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The psychology of supporting

By Tony Attwood

I’m endlessly fascinated by the way football fans respond to football.  Obviously I meet different groups of fans in all sorts of places, restaurants, pubs, car parks, trains, and in the ground itself, and most are reasonable decent people who can instantly understand that we are each regular guys who, through fate have ended up supporting our particular club as opposed to theirs.

Leicester was no different – nice chats by the pub, everyone friendly and happy.

With such people one can have a decent open discussion about how one’s team has been doing this season, the transfers, the highs, the lows, the cock-ups, the fun…  And we go on our way, unlikely ever to meet again.   Such people might generously point out how they always admired player x, or appreciate the way manager y has behaved, or perhaps remember a particular Arsenal match from the past.  And I try to respond in a similar vein.

But there are some who even in such a casual encounter can’t for a moment step away from the bravado, the put-downs, the name-calling and all that sort of thing.  These are people who find it funny or perhaps clever to open with “You must be worried sick”, and how trot out all the media comments about “the library”.  Around the end of the last century they blamed Arsenal for causing the influx of foreign players into the English game, and trotted out the media line about indiscipline.

So rather than use the occaison of bumping into a fellow supporter as a chance to exchange views, recognising that each of us supports our team through chance, rather than because we actually believe that we are the master race, these people can’t let go for one second.

I think there’s an element of this in the supporters of other clubs who write in when Untold does a piece about their team.  While many who write in are perfectly reasonable people making a reasonable point, there are others who either claim we have a fixation with their club (because we write about them), or that we only talk about their club because we are so worried about ours.  The notion of having a slightly wider point of view that a narrow-minded vision of just their club, seems out of their reach.

These people are again often prone to following the media trend – x years without a trophy, the library etc.  In the 1930s we were supposedly the Bank of England club (a media phrase) and then “Lucky Arsenal” (another media invention).

Of course it is true that Untold does often make jibes about other teams, and their players and management.  But equally we do publish some serious pieces, such as those in relation to the use of flares and smoke bombs in the ground.  Some supporters are able to see a serious issue when it occurs, others will take any comment about their club as an assault, which has to be met by abuse.

In saying this I don’t suggest Arsenal supporters are any worse or better than anyone else – except there are some who claim to be Arsenal supporters who appear to indulge in virulent points against Arsenal which outdo much that we might hear from other supporters.

What does concern me though are the people – both those who claim to be Arsenal supporters and those who support other teams – who take the point of view that because myself or someone on here writes something that they disagree with, immediately moves into abuse and/or threats.

I don’t know why such people can’t engage in a civilised debate, but it seems they can’t.  For example for my crime in suggesting that Arsenal fans made a fair amount of noise in the stadium, I am told “You sound like a typical London snob who has no grasp of the real world!”

Such a comment is mild compared with some we get, but it just doesn’t take the debate further forwards.  Of course the most extreme comments do get stopped before publication, and as you will probably have guessed, we do pass anything that would constitute a crime or a threat of a crime if said in public, on to the police, and they do seem rather good at following it up.

But I just wonder about why people get so angry just because there is a point of view that doesn’t coincide with their own.

Yes, sometimes there are things worth protesting about vigorously.  It happened in my grandfather’s and father’s day when the far right wing looked like becoming quite a force in England, and I have always understood the need of many to confront the extreme right at a time when the Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers were openly supportive of fascism and promoted anti-Semitism.

But football is not more important than life despite what some Scots Scourer once said.   Just because I have set up this blog and express my own views on it,  which differ from those of other people, doesn’t mean that it’s ok for a reader to suggest that he’s going to do me over next time he spots me at the Emirates.

Of course there has always been problems associated with football – and indeed we have to remember that Arsenal was the first ever league team to have its ground closed because of crowd problem (although that was because of the crowd’s reaction to the ref, rather than Arsenal supporters disagreeing with each other.)

