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The fan who never saw Arsenal lifting a cup
By Isaiah “Isaic” Saw
Being an Arsenal fan in Malaysia is the last thing you will ever want to do. Here, 7 out of 10 people would be rooting for the red side of Manchester. The remaining 3 would be fans of Liverhoof and KGB Fulham.
Yes. It is THAT hard being Arsenal’s fan here. More often than not, you cannot even find an Arsenal fan out of 10 people. But nevertheless, I had the privilege to watch Arsenal for the first time in 2000, when I was 9 years old.
Back then, I had no clue what football is, let alone Arsenal. But it was a match (I forgot against whom) which prompted me to learn about football. It was not until 2006 when I found out that the team that sparked this hunger for football was Arsenal.
Since then it has been a roller coaster ride with Arsenal. I did all I could as a fan, defending the team when they lost, cheering the team when they won against the legions of Manc and Hoof fans. In my years of knowing and supporting Arsenal, I have never saw Arsenal lifted a cup. Yes, NEVER. As you all know it, Arsenal last lifted a cup in 2005. But the stories I heard and read about Arsenal, their warrior-like victories and heart-breaking losses from fans all around the globe gave me passion and desire to support this club.
This club is a different club from the others, no matter on what aspect. From the style of play, to the management of the club. From the fans to the players. Everything is different. Mancs have the Glazers to rob them, a manager who only has the word F**k in his dictionary and arrogant fans and players alike.
Their fans are the worst lot as they will taunt other clubs at every opportunity. But ask anyone of them why they support the Mancs. The answer will be “because they always win”. But is that the ultimate thing in football? Perhaps but personally I think it was a matter of winning the right way.
Arsenal has it. Financial security, a modest manager who hates to lose and rarely bursts into rage, exciting football, humble fans and players are all in the Arsenal. I can tell you this. Fans of Arsenal in Malaysia are the most modest and polite lot you will ever encounter.
Over the years, I have seen the number of Arsenal fans grew. It was in 2007/08 season where Arsenal mounted a very clear title challenge. And it was then I saw Arsenal’s fan-base in Malaysia growing . But sadly Birmingham ended our hopes. Eduardo was never the same player, the fire inside crippled as well.
Finally the Mancs won it. And the season after was a time where the team licked their wounds and healed their hearts of that fall. But it was also a season of transition, as the pundits always put it, “from boys to men”. This season we saw our beloved club mounting another challenge and going far too. The wannabes from 2008/09 were gone and now we have warriors and warriors-to-be hunting for glory. But it also crumbled. Like everyone else, I am disappointed, sad and angry.
However, I am comforted. Comforted by the very fact that Arsenal is going forward whereas the others are crumbling under financial scrutiny. And also the players could only get better. Won’t they?
So I don’t understand, why the calling for the manager’s and some of the players’ head? Maybe I have not been a lifelong supporter, not yet, but those who claimed they are, shouldn’t you be more mature in what you are suggesting? Suppose the manager or the players are at fault, shouldn’t they be forgiven on the basis that they are only humans, just like you? I have never seen Arsenal lifted a cup but I can dare say I have better passion for this team than others do.
I have never seen Arsenal lift a cup and no one can want that more than I do yet everything has its place and time. Who am I to tell a man how to do his job? If Arsene Wenger, as some suggest, has lost it, can they do a better job? I am not trying to anger or accuse anyone. But it just baffles me how this is happening and turning out to be.
The team deserves our support. They fought and fought and fought with spirit. Perhaps it was fatigue, perhaps it was injuries but nevertheless, they gave their all. We have seen that and one day, this team will deliver and hopefully it is next year.
Patience is always the key to success. Remember, Thomas Edison only succeeded in inventing the lamp after 9999 failures. Football is a game of grit, determination, guts, passion, skill and pace. Glory is the outcome. Arsenal has all this and the success will come in due’s time.
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