By Walter Broeckx
When we look back at the seasons gone by and all that has been published on this blog we have seen a few things coming back. As this site openly proclaims to support not only the club and the players (that itself is already a crime for some) and we do have the nerve to also openly support the manager. A capital crime for some. We have received a lot of abuse about this. Insults and threats come our way from time to time, both for the writers over and the people who commented on our articles in a positive way.
In the past we have seen many discussions going along the lines I will draw now. We wrote an article about something good of the team, club or manager. Some people came along and threw the usual garbage at us. One of the most popular things they shouted was that we showed ourselves as losers. We had a losing mentality.
From our side of the fence then came the question: do you love Arsenal for the club or for the trophies? In other words are you a trophy hunter only – a plastic fan as it is also called. When this question was asked the answer was usually a mention on how many years they were fans (not something we could check of course) and that they were absolutely no trophy hunters at all.
They said they were just sick of the X years without and wanted us to compete. Forgetting that we were competing in the 2007/2008 season. Forgetting that we were competing in the 2010/2011 season (would have gone top if it wasn’t for Dowd and his antics at Newcastle). We were in a few semi finals of the FA cup, CL, and were in two finals of the League cup. So saying we didn’t compete at all was a bit strange.
But let us accept that they didn’t see that as competing. Which is utterly wrong of course. But let us just for the sake of it accept it and that they were not the glory hunters or plastics they seemed to be.
What is strange then is that now this season still the same people come over here or on other websites, social media, phone ins from radio stations etc and express what a bad manager we have, how our team is useless. You know the usual crap. I thought they only wanted us to compete. And if you look at this season and having been 18 weeks on top of the league I do think you might say that we are more or less competing.
But now the word is: it won’t last. We will still end up empty handed. Yes we might. I will not deny this. There are so many factors in order to win it that there is a chance we could end up empty handed. If we take the 3 teams on top as the title candidates it is clear that 2 of them will end up empty handed. At least one team that has spend £billions over the last decade will end up empty handed. I hope it will be two of them of course.
Now of course saying we end up empty handed is the easy gamble. There is only one chance in 3 that we will win it. So the chance of not winning it is bigger by default. I think most of us Untolders believe we can do it and we believe that the manager and the team will do all they can to do it. We hope but we also know that external factors can have a big impact. As we have found out a few times in the past. Game 50, 2007-2008, Dowd at Newcastle, Dean half a dozen times, Probert all the time. It can all influence the outcome of a season.
But those people who said that they were not really in it for the trophies are now saying that if we don’t win at the end it all is worth nothing. So suddenly it is only the end result that counts. Forgetting that when we asked them about it they firmly denied it and said that they are not trophy hunters at all.
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But now if we don’t win it then all is lost and we are doomed for ever and eternity. The manager has to be sacked, the players have to be shipped out, the deadwood has to be cleared, hundreds of millions have to be spend on whoever is the the flavour of the day. We have to pay whatever they ask in order to bring us that so much craved for trophy.
Now don’t get me wrong. The day that Arsenal wins a trophy I have promised myself that I will leave my home and go to London to celebrate with the other Gooners in London. I hope I could do this in the last home match of the season as I usually attend it and just imagine if we could win the title in that match. I will not go home that night and will stay in London till the last Gooner has gone to bed before returning home. And if it is on a day I am not in London I will take the car, train, whatever transport to go to London to joy in with the celebrations.
So I do long for that trophy I will not deny it. But if it all goes wrong it will not bring me down that much that I will start abusing or insulting the manager and the players. They will be as bitterly disappointed as I will be. So I will see no need to put them further down.
For me the route to glory (or failure) is 95% of the fun. I will enjoy each win we register. I will bemoan each dropped point. I will be in heaven when we do better than the others. I will take it on the chin when things go wrong.
That is for me the way it has been all these years. What I will not do is change my tune like some do. Saying, for example during this season when we really are competing, that it counts for nothing if you cannot win it in the end… Then they are changing their tune and that is something I don’t like at all.
We support to the best of our ability. We try to create a positive surrounding for the players and manager to do their part of the job. It will not be us that writes them off. We will support them, come good days, come bad days.
Time to make up your mind: do you love Arsenal for The Arsenal, or do you only love us for the trophies? I know which side I am on.
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