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Could I Stop Supporting Arsenal; Have YOU Stopped Already?

I was asked a simple and fair question on twitter some time ago by Andy Wood@yorkshiregunner .

Tell me George, will you still support Arsenal when Arsene leaves?”

(As people continue to misquote my reply here again  is the blog I wrote about it)

Now I understand that it was a snide question, a loaded question, designed to suggest that Arsene was more important to me than the club. I knew that before I answered with this:

 Not for 100% sure.  It would be hard to think I won’t.  But I could stop. It’s like a marriage for me, not a family. If you follow?”

This of course was immediately interpreted to mean: “I will stop supporting if Arsene leaves.”  Just as I had anticipated!

People then started screaming that one’s support for the club should be unconditional.  “ARSENAL TILL I DIE!!”

And all the other soundbites people use.

Then they saw fit to state the obvious with gems like:

 “No one is bigger than the club.” 

No shit Sherlock, I had missed that.

As the Twitter exchange continued, I tried to explain that I could not guarantee always supporting the club, because if it changed into something different to that I was in love with, it would no longer be my club.

This concept seemed beyond the comprehension of a few, and some claimed that NOTHING could make them withdraw their support.  Ever.

There’s an irony here, in case you hadn’t already spotted it …

So I came up with the most outrageous scenario I could think of, just to test their ‘position’ and asked if they would still support the club if the following occurred:

 

The club is bought by the English Defence League and all our players are sold, only white heterosexuals are allowed to play for the club. Do you still support?

Almost every right thinking person would say:

No, it’s a stupid scenario, but no.

My point being that ALL support is conditional. It’s just the conditions that are required to be met are different, and they vary from person to person.

What some people fail to understand is that “the club” means different things to different people.

My definition of “the club” includes the playing style, its class, history and integrity.  The manager, board and players are a large part of that. The whole ethos of the club is what I regard “the club” to be.

Someone told me that “the club” to him was the badge, and that is what he supported. He didn’t mention whether the badge in question was cotton or man-made, so I reserved my judgement on him.

But, nonetheless, for him, the definition of the club was different.

My main point in all of this is that regardless of your personal definition of what the club – or anything you have fallen in love with – is, if that thing you fell in love with, changes to the degree where they or it becomes something or someone you would never have originally fallen for, then it is ENTIRELY possible to fall back out of love.

And this patently includes, even, one’s own chosen football club.

Now, if you are happy to support a club, fuelled by petro-dollars, managed by a hoof-ball specialist or filled with players like Barton, Suarez, Terry, Savage, Cole and Rooney – then great. But I would find it hard to continue that support, ultimately, even if that club was my beloved Arsenal.

It would be a gradual deterioration of the relationship between me and the club, but given the perfect (and frankly unlikely) storm, I COULD stop supporting.

There has been a lot of  “I want my Arsenal back” going around in recent times.

Well, I personally want to keep THIS one.

These people that claim to ‘want their Arsenal back’ are effectively saying this current Arsenal is not “their” club.

Effectively, they’ve withdrawn their support already.

This is evidenced by their relentless attacks on the club and it’s staff – on Twitter, in blogs, on radio phone-ins etc.  Those individuals who have given up their season ticket have clearly withdrawn their support.  They are, as a result, no longer proper pucka Gooners are they?

The anger evident in their remarks is quite possibly driven by the pain they are feeling from losing their love for the club.

Well, maybe they ARE still Gooners.But they have simply come to a point where their support has been withdrawn. Do they watch on TV instead? Or has that been given up too?  Have they stopped reading the papers? Do they no longer talk about Arsenal?

If they are still Gooners, it’s clear that bit-by-bit they are losing – or have lost – their love for the club as the conditions that led them to support in the first place are no longer seemingly evident.

For THEM, at least.

Now people can say that they are better fans than me because they have supported longer, spent more money, attended more games, live in the area of the ground or because nothing could stop them supporting.  I won’t argue.

I certainly won’t care what they think either.Because they can claim all day long that they are the ‘real’ supporters of the club. But the reality, actually, is that they are drifting away from the club with every attack they launch.

***

Finally someone said:

Morals in football are bollocks.

To which I replied:

Morals are only ever bollocks to those without them.

I however ,am the last person to judge people on their morals.That does not mean they are any less important.

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157 comments on “Could I Stop Supporting Arsenal; Have YOU Stopped Already?

  1. I did George ! The long Summer holidays we would trudge off to the park and spend the whole day there sometimes – I used to play more often ( from what I remember ) on the Rokesley entrance side -there used to be about the games going on all over the park

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  2. Georgaki-pyrovolitis, You just reminded me of a story, Yes, the missus and I visited the waterfalls (in summer) we reached a point where we had to climb some rickety old wooden steps to continue and carried on as far as we could go. On the way back, we reached the same spot but I carried on to have a look from the top of the first falls. Where a girl was waving at me. very attractive she was too.

    Anyway by the time we got back down those rickety steps the people at the falls where all re-dressed with tripod & camera set up by the falls.

    We had interrupted a porn shoot.

    So yes, I remember those attractions very well and thank the Island for its visual surprises. My missus wouldn’t let me hang around though.

    We have been to Karlovasi on numerous occasions, we usually stay in Vathy or just outside, in the Ino hotel. We spend alot of time at Psili Ammos, have toured the Island several times, got lost was found and got lost again, was saved by a woman with a donkey who seemed to appear everywhere we went? still can’t work it out?

    If we won money on the lottery I would have a home there. I love the place, the people the food, the weather. The Tanks???? Did I mention the food.

    Funny Island, that is a very special place to my missus and I. I could never get bored of the place.

    Schools for me, Colindale, Mill Hill county high and Friern Barnet county. Hated em all.

    Had a few mates at St Aloysios. But you have 20 years on me.

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  3. Adam

    I’ve inherited my mothers house in the village and my younger brother has inherited an olive grove in a prime spot below it. Vourliotes is the first village up the mountain just past Kokkari and Avlakia. It would be great if we met there….I’ve taken different friends over a number of years to ‘Kastraki tis Louloudas’ translated something like ‘Castle of the Flower Girl’. This is a natural look-out post high above the village where you can see the north, east and south coasts in one sweeping arc with the coast of Turkey just across the narrow straight. The views are stunning, breathtaking……A few hundred years ago it was used as look-out/post early warning system against the marauding Barbary corsairs. A group of four of us climbed up there in 1988 and each buried a coin in the same spot. We’ve been going back separately, with other friends and our offspring and adding to the stash. Since then I’ve placed everything in a tin and included a small notebook and pencil so that whoever visits can leave another coin and a note. The legend is growing now that there is hidden treasure up there…..

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  4. anicoll5

    Those were the days. I wasn’t kidding about how good we were. We entered a 5-a-side league and played every Saturday morning in an indoor facility opposite White Hart Lane (arrrrrrgh!). We won everything and took part in a competition involving teams from all over Harringey and lost in the final…..

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  5. I cannot wait to tell my missus of this conversation, she will insist on a holiday there this year. I find the place fascinating, the old water tunnel, I would like to visit again but with more info. Never taken my boy there so would like to do so in the future. He will love the shallow sea at Psili Ammos. Would like to see the valley where all the fossils are.

    So much more to do there, than I have already done.

    Will definitely be informing you if we go.

    Small world. I love the food. Did I mention the food.

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  6. Thanks for that Fins!!

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  7. Love this! Well written and I totally agree with you 🙂 keep up the good work

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