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Another ‘old codger’s’ sense of perspective  

by AKH

September 1957, the month of my 8th birthday and a  birthday treat.  My very first Arsenal football match at Highbury.  Arsenal v Everton.

I have little memory of the game itself, (I think arsenal lost ) but this was the beginning of my support for the team and club. Like Tony Atwood, I am now a senior citizen, still alive and kicking and happily following the fortunes of this magnificent club and its supporters. Like Tony, I have never felt the need to vilify and verbally abuse fellow Arsenal football supporters, nor the team players, nor the team management and coaching staff, nor indeed fellow supporters of other teams.

Undoubtedly I have felt disappointment and sadness during periods of Arsenal losses and failures, whilst having feelings of pleasure and elation during periods of wins and successes.

As a teenage supporter, I stood at the clock end at Highbury, cheering the club on week in, week out, whilst occasionally becoming  frustrated at the performance and management of the team, during that trophy less period of the late 50’s, early 60’s. Who can forget George Swindin; Billy Wright and to a lesser extent Bertie Mee and later Terry Neill?

“Give us our Arsenal back” type whingeing could even be detected then from those supporters who wanted to return to the success of the late forties, early fifties. (let alone the thirties! )  Player abuse existed too “Get rid of bloody Gordon Nutt”; “that horse Flint McCullough is so slow send him back to ‘Wagon Train’”; “Sell Ian Ure back to Dundee, what a waste of money”,  etc . (No difference to now perhaps, except that social media technology and facilities were unavailable for use then).

For me, Tottenham Hotspur was the hated enemy, especially their double winning  team. Absolute anathema! Then Liverpool became the team to hate as it began to win everything, with Arsenal remaining trophy less.

However, I do remember that whilst I hated the Spurs and Liverpool teams and their successes, I did not hate their supporters. I did not have any desire to abuse them physically nor vilify them by using vitriolic language with associated expletives.

Indeed, why would I? If Arsenal suffered a defeat, by the next day I was looking forward to the next Arsenal game. I imagined that most football supporters must have had similar expectations to myself.  Naive or what? (since at this time football hooliganism and ‘tribal’ fighting had begun to rear their ugly heads).

My total belief was to support one’s team. Win or lose, feel elation or disappointment, but then move on to the next game, (or the next season!).  I was always back the next week, earnestly supporting the team. Going to away games if I money was available. Ever believing Arsenal would win something.

Eventually Arsenal did win trophies again, in the late 60’s, and 70’s, including the league championship; FA Cups; even a European title. (All of this is well documented in “Arsenal the long sleep” by Jon Sowman)

I then had to wait for a further period in the eighties, for Arsenal to continue to win trophies. But throughout this wait, did I stop supporting the team? No. Did I abuse the team players and coaching staff? No!  With the appointment of George Graham as manager,  did we supporters believe the tv and news media attacks on the Graham team approach and tactics? No.

When such media tried to distort  Arsenal achievements and we supporters had to contend with “Boring, boring, Arsenal” Did many of us  adhere to this hypothesis? No.

And so since the mid 90’s, I have continued to support Arsenal for over 20  years of leadership under Arsene Wenger, where we have had periods of elation, with a plethora of trophies, as well as a less successful recent period in which we still remain a highly successful football club, well respected internationally, playing elegant football but only winning 3  FA cup trophies in 4 years, along with Community Shield trophies.

Unlike present day pundits within the media, have I felt it necessary to abuse the team, or the management and coaching staff during this less successful period? No!  Like so many Arsenal supporters I have supported the team week in, week out and I have experienced the highs and lows of the Wenger teams. Unfortunately, the abuse and vitriolic language towards members of  both  the playing team and the management and coaching staff is a sad reflection on the use and abuse of current social media platforms as well as the so-called national and international media.

This ‘old codger’ has followed the Untold Arsenal web site for a number of years. A web site I strongly believe addresses issues concerning Arsenal football and football in general, utilising an evidence based  approach; unafraid to challenge issues and observations not challenged elsewhere in the general football media (e.g. corruption; child trafficking; racism; sexism to name but a few).

A web site which is not prepared to vilify or abuse alternative viewpoints, but tries to reply through the use of reasoned argument, citing evidence when and where available. I have been  saddened and at times actually angered at some of the written abuse hurled at Untold Arsenal by so-called Arsenal supporters, for no other reason than its positive support for Arsenal football club and its personnel, or for the challenges  that address major issues in the world of football and athletics.

