An alternative view to where we are
By Adrian Humphreys
In The Gooner We Trust
If you liked 2012 youíll love 2013
ďThe mark of insanity is doing the same things over and over, but expecting different resultsď.
For many years this quote has been aptly used to describe one of the major failings of Mr Wenger. However, I think that this quote could equally applied to us as fans. Itís a pretty dismal time to be an Arsenal fan and the 24hr media coverage is not helping. Many of us are not enjoying it yet doing the same things. Stop me if this sounds familiar:
Pre Game - Iíll scroll online articles telling me how this game is make or break for Arsenal - If we lose thatís it point proven Ďarsene outíetc.. If we win project Wenger back on track and start making room in the trophy cabinet. My emotions gradually build but prematurely reach boiling point watching the post match press conference on sky as the media find new ways to express the demise of our club and the manager smiles and comes out with phrases that include quality, mental strength and we MUST show people how good we are.
Game - Whether in pub or at stadium I watch a team that has attacking flair on occasions but that demonstrates tactical naivety that would make an under 11s team blush. Iím also surrounded by fans obsessed with buying players. You could buy great defenders but you still have to organise and coach them. My thoughts wretch from Ďif we lose itís got to changeí to Ďto come on arsenal!!í.
Post Game - We win we lose. Wenger gives mores quotes about Mental Strength, Proving Ourselves and quality. Iím torn between happy seeing green shoots of decent individual performances and depressed about the team as a whole. At this point I throw myself into reading twitter and blogs ignoring the ones that agree with my personal thoughts, while the others annoy me for days.
This is a gradual cycle of tension and anger Iíve put my self through for far to long. Given the number of comments about people stated their losing interest in the Arsenal on the blogs I donít think Iím the only one.
Personally I canít stop supporting Arsenal.
ďGod give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.Ē
As fans, although we hate to admit it, thereís very little we can do about the manager, board and the way the team is being run. Some may disagree and state that aggressive and negative action by the fans will work but firstly I would say thereís very little proof of this and secondly Iíd rather spend my Arsenal time in a positive state of mind.
Therefore I would propose the following in the spirit of "Victoria Concordia CrescitĒ.
This should be a positive movement to take our Arsenal back and make the whole match day experience better for fans. I propose the following 4 key steps.
1) Stop booing the players and team
I believe in freedom of speech but we are supporters at the end of the day. Iíve never booed an arsenal player and I ainít starting now! Oleg Ďthe Horseí Luzhny brought me close a few times, but his performance in the cup final against Southampton was epic and showed he truly wanted to do well for the club. I believe the vast majority of players who put on the shirt do want to do well and whatever happens we should support them. If their going to fail their going do it inspite of us not because of us.
2) Do not buy the 2013/14 new kit
The only way the board are going to take any notice of us is if it starts hitting them in the pocket. A number of fans have talked about boycotting games. Unfortunately , I believe this again would have a negative effect of the team. However, the kits are becoming more and more disposable. Therefore letís all boycott the kit for a year and wear some old favourites. Iím dusting off the 92/93 home shirt. This could also become a way of identifying proper fans from the day out tourists.
3) Stop buying programmes
For the same reason as point two. However I would throw the gauntlet down here to the Gooner to beef up their upcoming game information in their publication. This would allow fans to stop buying the programmes and substitute the Gooner in this void.
4) AST and AISA stop talking about the manager and start talking about fans experience
When things were good there was a great concern about how quiet the stadium was and much was discussed about designated singing areas etc. Now things are bad this is all on the back burner, but would there be a better time to push for this. In these dark days Iím pretty sure the board would bite your hand off for a guaranteed area of the stadium where fans would be vocal cheering on the team. Hopefully this would spread across the stadium and improve things for everyone. Win or lose one thing that made me love football was the day out and singing with like minded fans.
A lot of people are forgetting what being an Arsenal fan is really about, no one likes us they never have but letís stand together with the players Victoria Concordia Crescit.
