Over the last decade, the fan base appears to have divided, firstly in small sections, but now it appears to have been divided further, in even smaller sections. We have a fan base that is so large and diverse; it really is bound to bring in lots of discussion and divisive opinions.
Sometimes I don’t even see Arsenal supporters anymore, I just see groups of people, justifying within their groups and to each other about the things that go on at Arsenal, like their version of the truth is the correct one, or the truth at all.
The groups often get smaller and smaller, purely because people have grown more confident in their opinion on a certain subject, especially on Twitter.
People with a small number of followers tend to have very little to say, people with many, tend to have a lot, and with them, often strong opinions, that often get increase with time. People with a low amount of followers, often have strong opinions too, but are under-followed and perhaps are not as confident on their opinion on a particular subject at Arsenal, especially in comparison to someone who has gained a few thousand followers and believes that with them following him or her, it in turn, means they agree with his or her mind-set, therefore, they must be correct.
This is the one of the problems in social networking: an incredibly negative person, could attract negative people, because they might be like-minded, and therefore seemingly attacking positive people together for their way of thinking. They could also seemingly attack those who are not as positive for not being negative enough, and attack each other for the sheer *joy of negativity*.
Of course, this can also happen to people who are incredibly positive, they often attract positive people, which is great, and also people who are in the middle, who often look for little bundles of positivity, but they also attract negative people, either looking for what little hope is left, or hoping to destroy the hope you have.
Many of our supporters have become more individual and have a much more personal Arsenal thanks to Social Networking, each believing their opinion for logic and truth, or they follow the opinion of someone with a lot of followers, sometimes without really breaking it down in deductible logic, which is quite worrying.
I’m not so sure everyone thinks the same on all things Arsenal, though many are divided into two groups, we’re very individual and we react to what suits our agenda, sometimes truth or logic suits our agenda and that’s the best kind of agenda to have.
This list is very long but the average Arsenal supporter has an opinion on everything (me included, I’m a bastard). And I think compared to most football supporters. Many of the things we have an opinion on, is almost always divided into so many different ways, based on so many different stories, rumours and experiences.
These are some of the things our fans worry and argue about, yearly (some fans worry about these daily):
Arsene’s way of coaching.
Arsene’s way buying.
Arsene’s way of selling.
Arsene’s way of developing youth.
Arsene’s control, or lack of.
Arsene’s ability prior to Dein, after Dein.
Arsene’s ability before oil money, after oil money.
Arsene’s ways of lying to media, sometimes fans, to protect financial future of club.
Arsene’s ways of using his poker face, exceptionally.
Arsene’s negotiation skills.
Arsene’s way of ruining a player, by playing him out of position and Arsene’s ways of making a player world class, by playing him out of position.
That’s just Arsene, I’m sure there are lots more.
Gazidis’s job description, where he should be, what he should be doing, when he should be doing it, when he should go on holiday, when he shouldn’t.
The same goes for Dick Law.
Gazidis’s way of *failing* to get us player X, or selling a player that wanted out and more than we could offer him.
Those that feel Gazidis & Dick Law’s ways of helping us secure Koscielny, Arteta, Mertesacker, Monreal, Cazorla, Giroud, Podolski and also securing the long term contracts of Ramsey, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Wilshere, Chamberlain, Walcott, our British Core, has been ignored by those critical of Gazidis and Law.
Transfer Window: Cesc lovers, Cesc haters, RvP was right to leave, RvP as wrong to leave, RvP is a cunt , you name it, list is endless. The casual *we shouldn’t have let Flamini go in 2008*, or the usual *Sigh, they’re not like The Invincibles* & the ones that follow with no shit Sherlock.
The board’s lack of willingness to spend.
The board’s willingness to help us spend when we could, prior to stadium move (and decades before that), which helped set the stage for the, then to become The Invincibles.
The board’s sustainability concept being wrong or disappointing.
The sustainability concept being right, or great.
The values of the board and their vision.
Stan Kroenke is so silent that I’m sure some Gooners would sign him up for The Voice or X Factor, Usmanov is so loud that some would prefer they swapped P.R. groups.
The white lies the board have said in stating year after year that they would financially back Arsene, from 2006 to now ( what else are they supposed to say).
