Are you in or out? What is your choice?

By Walter Broeckx


In case you are one of the supporters who sings his heart out each game to support the Arsenal: no need to read any further. This is not about you. You might read further and if you read critical things about the support: this is not about you.


When you read what the players have been saying in the media it always comes down to one thing: The need to stick together to come out of this bad spell.


Bad spells are part of football. Each team has it during the season. I think the only team who had no real bad spell was the invincible team. But that is a once in a lifetime in the PL and so we have to know those things can happen. Of course as a supporter this is not a fun part of the season. But it is part of football.


If you also read what players have been saying the last years it also gives a message  : when the supporters really get behind the team they can produce wonders. Did you remember the way the crowd stood behind the team when we beat Barcelona? Do you remember when we came back from 0-2 down against Tottenham last season? Even this season when going 0-1 behind the crowd reacted to lift the team.


Last Saturday before the game we had the protest march. So the feeling before the game was one of unhappiness. According to people who were in the Emirates one could say that the atmosphere was rather down before the game and maybe the supporters were too busy quarrelling about the ticket prices, safe standing, the board, the manager, the players. And I can imagine as a result half of the Emirates just sitting there not getting behind the team and the final outcome is what we have seen.


In fact it is rather disgraceful that players have to come out after a game where the support was great and strong for the team and have to speak in great words of the crowds support. This only shows that ….the crowd not always gets strongly behind the team. The players are not used to having a 12th man in the stands and when they do it makes them play better.


Now of course you can come out with all kinds of reasons for your lack of support.


You could say you don’t support the board and there fore just sit in the stadium in silence. Fine. No reason to support the rich owners. But… the board is not on the field playing for Arsenal. It is the players out there. It is them that need your support. By shouting for the team on the field you don’t give your support to the board. You support the team.


You could say you don’t like the manager and so you just sit there. Fine, nobody wants you to love the manager. But it is not the manager out there on the field playing for Arsenal. It is the players out there. It is them you need to support. You support the team.


You could say you think the players are not good enough. Fine, that is your opinion and who knows maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong. But if you just sit there in the Emirates wasting your expensive ticket and don’t support the players out there… then why do you come? Then why do you bother? Even if you think the players are not good enough… they  are on the field to represent the club you seemingly love. By supporting the players out there (even when they are not good enough) you will help them.


You could help them a few years back to come back from behind to beat the best team of the past 5 years. Your contribution does matter.


The players have been saying it for years. When the crowd really gets behind the team it will lift them. The contribution from the supporters is valuable for the players. It gives a boost to the team. And yet too many just sit there. Not singing, not shouting, just sitting there in silence or waiting for the first misplaced ball to start moaning about player X not being good enough to wear the shirt.


Now our club has a bad spell.

You can blame the board, you can blame Gazidis, you can blame Wenger, you can blame the players. But do you ever blame yourself?

You can say they don’t deserve your support as they are not good enough. But are you as a supporter good enough?


We can have our differences. We can say what we don’t like before the game. We can say what we don’t like after the game. But during those 90 minutes there is only one thing that counts : Arsenal must win the game they are playing.


And YOU(who are in the Emirates) are part of it. For the moment winning a game is not about the 11 players on the field, the manager on the bench or the board in their luxury seats. It is about 11 players on the field AND YOU!


Each of us sitting in the Emirates has to take his responsibility. We can help the team when we want. So if you just sit there don’t say the team let you down. NO, you are letting the team down. If you just sit there don’t say the players don’t give it all. NO, are you giving it all? That is what you should ask yourself.


If you don’t give it all, don’t blame the players for not giving it all.


So time to make up your mind: are you really a supporter of this club? If so and you all claim you are: let me hear it when I will be sitting in front of my TV. I can’t come to this game but I would have loved to come over and to shout until I have no voice left. But you who come to the Emirates: time to do what you have to do and get behind the team on the field.

Are you a true supporter? Time to answer that question next Saturday.

