An olive branch yesterday, just outside Blackburn.
Earlier this week I read a post in our comments section from GoonerKam, which got me thinking. Sadly that means you are going to have to read my incoherent ramblings on the subject. But have a read of his post before we meet that challenge:
“At the pub this past weekend there was no room to sit so I asked to please share a table with three other Gooners.
They were kind and told me to bring a chair and share the table with them. Very nice guys, all in their red/white copies and spirited too. The early early goal relaxed them a bit and the high fives were flying left and right. The conversation started at half-time and they were talking about AW, Stan, Ivan and the team – individual members and as a collective.
Dear me, all in all they shared the same opinions on most topics. AW’s last year, more investment, Stan-not-the-man, yarayarayara. I kept my cool and stayed out since it was just the media BULLSHIVEK being repeated and rehashed. Like Stew I have run my course and have no patience getting into this line of talk again and again.
Then they asked my opinion on things discussed. They were amused then shocked and interested to here more. To make a long story short by the end of the game they were not talking the same bollocks. All three were saying what I said made sense and they left the pub uplifted by the win and more hopeful than when they had come in. They had a different perspective on Stan, Ivan and AW; they are looking forward to the future and a successful run at winning titles. The black cloud around their heads had lifted significantly. All it took was a little talking in a logical and calm tone and all the crap they had been reading was suddenly not the gospel any more. There were other versions of goings-on out there.
Made some good friends and they got me to promise them that I’ll watch the last game of the season at that pub on the same table with them. So all I’m saying is they are not diehard moaners and born doomers. They had learned this way of thinking and they are now on the way of unlearning what they had read and accepted as the truth. I’m so glad I met them and changed their thoughts on things.
Especially regarding Sagna. I mean, all three wanted to sell him in the beginning. Not any more.
Keep the fight alive… Tnx PA.”
Whilst in the process of deliberating what Kam had said, I happened to be on the phone to Stew, he mentioned that he too had seen this post. I would like to say “great minds think alike” but I think that would be piggy-backing Stew’s mind somewhat. But still, it indicated that I was right in thinking the subject should be explored.
For some time now the battle lines have been drawn. On one side the righteous, clear thinking, informed and enlightened( that’s is us in-case you were wondering). On the other, the ill-informed stupid idiots.
Right there we have the problem. That is how I have seen it and how I think of them.
All I know of these people is what I see and hear in the media, in blog comments and on Twitter. I don’t like them, in fact I dislike them. I have no time for their ignorance and stupidity and I tell them in rude and no uncertain terms. Anyone who knows me, knows I would say the very same to their faces. A characteristic that has led me down some paths I wish I had never trodden.
The problem with this is I don’t differentiate between outright idiots and the misinformed. My first response is to treat them all the same.
Kam’s post suggests that I am making a mistake in doing so.
Other than ourselves and Untold Arsenal, I am struggling to think of any constant source of support for the club. I can on the other hand, sadly think of a multitude of outlets that seek to de-stabilise and stir up trouble for the club.
Of the two extremes the negative camp greatly outnumbers us.
The problem is that the vast majority of fans are occupying the middle ground.
If politics has shown us anything, it is that you must take the middle ground if victory is to be achieved. Every party is fighting for this middle ground.
I am of a mind that rather than fighting with the utter idiots, we should do a Kam. Educate the reasonable people who have based their opinions on what they have been told by the halfwits. They can be persuaded. The people like Le Grove can not. So why bother?
Easier said than done for an argumentative old curmudgeon like me, but try we must.
Also we don’t have any personal relationships with these people, so our level of of tolerance is reduced. Take John Cross for example. He comes out with some things that had someone else said them I would go straight into attack and abuse mode. All the usual tools, bad language, mocking sarcasm – all would be brought to the fore. But because I like to think I have some sort of a friendship with him, this never happens. We debate and disagree. I have to think that more would be achieved if I remembered that disagreeing with me does not make someone a bad person.
If you need some pointers on how it should be done follow @GeoffArsenal. The man is informed, knows club business that we don’t, and is unbelievably patient. He engages with both ends of the spectrum and all stops in between. I now feel that this is the way forward.
If we stick to a combative tone, the middle ground will simply see us as a bunch of extremists. Which of course some of us are.
We are outnumbered by the negative sources and if we don’t adapt, the battle will be lost, and Arsene with it.
History proves that once the majority of fans are against the manager, he is for the off.
It’s up to all of us to turn the tide while we still can.
So my disciples. Go forth and preach my word.
I really have to get out more.