By Terence McGovern
Allow me to begin by saying that I am not generally given to despair on any level or indeed on any particular issue, regardless of the severity of the crisis that may present itself. That said, I have found the events of the last few days disturbing in the extreme.
I am an Arsenal supporter. This simple fact, this state of being, has been a constant in my life for 30 years. It has brought me heartbreak and elation in equal measure from watching Tony Adams driving home the final league goal of a title-winning season to being curled up in the foetal position on my couch for 36 hours after Barcelona came from behind to crush our Champions League dreams in Paris .
In all that time I had come to believe that I had pretty much seen it all…..until these last few weeks.
In the last few weeks, I have watched hundreds of my fellow supporters come as close to blows as anybody could over the internet. I have listened in astonishment as players in the hallowed Red & White of Arsenal have been boo’d and jeered by their own supporters sometimes when they are warming up before coming on as a substitute!
I have listened in shock while our most successful manager, one of the most respected figures in world football, had to endure a shareholder’s meeting where participants were more concerned with taking cheap shots at our players than reasonable discourse. Imagine if you will, having the opportunity to talk directly to Arsene Wenger about various aspects of our club and its future direction and then wasting it by insulting him and our team. It beggars belief! Let’s get something straight here. Jeering and insulting those who you you claim to support is tangibly oxymoronic with an emphasis on the ‘moron’ part.
How the hell did we get here? Have we become so demanding and so oblivious to our relative position in the football universe that we revert to tourette syndrome when events fail to unfold as we desire? Sadly, it would appear so.
What has changed over the years to make us thus? In truth it is probably a mixture of brainwashing from a partisan media, a nagging uncertainty about the future ownership of our club and the result of a diet of success that was far too rich for our own good for several years.
Here and now, every Arsenal supporter should ask themselves why they became a supporter in the first place. Was it to complain? Perhaps to facilitate writing abuse on the internet? Maybe it was to indulge in jeering the home team from the home supporters section. Maybe, but I suspect not.
What I suspect is that you became an Arsenal supporter out of love and passion for the club. It was this love and passion that caused you to put everthing else on hold come matchday. It was this love and passion that caused you to spend your hard-earned cash to see your team play live . It was this love and passion that allowed you to savour victory and success to to an opiate-like degree and that eased your pain when that success was fleeting, as it so often is in football.
It is now time to remember those things of yesteryear that sparked our love affair with this magnificent football club and realise that they are just as strong in us today as they were then. Complaining about our situation will not change it and the events of this year and others cannot be undone.
NOW is the time to unite behind our manager and behind our team. It is NOW during this bleak period that they need our support the most. We are their twelfth man and we are not matchfit anymore.
Let’s have an end to all these ridiculous calls for Arsene Wenger to be replaced. He is going to be our manager for the forseable future so get behind him. When he eventually retires, he will greatly missed believe me. Let’s also have an end to the incessant calls for him to buy players. OF COURSE HE IS GOING TO BUY PLAYERS! Not only that but he will buy the best players he can lay his hands on with the money he has available, which will most likely be substancial this year even though it hasn’t been in recent years.
On top of that, when he does buy these players, make them feel welcome! Make up great songs about them, send them welcoming messages via the club and go and see them pre-season singing yourself hoarse in the process. Wear shirts with their names on the back. Show them that they belong and they will play their hearts out for you.
This seaon coming, RENEW YOUR FAITH IN THE ARSENAL! Wear your colours proudly! Drown out the voices of other supporters whether home or away with your singing! Roar your applause at every shot on goal whether it goes in or to row Z! Roar your applause at every substitute warming up and let them know that you are behind them and that their best will always be good enough.
You will see more of their best as a result. Increase your support to include the reserve matches, the youth games and our fantastic ladies team who are a national treasure. Go to their games come rain or shine! Break their attendance record until they have to put their matches on at The Emirates because they deserve to play there and they deserve you to be there for it. Make other supporters and other teams feel awe for the support that we give our team. Make the Emirates atmosphere the envy of the league! Lift our players and they will do their part and lift trophies. Raise your voices, lift your team and renew your faith.
Unity in the face of adversity.
Victory through Harmony.
We will get there…….together.
If you would like to contribute an article for Untold Arsenal which reflects our mission, as given in the banner at the top of the site) do email your ideas to the editor: Tony at Hamilton-house.com
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