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How Arsène Wenger and some players have become the victim of stereotyping

Negative & Positive Stereotypes – Don McMahon

Some Arsenal supporters have always considered themselves a cut above other fans, especially the Totts and other London clubs. However, after starting to follow AFC in 2002, there seemed to be a repeated pattern evolving from many comments posted on the net from Gooners, which, to say the least, shone a rather revealing and demeaning spotlight on their self-proclaimed and sometimes sanctimonious pride.

Here are a few negative and positive stereotypes that have rattled around in the AFC sphere for some time. Both are equally destructive to the truth:

1. Arsène Wenger is a croissant-eating continental whose Gallic apathy personifies what is so flagrantly obvious to any xenophobe or chauvinist: he lacks English spine:

Wenger is actually an Alsatian and his mother tongue is Alsatian. He also speaks fluent French, German and is pretty good in English, Spanish and some Japanese as well. The Alsatians have ¨belonged¨ to either France,Germany or themselves over the last couple of hundred years depending on the outcome of various conflicts and political manoeuvring and are still considered by most Germans as being German, like the Sudetenland Poles.

2. Arsène prefers continental or foreign players to English players because he is openly critical of British football and is not at ease with said Anglo-Saxons.

This stereotype arises as much from the media’s early rants against him as it does from the addled brains of Wenger-haters. Wenger has said that English players are over-rated and too expensive but he has never refused to sign a good English player when available. He currently has 8 British-born players at last count in the 25 EPL limit, which is about the same as other EPL teams have.

3. Foreign players are rarely able to take the hard tackling, high paced and often brutal competition the EPL serves up regularly.

It is true that some of our  foreign players (Eduardo, Fabregas, RVP, Diaby, to name a few) were brutalized on a regular basis but none of them backed down, nor did they complain about the pace and ferocity of the EPL. They did complain about the lack of protection officials offered them in tough games…something SAF and other managers also complained about!

4. According to some expert Gooners, our youth project has been a complete failure and the principle reason why AFC haven’t won a trophy in years. The other reason is Arsène’s stubborness in ignoring these self-proclaimed experts sage advice.

The youth project was never meant to be the solution to our loss of the Invincibles and some key players over the years. It was Wenger’s way of accommodating our limited financial scope during and immediately after the building of the Emirates. His principle tactic was to bring in relative unknowns (as he’d done since his arrival in 1997) and to polish them up to the EPL standards, or move them on if needed.

I reviewed each EPL team in the top 7 spots since 2005 and less than 1% of their youth players ever played a game for the first team, so it seems the entire Youth and Academy setups of the EPL big guns is a failure as well.

Now for some ¨positive stereotypes”:

1) The certain options for winning something are to buy high-priced and high-flying superstars like the oilers and billionaires do. They will ENSURE that we win something because they are so good and so superior to anything AFC have or ever had.

All one needs to do is look at City, PSG and Real Mad (where the funding comes from a different source but the result is the same) to see the fallacy of this stereotype. Certainly, bringing in a player like Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Zidane will boost your chances of winning something, but never guarantee them. Our hyperbolic Gooners who scream their dismay from the rooftops when we buy anyone under £30m (everyone so far) have forgotten the bitter experiences of the above teams and even Barca have tasted deception with some big name purchases.

2.) British players seem to possess a mysterious physiological trait called ¨British spine¨ which implies that, when facing their foreign opponents in the EPL, the Brits suddenly develop a ferocity and hardness that translates into superior performances, tougher playing and determination to never surrender…or some such nonsense.

Well, all I can say is that those self-same defenders of the British tradition suddenly lose that trait when playing as a team, on the international scene. Maybe its all a myth promulgated by revisionist daydreamers who have convinced themselves that everything would be so much better in Football if only Britain ran the show once more.

So-called positive stereotypes can be as destructive to the truth as negative ones. They tend to isolate, in one fell swoop, an entire community of people who are far too complex to explain in a few words.