You can also find a huge difference in opinion on things not even concerned with football, but within the fan base itself.
People get angry over terminology, over acronyms, being part of a gooner family, being called a goonerette, a person’s attitude to values you hold dear.
Unreasonable demanding supporters &, reasonable demanding supporters arguing who is right and who is reasonable and who is unreasonable.
Supporters that don’t wish to abuse players, supporters that think it’s okay to abuse players, even if it’s their first season.
Foreign versus Home Support.
How quiet the Emirates can be.
Booing a player.
Not Booing a player.
And that is just within our club.
Twitter is just a huge giant mess of angry and often lovely Arsenal supporters at best.
Then you have the complainers, then the ones who complain about the complainers, and another group who complains about the complaints of the complainers.
Then you have wankers like me, who feels compelled to write this stuff like this and people like you who read this stuff, it’s all very tiring.
This summer has felt incredibly long even though it is the first summer in a long time where any player we buy effectively means we’re actually strengthening and not selling any key players. It’s not helped by people who are frustrated with all things Arsenal, just sat at a computer, with a readied negative response to anything.
It can get tiring. It is tiring.
Did I mention it was tiring?
It really is. Not just on Twitter, but in real life too.
Our fan base worries about so much so often, that I feel we forget what it’s like to support this club. We forget how easy it is to just enjoy *or stress in an orgasmic way* to a 90 minute football match.
There’s over a 100 things people disagree about in the club, based on who they know, what they’ve done and what they’ve been told. 90% of it might all be bullshit and they follow with conclusions to suit their emotions and yet they believe it to all be true, that’s what you’re dealing with all the time in our fan base.
Some of us, we all know each other too well, we’re all too busy picking arguments or trying to be right that we’ve all perhaps become a bit predictable and many have become grumpier and grumpier and are mocked for it, whilst others still hold on to the positive thoughts they have regarding the club and are mocked for that.
That list is very long, and it could get longer, debates are fun and they are a great way of communicating within a fan base, but ours seem to distract from the beauty of the game sometimes and focus on the blaming side of it. You don’t need to be waking up every day with someone to blame. Like you are a victim of being a supporter of Arsenal, waking up every day feeling entitled, like they owe you something.
We may need to stop worrying so much and get behind the team. Actually, we definitely need to stop worrying so much collectively and get behind the team, all the time.
Confidence is a huge factor in performance; you can see that with Ramsey and many of our players.
I am sure no matter what our line-up is come August or September; they’re going to need our support. And in the end, that’s what we are, supporters, right?
We’re all fallible in so many ways and we don’t have the answer to everything, both in life and with Arsenal and that is completely ok.
I will leave you guys with a quote I attribute from my good friend Travis @Zitov2
“People need your support at their worst, not at their best.”
And although I believe Arsenal to be far from their worst, it still applies to many.
If you want to abuse me or love me after reading this, you can find me @ The_Beck_
Its a bit good this article.
At least we know our scouting system is top notch
I really enjoyed that The Beck, all very sensible stuff…but what I enjoyed the most was being called a w*nker for having read it……
PG: Was thinking for a moment it was a piece written by you until the byline at the end. @The_Beck_ continues the excellent standards of Positive Arsenal. Excellent job by both of you.
Brilliant Beck – you capture the utter fuckeduppedness of the digital universe beautifully
Can’t wait until the season starts to focus the minds of most fans on what really matters, our football. The transfer window is an abomination. Thank heavens we have a group of quality players who really want to play for us exemplified by Sagna:
“I enjoy playing for Arsenal. I love my team, I give 100 per cent for the team and I always give my best. I’m still here.
“Many people were talking about me going back to France but I’m still here and I’m looking forward to a big season with Arsenal.
“Last year was difficult. I only had one year left and people were looking at that and maybe thinking I would leave.
“But I tried to stay as calm as I could. Now I will work hard in pre-season and have a good season for Arsenal. I always give my best.”
You mean by not being on twatter, I’m missing all of this?
There’s just too much of…everything, these days. It’s all too much (inert sad frowny face).
Truly humbled by the opinions. Thank you so much.
