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There is a difference between supporting Arsenal and holding Tottenham supporters in disdain.


While I was surfing the net I came across an excellent article written by my favourite political columnist (Shannon Ridgway) about how people who support adversarial causes can twist their normally objective views into rather negative attitudes towards their opposite number.  And indeed how counter-productive that can end up being. Here is an adaptation of this article but with Football supporters replacing political opponents:

During a recent North London derby game at WHL, a few of my fellow Gooners and I were watching the match on TV when someone randomly made the following comment:

“Is it horrible to say that I wish those Spuds would burst into flames and all be killed while they’re under the same roof?”

Uhh, yes. Yes, it is horrible.

And even though I knew that the person who said this was just kidding, his general sentiments still rang loud and clear. And of course there was a lot of  disdain for their Tottenham neighbours.

And it is fairly obvious (isn’t it) that there are a lot of problems with this.

Because while healthy and safe football debate is par for the course in sports events, and while frustration with the attitudes of “the other side” is becoming more and more frequent and polarizing in football, hate speech is unacceptable. Always.

So, for everyone who identifies him/herself as a Gooner or Tottenham supporter, I want to make the argument that holding and expressing disdain for the other team’s supporters is wrong – for many reasons. Here are just a few.

1. It’s stereotypical.

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Just as individuals within a specific culture or ethnic group don’t all behave the same way and hold the same set of values, the same goes for people who identify themselves as Tottenham or Arsenal supporters.

Like other ideologies, football support exists on a spectrum, with a much larger number of moderates in the centre and a limited number of extremists on either end – just like any other sport.

And contrary to what some Gooners believe, not every Tottenham is a idiotic, blinkered  Arsenal hate-monger.

To make that assumption not only means that you, yourself, are stereotyping an entire demographic, but you, yourself, are then engaging in stereotypical behaviour – which is exactly what Gooners often claim to be against.

2. It’s hypocritical.

We Gooners pride ourselves on being all-inclusive.

We strive to accept people of all ages, races, orientations, religions, classes, and backgrounds. Or, at least, most of us say that we do.

So shouldn’t that include our adversaries as well?

Just because we don’t understand or agree with someone doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t accept them for who they are. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to understand their perspectives. We can even share some of our own as well.

But engaging in hypocrisy really holds us back from engaging in intelligent and fair discourse.

And if we don’t strive to accept alternate opinions in the same ways that we try to include and understand other groups, then we’re nothing but hypocrites – only accepting those into our group who agree with us, but no one else.

3. It doesn’t help advance our causes.

This is where the often-used phrase “preaching to the choir” comes into play.

If we refuse to associate with or even tolerate other teams’ supporters, we limit our attitudes and beliefs to our own Gooner circles, thus reducing the opportunity for others to become enlightened to our causes.

If the only people with whom we’re comfortable engaging are people who think and act just like us, then who are we helping?

No one, really.

Not ourselves, not our friends, and certainly not the beautiful game we love and we’re always trying to promote and fight for.

However, if we take the time to reach out and attempt to understand others who may not hold the same opinions as us, we increase the likelihood of spreading the truth about the Beautiful Game and Arsenal’s message.

And isn’t that what we want?

4. The North London dichotomy often is based on distorted views on what the opposing supporters truly believe.

(Warning: Gross over-generalizations to follow.)

Spuds think that Gooners are arrogant.

Gooners think that Spuds are unflinchingly idiotic, to the point of detriment to everything and everyone else.

Spuds think that Gooners hate all Spuds.

Meanwhile, Gooners think that Spuds are second-class.

Spuds think that Gooners are naive.

Gooners think that Spuds have no understanding of what Football is truly all about.

And on and on. And on.

In reality – as it usually isthe truth is somewhere in the middle.

For the most part, both Spuds and Gpponers are arrogant at times. They just have different ideas on what success means.

And neither party entirely “hates” or “loves” each other , although surely there are some people on both sides who hold both of those sentiments. Rather, they just hold different views on how much Football affects our daily lives and what the historical truth is.

The same goes for class. The issue isn’t about the love or disdain of each other’s history and values, but rather the opposing beliefs on when and how often each club has or has not represented the best in Football.

And everyone is entitled to those personal view-points.

So when we pull back the curtain on our own prejudices, we are more able to see the truth for what it is, rather than be influenced by our own biases.

5. People believe what they believe based on their life experiences and what they’ve been taught.

Recently I spoke to an ex-Tottenham supporter who said that because he grew up the way he did (in a TH household), he had a limited perspective on what people of other clubs and backgrounds went through. So, naturally, he supported the Club that best represented his family’s value system and traditions.

It wasn’t until he was forced outside of his comfort zone and into the real world that he gained some perspective and began to empathize with what other club’s supporters had to go through, especially emotionally.

We’re quick to criticize others for not being open to the experiences of others, but we forget to remember that we, too, had to be taught to see the world in that light. Even those of us who are marginalized had to, at some point or another, recognize that marginalization in order to fight against it. Think about how loyal supporters of Portsmouth must feel for example.

So before we criticize, we should remember that some people just haven’t been taught to see things a certain way.

And others may never see things a different way, regardless of what they go through. And that’s okay. (Unless it’s extreme and hateful, of course).

6. It limits our potential to nurture current relationships and develop new ones.

If I lived in an area where there are more Tottenham supporters than Arsenal fans, it would be easy to learn to close them off and even actively dislike them while isolating myself from possible interaction.

If I vehemently disliked all of them, I would have very few friends.

If we assume that just because someone supports another Club, they aren’t worth getting to know, then we limit the possibility of great relationships.

The truth is, I know Tottenham people who have amazing qualities, and I know a few Arsenal people whom I can’t stand being around for more than a few minutes at a time.

A person’s Club affiliation does not directly relate to their qualities as a human being.

That is: Everyone is different, and their sports ideology shouldn’t make or break who they are as people.

So before you judge someone based on their club affiliation, take the time to get to know them. It just might be worth it.

It’s okay to disagree with people. It’s even okay to hold disdain for other people’s viewpoints. But when we cross over into personal attacks, we’ve gone too far. Not only are we being rude, we’re also being unfair.

