It’s no great secret, but the national media does have a penchant for embellishing the truth. A twisted version of the facts sells, creates hysteria and culminates in demonisation of an individual or entity.

I read last night’s reports of crowd trouble at the Arsenal V Cologne Europa league match. The adage is true: stick close to the truth and untruths will be believed in their entirety. I read that there were skirmishes and trouble both outside and inside the ground, Gooner season ticket holders were reported as being "scared" and "fearful for their lives" with some long-term fans stating they would never visit the Emirates again due to feeling let down regarding safety concerns.

The media generally acts, with such events, in a sociopathic light, but, without sounding like a Vietnam vet, I know the truth, because I was there, man.

Security was somewhat tight. Last Saturday’s game, an easy victory against Bournemouth was lax in comparison. Last night’s drill involved being subject to bag and jacket searches. Markedly, hostelries were also on alert. We were refused entry to a local pub as we did not have match day tickets on our person, and my Hastings twang was mistaken for that of a native German. My answer of ‘nein’ when asked if I was a Cologne-ite was met with short shrift by the North London bouncer fraternity.

Communication was poor. Having spent north of £390 million constructing the stadium, it may have proved prudent to invest in a Tannoy system outside for such events. Information is power and Arsenal, for an hour, proved themselves incommunicado due to lack of investment in a sound system. Going old school, the staff relied on a few semi-coherent stewards shouting through loud hailers that the match would be delayed.

Having exited Arsenal tube station some time earlier, it became apparent that there were huge numbers of away supporters attending and it had an away match feel. It was light-hearted and I spoke to German fans who explained they were excited after a quarter of a century away from being in the position of challenging for one of Europe’s elite competitions.

Their fans were raucous but most notably there were large sections of Cologne fans in the home sections of the ground. They were easy to spot as, each time a chant started; they jumped up and down like excited miniature dachshunds, more so when they unexpectedly, yet deservedly, took the lead.

German supporters were, in effect, then moved from some areas of the ground. Arsenal fans were pointing at them and demanding their removal. It became a real-life version of ‘Where’s Wally’ which I am trademarking here as ‘Wo ist Wally?’. The German fans I saw were uber excited, but calmed down following the somewhat aggressive instructions meted out to them. That said, there was no trouble per se that I witnessed in the ground or outside. Yes, the Germans did attempt to enter the home section, but this was hours before kick-off when swathes of Arsenal fans were, at that time, in the brasserie enjoying a flagon of pinot and a tub of the finest hummus this side of Athens.

The media reports made this match out to be a disaster, with police and stewards losing control. They did not. A few flares were lit, not thrown, and the police moved in to face down the away section when it looked as if things may get a little frisky. Europa League rules do not allow drinking in the stadium and, despite gagging for a pint, this probably proved, inadvertently, to be the saving grace to avoid a real ruckus.

Despite the media going overboard and igniting visions of 1970s football ‘firms’ returning, this was nothing of the sort.

This is not an issue in rugby. Opposing fans sit side by side and bemoan the weekly fall of the FTSE 100. Football fans sharing a space is somehow unpalatable, despite politicians' constant attempts to promote community integration.

There were five arrests out of 60,000 people. You have more per capita at any festival or carnival. It happens at the football and it is blown out of proportion. Arsenal will no doubt face sanctions. Could they have dealt with any issues better? Yes, but at root the issues were with their ticketing systems apparently. As for the national media, I again feel that anything I read currently is fake news and for once Trump may be onto something.