As Shannon Ridgway, an American feminist and activist so aptly wrote:

¨Fortunately, there are a few things that we can do to acknowledge when we’re stereotyping and move past it:

1.      Be honest with yourself. If you hold assumptions about people based on their race, class, sex, social status, or any other demographic characteristics, acknowledge that it’s an issue for you, even if it’s hard to admit or makes you feel embarrassed.

2.      Check yourself. About to tell a racist (or one might add, nationalist) joke? Catch yourself in the act, and stop before you go through with it.

3.      Step outside your comfort zone. Learn about people of other cultures, ethnicities, and religions. The more you learn about others, the less likely you are to judge them.

4.      Correct others when they stereotype. When you hear others make racist, offensive, or stereotypical remarks, call them out on it! When engage others in discussion of their own prejudices, we engage in positive dialogue and increase our own awareness as well.

To move beyond stereotypes, first we have to understand them.

It is high time that Gooners began to practice the above counsel and start to earn the title of the EPL”s best fans. Stopping the stereotypes would be a great beginning.  And indeed if you see other stereotypes that need to be eliminated please do outline them below.

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44 comments to How Arsène Wenger and some players have become the victim of stereotyping

  • Silas Bayo

    Arsenal fans are inpateince simply the fact that the coach is not making efford to restrusture the team

  • ClockEndRider

    Sir,
    No doubt your piece was well intentioned and you make some excellent points.
    Quite why you end it with a 6th form lesson in political correctness is a bit baffling. Many of us come here for a more elevated approach to events and don’t need lessons in political thought thank you.

  • sleepinggiant

    “All one needs to do is look at City, PSG and Real Mad (where the funding comes from a different source but the result is the same) to see the fallacy of this stereotype.”

    Is this some kind of joke? Not just rubbish but a dangerous and purposely crafted lie. All three clubs have benefitted massively from their cash injections and continue to do so. I doubt many of the rich clubs ever has a year as poor as the one we just suffered. And these are in the main clubs that have no right to be mentioned in the same breath as Arsenal. So how can you say it is a fallacy that investment brings success – it has pretty much universally made princes, kings and emperors out of paupers. It is simply a self serving lie. Every rich club cant win everything every year, simply because other clubs at the top financial table will beat them occasionally. In other words, someone has to win and someone finish second, but it is inevitably one of the clubs who spends properly that fills all the top positions. It is the clubs who invest that are the modern elite, like it or not. The incontravenable proof to the danger of this lie is that City, in their ‘awful’ season gone past, have achieved more than we have in any of the past 7 seasons. Yet you consider this a failure (and that some of your rubbish over the past few years is lauded on this websie) You are simply demonstrating the complete contradiction in your position – and that is this:-

    Because city have money you consider last year a failure yet do not castigate Arsenal for finishing lower than that!!!! In other words you have accepted that City, because of their spending, should have higher standards than Arsenal. So in other words, its ok for Arsenal to be judged by lower standards than the clubs with money. And you think this is an acceptable position for an Arsenal fan?!!?? I couldn’t disagree more.

    This website is in grave danger of becoming a propaganda mouthpiece for fans of Chelsea, Spurs and Man U whose only desire is to make sure Arsenal stays among the also rans where we currently reside. We have put up with the dross of the past near-decade, we know some if it was necessary in the early days, but that has not been the case for the psat 3 years. however, thankfully, due to the oceans of new money from the new sponsorship that is now irrelevant.

    We now have the money to compete with the oil rich clubs. Whether we spend it or not, we must be judged by the same standards. And there is not a true Arsenal fan out there who will have a single complaint about that.

    No more excuses, no more hiding behind self imposed restrictions. We will be as good as where we finish from now on. We are in the big league now with the new sponsorship deals. Next year there is no excuse for us to judge the club on anything on its league position and the trophies it brings in.

  • John

    Another myth, arising from a steryotype, is that successful teams need an old-fashioned British centre forward, who is good in the air and relishes physical combat. Its corollary is the need for a battle-hardened centre-half who can combat this approach and is an “uncompromising” defender.