Great news that the great Sagna is up for staying. Totally out of character! Or maybe not. The kind of gr*tty player you hope turns up at your club. They say he has a song but I’ve never heard it sung at the ground (I am easily distracted. Could’ve missed it.)
“People need your support at their worst, not at their best.”
So simple yet so true. Thanks.
If I may I’d like to sing a song about the bleedin’ obvious:
The scouts and the manager
have done it again.
Excellent piece–what a catalogue of topics. And indeed, it can be exhausting!
Glad you mentioned AW’s coat as I have myself dedicated several comments over the last year or two, but principally to notice how bad the zippers seem to be! The one topic that is really under appreciated is AW’s glasses. I noticed that he had a very Euro-modern styled pair he was wearing in preseason last year. There weren’t many takers on the topic and they disappeared when the season started more or less. I’ve noticed however that they are back, so perhaps attention to this sartorial detail may yet develop! (Perhaps possible joking references to AW’s famously poor sight may also crop up in this context!?)
I’m sure Zelalem has been praised fulsomely here among positivistas. Justifiably so–very promising and exciting. Haven’t seen through balls and delightful passing like that in a while…
Anicoll5 and Swiss ‘Arry
Following on from GPs comments, if you are debating with “joe”, you might have guessed that it is “jabba” an Arsenal Blog Troll. It does the rounds. And round again.
My favourite was argument that Dortmund had done so much better then AFC which it started two seasons ago. And it’s true, they were Champions then, (but not since they’ve had to sell off more and more players….). Unfortunately for the argument presented, they also played Arsenal that season. And lost: Comedy gold.
How do you know it’s jabba? I remember him/it from a while back……
finsbury knows! : )
I’m sure I am not the only who was smiling watching whilst watching Zelalem play. Nothing more to it really. Something to enjoy. For our sins,
Of course its Jabba,he was banned and came back as *something,I forget*Street Gooner,and was banned again.
I suppose he fits the narrative now though
Oh he’s a bit of a laugh Fins – good clean fun
Finsbury, I didn’t realise it was our old mucker Jabba. There is something about the, umm, tone of his “arguments” that rings a bell. A snidey reference to Arsene’s degree at a “second tier university”. I’ve heard that before. Ateeb was also fond of constantly repeating that. Maybe it’s all the same person!! Aaaarrggh!!! that’s f*cking SCARY.
I’ve tried humouring him/THEM.
Bored with it now though. I think I’d rather drill a hole in my head.
To be fair my complaining about the content of Twitter or the blogosphere is akin to a sea captain complaining about the ocean
Hahaha. Put five gooners in a room and what do you get??
At least seven opinions…
Nice writeup BECK.
Well done Beck, spot on, personally I think Harry’s better off out of it, twitters a bit like smoking-enjoyable but bad for you and I don’t think it will be to long till I pack both of em in,shame really because just as there are low tar cigarettes,there are some lovely people on there as well.
Ambitious post Beck – and you’d pulled it off superbly well! I imagine it’s a post I’ll return to over the years to remind myself of the circularity of the various arguments.
Mel – twitter is like many places, full of the good, the bad and the ugly. Think it was George who used to liken ACLF as a jealously guarded pub. Hard to keep Twitter free of the absurd but it IS possible to avoid the worst of it, should you choose to. I’m just very picky as to whom I follow …
Oh Mel that makes me sad… But Beck, what a really great article. As Mr Nicoll says, summing up the fuckedupness perfectly. Now I’m going for a lie down; I’m absolutely exhausted…
Fuck Mel,his tweets are shite anyway.
All fat naked people and shit.
Imagine that? some twat just tweeted
“I was going to #ff @40shewore but he has decided to quit,because you are all bastards and he doesn’t like you.And I mean YOU”
What sort of a person would do a thing like that?
Some of this explains why I’m so debate averse. Many of the people arguing actually value the same thing, or are “debate” obsessed.
It’s difficult to fruitfully discuss anything in that manner.
26 comments for a post like this is disgraceful.
Bow your heads in shame people of PA
I’ll try and get the conversation going George.
Turned out nice again eh?
I’d be shit at twitter I would.
Perhaps we need a Jabba to kick around the place?
