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

  1. 0-1 down at the half but, unlike Chelsea, we are doing a better job retaining our defensive shape. Good signs when we get possession and mount our attacks. Unfortunately we lack speed in both the flanks and from midfield when we attack. Just need to be patient. We will get chances as the game progresses.

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  2. 1:1. I said be patient. Keep our defensive shape, keep in the game and we will score.

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  3. Shotta, wah gwaan?

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  4. PaulN: Mi deh ya blood. Just a hold it down. Game is perched on a knife’s edge. Next goal wins the game.

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  5. Yes mi bredrin, the game is well tense!

    Us to nick it all the same.

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  6. The Ox to win it for us.

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  7. Yaya’s first goal?

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  8. I just hope it is Yaya or even somebody’s backside.

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  9. Fighting spirit!

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  10. Proud of the boys!

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  11. Encouraging and confidence boosting performance. I think we were slightly better overall but a draw is relatively fair. But oh if we could have pinched one more in the second half–Poldi’s chance, say.

    We roll on. Happy for Flamini.

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  12. 1:1 draw at the end. Probably a fair result especially after that brilliant save by Hart off Poldi’s hammer shot. I love the spirit of this team. They were down by 1 goal but heads didn’t drop. Just played their game, kept their shape and could have won. It is amazing we are still in the mix with 3 of our best players out due to injury. It bears reminding those dooming ninnies out there.

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  13. Credit where it is due as well–the Ems crowd was very good from the start, even when we weren’t at our best. Good to see!

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  14. I’d say 4 of our best players: Kos, Rambo, Theo, Ozil,

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  15. Interesting Arteta-Flamini axis today with the Flamster free to break forward when the opportunity presented itself resulting in that goal. Got to hold up my hand and admit I was publicly a non-believer. Obviously neither are a substitute for Ramsey though.

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  16. Apart from a few counters early on, I thought we contained them pretty well.

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  17. Well done the men of ARSENAL!!!!
    great effort.
    Congrats AW…..
    Super happy GOONER here.
    Good weekend everyone….

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  18. Very happy for FLAMSTER….

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  19. Now to win the rest of our matches.

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  20. we drew and chelsea lost? na that can’t be right I thought only arsenal lost games and the other two were the best you could buy.

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  21. BOOM SHAKASHAKA BOOM….

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  22. I’ll settle for that result, but what was even more pleasing was the much improved performance by team and crowd today. We can build on this.

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  23. Proud Gunner

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  24. Limestone, I loved how the crowd clapped the boys at the end.

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  25. Limestonegunner @ 7:33 pm – I forgot the Kozzer. Thank heavens Vermaelen is more than able deputy.

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  26. Excellent performance, to dominate a second half against such a side when we are missing so many players and the players left were suffering from fatigue and confidence and going a goal down was truly remarkable. Hope the players can take that on as they did with last seasons Bayern game and finish very strongly

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  27. True, Cerm was totally solid. Plus you could also count Jack…

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  28. Now will people believe we are the business. Love this team. Sorry – back from wedding – tired and emotional but you have got to admit we are special. Just love them.

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  29. The Flamster. Knew he would be the business.

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  30. Cerm=Verm.

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  31. Good game. I thought the Ox should have come in as soon as Navas came off. Vermaelen had a very good game and so did Flamini. Good effort all round.

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  32. Good point a or b, imagine the damage we could have inflicted with our full complement of players available. As it was our patchwork team had city on the ropes second half. We just did not quite have enough quality up front to turn our superiority into a winning goal. I thought TR7 in particular was a star. He really took the game by the scruff of the neck and was playing like he was 10 years younger. He was so full of energy and endeavour. I was well impressed.

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  33. Anyone want to do the write up?

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  34. Gains, Arsene said the Ox had a muscular problem in the pre-match interview, so I was surprised to see him at all. That is an indication of how little we have in reserve thanks to the injuries we are currently carrying.

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  35. I agree fully with Passenal’s comment. I think Rosicky embodied all the best qualities of this team’s battling performance. Absolutely phenomenal from him playing three full games in a row. He’s been our best and most consistent player this month.

    Ramsey, Walcott and Ozil played away v. City I believe but surely Walcott on the break would have been decisive–we could easily have pinched this.

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  36. Interesting f about Ox. I wondered why he wasn’t involved earlier. He looked quite good when he came on.

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  37. Tomas Rosicky- fucking hell. What a player.

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  38. My hero. The hustle in that man. The best example for younger players to emulate. He work super hard today. SANTI worked it too. VERMALEN , solid.
    A great team effort. Could easily gave won this too. Heh. Who’s complaining. we had a very good team of mercenaries on the ropes for long periods at a time.

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  39. Read on twitter in the last few days about fans selling loads of tickets for today’s game. Maybe that was why the crowd was so good. The usual wankers may have stayed away so they could organise a fly by poster like the man u wankers.

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  40. every time this team seems down and out they hall themselves up by the balls. We definitely have the spirit to win the league and now the team are growing in strength, flair and the telepathic movement needed to bring home the silverware. Certainly our multiple injuries have hit us hard at key times throughout the season, we are not far away and we obviously need to learn to contain teams on our off days however there is no reason we cant finish this season with a florish

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  41. Dups

    I noticed that too, crowd in the Ems was really up for it, and got behind the team early on – even when we were a goal down.
    The disallowed pen and offside goal helped make us feel a bit like it was AFC vs the world. As I said (pats himself on the back) City and the Chavs cannot win all their remaining games, as Palace proved.
    I could not find a moaning malcontent black scarfer to argue with after the game, you can imagine my disappointment. They must be so pissed off right now that the result didn’t give them the excuse to continue to undermine the team and club.
    They can stay the feck away from the Ems and let more lowly red members get the tickets from now on.

    Really nice day and the highlight was meeting some of the positive gang at the George, all a bit fun asking each other what our twitter handles were – a bit like the secret police mans ball or blind date!

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  42. It was a pleasure meeting AA, Anicoll, DC and………the one and only ……….HUNTER…….we need to get PG to game…..

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  43. I don’t know how or even why GeoffArsenal bothers debating with those doomers on that Bergkamp wonderland podcast….he was the lone voice of reason. Practically everything they complained about was based on spurious assumptions and their interpretations.

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