But perhaps the biggest level of bemusement I have concerns the fact of how many people come to this site and give their views thinking that confrontation is where you start – and often do so without for a moment bothering to understand what sort of a site it is, and what we stand for.

It would be a bit like me seeing the article in the Daily Mail last week about the EU banning vacuum cleaners above 1600 watts and writing to them to complain that their article was wholly misleading.

It was wholly misleading – both because the old 1700w equipment can still be sold legally, and because as one of the top advisers at ao.com said, “Even though these particular models will eventually be off the market, this doesn’t mean that new and other existing models are any less effective – they are not.”)    But I didn’t bother to write and protest because the Daily Mail editorial team undoubtedly knew all that.  But their their stance is anti-EU and they’ll do anything they can to attack the EU.  “Never let the truth get in the way of a good piece,” as I was told in my early days in the trade.

Untold is more liberal, allowing arguments against the articles we publish – but the problem is that so many of the commentaries we get are not arguments – they are statements along the lines of “You are an idiot.”

I guess there is something in the tribal nature of football that makes people answer a point with abuse and assertion, and I guess also that I do publish quite a few of these because I find them quite amusing.  Indeed I find the whole issue of writing in to a blog without checking out anything about it, rather amusing.

But, here’s a final point.  It ain’t just football, nor is it just politics, that generates a “shout first, debate later… if at all” approach.

Many, many years ago, following the completion of my research degree at the University of London, I started to explore whether there was a link between some of the issues my research had uncovered and the way in which dyslexic children could be helped.  I went back and looked at one of the fundamental issues in the support for dyslexics, and started to have serious doubts about its veracity.

So I published an article on the topic which suggested that current practice might not be on the right tracks, and got back an incredibly irate letter from a person at the Dyslexia Institute, which included the immortal phrase, “What gives you the right to comment on matters relating to dyslexia?”  So much for academic calmness.

Everyone can comment on everything, in my view, providing they don’t break the law of the land.  But as I’ve realised over time, no matter how liberal I like to be, I don’t actually have to publish their comments.

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55 comments to The psychology of supporting

  • Mick Mahoney

    Keep up the good work.

  • esxste

    It’s something that goes deep into society, beyond politics, sports and into more trivial realms. So many people will happily give their opinion on something, but woe betide you if you dare try to discuss their opinion, or push for them to justify it. They take it as an attack on them. Just like you’ve called them some unsavoury thing.

    I think this is why you’ll get people responding with such offensive comments… to them, you’ve already struck the first blow.

  • Carim

    Here we go again…ANother abject performance and we are being either ridculed as the AAA or not supporting our club! Did we say we are not supporters of the club?
    How can you justify this sorry state wehave got ourselves into? I read somewhere on here yesterday that he was happy with a draw agaisnt Lister…The joy on his face was as if we had drawn againt Barcelona at nou camp.
    Yesterday’s comment from our manager is that the club is very “active” in the transfer market- brilliant news! Can’t wait for the sort of signings to take your breath away on the last day- mertesacker, Arteta, Santos- before that Silvestre and Bischoff.The home defeat to Villa this time last year sent waves of panic into the ditherer and he forgot about the need for a striker and spent heavily on Ozil- really needed that position to be covered! I think he’ll surprise us all and buy someone in a position we don’t need- hold your breath everyone- Wenger’s whizzing round Aldi with his flunkies wheeling a trolly or two.

  • Yiannis

    Tony this is your blog but it is still a public forum. It is fine that you set the rules for participation but they must apply to all. You complain of abuse but you allow someone to call for a troll alert just after I publish the very first comment on the previous article. This sounds a bit one sided to me.

    Having said that I must say that I hate branding people as stupid or idiots or whatever just based on the opinion which differs to mine. This blog gives the impression that it has declared itself the front guard of The Arsenal F.C. against who ever has an opinion which differs from the manager’s one. It allows people branding “opponents” freely as long as they agree with the blogs view.

    Tony the best you can do to this blog is treat people fairly and equally. Then it will probably become the best Arsenal blog by some distance. Try to promote unity and not division.

