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July 2021

In And Out Of The AAA

In And Out Of The AAA

The Awenger

I succumbed to Arsenal’s charms three years ago.

Like most football fans from non-footballing families I started liking a team because I really liked a player playing for it. I showed an interest in Arsenal because I thought Fabregas was a fantastic player. The way he yanked the strings from mid-field like a puppet master was enthralling.

Then, all of a sudden he was gone and so was Nasri (my second favourite player at Arsenal at that time).

It was a bit unfortunate since I still hadn’t fully grasped the concept of club before player. I thought I would change faith, support Madrid more, but it was impossible for Arsenal had etched itself in my life and I was incomplete without it.

I stuck on and so began my Dark Age as a fan; I criticised Wenger for all his decisions, his transfer policies, his wage structure, his starting eleven and just about anything else that could be criticised.

After a point it became frustrating because every time Arsenal lost I would dedicate hours criticising every decision that a player or club could have made (Yes, I was a lousy fan.).

But then I realised something, Arsenal does not need its fans worrying about how to change the club, that’s for the board to decide.  

Arsenal needs its fans to provide a positive atmosphere for them to gain confidence and to motivate them to perform better. They need faith, faith that the fans are always behind them, faith that they can lose and still have our full support, faith that what they are doing means something to us.

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After this realisation I understood what my relation with Arsenal meant. Now I place my full faith in the board Arsene and the team. Yes, I do get sad when Arsenal lose matches, sometimes I wished we did not play Santos down the left side and I hoped Gervinho would not play for the rest of the season… but whenever I felt a bit down after a bad day for Arsenal this one line pops into my head and I can curl up in bed and sleep peacefully knowing that the club future is secure.

“In Arsene We Trust”


The Arsenal Anniversary Files now contain over 2500 entries and are growing at the rate of about 10 to 20 new entries a day.

33 comments to In And Out Of The AAA

  • Sammy The Snake

    Welcome to the bright side of the moon!

  • Florian

    Nice article Awenger! It’s a true example of how one can rise above the superficial frustrations emerging from the mundane aspect of the relationship, and support the club by choice. Arsenal is much more than a club – it’s an exponent of healthy and strong principles, and that’s the foundation for durable, long-lasting relationships.

  • stoney stoney

    that is a nice of you,your comment cements the frustrations other fans like me had when i see arsenal lossing games that were meant to be won.

  • Lobster

    I think, throughout these lean periods, us Gooners have had quite the growing up to do. While we have gone trophyless, we have (some of us anyway) matured and really understood what it means to be a fan. We have stopped taking things like the football we play for granted. We have gotten to know how varied and sometimes vile the people we mistakenly thought of as our own can be. We have evolved in terms of our networks and social media, and I don’t think there’s any Football Club in the world that can boast better quality and sheer quantity than our Arsenal blogs (with Untold leading the lot, ofcourse).
    And lasly, in the past few years, we have been able to take a step back and closely scrutinise the purity and fairness of our game, critically analysing previously unchallanged assumptions such as “these things even up by the end of the season”, with regards to the major refereeing errors.
    To me it seems like u have done more growing up (as a fan) during your few years of watching Arsenal, than most have done in a decade.
    You Sir make Gooners everywhere proud and be sure that when Arsenal do win major trophies again, it will be for people like U

  • Gouresh

    Nice article. I started following Arsenal since ’84. i fell in love with the name. Back then [in India] we did not have cable TV & we could not get to watch game from England. Couple of my club mates were Spurs & Pool followers, so sometime we could get video cassettes and watch games. I had no clue who the players were & listining on the BBC radio, wondered who this Marwood was running down the right and corssing to Alan Smith. Then in ’96 the ‘no one knows this man’ signed and rest is history. Like Awenger, I get upset when we loose, but for me its worse because i get very very angry. But then I step back, take a deep breath and think what this genius has done for us. This has helped me to keep my sanity and my TV to be in one piece.

  • “Arsenal needs its fans to provide a positive atmosphere for them to gain confidence and to motivate them to perform better. They need faith, faith that the fans are always behind them, faith that they can lose and still have our full support, faith that what they are doing means something to us.”

    THANK YOU!!!

    What Arsenal does not need is the sort of fans who are always second guessing the manager’s decisions and perpetually on the back of the players, usually moving from one scapegoat to the other. I’m talking about the type of supporter who suggest/demand players that the club needs to buy and the formation that the manager needs to play.

