Thoughts on social media, online abuse and the disrespect shown to Arsenal’s greatest manager

Is Social Media Bad For The Game? by Dan Smith

There are positives and negatives to social media, people are now able to share their opinions to the world within seconds. That doesn’t just apply to Football but all genres. The danger of the internet is by giving everyone a voice, we create a universe where everyone has a sense of entitlement. So many issues on our planet exist right now due to men and women hiding behind freedom of speech, literally thinking they can say what they want, however hurtful, because that’s their human right.

When YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc, was a concept new to us, it was enough just to have a forum to interact with fellow supporters. Now a standard part of our daily lives, it’s not enough to share your point of view, you now must argue that your way of thinking is correct, demeaning a stranger in the process now the norm.

Obviously, I use this site as a platform to write about Arsenal, but I routinely get verbal abuse, noticing it gets worse year after year. I have had comments from adults belittling me if I pick the wrong topic to debate, don’t say what they want to hear, even If I am acknowledging that Arsene Wenger was our greatest ever manager. Think about that. There are Arsenal fans, who once prided on how we did things the right way, who will get angry if you dare to mention that the man who won more for us than anyone else, might have been good at what he does.

10 years ago, I would have been allowed to have a preference of who our boss should be. When I pointed out that most gooners had never asked for Emery to take charge 12 months ago, I was mocked and given such a character assassination you would have assumed those hiding behind their key boards knew me personally. Like most trolls, no one would call you these names to your face and I long accept that for some, it’s a hobby to be as negative to a post as possible just to create some drama.

That’s me, others though might suffer from mental health, have family issues, grieving death of a loved one, etc. Do they need further rejection over what should be their comfort? If something was on my TV screen I didn’t want to watch, I wouldn’t email that channel, disrespecting the operator, I turn over with my remote control. In 2018 though, why should we?

Some people’s weeks are affected apparently by my predictions of all Premiership results. Instead of reading other articles, they have tried to belittle me into thinking like them, back to that sense of entitlement. Over the last few years, fights have broken out at the Emirates. Gooners were divided about the future of Mr Wenger but social media intensified the mood between fans. Loyal supporters who use the sport as escapism, didn’t want to hear if they were loyal to a man loyal to them, that they were naive, not a real fan, sworn at, etc. Too deep, too serious.

Once upon a time you had to buy a newspaper to get your dose of sports new. Now it’s 24 hours a day. It’s why the Frenchmen said he would never forgive the disrespect some fans had shown him. I admired him saying this before extending his contract, from a PR perspective he could have said how great all gunners were. He was generally let down, feeling the values we stood for had vanished. Having loved his place of work, he never thought the day would come when his own would mistreat him.

Yes, he was paid millions to live in North London for over two decades, but he could have earned even more elsewhere.
We took a good man, who loved us and sold our soul, becoming just another club. First, we tolerated him being swore at for the sake of likes, agendas to force him out existed so Youtubers could grow their subscribers, we accepted a man in his 60’s being photographed falling over at a train station, laughed at, for the hope of getting hits. Even when getting their own way, people feel it’s cool and big to verbally abuse the greatest manager in our history. Wenger went through pressure he would have escaped pre-social media. An era, when success was based by what happened on the pitch, not how many followers the brand had. You spend obscene sums to get a player who makes a difference, not because of how many people follow him.

Most of all though, we were a better fan base. We were all one family, behind anyone who was wearing the red and white. We didn’t have agendas. We didn’t think our opinion was gospel. For first time in my life, I can say Arsenal have fans who don’t deserve to see us Champions ever again.

Dan Smith


  1. Comments like that in your last sentence in this post is exactly why you get abuse. Anyways Wenger is the past let’s move on! We can’t keep debating Wenger this Wenger that it’s pointless Emery is in charge and need I remind you we were warned by the AKBs to be careful what we wished for..and oh boy did Emery prove them wrong with those 9 painful straight wins ? Maybe we might even be champions one day, it looks possible. That’s all we ever wanted, a manager that gives us a chance not a manager who aims for fourth from day one…..anyways no point debating this am past Wenger.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Dan Smith and the other authors like to create articles that could invite a lot of arguments, to boost the number of visitors of their site, which is normal for me

      I’d like to see more abuse on this article, to spice things up

      1. @Gotanidea
        Exactly! As I was submitting my comment it hit me maybe the author doesn’t even really believe what he writes all he wants is to trigger us or bait us into commeting. It’s the new form of click-bait only now it’s for generating comments. Oh well, he got me this time won’t fall for it ever again.

        1. Admin says:

          Of course Dan believes. If you on here yesterday you would know why he wrote this….

