It arced toward the back post, and Per started to move.


The German’s weight pushed into his marker and it gave him the half yard he needed to jump cleanly. His marker would now be milliseconds behind him.


The ball sailed over the goalkeeper’s grasping hands and Mertesacker knew he was in the right place. His leap was above his attempted captor, and his forehead met the ball in the sweet spot. The ball smacked against his head and careered toward the goal. The goalkeeper trying to get the ball at the first attempt meant he couldn’t stop the ball hitting the back of the net.


It was the winner.


This win proved many people wrong. So many writers, pundits, former players – no-one gave them a hope in hell of winning this game. The build-up to the game was filled with talk of how many the opponent would get, the atrocious away record of Arsenal going to top teams.


This was one of those sweet moments that fans dream of.


Social media fizzed with activity. Memes from social media teams and joyous fans flashed up furiously as they all revelled in upsetting the odds.


One of the journalists was particularly biased in his pre-match assessment. He had picked a combined XI from the two teams, and included precisely zero from the Gunners. It would have attracted a lot of attention if it wasn’t typical fare that Arsenal fans had to deal with.


It attracted a fair amount of attention after the result though.


Arsenal’s social media team were quite prolific in the use of their twitter and facebook accounts. They posted regular, interesting content and they obviously saw a chance – and they took it.


They posted a reply to this journalist’s pessimistic view of Arsenal’s chances with an image designed to simply capture Arsenal’s joy and give an emphatic reply to the doubters.


It was a dog with a grumpy face, in an Arsenal scarf.


Everyone loves a dog image on social media, So it proved, as the retweets and comments went through the roof.


The journalist, quite obviously suffering from an upset stomach after eating too much humble pie, took to Twitter to rally support from his fellow writers. They began a campaign to lambast Arsenal’s social media arm for what was a blatant and uncalled for attack.


The writer complained of death threats and horrible comments after Arsenal’s dog-themed reply. Obviously, a sarcastic reply from the club would prompt such bile. How could the club even think to reply, knowing this would be the result?


The response the next day, was quite something.


The FA got involved on the request of the journalists, who claimed this response was uncalled for and they should be able to write anything without being subjected to a reply. The FA agreed that this needed to be stamped out, and quickly put into place a set of guidelines that each club had to adhere to.


This meant that writers could cobble together articles that had freedom to say literally anything, and clubs needed to follow rules when replying to the writer’s products.


The next match saw a newspaper run with a story that Arsenal have been in the shadow of tottenham since 1961. Arsenal, following the strict procedural rules, replied with a massive thumbs up and a smiling unicorn.


This rule stayed in place, but no other club were subject to the level of attention that Arsenal were. Fans were apoplectic, and directed their furore toward the authors of such defamatory pieces. This led to the FA working alongside social media to stop any direct replies to the writers.


The end game was that writers were given free reign, and got exactly what they wanted, without fear of reprisal.


The end.  







The above is obviously fiction thankfully, but is written in response to the utterly ridiculous set of actions and words that followed Arsenal’s social media team tweeting a picture of Mesut Ozil drinking a cup of tea to a writer. This writer had hashed together such a biased piece on a North London combined XI, that Arsenal saw a perfect riposte when we had won 2-0.


The level of ire from supposedly respected journalists was nothing short of babies crying with nappy rash. These writers have a duty to put together stories and factual content that carries the weight of impartiality. It needs to produce facts and leave the reader free to decide what they think.


Can we honestly say that the majority do this? It all depends on what newspaper you read of course, but the article in question was designed to gather clicks, it was a mass of words connected to a giant fishing rod.


We Gooners produce more response than most – look at any nationwide poll on Sky Sports for evidence of this. This is why there are so many stories, phone-ins and debates on Arsenal – the producers know that it will get high response levels. You always fish where there are biters.


They then react like spoiled kids when they get a response that doesn’t fit their desired demographic. No one is condoning hatred-filled answers, but a well-informed riposte is not hatred, nor is it what the writers want. They want red-faced Gooners, choking on their own froth.


So, it is important that we continue to highlight these biased writers, as they are not fulfilling their duty of impartiality.


They aren’t doing their job, and we need to show that.

The Lonely Walk

Sixty seconds.

In sixty seconds, you could be heralded as a hero, adored by millions. Your face will be etched permanently in memory, your name will be sung like legends in folk songs.

Or you could be forever synonymous with failure. When you are as close as you stand to glory – so bright you cannot comprehend its vision – to sink from this lofty position would result in a fall from grace so swift, you would always carry the mental scars.

