Football has always been about opinions.
In the olden days we would sit around in small groups and moan about certain players. We might also blame the manager for poor form. It was always thus.
Now though we have taken moaning to new levels. There are those who have taken to attacking everything at the club to professional levels.
There are those that write blogs, tweet and podcast that have large followings and they have become Uber-Fans.
Based on what?
You might well ask! Well in most cases it’s based on no more than their mistaken belief that they are experts on err, umm err… well, everything really.
If you listen to podcasts, follow twitter or read blogs, they’re full of annoyingly pretentious ill-informed pillocks seeking to impress the gullible and the equally ill-informed. They pontificate from a position of ignorance on all matters relating to the club.
So now instead of it just being a few of us moaning about what our eyes have seen, it’s thousands moaning about things they know bugger all about.
These Uber-Fans are like contestants on The X-Factor who are prepared to make absolute idiots of themselves simply to become a celebrity. They seem intent on showing how smart they are at the expense of the club.
The problem being – they are not that smart at all. They are just loud.
Of course, I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush. There are those who know a lot and talk a lot of sense. Every week I look forward to reading The Tim Stillman (@LittleDutchVA) column on Arseblog. Tim offers ideas on tactics, players and the manager that I find both interesting and even educational. However, he does not preach or insist that his ideas and opinions are definitive. In short, he doesn’t profess to be a know-all. I might be wrong, but it looks to me that he also understands that he has a responsibility to be balanced. There are others, but they are thin on the ground.
The tone of many bloggers, tweeters and podcasters is provocative, snide and almost bitter. You might think winning the FA Cup, signing the likes of Sanchez and Ozil, or even the appointment of a new fitness supremo would have mellowed the tone of these uninformed experts, but no, none of it. Everything from tactics and formations to the timing of substitutions and how many sugars Doris is putting in the tea, is savaged and rubbished.
Here are some words from our own Arsenal Andrew:
“There is an irony not lost on many of us here in having a man with the brilliance of Wenger hounded by the likes of those for whom the lights may appear to be on, but who quite clearly, are no longer at home.
The genius of Wenger is conversely offset by the rank stupidity of a noisy band of barackers, modern-day hecklers who long ago forgot what it meant to support, who today visit upon the club as disconnected strangers sadly oblivious to the maxim of supporting through thick and thin.
Together this limp collection of disbelievers rally together with the single hollow bond of those claiming to love the club to the ends of the earth, but who in reality, as Bergkamp memorably observed, love merely the version with trophies.
They lightly skip, trip and stumble over what they would have us believe are the issues of the hour. Meanwhile the club grows and develops, moving purposefully and with grace, ever forward towards a goal and a destiny born of breathtaking ambition.
A destiny in which we, the fans, had just one job.
We just had the one job.“
I was hoping that the fight was over, that the clear and present improvement of the club would allow us to just get on with that one job.
Seems I hoped in vain.
By pedantic george aka @Blackburngeorge
Now. Part 2 from Andrew @anicoll5
What used to be bizarre to my sight to the approach of the Uberbloggers and their flocks of credulous sheep was the incessantly changing targets of their dissatisfaction. As Tim has rightly said above yesterday it was Stan paying £3m out of funds of the club he owns, in relation to work he is entitled to for services rendered, into another business that he owns and which performed that service. The day before it is something else, the day before that some new perceived calamity that Arsene or the cub or some poor unfortunate player has maliciously heaped on the poor suffering fans, blah, blah, blah.
Gaze backwards a few months. The Uber bloggers whine was “Spend some farking money’ “Sign a farking forward” ” that Giroo is farking useless” “that Thomas Vermaelen is deadwood – get rid ” Their sheep baa’ed the message they had been fed loudly across the digital world, the phone in lines buzzed with self important discontents.
But we know the club gets on with its business buys and sells players. The strikers are bought, damn fine players. Do we hear any jot of pleasure or contentment from the Uber bloggers and the flock ? Not a bit of it. Now it has moved on to “Sign a farking central defensive beast” “Sign a farking defender’ “Why did you let Tommy V go for fark’s sake” etcetera etcetera etcetera.
I won’t bore you by taking you through fifty other examples of whining about commercial revenue streams, sponsorship, players signed, players not signed, deadwood kept, deadwood not kept, we have to win a trophy, oK we won a trophy but that don’t count. It is a constantly changing target of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Nothing Arsenal football club does is ever good enough, there is no joy or contentment in these people’s lives. They live to moan.
And then the mists cleared and I understood.
Now I suspect there are some Uberbloggers who are literally farmers of this discontent, and who understand that they can make a living by peddling material that attracts hits on their websites and £k’ching in their accounts. In a sense I admire them. They have identified a market and have devised, over time, a service product that satisfies and earns them a reward for work undertaken. They supply the sheep with a constantly changing themes of the wrong that Arsenal football club is doing to their fans, a daily diet of alleged crimes to top up their grievance levels. Peyton and Le Grove etc are service providers.
And the sheep themselves, this great baa’ing credulous mob prepared to turn on any player, any manager, any fellow fan who fails to join their abuse of the Club, who engage in strange clothing rituals of black scarves, like some form of jihadist sect! Who are they ?
Well I suspect a significant proportion of them are suffering from a mild form of a condition called “dysphoria”. That is a state of mind in which the individual is pathologically unable to enjoy or to even gain contentment with their circumstances in life, or in this case with the football cub they believe, and probably sincerely believe, they “support”. Those suffering dysphoria externalise the mixture of anxiety and depression they experience. No matter what changes in the external world however, how their personal circumstances might improve materially or emotionally, they will not be happy because that healthy psychological response is not open to them. Even if a long term demand is satisfied today, by tomorrow morning a whole new set of dissatisfactions will have been created, or as I explained above, been provided by the “service providers”.
So no George these people are not out to destroy Arsenal , the people are sick.