          1. Xxnofx says:

            I must have missed a certain post yesterday regarding Dans post today .
            Again this feels like a self pity post or arsenal are the only club that have fans that act in a certain way ,it’s called technology ,things move on ,social media is one of if not the biggest parts of most peoples live now .just because you hear fans moaning more now doseant mean it wasn’t going on 10 years ago

      2. kev says:

        Why pot and kettle issues are still being discussed here baffles me.First is was Merson now it’s abuse being shown to Wenger.Look at the way Merson was talked about as if people havent said wprst things about our players.Many here have insulted Arsene both as a person and as a coach and they keep doing it so I don’t see how any meaningful discussion can come out of this topic.What is this discussion going to achieve?He might as well have not wasted his time writing this.Its all about personal feelings in this.I will always love the man and couldn’t care less what people say about.However,this does not mean I never wanted success or didn’t criticize him as a coach.

      3. TH14-TW14 says:

        Arsenal has achieved nothing yet and were outplayed by City, Chelsea (bar a 10 minutes flurry of missed chances and dominated at home by Watford and Everton though won at the end. The winning run as much as it is heart warming has been unconvincing and bar a continued poor season from Man U Arsenal would probably finish not any place higher than the 6th of last season. Emery’s time would be judged much later rather than now and those who warned you may still be proven right after all.

      4. Dan says:

        Thank you
        proven my point
        You wish I get more abuse for an opinion?
        Im not right ,its a debate
        Instead though of offering a counter view you say I derve abuse
        Dont get me wrong, can hold own but woyld never resort to abuse

        examle, i wrote in past an owner wanting to be champions wouldnt have got Emery
        Thats an opinion not factual
        You had a chance to offer something insightful to a serious topic which affects milloins worldwide and you wish I get more abuse
        Then wonder why I think there are some fans who dont deserve a title

    2. DarlingbudsofArse says:

      I didn’t even read your article before posting mine. They are similar as most Arsenal fans. Tells you one thing. Barest minds think alike! We are the Arsenal!

      1. DarlingbudsofArse says:

        Great minds think alike.

    3. dan says:

      And how you started article is why I ended it like that
      Know one should deserve abuse for an opinion
      Oh by way , a manager who aims for 4th from day 1._._..We are 4th

  2. gotanidea says:

    Welcome to the modern era of democracy, the democracy of the majority. There are more people that can easily get incited by the media, compared to the ones that are not like that

    Wenger was a great manager, but he disappointed a lot of fans with his overstay and bad decisions, hence we got those emotional opinions (or you can call them abuse) from them. There is nothing more powerful than an angry mob and the media know how to use this sentiment to profit

    Some people here were spot on with their assessments on the team (new manager, transfer target, tactic, etc), but a few smart people cannot speak louder than the big media and the angry mob. You should not take any debate about football seriously, unless you think your football team is a religion

  3. M says:

    This comes over as a bit self-pitying. No one sensible likes abuse but the only way of combatting it is to ignore it. No oxygen…

  4. Grandad says:

    We are fortunate to live in a country where free speech is permitted and as a consequence we all have to accept the differing views which our citizens have on a multitude of subjects including football.As someone in his seventies what I find sad and deplorable is the use of foul language by subscribers seeking to convince others to their point of view.With regard to The treatment of Arsene Wenger,I was an advocate for him to go because, in my view he had become an incompetent Manager as evidenced by the poor quality of his signings during the past 4/5 years and the downturn in the teams performance during that period.I have no personal animosity towards Wenger who for over a decade did a wonderful job for the Club we all love.There will always be a minority of ignorant people who follow football teams for the wrong reasons.Here endeath the epistle.

    1. jon fox says:

      A terrific and grounded post full of truth and perspective. As someone fast approaching my own seventies, we oldies have the advantage of a greater perspective on the past, i really believe. And moreover, as someone with a full concentration span, i find “epistles” FAR more interesting than inane mere soundbites.

  5. Goonster says:

    Why cant our idiotic fans let the Wenger thing go? The man is gone so move on yourselves. We have some of the most pedantic little fans.
    I bet you most of these social media warriors fans became Arsenal fans because of what Wenger did in his first 10 seasons as our manager. Now they are acting like entitled little brats. Glory hunting mercenaries. Smh

    I couldn’t stand wenger by the time he left last season but that is all in the past and I reserve him some of the respect he deserves for turning us into a club we are today.
    Let it go and and move on with your sad little lives.