  • Carim

    @Yiannis – They only like to follw the leader – even if we got relegated theere would be some idiots on here thinking Wenger is God’s gift to mankind.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice , Tony ,a big LIKE ! As it was said by the cynic , “All men are born equal , but some are MORE equal than others !”
    As for the AAAA , who of course don’t exist and are imaginary , they sure are vocal !

  • Dave C

    Wow, it’s as if they don’t notice they’re hijacking a blog with negativity and spite.

    Why come here? To prove you were right? To say I told you do? There are plenty of sites for like-minded people who share the same views as you. I really want too know. Please enlighten me.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Did it bite you in the arse on its way out ?
    https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2648/4014143599_afb6626208.jpg

  • Dave C

    Pardon the Swype errors

  • mika

    @Dacec: I do not believe he’s performed as best he could for the past 10 years. He never fails to disappoint us fans and the supposed lack of funds is and has been used as a smokescreen for his ineptitude, his arrogance, his failure to plug some very obvious holes over the past few years, his ridiculous loyalty to average performers, his team selections, formations and substitutions. I also do not know another manager who’s been so stubborn as him. None of these faults are down to a lack of funds. We now have fans saying there’s no more money left when this “know- it-all” decides that we don’t need another striker or defensive midfielder. How ridiculous is that? He’s made criminal mistakes in the past and then not taken us past the finishing post, now keeps giving chances to the kid Sanogo and lets Campbell wonder when he might get a game- apparently our World Cup forward and conqueror of United played for the U 21’s this week! Naturally there’s no room for a defensive midfielder as he’s made the appalling decision to make the inept,lightweight slowcoach Arteta captain- that alone suggests he’s gone mad- completely inexplicable. We can all wait for Ozil to come good, if he does. He would not go for Cesc as that would have told the world he’d made the wrong decision with the German- maybe for around £15-20m, that would have woken up the casual record signing of ours? We cannot wait for August 31 for the last-minute bargain hunt or January- who’s available then? We’ve been here before for the past decade mate and I’m just furious that he’d conned the Board into giving him another 3 years- to do what- finish in the top four, we’ve been two/ three players away from greatness since 2006, mate.
    once again, we’re reacting to a bad result rather than going into a season well equipped to succeed. It’s a massive failing of Arsene, but let’s face it, he’s an old man playing a young mans game, he’s never going to pick it up. What should happen is our CEO should have stepped in and forced some action. He’s let the manager run a shit show again. We’re heading into another season under equipped and he’s allowed that to happen. It’s weak self-serving management all over the club.

    … and don’t be arrogant enough to think our top 4 place is secured forever. There’s only so many summers you can piss around and let the competition get better before your complacency catches up with you.

    We have a disgusting run of fixtures coming up that could see us in a world of shite if we continue this poor run of form.

  • TommieGun

    Thanks for the very nice write up Tony!

    First, if you haven’t read this – it’s really well written: it’s about the statement that “everybody is entitled to their own opinion”.

    http://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978

    Second, I think that writing that Untold is somewhat like the Daily Mail (being anti-EU and Untold being pro-Arsenal), is not a good example. I never feel that stuff being written here in Untold deviate from the truth, as in the phrase “never let the facts confuse you” (or other phrases of that same notion).

    Third, some people are more confrontational than others. Some people just love to argue and are looking for discord and disagreement. They might be annoying but some of us here are also like that … so when I meet a supporter of another club, and feel like taking the piss, I will be confrontational and will not really say “oh that player X he is actually quite good”. I will usually remember their shit player and make a funny remark about them 😀

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I have no idea what this is but it seems to be funny as hell !
    There’s a fat being suctioned off the arse of a blob and transplanted into the titties of a rat( to feed its undernourished kids, I’d think !) , at the Hilton Hotel in Paris .
    Well that’s my interpretation of the joke ! Why don’t you take a stab at it .
    http://www.quirit.com/cartoons/deutsch/files/collage_lb_image_page12_0_1.png

  • Gerry

    Off topic, but I think you may smile at this Tony?