Why is it necessary to vilify persons on the site? The UA site specifically states in its heading, Untold Arsenal: supporting the club, the manager and the team. Nowhere does the word ‘NOT’ appear in this statement.

But then again, perhaps so-called old codgers like myself, (Mr Atwood and Mr Wenger ?) are no longer compos mentis and not  even worth listening too.

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33 comments to Another ‘old codger’s’ sense of perspective  

  • Goonermikey

    As a slightly younger codger (but a codger nonetheless), bravo AKH.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Not that “old” yet but I think like you AKH. When we win I enjoy the feeling till the next match. When we lose I turn the page and look forward to our next match in the hope we win it. Enjoyt the good times, quickly forget the bad moments and just enjoy the privilege of supporting a team like Arsenal.

  • PV4

    Ah, you see, a voice of reasoned argument. A voice of unbiased sensitivity, but alas, surrounded by a social media driven cancer hell-bent on destroying all that is sane and good. Rhetoric and banter is one thing, but abuse, aggression and callous disregard for other humans is the norm on many sites. I take my hat off to you and your site for maintaining standards and decency.

  • Liam

    Nice article that. I think untold gives us an authentic supporters view of the club and for that i am gratefull. Always with love and interesting articulate perspective. Keep up good work.

  • knobby

    Lacazzete just had knee surgery, could be out until end of March.

  • MickHazel

    Fantastic article sir.
    As a 75 year old codger I empathize with the sentiments expressed within this excellent piece.
    Maybe us old’uns, having experienced much harder times in life in general, have more patience and are more able to keep things in perspective.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Old codgers will become worth listening to by the young Arsenal suppoters but if Arsenal are winning more regularly than drawing or losing. More so, beating Man U, M C, Chelsea. Liverpool and Tottenham Hs more often than drawing with them or lossing to them on their home grounds. Mark you, I am an old codger too. But when last did Arsenal beat these their top 5 Tittle rival clubs on their home grounds in the last 10 years? Just once I suppose when they beat Man City 0-2 in a PL match at the Etihad as far as I can remember but I could be wrong in my 10 years assertion. Anyway, I have to be realistic and objective.

    The failure of Arsenal not beating these their 5 Title rival clubs at home and away in PL campaign seasons say, 8 wins 2 draws but occationally lose a game to any of them in a single season process is the crust reason behind Arsenal failure to win the Premier League Title 3 – 4 times in the last decade I’ll like to think and believe.

    Nevertheless, a notion has been floated that Le Boss has played some of his top Gunners out of position at Wembley against Spurs last Saturday in a PL big game encounter in which it is thoughtfully believed they would have performed optimally for the team had they been played in their preferred positions. But instead they performed averagely in a big game where Spurs perfomed optimally. Save, when missing most of the clear cut chances they created to put the game out of contest.

    Now, against Man City first at Wembley on 25th Feb in the Carabao Cup final match after Arsenal II team would have dealt a blow to Ostersund in both legs of the ELC round of 32 knockout matches after Le Boss has rested all the top Gunners for the Wembley Man City Cup final match show down which Arsenal MUST win to soth the pains of missing out on the FA Cup and PL Titles and denying Man City a quadruple this season. Would Le Boss adopt a 4-5-1 all out attack formation for this all important Cup final match and plays Ozil centrally at no. 10, put Mkhi beside him to his right, Ramsey to his far right, Wilshere to his left and Iwobi to his far left while Aubameyang leads the line?

    Cech……………………………………………………
    Bell’rin..Kosc’lny..Mustafi..Monreal
    Ramsey..Mkihi..Ozil..Wils’re..Iwobi
    ………………….Aubameyang………………..

    How about this Arsenal all out fire attack starting XI for the Carabao Cup final match against Man City? Won’t it work? It will work. They will beat Pep Guardiola’s Man city starting XI on the day.

  • goonersince72

    AKH
    Thanks for the perspective. We all need to take a step back from the minute by minute analysis of everything. Media, which only deal in the ‘now’ (remember the ’24 hr. news cycle’ of the recent past?), has an outsize influence on opinion and it may be at it’s worst in Sport. This allows for unsubstantiated reporting and therefore, everyone’s an expert.

