Untold Arsenal was set up by Tony Attwood in February 2008 as a mechanism for countering the eternally negative comments of other bloggers. The message on the home page “supporting the Lord Wenger in all he does” has never changed, and will not change as long as Mr Wenger is in charge.
Untold does not try to be balanced – we are a pro-Wenger site. When the site was set up in 2008 this was done because I felt that the majority of Arsenal sites were biased against Wenger, and I wanted to have an antidote. My view was, and has always been, if you have an anti-Wengarian comment or attitude, there are a 1000 blogs and virtually all the newspaper sites to post it on. This site is for pro-Wengerians. I don’t try to convert you, because I suspect that is not possible, I just want to have a space for the pro-Wenger lobby.
When I started out in 2008, I imagined I might get maybe 500 hits a month if I was lucky. At the last count we had 500,000. I am overwhelmed by this – and I am sure that the majority value this site as a pro-Wenger site. Which is why I don’t want to lose site of the original position.
Many anti-Wenger writers do say, “have the courage to allow free debate” – and to a degree I do, and when I do block comments I try to explain why.
But in November 2010 something happened that changed my view a lot. We published a beautiful article on the pain caused through the loss to Tottenham at home that month. Shortly after a correspondent wrote in with a set of anti-Wenger comments that had nothing to do with the article, and were utterly disrespectful to the writer who had spent so much energy and time crafting his piece.
A lot of people piled in and started answering this anti-Wengerian, and the original piece was lost. It was only later I discovered that this person was someone I had already banned for plagiarism, posting under multiple names and abusing other writers. I determined to change my stance from that point on.
So coming on here and being anti-Wenger is not very productive. However unlike many anti-Wenger sites, I don’t automatically reject (and certainly never ever change) comments that don’t fit with my view. But I do make some requests.
This is hardly an intellectual site, but we do engage in a certain amount of logical argument, and if you are arguing against us, I do expect a clear amount of logic. Just saying that a certain player is a tosser and if you can’t see that you are an idiot is not a logical argument.
I also believe strongly that much of the problem with current debate stems from the fact that it is based around the last match or the last two matches. With this in mind I have written a piece about what happened during the first double season of Wenger. I would urge you to have a look if you have not seen it – not because it is a brilliant piece of writing (clearly not) but because it sets out the basic parameters of the thinking behind this site.
At the time of making this change of policy Arsenal were 2 points behind the leaders and with a decent chance of getting into the knock out stages of the Champs League. Yet many people wrote in saying this is atrocious, everything is useless, Wenger must go. If you wanted to make such an argument you would need to add context.
Yes we do publish anti-Wenger pieces but they need to be arguments, not just statements of opinion. We want some facts, not just the restatement that the goalkeeper was no good and because Wenger has not replaced him, Wenger is clearly no good as a manager. That is not a logical proposition, it is a statement of personal view.
If you fancy writing a comment for the first time, please note that your first comment will be held in moderation until we get back from the pub. Also, if you comment appears to be copied from another site, has nothing to do with the original article, is abusive against another writer personally (as opposed to joining in the debate with reasoned points), comes from an invalid email address, or comes from a computer which appears to be used by one person under different names, we might well not publish it. Dictatorial yes, but some of us are trying to have a bit of a chat here, and those are the tactics used by others (probably supporters of other clubs, but you never know) who seek to disrupt our fun.
If none of this makes any sense to you, think of us as a bunch of nerdy stamp collectors. We want to talk about stamp collecting. There really isn’t much point coming on the site and telling us that stamp collecting is a waste of time.
(And no, I don’t collect stamps)
Tony Attwood, founder and editor.