    I tried to counter you narrow view, but broad opinion of BT Sport, as you may remember. So I duly sign up to get the fibre connection for less that I was paying before, but adding Sky Sports 1&2 which now includes Sky Sports 5 too. Well the date was set, and I was connected within the hour.
    Unfortunately I was disconnected from my terrestrial with BT Sports. It took them 5 complaints to get it fixed, over a week later. I then find they have omitted the HD package from my agreement, which includes BT Sports.

    They really are a terrible company aren’t they Tony?

  • TommieGun

    And sorry, I posted before I saw all this bullshit. Yeah yeah you are right Arsene is an idiot we shouldv’e signen Falcao, Loic Remy and Oscar Pistorious (hint: they all have some problems with their legs) and we are going to get relegated. Arsenal football club is a shit club and in fact it’s so shit I’m not going to watch football again. Ever. That’s it from now on it’s only NFL and Judo for me.

    Wankers.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Tommie gun – no , don’t go , the fun’s just starting!
    There will always be some unqualified ( fill in name of lady/guy part ) who thinks that he knows better that the person qualified and shows his stupidity by espousing his ‘knowledge ‘(and ignorance) by shooting his mouth .
    I get it daily at my clinic as I supposed you get the same.
    Has anyone ever quoted law / precedents from an episode of Perry Mason or The Defenders ?
    I’d scream if somebody comes on here and asks who Perry Mason is/was !

  • Pete

    Yiannis – a lot more constructive, thank you.

    Although have to say some of the other comments make you look like the number one Wenger fan!

  • Carim

    Why leave all the dealings so late? What is he trying to achieve by doing it in a panic? In the January we were in desperate need of a striker, and because of the time running out, end up buying an injured that hardly got a game for us. Unbelievably bad deal! Falcao, Cavani, Sokratis and whoever else we are after, were for sale last week too. But Wenger didn’t make a move. I am not saying to just buy like crazy, as Man U seem to be doing. I am suggesting that we just land the identified targets before, so that we don’t end up with eggs on our faces. Like last time.

  • mika

    @Carim: It is because he’s happy with 4th place. I mean he “has no regrets” over failing to re-sign Fabregas. No kidding, Arsene- you will when at the end of the season, our tepid midfield would have welcomed his dynamism. However, when has he ever admitted a mistake? Did he regret keeping the “world class” Almunia in goal for so long, the failure to sign Yaya as that “would kill Diaby and Denilson”, the signing of United’s sixth choice central defender, Silvestre, the abortive pursuit of Jovetic, Higuain, Suarez and Rooney last year etc. Never mind, we’ll probably end up with the Greek central defender and another “promising” French teenage midfielder before the end of the month- that will keep many of the fans on this site happy won’t it?

  • liamb

    I come onto this site like a lot of people, to get away from the negative, hateful bullshit spouted by so many so called Arsenal fans against their team and manager. It’s both depressing and annoying to see that you have decided to waste both your time and mine on here today.

  • Pete

    Mika/Carim:

    OK – that’s enough now. Thank you.

  • Blaisehayest

    A lot of it is due to the anonymous nature of the internet. My friends and I refer to this type of person as a telephone tough guy. It’s really easy to say stupid things when there’s absolutely zero repercussions.

  • WalterBroeckx

    those who want to moan can go to the known places or go to http://www.moanmoanmoan.com it is for free you know!!! And they will love you there

  • Brickfields Gunners

    When you are dead, you don’t know you are dead. It’s pain only for others.

    It’s the same thing when you are stupid.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A woman walks into a marriage counselling office.

    The counsellor says, “I know exactly why you’re here. Your husband doesn’t want to make love to you anymore, instead he prefers watching porn and masturbating.”

    She exclaims, “Wow! that’s correct! How did you know without even having a session with me?”

    The counsellor replies, “Because you’re fat.”