    ‘You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.’ – Harlan Ellison

  • goonersince72

    AKH
    Forgot to mention, same age as you. Was introduced to English football aged 23 while working in London. In April 72 a colleague invited me to Highbury for Arsenal v WHU. Arsenal had won the Double the previous season but would finish third in the table. It was the greatest fan experience I’d ever had. So naturally, I’m goonersince72. Missed that Double by one season but I’ve enjoyed many more winning seasons and trophies since. I especially enjoy the FA Cup; what a great competition. Like most supporters I’d like to see AFC competing for the EPL trophy but this side is not up to it. History shows it will happen again. I’ll always support AFC.

  • Steve Vallins

    AKH
    You have 3 years on me , couldn’t remember the game but my first visit to Highbury Clock End was late 50’s and as you mentioned a few players what about Jim “Fingers” Furnell can you imagine what social media would have done with him

  • Dec

    Codgers of the world unite!
    Gooner codgers of the world unite and celebrate!
    Be grateful for all the brilliant experiences we had the privilege of enjoying through the years. We were strengthened by the adversities and learned from them.
    Methinks the current generation of instant gratification and phoney celebrity have missed out on a lot. Well done to you Sir for providing some valuable context ant to UA for providing a space where reality trumps speculative nonsense.

    Allez les Gunners.

  • porter

    I was there a year before you but was always more of a North Bank ( laundry ) person going with my Dad and Uncles. I like the thought that you and so many others can be so relaxed about the rise and fall of this club. Success has always been cyclical, periods of feast and famine, however I am kind of analytical by nature and do get frustrated by obvious flaws that are not corrected.
    My only interruption to watching the Arsenal was during my playing years where basics were taught .Basics which seem not to be in the manual at present. That is why I believe people get wound up and vent through the social media that we have become accustomed to. A long way from the Evening News classified vans chasing through the city to beat the Standard and the Star to the news stands and reading the Sundays from the bag on your shoulder before heading to Hackney for the marshes.
    Today everything is immediate and bad news gets publicity , so in the main I ignore it .football though is different , when I see things in the ground that are not right I will shout out and at home when it’s on the box my cat knows when it’s time to go out.

  • Florian

    As a younger supporter I can only have the utmost respect for those who saw the club going through rough times, yet they held their heads high and kept up the support. To the difference, a large part of the current mass of media-driven “fans” is nothing short of appalling, with their sense of entitlement, and have been proven to possess the memory span of an amoeba. Thank you AKH for being an AKB avant-la-lettre:)

  • para

    The old ones, (like myself too) do tend to have a wealth of experiences to draw from in order to form our opinions, little things a youth may miss because they just cannot perceive them tend to make us a little more seasoned and tasteful.

    Through all ages there has always been the “conscious”(use their own experiences to come to conclusions), the “intellectuals”(take society’s given experiences to come to conclusions) and the “autonomons”(basic conclusions programmed from birth).

    Of course these are not absolute, and there is much blurring of the lines between the three.

    It is these blurring of the lines that makes an ever evolving or degenerating world, that is, a changing world.

    For to evolve one has to at some point also degenerate too, usually when one has reached the apex, for there is no where to go but down, in order to climb again and reach even greater heights.

  • Jammy

    para – “The old ones, (like myself too) do tend to have a wealth of experiences to draw from in order to form our opinions” Except the comments you make are very often no different to ones that you would repeatedly see on JustArsenal, a blog that appears to have an average age of about 13 years old. This is only of recent, of course, after you turned into a full-blown whinging aaa.

  • AFC Nemesis

    Well said AKH…!

    Young people today have everything and this is reflected in their demands. The media tap into this and have convinced fans that winning trophies is easy, all you need is the right manager.

    I started watching Arsenal in the sixties. I too grew up in a foot environment where Arsenal were a great club but rarely achieved. There was none of the money that football is awash with today and therefore no club with a bigger advantage than anyone else. Indeed, football Championships were spread around the clubs, in many ways it was a lot more honest and organic than today.

    We are in an era where money talks. The Champions League is dominated by a select few and football trophies are awarded based on how much the club has to spend.I have read articles from so called journalists that have attempted to ‘prove’ that changing managers every 18 months creates success – completely ignoring the fact that these clubs have the most money.

