This mornings post has been inspired by the numerous people who rolled onto Le Grove stomping their cyber feet yesterday making comments surrounding they type of fans Arsenal have.
Here is an authors impression of how one of them looked.
‘What is Cesc going to think when he reads stuff like this, fans like you lot don’t deserve Cesc’
Now, I want to address that type of attitude because I truly believe that Arsenal have some of the greatest fans on earth, despite the protestations of a few on the web who constantly want to tell us that everyone outside Arsenal thinks they’re moaners (Yawn.com).
Liverpool, Man United, Spurs, West Ham… even Newcastle all have the same problem. Everyone moans, it’s a right of passage as a football fan and I’m pretty sure it’s gone on for all of time. Anyone who says it hasn’t is a liar and a thief.
I sat in a cab with a Geordie cab drive in Newcastle a few weeks ago and he told me that he felt 90% of Newcastle fans have been so unhappy for the last ten years, he wondered why they even attended matches. My old boss is a bin dipper season ticket holder. He said bar the massive games, the atmosphere around the stadium has been so poor he finds it embarrassing to attend matches. My West Ham chums constantly p*ss and moan their way through the season regardless of how well or poorly they are doing!
So… everyone does it. Fact.
If you couldn’t have a rational conversation about the good and bad in your club, no one would talk to you because you’d be boring. You know, that same boring you get with super religious people or ultra-Patriots.
So how do players feel about the fans?
Well, the greatest player in Premiership is Thierry Henry. He left Arsenal 4 years ago and he hasn’t stopped talking about us since. He loves the fans, he loves the clubs and he loved his time there. He came back last season to say thanks to the fans for the good times. Patrick Vieira adored having his name sung by the fans week in week out… he’d stop mid-match to clap us! Bobby Pires recently said,
“It shows how great the Arsenal fans are and that they don’t forget their former players. I was really touched and moved by their ovation and the fact that they were singing my name.”
Even Emmanuel Eboue has nice things to say about us!
‘They sing my name when I play and that makes me feel really happy. I say thank you to the fans for coming to support us’
That’s great becuase it means our support is valued. Martin Keown once said if the fans are on your back, you’ve got to look at yourself, address the problems and fight for their respect.
Bang on the money Martin. Adoration isn’t a right, it’s something you’ve got to earn. Something I know most Arsenal player are patently aware of. In the grand scheme of things, having your own song would probably be worth more to most players than a £20k pay rise.
That’s why it really gets my goat when people slag Arsenal fans off.
So what could be classed as a poor fan?
Well how about the Nice fans who spat a Loic Remy after a bad run of form recently? Or how about the Torino fans who attacked their players in Turin in January? Or the Athletico fans who managed to get their club a European ban for racist chants? The Juve fans who attacked the Milan bus? The Barca fans who attacked Jose (Ok, we’ve all dreamed of that)?
I mean even if you wanted to ignore the extremes, when was the last time you saw English fans waving a white hanky in protest at a player or performance they didn’t like? That’s what the Italians and the Spanish do. How many players stay long enough at these so called mega clubs to get their own chants? How many fans would finance get well soon banners for their young injured superstar? How many clubs have 4287 blogs dedicated to their cause?
How many fans adore their players from all clubs as much as the English (and followers of their respective clubs)! Well… as far as I can see… no one. We’ve got the best fans in the world bar none and I don’t think too many players, managers or outsiders would disagree.
So why if the fans of the mega clubs are so bad do all the players flock to play for them?
Are we shooting ourselves in the foot with our loving approach to football? Do nice fans finish last? Should we take a leaf out of Madrid’s book and boo Cesc like they booed Ronaldo after he innocently said he wouldn’t rule out playing for Barcelona? What do you think their fans would do if Higauin got caught wearing a Manchester United shirt?
They’d probably lynch him.
Now, I’m not suggesting we change the way we are for a second. I’d hate to go to the ground and pull out a white snotty handkerchief on Arsene Wenger for 5 seasons without a trophy.
All I’m saying is I find it incredibly annoying listening to certain sections of our fanbase slagging off the support the players get. They have it easy compared to most other clubs in the world and they should be honoured to play in front of us which many of them confess to after they head to pastures new or retire.
Cesc, you’ll never find love from the Barca fans like you’ve had from us. Sure they’ve got a big fake pair of boobs, collagen injected lips and faux Louis Vuitton bag… but face it son, it’s all been bought on credit and it’s all going to look like a big saggy, ugly mistake in a few years time.
See you in the comments, I’m off to the butchers to find a suitable pigs head to throw at Cesc in the Emirates Cup*!
Geoff is back tomorrow, I’ve heard he’s developed an American accent to fit in over there… don’t mention it when he comes on later!
P.S. View here to see the sort of classy act Barca players are. Stick a Spanish footballer under the microscope as intensely as you do an English player and you’ll find out they’re all the same…