  • WalterBroeckx

    I know I am feeding the trolls but hey I couldn’t let it go.
    Carim:
    Why leave all the dealings so late?

    My dear Carim,
    I think you have been away on holiday or maybe you have been very sick this summer and so you missed a big deal as you were lying unconscious in hospital. That must have been terrible.

    But now you have come back to the conscious people I kindly inform you that since you have left the conscious world for a while we have signed:

    Alexis Sanchez
    Mathieu Debuchy
    Calum Chambers
    David Ospina

    Glad to have been helpful in covering the black hole you had to suffer. I bet Brickfields has something ready about a black hole. or a hole….

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Goodnight , guys . Don’t let the ‘bugs’ bite !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Walter – my advice to them would be to keep on digging ,
    they’ll probably get their wish or be buried alive !

  • mika

    @Walter: We are 2 injuries away from being in complete dis-array in defence not to mentioned not having a world class DM. Unfortunately I think we could get banged up again in the big games this season having not re-enforced in the key areas that were identified at the end of last season. Another season of scrapping for the top 4 is ahead me thinks…

  • mika

    @Walter: We are 2 injuries away from being in complete dis-array in defence not to mentioned not having a world class DM. Unfortunately I think we could get banged up again in the big games this season having not re-enforced in the key areas that were identified at the end of last season. Another season of scrapping for the top 4 is ahead me thinks…

  • mika

    There are a few prized plonkers on here that seem to think everything is down to the board.Not this time and we all know who’s fault it is.

  • mika

    Just qualified for the C/L which is worth £25 million + and we can’t stretch to a £6 million loan fee for one of the worlds best strikers?????

  • Damilare

    @Mika,
    Don’t harm yourself too much. It’s just a football club, not life and death.

  • AL

    Oh dear, where were these people all along?

  • InitialsBB

    “I don’t actually think you ever see that in London. Or at least not the bits of London I frequent”.

    I would imagine that comment is why the poster said that you “sound like a typical London snob who has no grasp of the real world!”, as opposed to any crime suggesting that Arsenal fans made a fair amount of noise in the stadium. I think he should have omitted the word “typical London”

  • para

    These last day deals are a last resort by the buying clubs to get their man, because the selling clubs will be getting nervous.

    There is also the fact that one deal usually hinges on another and cannot go forward until it does. In the meantime you have a backup you are also “courting”. Of course the player also has a back up and the selling club…
    So you can see where it goes.

    Then all at once things start to happen in the last few hours.

    Deja vu anyone?

  • TommieGun

    @ Al – they were on holiday in Ibiza since we lost 3-1 to Villa last year. Some holiday!

  • menace

    Carim Have you won anything? Are you sporting? Have you organised a team in any sporting competition?

    You cannot understand the wonder of Wenger even if you spent half your life in football. Wenger is magnificent in his thinking and is the only manager in English football to have led a team undefeated in a whole season.

    I have seen football around the world but Wengers football teams truly entertain me. They are so good it makes people like you think you can improve them because the human failings within the team seem easy to correct. For you to spend the millions Wenger has accumulated by astute business is easy. You have not got the courage to offer all your worth to support the team. If you have then please send it to the club.

    Most of us Untolders are satisfied with Wengers way and we support him and our club. We support all our players and all our fans. Those that boo or abuse our team are not fans. They are glory hunters. A good team will tolerate loss but will always fight to win. Wenger has for 17 years managed a good team. A team that has evolved and plays the Arsenal way. The Wenger way.

    Wenger has orchestrated football like it were ballet on grass. Others have followed his lead and are playing in the style but not under the guidance of the master Wenger.

  • AL

    menace
    Exactly. What have these people ever achieved in their own space, I bet nothing. How can a manager who built a team that went a whole season unbeaten be called clueless? I think it’s not difficult to see who’s clueless here….