    Supporting the Arsenal would be easier and more effective if we all share your epiphany by just having faith in and supporting team.

    Welcome to the AKB fold 🙂

  • Mauritius Gooner

    You guys are pathetic.8 years without a single trophy and still!!!I’m a fan just like you maybe more passionate because i want Arsenal to win trophies,is that too much to ask? As a fan I don’t much care if we are the most cash rich club in the world because I don’t benefit from it anyway. As a fan I just can’t get over wanting to win trophies – or at lease looking like we are going to win one.
    Is it too much to expect?

  • nicky

    I hope I speak for the once myriad supporters of our great Club in the 1930’s and who are still in the land of the living (just).
    We grew up when Arsenal FC were Champions of England, the most talked-about club, whose players were role-models for every schoolboy.
    Gooners, the AAA and even Arsene Wenger had yet to be born.
    Even the home life of Arsenal stars in those heady days, were regularly featured in magazines. A mystery film centred at Arsenal Stadium was in the cinemas, a Tube station was named after the Club, a record price was paid for a player and another failed to be signed “because of his unpleasant table manners”.
    In all that time and since , we oldtimers have never failed to maintain our support for each and every player who wore the shirt. We have witnessed triumph and disaster in equal measure. Triumph clutched from the jaws of defeat and Yes, vice versa.
    We who now dwindle in numbers, regard with alarm those who only give real support when things are going well.
    Follow our example of 100% loyalty at all times to manager and team alike.

  • HenryB

    Well said, Nicky, 🙂

    Your sentiments and principles should hold true for all generations.

    Mauritius Gooner, read Nicky’s comment and learn.

    Your ill mannered accusation that loyal fans are ‘pathetic’ speaks to the sort of person you are.

    Have your own opinions by all means, just cut out the puerile name calling. In other words == Grow Up,

  • blacksheep63

    dear Mauritius Gooner

    I am happy you are so passionate, but frankly as an Arsenal who goes regularly to the Grove to support my club I of course prefer it if we continue to not win trophies.
    Trophies are for others, not the Arsenal. They clog up the cabinet, gathering dust and require cleaning and polishing. who needs trophies? Trophies have not brought us happiness in the past – remember when Tony Adams through Morrow over his shoulder whilst celebrating a trophy? When we last won the league the roads around Islington were so packed with fans that the traffic system ground to a halt, now who in their right mind wants that?
    And in 1989 when we won the league at Liverpool I drank so much celebrating that I was late for work the next day.
    So you can keep your trophies thanks, I will happily continue to support a club that continues to deliver mid table mediocrity, year on year…
    where is Mauritius anyway, is it near Kentish Town?

  • Mauritius Gooner,

    Your very first sentence described you perfectly. If your only reason for following Arsenal is “wanting to win trophies – or at lease (least?) looking like we are going to win one” then I’m sorry but you have your priorities wrong.

    Desperation for the team you support to win trophies does not make you a “passionate fan”, it makes you a lousy GLORY HUNTER.

  • Bugziie

    Nicky, you Sir are a class act. A good number of my generation have grown up on the ‘now’ mentality and ‘impatient’ attitude. Failing should never stop a man from trying again. Eight years is too short a time to crucify the manager for not winning any trophies. It’s not like the team hasn’t been close to some on several occasions. And in that time they have made sure that the best of the rest ‘fifith to twentieth’ remained steadily behind them. If success is always measured in absolute terms, I dear say a good number of us have failed.

    I don’t always agree with the clubs decisions, but I know they aren’t in to be failures. So as a fan my bit is to support them thru’ the good and bad decisions, the best and worst of times.

    Keep up the good work Untold. I also disagree with some of your articles, but appreciate that you don’t fabricate the details of your perspective. I come here whenever Arsenal lose b’cos I know you guys have a way of bringing out the silver lining in defeat. Cheers (A Gooner at Heart)

  • nicky

    @black Sheep 63,
    Congratulations on saying what my Gran (who cleans at the Emirates) has been thinking for years. She reckons she has used 2,248 tins of Silvo in polishing the silverware in the 15 cabinets in the Boardroom and enough is enough.
    You display extreme ignorance about Mauritius. I thought everyone knew it is the old Roman name for the Isle of White.

