The AAA case study: the man from row 9

The AAA a case study: the man from row 9

Tony alluded to this incident in his post Newcastle article where he also highlighted the very vocal support for our manager. I was one of the many in the North Bank who were chanting ‘One Arsene Wenger!’ as we beat Alan de Pardieux’s* Bar Codes 4-1.

My better half (who isn’t an Arsenal fan – but I’m working on it) was sat in the upper tier and noted that the home fans were in good voice on Saturday. I’d agree, there was a lot more positive support this week, lots of singing (even a brief rendition of ‘Good Old Arsenal’), and very little if any, dissent.

But there was one malcontent who caught my eye on Saturday, and he was sat (stood) a few rows in front of me in the North Bank Lower. I don’t know his name, or his seat number; I do have a photo of him but for legal reasons at least I won’t post it here. Have a look on my twitter feed if you want to see him.

 [BlackSheep – as long as we have reason to believe the person is over 16, which we do since he was not in the family enclosure and looks over 16, and was in a public place there is no legal impediment over showing his picture. We must discuss this at the next Board Meeting = Tony]

I was so engrossed in the game and enjoying it with the usual crowd around me that I didn’t notice him until he was pointed out to me. The seat in front of me is shared and so I wasn’t expecting to see my terrace pal M this week. And he was a few minutes late because, as he explained, he hadn’t expected to be there this week.

Later he told me that he’d thought about giving up his ticket this season because of other fans’ attitudes towards the team. M wears his love for Arsenal loudly on his sleeve: he cheers, claps, sings and encourages others to do so. He has little time for ‘plastic’ fans and no time at all for the AAA. He agrees the team and the manager make mistakes, he thinks we could have signed a defender or a midfielder, but we haven’t and so we get behind the team we have. It’s that simple.

The fact that some people come to games simply to boo or carp or sit or stand there waiting for us to fail makes him cross. It makes me cross. It should make all ‘supporters’ cross. I bet it makes Bootoomee livid!

We can all have our opinions about the team, about who plays up top, in goal, on the left; about who we should buy, who we should sell – even about who the manager should be or how much tickets cost or who owns (or should own) the club. Healthy debate is fine, its exactly that – healthy.

But it stops when the team walks out and the match starts: then you SUPPORT the team. If you delight in Arsenal losing or can’t enjoy Arsenal winning and playing well you have no place in the ground – give your ticket to someone else.

And on Saturday, in Row 9 there was such a person.

M was agitated from the point Santi scored his delightful first goal. He got more upset when Giroooooooouuud made it 3-0. I had to ask him why because usually it would be ecstatic. He indicated a  youngish bloke wearing a Wenger style puffer jacket a few rows in front. “He hasn’t clapped once, hasn’t cheered a goal” he told me.

“Oi, you, support the team!” he shouted “We’re 3-0 up!”

He was met with a scowl but no other reaction.

The North Bank broke into ‘One Arsene Wenger’ but the man in Row 9 remained silent. Newcastle scored and the crowd again encouraged the team – don’t let this slip boys – still no reaction from the puffered one in Row 9.

M was glowing red with rage.

Penalty! Santi converts. The crowd goes berserk with glee, 4-1 Arsenal. M and I hug each other.

And from Row 9? Not a clap, not a smile, just an embarrassed silence. Clearly this was not on his Christmas wish list.  And then, as the game went into injury time he took his coat off, and revealed his T-shirt.


It said: Enough is enough – Wenger Out!


I presume he hoped that, with the seats around him emptying, some hack photographer or BT cameraman would see him and capture the moment. He looked sick that Arsenal (and Arsene) had won. He slunk off as we stayed to applaud the team. M and I exchanged xmas greetings and went our separate ways.

People like the man in Row 9 are not needed at Arsenal; as far as I am concerned they can go and follow Sp*rs or Chavski or be one of those Barcelona fans that have never been to Spain let alone the Camp Nou (or even realizes that the club is from Catalonia).

Frankly I don’t care where he goes as long as he goes. There are plenty of Untold commenters on here I would rather have standing a few rows in front of me, all of who would be of more use to the team than this idiot.

It would have cost him about £45 to stand in the cold and not support the team. On his own, with no mates, only to watch us dismantle the team that had just preserved the Invincibles’ record.

What a sad little man he is, I hope he reads this and has a long hard look at himself.

