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Step Up Super Fans

Another Guest post from  @The_Beck_

 

There’s something special about this week, I’ve wanted to write about it all summer, yet when it came, I felt weirdly empty and lost for words. I’ve struggled to come to terms with what happened last week, even though I was probably one of the few who truly believed something like that or more would happen. I’m talking about our biggest record breaking signing, ever, Mesut Ozil.
See for me, I’ve long loved Ozil’s new manager, his name is Arsene Wenger, he’s the greatest manager Arsenal has had to this day and I doubt many will top his tenure. It’s a bit of a cliché to say that Ozil came at the best time, it is hard to say when that time is, but it certainly helped the club, the fans and the manager.
Yet when Ozil was announced, I wanted to go around and laugh at those who doubted it would happen, doubted Arsene, doubted Gazidis and Law (almost everybody), those who talked about them all summer like they have no place at the club, like your average Twitter user somehow knew more, your average Arsenal blogger had all the answers and all the right questions with it too.
But I didn’t do it, I had 100’s of Tweets favorited, 100’s of mates to text, Facebook friends who I’m sure would defriend me after a little online Ozil party. I just thought to myself, we’ve done it, this is great, this is great for our future and no one can take that away from us and all I want to do is celebrate.
All year I’ve defended players he’s defended, whenever I’ve gone to a game, I’ve never booed or abused a player, I’m always the first to defend a player who I believe has quality but is not finding form, the likes of Kos and Ramsey and even Gervinho. I also defend those who have never quite made it at our football club, even if secretly I think they are not a very good player (sort of like AW does).
People truly believe I act or think the way I do because I want to be some kind of super fan? They don’t think I want to look out for the club, its players, staff and fans?
95% of my thoughts are Arsenal and Politics and Sex and Love, the other 5% is just food.
I want the best for us; I want the best for the club, the fans and of course the world (a world where Arsenal is winning, until we’re sick of winning).
For me the best supporter, the best fan of the club is Arsene Wenger, he’s a model supporter, it’d be pretty difficult for me to be a better supporter than he is.
He looks after young players, nurtures them, makes them better, keeps faith in them after injuries, despite our fans wanting them sold, and even when they turn their back on him and leave (Robin), he still continues to do the same for other players (Ramsey/Diaby). The man embarrasses my level of support for my club.

I don’t want to be some kind of supporter police, telling people what they are wrong about, that they are carrying on ideas that do not match reality nor rational thought. It’s not my job either to look out for the club, its players, staff or fans, I am just one person, I have a few that think like me. But making sarcastic quips at people for what they think and why they think it, I do it because I love the club, I love the manager and I love a lot of the fans I interact with.
And I also do it because I see that people are adamant that they love the club, but they don’t show it, is it some kind of secret love where you only drink Peroni and shout at the t.v.? I don’t think that’s love, I think these people fell in love with a quick shag and didn’t realize who they really were and now constantly want them to change.  You can always tell how much someone loves something or a person, by how often they put themselves or their thoughts or their feelings before it, or before that person.  Love is not a competition, it is just love.
And just like I enjoy being friends with faithful lovers, I enjoy being friends with faithful Arsenal supporters, who stay true to their love.  I enjoy questioning things, questioning them until I get an answer that satisfies my rationale, my mind, I don’t enjoy condemning situations or people.  Of course, people do not like being told what to do or how to think, this is self-evident in many situations, they want to somehow get there themselves, or to think they got there themselves.
But this week, it changed something in me; it made me not want to tell people what to think or why they were wrong, I didn’t need to, perhaps I never did. Our manager did it for me in a way.  All year we’ve had people speculating about what Mr Wenger is like, that he would never spend, that he only seeks cheap solutions to expensive problems. That he’s done finding gems, that he’s a relative panic buyer and that he doesn’t have any plans anymore.
But every year he surprises, every year he answers critics, piece by piece the British media try to make him out to seem clueless, pundits, bloggers and the odd bloke at the pub, predicting his demise, predicting it’s his final season, when the likelihood is that he’d be signing a new contract (I’m certain he will) and finally have a fair crack at the title, that I don’t think he’s had since 2004 and we were invincible.
The worst part is, when he proves a certain group wrong, or when our club prove others wrong, they use it for fuel, not to apologise for their irrational conclusion, but to further insult, attack, misinform and panic others and like the sheep they are, they follow.
I wonder what Usmanov has up his sleeve now; it’s probably drenched in pharmaceutical sweat and oil.
This is not to say he doesn’t make mistakes (it’s obvious he makes them, every manager makes them), this is not to say he is the definition of perfection, I just believe, due to the evidence presented towards me, year after year, we are far better off with him, than without.
It was an emotional game (Spurs), Monday was an emotional day, but the man is paid to keep it under pressure and he does, he always does, he always keeps calm when others are panicking, you see it every match and every window, he has the edge, even if he doesn’t always get the targets he wanted.
I’d say every one needed to be reminded that he could still do that, that Arsenal could still do that, but if he hadn’t, for many, this would be their wish for him to leave.
But in a window, filled with misinformation and mistrust and greed, I am still forever impressed that they pulled it off. And even more impressed with the targets we’ve been after all summer and the targets we will be in January and next summer. We can be confident in our proceedings and our pursuits, we are a far attractive club with Ozil, but we were with Cazorla, as we were with Robin and Cesc and Henry and so on. We’ve always been an attractive club with a manager that romances players to sign contracts for us and he does it well.
The thing that annoyed me the most this week is this: Arsenal bought Ozil through the self-sustainable model.  No hand-outs, no billionaire showing off what he can do for the club, silent Stan was silent and he will continue to be as the value of our club rises, without his help, without anyone’s help but our own revenue.

