Arsenal need world class supporters to give us back our identity

By Tony Attwood

We obviously do have a crisis in the club at the moment, with endless bitching and complaining about players, management and directors, and numerous people who have had no experience whatsoever of even working in a club (let alone working in a club at a senior level) moaning, moaning and then, just to add to the variety, moaning some more.

And the big problem is that just as when Mr Wenger left the club and Mr Emery came along, the supporters remain the same.  And because they have got into the habit of moaning, moaning and then moaning some more, they continue to moan.

Now the reason for this is not hard to find, because as any psychologist will tell you, habits are very easy to establish and very hard to get rid of.

The reason for this is basic survival.   Habits allow one to deal with a situation without thinking – they permit automatic reactions leaving the brain free for the more important stuff.  Which is fine when those reactions don’t get in the way of progress or a positive life, but when those reactions are endlessly harmful, then there is a real problem.

Take for example the reaction of a child who screams every time there is something he doesn’t like.  It’s not his favourite food, he screams.   He wants to play with a toy his sister has, he screams.   His parents say it is bedtime, but he wants to stay up, so he screams.

The parents have a choice.  Each time he screams they can give in, just to get the screaming to stop.  They give him his favourite food, he gets all the toys he wants, he stays up as long as he likes.   So the bad behaviour stops but the parents are now controlled by the child who becomes ever more self-centred and in later life totally unable to make friends.

Consider next the football club.  The club loses, the supporters moan and bitch and complain very volubly on the internet – and the sound is constantly amplified by the blogs and scurrilous newspapers.

So minute after minute hour after hour we get

  • Lucas Torreira unhappy with Arsenal manager Unai Emery, confirms agent (Metro)
  • Agent provides update on Lucas Torreira’s Arsenal future (Football.London)
  • On-loan Arsenal star slams Unai Emery (The Statesman)
  • Report: Granit Xhaka aims dig at Arsenal fans on international duty (Sports Mole)
  • When might Arsenal pull the plug on Unai Emery? (The Online Gooner)
  • Agent: Torreira unhappy with how he’s being used by Unai Emery (Arseblog)

And on and on.  In short all the organisations that supported the “We Care Do You” attack on the club – such as Arsenal Supporters Trust, Black Scarf, Red Action and Arseblog, are just carrying on the attack, hour after hour, day after day.

And the effect is that the club is brought ever lower.

Plus amusingly these self-same organisations complain about the atmosphere in the stadium calling it a “soulless place”.   And whose fault is that???

Now compare and contrast with some of the support we have seen from lesser clubs in the Europa League, both at home and away.  They would never attack their own players in a billion years.

But these Arsenal fans either never learn or can’t learn, so they go on and on with their negative attitude.   How we ever get rid of them I don’t know, but all suggestions are welcome.

Yes what the club needs is world class support, not third world support based on the notion that when the club does something for the supporter then the supporter will do something for the club.

33 Replies to “Arsenal need world class supporters to give us back our identity”

  1. Cornelius, I would disagree. I think I know what I am saying. Endlessly knocking Arsenal does not make things better. And there is a lot of evidence to support that view.

  2. I think the title of this blog is spot on!

    And this is why I avoid talksport, aftv and most punditry because it is fashion to knock arsenal without analysis.

  3. Are you able to separate the loyal match going customers from the stay home wagon jumping jerks who’ve never been to a game in their miserable lives? As an ex match goer I felt entitled to criticise (moan) as it often relieved the disappointment of poor performances that I’d paid large sums of money for. It’s just the way I am.
    TBH I never met many world class supporters at either Highbury or The Emirates, I found many to be most unpleasant, but wouldn’t deny them their paid for right to a good moan.
    It happened under Graham & Wenger and will when we eventually get a winning coach.
    The best & loyalest supporters I’ve come across are at AFC Wimbledon (where I also had a season ticket) without a doubt.

  4. After I disagreed with many of your last articles for the first time as a longtime reader (mainly the keep Emery pleas), now I totaly agree with you again (finally). Most of the media outlets and blogs as many of our “fans” are doing even more damage than they think they do. No players should be attacked, booed or slated on social media. The negative blogs are a joke, but they are loved by the negative “fans” because they accelerate their fears and their anger. They feel understood there. These blogs are like growing cancer within the clubs core.

  5. not once did there fans stoop to the level of abuse that way too many of our fans have.

    But here’s the thing, I think it is no coincidence that neither did the media start abusing Liverpool like they do Arsenal, in fact the complete opposite.