You stand in the centre circle.  It is your turn.

Continue reading The Lonely Walk

The Shadow of Our Neighbours

Originally posted on Goonersphere

The boy ran. Carrying his peoples banner, he moved as swiftly as his beating heart would allow him. The message must be given to the General. He had the all-important job of relaying the message that would allow the good people of ‘The Cannon’ to raise defences and arrange an attack.

If he failed – then all would be lost.

The Shadow Dwellers had risen once more.

image

Continue reading The Shadow of Our Neighbours

Arsene Home Alone – Part 2, The Thrilling Conclusion!!!!

Part 1 can be found here.

If these criminals fought their way past the glue bibs, the frozen steps  and what lay in wait for them in the cellar, then they will deserve to get what they came for. It will show tremendous mental strength, thought Arsene. He finished rigging up the trap which lay in wait in the hallway which led to the kitchen – splintered science beakers found in Mathieu Flamini’s locker. Arsene took a second for a moment of pride at his resourcefulness – hewn from season after season of adapting a squad to fill a gap in personnel – and headed for the kitchen.

Meanwhile, the Spurs Bandits – Harry and Micky – had gotten to the stairs of the cellar which led to the upper hallway and nearer their ultimate destination. Unfortunately, the intrepid hero who had attempted to stem their progress thus far had taken to painting these steps with anti-climbing paint. This led to them shedding their footwear and socks on each step, one at a time. Now barefoot, only two steps remained but these were a great struggle as the sticky stuff attempted to tear off the soles of their feet on each point of contact.

They eventually reached the top, bereft of footwear. Harry, sensing his friend was growing frustrated, tried to lighten his mood, in his own inimitable way.

” Spurs Bandits, right Micky? ”

Continue reading Arsene Home Alone – Part 2, The Thrilling Conclusion!!!!

Home Alone – With An Arsenal Twist Part 1.

Posted on Goonersphere

The last of the throaty exhausts spewed its noise past the security bollard which marked the sole entrance and exit to the sprawling London Colney Training ground. One by one, the Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s and  Bentley’s had left the car park until one car remained.

Arsene, still in his training gear but currently adding his usual well padded coat into the mix, walked over to the now departing security guard. Jimmy was new to the staff roll at Colney but Arsene still made the effort to hand him his Christmas card and bonus personally.

image

Jimmy greeted the Arsenal boss with a sheepish look and a curt nod of gratitude. Guilt was now overriding any thought of his impending financial gain. Jimmy took to his waiting cab with a quick look back at the man who had just given him a gift. Arsene was at the main door and as usual, the last person to leave the complex.

It was meant to be a simple transaction and seeing as he was new to the job, he was meant to have no emotional ties to the people who worked there. All he was asked to do by this anonymous person was to leave the alarm codes by the unlocked security desk. Payment was wired promptly to his account and everything was going swimmingly – until he had been handed his ill-deserved bonus by the man who would be hurt deeply by tonight’s nefarious plans.

It’ll be fine, he told himself as the cab snaked its way toward the airport through the holiday traffic and dusting of snow. I can forget about it whilst sunning myself on a beach somewhere halfway across the world.

He knew though, that guilt would be packed in his suitcase.

Continue reading Home Alone – With An Arsenal Twist Part 1.

Unknown History 2 – Thierry Henry

Seeing as Thierry Henry chose the age of social networking to display his fine wares on the football pitch – most will claim to be aware of his story. Truth be told though, little is known of the true origin of perhaps the greatest player to ever don the Cannon jersey.

Until now.

I delved deep with a team of researchers and a Value Multi-Pack of RedBull and we went to work unearthing the past of the man we all call ‘Le King’.

I give you the Unknown History of Thierry Henry.

image

Born in one of the many suburbs of Paris in 1977, his father showed little interest in his birth and presence. His father – Antoine –  was part of a fledgling group who were the flagbearers for the initial ‘Minimalist Earth Lovers’ Party, whose manifesto was to spread love throughout the world, but without actually doing anything. Most of his days were spent at the mouthpiece of a bong and watching Mexican Midget Wrestling. Continue reading Unknown History 2 – Thierry Henry

Colney Expansion Original Plans Shocker

Some stories you have to dig for. Furiously scratch at the undergrowth to reveal the glowing truth. A truth that had been concealed by desperate people willing to resort to skullduggery and nefarious means to secrete the facts. You may get dirty in the process but the public deserve to know. The lengths you must resort to may weigh upon your conscience – but the truth will out.  Other stories literally fall into your lap.  Continue reading Colney Expansion Original Plans Shocker