Today we have a guest post from Seebs @arse_or_brain
The ARSENAL collective has long been able to stretch its tentacles across all terrains of this greatly undulating earth, only now in greatly enhanced numbers. So there is no surprise that opinions will differ from time to time however the vastness of the differences is surprising. I’m not sure whether its nature or nurture, as in many cases, but do know the so called civil war has not just two sides , people are approaching from all angles.
There are many complete aresholes that just like moaning and would moan if we won the league every year, these are just very sad people and some of these even give the youth team shit. To slag off sixteen year olds that are often playing against a sides on average a year older and who are brought from all over Europe on big wages is lunacy. Our hale end graduates should be supported at all cost as their assent to the top is more difficult now than ever.
There are another group of the unsatisfied who been disadvantaged by the PL and sky and how football changed after Hillsborough and its acceptance for corporate rather than your traditional fan. This group are angry with the commercial world but their anger unfortunately is misdirected. The hatred of the ordinary fans by the government of the early eighties meant they could use all crisis and disasters to completely change the face of the working man’s game. The early interpretations of the Taylor report were designed to fade football away but as always the game was ready to fight back. When you are at your lowest you are susceptible to all sorts of evil and the devil that appeared was capitalism and the sale of the games soul. I do have some sympathy with this group until they dig at the manager, if they look at the bigger picture he is actually the salmon swimming upstream. The clubs status has depended on the success of the spawning and fertilization of the great mans ideas.
Then you have the group who have only seen the PL and are comparing Arsene with well….Arsene, obviously forgetting that early Arsene didn’t have to contend with the obstacles recent Arsene has had to climb. They assume money has no bearing on football and often use the old its still 11 v 11 and you still have to get them playing as a team. The trophies round the center of the stadium bear no relation to them, they believe chelski are the most successful London club and have always been in the top division. Apparently Ryan Giggs had played since the beginning of time and BoB Wilson just some ex-player.
Occasionally you will get the good old ARSENAL brigade who believe we were always the biggest club in the world and the gaps between the thirties to 48/53 and then to 71 and then to 89/91 and then to 98 just don’t exist. While Herbert Chapman’s legacy was to make us recognizable to even tribes in darkest Peru ( Patrick Barclays latest book is testament to this and well worth a read) the regular silverware and innovations stopped with the war. “THE ARSENAL” still had massive standing without ever really collecting the glory.
Obviously one of the worst groups, the ones who will believe absolutely anything tv, radio or the red tops tell them. After reading the headline Arsene Wenger ate my hamster you’re not going to think he’s a nice bloke are you. I hear the agenda biased media load the gun only for some lunatic with a red and white label to run around firing it off in all directions. Strange how their ideas always come just after a media suggestion although they think it is completely unique. Maybe there is something in this conception lark after all. Once again I have sympathy for this group but for a completely different reason…. it just worries me they have the vote as recent elections have shown.
As Passenal has previously commented some people will go to the game just to moan and some have literally been brought up this way, in the years since the move fans think this is a natural way to support your club they have been taught it, the more you criticize the more knowledgeable you are about your club and therefore the bigger supporter you are. If you shout out your not fit to wear the shirt it appears you have the knowledge to know what players have worn it in the past and you care so much more than any player ever could. This I believe is an unfortunate by-product of the move and the new entrants to regular ARSENAL whether they had been fans for a day or years. A different dynamic was definitely born with the new stadium.
After years of not going to away games the first day I went back to old Trafford I couldn’t believe they didn’t sing, it was deadly quite until they scored. chelski couldn’t even sell out their ground in Romans first years and so really in a way we shouldn’t be surprised about the discontents at our place however when you managed to acquire tickets to 75% of Wembley and get outsung from the start by a couple of northerners that’s when it gets embarrassing. When I first went to away games it felt like I was amongst a small group of gladiators fighting a massive army and our voice and our songs were weapons, even when the bottles came reigning in. To be outsung by a small group of other supporters was unthinkable. Fights among ARSENAL fans were reported at both final and semi final and although I thought this was a modern phenomena the ARSENAL historians at A.I.S.A have told me different as apparently the gents between the wars were partial to fisticuffs.
One final thought is the sudden change of attitude of those fans who said silverware was more important than fourth place until our defeat to everton and the abyss was being starred in to, amazingly Thursday nights didn’t seem so palatable.