    And neither did their ex players start abusing the club, players, manager, board, owners as ours do.

    Only the other day I heard that Keown was having a pop at Bergkamp of all people. My God how pathetically desperate can you get.

    Wright, Robson, Smith, Merson, Nicholas the list of our abusers goes on and on as does their endless assaults.

    Yes of course ex players of Liverpool have the occasional moan up but that’s a lot different to what our lot do.

    What to do about it? God knows. The very first response to the article was an attempt to justify the endless moaning. Jeeeez.

    We will no doubt see many more come on here telling us how they have every right to moan as they see fit, which of course they do, but does that actually make it the right thing to do for the sake of the club they support.

    I don’t think so, but will that stop them? I very much doubt it.

  6. Nitram

    Corr: First line should of read:

    In the example of Liverpool I’ve used before, not once did their fans stoop to the level of abuse that way too many of our fans have.

  7. I’d settle for loyal supporters , who would not mind paying good money to sing their hearts out and enjoy their day out in the stadium.

    This might actually shock our players and get their creative juices flowing,inspire them and get their confidence back.

    Booing them is clearly not working.

    So how about it ?

  8. We’ve actually got many supporters who do that exact thing at most matches home & away through good & bad times.

  9. So, you’re suggesting arsenal’s woes are all down to the fans suffering from some kind of collective psychological condition.
    Nothing to do with the disjointed team play, baffling team selections and xhaka- pound for pound one of arsenal’s worst ever signings–being given the captaincy.

    It’s all the fans fault then, who despite shelling out significant cash for tickets have the temerity to complain.

    Well, I think you’re making an outrageous and disrespectful assertion.
    The fans are the club and like all fans, they moan when things go wrong.
    It is their right to do so and the way arsenal have been playing lately, it is justified.

    As an arsenal fan you should pay them more respect, instead of siding with club’s awful owners and directors.

  10. Nitram, Liverpool are more successful internally and externally in winning titles far far more than our dear own Arsenal are successful in winning titles internally and externally. So, it could be the reason why Liverpool fans hardly moan. This is because they have little reason for moaning. 6 times European Champions, 19 times English first division Champions, ?? times FA Cup Champions, that can’t be up to Arsenal wins who are the most winners of the FA Cup as of now. How many times have Liverpool won the League Cup, the Community Shield and the Clubs World Cup? Well, I don’t know. But I believe they must have won these titles several times but the Clubs World Cup win that I can’t be sure of if they did. But they are currently in it vying to win it. But they’ve never won the PL title since it’s inception. This is true. But Jurgen Klopp, the current Liverpool manager has been trying all he could to break that jinks for Liverpool. But whether he’ll succeed to break the jinks for Liverpool this season or not can only be said by providence.

    Nevertheless, if I must be frank and be truthful, I would say I think moaning is part of the game of football and this is normal in as much as it’s being resented in some quarters. But however, some Gooners will moan whenever they serious see the reason to moan about Arsenal failings. More so, the failings that have lasted for 14 consecutive seasons as Arsenal have not won again the most priced Premier League title. Just what is that! This is absurdity. Arsenal the North London giants PL big club side have excused themselves too long to not have won the PL title for this long. Why? Of course the passionate Arsenal fans who want to see their darling club Arsenal win the PL title again will certainly moan when they don’t see the glimpse of another win in sight appearing for Arsenal. But if it appears in sight and not fade away but remain, us Gooners will become buoyed the win could come to fruition. But the win has not been in sight for over a decade now.

    I think if Arsenal will win the Pl title again in this modern era of the PL competition. They will first and foremost have to overcome totally the PGMO from PIGMOB on them strangling their title winning hope and ambition in the season they’ve played into contention contending to win it.

    Secondly, the club will need to have in place mostly first class players in their 1st team squad who will be ready to go the extra-mile during the course of an entire PL season’s campaign to play first class football games for the club.

    And 3rdly, the club have to hire a world class head coach to manage the first class players at the club in a professional first class way. In this regard, I think Emery has been trying to do this at Arsenal since he has been sitting on the head coach’s hot seat at the Emirates Stadium. The job is tough. But if he guides to Gunners to win their next 4 PL games in a row, he could use the 4 match winning run as a platform to build confidence into his starting XI team to continue where they last left off continuing winning in the PL beating their big rival club sides who they’ll still have play against at the Ems and at away this season. Which if achieved will guaranteed the club a ticket to play in the UCL next season. And Arsenal could even lay a claim to the PL title win as well should they from their next match at home against Southampton win the match and continuing winning all their other 25 matches. And a Europa Cup win by Arsenal this season will be highly appreciated and valued by us Gooners.

