ArsenalFanTV: The good, the bad, and the downright ugly

Arsenal Fan TV: the good, the bad, and the downright ugly

Hello all! Given it’s the international break, I thought I’d write a piece on arguably the most popular FanTV channel on YouTube.
I’m sure we all know about ArsenalFanTV YouTube channel (if not, where have you been?).

Robbie Lyle, ArsenalFanTV founder

Robbie Lyle, ArsenalFanTV founder

Founded in 2012 by Robbie Lyle, it now has half a million followers and has even been featured by the BBC.  It’s the fastest growing YouTube fan channel, which reached its peak following Arsenal’s opening day defeat to Aston Villa in August 2013. Following that game, a certain guy named “Chris” made his feelings clear about how he felt about Arsenal’s transfer business (shock), and Santi Cazorla making mistakes due to fatigue.

Well, it looks as though I’ve now filled you in with its beginnings, I’ll tell you my thoughts about the setup.

Watching for the first time, I thought it was a great concept. I liked that fans were talking with fans in a way that’s never been seen previously. However, over time, it became a bit repetitive with the same fans cropping up every week (if not, every other week), and rather tiresome. Now, it’s become some sort of comedy show for fans of other clubs whenever Arsenal lose.

If I were in charge of AFTV, I’d take the concept worldwide (some countries such as USA, and Australia should know), also, I’d like to see different hosts each week (like on Have I Got News For You) so that it’s not just Robbie Lyle presenting each week.

The Good

The concept of the channel is excellent as it allows fans to air their views in a way that’s never been done before.

Also, the fact that there’s also a football team based around the channel is a “plus” (or a “minus”, depending on your viewpoint) as it shows they’re giving back to the community.
The variety of fans when the concept first started out is important as it shows that people from all areas can have opinion on what happened in a match, or just have general talk about signings.

The Bad

Its format of Robbie Lyle interviewing fans could be considered as “boring” given than he’s been active [on AFTV] since 2012/2013. Also, the fact that it’s the same fans (although there are a few different fans) cropping up each week makes it comical (not in a good way).

The Downright Ugly

The characters on the channel who liked venting their frustration were “funny” at first, but then it all became some sort of a comedy show – something I massively frown upon. To expand on this, fans have always been a bit “extreme” with their views, for example, following our FA Cup loss to Blackburn Rovers back in 2013, this fan came, and implied we’d be in danger of relegation..

(Skip to 2:48)

Now, I’m not slating the fan off for having an opinion (every fan is entitled to) but we don’t need to be extreme. In his defence, I don’t think this fan was doing it just “for the views” (only a handful of people knew what AFTV was back then).

Anyway, enough about him, and let’s talk about other elephants in the room.

The fans that we see on the channel have turned the once golden idea into a comedy club that other fans sit back and laugh at. What’s worse is that Lyle doesn’t seem to mind. Also, it seems that the channel gets more views whenever Arsenal lose, so it looks as though the brainchild is profiting off bad results.

I’m sure that wasn’t his intention, and I hope he reads this and sees what could be improved. (Then again, the format has got him a lot of success this far, so the chances of him changing anything are pretty slim. I would get better odds visiting …)

Speaking of improvements, that brings me nicely onto the next subject…



The format of ArsenalFanTV would be improved if Robbie Lyle stopped presenting, and let other fans take the helm. Now, I’m not expecting it to be like a top profession, but I’d prefer it if fans weren’t “shouty”.

Another improvement I’d put forward is to take the format out of the UK, and have people from around the world talking about the club so that its more inclusive. People do know about the channel worldwide (I think), but they should be given the opportunity to have their say.

What are your thoughts on AFTV? Do you think it needs to change? If so, what changes do you think are needed?

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4 Responses to ArsenalFanTV: The good, the bad, and the downright ugly

  1. God October 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

    I’ve never respect anything a two team “fan” has to say.

  2. Bob October 11, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    Your missing a point here. is boring & doesn’t keep the fans engaged. No wonder AFTV thrives. Fair play to Robbie, he’s been a revelation!

  3. Arron W Bradgate December 11, 2019 at 12:42 am #

    AFTV is a cancer on our once proud club that promotes the extreme views of a small group of fans who have lost love with the club I almost feel they only go to games to get the 15 seconds on camera afterwards, I would go as far as to say it is negative propaganda which has spread through to even the most loyal of fans in the stadium. Surely by now Robbie Lyle can see what his web show is doing and that shutting it down would not only help the club off the pitch but also on it aswell by taking away all of the hate surrounding the club at this moment and even if he were to not take it down at least try to find some supporters who are actually willing to support the club on camera rather than bombard it with obscenities and loud incoherent rambling. Everything about the show promotes negativity but I suppose as long as it carries on writing the cheques Mr Lyle will keep on cashing them


  1. Arsenal Fan TV: Boon or Curse? | Gunners Town - October 23, 2017

    […] AFTV for me is a mixed bag. Fellow columnist here Ese Agobaye shared his own views, and mine broadly correlate to his. I can certainly see the good in AFTV, […]

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