28 Replies to “Are you in or out? What is your choice?”

  1. I agree with your sentiment, and i agree that if your only going to moan at the game (which is traditional) then stay home.But there is no ground in the world where everybody sings/chants/mexican wave. I cant agree in what you say about fans letting down the team. This emotional blackmail wont work .Most of the players are not Arsenal fans, they are professionals being paid enormous amounts of money to do their job. Yes it will improve confidence and i also urge everyone in the ground to lift the players, 60 thousand voices behind you has to be an amazing experience.But by critisising some of the fans,(not very subtle)you take away the real truth, that this club is the fans. Players and managers come and go. They represent us. As Wenger said, “It is my job to keep the fans happy ” Not the other way round. And remember this. If everyone who keeps quiet takes your advise then I wonder how many would attend,be carefull what you ask for , in frustration.

  2. Brilliant. A rallying cry.
    As a lowly red member I can’t always get a ticket so I have to watch on an internet stream, but I will be at th ems on Boxing Day and I will add my voice to every song and chant and I will “stand up for the Arsenal” even if I’m half frozen in To be present at Arsenals matches is a privilege and to cheer them on is a joy!

    Cmon Arsenal!

  3. True dat.

    A few years back we beat Portsmouth 5-0 at Pompey.
    Their fans cheered them on and sang full volume all the way through.
    They were brilliant – even in the face of being outplayed and thumped.

    After the game TH went over and applauded them – the Pompey fans.

    That shows how much the players appreciate good support.

    Come on you guys – SING!

  4. Spot on – the Emirates stadium sucks the soul out the team. I can’t bear going any more. The Spurs game last year is a great example; I was there and remember the moment when the crowd woke up and started being supporters instead of passive consumers, lifting the team and driving them on instead of sapping the life by compounding the blow of being 2 down.

    I hate it when the crowd sits there in silence while a smaller team is beating us only to rise up with “Who are ya!…” when we score before falling silent again only to rouse itself with “Stand up if you hate Tottenham…”

    Like a car crash, I can’t look away so I’ll find a stream a watch the game but I can’t be there today.

  5. @ walter…..How dare you point your finger at the home fans???…….

    Last time I raised this point ( How good are we??), I was treated with a reply in the tone reminiscent of the above.

    YES players are responsible for the poor performance. BUT we fans are responsible for the “doom-gloom” atmosphere that has engulfed the Emirates. AND only we fans can change it. Players will respond for sure……

  6. As one person said the Emirates is full of birds and nurds, harsh on ladies because their are two ladies behind me that are very vocal. I loved Highbury and have not been swayed by the new stadium yet, perhaps it needs a winning team to lift it. My point, Milan last season, we went out because Wenger got it so wrong in Milan, the home game was a different performance and this was most probably the best atmosphere the stadium has produced, the crowd was rocking, we went out but everyone was happy with the night. What did Wenger do, did he walk out on the pitch and applaud the fans for their support, no he raced down the tunnel to verbally attack the ref and earn himself another touch line ban. he really could have earned himself some respect that night. I scream and shout every game, home and away and people turn round and look at you at home as though your disturbing them. The Highbury supporters have been diluted by a new type of supporter, shame

  7. Good point Walter. We must back the team to the hilt and encourage them in every way possible to perform at their maximum. Not to do so encourages the quiet worried atmosphere which transmits to the players – this is exactly what the AAA want. So lets make sure the team know we are behind them!

  8. Would have to agree with you Walter .Whatever had happened earlier is water under the bridge ,so those who are in the stadium ,please cheer and sing for us who are afar .
    Gee the team up and keep the noise levels up !For 90 minutes forget your worries and fears and join those of us who are physically not present to will the team to victory !
    Do hope we keep a clean sheet .
    Up the Gunners !

  9. Just want to know – whatever happened to those millions of black scarves ? Are they fetching a good price on E-bay ?
    Are they going to be reused ,or did they clog up the drainage system after being discarded ?Really . I ‘d like to know .

  10. Don’t blame it on d AAA please. Because as far as the extremely correct, honest and consitent untold arsenal is concerned, the AAA makes up less than 0.3% of that crowd, infact only about 300 bothered about a protest march, i wonder how that insignificant minority can account for the predominant mood at d matches? Or has the media conspiracy caught up with the AKB majority too?