But no one, no one talked about this, it wasn’t covered anywhere, it wasn’t celebrated in the news, it should be celebrated by us. They should be lauding us.

They lauded Dortmund all last year (for good reasons), who struggled to keep Gotze and look like they’d struggle to keep Lewandowski, let alone Reus and Gundogan (who we’ve been interested in for a while).
We’ve done something amazing and will continue to make amazing purchases at a time 2-3 of our in domestic rivals have more spending power than we do. We will catch up and we will do it without help or as I like to call it, cheating.
This is a fantastic achievement, both in business terms and in football terms. We should be proud, I hope most of you are.
I don’t think you can be a super supporter, I think if you are true to your club and its values, you will just enjoy being a supporter a lot more.
I love Arsenal so much more because of Arsene Wenger and I love Arsene Wenger so much more because of Arsenal.

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121 comments on “Step Up Super Fans

  1. Fungunner:”Also, and I will probably get stick for saying this, but the English game in England has been harmed in some ways by the working class mentality with which it is imbued. Inherently conservative, prioritising the values and qualities you list, thinking short-term where money is concerned – if you are living hand to mouth, short-term is the only option.”

    These are not working class values. These are the values of working class people who were fooled into thinking they had arrived because banks were throwing cheap credit and low interest loans at them. Or quite simply “Plastics,” as they’re better known round these parts.

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  2. Amy Lawrence is a sweetheart next to Adrian Durham. That idiot even went as far as saying he could manage Arsenal better than Arsene could.

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  3. Gainsbourg69,

    Agree about Adrian ‘Moron’ Durham but no one is even remotely calling him pro-anything having to do with Arsenal while Amy Lawrence get credited as such. I have serious doubts that anyone can beat Durham at Arsenal and Arsene bashing.

    But then he is a recognised idiot.

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  4. @ G69
    the values and attitudes I am talking about are working class values and attitudes. They include conservatism, putting family first, veneration of tradition, as well as short-term attitudes towards money. This is not an exhaustive list, and depending on your point of view, there is good and bad in the examples I have given. Nonetheless, many of those working class values and attitudes – *when applied to football* – can work against change and innovative thinking. That is what I was saying. You are making a political point which is exemplified by the National Lottery, in my opinion, but that is to start a different debate.

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  5. Any word on Theo’s fitness?

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  6. On Twitter, England camp say he’s OK, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

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  7. I seem to remember Arry’s fan club in the media building up Walker a season or two ago as brilliant Passenal – he has always struck me as far too erratic in his defensive duties to perform at the highest level. Tottenham High Road is about the boundary of his potential.

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  8. Nice article.

    Gave up on Amy Lawrence and the rest of hackdom years ago.

    Looks like Theo might be OK but if Arsenal had put in a performance like the Ukrainians last night we would have ended the game with five men on the pitch…..every time Jack had the ball he was clattered.

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  9. I watched the England Germany game in 2010 with a friend who coaches and his comment at the time was that the FA are a collective of “out of touch suits”. Might be a cliche but I like footballing cliches and it was fair comment. Football can sometimes be a caricature of English class divisions.

    Southgate can’t be worse then Pearce. Interesting comments from Pearce today. I remember that he chose to a play a 22 year old Mancienne in midfield against Spain in a final over say a McEachran (needed the games) when he had other options. Chambo was never selected before his move to AFC, so I don’t know what Pearce was doing between games. Scouting 22 year old CBs to play in midfield? Munching on too much raw rosbief? Is his problem worms?

    At best Lumpy just didn’t have the legs to do the job in midfield, Uncle Roy needed to go for another yute alongside Gerrard and the returning St.Jack who is still months and months and months away from the top top level conditioning required after so many disruptions (see Rambo). Not clever to have played him against the minnows the other day.