  • graham clarke

    Many bloggers are AAA arsenal news review arsenal truth and that kiddies one the worse you pick your team then back it arsenal are on right track and gave all over last years

  • rupert cook

    Must be a slow news day.

    @Nicky, did you ever moan when Billy Wright was manager? Just wondered.

  • nicky

    Never!…..although I WAS known to issue the odd low groan on hearing the Beverley Sisters.

  • Gooner S

    Firstly I deplore the AAA and AKB terms.

    But that said,

    Mauritius Gooner,

    Being born in the mid sixties I can just about recall the FA cup win of 71. My first taste of success as an Arsenal fan was 1979 and then I (we) had to wait until 1987. Point being if I was supporting a team for trophies I would never have picked Arsenal. I would have switched to Liverpool for that. Being a Londoner and Arsenal being my local team that just wasnt on!

    From the moment that I first discovered football I would pester my Dad ( a Spurs fan) to take me. Which he did whenever he could afford it which was probably once or twice a season. So I learnt to enjoy the occasion of watching a game and was just pleased to see Arsenal play – if they won even better.

    I try to keep with that ethos now. I try, sometimes I fail, to just enjoy each game. I’m lucky enough to be able to attend most home games and it’s a fantatstic experience. It isn’t for me all about winning trophies, though of course over the time I’ve been supporting Arsenal we haven’t done too badly. Of course I would love us to win everything but that just isnt going to happen. SO lets just enjoy this season and see where it goes. An if we dont win anything this year I’ll be back next year 🙂

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Very slow news, Rupert.
    Where is Brickfield when you need him?
    Nonetheless, Awenger, congrats on finding out that finding a team to support is almost like finding an addiction…in this, I am thinking of a favorite coffee or chocolate brand and not the other stronger and life altering stuff out there…
    Back to the point: the addiction is not so easily replaced by another brand…of coffee or chocolate and it doesn’t help to obsess on everything concerning the brand or to think it is an answer to every area of life and living.

    The objective, really, is to enjoy it in healthy doses and, if you care and have the time, to get to know more aspects of the brand better.

    Welcome to life as a rare breed of a Gooner: as an Untold Untold Gooner!

  • Tom

    In a spirit of Christmas I should probably let go ,
    But the cynic in me says No!…. Sorry ,I didn’t mean for it to rhyme, honest.

    When did you have your Eureka- the club before the player – moment?
    Was it when you finally turned 15?. 🙂

    I’m sorry but what you describe , looks like a boy/girl crush on Fabregas that made you follow Arsenal. No matter. Any reason to become an Arsenal fan is good enough for me.
    I’m just glad you didn’t watch Xavi Hernandez or Iniesta “pull strings”for Barcelona , or you would’ve become Barca fan.

    “I criticized Wenger for all his decisions, his transfer policies, his wage structure, his starting eleven and just about anything else that could be criticized “….., like what – the weather?. Man! You used to be some tough critic.

    ” But then I realized something. Arsenal does not need its fans worrying about how to change the club, that’s for the board to decide”… Tony..? Is that you fucking with us?:)

    Just kidding!
    Yes, welcome to the “bright side of the moon” Awenger, if there was such a thing of course.:)

  • Tom

    Blacksheep 63

  • Mauritius Gooner

    Gooner S,
    I respect your comments.we are all Arsenal Fans here and hope we finally get a trophy this year.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    Mauritius Gooner

    Internet anonymity is great isn’t it? You can post stupid comments and no body can see your facial expression as you come to the realization that you have made a real fool of yourself.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Firstly I’d like to welcome The Awenger to our 1 step recovery program for those who have seen the light.It’s called the AAA Anonymous . All together now ,”Hello The Awenger !”
    In this program , all you have to do is say that had erred and cross the line into AKBdom ! That’s it ! No pseudomumbo –
    jumbo therapy .No penances , no guilt , no dues to pay .

    To ‘welcome ‘ you to our group ,this joke is for you …

    Reality Check
    The young graduate from Harvard was so excited, just thinking about his future. He gets into a taxi to a cheerful hello from the driver. “And how are you on this lovely day?”

    “I’m in the class of 2001, have just graduated from Harvard, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.”

    The driver looks back and shakes the young man by the hand and introduces himself. “Hi, I’m Mitch – class of 99.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Shakabula – sorry , my computer was down at work ,and just now free to read my favourite blog !