    And finally, I believe without any iota of doubt in my mind, all Arsenal fans i.e. us Gooners are first class Arsenal supporters. There is nothing like 2nd or 3rd class Arsenal fans in existence. Us could have different options on how things should be run/managed at the club to achieve maximum success.

  11. Tony, you and a portion of the media keep complaining about how awful Arsenal fans are. I have several comments on this.
    1. Its not fair to paint all fans with the same brush based on behavior of a subgroup.
    2. If the football was less miserable, there’d be a lot less complaining.
    3. There is a lot of complaining because many (me included) feel the team should be playing better than it is.
    4. The reason why the football is miserable is either because the players are not as good as we think they are or because there is a problem with the way they are being coached.

  12. Samuel

    It’s not about ‘overall’ success, if it was then why do our fans resort to the abuse they do when we are ‘overall’ the 3rd most successful team in the Country ?

    It’s not about ‘overall’ success, if it was why don’t Spurs, Everton, Villa and every other club that’s less successful ‘overall’ than us, get the abuse we do ?

    Liverpool have gone 30 years without a title and until their CL success last year had just 1 league Cup to their name in the last 13 years.

    Spurs have gone nearly 60 years without a title and have won just 1 League Cup in the last 20 years.

    Sorry but simply citing ‘historical’ success is an incredibly weak argument to justify Liverpool getting hardly any abuse and us getting tons of abuse from our ex players, the media, and some fans, considering that ‘historically’ we are the 3rd most successful Club in the Country.

  13. And while all this griping is going on Pochettino got the sack! A new stadium and a new manager, nice combo over there Levy. Good luck with that, lol.

  14. And good luck to them when they get Jose in, they will soon realise they will need it
    Amazed how that chequebook manager keeps getting jobs , even with his record of leaving clubs in a real mess
    Still, going to Spurs gets him forever out of our hair just in case Raul had any ideas, which is good

  15. Nitram,

    maybe all these ex Arsenal-players-moaners are all in fact jealous of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams for their statue in front of the Emirates…. and their own total absence there.
    Not just jealous, but real-bad-pissed-jealous that they don’t have theirs whereas they feel they deserve it.

    And this is just their petty-stupid-mean way to enact revenge.

    Maybe UA ought to publish a couple of pieces about this fact just so they pop-up on news aggregators and rub them into their own ‘you’re noone’s hero’ status and have the fact be reminded to all and sundry…

  16. OT: Football World Stunned by Spud Sacking

    Stunned? I’m not stunned, I’m happier than heck that the spuds have unloaded both barrels of a shotgun into their own feet.

    Maybe now we can start seeing news articles about the spuds getting relegated.

  17. I really find it an irony that this used to be the blog that I read the most when Arsenal was still on the top under Wenger. But then right now, I can already sense the delusion. It’s as if you guys dun really watch football. In fact you do not even need to watch football to realize that Emery is actually sabotaging the club.

    In fact, I find it ironic how you guys can even defend Wenger considering the fact that he almost mess up the club financially with his transfer dealings and his wage structure. To be honest, results wise, he did not do too badly and unlike most fans out there. Even in his 2nd last season when he did not qualify for champions league, he still got more points as compared to his previous season and that is forgivable. But then what is unforgivable is his transfer policies. He could have sold sanchez for 60-70 million pounds and yet decide not to sell at the last minute. Sanchez had to be let go on a cheap with mkhitarian as a replacement. I still do not get how Walcott can actually be offered a 100k contract as much as I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and there were so many average players that were on so high wages. No wonder people were saying that Wenger left a mess for the next manager. Of course I have no doubt that he left a good enough squad considering the fact that under Emery, this squad managed to reach the Europa Final and almost got into the top 4. But then the fact is, he left the squad in a mess with his transfer and wage policies and his decision making at the end. It’s still an enigma for me how he still allows his players to go to the last year of their contract. Haven’t he learnt from the V Persie saga. I can go on and on. It’s funny how the players were never sold at the price they are worth under Wenger. For example Fabregas. Do you think the Fabregas saga would have happened under say Manchester United or even Liverpool? Or Even Henry for the matter. Why should we let Henry go at 16 million. I know age was catching up but then even then, is he really worth 16 million considering his marketability? I seriously do not know how Wenger got his Economics degree to be frank.