And we’re robbing ourselves of the opportunity to broaden our own horizons, as well as those of others.

So the next time you find yourself criticizing opposition supporters, remind yourself that what you’re critical of is their belief system – not the people themselves.

Remind yourself that you’re a Gooner  because you accept everyone for who they are.

And if we don’t, we’re only guilty of promoting the stereotyping, judging, and hypocrisy to which we claim to be opposed.

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85 comments to There is a difference between supporting Arsenal and holding Tottenham supporters in disdain.

  • Shannon

    Yes, whatever.

  • DoubleDoubleDouble

    An interesting point of view, and you make some very good points about how we may be restricting our world view by dismissing those supporters affiliated to other clubs such as our closest rivals.

    However, when I think of Tottenham, I think of shit.

  • michael jaffa

    noooooooooooo atmosphere at the team from woolwich u tossers

  • Moshe


  • George

    So much common sense here, though unfortunately it’s far from common enough. I’m a Spurs supporter, and have been 61 years. I went to secondary school in North London and my mates were fairly evenly divided between the two camps, with the odd Chelsea and WHU supporter thrown in. We went to games together, we enjoyed rubbing it in when we won, but it was friendly, often very witty banter. Now there seems to be an increasing polarisation between fans of any two clubs, and in this my lot are just as bad as the gooners. There’s a malice, sometimes naked hatred that I just don’t get. It really seems as if some supporters won’t be happy until theirs is the only club left – God knows who they’d play against though…..

  • azas

    A very well balanced and insightful article. However when I see that arsenal shirt and see comments like mr double has just made its hard not to hate u. I like wenger. I like his football. But the arsenal fans are the most deluded and dumb shitheads iv ever met. Is it really that hard to show humility and maturity. Wankers

  • Fingers

    What a muggy, shit post.

    Piss off to Greenpeace.

    They’re scum, they always will be. If you want to play happy families, go and watch the egg chasing with those dickheads who love their fellow fan. That creates a great atmosphere…

  • 1NiltotheArsenal

    Part of the fun and enjoyment of sport is “hating” certain teams and of course derby rivals. It’s part and parcel of the cliche that football is tribal and all that.

    But how that spills over into vicious verbal abuse and outright hooliganism is something I have never understood and never will. If football is an excuse, a subtext to vent feelings and resentment associated with cultural or religious or socioeconomic differences or difficulties then it never really was about the football was it? At least not 100%.

    I have heard Gooners hurl the most appalling, inexcusable anti-semitic insults and epithets at Spurs fans and likewise from them covering a variety of topics.

    I enjoy hating Tottenham and their fans – I’m a Gooner after all – but I stop way short of the line defined by some of the behavior to which I’ve alluded. I know I’m no better than anyone else by doing so, but at least my dignity is intact.

  • LittleGoat

    To most of us who aren’t fanatical football supporters, it is amazing that this even needs saying. Choosing to support a particular side is often a random, arbitrary act, and can look like the most ignorant and disgusting sort of tribalism when carried over into the kinds of abuse referred to here. As the couple of published replies show, many fans are not only happy to advertise their idiocy but appear to be actively proud of it. Where does all this hate come from? To use the cover of a football team’s colours to express such repulsive sentiments is a reminder to us all that the veneer of civilisation is very thin, and that what lies beneath is very, very ugly.

  • terry whelan

    what a load of bollocks ; i still hate gooner shit ,go back to plumstead with your boring shit,

  • roger

    when I think of arsenal fans I don’t just think of shit. I think of disgusting, second-class shit.

  • Mike Collins

    Fever Pitch lays it out for all of us, supporting a particular team is almost a mental Illness for which we have little idea of the cause. I started visiting Highbury in 1954 and have gone through all the stages of North Bank then season ticket holder and now expatriate long range watcher. If you think we are trophy starved now I suggest you look up the league standings from 1954 to 1971. I also used to watch the great Spurs team of the 1961 era every other week when Arsenal were away. In those days Arsenal were a very distant second to Spurs. But I never ever questioned my primary allegiance to the red and white. Spurs supporters are as trapped into their team association as we are to ours and after all what we do without that tradition of fervent dislike. But the white bit of North London is not evil or sub-human although they may be unfortunate and deluded.

  • Unbelievable belief


    I couldn’t give a sh!t more about the spuds that I do about QPR, Charlton or Crystal Palace. They are just another non entity who happen to be in London.
    They, on the other hand seem to measure their sad lives in comparison to us.

    BTW, many Arsenal board members have been of the oy veyh persuasion, I might be a hater, but I’m not a sectarian bigot.

    52 years. Never again.

  • As a person who is conversant with Africa, this Arsenal-Tottenham grudge stinks of tribal war. And it seems as if Britons(and Europeans), like citizens of the ‘third world’, distrust the authority of the nation state — prefering to deflect their nationalist sentiments to favourite football clubs. When I listen to fans in the U.K. fling insults at Arsene Wenger, I hear an echo of extremist rants directed at presidential candidates during election times in Africa, where the honour of ethnicities is almost sacrosanct. The community leader who is seen as wimp — letting down the tribe by being upstaged by other more manly chiefs of competing tribes — even receives death threats — to make him step down for a more ruthless bully. Anti-Wenger fans seem like people who wish he has an heart attack, so that another manager takes over their beloved team from the hands of the ‘French poser’.

    But the advent of Billionaire foreigners owning UEFA clubs and foreign players playing in the same clubs questions how worthwhile this sectarian passionate devotion is. Football is now global. It is funny how, as the writer said, a Briton can harbour homicidal hate for a compatriot who supports Spurs yet this same Arsenal fan may feel all fuzzy for an Asian or African fellow gooner fan. The whole extreme hate is comical, the reason all fans should check how much they exaggerate the significance of football. It is just a game, even if it drenched in billions of pounds. One human life is priceless, the reason even the excellent success of Arsenal is not worth killing one Spuds fan.