    The biggest problem today is the untruthfulness of the media, fans and pundits. They pretend the financial problems Arsenal faced at the end of 2005 didn’t exist, where the stadium build was halted when we ran out of money & the recession affected the redevelopment of Highbury. The period of austerity the club faced, where a Manager was needed to develop players and make profits on transfers and selling his best players. None of this is allowed to be mentioned, it is some kind of unspoken truth. The money that arrived to bankroll Chelsea and Man City , while we fought austerity is another inconvenient truth.

    Finishing in the top 4 was ridiculed despite it being an amazing acheivement in view of the restrictions the club faced. Now, not finishing in the top 4 is the be all and end all.

    Not winning trophies created a countdown clock, the media, pundits and fans constantly counting down the number of years without a trophy. Winning 3 FA Cups in 4 years stopped that but now FA Cup trophies are being ignored as achievements. Meanwhile, the Spurs adulation continues despite the clubs last league title being won at the start of the ’60’s, their last FA Cup 27 years ago and their last trophy of any kind the League Cup in 2008. Countdown clock?

    Of course, changing Wenger will instantly deliver success. It will enable us to compete on the same level as the big spending clubs and instantly eradicate any financial advantage they enjoy. Despite finishing 10th and 12th with a back 5 that apparently guarantees success, George Graham is the greatest manager in our history.

    Like AKH, those of us who have followed the club from the mid century to today have a sense of reality. We have seen desperate, boring football and bottom half finishes. We know how football has evolved and how the media has changed into an aggressive, click bait industry where the truth is tool inconvenient to mention.

    Arsenal is a great football club. It always has been. It always will be. Some of us know how lucky we are and I am proud to be so.

    So cheers AKH, Tony and all those on here who are able to see things for what they are. We are the real football fans.

    History will show that our current manager has delivered unprecedented success. The pe

  • AFC Nemesis

    *The people that pretend otherwise are idiots.

  • Nitram

    What a great article sir.

    As an ‘old codger’ myself, although 10 years your junior, I have to say I agree with every word. More on that anon.

    But if I can beg your indulgence, first a little trip down memory lane.

    The first 2 matches I attended could not of been more contrasting.

    The first, in 1969, was the 3 – 1 defeat at the hands of the then 3rd division Swindon Town in the League cup final at Wembley, watched from the shoulders of my father.

    A dismal match, played on a dismal day, on a dismal pitch. I can still clearly see the mud. The Samuels goal. (funny enough I do not recall one of there goals). And Ian Ure, who it has to be said, had a rather ordinary ‘day at the office’.

    The 2nd, just one year later, was the 3 – 0 2nd leg victory over Anderlecht in the Fairs Cities Cup Final, watched from sat on the front railing in the left hand corner of the North Bank.

    Although I’ve seen the goals on utube many times, my real time memories are of the noise, the lights, the mud (again) and Radfords towering header that was right smack bang in front of me.

    Although at that young age a lot of it passed me by, even then I could FEEL the enormity of it all. The sheer joy was tangible even to a naïve 10 year old.

    But back to your article, I found the following points particularly pertinent:

    –My total belief was to support one’s team. Win or lose, feel elation or disappointment, but then move on to the next game, (or the next season!). I was always back the next week, earnestly supporting the team. Going to away games if I money was available. Ever believing Arsenal would win something.–

    And

    –I then had to wait for a further period in the eighties, for Arsenal to continue to win trophies. But throughout this wait, did I stop supporting the team? No. Did I abuse the team players and coaching staff? No! With the appointment of George Graham as manager, did we supporters believe the tv and news media attacks on the Graham team approach and tactics? No.

    When such media tried to distort Arsenal achievements and we supporters had to contend with “Boring, boring, Arsenal” Did many of us adhere to this hypothesis? No.–

    I was trying to put together e response, then I read Walters:

    “When we win I enjoy the feeling till the next match. When we lose I turn the page and look forward to our next match in the hope we win it. Enjoy the good times, quickly forget the bad moments and just enjoy the privilege of supporting a team like Arsenal.”

    To repeat a very famous commentary:

    ‘And that sums it all up’

  • Nitram

    AFC Nemesis

    “The Champions League is dominated by a select few and football trophies are awarded based on how much the club has to spend.”