17th February 2013
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
sam 15:10pm 17th Feb 2013
hear hear - Post No. 34581
Goonergal 15:33pm 17th Feb 2013
Common sense in a sea of ranting raving and generalised depression Thank you! - Post No. 34584
JM - LONDON 16:04pm 17th Feb 2013
And while we're at it, can we all get together and buy the now defunct olympic stadium in Stratford, form a new club called say 'Royal Arsenal' and start again?. We'd be back in the EPL within a decade, with 60.000 a week we just couldnt be ignored by the money men. Meanwhile over at Ashburton Grove, Kroenke's billion pound stadium would fall into disrepair and in due course become a property development. Crazy I know, but a nice thought all the same. Oh, and I cant stop supporting Arsenal either. - Post No. 34586
@babakrdaemi 16:05pm 17th Feb 2013
Great stuff. I agree with you completely. My concerns with the team are tactical and motivational rather than the quality of the team. It will take our wallets to change things at Arsenal. Although, the only way to really show the club is to not attend a game. 1 game with 20,000 in would create real concern inside the club. Victoria Concordia Crescit - Post No. 34587
James 16:08pm 17th Feb 2013
Sorry i gave up going to the E******* in 2009 and i wont return until Wenger Kroenke and Gazidis have gone.I was there in the dismal days of the mid 70's and early 80's but we werent getting ripped off by a £7.5m a year manager a CEO on £2.5m and an owner who hasnt put a penny into the club with the highest ticket prices in the world.Stuff your 4th place every season.I will always support Arsenal but not Arsene FC - Post No. 34588
Bard 16:28pm 17th Feb 2013
In principle I agree with you Adrian, however the current situation demands a different approach. The board at Arsenal parted company with the fans a long time ago. If we continue to support the present regime they will be more than happy. If we keep quiet where is the incentive to change? A full stadium, supportive but docile fans wont make them change. You are right they have to take a hit financially to wake up. Brand Arsenal needs a a good kicking, I am not sure you're idea of boycotting the new kit or programmes will do it. We need to create a greater momentum that cannot be avoided. - Post No. 34593
Gillingham Gooner 16:48pm 17th Feb 2013
Best article I've read in a while and couldn't agree more - Post No. 34597
moyeen 16:58pm 17th Feb 2013
i said four years a go this team will win nothing.so far spot on.we had cesc,persie,nasri,song.people loughed at me now who is crying.this defence is a complete shamble they concede so easily time after time.if he says my team is good enough again i would sack him on the spot. - Post No. 34600
BNG 17:07pm 17th Feb 2013
I'm sure OGL's blind faith followers walk about banging their heads with a programme like the monks in Monty Python whilst chanting " be careful what you wish for" - Post No. 34603
CanadaGooner 18:00pm 17th Feb 2013
@James; I hope you're only 5 years old mate. you'll be waiting a long, long time before wenger, gazidis and kroenke leave. 7 years ago we were all begging wenger to stay, as real madrid and others circled; now that none of those clubs would want him, he's not going to leave arsenal even if we got relegated! he (and gazidis) will continue to tell us that one day soon oil wells in arabia will dry up and arsenal's financial model will make us the best funded club in the premiership and we'll start winning it all! ha ha ha - Post No. 34610
Rocky RIP 18:12pm 17th Feb 2013
'Win or lose one thing that made me love football was the day out and singing with like minded fans' - so very true. After our first games ever, who remembers it being primarily about the result or the players? Not for me, I fell in love with the atmosphere, the smells(!) and the solidarity of the fans. I went back for that, not Alan Sunderland's perm. I agree we need to address the whole 'match day experience'. At the moment, if the results let you down, there's little left to enjoy. Going to football should be enjoyable. A buzz. A laugh. It's too Cromwellian at the bowl without a soul. Extending the designated singing area (block 5/6)is the best place to start. Put like-minded fans who want to sing and don't object to others up for a bit of jumping around all together. It can't be that difficult. - Post No. 34611
Darren 18:25pm 17th Feb 2013
Nu Arsenal have been allowed to ride roughshod over us. They change the club crest at will and inflict away kits with no historical connection to the club. Whilst we have to listen to the same lame excuses every week that we were nervous, lacked sharpness, played with handbreak on and have lost three cup finals in a row. The current setup is a cash making cow, which has contempt for us. The club died when they created the white elephant at Ashburton Grove. We've no divine right to win anything but for God's sake we don't look like we want to win anything anymore!!! I was at Highbury when Arsenal fans were fighting amongst themselves whether to sack Terry Neil in 82/83. This will happen again unless a sizeable chunk of the fans can organise something to show we are fed up being taken for a ride. Is it acceptable to spend fifty quid to watch Arsenal lose to a championship team? The stoic nobility of supporting your team through thick and thin is commendable when tickets are reasonably priced. Frustrated and out of pocket Gooner!!!! - Post No. 34615
