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And the winner is...

One of the interesting things about Twitter I have found is the strange hashtags that have gained popularity and seem to get more and more use each day. One of those I find extremely odd is #goonerfamily. Not because it is cringeworthy to the highest degree (because it really is) but because of the use of the word "family". If that's what we are, a "family", I'm reasonably sure I want emancipation and a name change. If we are a family then we make even the Jackson family look functional.

The in-fighting that goes on daily is a sad indictment of how split Arsenal's fan base really is. We have even, using hashtags again, created our own gangs. #WOB are the diehard, Arsène can do no right and has ruined our club, group that wants Arsène sacked and as soon as yesterday. #AKB are the diehard, Arsène can do no wrong and is the reason our club is great, group that wants Arsène to manage Arsenal for as long as he is physically able to. There are also hardcore factions within these groups as well. Which, once again, is laughable considering we are a "family".

AKB or WOB Arsenal

I don't mind debate or a difference of opinion. In fact, I love it because I learn so much from all of you and the more I know, the better I can defend what my opinions are without resorting to insults. Insults are what I can not suffer. If your closing argument is to start slagging off the one you are debating with then, in my humble opinion, you have lost far more than just the discussion. You have lost the ability to be taken seriously and any well reasoned point you previously made becomes moot.

These last few years the debate almost always devolves into some variation of who is a bigger fan. This particular 'debate' is the strangest to me. What determines the level of our support, or the level we have reached as a supporter? Do you go to every home match? Do you live in England? Have you been in a bust up with rival fans? How much do you spend on Arsenal and Arsenal products? How long have you been a supporter? Do you boo Arsenal at all? These questions seem to be on the mind of those who would dub themselves 'proper' Arsenal supporters. I have noticed there seems to be no middle ground either. You are either 'proper' or a 'muppet'. I sometimes wonder if there was a checklist made by Arsenal to determine if you are a true supporter would anyone be able to tick enough boxes to satisfy all of our fan credentials?

Muppet GoonerMuppet Gooner by @arsenalofka

This summer has been one of the worst (and strangest) transfer windows I can remember. I'm sure most of you would agree with that statement. Towards the end, even the most faithful in Arsène, myself included, were holding on by a thread. The world's greatest Arsenal fan competition was at its most fierce. Factions became entrenched and discussions turned into all out wars. Name calling seemed to be the norm. "Delusional" and "stupid" were some of my personal favorite insults being thrown around like carpet bombs. Collateral damage and friendly fire were commonplace. I witnessed many good people just deactivate their Twitter accounts altogether. That is how bad it got. #Goonerfamily my ass! The competition for greatest Arsenal fan was at an all time high.

The saddest part of all this is the irony (I am not a fan of irony) that, in the end, in our efforts to fight our way to the pinnacle of supportership, we completely lost sight of one simple fact. The outcome when all of the smoke clears and all of us have been injured in one way or another is that we ALL lose. There is no real "winner".

Well played, I say.

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