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Class Fans Are Temporary?

I’m not in a good mood and not for the reasons you might expect.

I’ll preface this by saying that I’m not a “true fan”. I don’t necessarily watch every Arsenal game; I haven’t seen a game at the Emirates despite living in London and I wouldn’t prioritise The Arsenal over a lot of things in my life, namely my education and commitments to both family and friends. If you cut me I would bleed red but more due to the iron in haemoglobin then my love of Arsenal. That being said, Arsenal is the team I chose to support when I was younger – partly due to my love for Freddie Ljungberg’s outrageous hairstyles and an admiration of Bergkamp (I shouldn’t have to explain this at all), but in honesty the main reason, the thing that convinced me that Arsenal was the team for me was because of Wenger’s philosophy.

The notion or even arrogance to say, here is our team, here is how we play football – come and beat us. That philosophy definitely resonated with me, it gave Arsenal a charm and even if they didn’t win anything – they played the best football in the league. (I would also argue in my naivety that our “luck” with key injuries over this period did us no favours.) 

Now I fully accept that the vast majority of fans would probably rather a scrappy 1-nil win then a flowery display where we lose, and I would agree. But if you asked me over a period time if I wanted our team to strive to play the Wenger way or the Graham way – then for me the answer is easy. I suppose it is probably apt to mention here, that given our record against “top sides” we haven’t necessarily got the skill in our injury-plagued squad to attack all games with Wenger’s gung-ho style but hindsight is 20-20 and in my opinion I would at least partly attribute our hammerings last season to Wenger’s unwavering belief in his players rather than solely on his tactical ineptitude.

Now that aside, I am somewhat of an idealist, I have naïve and idealist views on lots of things; probably the reason that I find Wenger’s philosophy so appealing but I’m also incredibly analytical, reasonably intelligent and most importantly - I can defend my points. So if you disagree with me, then great. Given that I can afford the time, I enjoy nothing more than sharing ideas/thoughts and exchanging views. Am I stubborn, rigid, and opposed to change? Not in the slightest, I’m happy for my view to be changed if someone can convince me.

So why am I in a bad mood?

The short answer is Twitter. Now I was a little late to party on this one, I’ll admit that I definitely dropped the ball but now that I have it I can see why people constantly refer to it as “Twatter”, and specifically within the Arsenal community there is a sizeable degree of toxicity which just seems wholly unnecessary and in my view is completely juvenile.

Before I get into this I’m going to begin by defining an ironic situation. Picture the scene, where you are unconstructively slating, mocking and abusing the manager of your own football team because you think he is unable to reach the standards that you expect from the manager of a “top club”. In this case, an ironic situation would arise if the manger you were slating for being unable to reach those standards actually set them in the first place. Ring any bells?

Now that was just playful rhetoric and I fully accept that there is a case to be made that Wenger is past his prime but he doesn’t deserve the abuse he gets. I will reiterate for the sake of clarity, whether you want Wenger in or out to me is irrelevant – THE WAY YOU PUT ACROSS THAT VIEW IS.

What irritates me is the plethora and abundance of frankly moronic imbeciles who channel their discontent into “manager bashing” or “player bashing”. Now I understand and appreciate that after a game you can feel pretty disheartened (to put it mildly) and reactionary comments are just that – reactionary. It is something that the “fan pundits” on Arsenal Fan TV get a lot of stick for, but I won’t begrudge anyone reacting negatively right after a game, especially like the one today. Reactionary comments aside - there are people who spew nothing but vacuous crap in an effort to promote their own stupidity and humanity, in my humble opinion, would be better off if these people were sent on a one way trip to Mars - that’s to say, these irritants would spend the rest of their miserable lives floating in the vast nothingness of deep space.

Now, there are two main categories that these online irritants tend to fall within. (Three if you include me ;p )

The first one is the one that I believe encompasses the majority of irritants, those who tweet things like “Özil is shit” or “Wenger is crap” etc etc. You know the type. Now I’d say that their average IQ is probably less than their average age but I may get into some trouble. So instead I’ll say this, instead of channelling your “hate” towards those who are more deserving (Spurs comes to mind) – you choose to abuse the players/manager of the team you supposedly love, in an effort to achieve what?