    Ergo, defenders who can control and pass the ball are considered inferior. Repeatedly putting the ball into “Row Z” is a habit of a good defender.

    These are presumably indicators of British “steel,” and “backbone” referred to in the article. This suggests that the solution for Arsenal’s critics who share some of these notions is to go and watch Stoke, so that they can enjoy their football.

  • Isaac

    All good points and in my humble opinion,media outlets like the Sun and Daily Mail can be rather Xenophobic hyping up the argument in whatever the story maybe(e.g If a Brit of a different parental origin committed a heinous tackle or whatever on or off the pitch,It’s reported as a British-born whatever the background,if its a good gesture by the same person,it’s reported as the Brit with no reference to their background).Most people are inclined to believe what the media report and it therefore sparks a frenzy that spills onto the stands.It becomes ok for fans because the media reported it. People find it difficult and it is to criticise one of their ‘own’ where there’s a mob,for fear of being ganged up on or lambasted by their peers so they often go with the flow even when they know its wrong. Back to Wenger,when he arrived,there were a big British squad at Arsenal,he also realised the damaging drinking culture in the dressing room and changed all that,Tony Adams, especially went from being a ‘donkey’ to become the best centre half in PL and prolonged his career by another 6 years and this was at the time when fans thought he was due retirement,However not much mention is made of that and if it is its little snippets.It may happen one day that attitudes will change, but not when even politicians won’t stop spouting bile about immigrants who it seems are at fault for everything negative and unBritish.

  • nicky

    Old cynic that I am, I cannot foresee Arsenal fans, particularly those brought up in the capital, of ever becoming “the EPL’s best fans”.
    Too fickle by far, those who sit at the Emirates long for the glory days and in the meantime must have a scapegoat on whom to vent their displeasure.
    Denilson, Bendtner,Squillaci, Walcott and Ramsey, each has had his turn. These fans will not give 100% support at all times to whoever wears the shirt, yet they still expect success.

  • Bootoomee

    ClockEndRider,

    Are you insecure or are you affected by some of the points raised in the article? I cannot understand your grudge. It is a set of advice: take it if you need it or ignore it if you don’t. Your attack on the writer makes you sound like a school yard bully who picks on the brighter students.

    Don McMahon,

    Excellent post! I have good understanding of stereotypes: I have been a perpetrator as well as a victim but I have always strived to be a better person. Sometimes we don’t know how hurtful our actions are and I don’t think that is terrible on its own. But the moment you learn about how hurtful your deeds are to others, you’ve got to immediately apologise and make corrections.

    I grew up in a religious country where it is (still) ok to be openly homophobic (actually, it is considered distasteful to rationalise homosexuality!) but then I emigrated to the UK. During my first week here, I made an offensive comment about a gay actor on TV and my British cousin schooled me on bigotry. I have made a 180 degrees change on my attitude to homosexuality ever since.

    I think that we all have issues that we are ignorant about one way or another and this is ok. The problem starts when we are shown the errors of our ways but we choose to maintain them.

    On the British spine, it’s nonsense that is used to veil the fact that British players get more favourable calls from the officials and the media. The fact that they are serial failure internationally is enough evidence of this.

  • Bootoomee

    Isaac,

    Great post!

    Christine Ohuorogu, Mo Farah etc are British, the two soldier murderers/idiots from Woolwich are British of Nigerian origin!

    The only issue that the whole country seem to agree on is the negative influence of immigrants on British life! The British public may cringe at racially insensitive or xenophobic utterances from public figures but they lap up immigrant bashing with glee. The last time I checked though, I and all the other immigrants that I know, give much more than we take from the government compared with our British born counterparts.