    I think this is so obvious and I have been saying it for years.

    I agree spend and reward is not always immediate. I agree that binge spending, no matter how much, is also no guarantee of success.

    But what is an absolute guarantee of success, is big spending over a period of time.

    Even more important is the ability to spend without any requirement to balance the books.

    We currently have 2 clubs than can do this, and one who can do almost as they like in the transfer market due to there global marketing, although they do have to at least respect some kind of budget.

    Every judgment made on Arsenal football club must be made against this backdrop.

    Those 3 clubs should, and basically do, win almost every domestic trophy going.

    That is what I expect to happen.

    As for what I HOPE will happen, well we can only keep trying, but for now 3 FA Cups seems a pretty decent return.

    Yes, we are currently experiencing a blip. I think Spurs and Liverpool are currently playing better than us and are getting the plaudits they deserve.

    BUT, will they win anything?

    I doubt it very much.

    Man City have the title wrapped up.

    Man City or us will win the League cup.

    That leaves the FA Cup and Champions League.

    Will Spurs or Liverpool win the Fa Cup? Maybe, but that’s not a trophy anyway. So that leaves the CL.

    Will Liverpool or Spurs win that?

    Put it this way, if anyone wants to put any money on it please do it with me.

    So for all the rave reviews, ultimately both those teams are going to end up pot less, again.

    And when they do, do you think for one minute they will get a 10th of the abuse we get, and will still get, even if we win the League cup AND the Europa League.

    Not a chance.

  • AFC Nemesis

    Nitram.

    Agree with everything you say.

    What I find so amazing is that we are the good guys in terms of the way we try to run the club, yet we get all the abuse. We are paraded as the bad guys.

    I remember when our players were being put in hospital with broken limbs; Eduardo, Ramsey, Diaby, Wilshere etc all through dangerous, reckless challenges from British players. Not a peep. In fact, sympathy was often given to the perpetrator with the oft repeated narrative of “he’s not that kind of player” or “Arsenal don’t like it up them” or “Arsenal are soft” or “that’s how to play against Arsenal”.

    Yet when Guardiola complains it gets headlines and UEFA getting involved – yet he’s not had to cope with the broken limbs Wenger has witnessed to his players!

    Sums it up.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Lovely article , sentiments and great perspective . Thank you . While each of Arsenal’s losses do hurt a bit , but I now tend to get over it rather quickly , and then look forward to our next win. Chardonnay does that for me !

    It also helps that I don’t give a damn for the opinions of ex-players , pundits and commentators . And not listening to them nor reading the newspapers has made me more balanced . As for other fans…ah well , less said the better !

    Up the Gunners !

  • omgarsenal

    I firmly object to the term ¨old codger¨ being used to describe seniors like us! I prefer the term my many aquaintances use, ¨sexcy senior citizen¨ which only took hold after I refused to acknowledge their initial labelling of me as a ¨dirty old man¨!
    Great article AKH and hope to see more from you soon…..

  • Marcus

    This is such a wonderfully refreshing article, it illustrates so well what is wrong with not only football but much of the modern world. The ego and capitalism as we know it. It is mad (sad) that an article like this displaying such truthful insights, commendable moral values and common sense, is written for free to a select few, whilst so-called journalists are paid to write unethical, deceitful and nonsensical gibberish to the masses.

    Unlike many of the commenters above I am no ‘old codger’. I was barely 3 months old (do the math) when a certain Frenchman also displaying ethical virtue and use of reason took the arsenal job. Because of this I have a unique perspective which many of the untold readership may not possess.

    One argument made by AFC nemesis really stuck out to me:

    “Young people today have everything and this is really reflected in their demands. The media have tapped into this and convinced them that winning trophies is easy, all you need is the right manager.”

    Let us start by saying this is pure conjecture, it does not follow untolds sensible lead in using rational evidences to support its conclusion.
    I would argue that contrary to popular belief young people (in Britain) today have far from everything- in fact I would argue that we have it perhaps harder than any generation which has preceded us.

    Sure we have technology, but as I’m sure many are acutely aware this is a double edged sword – we have mobile phones, social media and the internet – but these are helping to create a horrible world which fosters insecurities, neuroticism and obscene indulgence and greed. None are affected more than the youth many of whom are glued to a screen from as early as the age of 5 – social media paints false realities of people’s lives, it trains people to believe that everyone else is always enjoying themselves and having a better time, whilst also encouraging people to engage in the creation of their own false images which can never truly satisfy.