Stand up for the Arsenal!



* © Arseblog

On the Arsenal History Site: Don Roper – Ten Years of Magic

The books

And also…  Untold Dylan – the music, the lyrics, the meaning

48 Replies to “The AAA case study: the man from row 9”

  1. A fool and his money ……. .
    Soon probably he would have to get back to work !

  2. And the number isn’t likely constant. The standard deviation is probably some small number (like 1 or 2) times the square root of 60 (which is about 8). Hence, one might reasonably expect between 44 and 76 at any given game at the Emirates.

    Nice article by the way. The lack of a picture doesn’t influence me, I may never get to a game in person. But it is said that he did this.

    In the context of debating things about the team, does that mean I can suggest Cazorla be the goaltender? 🙂

  3. Sounds like a miserable specimen of humanity, and I wish him all the misery he wallows in. Guess he has had a bad time since mid week!

  4. What a loser.

    To show up at a game, with the full intent of revealing his ugly T-shirt at the (not) appropriate moment; dude you are a douchebag.

    BUT you know, people need to improvise, to understand that sometimes reality changes. So even for a normal douchebag, a display like Saturday should have meant to be happy for the team and “save” the T-shirt for another day.

    But no. Which makes him not just a douchebag, but a complete turd. He was unhappy because the team won, and he considers himself a supporter. Burn motherfucker.

  5. @Blacksheep63,
    Don’t worry one bit. Sooner we will correct our mistakes, and then, even that lone man will repent his ways. Many people will. I was very happy yesterday, so happy that I envied those who were in the stadium.

  6. One of the disadvantages of all seater stadia is that, unlike the old days of the terraces, if you didn’t like the person you were stading next to you could move. Now we’re all stuck with someone nearby who is a pain – mine is a ‘tactical genius’ who thinks that he understands everything going on and cannot bear the thought of the opposition having any possession of the ball at all. And such thoughts are voiced throughout the game!
    The man in row nine sounds like he might be just like that – but in an even more negative way. What a waste of a ticket.

  7. he was probably one of three dullards displaying their execrable banner on the Holloway Road after the match…

  8. @Blacksheep63

    Nice post. I’ve just had a little peak on your twitter line (and followed you). He’s a young lad (as I suspected) but I would say that of Pedro @LeGrove 🙂

    There is a sense of self entitlement at the moment from some of our support that I just don’t understand. I’m not sure how much they really love football rather than winning a cup.

  9. Terrible and miserable individual, not even allowing himself to enjoy the game. Strange. Good that the team ensured he had a miserable afternoon, served him right.

  10. Sorry for the offtopic but Loserpool are just miserable. They absolutely dominated against a team with no defence, no midfield, no work ethic (aside from Shrek) and still it’s a comfortable 3-0.

    Un feckin real.

  11. Quick thinking to get the mug shot!

    If the AAAA twit was on his own I don’t think it would be Pedro, I suspect Pedro would insist on having a collection of cheerleaders/minders following in his wake.

    The psychology on the lone protestor is interesting – hopefully the experience was totally embarrassing for the young lout and further, lets hope he is banned from returning!

  12. Kid walked up to his father and asked:

    Kid: Daddy, what is the difference between a Centrist and a Pragmatist?

    Father: I will use an analogy to show you the difference. Let say Mr A walks up to Mr B and calls his mother a whore because Mr B had brushed his shoulder against his (Mr A) without apologising. Mr B then punches Mr A in the face and breaks his nose. When asked to comment or pass jugdment, a Centrist will say both are to blame EQUALLY and he will contort himself into a pretzel to equally share the blame. A pragmatist will admonish Mr B for being violent but will put MORE of the blame on Mr A for inciting the violence.

    Kid: Thanks dad. How would you describe the British sports media: are they centrists or pragmatists?

    Father: They are neither son. They are hacks. Centrists and pragmatists are consistent but hacks have no standards or consistency of any kind. The exception of course, is when it comes to Arsenal FC; then they are consistently bad.

  13. This anti-Wenger fan but a Gooner came to the Emirates Stadium to have a personal field day for anti-Wengerism activity. But it turned out a mission not accomplished for him. There is no need to worry much over his failed Emirates Stadium plan. That’d his baby. My baby is the Gunners’ next game at the Anfield. That’s what I will be focusing on in the next few days. So till then. Have a great Sunday Evening.