    TommieGun
    Think ibiza is probably too high for these lowlifes…

    Para
    There may be some truth in that, player A arrives at Club, setting off a transfer domino. If noone arrives today I’ll still be a very happy man. I’ll get up tomorrow and go about my business as I normally would expect to. For some I think the highlight of their lives is when a club signs a player. Sad.

  • menace

    Mika – we’ve been 2/3 players from greatness? No mate we’ve been a few honest refereeing decisions away from greatness. Players play the ball referees rule the game.

    Wenger has learned to stay quiet rather than comment on corrupt officiating.

  • Funny how you conveniently ignored the two clear penalties Besiktas were denied at the Emirates ,cheating them out of 25 mill and their rightful place in the group stage. Funnily enough the only people who didn’t think they were penalties were you lot nd Adrian Durham.Weird that.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    I enjoyed reading your article Tony.I wrote this in response to your article on the psychology of support, not on the last day of the transfer market which has grabbed the thread–although ironically the shouting seems to have already started! I’m with you all the way, for what ever its worth, not much probably(about 35pence).I would love to see sportsmanship trying to make a come back,or at least a sense of proportion in the game.
    Got to admit that I did take a ironic smile at the comment on your “not being of the real world” status, in light of your life’s work and the blogs you run it just goes to show that a bit of deeper research wouldn’t go a-miss,also why “London” is real or the provinces are “real” is another misconception.But our root problems are always going to based in some form of ignorance.I’m no different, but I would like to see the fires stoked a little less or not at all by certain elements in society who want to lead people up the garden path..