  • Marco

    Growing up in Highbury and now living in New York, I don’t hate Woolwich fans, I’m pretty much indifferent to them although I occasionally remind them that I’ve seen more Woolwich home games than they have. Come to think of it, many of them have switched to City over the last few years….

  • Kosher Kid

    No disrespect but, you have missed the main difference between suppose of THFC and your lot.

    If the truth were to be told, pre Prem (92), there was not a big difference between the clubs. THFC had been successful in the early eighties, your lot had started being successful in the late eighties / early nineties.

    THFC under achieved for ten years between 1995 and 2005.

    What compounded this for THFC was while your lot won trophies and played the best football you had ever witnessed at Highbury, Spurs were as poor as they had been in 50 years. This culminated with your lot moving into the refuse tip at Ashburton Grove after the invincibles season.

    My first visit to your new stadium, in the NLD, left me with the feeling that you had indeed left THFC to compete with the West Hams and Fulhams for the foreseeable.

    What has actually happened is that THFC have awoken from their slumber and started to compete at the top end of the league once again while your lot have had a quiet spell trophy wise and have lost the ability to win trophies.

    Once THFC have built their new stadium the gap that seemed huge in 2006 will have gone completely.

    The problem your lot have is that having been spoilt for so long and enjoying THFC under achieving, it is now difficult for your support to accept the re-emergence of THFC and the absence of silverware.

    In contrast, the problems THFC have experienced seem to have had the opposite effect on our supporters. Dealing with disappointment is second nature to us but; we can see the gap closing and realise that THFC’S renaissance is adding to your fears.

    The difference has always been the support. Your support has always been inferior to THFC.

    Ten years of mid table football would destroy your support. It has made THFC appreciate the good times.

  • Séamus Fox

    I have been looking at Tribalism in a lot of detail recently and I have found that no matter where in the world you go or what types of people you are dealing with we are all prone to Tribal behaviour, it is instinctive and we just cannot escape it. Everyone from Terrorist organisations to Church Knitting groups are tribal at their core.

    I grew up and live in Northern Ireland so I know all about Tribalism and it’s rules and consequences. For most of us in the modern age Warfare has been replaced with Sport and with it we still act just as we once did on the battlefield except now we are required to be a bit more careful due to social norms and what is accepted but that core nastiness is still in us and it still finds its way to the surface when we are emotionally challenged and nothing is more so than the NLD!

    My Mother and her sisters settled in North London in the 1950’s and while my mother came home her sisters stayed and raised two very healthy families of ‘Plastic Paddies’ one side is Tottenham, the other, Arsenal and I can tell you it is fierce. I lived over in Reading in the 1990’s myself and I felt it first hand, the NLD is probably the most alive I have ever been.

    I turned 40 recently so I am trying to tone my hatred down a bit but it’s still there and nothing seems to be able to quell it!

    I feel a bit dirty and ashamed of myself for even writing this message but I (swallow pride!) (gulp) enjoyed your article Mr Gooner man! I am a SPUD! 😉

  • colario

    For me being the supporter of a big league club is a disease.
    It doesn’t who we support we have the same disease. Like 1000s of other supporters the club doesn’t even know I exist, so supporting a multimillion club is crazy.

    Whenever I meet a Spurs supporter I always offer to shake hands. We banter and we talk of the more important things of life. When we part I again offer to shake hands.

    From the foregoing I think you realise I completely agree with this blog.

    Mind you I thank God that the 236 bus went from Leytonstone to Finsbury Park and not White Hart Lane! Can’t wait for this season’s first Derby

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    Oh come on, do you really believe it was worth while writing that?

  • Boy Charioteer

    Don, Spuds fan here. Splendid article. Your very fine points are illustrated ably by some of the comments made on this blog who don’t seem to have read a word you have wrote. I’ve been Spurs for 55 years and the word hate is something I have only felt once in my life and it had nothing to do with football. I have felt emotionally drained after a hammering by George Graham’s side or any of the sides that Arsene Wenger has ably managed over the past few years, but hate? That is something else all together. Hate is like cancer, it produces aberrations like Adolf Hitler and distorts the human psyche into committing the most appalling acts against fellow human beings. I have now got a mild form of arthritis and I couldn’t go through life without the help of some people I adore, (Arsenal and Man U fans!) who have made my life a joy. Hate? It has no place in football. Steve.

  • para

    Yea yea yea, now if we can apply this to the rest of life and teach our children this, what a brilliant world we would soon have.

  • Michelle

    I have supported THFC for 60 years. I occasionally go to Arsenal websites and some AFC supporters are quite sensible as well as honourable. But one thing has really struck me for decades: there are far more AFC antiTHFCs than THFC antAFCs…certainly on the internet this is true. In addition, I often read of AFC players sneering etc at THFC but I never seem to hear about THFC players doing so although many do confirm the rivalry. So why?

    IMHO AFC have never earned the right honestly to be in the PL as we all know(or you should) just how AFC reached division 1 on 1919 and their dishonesty was admitted by an AFC board member in the 1930s. In addition we had the Woolwich Wanders landing on our doorstep as illegal immigrants.Ok all old news. But add to this the way that AFC played for most of their existence (the one exception was when George Eastham played as part of a ball playing side in the 1960s. Most of the time AFC played long ball/direct offside football and the catchline “1-0 to the Arsenal” says it all.
    However when Wenger came it all changed and AFC actually started to play decent football and it was. Some of it the best football I have seen since our double side. But suddenly 1-0 was forgotten and AFC were the “footballing side of the century”. Add to this THFC penchant for falling flat on their face so often in the league despite the fact that we have won more in Europe than AFC and AFC supporters have become quite arrogant and the new stadium and its income had amplified this.
    IMO many AFC supporters have an inbuilt inferiority complex based upon the above and considering the dishonesty that is understandable. But it is old news. Admit it, swallow it, get over it and grow up. In Wenger you are so lucky considering what he has had to endure from his own supporters. You have had a very sensible board for decades although that may be changing and a good stadium.
    THFC are miles behind you in terms of cash flow and the fact that we are close football wise is miraculous but undeserving of the sneering comments from even your junior players who have the disease as do not a few of your senior players, unlike THFC players.
    So forget the psychology and just look at yourselves. Chelsea we can understand, but you people should get over the past and grow up and that means all at your club as well.

