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Watching supporters

New Today Everton.    Scroll down for details

What’s it like being a football supporter?

We publish a quick commentary each day on UntoldArsenalToday on Facebook.  With fulsome thanks to PG Wodehouse.  Here’s a few, with first a general point on

SUPPORTERS AND JOURNALISTS

For although it is commonplace to suggest that football supporters are stupid, most in fact have brains enough for two – a necessary evolutionary step that enables the average fan to be able to disentangle the absolute rubbish spouted by your average football pundit or commentator and work out what his gibberish actually means.

Journalists and Arsenal

Certain journalists (for such beings, I regret to say, still do exist despite the advent of digital media), tend to make the same old same old remarks over and over again.  When speaking of Arsenal they suggest that each game contains ‘all the old Arsenal errors just made in a different order.’

Such entities have probably by now fallen through cracks in time like the Daleks in Doctor Who who on buzzing forward in order to exterminate all and sundry suddenly find the ground beneath their rollers getting a bit soggy.  But if any still survives they will not be able to make such charges against the Arsenal of 2017/18 for Mr Wenger has out manoeuvred them all, not least by having the team make different errors but in the same order.  Pretty damn stupid it will make them all feel, I’ll be bound.”

Now the individual teams… (Arsenal are at the end).

BOURNEMOUTH

Concerning Bournemouth supporters, many an experienced undertaker has been deceived by their appearance and started embalming on sight.

EVERTON

Everton is one of those clubs where one can look at it, and understand the broad, general principle of the notion of rising up and throwing Liverpool FC off its perch, but one can’t help getting somewhat baffled at the way in which the owner is trying to put the plan into practical effect. Rather similar to Hamlet in fact.  As for the fans, many an experienced undertaker has been deceived by their appearance and started embalming on sight.

LEICESTER

Looking at the Leicester supporters last night they seemed a rather melancholy-looking bunch. Generally speaking they had the appearance of men who has searched for the leak in life’s gas-pipe with a lighted candle.

LIVERPOOL

I have to say that when thinking of Liverpool FC I tend to experience the sort of deep depression of my spirits which afflicts the average character in novels of the 1930s.
In such books, as you will recall, a gritty northerner puts in a solid day’s work of stealing food from his grandmother, torturing his father-in-law, beating up his wife, and throwing any passing children into the infested canal, only to return home to find the neighbour has ransacked his house and drunk his alcohol.

Manchester City

A football supporter who professes allegiance to Manchester City (for such people, I regret to say, do exist) made the nasty remark about an article I wrote in Untold Arsenal recently saying that it contained ‘all the old excuses using different words.’

He has probably by now been arrested and put to work in a salt mine or whatever it is they have in Manchester these days but if he survives he will not be able to make a similar remark about my latest commentary.  For with the superior intellect that comes from being a follower of Arsenal, I have out-manoeuvred him, putting in all the old excuses using exactly the same words as last time.  Pretty stupid that will make him look, I rather suspect.

Manchester United

Concerning Manchester United fans, I may be wronging them, but I have an idea that they are the sort of supporters who expect the dominance of English football as a right. Certainly I have heard some of them speak favourably of Napoleon in this regard.

So what with one thing and another they do tend to get themselves into a jolly old frenzy of entitlement. They see their club as the pinnacle of the footballing aristocracy, and every other club as a being supported by a bunch of lower class loonies who live in such wholly unacceptable places as, well, for example, Manchester.

NEWCASTLE (part 1)

There is something sort of bleak about about the supporters of Newcastle United. Their tone of voice for example is rather as if they have swallowed wind blowing in from the North Sea, and it is now trying to get out.

I think part of the problem is the way they take breakfast in the region. I must say that for myself, as a North Londoner born and bred, it’s only after a bit of breakfast that I’m able to regard the world with that sunny cheeriness which is the preserve of the North London man and which makes us such universal favourites. Indeed I’m never much of a lad till I’ve engulfed the statutory croissant, the traditional muesli with blueberries and a beaker or two of coffee topped with soya milk.

NEWCASTLE part 2

For a while I had a Newcastle supporter staying in my house. Most of the time he would wander around looking morose saying things that I couldn’t quite understand.
But eventually one morning he seemed more coherent and looking at me with a hang dog gloom and doom look said,
“Look man, I haven’t got it in me to have breakfast today. You drink it.”

Stoke City

Stoke City supporters are by and large gluttons for punishment. The other day I found one staring at himself in the mirror.

Stoke City

As one journalist recently told me…
 
“As we grow older and realize more clearly the shortness of life and the limitations of what impact we, as journalists can make, I came to see that the only real and abiding pleasure in life is to annoy Arsenal fans by denying the reality that Stoke City is an institution based entirely on using criminal assault to destroy the careers of talented footballers.”

TOTTENHAM HOTS

Watching Tottenham at Wembley in their pre-season game was rather like one of those social gatherings where one coughs twice before speaking and then decides it is perhaps best not to say anything after all.

AND OF COURSE ARSENAL

At the age of 13 or 14 most Arsenal supporters, having seen their team win a few things, acquire a worldliness and depth of understanding of both football and the rest of life, which allows them to handle difficult situations, and the ups and downs of being a supporter.

For Tottenham fans however, not having won the league since 1961, it is a demeanour which, if he is lucky, a man might be manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.

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Untold Arsenal’s home page is www.untold-arsenal.com

You might also enjoy The Arsenal History Society website, with its daily anniversary file.