    As for Unai, he really should have been let go at the end of last season when he totally mess up/sabotaged getting the champions league position. In fact, even if he isn’t let go, investigation has to be made on his history. I cannot believe you are still asking Unai to say until the end of the season when the fact is even from a financial point of view, he is destroying the club. You can already see players who are not happy and want to leave and also the stikers are near the end of their contracts. And of course, unless a miracle happens at the Europa league, qualification for Champion’s league this season can be written out. I cannot believe that you cannot see that he makes obvious mistakes in his starting line up and his substitutions. Sometimes, it makes me wonder if he is doing all this on purpose.

    Sometimes it is better not to pretend to be loyal and look at reality. But then I guess you can be pretty blind. Even Spurs got rid of their manager who actually carried them to the champions league final last year. What has Emery achieved compared to pochettino to merit him staying. I do not know how many more years Pchettino has in his contract but then at least I respect Spurs for their ambition.

    Most of us would not demand Emery to leave if he was a little decent. But most of us know that he is pretty much a fraud right now.

  18. If you cannot even see that Emery has set us back years, then it really shows how blind you are. If he is allow to carry on, the club will be at mid table level or even near the bottom. At that time, even the top managers would not want to touch Arsenal anymore.

    Ironic dun you think?

  19. It appears that many are not too happy with Pochettino’s sacking , and saying that he should have been given more time to turn things around .

    How so refreshingly quaint and new, especially for those rabid pundits, who regularly froth in the mouth and bray for blood ?

    Will they also express such kindly sentiments with UE ?

    Will Pochettino now go to Man Ure , and revive their fortunes and values anew ?

    Those that was torn asunder by the Moaning One ?

    How many buses will mourinho bring with him ?

    These questions are all rhetorical , by the way ! But answer them if you so wish !
    Who cares ?

  20. @ong huigen – I have been to every home game this season and I do not share your opinion. I agree that UE has had an inconsistent selection of players but that should not impact the system Arsenal play. The lack of intelligent decision making on the field is due to the players.

    UE is the coach not the manager so does not decide player contracts nor does he have financial control of salaries etc.

    Your summary of Wenger is totally wrong as you have not considered the infrastructure that he put in place nor the success on field that enabled the bulk of debt to be cleared. The player prices were not entirely his decision but the sale was made by players choosing influenced by agents. TH14 was sold for reasons outside football and you need to understand the social happenings & injury types that influenced his sale.

    I believe that the current team/squad will get their game together and despite the sloping pitches that they play on will begin to shine.

    As for player contracts not being renewed, there is not much a club can do except sell the player and suffer the ire of the so called supporter. There is no player bigger than the club and there are no supporters who know better that the club. The AFTV and its ilk are not supporters but mouthy idiots weraing Arsenal shirts. They have very little or no education and could not manage a piss up in a brewery. The media love them because they are a ready made whip to use against the club.

    We do not decide who runs the club but we support whatever the club is and if not, move on.

  21. Alexander Henry: No, I am not suggesting that “arsenal’s woes are all down to the fans suffering from some kind of collective psychological condition.” Nor do I side with the club’s owners, of whom I have often written.
    And no matter how many times you invent some bizarre new email address when writing to us, nor how you suggest that I am saying something that I am not, will you change reality.

  22. At least the Mourinho to Arsenal option is not definitley out of the question…. ;=) Let him wreak havoc at WHL…

  23. Becoming sheeple is never the solution. Have an opinion. Express your views. Don’t pretend that everything is sunshine and roses when it isn’t.

    Arsenal’s support will become less toxic when their management begins to reach the competency of their rivals. It will become downright stellar if management ever gets ahead of the curve. I clearly remember a time 15-20 years ago when our model was the envy of the football world. It will be so again at some point, and the improved matchday atmosphere will follow.

  24. @Ong huigen, please provide evidence for your know it all allegations on AW. You must have been part of the negotiating team to have such knowledge. AW ‘Mess up the club financially’ even though he makes profits on transfers in most of the years and the Club is still one of richest in the world.

    I think AW has no control with price negotiation when selling or buying, he has the power to decide which player stay, go, and come in, it would be up to the chief contract negotiator and the CEO to decide on sale and buying price. And ofcourse it is up to the player and his agent too.

  25. @ Polo – 20/11/2019 at 2:11 pm – Thank you for this . It was very enlightening and impressive .

  26. @ Polo

    That was really interesting. Sadly, I’m sure there are still thousands of “supporters” who think they know better!

  27. The greatest ‘insult’ title to Arsenal fans ever and rightfully so. It’s about time, Mr Tony. Thank you

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