  11. The best support i eva saw at the emirates was in d 1st 12minutes during the 1-3 loss to manure in d CL semis in ’08. After a blunder the inexperienced gibbs and the thunder from a cr7 our coach turned down, i guess the fans realized dat this team support was only coming from the stands, the lack of quality in the team and the manager’s refusal to sort it out suggested management wasnt keeping their end of the deal

  12. Commentators !! why do you show where the ref was when he gave us a penalty! as you have showed us when the ref missed Chelsea’s would be penalty. Now the doom sawyers will say what??????Shut the fuck up.

  13. The pressing was excellent, the passing was excellent, the finishing will be getting there soon. Very enjoyable performance and something to build on. I like the team when they’re pissed off hehe.

  14. Good win today. While I don’t wish to stir the pot further, I must say that I find it odd that Wenger does not talk with Bould throughout each game. He used to continuously talk with Pat Rice. What is up?!

  15. Now this is intresting,we will be having Man$ity,Cheal$ea,Liverfall,Sunderland and Stoke city.
    Come on how can the fixture be so cruel to us? Yeah no wonder they need our ass kicked.

  16. I think “Wengers rift with Bould” is just a media thingy…..Robsons brain child may be.

    Good win though.

  17. Just saw an article about Arsenal and how they are the most favored club for penalties in the last 10 years. Here is my response:

    –Arsenal have been awarded more penalties at home in the last 10 years than any other Premier League team with Saturday’s pair taking the total to 47, four more than Manchester United.–

    This is heavily skewed by data more than five years ago. Last year they had one single penalty the entire season. Over all in the past five season + the current one, this is no way near what you suggest. Here is the home and away combined:

    Season 12/13 – Manu 5 for 0 against – Arsenal 4 for 2 against
    Season 11/12 – Manu 11 for 3 against – Arsenal 3 for 4 against
    Season 10/11 – Manu 9 for 4 against – Arsenal 7 for 9 against
    Season 9/10 – Manu 8 for 2 against – Arsenal 4 for 7 against
    Season 8/9 – Manu 4 for 3 against – Arsenal 5 for 5 against
    Season 7/8 – Manu 8 for 1 against – Arsenal 6 for 4 against

    For a grand total of Manu 45 for 13 against and Arsenal 29 for and 31 against
    16 more pens for Manu and 18 less against.

    Way to be a biased reporter using statistics to support a flawed theory and a terrible journalist by choosing to compare the club in question to Manchester United to attract the largest possible fan base to your article.


    The Committee to Save the English Football from the Clutches of Rednose the Corrupt Politician.

  18. commentators on cazorla’s handball against MANUre: “that’s a clear cut penalty.”

    commentators on QPR v ARS penalty: “he was not handling the ball intentionally”

    commentators on cazorla dive: “a clear dive. yellow card”

    commentators on rosenberg dive: ” i guess he was just trying to test the ref”.
    ( no talking about the yellow card)

    I doubt these commentators ever call themselves neutral.

  19. mel,

    I feel your pain. I had to stop going to games because the atmosphere just wasn’t enjoyable. I now opt for the pub or a stream at home. Last time I went to the ground, I nearly got thrown out for having a go at someone who started going ‘Shhhh’ at me and told me to shut up.

  20. Dave C,
    Yes indeed, dodgy figures. How does the number of penalties matter anyway? Surely if a team is due a penalty, then they should be awarded that penalty. It’s not a case of favours as the media would suggest. What they really need to look into is the number of incorrectly awarded and incorrectly not awarded penalties in order for the report to have any credibility but that would mean doing some work wouldn’t it.

  21. Walter, a very encouraging and positive report. Hope everyone can read it and take it to heart for the next match.

  22. Dave c, that period seems to co-incide with the period a lot of people say our attack and defense got worse, i don’t expect a blunt attack, content to pass sideways outside the 18yrd box to get many penalties,especially wit lightweight strikers like vela, eduardo,reyes,bendtner etc. My friends used to joke that vela falls over at the sound of the approaching defender’s footsteps. Conversely, u are more likely to concede penalties when ur defenders seem to always be @panic stations,even in the prematch warm-ups.

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