  • nicky

    As a fervent supporter of Arsenal FC since the mid-1930’s, I have never been able to understand the extent of the rabid hatred which permeates between many, if not most, of the fans of both Clubs.
    You can take it from me that it didn’t exist pre-War, so please think about that.
    When, at the start of the bombing of London in 1940, the Arsenal Stadium at Highbury was hit and damaged, for the rest of the War, Arsenal played all their home games at White Hart Lane.
    I have often felt and said that students of (say) “rivalry within our national game” will one day discover why it sometimes exceeds the norm and turns into a vicious hatred which has no place in sport.
    It may be that at the end of a terrible world-wide conflict,
    hatred of our enemies had to find an alternative source.
    I cannot think of any other reason and it makes somewhat of a mockery of those who gave their lives so that enmity could be lessened between people.

  • Fitz

    I have never read such a patronising or ill informed piece of crap in all my life. I would hazard a guess and say you weren’t born in London, and are under 35. Quite apart from not knowing the history of your renegade club, founded on deceit, and in the 70’s certainly a corrupt horrible place, you deign to suggest from your vast experience ? that Spurs and Arse fans have misconceptions about each other, and list them eg Spurs think all gooners hate them? Well, for the record, we don’t think you hate us, but we don’t care.

    On the other hand we definitely do hate you with a passion, for articles like this, and because you don’t know your own history, or Tottenham’s. Jealousy of Spurs is what founded your club, and no matter how hard you say we don’t matter it creeps out from you. Please eat your prawn sandwiches and celebrate 4th place like its a cup final. I will stay with an original football club, with a london heartbeat and a soul

  • Bootoomee


    I strongly disagree with the premise of your article. You quoted an extremely offensive, stupid, unwarranted and worst of all (in terms of football banter) UNFUNNY statement of probably a drunk gooner; you then proceed to use this as a basis for a sermonising article that, I am sorry, is not very applicable to football.

    Football fans take the micky out of each other: THAT IS IT!!! When it gets into hooliganism, which has been tamped out of UK sports, that is something else. I hate Tottenham Hotspur FC. I don’t like their fans either. Some of the best scenes I have seen on TV is that of their fans crying when we are beating them. If you don’t enjoy this, then you cannot really call yourself a gooner. Don’t tell me you did not enjoy that video of them celebrating the phantom Newcastle equaliser on the last day of the season.

    If you have to tell anyone the stuff in your article because they didn’t know before, I’m sorry but they are either immature or not very bright. My favourite colleague at work is a spud. Our contrasting football allegiances do not affect our work. We are grown ups for goodness sake! He mocks me when we have a bad result and I pay him back when they do. I like him as a human being but I detest him as spud and I have no doubt that he sees me the same way. But we are friends. My older brother supports Man United, my younger supports Chelsea. I am fortunate that we have no spuds in my family but if we do, I’ll still love them.

    There are more hateful ventures with bigger human impact than football rivalry – religion and politics anyone?. You could rewrite this for religion and politics and I’ll give you a big thumbs up! But I really don’t see the need for this in football rivalry. We all just enjoy making fun of and yes,insulting our rivals but the malice is exaggerated in your article. We don’t want them to suffer any harm, we just want their football team to fail miserably, spectacularly and regularly!

    You point 3 is funny to me because I have no intention of reasoning with or converting spuds or any rival fan for that matter. There is no kumbaya here dude. The day that football culture dies is the day that all rival fans hold hands and sing together. Exception (which proves my point) is when a team faces actual adversity: Teams always back each other and rival fans regularly observe minutes of silence. If some fans lack class, it is not because of their football allegiances; it is because they are classless human beings.

    Back to your friend who made the hateful comment, I think a firm calling out right there and then would have suffice and be more effective that your effort here.

  • Dave Bowerman

    My hatred of Woolwich serves to fuel my love for Tottenham and juat makes the game more exciting and passionate. However much I’d like to see the goons relegated I’d hate the thought of missing our battles and need them to be competitive.
    Love Spurs. Hate Arsenal. Adore the game.

  • Neutral

    It is difficult to find Respect in football these days. People have a weird idea about how to deal with the rival club supporters or in some cases, every club. Banter is one thing, hatred on the other hand is something completely different. As a Football fan i happen to get involve in heated arguments with supporters of other club. To make things worse i support a club which is not a part of the country i live in. So most of the times i get the stick for supporting a club which is not a part of my homeland followed by the lowly racist remarks and intense hate messages. But that is not going to change how i feel about my club. I’m in love with my club and i call it my family.
    But what i learned, was that people tend to forget that Football is just a game. Here i’m going to disagree with the great Bill Shankly. Football is an important part of our life but there are far more important stuff going around. Our responsibility towards our family, Our friends, the society we live and our responsibility towards those who really need us . At the end of the day people are not going to remember you for the club you supported, but they are going to remember you for the things you did for the world. The good things. Football is going to keep us running. It will motivate us and it’s one of the main reasons why we still have a sane state of mind in this chaos-filled political/economical scenario. Our clubs will continue to bring a smile on our faces. They might achieve wonders. They might struggle to survive. But we are going to believe and support them till the end. But at the same time, we have to remember that Football is just a “part of our lives”. There are far more important things. Far more important. Respect is the key. Without it, everything will crumble.

  • Stu

    I often dream of a Boeing 747 crashing into the Emirates when Arsenal play West Ham at home. WHAT A GLORIOUS SIGHT IT WOULD BE. All those burning corpses wearing shit shirts. COYS

  • Stu

    Or a fly Emirates plane crashing into Arsenals stadium. Glorious irony at its best. Ha ha ha YOUR NOT EVEN FROM THIS PART OF NORTH LONDON YOU DELUDED TRAVELLER GYPSY FOLK

  • Danno

    Have use heard ” LIVERPOOLFC are being bought out by AMICO OIL ” Who are GAZZILLIONAIRES lol Arsenal are going to be are FEEDER CLUB lol BITCHES
    ENJOY THE TOP 4 THIS SEASON & CHAMPION’s LEAGUE because it’s your last 😉

  • Unbelievable belief

    Ill think you find Spurs hatred of us goes back to the previous war.
    They hold a grudge against us getting into Division 1 from Division 2 in 1919 after the football resumed.