    Although technology, healthcare and living standards (as measured by traditional indicators) have never been better, mental health problems have soared through the roof, especially for young people. Why is this? From my own experience I would say it is a result of globalisation, technology, and the increasing levels of inequality. Britain is now the worst in Europe for dug use, and drug problems in general have been spurred on by technology, as a teenager I was exposed to class A substances as early as the age of 13 and I came from a relatively privileged background, being white living in the south and being privately schooled through secondary school. The young today have to grow up far faster than those born in the earlier part of the 20thC, and this can cause serious problems in their development both moral and intellectual. When you pair this with a lying agenda driven media, who fuel the fires of greed encouraged by social media we end up with the kind of hate filled and nonsensical logic used by those in the aaa, and in comments sections.

    As a final point I believe that other spawns of technology- FIFA (the video game), fantasy football and football manager etc lead to a skewed perception of football for those who have problems using an evidenced based approach. Because their club always wiins in the game they are angered and confused when there team loses in real life. They then release this anger, through abusive comments in a way which satisfies through instant gratification, in keeping with the modern lifestyle trends which govern their lives. All of this in turn feeds back into the false reality which tells others that this kind of behaviour is acceptable and under desirable.

    The youth of today are trained by the media, complicit with big business and government, to believe that money is king, and that it is their right to fulfill their own selfish desires. Therefore it is little surprise that many look upon arsenals noble values with ridicule and the approach of Man City with awe.

  • AFC Nemesis

    Marcus.

    Nicely argued. Yes I concur that there are many challenges the youth of today face, my own children in their mid and late twenties are testament to this. Housing is particular problem in the South East.

    However, my generalisation was aimed at the ‘materialism’, the fact that things like computers, mobile phones etc have replaced an Action Man and a Corgi car. I do however believe the youth of today have a far higher expectation and are more demanding from a ‘I want’ perspective. No offence intended.

    You have hit the nail on the head with the following:

    “The youth of today are trained by the media, complicit with big business and government, to believe that money is king, and that it is their right to fulfill their own selfish desires. Therefore it is little surprise that many look upon arsenals noble values with ridicule and the approach of Man City with awe”

    Yes. Being self sufficient, showing loyalty, developing players and managing within a budget is disrespected and ridiculed by the Sports journalists and pundits. Fans have been lead along this path. Spending huge sums of an owners money, especially a club owned by a foreign Country like an Arab state, while changing manager every 2 years is paraded as a role model for football. This brainwashing has created a narrative that has fed the anti-Arsenal feeling that we see almost daily.

    Creating an unrealistic expectation and feeding that to people who tend to be more demanding is a media tactic – along with discrediting any achievements that may challenge the narrative.

    It has worked.

  • Nitram

    AFC Nemesis/Marcus

    Some great points, very well made lads, many of which bear repeating, such as:

    —“The youth of today are trained by the media, complicit with big business and government, to believe that money is king, and that it is their right to fulfil their own selfish desires. Therefore it is little surprise that many look upon Arsenals noble values with ridicule and the approach of Man City with awe”

    Especially:

    “……it is their right to fulfil their own selfish desires.

    And this:

    —“Being self sufficient, showing loyalty, developing players and managing within a budget is disrespected and ridiculed by the Sports journalists and pundits. Fans have been lead along this path. Spending huge sums of an owners money, especially a club owned by a foreign Country like an Arab state, while changing manager every 2 years is paraded as a role model for football. This brainwashing has created a narrative that has fed the anti-Arsenal feeling that we see almost daily.

    Creating an unrealistic expectation and feeding that to people who tend to be more demanding is a media tactic – along with discrediting any achievements that may challenge the narrative.

    It has worked.”

    Especially:

    —“Being self sufficient, showing loyalty, developing players and managing within a budget is disrespected and ridiculed by the Sports journalists and pundits.”

  • Nitram

    This is the line.

    “….and that it is their right to fulfil their own selfish desires.”

    “…it is there RIGHT.”

    This is so at the heart of society today.

    I’ll tell you where I first started noticing this notion of ‘it’s your RIGHT’ coming to the for .

    Advertising.