  • uk

    yaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn! one sensible sentence in an article of more than a thousand words

  • ClockEndRider

    It’s not a grudge. It’s just that I don’t need a lesson in political correctness from anyone. So e of us can hunk quite adequately for ourselves. And there are plenty of politics websites ought here, should I ever need to top up my levels. This obsession with finding a pc angle to everything is frankly dull.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice , Dom – a big LIKE from me . Seems to have pissed off some though – wonder why ? An unjustified (undeserved ) sense of entitlement ?
    Like this delusional fool –

    Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked the young MBA fresh out of MIT, “And what starting salary were you looking for?”

    The candidate said, “In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”

    The HR Person said, “Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years – say, a red Corvette?”

    The Engineer sat up straight and said, “Wow!!! Are you kidding?”

    And the HR Person said, “Certainly, …but you started it.”

    SWEET ! AHHHHH !

  • Bootoomee

    ClockEndRider,

    I don’t think that the article is written strictly for you. You dislike political correctness. Yes. We get it. But don’t you see the irony in your trying to shut down others for preaching political correctness? Isn’t this what the PC police are known for? The fact that the article is not useful to you does not mean that it is useless to all Untold readers.

  • Goona Gal

    I probably agree most with Clockendrider on this. Something that has really started to grate on me are the ‘thought police’, attempting to brow beat and ostracise those who do not think like them.

    Labels are thrown about liberally, often by those claiming to be tolerant and open minded. Football can be vehicle for conciliation and break down all kinds prejudices but there also needs to be appreciation that not everyone is the same, has the same outlook on life.

  • Goona Gal

    ….that’s not to say that I don’t think this article shouldn’t of been written or published though.

    As I for one, enjoy reading Brickfields jokes/ stories (and Nicky’s recollections of an age gone by).

  • weedonald

    With all due respect ClockEndRider and with a little less respect UK, please reread the post….if the shoe fits wear it, if not don’t criticize me for reminding those who use stereotyping to overcome their prejudice. This is not about political correctness but about being decent human beings and treating people with dignity and respect rather than pigeon-holing them because of some misinformed and ill-conceived prejudice or slack rationalizations.
    UK, if you can do better then please send an article to Tony and I am sure he’ll edit it and maybe publish it like anyone else’s. If you aren’t into defending your point of view, then at least try and be positively critical and point out where your superior intellect has found fault with what you read. If that is beyond you, LeGrove needs your kind of cognitive laziness.
    Sleepinggiant…..let me remind you that the point of the article was to root out stereotypical behaviour among AFC supporters, not defend one approach (frugality) versus another (profligacy), nor was it to offer opportunities to attack the UA website or to spread your particular version of rancour and venom against Arsenal and its management.
    You contradicted yourself by saying that I judged the moneybags clubs while AFC went scot-free, then say that since we seem to have the money this year, we should be doing what they do and achieving what they have. IF we had had the money back when they did, we would have been their equals in all competitions but that doesn’t mean we’d necessarily have won anything more…it simply means we’d have been on an equal footing. What amazes me is that we were able to compete at all under the circumstances, when richer clubs couldn’t (Liverpool, the Spuds for example).
    Thanks to the other posters who have a more balanced and objective view of our past,present and future.

  • sperez

    About the youth project. I know Fabregas, for example, didn’t come through the academy. Like it or not, he was a La Masia product poached by Arsenal.
    Reading that much maligned ( according to many people here)Le Grove today, I realised how poor Arsenal has been at producing players through academy over the years.
    Another point it’s all this ‘Arsene is great developing youth players’. He may waste a big time and money collecting all these youngsters but that doesn’t make him good developing them.
    In fact, the policy at Arsenal is to buy loads of youngsters and then loan them. Not much effort put in development here, I’m afraid. As I’ve said, most of these youngsters are just brushed under the carpet and disappear into obscurity.

  • A. Stewart

    Since you started out with how fans stereoptype Wenger and the players, you could also look at how some fans are themselves stereotyped often incorrectly (i.e. AKB, AAA silliness).

    Also to me at least it seems you’re “postive” stereotypes weren’t really that “postive” but rather in the same vein as your negative ones. There are many postive stereotypes about Wenger, our players and team, some for which the accuracy is debateable, just like there are negative stereotypes equally debateable.