  14. I sit in row 8 must be that row 9 the guy behind me never stop moaning to matter how well we are doing. the media here seem to have it in for arsene you only got to hear the outrages attacks on talkshit

  15. Off topic.
    How come the league table on Arsenal com is updated but spuds are still playing? Is 0-1 to spuds but still 1st half.

  16. I am going to guess that is doing what many sites do, they are displaying the standings as the score presently indicates. What they probably should do, instead of saying that the spuds have played 16 games, is that they have played 15.5 games (currently at half time).

  17. Well Mr Wenger put them as 0.1% or one in a thousand, so that makes 60 of them at the actual game.

    He is wrong , the number is larger and although the Wenger chant came up at the end of the game it wasn’t universally sung and certainly not by the majority. The guy who wished to protest was within his rights but really pathetic . The reason to go if you claim to be an Arsenal supporter is to see the team win which they did and win well, feelings about the board , the stewards , the manager and the club are not for those 100 plus minutes .Plenty of time for that before and after .

  18. Swansea have tied it in second half. showing
    9 Tottenham 16 6 4 6 19 22 -3 22
    The BBC has standings before the game of:
    No movement 10 Tottenham 15 -3 21

    So, is showing standings in “real” time.

  19. As regulars here will know I am Arsenal and Arsene through and through.

    When I discovered Arsene’s name on the list possible managers my heart missed beat after beat with excitement at the possibility of it happening.

    So it has been easy to get behind the team. Every team that Arsene has put out.

    It hasn’t always been easy.

    When a certain ex player became manager of Spuds back at the tail end of Berti Mee’s days, my heart sunk for I was convinced that it would not be long before this ex Arsenal player became an ex spuds manager and legged across the park to us.

    He did and my heart sunk. But I got behind the team and in my bragging rights (which were few and far between) I argued that Arsenal must be the greatest club in the land because any other club would have fallen out of the league in the same situation as us. Spuds were relegated the season after he left them.

    It doesn’t matter what we think of the manager. We support the team. Every player on the pitch merits deserves out support. It is easy to do this when the player is having a good game, when the team is having a good game.

    The true fan gives the player/s his/her support when its not going well or to put it bluntly badly. We are the Arsenal Family.

    It was great hearing the fans singing the Arsene Song in the Arsene Wenger Stadium. In success and defeats long may it continue.

  20. @Blacksheep63,
    I think care should be taken before categorizing those who do not display outward delight when Arsenal perform well on the field of play. Introverts can still be fervent followers of our great Club.
    In my youth, I would join in cheering at every goal and good play but there never seemed to be any singing.
    Now,in old age, before a TV set, I tend to murmur contentedly(no more than that) at each win. Any defeat is met calmly by thoughts of things that went right for us during the game(there are always some).
    Having said all that, I have no time for the guy in Row 9. Scowling at Arsenal is bad enough but to go to the trouble of defacing a T-shirt, on home soil, is simply asking for trouble.

  21. We may wish for some sober second thoughts before we take the extra step and start outing people as AAAs with their pictures. At that stage things can become really personal…because they are lowlifes doesn’t mean we must stoop to conquer.

  22. I hold the belief that any fan who wants their team to lose is not a true fan that includes any Arsenal fan and what ever he has on he’s Tshirt.

  23. Did anybody else see Luis van Gaal on MoTD tell the media to shut the fuck up (not exactly those words) and mind their own fucking business when they asked him about a ‘rumour’ of De Gea going to Real Madrid next season? I hate the transfer speculation/rumour nonsense and it was double joy for me to see the media told to shut the fuck up on the matter. LvG even did it in a way that the hacks on MoTD couldn’t say anything about. I wish Wenger would do the same with the media but he is a much nicer fellow.

  24. As a retired psychologist and passionate student of human affairs, I am thinking of doing an in depth report about AAA types and their psycho-social character traits. This unfortunate chap described above is representative of a culture which takes joy in disparaging great achievers like Wengern and subsequently thrives on being the black sheep of the Arsenal family. We’ll see more when I present my next article to Tony.
    By the way Tony….I’d be careful about providing a real telephone number for people to reach you….there are all kinds of AAA out there willing to bombard you with their excrement.