  • Bootoomee

    I cannot help but share this video with fellow Untolders. Please whatever you do, please watch this video. I am certain you’ll enjoy it!

  • Super Singh

    Funny that coming from a Middlesex Marsh dweller! Arsenal have been a London club longer than you SPERM’S!

  • Unbelievable belief

    Well done.
    Bored of burning down your own high street yet?
    And you don’t like west ham either, but wanted to play football there?

  • Stu

    Spurs hatred of ARSEnil began when you bought your way into the league and then started changing place names to suit your disgusting selves. SCUM CLUB

  • Unbelievable belief

    Folks this is from matt Gooner.
    I recommend his work.

  • davet

    Thanks for proving Bootomee’s point Stu. There is no such thing as classless fans, just classless people.

  • Robl

    @ Don, sorry but I have to disagree strongly with point 7, and offer up Stoke as an example. As for spurs, yes I always want us to beat them and finish above them,but hate them? No, at least they have always had a commitment to playing football; no, I save that for the walrus, the now unemployed hate monger and anyone else is who thinks kicking a player out of a game is okay.

  • nicky

    @U Belief,
    If you’d stood as I have in pre-war games at Highbury and White Hart Lane and enjoyed the partisan backchat, you wouldn’t have said any hatred existed.
    Neither the Boards or the players have enmity for each other, only friendly rivalry.
    A pal of my youth was good enough to make a career as a top professional at Spurs. Why should that bother me.

  • Bootoomee

    Stu is of the same constitution as the fellow who provoked this article.

    Of course, Stu is a moron.

  • Unbelievable belief

    That may well be. I wasn’t around in 1919 or 1939.
    Not many folk here will even realise that arsenal had to play football at the lane while Higbury was not in use during the war.
    I’m not even sure Stu is a real spud or just a doomer, it’s sometimes hard to tell who is more full of hatred for Arsenal these days.

  • Kosher Kid

    The point is, surely, that THFC need Your lot and your lot need THFC.

    It makes life interesting.

    The NLD could potentially become the biggest domestic derby a few years.

    The Merseyside one is becoming irrelevant and the Man U. Liverpool derby is not as important for similar reasons.

    Man U. v Man City probably edges it for now but, with Fergie gone, A London club could enjoy a sustained period of success.

    For what it is worth as much as I hated what S.J. Campbell did to THFC his return to WHL with your lot was one of the sadest things I have ever seen at a football ground.

    The hate that day was a disgrace. I remember the road, outside the Park Lane end of WHL having two rows of police forming a tunnel for your support to cross the High Road safely.

    Bottles were being thrown and I remembered seeing one of your supporters holding a little girls hand and she was in tears. I had my daughter with me and she was about the same age. I was disgusted with some of our supporters that day. It was shameful.

    On a similar theme, the day I had to watch the invincibles win the league at WHL, there was a part of me that wanted to applaud the manner of the football played by that team. My mate suggested I had lost the plot but, when I asked him what would Danny Blanchflower have thought about that team he went very quiet and sullen.

    The rivalry is good and it would be nice to hope that it could become a bit more friendly.

    I think the George Graham managing THFC and Campbell joining you took it down a few notches.

  • nicky

    @U Belief,
    As an aside, I recall watching Arsenal lose 2-1 to Preston North End at Blackburn’s Ewood Park in 1941 in a replay of a Wartime Cup Final. We were 5 of us wearing Arsenal favours in a crowd of some 40,000 Preston supporters. The rivalry and ribaldry was tremendous but in good spirits. I know it wasn’t a North London derby but the North/South divide existed although in a nice way. The country was at war and I believe the overall attitude of “them and us” prevailed.

  • RobM

    I enjoy a bit of good natured rivalry but equally some of my best friends are Spurs fans, so I’ve *never* held the belief that there’s anything wrong with all Spurs fans.

    Equally, the first time me and some friends went to see Arsenal as 13 year old teenagers, about 30 years ago now, a middle aged spurs fan spat at one of my mates for no reason, so clearly *that* person has issues. I suspect it’s less to do with what scarf he wore on the day and more to do with him being a jerk, though.

    There are jerks everywhere. There’s some Arsenal fans I wouldn’t care to buy a pint for and some Spurs fans I’d happily buy a whole brewery for. That doesn’t mean that I won’t give them hell when Spurs lose to us, nor that they’ll let me off when we slip up.

  • WalterBroeckx

    co-editor note: some comments will not come on line because well they are too bad to publish. And I think up to now we have been rather liberal in our approach. But too much is too much.

    If possible keep it civilized.

  • nicky

    You see, folks, Walter’s comment is the very point I have tried to make;
    This paranoid hatred of all things bad between the two Clubs
    simply has to stop.
    At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, FOOTBALL IS ONLY A GAME.
    Far better to concentrate hatred for the things that matter….poverty, dictatorship, cruelty to children and animals. The list is endless.

  • Fitz

    Arse have been a London club longer than Spurs? 1882 versus 1886, you do the sums… the arse posters on here seem to believe they have some sort of innate intellectual superiority over Spurs fans cos Nick Hornby wrote a book when they were growing …whoopie do, read something else and see why the rivalry exists, how it started and why it continues…..btw Stratford is not West Ham and not many wanted to sell out and go there….

  • Mandy Dodd

    Nothing wrong with the rivalry but no place for some of the pure hatred that exists in some. To be honest I have more time for some spurs fans than i do some arsenal fans some of the latter gave less hatred for our players and manager than some of our own

  • Frontwheel 2

    Yes Mandy.and the average yid has a bigger cock.

  • nicky

    I’m sure you’re right.
    If only fans would channel their energies and support FOR the club of their choice rather than direct negative thinking against a rival outfit.

