By Tony Attwood
In a recent article Blacksheep asked, What is wrong with football. I was re-reading this and found myself asking “what is wrong with football supporters?”
I found myself asking why commentators on this site sometimes find it necessary to write, “if you think x you are an idiot,” where x is fairly obviously, whatever that person doesn’t agree with.
I suppose I came back to this following the story that ten fans were arrested for pulling down notices at Tottenham’s ground. I don’t condone any violence of this type, and I really wish they hadn’t done it. Because it has nothing to do with my view of what it is like to be a supporter.
But what it does do is emphasise the notion that we are all so different – we behave in different ways, we are different people. Only a total idiot would dream of suggesting we are all the same.
However the media keep up the game that we are all the same. It won’t be long before we have someone saying there is extra security at Leicester this weekend because of Arsenal fans’ reputation.
This coming weekend I shall go to Leicester as an away supporter, and won’t get engaged in violence. There seems no point, and no need. But if some turnip has read the media report and expects trouble, then they really are being incredibly dim. We shall see.
So if that is the dark side of supporting, what is it like to be a supporter faced by the insanely warped messaging of the media which is picked up by supporters of all clubs and which tries to make people think the same way.
I have to admit however it works sometimes.
I was talking to a Man U fan this afternoon – a perfectly civil conversation – and he reiterated the old “you were the only club not to buy an outfield player” and I had to explain that we had bought Gabriel in January, and since then introduced Bellerin and Coquelin – two stunningly brilliant players. That Theo was coming on as a centre forward and could soon be one of the most extraordinary centre forward players in the league. But like many Arsenal fans he was fixed on the notion that if you don’t buy then you are not serious. He’d read the story in the press so he knew it was true. Arsenal’s problem was the lack of purchases.
Let’s take another point. Arsenal are fifth and are doing badly. Barcelona of course are doing well, and will be up there at the top or at least second this year.
I had this discussion the other day, so I said, “where are Barcelona at the moment?” My friend didn’t know. So I emailed him a league table from Spain.
|10||Deportivo La Coruna||4||1||5|
Yep, Barcelona are fifth with a pretty modest goal difference. Just like, oh, who is it, that north London team that is going nowhere…
The problem is, that there is no end to the garbage. Let me offer you this from one little blogetta.
Arsene Wenger reaches the end of his time
Oh bugger. No one told me. He’s out is he? Oh, actually no he’s not. It is just an opinion stated as a headline. I read the article, but it really didn’t tell me how or why. It was just based on a 2014 Daily Telegraph article “Arsene Wenger is making a powerful case for his departure …”
Yes, winning the FA Cup two years running and he is making a powerful case for his departure.
The problem is that the blogetta (Give me Sport) and the Telegraph are both wanting to tell us that they know how the future will unfold, and what people are thinking.
They also like to cast us all as the same boat. But we are not. There are those who tore down Tottenham slogans on their stadium, and those of us who didn’t.
Arsene Wenger faces yet more criticism over transfer window inaction
That’s another from the same source. Yes, he did get criticised, but mostly by the blogettas like Give Me Sprouts (sorry, couldn’t resist) and their fellow travellers creating stories to back up their own previous stories which back up…
The point is that we don’t all think the same way. We are as independent as anyone else – and so what it means to be a supporter is to be in a world in which people keep on saying “you think this, you will do this” when in fact we don’t.
If there is a writer on football who actually possess the extraordinary telepathic ability that he/she proclaims I have yet to find that person. And when I see “Arsenal fans will be unhappy that…” these days I just turn off. (Mind you I did have a huge laugh at the person who wrote in here telling me I had no knowledge of business matters – I am a director of four companies – and I am obviously a Conservative. Two of my mates who know my politics nearly had to be rushed to hospital on reading that, they were laughing so much).
So it shouldn’t be
Arsene Wenger reaches the end of his time
it should be
Give Me Sport reaches the end of its time
These commentators have passed their sell by date. We all grew up long ago. We’re big boys now. Stop treating us like we are still naughty teenagers at secondary school.
What’s it like to be a supporter? It is like being insulted and treated as an idiot day after day after day after day. And really I am getting a bit pissed off with it.