  25. I can understand somebody not liking the manager or his work, but not showing happiness and not cheering the club you claim to support ?!?!?, at your own stadium!?!? what kind of a fan / human does that??? I would love to see a report on their psycho-social traits……. And to think a guy like that can go to Emirates, while many many many other true fans can’t, oohh the irony.

  26. What was it that Nick Hornby said? Forgive me if I got the exact words wrong, but, “It’s not easy to be a football fan. It takes years. But if you put in the hours, you’re welcomed into a new family. Except, in this family, you care about the same people, and want the same things. What’s childish about that?”

    I was not in on the ground floor of U.S. Arsenal fandom. I wasn’t sure if they’d see me as, “Hey, great to have another one!” or, “What are you doing here, you interloper? Nobody asked you to come!” After enough trips to the local supporters’ bar, they saw that I wasn’t just there for the glory (it was the height of the exciting but fallow Cesc/RVP era), and so I was considered part of the family.

    Many families have — and I hope the author will pardon my choice of words — a black sheep. There are people who make the Arsenal family sometimes resemble the Borgias, or the Ewings of Dallas. But, however dysfunctional, we all come together as a family. People like The Man In Row Nine — a great title for a story, if anyone wants to turn it into a novel, play or screenplay — serve no purpose, not even their own.

  27. I’m looking forward to getting back into my seat end of March so that I can spout some much needed words to the thicko behind me that wants Wenger out. He needs a little aged wisdom.

  28. Would it be possible that that young man is paid off by the member of the media? Five newspaper station get together and paid for ticket and promised him extra if he can accomplish his objective. I think £45 is nothing for five corporations. But imagine if Arsenal drew or lost that match, the newspapers can have a hey day.

  29. Papers use dildos like the fake sheikh to entrap. Using an idiot to wear a T shirt that cost him his pocket money is within their capacity. Lets look at the positives. Mason got nowhere & neither did the AAAA. Our squad is resilient even the third in line come up like stars.


    Time to enjoy a cold beer.

  30. thanks for all the comments guys, if he turns up again on Boxing Day I’ll be sure to offer him my season’s greetings!

  31. The man in row 9- Little Sad Thing. He deserves all the sorrow he gets for the rest of the season.

  32. Just remembered that thinking can be horizontal & vertical. Perhaps the man in Row 9 was saying enough is enough after 4 goals. He wants Wenger ‘outted’ as a genius.

    Looking at his photograph, he looked ready to break into tears. All my money invested in this T shirt & the f*%kers score 4!!!

  33. I am considering a petition to rename the Emirates.
    It should be “Arsene Wenger Stadium” since he allowed us this marvel.
    Thinking of “the short fuse” to start it, since I am in the U S of A.

  34. Like many others I am ecstatic when Arsenal play well/score/win, but do not often show it apart from celebrating goals for.

    However, I would never resort to direct negative remarks (apart from the odd swear word) if things go badly wrong.

    I remember the media deriding Arsene for not being more demonstrative on the bench, what’s that all about.

    You actually can support the team and their efforts without a massive show.

    This is not a critisism of those who do, just a different point of view.

  35. Interestingly there are a couple of ‘experts’ who sit behind me. They constantly annoy everyone around them with their skillful assessment of how sh*t Arsene and Arsenal are and they also seem disappointed when we do well.

    The epitome of their existence was summarised for me one day when they were hurling abuse at AW for playing the ‘zonal marking game’ and how f’in bad we were and that it was obvious to everyone except AW that zonal marking wasn’t working and how f’in sh*t AW was for using it.

    Amusingly, I had read an article on the train that very morning in which Szczesny was quoted as saying that training had been been going well and that they had enjoyed spending the previous six weeks getting used to NOT playing zonal marking. I took great joy in pointing this out to our resident thickos who said nothing and then spent the next half an hour slagging off AW for something completely different.

    On other ocassions when challenged their constant reply is, “what, aren’t I entitled to an opinion?”. To which my reply is always, “everyone is entitled to an opinion, it’s when it’s rammed down my throat every minute of the game with the claim that it’s fact which causes me a problem.”

    As you mentioned in your article, I too am considering giving up my season ticket (46 years after first getting one) not because of AW or the board or the results or the trophys or the players but because of ignorant gobshites like them…….not forgetting the media who bother to give them column inches.