    There was a shift from tag lines such as:

    ‘Getting the care your desire’

    or

    ‘Getting the job of your dreams’

    To

    ‘Getting the car you DESERVE’

    or

    ‘Getting the job you DESERVE’

    Yes it’s a very subtle change, but I think it’s telling. Now you don’t just wish for, desire, or want something.

    Oh no, now you ‘Deserve’ it. It is your ‘Right’

    Quite WHY you ‘Deserve’ that big new shinny car or that mega bucks job in the City nobody says, but be under no illusion……..YOU DO DESERVE IT.

    And that’s the big point I see coming through this debate.

    Such frivolous notions such as ‘Hopes’ and ‘Dreams’, have somehow been replaced by the more insidious notion of what you somehow ‘Deserve’ or have the ‘Right to’.

  • Marcus smash! Don’t forget the name! You got a job!

  • AFC Nemesis

    Nitram.

    Well put sir. In a nutshell, we now live in the age of self entitlement. Very worrying.

  • Nitram

    Correction:

    “There was a shift from tag lines such as:

    ‘Getting the care your desire’”

    Was supposed to say:

    ‘Getting the CAR you desire’

    Sorry, but I’m sure you got the point.

  • Andy Mack

    AKH I saw my 1st game at the age of 7 in autumn 69 (so a few years younger) and became a regular during the early years of the tribalism, but like you I just don’t see the point in slagging off the club in any way. I’m one person supporting a club with millions of supporters (so a relatively insignificant proportion of the support 😀 )and I have the choice of walking away from the game entirely, as many of the people I stood next to on the terraces actually have done.
    The results do affect my disposition for a few days after, but they don’t actually affect my life.
    Similarly the team and players I started supporting had plenty of poor games and years of being a 6- placed league team, so to have stepped above that level is a real long term improvement, although a little more silverware would also be a great thing 😀

    I was given one of the Harry Redknapp books (IIRC ‘a man walks onto the pitch’ as a joke gift but actually read the book and was entertained by the first few chapters where he told of how he’d usually go to highbury (with his dad) but if AFC had an away game ‘up norf or wherever’ then they’d often go to WHL, WHU, Millwall etc. If Stanley Mathews or another special player was in London then they’d often go just to see them play. He said that he really didn’t understand the tribalism that started in the 70s and now seems to suffocate the game so completely. My respect for him grew dramatically in those first few chapters, but the later chapters he picked a best 11 from each decade and my respect dropped a fair bit again (many I agreed with but many were picked on their ability to kick others…).

  • AFC Nemesis

    Andy Mack

    This is exactly right: “I just don’t see the point in slagging off the club in any way”

    It’s funny but every time I walked into the ground I get goosebumps. Every time. I feel a real affinity to the club, everything about it. When times were bad (the 70’s and 80’s had periods of unbelievable boredom and bottom table struggles) I never once felt the urge to beat the club up. Sure I was disappointed. In those days, we were on a relatively level par with Spurs and there wasnt the daylight we enjoyed during Wengers reign.

    The great thing about Arsenal is the principals it has. This has created a lot of envy. Wenger when he arrived took on the dinosaurs of English football, tackled the drinking culture and improved nutrition and fitness. It would appear many ex Arsenal players have never forgiven him for this.

    So we should be proud of the club. It went through a difficult period in 2005, overachieved while selling players and has had to compete, unfairly, with financially doped clubs who have been handed a huge advantage. I am proud of the club and in particular the way it has been unfairly treated in the media and by ex players and modern ‘i want’ fans.

    So I am with you, AKH and the other ‘old codgers’ who have a different interpretation of the word ‘supporter’. I know we all get far more fun supporting the club than those who seem to want nothing more than to complain.

  • AFC Nemesis

    My first game was Coventry City at Highbury 1968. I can’t remember the score I was but a nipper but I know we won. Geordie Armstrong was on fire, he became my favourite player of that era, a great player.

  • Andy Mack

    AFC N, Part of the problem is that a large number of supporters are the ‘snowflake’ generation who suffer from an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. They see ‘supporting’ a club as buying a product where they pay their money and expect a defined product in return. We supported a club during difficult times where modern social media wasn’t available for us to vent (if we’d felt the necessity we’d do so in the pub and it’d be forgotten in the morning), so we just appreciated that this is a sport and a club we support.