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
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