  36. @Porter the exact quote from the presser was:

    “My job is to win football games and make people happy. In 18 years I have had 99.9% respect. I can take the 0.1%.”

    A fair and reasonable comment free of any hyperbole. No need for any futher comment on the comment!

  37. Mike, I find your comment of 2.59pm depressing. But as an “armchair” who has told Season ticket holders to “fuck off” on many occasions, I beg you to not let the asshats win. Please for the love of all that you hold dear, I beg you to not give up your season ticket unless it is for financial or other personal reasons. We need fans like you to dominate the Emirates and not those entitled prats who want to dictate to the club how to run its business.

  38. @Mike – just sing ‘Arsene Wenger Stadium. We’re in the Arsene Wenger Stadium’. That’ll piss any AAAA off.

    I’m looking forward to doing that when I return to my seat. It’ll piss the mouthy turd that sits behind me off big time.

  39. This seems an ideal X’mas gift to that chappie in row 9 , as well as for those vile ,fiery ,vain and deluded fools – the AAAAA !
    Check it out . And don’t forget to read the comments !
    250,000 Scovilles – Naga Chilli Vodka 50cl
    (50cl, 40.0%)

    We have created a monster, summoned from the very bowels of hell, formed in a vile carboy filled with a horrid mound of Naga Jolokia chillies (the world’s hottest chillies), steeped in grain vodka. We’ve packaged it in a handsome, heavy glass bottle with industrial-grade sealing wire and lead security seal (with a skull and crossbones embossed on it). To get to this bottle, you’ll literally have to open it with wire cutters, but we strongly recommend you don’t. In fact, this unspeakable 250,000 Scovilles vodka is a chilli vodka so horrendous we suggest you don’t even purchase it. Please just shut down your computer and have a nice cup of tea instead. Try to forget what you saw.

    Any decent chilli product comes with warnings, here are ours:

    By purchasing this bottle, you agree that:

    1) I have been warned and fully understand that this product contains extreme heat and should be used and handled responsibly.
    2) I use this product entirely at my own risk and I understand the potential danger if used or handled irresponsibly. If I give this product as a gift I will make the recipient aware of the potential danger if used or handled irresponsibly.
    3) I accept that the retailer and manufacturer of this product will, under no circumstances, be responsible for, or liable for, any claims of injury or damage arising from the use or misuse of this product and by purchasing this product, whether for myself or as a gift, I acknowledge and agree to this fact without question.
    4) I am not inebriated or of unsound mind and am fully able to make a rational decision to purchase this product.
    Ask #WhiskySanta for 250,000 Scovilles Vodka.
    He’ll grant one wish per day until Christmas…
    Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

    Nose: It smells like the devil’s tears, with a side of Agent Orange mixed with Pepper Spray. Ben, Ben please don’t make me drink this, can’t we just guess how it tastes? It just seems wholly unnecessary to drink it.

    Palate: Oh it’s not so bad. No it’s fine really… Oh, actually it’s quite hot… Wait a second… Oh what have you done… Mooo… Moooooooooo. Moooooooooooooooooo. Yaggarrhrhhh….

    Finish: [Ed. He’s slipped from his chair and is now rocking back and forth maniacally under his chair, holding his computer mouse for comfort. The DHL delivery man saw this and ran out screaming.]

    Overall: [Ed. He’s been shivering in terror for over an hour now, chanting the words “liberate tutemae” over and over.]

  40. There are two capsaicin compounds predominant in hot chilis, which in the latest I’ve read about, have measures of 15 and 16 million Scoville units for the pure compounds. There are a number of chilis that come out higher than the ghost chili you mention Brickfields. I suspect they are not available in quantity. I think the top of the heap is about 2.3 million Scoville units. And people think Jalapeno are hot at around 10,000 or so Scoville units.

    Anything containing alcohol is contra-indicated as a potential soothing agent for the over stimulated pain receptors. Starting with the capsaicin in alcohol, expect it to be difficult to put out the fire, and for the fire to be widespread.

    I once got “surprised” by a large chunk of habbenero in a pasta. I had hiccups for a couple of hours, to go along with a burning mouth.

    And of course, there is a tendency to get reminded of the fire, the next time you go to the washroom. 🙂

    Long live capsaicin – (E)-N-[(4-Hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)methyl]-8-methylnon-6-enamide – C18H27NO3

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