    “But I just wonder about why people get so angry just because there is a point of view that doesn’t coincide with their own”-to offer an answer for this even though its a rhetorical question,quite simply, its fear,an under-lying self lack, we’ve all got it in us, some more than others, and then in different areas in different contexts,even a basic empirical spot of research will show it.I cant help thinking that our basic education based on dualities rooted in our original and differentiating conditioning means often we are clouded in seeing other peoples view points as well as our own, I know I often am.Me good you bad.Me shit you great.Me great you shit etc.In the long term its just such baloney…not really healthy element of debate, but the seeming anonymity of forums means people say things to each other they wouldn’t normally,but we react to counter our own sense of feeling unworthy, as you state,its in all of humanity.Its a basic root. But then is having a positive like UA just the same as a negative site like LG? Are they just part of the same ongoing fight over differentiating perspectives?
    I personally like it here despite plenty of poop posts there are lots of gems, people writing great stuff. What makes me feel odd is when AAA start writing about how Wenger or the team don’t want to win,which is pretty baffling. Did “football manager” on the ZX spectrum ruin some peoples perspective of how clubs are run? perhaps the more we have our faces in cyber world the more we lose our human compassion? How much was there in the first place, and is there even a place for such a world in relation to football. Probably not, so shall we kick each others heads in, that the main thing isnt it?
    And at the moment we all still have a choice(lets keep fighting and hoping that it stays that way) -choice to or not to write and how to say it, but it feels like we don’t, I felt like firing the cannons off this morning as somethings I read in another article on here but realised it was just the polemics of someone else who perhaps hadn’t thought much either about what they were writing.Why take it so seriously? Its an odd question to ask ourselves.Of course then there the moments where certain action is needed and a certain language, but is that stretching the ideas of liberty?Football evokes certain passions so where are the limits of liberty?And do we even have a right to stop those passions and for what reasons would we want to stop them?It brings up interesting but complex answers doesn’t it?One thing I do notice though is that UA doesn’t need outside polemics from the AAA, its actually a relatively close community that enjoy debating within its own frame work that gets on pretty well considering its diversity of posters.
    Of course these “lacks” are often the drive to forms of excellence, but at what price?We know of all the success stories (although they all seem to have a shadow side that crops up too often in the long term)but how many of the drives have ended for some in severe unhappiness or tragedy?-, recent history is on our shoulders but seems to have quickly forgotten, which for some us is pretty terrifying.
    This lack has been manipulated and become a part of the world’s societies,and when its coupled with notions of identity then its basically a explosive situation and in the shadow of material gain and survival its hard for people to keep a level head-although greed is another issue.I know people who through their own feel of lack, plagiarised my work and kicked me out of situations as best they could that they felt threatened by and dumped me in the bushes, but at he loss of friendship which they expected to carry on, now tables are turning, should they be frightened ,which will make them feel even more lacking? It it really just an ongoing fight between polemics? Why aren’t we generally even aware of this? Why so little dignity?Do you not feel that these is a key element missing today in the X-factor competitive society? Just some basic dignity.
    Plurality’s going to be the key to the future, whether people like it or not (some may be scoffing at the idea already)- how that’s going to happen is beyond me, as my own garden is weedy enough.
    The odd thing about the established media is that although it preaches freedom for us(really for itself and then just to to sell), yet it seems to take little care for its immoral practices via manipulative articles and lies which cause long term problems as we know, and not just in football.Lets hope we don’t have to pay a price that’s beyond us all and theres plenty of storm clouds that are gathering in the long term, world wide.
    Well that’s my pie in the sky.And I realise I’m creating a polemic to argue against and I’m aware of the counter arguments for those too(time and monetary investment and the joy and passion re football etc.and the whole receptacle for energy etc)but without a bit of pie in the sky it ends up being too daft and absurd I think its OK to go beyond the playground and what Simon Cowell thinks.
    Like Tony and Walter and plenty of great people on here I think positive support is the best, its what I found that worked as a player, as did the guy who turned pro from my team years ago, but if winning is the only satisfaction that we are told is a valid gain from football then I suppose we can only expect sooner or later problems and a feeling of insecurity(fear) and then the ensuing comments.It seems odd though that considering football is a game of skill and chance based on endless permutations that are constantly changing from context to context, to then emotively put ones all into that means sooner or later means simply you’re going to get hurt, even if you buy another effing striker or spend some effing money or sack the clubs loyal manager— basic facts.
    Anyway, Im sure we will never get the the perfect balance and harmony in life simply because each and every human being is basically going at different speeds(although the idea that the fastest speeds are the “best” is also lunacy), so our perceptions are different of whats tolerable- and even thats changing all the time.With the internet and other changes in society that football is more interactive than it ever was,
    (is that a good thing?) and in the “democracy” of the internet it means that everyone has an opinion on how things should be changed,fair enough, but the another question is how can opinion be given and seen as being reasonable, when football is such an emotive game-which fan hasn’t called someone this or that? But why? Are we really that which we represent or like? Are we actually our opinions or are they ever changing, constantly being refined in the face of flux?

