By Tony Attwood
You might think these are troubled times at Arsenal, but look more closely and you will see some real class and character shining through.
But first look elsewhere. Man U’s ownership has never shown class – that is self-evident – using the club as a cash cow to feed a shopping mall business that had fallen on hard times.
Then there was the business of putting up the Moyes banner at Old Trafford – not just a hostage to fortune, but also a really inept thing to do. You put up statues and banners about people once they have finished their work – not as they just start it.
Next there is today’s proposed fly by the disgruntled with the plane trailing a banner claiming that actually Moyes was not the Chosen One as the in-ground banner proclaims.
Actually there was quite an amusing interview on the BBC station Five Live yesterday in which the leader of the gang who has arranged for the plane to fly overhead during United’s game today said that the issue of who came after Moyes (and whether he would actually want to come to such a club as this) was a matter for the board, not for the supporters.
The supporters it seems just love the power of being able to boot out a manager and complain, not come up with solutions that might actually work. How very 20th century.
Anyway, Moyes has at last fought back saying that even the almighty Sir Alex Ferguson would have had a tough time this season because of this ageing squad.
Moyes has actually been supported by José Mourinho, but with friends like that, you don’t really need enemies.
Meanwhile the AAA make similar noises, seeing the protests at Very Old Trafford as a blue print rather than a warning. For them the fact that Arsenal too have been down this route is of no relevance – for according to their mantra one learns nothing from history.
Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv
In 1953 Arsenal won the league, but it was the season the players finally spoke out and said that the Arsenal support with its constant booing and moaning was beyond doubt the worst in the league, and a total embarrassment to a great club. Players interviews in the press and their commentaries in books contained the same theme. How can this great club have such awful fans?
The fans did rally momentarily at the end of the season as the league was won but in the summer there was a desertion of players who no longer wanted the abuse. In 1954, with Tom Whittaker unable to find replacement players who wanted to come to Highbury the club came 12th. We didn’t win the league again until 1971. 18 years.
There was no financial crisis, no new stadium to build, no wars removing our top players. No. Players and managers realised what it was like to work at Arsenal and thought, no, not for me.
So will Man U create the same horror show? They are certainly heading that way. But at Arsenal, as always, a better light is being shone.
Before the Everton game, RedAction, a grouping of Arsenal supporters dedicated to the positive rather than the negative, gathered at in the lower tier North Bank, unveiled a banner saying ‘BELIEVE’.
It got terrific feedback and so it is now being made available as a t-shirt for you to buy. The shirts are being sold in the Rocket foyer from 3pm until kickoff today or from our the Red Action web site.
The banner and t-shirt were both designed by Sam Blackman – his website is here.
All profits from sales of t-shirts go to fund more flags, banners and other initiatives in future. Red Action have done a huge amount over the years at the stadium, and really do deserve our support.
And I guess that is my point. People can chant “spend some fucking money” or hold up signs where the cameras will pick them out, or you can support the team, the manager and the club. We have been down the route that the AAA and their allies in the media proclaim – and we have seen the results.
“Believe” says that the club is bigger than me, the individual supporter. And that’s how it should be.