  • Shard

    oh dear oh dear. uk, you should know better than to believe LeGrove about anything. They are a constant propaganda machine looking for ways to keep dissing the club they purport to support and the manager.

    What does developing a player mean? At what point does a player become ‘poached’ rather than ‘produced’, or even ‘bought’?

    Iniesta came to Barcelona at age 12 or 13. Messi came to them at 13 or 14. The likes of Pique, Fabregas, Alba were at La Masia, but really only developed at other clubs. Who should get the credit for developing those players? Barcelona? Why so? Because they have a large catchment area and a virtual monopoly over a region? Because they can outspend all but one other club in their country to ramp up their youth program? Because they have easier access to the Americas?

    No academy can teach ‘talent’. That is something inborn, and in any case, most premier league academies rely on local teams to do the initial scouting. What academies do is hone the talent that is there. If Arsenal were not in London, and didn’t have competition from all the other clubs in the region, we would have had more likelihood of getting a naturally talented player (due to the earlier 50mile rule) If Rooney were born in London rather than Liverpool, Arsenal could have had him in their academy instead of Everton.

    Barcelona just have a wider net to cast. But I don’t give them the credit for developing Fabregas. That credit goes to Arsenal. We did develop Fabregas. He just wasn’t born in our catchment area.

    And if buying young (poaching as you call it) were so easy to do, other clubs would be doing it. More and more, they are. But talent only goes so far as well. Which is why it is more difficult to predict a young player’s development. Wenger gets this more right than many many others. Any attempt to deny that clearly exposes the argument for what it is. Propaganda.

  • Yassin

    @shard
    why argue mate, all they do is moan about everything arsenal do, take away credit from all what arsenal achieved, and then they call themselves arsenal supporters, please am not British, can please somebody define what support means……

  • Yassin

    Another stereotype,
    ” Wenger has been trying to copy the barcelona style of play of tikki takka”

    didnt we start beautiful passing games before barca did,

    Another one
    ” wenger is trying to copy bayern munich style now after barca style failure”

    champions league 2006, this style was created by Wenger, all defend all attack?

    just asking

  • Adam

    Shard, I wouldn’t bother.

    Yassin, research Rinus Michels.

    The rules around Youth production are set by FIFA and only the ages of 16-21 are considered, and a player has to be at the club for 3 years to be considered a product of that club.

    So a player can have a maximum of two training clubs.

    However the rules also state that when a players signs his first professional contract that is not with one of his training clubs then compensation is due. The compensation has differing methods of being finalised and takes into account the players “footballing passport” from a younger age and the clubs status that he moves between.

    Simple me tinks???????????

    I don’t make the rules, but I don’t make them up either, unlike some who post on here.

    Something that bothers me about you Sperez, you come on here and spout nonsense, yet you have stated you are a journalism graduate. Do you know how to research a topic or do you just assume you are correct?

  • Adam

    Fabregas, either wasn’t offered or turned down a contract with Barcelona, we was entitled to approach the player. He agreed to move. We paid Barcelona “training compensation”.

    Arsenal are considered Fabregas’s training club due to time spent between the ages of 16-21.

    If you don’t like the rules.

    Get them changed.

    Don’t turn in here telling us how things are.

  • Adam

    Obscurity by your standards, so that’s limited to the club you support and the club you hate.

    Just because a player leaves Arsenal doesn’t mean he falls into obscurity, he becomes a player on the radar of other teams fan-bases. You show a narrow vision again for a journalism graduate. God help Brazil if your the future of the country.

  • sperez

    Fàbregas was NOT a product from Arsenal academy, FACT.

    ‘Las normas de la FIFA impiden que menores de 16 años se muevan al extranjero, excepto en circunstancias especiales, pero también que las canteras firmen a sus mejores perlas con contratos profesionales a largo plazo hasta que no hayan alcanzado esa edad.’