    How are we to deal with this? Re evaluating our idea of failure and understanding the basic way the game operates? I’m sure the Manure fans are being tested more than anyone else at the moment!I m worried that many fans have written us off and were just touching into September, we do live in a society that wants instant gratification and is terrified of being a loser which is just as daft as the idea of a winner,yes very nice and all, but is football anything other than entertainment? Shankly might have said it was more than a game, but thats only because people invest extraneous elements into it, they don’t have too,any more than you dont have to kick someones head in verbally or physically because they support another team.Why would you want to? I mean why would you really want to? Odd isnt it the emotions that football brings up,non of us are immune?
    So does that mean then that the paying public demand a winning team all the time or they demand their hard earned cash back? What right does any football fan have to demand that a team wins every week, when its system is based on the probability of failure and loss sooner or later?I realise the object is to win(and of course I always want the Arsenal to win, but recognise I cant always get what I want and nor have I and pre Wenger the pain was much, much worse ), and to win the PL and then to win the CL, and even thats not enough, must win all in one season,and all the seasons ever after, so the cravings are endless, but in the end failure steps in, such is the hand of flux. I realise this is all very obvious, and even highlighting it doesn’t do any good, we’re stuck with a situation. But the lids off and that’s the problem: to high wages,too high ticket price’s,means must win to keep going, then the funny money comes in a the rest is bullhshit, then comes jealousy and the feeling of things being unfair(fair enough, I agree)and wanting to compete, to feel being part of something to give life some meaning or sense and on it goes.But I think you can save your own ass, and know that despite what we invest in the game itself, its a game, and theres people starving in the world, living in poverty and shit and flies and no shelter and being trafficked and prostituted and living desperate lives and a sense of perspective like that can help, fuck, it should help! Maybe Im wrong, its just my opinion.
    But is it an unsolvable situation that we are trapped in with football by the nature and makeup of the game?Im glad of one thing in this mire though, that UA was set up to trying and counter the utter negativity to Arsène and the players, and thats important even if its part of the duality of things.The pressure thats on everyone now to win,fans, players managers, etc is just insane, why do we want to create this insanity? Are we all really so frightened of being a losers, of losing or feeling inferior? If theres no after life then dont we all lose? How do you quantify the perspective and status of winning( many couldnt give a crap about a Rolls etc)?
    But finally, why do the AAA come to UA? a) some are sadists and love it when Arsenal loses to prove how right they are, knowing that it is actually in theory and not possible and actually proving they are in fact the AAA. b) there is some form of evangelicalism at play, for the blind idiots at UA must be made to see the light, as if people here hadnt given the AAA’s propositions at least some thought?Kind of touching isnt is?I think supporting the current team and manager in a positive light can only help,lets face it, all of them are successful professionals that need our support not our negativity, surely?I think they need our support FFS, not our slagging!
    Thanks Tony and thanks Walter.
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Linz do you really believe the media? Yeah you do… 🙂 It shows.

  • AL

    A supposedly Arsenal is moaning that we ‘cheated’ besiktas out of £25m and a place in the CL? Wow, if this was espionage or war I’d be saying we’ve been infiltrated…

  • AL

    A supposedly Arsenal fan*

  • Sukebe

    Whoa.. There have been new rats whining old moans here…

    @menace
    Don’t bother explaining bro… They like them poodles that barks inside the lawn, even when the gate is open, inside the lawn..

    Yawn…

    Same old.. Same old….

  • Va Cong

    Linz is special.

  • AL

    You mean a special case? 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Look forward to the posts of Linz, they are amusing. He reminds us all what the aaa stand for ….as if we need reminding.Please don’t ever ban him from here no matter what! He is a troll……but he is our very own troll

  • Sukebe

    I really love arsenal, do you really love arsenal too?
    Or arsenal with the trophy -Dennis Bergkamp –

  • omgarsenal

    I think Linz,Carim, Mika, and Initials BB are the same person with multiple personality disorder. Or they are mini-clones of Alisher Usmanov OR even more frighteningly Piers Morgan’s latest litter!
    Anyway, they provide some variety in an otherwise uniform sea of rational,considered,civilized pro-Arsenal dialogue. Curiously they only show up (like vultures seeking offal) when there is a less sterling display by the Arsenal OR at transfer deadlines.
    Since it is now official that the AAA never existed but do have essence, then it is clear that their illusory opinions are rather like vapour transfers, seemingly there but actually smoke and mirrors. Anyway, like indigestion they don’t show up very often but when they do there is usually a load of fecal foolishness spewed from their non-existent apertures.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Kenneth Widmerpool -September 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm –
    Just saw this , must have missed it earlier as I was chatting with a new online pal !
    Very well written and argued , but as usual the trolls missed it for the trees . Their loss !
    Not everyone embraces positive people – its usually , “What is it that you are smoking ?”or ” Are you insane ?”, and often shows their stupidity and ignorance .
    I’ve given up trying to figure people and avoid many nay sayers and instead keep close with a few like minded friends . And often I go back to this very old but very relevant piece for encouragement and solace .Try it .

    From-http://mwkworks.com/desiderata.html

    Max Ehrmann
    Desiderata

  • InitialsBB

    omgarsenal
    September 2, 2014 at 1:49 am

    You think I have a personality disorder? It demonstrates your stupidity.