Most of those guys have had a sense of humour bypass though. No self-deprecation. A common trait amongst those who take themselves way way too seriously. It’s akin to slowly banging your head against a brick wall after a while.
You could loosen the doom filter a little I s’pose. Might scare off some of the regulars though. Who just want a nice friendly Arsenal pub to visit. Full of intelligent and incredibly good looking folk like us. is it worth it?.
There will be something to talk about soon, at least one or two of those big signings are imminent. I feel it in my water (I really need to get that looked at, but still…).
There! I made my contribution for today’s post.
On a serious note, I steer clear of social media, but the glimpses I have seen are accurately reflected in today’s post. The saddest/funniest thing i see online is the panic and desolation people have a month or two before the transfer window closes.
Concept of perspective not one that tends to find expression around the corridors of Twitter.
A Few Good Men – and Women
Zelalem’s U21 debut running rings around Jonjo and pals.
I cannot have enough of that video of Zelalem. We have one of the most exciting prospects on our hands. We are in for some stunning football……
The comments that are posted and the people that tend to read these kinds of posts of mine, represents the fan base, if I’d talked about being ITK and that we’ve bid 45m for Suarez, it’d probably have 30,000 comments. Intelligent conversations and intelligent debates regularly attract intelligent people.
I love BACARY. what a man .what a player. True leader.
Nice post sir.
Shouting into the void here, as I am sure there is no one around (after 4:00 am UK time) but this is the first chance I’ve had to comment. Sorry, George, for not being on the ball.
I’ll admit to a bit of a soft spot for Twitter. Like Andrew, I’m picky about who I follow, so I keep the moaning to a minimum on my timeline. But Twitter has been a revelation for me in my journey to becoming an Arsenal obsessed fanatic. If not for the ability to engage daily with other fans, the large majority of whom live thousands of miles from me, I’m not sure my experience would have been the same. I count many people there, and on this blog, as my good friends, as much so as friends who live right here in my little corner of Alabama.
To use a high-school analogy, this blog is like a classroom. Long form, reasoned discussion on the subject of the day, moderated by the teacher (George maybe, or the day’s writer). Twitter is like the cafeteria. It’s also possible to have great discussions there, but there’s a lot of background noise. And the quality of the discourse depends on who you sit with.
Sensational Sagna, that wonderfully skilled and committed hero in Arsenal colours for so long it’s like he’s always been there for us. Compare and contrast his words to the self-serving narcissist drivel dished-watered out by weak-willed upstarts who have come, and gone, during Sagna’s era; and where are they, and their careers, now. Adebayor? (failed at City, a ‘feature’, hell even a ‘success’ at the club that failed, again, to reach Europe’s top league, while Arsenal notched number # 16 consecutive CL campaigns); Nasri? (failed at City, vilified and even blamed as a spoilt brat by its manager, could barely make the first team by a season end full of nasty recrimination); Flamini? (lost at sea, somewhere, barely heard of); Hleb? (too sad to even relate, what a talent down the dog drain); Song? (a sad story, laughing stock, described as one of the two worst foreign signings last season by all Spanish clubs); Cesc? (so easily shoved off the pivotal spot again, this time by Neymar, a future now so uncertain that even Moyes wants him); van Persie (aging one-season wonder-boy who sold his status as one the most respected Arsenal players in its history, for one silver trophy).
Beware the curse. It follows and haunts you. It’s called being shown for who you are when the majestic, protective, collective cloak of Arsenal class an artistry is removed.
And what does each of these players have in common? Each one had success, huge respect, personal growth and prospects at the Arsenal they left, and in some way or other, maligned. Every one was regarded at one time as “one of the best …”, under Arsenal. Every one became a household name, at Arsenal, and the envy of other clubs. Believing their individual grandeur to be greater than the club that identified, revealed or nurtured them, each one left to a “shining future” that somehow got greasy and grubby.
The one reason Wenger takes very few players back is he knows this; the player who left is not the same who may return, mentally, footballistically. Henry the exception.
These endings provide the start point of how to understand and appreciate Arsenal’s transfer policy and system, guided by Wenger. Compare and contrast Sagna, and say off the top of my head … Tomas, Thierry, Gilberto … to this lot … the magnificent seven “certain starters” and from there you may sing “holy cow, where are they now”?