  • Kosher Kid

    I think most Spurs supporters found it incredible when Wenger has been taking stick from your own support. He has won you trophies, kept you in the top four for 17 years and done it playing attractive football.

    THFC fans know you will find it difficult to re-capture that success and, in particular, that unbeaten team.

    The problem with an incredible achievement like that unbeaten season is that whatever follows is never likely to be viewed as being that good.

  • Kevin

    Sorry to see this blog descending into inanity from both groups.I have been going to the Lane since 1956 & like a writer from a couple of hours back when I was young used to go with an Arsenal supporter ( the term gooner was yet to be invented ) to both grounds.We were both N.London working class youngsters who loved football & didn’t hate each others teams.I was in fact a great admirer of George Eastham,David Heard & even Frank McLintock.
    Well what went wrong was hooliganism where we had to coralled into separate ends even though most remained sane all had to accommodate the stupid,immature & violent behaviour of the human minus signs that attached themselves to these 2 great clubs.
    Subsequently it has become the norm to regard the other lot as some kind of deranged madmen.

  • Adam

    Don, What I think it comes down to, is, are you a follower of football. Or, are you a follower of your team?

    Me, personally, I follow football first then Arsenal.

  • Stroller

    I can well recall games up until the late sixties when there was no crowd segregation at games and both sets of fans intermingled with no problems. Sure there was banter and acceptance that certain areas at the respective grounds were off limits for visiting fans.

    After that period we all know what the ’70s brought to the game and the hatred stoked up by a minority of thugs has to some extent rubbed off to the point where a many these days feel that it goes with the course to feel such antipathy to supporters of the other side.

    Maybe deep down everybody knows that isn’t right but are cowed a bit by peer pressure. On a positive note I still recall the respect shown by Spurs fans for the minute’s silence held for Rocky at Highbury on the day his death was announced.

  • Bootoomee

    Dave Bowerman,

    The feeling is mutual and long may it last!

  • Garry Rogers

    Most spurs fans do not even consider the existence of Arsenal and their followers…..if we think or discuss football we look to the problems/triumphs emanating from our team and do not waste time on unworthy pretenders to our attention.Other than the run up to fixtures the name Arsenal does not enter our heads.I believe that this is correct way to support a team,not allowing your support to be diluted or deflected by attention to something that is irrelevant and of no importance.If followers of Arsenal were of the same mind set,perhaps,just perhaps they could recreate the match day atmosphere at Whit Hart Lane.

  • Garry Rogers

    Most spurs fans do not even consider the existence of Arsenal and their followers…..if we think or discuss football we look to the problems/triumphs emanating from our team and do not waste time on unworthy pretenders to our attention.Other than the run up to fixtures the name Arsenal does not enter our heads.I believe that this is correct way to support a team,not allowing your support to be diluted or deflected by attention to something that is irrelevant and of no importance.If followers of Arsenal were of the same mind set,perhaps,just perhaps they could recreate the match day atmosphere at Whit Hart Lane.

  • John Smith

    Bootoomee is full of hate and is incapable of adult discussion which is why he always hurls insults

  • Super Singh

    John Smith.
    And one or two of the Tottenham supporters are capable of a adult discussion on this post?

  • Bootoomee

    John Smith,

    I have one word for you: Projection!

    By the way, I can’t remember ever conversing with you ever. Are you sure you are not one of the cowards who cannot stand by their conviction that I have intellectually smacked around in the past? You sound hurt. What a cry baby!

  • Stuart

    What was that chant someone came up with a while back?
    Something like ‘we came to North London 50 years ago and are thinking about moving to Stratford’

  • Bootoomee

    Super Singh,

    I have no problem with Spurs fans who come here and many of them have been warmly received even if we disagree with them in principle. It is always about presentation and ability to debate intelligently. Dave Bowerman (@6.21pm) wrote:

    “My hatred of Woolwich serves to fuel my love for Tottenham and just makes the game more exciting and passionate. However much I’d like to see the goons relegated I’d hate the thought of missing our battles and need them to be competitive.
    Love Spurs. Hate Arsenal. Adore the game.”

    You see I understand his sentiment as I feel the same way about his team. I wish no evil against any Tottenham fan but I want their team to suffer all sorts of humiliation on the field of play. I don’t think Dave Bowerman is hateful, we might even befriend each other in a neutral setting but this is about football. I am not a hypocrite so I will not tag along and say: “hey let’s all just hold hands and sing kumbaya together” so that I may be considered as “capable of having adult conversation” and not being “filled with hate”.

    Any football fan who doesn’t get this is at best being deceitful.

  • Stuart

    I think the many commenters stating that the hatred between the two clubs started before the war need to think again. Firstly, were you there? second of all, Nicky was there so I think I’ll beleive him. The fact that we bicker about something that happened pre-war, does not mean it was a point of issue back then.

  • Boomtownchav

    I hate Arsenal, I hate Tottenham….. It’s all part of the season banter, all that is really important is the one occasion that the rivalry needed to be put aside it was. The tragic and untimely death of a young man, “Rocky” Rocastle from cancer, the North London derby at Highbury. Perfect silence a tribute from all sides that sometimes the rivalry means fuck all

  • Linz

    Why do you allow comments on this site like those from Stu yet ban Arsenal fans whose opinion on Wenger and how the club is run differs from yours? Comments about planes crashing and people burning to death don’t belong on a site like this,even if they do reveal the mentality of certain people. It might be time for a reprise of the article about how Spurs bought their way into the football league, as their fans seem very au fait with the history of Arsenal but strangely oblivious to their own not so lilleywhite past.

