I recently read an article on Positively Arsenal, it written by George. I always get the intense feeling that whenever you write a blog, conveying intelligent ideas or concepts, you will always get those who will struggle to understand, and with that, intense criticism and unwarranted abuse sometimes.
George put forward the idealism of morality in a sport like football. In order to find out where people’s boundaries are, you often have to take them to the extremes in terms of ideas, that is what philosophers, lawyers, doctors, mathematicians do.
Football is a thinking game and sometimes a simple game, it is not determined by simpleton fans, nor by the utmost intelligent, the love for it, is something we all share. I’ve always said “I’m Arsenal till I die” yet after reading a few articles, I think I’ve turned a little corner.
The extreme examples set, are to showcase a vulnerability in the statement that you support a club unconditionally. Even though we are shown by society and by history, that when conditions change, not everyone still clings on to the unconditional factor. People often change, evolve around it or seek to move on from it or get over it.
I don’t see the reasoning behind mocking extreme examples, especially for the purpose of thought. You see, because for example, using the extreme, ludicrous example that the Nazi’s had won WWII in 1942, took over Arsenal, fired George Allison, put Joseph Goebbels in charge of the team, bought Nazi players, who were made to do Nazi salutes pre match and post match, would you still support Arsenal today? I somehow doubt it for many of you, although I’m sure there are some EDL Gooners out there that would love to surprise me. I also think in this crazy scenario, many may love the Arsenal of the past and just keep wishing Goebbels would go away (don’t worry, he does).
The same could be said of today, if a Neo-Nazi billionaire group (or Piers Morgan), somehow managed to take over Arsenal, the whole point of this is to make you think about what kind of person you are and where your allegiances may be if the rationale, class, behaviour, ethics of your club changes.
Everyone is different and many may want their moral philosophies in life to transcend into the football area. I don’t see the problem with that. Often people quote Rocky’s “Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent” it is important we don’t forget that, especially in acknowledging all the good we have stood for before, and all the good things we stand for under Arsene and all the good we may stand for with a new manager in charge.
We all saw Matthew Syed *hitting out* at Roman Abramovich’s reign at Chelsea, although I thought he was being far too kind, the reaction from Murdoch’s Sky was predictable and laughable.
Here’s a link if you didn’t see it: “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmCtci6cen8”
But I think these things matter to me, not because I want to be a better fan than someone else, or set conditions of which I recognize what kind of Arsenal I want to support. But to recognize that the values Arsenal have had over the years, are important to all of us.
A lot of fans would *sell the soul of the club they support* for a better striker or a better midfielder, I don’t see it like that, I don’t work like that. People point to Chelsea’s trophies and say they are a success, but they never will be to me. No matter how many trophies they win under Abramovich, as long as he’s there, the reality is, they have benefitted hugely from prostituting themselves to a billionaire, who scammed and thieved the Russian government, changing the behaviour of the club, from board to players and staff. They might shine bright and yes, history doesn’t care if you are evil or good, but they are empty trophies to me.
I also found a great irony in seeing those who usually berate the club, state unconditional love for it, it’s literally like seeing a man abuse his wife, then tell her he’ll always love her.
Now this may not matter to everyone, many want to separate football from real life, they say “leave morality at home” but is that really a great role model to set children, or your family or anyone really. I don’t feel that it is for me, I feel that they are inter-connected.
Because I feel that they are inter-connected, I wish UEFA and FIFA would spend more time investigating these owners (Kroenke, Usmanov included), but I do get the sense they’d have to shut down the investigation because of internal corruption anyway.
And recently, we have seen many supporters, who say stuff like “I will not support the club under Wenger”, “I hope we finish 5th so that he gets sacked”, often more ridiculous than that even. Have they stopped supporting Arsenal and fallen out of love? They might have, but the reasoning and logic behind this is not the ethics and the way of the club, more so that the club hasn’t won anything in the last 8 years and they are as impatient as the next Neo-Man City fan might be. Their condition behind support relies solely on trophies.
I don’t want to be that kind of supporter; I don’t see long term progress or the logic in becoming that type of supporter. It falls outside of the romantic relationship I’ve attained with the club since I was young.
We write blogs so that other people can have a little look at how we think and how we process information and convey thought and feelings. This is just my opinion, I doubt it’s very special, I just enjoy sharing my thoughts with people & learning from them.
But the focus of this blog is to shed light on the concept that, as an individual, you have special reserved feelings toward a club, trophies/success may not, and probably will not have been the reason you support the club, you may support the club solely due to ethos. If that is the case, and the ethos of Arsenal changes drastically one day, you may find yourself falling out of love with what you fell in love with and trapped in an empty relationship, an empty relationship that we probably can’t understand now, but maybe some Chelsea supporters do, especially after reading articles like these (http://makinbacon.hubpages.com/hub/billionairerussianromanabramovich).
Therefore, every time I say “Arsenal till I die” It’s now changed to “Unless the Nazi’s, Fascist’s or the Harmfully Corrupt take-over”. But please, let’s hope that never ever happens. The likelihood is that it probably won’t. I love the Arsenal and I hope the relationship can go on until the day I no longer have a pulse.
Have an amazing, beautiful Friday afternoon, I hope it’s a memorable one for all.