    My translation:

    ‘The FIFA rules prevent under 16s from moving to other countries, except in specific circumstances, but also it prevents the academies from signing their best pearls with long-term professional contracts until they reached that age’.

    here is interesting article:

    http://guso.lacoctelera.net/post/2008/12/08/cesc-fabregas-barca-wenger-y-ley-webster

    this part is very telling:
    ‘El Arsenal se aprovechó de un vacío legal y de que en el verano de 2003 había un ‘impasse’ en la entidad culé con las elecciones a la presidencia del club catalán, para llevarse a Cesc Fàbregas. ‘

    Arsenal took advantage of a loophole and in the summer of 2003, there was an ‘impasse’ in the culé entity with the presidential elections of the catalan club, to take Cesc Fàbregas.’

    ‘Hay dos filosofías, una es formar a los jugadores desde pequeños, y la otra es pescarlos cuando aún tienen 15 años, como hace el Arsenal”. Esas palabras, de Sandro Rosell, son el sentir de muchos conjuntos europeos para con el club londinense.’

    “There are two philosophies, one is to develop the player from a very early age, and the other is to poach them when they are 15 years old, like Arsenal does” Those words, from Sandro Rosell, is the feeling of many European teams in relation to the London club.

    ‘Quizá, porque las cosas cambian, Wilshere sea quien encabece una camada de jugadores formados en casa; ‘

    ‘Perhaps because things change, Wilshere will be the one who leads loads of players developed in their academy.’

    http://www.libertaddigital.com/deportes/toral-el-enesimo-robo-de-un-wenger-que-continua-enfadando-a-los-demas-1276415551/

    As anyone can see Barça fans don’t like Wenger’s approach. It’s understandable.

    I pray that you, Adam, represent the past (a well-buried past) and not the future of UK (assuming you are British). Anyone who resorts to name calling, offend other people and threaten them physically (something easier to do via internet than having a face to face meeting) is certainly not a role model for kids to look up to in any country.

  • sperez

    My comment again on moderation despite not being rude?
    Is it because of the links I provided ?
    I’ll put the whole thing again without the links then.

    Fàbregas was NOT a product from Arsenal academy, FACT.

    ‘Las normas de la FIFA impiden que menores de 16 años se muevan al extranjero, excepto en circunstancias especiales, pero también que las canteras firmen a sus mejores perlas con contratos profesionales a largo plazo hasta que no hayan alcanzado esa edad.’

    My translation:

    ‘The FIFA rules prevent under 16s from moving to other countries, except in specific circumstances, but also it prevents the academies from signing their best pearls with long-term professional contracts until they reached that age’.

    this part is very telling:
    ‘El Arsenal se aprovechó de un vacío legal y de que en el verano de 2003 había un ‘impasse’ en la entidad culé con las elecciones a la presidencia del club catalán, para llevarse a Cesc Fàbregas. ‘

    Arsenal took advantage of a loophole and in the summer of 2003, there was an ‘impasse’ in the culé entity with the presidential elections of the catalan club, to take Cesc Fàbregas.’

    ‘Hay dos filosofías, una es formar a los jugadores desde pequeños, y la otra es pescarlos cuando aún tienen 15 años, como hace el Arsenal”. Esas palabras, de Sandro Rosell, son el sentir de muchos conjuntos europeos para con el club londinense.’

    “There are two philosophies, one is to develop the player from a very early age, and the other is to poach them when they are 15 years old, like Arsenal does” Those words, from Sandro Rosell, is the feeling of many European teams in relation to the London club.

    ‘Quizá, porque las cosas cambian, Wilshere sea quien encabece una camada de jugadores formados en casa; ‘

    ‘Perhaps because things change, Wilshere will be the one who leads loads of players developed in their academy.’

    As anyone can see Barça fans don’t like Wenger’s approach. It’s understandable.

    I pray that you, Adam, represent the past (a well-buried past) and not the future of UK (assuming you are British). Anyone who resorts to name calling, offend other people and threaten them physically (something easier to do via internet than having a face to face meeting) is certainly not a role model for kids to look up to in any country.

