By Walter Broeckx
So we are nearing the end of another season. A season that if you only used what is being said on social media as your source of new, sees us finishing in the bottom three. The worst, most disastrous season ever. And if that really were to have been the case (finishing in the bottom 3 that is) then I could at that point understand the frustration that seems to be hanging around in some quarters.
But when I look at the league table I see that we are standing in 3rd place and only need one point to hold on to that place. And the season could even take a funny twist if we win our match and Newcastle perform out of their skin to wave goodbye to the PL. If Newcastle could also win their final match in the PL and we were to win, we would finish second. That would hardly be the end of the world.
Most years most of the fans want us to win. I am one of them. But I realise that it is not a god given right to win anything. Football is like the rest of our life: you win some, you lose some. Sometimes you experience highs and sometimes lows. For some it will never be enough if we don’t win a trophy. But lo and behold don’t call them trophy hunters.
Because when you say that to some you get this standard reply: No, I’m not a trophy hunter, I just want us to compete.
Well I think we have competed for a long time. But it hasn’t always worked out, usually just as we thought we were on a good run. Some long term injuries to key players like Santi, Coquelin and Alexis. All of our strikers suddenly losing their ability to score at the same time. Indeed losing the best midfield partnership of Coquelin-Cazorla in November has cost us a lot in the end.
And I will not even mention the once again bizarre decisions we had to witness that apart from the odd one off, went mostly against Arsenal. But that is something we are already so used to seeing that for a lot of people it is just not seen, even when looking at it with their eyes open. (And sometimes I think their eyes are shut when watching the referees do their job.
But we competed for a long period. But even in those days, it was no longer enough it seems. Only the final prize matters. And yes I would have loved that final prize but as I said: this is how things can go. What would life be without disappointment? Rather dull I think.
With Aston Villa our opponents going down to the championship we lose one of the 7 teams that have been omnipresent in the PL since it was founded. They have been around for 28 seasons in the top division. But this year it has gone wrong for them.
I have heard that their fans even alluded to some change in one of their songs. Singing that they wanted change and then got it. That should ring a bell for those Arsenal supporters who are now up in arms and demand change now we are once again in the top four. Be careful what you wish for as the change might be not what you had in mind when you were asking for it.
Would I like to see some change? Yes, the most important change I would like to see is that our supporters just do what they should do from the start of each season. And that is to get behind the team. No matter who the manager is, no matter who the owner is, no matter who the players out there on the field are. I just want us all to support them unconditionally. That alone might be a good change.
None of this hanging around waiting for the team to give us something before we give our support. No, let us reverse roles and let us first give them something so that they will know that we are behind them. Let us change the toxic atmosphere in the Emirates. And let us change it in to a positive match environment that will drive the players forward instead of making them sick with fear of doing something wrong.
Just the fact I (have to) write this down is evidence that something is wrong at the Emirates. Too much infighting leads to not enough support for the team on the field. We can all blame the guy next to us for the lack of support. We can blame “the tourists”. We can blame all and everyone. But if we all did our job as supporters the Emirates should be a living hell for visiting teams. If it isn’t then we all have to look at ourselves for not producing it.
Yes, things could have been better this season. But when you really want to see how bad things can turn out you have to look on Sunday at the lower tier between the Clock End and East Stand. There you will see the supporters who have a right to complain: the Aston Villa supporters. Just think of standing in their shoes for a few seconds. And then moan about finishing only 3rd (or 2nd or 4th). They will laugh at you for moaning about that. And would swap places in a heartbeat.
On a small personal note: I will be there for the final home game of the season with my wife. And if you have been following such things you will know this means we will get a penalty and Bellerin will score a goal.
The downside will be that I will not be able to write a live match report for this match and you will probably have to wait a long time before you will see another article appear on Untold after the match preview. Enjoy the game as it will be a long time before we will see another Arsenal match again (blimey, almost 2 months…..)
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On the Arsenal History Society site
A new series has just started: 1: Life in 1930 and winning the first major trophy.
Recently completed series:
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