  • Bogus

    I’m a Spurs fan. I’m a northerner (blame Lineker) so i guess my hatreds not so deep. Obviously i like to see us kick their butts and preferably them loose as many games as possible but tbh i dislike Man U sssssss fans more when it comes to the banter. That said i appreciate good football and players when i see it. We’ve had our hard times and recovered and now on the rise, doing it properly, like they did in the first place for their recent runs. But we waited longer than i’d have liked with yo-yo table positions so it takes great pleasure to watch Arsenal undergoing a long, painful and slow demise as other teams like Spurs overtake them. Had it not been for their great run at the end of the season and squeezing into CL i’m sure Wenger would have got the boot. They may still end up with some decent buys, i hope they get Suarez so we can still boo him lol but he seems to have lost his appeal in the transfer market so i’d still go with him being on borrowed time and to be under more pressure than Moyes. Banters all good but its tongue in cheek mostly

  • sperez

    Spanish media reporting Spurs have signed Soldado…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Stu is probably just a kid in a room but security services have pounced on the sort of thing he has wished upon arsenal be careful stu what you post stays forever even if deleted from this forum

  • weedonald

    There have been so many great and sincere comments from both THFC and AFC supporters and many enlightening facts stated
    by both. Thank you all for your contributions.
    I am an Arsenal supporter but really enjoy watching THFC play, since they seem a mirror image of the Arsenal. Both teams play flowing Football and especially at derby time, we see the best and worst on the pitch. I feel that THFC have been ill-served by some of their managers but now have a talented man in AVB and I wish them, as always, great success in the coming season BUT less than the Arsenal’s.
    It is unlikely that I will ever get to see a derby or either team play live (unless they come across the pond) but for me, this rivalry sums up what is best about the Game: adversarial but classy Football, honest rivalry but non-violent sportsmanship and a ribald sort of dark humour between each club’s supporters. By the way, I couldn’t give a damn what happened in 1919….I do care a great deal about what will happen in 2013-14!

  • unbelievable belief


    Total respect for your long time service to the Cannon.

    We need steady heads like you when people all around are panicing over every minor trivial matter in the club these days. (not quite a Kipling quote).

    If you say there was no serious animosity between the two north london clubs (Arsenal & Barnet – only joking) in earlier times that’s well and good and only proper behaviour, as for most of both club’s history we were never neck and neck rivals like we are now (ahem *cough*). They weren’t in the same division as us for decades, and when they were .. not in the same half.
    Mind you, the 60’s were better for them than us, in black and white TV.
    Many of my friends support either of the merseyside teams and that city used to have a tradition of people supporting both clubs and the fans mixing without trouble, with just the usual not as funny as they think scouse banter.

  • unbelievable belief

    i’ll give the tinytotts some credit.
    they do try to play football. try.
    But that is a team who had a player called Justin Edinburgh, who would have been just dandy as a player back in 1919.

    And if you don’t think 1919 is still relevant across the pond, ask the white sox.

  • Fitz, Tottenham were in Middlesex in 1882

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Very nice ,Dom – Rivalry is fun ,lets just not get too crazy!
    @ Unbelievable belief -6;52 pm – awesome link !
    My further comments will be from the quotes on this link –

    Of/to the Spuds – a baker’s dozen !

    3) “You do have your moments. Not many, but you have them.”
    1961 was a vintage year !

    12) “Who’s the more foolish; the fool, or the fool who follows him?”
    Both ?

    46) “If you’re saying that coming here was a bad idea, I’m starting to agree with you.”
    Swatted again ,..and again !

    54) “Hey, I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big bright blur.” “…There’s nothing to see. I used to live here, you know.” “…You’re gonna die here, you know. Convenient.”

    59) “Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.”
    Nah ! Just joshing !Keep on trying !

    62) “How you doin’, Chewbecca? Still hanging around with this loser?”
    No comment .I know better than tangling up with a Wookie!

    73)“What have you done?! I’m BACKWARDS.”
    So ? It looks like an improvement !

    76 )“We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.”
    What no more commemorative CL mugs ?

    77)“We have — ungh! — powerful friends. You’re going to regret this.” “…I’m sure.″
    We’re still waiting !

    84 )“You are unwise to lower your defenses!”
    5-2 FOREVER !

    87) They’re getting closer.” “…Oh yeah? Watch this.” (…Long pause — the engine sputters and dies.)
    Happy St.Totteringham’s Day Gunners all !

    93 )“So, what do you think? You think a princess and a guy like me–
    She’d rather kiss the frog !

    99)“That boy is our last hope.”
    Bye , bye , Bale !

  • blacksheep63

    well Don I hope you’ve come up from the bunker! Given that Walter filtered out the worst abuse the response to this post certainly demonstrates that SOME football ‘fans’ would have Darwin question his evolution thesis. Mindless and ignorant are just a couple of words that come to mind.

    Rivalry is healthy, I like beating Spurs but I stooped singing hate songs about them years ago. Its called ‘growing up’. Antisemitism is antisemitism however you dress it up by the way.

    Thankfully there are people like @KosherKid who balance idiots like @Stu and make Don’s point nicely. I have a close friend at work who is lillywhite, we get on famously most of the time and enjoy the banter. Both might describe each other as ‘deluded’ about our own club: that is part of the deal and reflects Walter’s piece about love recently. There are very few Spurs players I’d swap (Bale obviously) for any of ours and their ground is atmospheric but substandard by comparison to many top flight British or European clubs.

    @michelle writes with intelligence but is in the same ball park as Stu really. As for you @Fitz you say that Don must be under 35 and not from London to hold such opinions. Well I am 50 and born in Tufnell Park (in the Whittington hospital) so North London through and through. And I know our history and some of yours. And I agree with Don. So take your assumptions and position them accordingly.
    I love Arsenal, support Arsenal, but I don’t need to HATE any other team to prove it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Of / to the AAA-

    5)“Ben! I can be a Jedi. Ben, tell him I’m ready!” (Thumps head on ceiling.) “Ow!”
    The stupid ,” I know -it -all ” fools . Well you don’t !

    8 )“Now, witness the power of this fully operational battle station.”
    Game on !

    18) “If they follow standard Imperial procedure, they’ll dump their garbage before they go to light-speed. Then we just… float away.” “…With the rest of the garbage.”
    Float on by !

    21) “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. …We must be cautious.”
    ‘Nuff said !

    27)“Your weapon… you will not need it.”
    You never use your brains anyway !

    30) – 33 )
    “That’s not true.”
    “That’s impossible.”
    “Search your feelings.”
    “I’ll never join you.”
    Or ye of little faith !