    And I can’t believe Theo was left on after that rake. Ouch. Then again watching Young after he came on I have some sympathy for the manager. Like me I’m sure he has been upset when thinking of the missing Chamberlain. *sobs*. For Arsenal it’s not too bad (chances for Gnabry or Ryo could be snatched).

    For England, with a limited pool of players, getting rid of refs like Taylor would be a useful place to start. But it seems with other recruits like Swarbrick that Riley has a, urm, a particular vision of his game should be played.

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  10. My impression of Pearce is that he could not coach or manage to save his life Fins and how he was so long in the U21 job – (2007 to 2013) a bit of a mystery.

    To be fair to the man however for every U21 Euro finals England invariably qualified under Pearce, and although England never won it they made one final and one semifinal. A second issue is that unlike most (all ?) his U21 competitors he lost players to the senior squad.

    No other Euro nation – Germany, Spain, Holland, France, Italy, Portugal actually managed to qualify for every finals

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  11. I find it hard to empathise with Pearce’s complaints about players being taken away from him when he elects to play CBs in midfield in a final over midfielders in his squad who had already played well in the same tournament.

    Yesterday I wrote that Football here is still reasonably strong* in spite of problems with coaching. For me Pearce is a good example.

    *Even though the gap with those considered rivals has grown…the worry is if better and more coaches aren’t churned out that the gap will continue to grow.

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  12. All I know about Pearce is he had a fearsome free-kick, not the curler, the thunderbolt.

    I enjoyed the discussion about working class values in football and all that. When I first visited UK, for some years I was illegal and the only jobs were building sites, scrap metal yards, moving furniture. It was all new, the “working class” in Zim at that time barely two generations in existence. We are rural; but in another way the difference is the same. Thing is Fun is right, decent qualities one likes to think of as part of working class culture, loyalty, local customs, social traditions, socially conservative in many ways, more religious, endless struggles that make community or family a necessity to survive; these are not be the same that identifies with a revolution in football.

    My point was more politically inclined than football, but applies to Arsenal, to my personal knowledge that same working class culture also produces the very best fighters, rebels and thinkers. Without that, we would not have achieved independence.

    Anecdotally, I recall working a bit in the back-breaking job of delivering carpets (often in high rise estates), the better tips (what we call a “thank you” in Zim) were from poorer homes, as if they understood what it was to carry a bloody great carpet up flights of stairs and around impossible corners.

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  13. < 22 year old CBs in midfield…

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  14. wonderful article, wonderful replies, wonderful blog, wonderful people, wonderful team, wonderful players, wonderful stadium, wonderful future, wonderful wonderful wonderful…. alles sind wönderföl….ja…es gefehlt mich….!! komm theo und olivier bombard den netten !!!

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  15. wir mussen eine neue arshloch zu munchester und chavski tieren. alles verstanden?

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  16. Hunter
    Wir Sind alles die Gööners jeztz!

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  17. Slight ramble, please excuse:

    Even when there were plenty of English players playing in the PL Carlton Palmer was given more caps then Le Tissier. *shakes head*

    Start with better coaching and rest will follow, i think we have good evidence for that. The last time England looked really good was under two Tottnum* coaches who valued technique and flair (as well as gr*t!). A shame for the game here that both have been excommunicated by the FA even if they did deserve it.

    *listening to Tottnum ITKs moan and whinge at their beloved ‘Arry when he dared to let Bale develop and not just play him on the LW was an interesting context with which to view our own experts fans. No, I’m not a better coach then ‘Arry.
    Though I do note that his distractions from coaching made it impossible for him to ever build a proper team!

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  18. double canister September 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Oh wie gehts mein freund..alles in göönerverse sind ecstatic ich glaube….excepten die vankers aus legroven..sie hat keine idee.

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  19. Le Tissier.

    one of my favourites ever. what a shot. and what a drinker…took pints down like a sink! boss

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  20. Fins: Southgate can’t be worse then Pearce. Interesting comments from Pearce today. I remember that he chose to a play a 22 year old Mancienne in midfield against Spain in a final over say a McEachran (needed the games) when he had other options. Chambo was never selected before his move to AFC, so I don’t know what Pearce was doing between games. Scouting 22 year old CBs to play in midfield? Munching on too much raw rosbief? Is his problem worms?”

    Was Pearce the coach at the U-21 World Cup? What a shower of shit that team was.

    Amid this anti-foreigner wave that erupted thanks to Woy and Dyke, I read a very good article on the very expensive hole Josh McEachran dug for himself at Chelsea. The article basically excuses Chelsea for killing his career in the same fashion they killed the careers of Joe Cole and Shawn Wright Phillips. Of course, they blame those nasty foreigners for getting in his way.

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  21. How can Woy keep on playing Gerrard and Lampard in the middle? What does Stevie G posses which causes everyone around him to think he’s good?

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