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Could I Stop Supporting Arsenal; Have YOU Stopped Already?

 “No one is bigger than the club.” 

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

  1. finsbury
    i have been busy. concerning campbell, he didnt play right midfield but a right side striker because olympiacos played with a lone striker. tracking back hasnt always been his strong point, but he didnt have to do much of tracking in greece because olympiacos are too strong for most clubs. but the epl is a different league and he needs to do more than just ball control and dribbling. but i’m not worried because he is such a great talent that he will come good. he has already convinced most people here who doubted his talent but all that is left is to train harder and impress arsene.

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  2. george, that is the problem. its like other player in the team dont know if or when alexis will release the ball. even against hull, welbs was almost giving up on sanchez when he suddenly gave him the ball.

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  3. Thanks layksite
    One thing I think he’ll have been working on was his stamina which to my untutored eye looked like the obvious area to work on during the WC.

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  4. I notice a lack of movement from the team when Alexis has the ball , is that because they dont think he will release it or don’t know where?”

    I liked the way Sanchez brought down Gibbs’ cross, held his balance and played the one two off the unfortunate defender who probably had a flawless performance up till that moment, and back to Plodders (IBSF)

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  5. technically alexis is unlimited finsbury. tactical understanding is all that lets him down at times. i also realise that whenever he has the ball, the fullbacks dont like to overlap. but one thing he has added to our game is his dead ball ability. over time teams have stopped our players on thier tracks by giving away free kicks in dangerous situation, but we have not been taking much advantage. with alexis, they will now think twice. he almost scored another again on wednesday.

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  6. George,
    Will try and email over a match preview later tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good man Fins, give them Black Cats hell

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  8. where is hunter?!

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  9. like him or not, this house is not the same without him.

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  10. George, draft sent. You might need to format the text.

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  11. no jack tomorrow, it means ramsey starts. not sure if he’s fully fit. arteta should start as well. hope to see a little more of campbell, although poldi has made a statement with his goal and may get the nod ahead of joel if we need help from the bench.

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  12. Looking at both Whoscored and Opta (via FourFourTwo), it would seem that The Arsenal had the possession. 14 shots on target against 13 by The Arsenal! The stats do not add up to the “lucky Arsenal”?

    What is wrong with these TV pseudo-footballers?

    On FourFourtwo, I came across Mr Wenger’s “Five-a-side philosophy”. I quote a line “It’s like having Fitz from Cracker in charge of your team”.

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  13. shotta tbh i dont think most goals this season have been down to big defensive errors. The midfield have played more than their part in conceeding goals this season. Not tracking back has cost us dear this season.

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