  6. DarlingbudsofArse says:

    Hey man what’s your problem? Why don’t you let barking dogs lie! Wenger is now history and why dig it up. Let it go. It’s forgotten now but no Dan Smith wants us to pour abuse his way by using his last words in this forum. You must be sick!

    1. Indy757 says:

      The writer is spot on. And 95% of the comments here prove that. Just because he wrote about Wenger. All a sudden the key board warriors come out. You bums prayed on bleeding knees for arsenal to fail under Wenger. Just so you could be justified for your actions as a keyboard warrior. Nobody’s guaranteed the top spot or even 5th. True fans rock with there team during the good times and bad times. And it’s good to criticize a players or managers performance. But the level of disrespect arsenal fan’s threw at Wenger wasn’t right at all. And like it or not . The arsenal you tune in to see now is still Wenger’s team. The strikers, resse Nelson, those pick ups happen under Wenger. Its basically Wenger team and Emery tactics. Which only differ in how the team press The other teams half to get the ball back. It’s still Wenger ball with a little attitude. Defense shaky as hell. Dont get me wrong. We needed someone like Emery to show the players some hard love. So I like where arsenal is heading and hope all the doom and gloom gunners cheer up and final start supporting the team unconditionally.

    2. Dan says:

      Not just Wenger, thats an example
      Its if you say Ramseys good or Emerys shouldnt of got job, its no longer a debate

  7. Gooner 1 says:

    I agree with this article, people have taken a liking to show the worst of them on social media.. anyways .. you cant stop anyone these days from saying anything …

    The funniest thing i heard ever was ,, Wenger did not know about football tactics as many people claimed … you dont survive twenty thirty years in a field without knowing much ..

  8. Sue says:

    Some of the comments on here regarding Arsene & others have made me cringe if I’m honest… but that’s all in the past now…. we as Arsenal fans will not always see eye to eye & in the heat of the moment may say something we later may regret… but that’s how things are… the power of social media!!
    Btw Dan I like your premier league predictions ?

  9. pires says:

    Wenger did great things for the club.That doesn’t mean that you cannot critisize him.Even Sir Alex Ferguson was often critisized….He was in my humble opinion too digmatic and reluctant to spend…That’s being said the biggest problem is Kroenke :as long as you dont match City and co money wise you’ll not match them in the pitch, Wenger or not.

    1. pires says:

      Dogmatic sorry

  10. jon fox says:

    Dan , A comprehensive article setting out the dangers but minimising the great up side of social media. Clearly you personally are suffering from the criticism you will always receive – as too will others who post articles. That is not to excuse it but rather to be realistic about how human nature is. Social media is a double edged sword and i use the word”sword” advisedly, as there are none so sharp and wounding as derogatory words from our peers. THAT is the downside. Like it or not, though, social media is here to stay and for good AND ill, it has changed the way people behave. However, you and all of us have the choice to abstain from using social media and this site too, if we choose. No one forces anyone else to keep entering the “hornets nest” , as it were and if you are asking for a sea change in human behaviour towards you or WENGER OR ANYONE ELSE than what comes to mind is King Canute expecting the tide to cease coming in (actually , that whole Canute fable is a myth , but I digress). What I am saying , as I posted on another thread of yours only testerday, is that would be writers neded incredibly thick skin , especially in this day and age , if they wish to carry on writing . But ultimately the choice is entirely yours. Be comforted that those who like your articles are usually the silent majoroity. That is , again , just how human nature is. Complaints attract like minded people, ;kind words and praise are often absent IN PRINT but nevertheless they exist in larger numbers than most would think credible. I admire anyone who puts themselves up as a writer and who braves the inevitable adverse comments. In just the same way as I admire “over my dead body” footballer types who put their body in harms way and I loathe their polar opposite, eg WALCOTT, WHO ARE COWARDS. You are NOT a coward though DAN, and I always admire bravery and stickability. PLEASE KEEP WRITING!!!

  11. Dan says:

    I thought it was brave to say how I feel
    The irony that majority respond how they have is sad
    Am I after clickbait or am I a human making others self aware, easier to think first one
    The likes of Jon Fox will know I contribute lots of articles to this sight , I dont need to search for comments
    If I did wouldnt I write about we will will titles
    Instead I write about a manager I know you hate, so that proves im here to give opinion

  12. Durand says:

    If people are tired of Wenger bashing, then stop bringing him up in articles. Opinions are strongly divided and aren’t changing.

    AKB’s still coming to terms that Arsenal exists beyond Wenger.

    Wenger was fantastic for club and changed English football, no one is disputing that fact. Wenger was also the author of his own decline; stubbornness, arrogance, and refusal to evolve as the game evolved sealed his fate.