  • Adam

    Yes and FIFA’s rules also state that no player under 16 can move from one association to another unless the parents move for reasons unassociated with football.

    Messi moved to Barcelona at the age of 11. His Dad moved with him to circumvent the rules, but Barcelona are always hard done by?

    Sort yourself out Sperez. If you spout nonsense expect people to get frustrated with you.

    You could actually argue that Barcelona have inhibited Ajax from progression with their constant purchasing of talent and management from the club, but people ignore that. Michels first then Cruyff and we are going back decades on that score.

    Of course Rosell would be pissed at losing young talented players who wouldn’t. That’s why, If you had ever read any of my articles, on the differing rules across footballing associations and Nations you would know that I’m all for standardising rules across nations within the game.

    The difficulty is getting governments to co-operate.

    But the one constant with you is the negativity towards Arsenal football club. If you hate Arsenal so much why put yourself through this?

  • Adam

    Have a proper read of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

    http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/01/06/30/78/statusinhalt_en_122007.pdf

    There’s a link, please remember any discrepancies between texts due to language, the English text is authoritative.

  • Adam

    Another thing you miss. If Fabregas didn’t want to come to London, then no one could have made him?

    Arsenal acted within the rules yet you use words such as poach, which implies theft.

  • weedonald

    A.Stewart…..stereotyping is wrong whether positively (all Africans can run really fast) or negatively (all kids are drug-users) and I did mention that the AAA,AKB,ITK and other over-simplifications were part of this regrettable habit people have of pigeon-holing others.
    My point exactly, a stereotype is simply that: a vastly oversimplified and generic attempt to generalize people by attributing one-dimensional attributes to explain who they are. So yes, it can be hard to differentiate positive and negative stereotypes since they tend to end up having the same result, a false sense of ¨knowing¨ someone or some persons or group of people. All I hope for is that our Gooners start to try and elucidate the variety and multiplicity of characteristics, both negative and positive that make up the complexity of the human being.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    While not wanting to spoil the seriousness of this post and its ongoing arguments (sorry ,discussion) I think for a myriad of reasons we all interpret things differently .
    We all have our own pet likes/dislikes, and to each his own.
    Today ,I’ve decided to come out of the closet and declare to the world , that what some of you were suspecting is really true – YES, I AM AN AKB – .. god ,that felt good !
    I an also not ashamed to declare that before converting ,I had been a GGKB ! That dream ended with crap football that we were playing then and the bung taking .

    To the faithful ,I give you the following …..

    Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark

    One: Don’t miss the boat.

    Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.

    Three: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

    Four: Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

    Five: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

    Six: Build your future on high ground.

    Seven: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

    Eight: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

    Nine: When you’re stressed, float a while.

    Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

    Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting…

    Twelve : Fuck the AAA and their ilk ! Try swimming in the crappy flood of thine own making !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    George Bernard Shaw says , “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. ”

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
    Meaning: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
    NECROPHILIA…..
    A man was brought before the judge and charged with necrophilia (sex with a corpse).

    The judge told him, “In 20 years on the bench, I’ve never heard such disgusting, immoral thing.
    Just give me one good reason why I shouldn’t lock you up and throw away the jail keys?”

    The man replied,

    “I’ll give you THREE good reasons:

    1. She was my WIFE!

    2. I didn’t KNOW she was DEAD! and

    3. She ALWAYS acted that WAY!”

    Judge released him from sentence and advised everyone at the Court Room:

    “SO LADIES, TRY TO MOVE A LITTLE DURING THE SESSION!

    And GUYS, IF THERE IS NO MOVEMENT, STOP IMMEDIATELY AND CHECK IF SHE IS DEAD OR ALIVE !”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    We can only hope –

    “No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
    The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
    If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”
    Kahlil Gibran

  • AnT.