I mean, were you born stupid or did you just try really hard?

Let’s break this down. If you are abusing the manager and calling him shit, what are you expecting to happen? We win the next game and he goes for his after-match interview, “Why did we win? Well you see, I was online and someone called me shit then I realised I needed to improve so I made sure we won”. Or maybe you feel better after releasing some steam, it is easy to place blame and shout abuse. The nice thing about this is that you shout abuse at someone who has done more for the club you supposedly love than you ever will, but sure – keep shouting abuse.

Now if you are abusing players then I’d like you to do something. Go outside, grab a shovel and start digging – you can stop when your hands are covered in blisters, red with blood and you can feel the scorching heat from the Earth’s core. Now when I say ‘abuse’ I guess I should be clear, I don’t mean to say that everything you say about every player needs to be positive and that you need to hold their hands through tough times. They earn millions of pounds and football is their job, we’re talking about ludicrous amounts of money without a doubt and they should at least endeavour to earn it. I just don’t understand and maybe I am woefully naïve, but by abusing a player of your own team how do you benefit? After everything that was said about Ramsey, you’d think people would gain a sense of perspective and refrain from “player bashing”.

Just to conclude my thoughts on this group of people – my issues predominately lie with those who make abusive comments for the sake of making abusive comments. I see nothing wrong with genuine criticism or anything like that. As a club that prides itself on class, we have some truly classless fans.

Now the second category of irritant usually serves as the catalyst for aforementioned irritants. This category contains reasonably intelligent people and if negativity were a fire they would be the guys/girls pouring the gasoline. So without further ado – this category is for the people (they know who they are) with a clear agenda, who tactically tweet or comment at the most opportune times. In my mind it is the twitter equivalent of kicking a dog when it is down, for example – Arsenal drew today and we let in two goals – Wenger Out because he didn’t buy defenders in the summer.

Now a brief and pretty neutral analysis, we were pretty unlucky not to get a foul for the first goal (which shifted momentum) and the second goal involved BFG being beaten in the air. If we missed anyone, it was probably Arteta or Ozil coordinating our attacks – fairly obvious that we didn’t really threaten their goal as much, despite having the lion share of the possession. But for these irritants that wouldn’t fit their narrative where they can use every bad result to add to their fictitious credibility. Now whether they do this for followers on twitter, views on their blog or more members in their organisation – I find it both irritating and manipulative.

And I made a point of this to someone who tweeted that we have gone backwards since last year, my response is that we have made progress but our injuries are worse. Convenient that the fact we are missing two 1st team defenders, our record signing, our captain, our top scorer from last year (who also receives an inordinate amount of abuse) and Theo (who we all hope continues where he left off) aren’t mentioned by these irritants. Do you know why? Because it doesn’t fit their narrative. 

And in response to “we have gone backwards”

We “added” to our squad with Alexis, Welbeck and Joel. Our defence involved the loss of Sagna, TV5 and Jenks (on loan) and we brought in Debuchy and Chambers whilst also giving Bellerin a chance. So if we had parallel injuries/suspension, Kos – Out, Sagna – Out and TV5 – Out. Our defence would have been identical except Jenks instead of Bellerin – not a great deal of difference. And for all of you guys saying we should have kept TV5, from what I understand he is still injured.

So then we come to the question, why didn’t we add a CB. I could mention that David Luiz cost £50 million and that the market is saturated, you could mention that we had money in the bank. But ultimately we don’t know the ins and outs, who was available, who we talked to etc. So I really don’t understand why people who frankly don’t know as much they pretend to, use this as ammunition. Our squad isn’t perfect and as the old cliché goes we are only one or two players off but if you honestly believe that the club are unwilling to spend, then you need the notion of precedent explained to you. Specifically with regards to the precedent Arsenal have begun to set since the signing of Ozil. But that is a separate matter.

For now I’ll leave you with this.

Being a football fan, is about supporting your team.

If your version of “support” involves abusive comments then you are clearly an idiot. 

Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?

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