    37 )“It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than two meters.”
    This is not fantasy football nor playstation !

    40) “But how could they be jamming us if they don’t know… that we’re… coming?”
    We smell you miles away !

    41) “He is as clumsy as he is stupid!”
    Non sequitur !

    44) “…It’s not fair! They promised me they fixed it! It’s not my fault!”
    Yadda ,yadda !

    45)“You know, that little droid is going to cause me a lot of trouble.” “…Oh, he excels at that, sir.”
    Born to be mean !

    50)“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
    Eat more roughage for easy passage !

    52) “You are a member of the rebel alliance, and a traitor.”
    Really ? You think ?

    55) “Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder.”
    56) “Ungh. And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”
    Nah , its too easy !!

    60) “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”

    74) “You will find that it is you who are mistaken… about a great many things.”
    Oh yes you are !!

    80 )“Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?”
    And not too bright to boot !

    95)“I’ve just made a deal that will keep the Empire out of here forever.”
    Just sold the AAA to the Spuds for some magic beans !Now
    to keep that vampire out of here !

    81) “Wait. I know that laugh…”

    Of course you do by now- that’s the Brickfields Gunners’.
    ( Cue Vincent Price’s maniacal laughter !)

  • ARSENAL 13

    I am new to this rivalry as a newish fan. I support the ARSENAL cause to the core. Hell I am a gooner. But I believe these rivalry has to be limited to football and only football.

    Some of the Spurs comments surprise me.
    1.”North London is ours”. Well History says otherwise, both geographical and football.
    2.”You dont deserve to be in PL”. Lets assume we were illegally (though TONY has proved it wrong) promoted. BUT for the record, therz no club in PL today that has been in the first division ever since promotion. We have earned our place here and like it or not, we’ll be above you forever.
    3.”We deserve to be in CL above you.” Its not about what you think. Its about results on the pitch.
    4.”Szczesny should mind his business.” Well, after AVBs spiral comment…….. I know why Gooners call them classless now.

  • Chris

    You are trying to say the right thing – but still show bias and disdain in your article so why bother?

    For example item 4 it is in total reverse, if you wish to speak with concern othis topic get the facts right

    It should have read!!!!

    Spuds think that Gooners are arrogant.

    Spuds think that giooners are unflinchingly idiotic, to the point of detriment to everything and everyone else

    Gooners hate all Spuds

    Meanwhile, Spuds think think that Gooners are second-class.

    Gooners think that the Spuds are naive.

    Spuds think that Gooners have no understanding of what Football is truly all about.

    And on and on. And on.

    Now you stand corrected

  • Brickfields Gunners

    What’s that ,Lord Wenger ? Thought you’d never ask !

    1) “Never tell me the odds!”

    6)“I’m not afraid.”
    We know .

    13) “That… is why you fail.”
    You got to believe !

    20)“I never doubted you! Wonderful!”
    Really ,never a moment !

    25) “We would be honored if you would join us.”
    Merci ,m’sieur .Merci beaucoup !One for all ,all for one.

    26 )“So what I told you was true… from a certain point of view.” “…A certain point of view?!”
    (Space open to your comments !)

    36) “Only at the end do you realize the power of the Dark Side.”
    You are talking about SAF ,PGMOL ,FA ,FIFA & UEFA aren’t you ? Is it the beginning of the end ?

    42) “Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”

    51)“Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you.” (Winces.) “Uh, how are you?”

    Full steam ahead it is ,mon capitan !

    53) “The circle is now complete.”

    65) “You’ll find I’m full of surprises!”
    May you live long to amaze us !Too cheesy ?

    69) “Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.”

    70) “Bounty hunters! We don’t need this scum.”
    Don’t worry , you Lordship the Deins’ are passe .

    78) “It’s against my programming to impersonate a deity.”
    Thank god for that ! Ooops !

    97 )“I saw… a city in the clouds.”
    And we saw heavenly football by the Arsenal .

    88)Dialogue-less: …Luke stares moodily at the two setting suns.
    Luke Podoski looks upon the EPL and CL trophies ,as this post ends to the theme of Star Wars ‘Binary sunset ‘…..

  • Marvin

    The way this board is running our club is a disgrace. They have no intension of buying anybody. They put ridiculous offers in that nobody is willing to accept. I think the top players are now not interested of joining us as even they know this club will not invest in the team. Most people now see us as a club that is more interested in income streams, but stan doesnt realise the income streams will stop if the stadium is empty! They have had 3 months to identify which players they want, they could have bought them, but one by one they went elsewhere. Jovetic was sold for £22m, i bet the board bid £9m for him, they have no intensio of buying anyone. They are really killing this great club. The Board must go. Bring in a Board that will hold the manager accountable for the results on the pitch, AW is a manager not a Financial Director of Arsenal

  • Stu

    If Suarez joins you it will be the perfect combination of freaks

  • Stu

    MANDY AT 1.21. I wish the plane lands on your house now. Burning all the gooners in your abode.

  • Stu

    SOUTH LONDON SOUL WITH NO TIES TO YOUR ORIGINAL BIRTHPLACE AKA PIKEY CLUB ROMANY GYPSY FOLK…. No real home. 60 % greek fans. Bought your way into the league. Classless cretins.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Stu hate to tell you but there in a spurs supporter currently in my abode

  • weedonald

    Chris…..I gather you read but did not entirely grasp the article. I said that those statements were grossly exaggerated and I agree that either way, they are unworthy of fair-minded and true Football fans. You seem to think that I believe my statements or yours but I don’t….they simply reflect what I feel some Spuds and Gooners actually think of each other! You missed my point entirely…and stand as an example of someone I was trying to illustrate!
    Those statements aren’t in the least bit true but you’ve taken umbrage because you didn’t think the article through….try to do better next time please.
    Stu….if you insist on being the poster-boy for intolerance,ignorance, chauvinism and mindless rancour then even your fellow Spuds might disinherit you. How old are you by the way….my 8 year old nephew often says the same immature and vulgar expletives, but then he’s still a child…. what’s your excuse?

  • ataf

    spurs = cunts