    Well, to this issue there is only one rule: “All generalisations are wrong”. 🙂
    I think generalisations or stereotypes, as a later product, flourish due to our laziness to deal with details. On one side, they can be fun (even some people make money out of it) but at the same time dangerous, especially for some people who failed to remember the rule above.
    One advice I always take is: to take them with a pinch of salt and a bucketfull of humours.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom , I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind , I’d still be IN PRISON .
    Nelson Mandela

  • nicky

    @Brickfields Gunners,
    Your story of the judge, reminds me of something similar, in the same court actually. It must be catching.
    A guy was being prosecuted for having sexual relations with a chicken. The judge, in finding him guilty, said that the crime was so disgusting, he found it difficult to decide an adequate form of punishment.
    And a voice from the public gallery shouted out “Give him the cat”.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Nicky – Sorry I didn’t get that .I’d need a “side bar’ with you !
    Along the same line –

    Greedy Kiwi
    This aussie caught this Kiwi having a bit of fun with a sheep…..

    “Mate”, the aussie said, “Over there we shear them”.

    The kiwi replied, “Mate, I’m not shearing this with innyone”

    Say Wot ?
    “Traditionally, most of Australia’s imports come from overseas.”
    Keppel Enderbery

  • nicky

    @BGunner,
    I’ve shown my age. The “cat” was the nickname given to the birch used to punish certain minor crimes (in the days before the Court of Human Rights) e.g. a young guy who broke into a school and vandalised it was given “10 strokes of the birch”.
    All this mucks up my funny story a bit….

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Nicky and Brickfields, you gave me a great laugh this morning many thanks!

  • Stuart

    Sperez,
    If you don’t count Fabregas as an academy product because of the age he joined then you can’t realistically claim the academy as a failure. You need to consider how long AW has been running the academy and how old that would make the first student now. It hardly gives any opportunity to tweak things and expecting the first player to be a world beater is a tad unrealistic.

  • Stuart

    Further to that, if Barca did such a good job at developing Randstad, how come they could afford to let him go?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Not at all Nicky , but I have heard and read about it but was just not able to ‘get’ it .Thanks for clearing that up .
    Here our dads would break off the stem of a bamboo or tapioca plant and beat out naughty asses !
    Canning for certain crimes is still being practiced here and I have been to a few when I was in the government service .We had to do pre and post medical checks after the ‘rotan’ (rattan) canning .
    Have also attended the hangings of 2 criminals for drug related crimes.They were hanged side by side just before dawn .It was ‘part’ of the job.

  • Stuart

    A.Stewart
    Just a thought but are AAA, AKB & ITK actually stereotypes? I would call them descriptives based upon people’s views / beliefs. Stereotyping surely would be saying you AKB’s are all the same… Or another way (sorry to bring race into it) you could say someone is white and be correct and innofensive, stereotyping would be something like ‘all white people are…’

  • Stuart

    Ps, Randstad should read Fabregas

  • Bootoomee

    Stuart (@10.33 am)

    I love it when AAAs moan about being called AAA. AKBs on the other hand, wear their badge with pride.

    And you are right, these are not stereotypes. I am a proud AKB but I have lists of the faults of Arsene, the players and the board. I am just not obsessed about them to the point of crapping over the club that I claim to love.

    If you think the players are:
    – dead woods, useless, sub-par, unfit-to-wear-the-shirt, dross
    – the board is only there to line their own pockets
    – the manager is clueless and complicit with the board in sponging off the club

    Then you are an AAA. Be proud and own it.

    Another great divide:

    – AKBs recognise/understand the progress made in context of our circumstances and those of our rivals. Their support of the team is not based on calibre of players signed or number trophies won.

    – AAAs only support the club for trophies (I call them the trophy junkies). All their grouse is born out of the club’s inability to give them their fix in the last 8 years. Read any of their comments and you’ll see that this is what all their noise is based on. It is not a stereotype, it is a fact! I think it is a sad and dumb position to stick to especially with no one stopping them from supporting those money splashing and trophy winning teams.