    The Wisdom of Solomon
    Several women, trying to outdo each other, appeared in court, each accusing the other of causing the trouble they were having in the apartment building where they lived.

    The judge, realising the case was frivolous decreed with Solomon-like wisdom, “Okay, I’m ready to hear the evidence…… I’ll hear the oldest first.”

    The case was dismissed for lack of testimony.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    For people who live on islands …..

    Ahoy There!
    A passenger ship passes close by a small island where everyone can see a bearded man shouting and desperately waving his hands.

    “Who is it?” a passenger asks the Captain.

    “I’ve no idea,” says the captain. “Every year we go past and he does the same routine.”

  • Arvind

    Welcome AWenger. Everyone gets frustrated and we’ve all said and done a ton of stupid things related to the club. Just remain respectful, even when you diametrically disagree. That is all.

  • OMGArsenal

    BG…..its all your fault….now I am obliged to match your wit, or at least vainly attempt to:

    * Two Liverpool football players were walking in the woods.
    One of them said, “Look, a dead bird.”
    The other looked up in the sky and said, “Where?”

    * What do you say to a Spuds football player dressed in a three-piece suit? ”
    “Will the defendant please rise.”

    *If three Chelsea football players are in the same car, who is driving?
    The police officer.

    *Stoke coach Hughes is only going to dress half of his players for the game this week; the other half will have to dress themselves.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    BANZAI ! OMGArsenal…. from

    The Jewish Samurai…
    Once upon a time, a powerful Emperor of the Rising Sun advertised for a new Chief Samurai. After a year, only three applied for the job: a Japanese, a Chinese and a Jewish Samurai.

    “Demonstrate your skills!” commanded the Emperor.

    samuraiThe Japanese samurai stepped forward, opened a tiny box and released a fly. He drew his samurai sword and *Swish!* the fly fell to the floor, neatly divided in two!

    “What a feat!” said the Emperor. “Number Two Samurai, show me what you do.”

    The Chinese samurai smiled confidently, stepped forward and opened a tiny box, releasing a fly.He drew his samurai sword and *Swish! *Swish!* The fly fell to the floor neatly quartered.

    “That is skill!” nodded the Emperor. “How are you going to top that, Number three Samurai?”

    The Jewish samurai, Yoku Cohen, stepped forward, opened a tiny box releasing one fly, drew his samurai sword and *Swoosh!* flourished his sword mightily, but the fly was still buzzing around!

    In disappointment, the Emperor said, “What kind of skill is that? The fly isn’t even dead.”

    “Dead,” replied Cohen in contempt. “Dead is easy. Now circumcision, that takes real skill.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    An AAAA at an Art Gallery : I suppose this horrible looking thing is what you call modern art?
    Art dealer : I beg your pardon sir, that’s a mirror!

  • The Awenger

    Interestingly enough I watched a lot of Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United before I watched Arsenal play, for some odd reason I never felt like supporting them. Somethings are beyond reason I suppose.

  • Florian

    The first match between two English football teams that I watched was the FA Cup final between ManU and Brighton, some 30 years ago. Even if ManU were clearly superior, there was something about their game that just wasn’t pretty. Couldn’t support them for one second. By contrast, watching Arsenal has been a joy since minute one – this happened in the season when they won the CWC, after a memorable European run.

  • Being a fan of Arsenal does not require you to agree with everything the manager says and does or believe that the every player is great.

    Everyone follows this great sport and their chosen team in different ways. Everyone feels emotion in different ways.

    It is not wrong to follow along and cheer no matter what. That is the choice of the individual. That is how that person wants to interact with their club. It is also not wrong to be more analytical and discuss faults, bad decisions, and ways we could improve. Again that is individual choice about how one wants to interact with the game and their club.

    Neither approach makes one fan better than the other. Neither makes one fan more passionate than the other.

    We are all different – some more opinionated than others, some ultra positive, other overly negative.

    The single biggest problem with Arsenal fans – it seems more than any other set of fans – is that one type of fan wants to continually proclaim themselves as somehow better because of their approach to supporting the club. Constant arguments and claims of not supporting the club. Stupid really.

    I am of the camp that calls out when I believe something is not good enough but also praise when I think something is right. I may be wrong or right in my judgements, but that is irrelevant. It is the way I choose to interact with football and the club I support.

    This is not a dig at the AKB guys – you are entitled to that approach. I do not however think it makes you any kind of special fan of the club.