    I am sincerely grateful for his accomplishments and glory he brought to our club. However, I’m glad he’s now gone because he clearly could no longer take us forward.

    I don’t see that as bashing, merely recognizing reality, so if others disagree they are free to do so.

    1. jon fox says:

      Really Wengers time here was in two distinct halves(approx),a Biblical feast for a decade or so, followed by a Biblical famine for the last decade. You summed it up perfectly, I thought. Ultimately his stubborn refusal to keep up with footballs changes did for him.

      1. Durand says:

        Jon fox we are both realists and merely say things in the state in which they exist. I merely state the facts as they are, rather than how I would wish them to be.

        Wenger ushered in a rich era of glory and prosperity for our club, only a blind, ignorant, or spiteful person would deny this reality.

        But he also oversaw the stagnation and eventual decline due to his arrogance, stubbornness, and refusal to evolve with the game. Who in his rightful mind could deny this?

        His lack of tactics and coaching eventually caught up to him, and his “go and play your way every time” philosophy was exposed as arrogance and folly.

        I will be forever grateful for the heights he took our club, but for anyone to try and shame or belittle me for expressing the facts regarding his failures, I simply will not tolerate.

        When the author (Dan) says “fans don’t deserve to ever see Arsenal as champions again” how is one supposed to take such a childish, petty, spiteful comment?

        I cheer Arsenal onward with or without Wenger, but NEVER put an individual on a pedestal above the greatness of the club. I merely took his article as a bitter reminder that some equate Arsene and Arsenal as one and the same, and our division will never fully. Sad that one would raise an individual above the club or even their fellow supporters.

        Dan and others can think and say what they wish, but I won’t question a fellow supporters love for our club or how they choose to express it.

  13. JJPawn says:

    Without Wenger we would have been the shadow of United and other big clubs. Wenger taught us of the possible, to even have standards of winning and being classy. Most world Arsenal fans are fans of the club due to Wenger. Arsenal is a global brand due to Wenger. Other players want to play at Arsenal due to Wenger’s influence on the game.

    Did he oversee stagnation? No really. What he made sure was that the debts were paid and we were on sound financial base. While he kept us relevant with 2 FA Cups in his last five years and mostly in the Champion’s League, until the “fans” tore him up.

    Not Wenger’s fault that dirty money entered the game to buy entire teams in one or two seasons. It is not an accident that Chelsea is called Chelski… that money is also involved in Russian/Putin murders, etc. Oil money again from the UAE without much accounting… and, god knows what they are up to in keeping public oil money in private hands.

    It is was not a surprise that these teams fueled by illegal money bought the cup with relative ease, while Arsenal “fans” attacked Wenger. How that must have hurt him. How ironic. How stupid.

    It only Sir Alex who competed somewhat fairly, by using the bigger club’s relatively legit money to buy RVP.

    If people think Wenger had no tactics they do not know football.

    Watch how that goal came against the helpless bottom feeders: from Rambo’s initial start to his final finish that was a Wenger era goal. Marvelous to watch the old man’s boys do the work.

    Wenger had re-built this club one more time. He sold the dead weight English players one by one after signing them longer term and making money. It was supposed to be Jack’s turn to be paid and sold. Wenger was waiting to offset the aging back-line this year along with another holding mid-fielder. Ramsay would be captain, signed for a decent wage. Ozil #10. It would be a happy team…

    Or, not, it would not be. The fans were unhappy. Unhappy due to their lack of appreciation of what was accomplished by whom and with what resources.

    Eventually, Wenger’s picks will do the business upfront. On the back line Emery’s signing does not look great, and his playing from the back cost us a victory against vulnerable top sides. After that, the mid-field has only faced poor sides, lucky to escape Watford, who deserved to win. Emery, however, has an easier task as the expensive parts are in place, thanks to Wenger.

    Emery knows he has been lucky.

    1. Ackshay says:

      Lol Wenger never learned to play a true dm in the last decade, song and coquelin are examples of pure dm trying to be more offensive.

      What spite me and countless fans that grew to despise wenger is that he clearly had a good formation and tactics with the invincible team laying with two tough holding midfield and pace on the wings. We played direct fast football
      Then wenger obsession with barca football eventually led to his demise, wenger actually startef playing tiki-taka football before pep but the latter got all the credit which hurts the old man ego and pride.

      1. JJPawn says:

        Wenger at Man U will be interesting if it happens… Imagine what he can do with that sort of money.

        You read him wrong. Hate, ego or pride are not his. Or, he would left Arsenal for a bigger club. Wenger was interested in the purity at the top, but could not get to the next step when the oil money came in…

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