Ando 18:29pm 17th Feb 2013
stop buying the kit and the programme? stop booing the team/manager? In case you didnt notice the stadium these days is full of plastic fans from all parts of the world on a day out.They will buy the kit and programme full stop. The booing is most likely from the hardcore veterans of Highbury old, those that remember what their eyes told them every week about a team willing to punch kick and bite when things did not go there way.I say it again 7 mil plus for a manager that would have been sacked a long time ago anywhere else, not good value by any strecth of the imagination, a squad in need of seroius cleansing and improvement.Not to mention the pricing (or should i say expolioitation) by the club. - Post No. 34616
maguiresbridge gooner 18:53pm 17th Feb 2013
We're Certainly not enjoying being arsenal fans at this moment and time Adrian and haven't being for quite a while.And we're definitely fed up listening to the same old spin and crap that comes out of ogl's mouth week after week month after month he must really think us fans are gullible.There's no need to listen to any of his pre or post match interviews as we know what he's going to say, he's like a broken record and he's got good at breaking them of late.Mental strength ? they couldn't spell it,they could spell complacency better.I agree players need to be coached properly no matter who they are and that's something their not getting or not allowed to get.I disagree with there's little we can do there's plenty we can do, and it's being well covered from not renewing to boycotts of this and that but the biggest weapon at our disposal and it has being covered in the editors article, is our voice inside the stadium,there's nothing the hierarchy and that includes ogl hate more than fans discontent, really bad for business,sponsors,etc,it's embarrassing and egos don't like that,and it brings the hemorrhoids out and they can't sit comfortably, especially when the sky cameras pick it up and turn the sound up,and you can bet they will and if it's loud enough and lasts long enough it will bring change. - Post No. 34621
Inspector Clouseau strikes again 19:06pm 17th Feb 2013
Totally agree - stop spending your money on Arsenal - they will not invest it in players - you are all spending more while we get worse as a team !!! - Post No. 34623
JAMIE 19:14pm 17th Feb 2013
It's quite a good thing in my opinion to go through these tough periods as you find out who the true fans are and who the glory hunting, fan boy, cry babies, I want my mummy folk are.Hopefully the whingers won't renew their season tickets and the tourists will become bored,leaving us real Gunners fans to get behind the team and make the Emerites our fortress,and a pleasant place to be once again. - Post No. 34624
Old Timer 19:21pm 17th Feb 2013
A comment on your first point about not booing the team. I was sitting in the North Bank upper tier yesterday. From time to time someone tried to get a chant going and I joined in. I noticed the two young guys sitting either side of me, like most people in the vicinity, didn't. Also nobody booed. Until Blackburn scored and then the guys either side of me went mental. It was like somebody had thrown a switch. From being totally passive from that moment they continued swearing and shouting and booed loudly at the end of the match. I was shocked at how fragile emotions are at the Emirates these days. Many fans seem to be at the end of their tether and completely frustrated by the club. And I can understand that but it means that they don't get behind the team when they need it most. That said I heard no booing until the final whistle. - Post No. 34625
ARSENAL FC 1886 19:39pm 17th Feb 2013
STAND UP FOR WENGER OUT STAND UP FOR WENGER OUT STAND UP FOR WENGER OUT - Post No. 34626
northbank123 20:14pm 17th Feb 2013
The team are only booed at the final whistle. Even Wenger (with his arrogant and myopic views on fans made clear in the Villa Park press conference) accepted that they were inevitable yesterday. It's not like we're playing in a cauldron of hate or a half-empty shack of hate as Ewood Park was last year by comparison. Given that this has been going on for years and years you can't even pretend that the matchday atmosphere has anything to do with why we are where we are. It's a nice idea to boycott merchandise but we sold in excess of 60,000 tickets yesterday even though they cost twice as much as they should and current fortunes considered. People will continue to buy merchandise. The only real way fans are going to instigate any change is to make their displeasure with the current manager heard loud and clear. It clearly pisses him off and may lead to him leaving in the foreseeable future (although I doubt he will go in any event before his contract runs out). As for Kroenke etc there's nothing that will force him to compel apart from a bumper off from Usmanov. - Post No. 34629
Rocky RIP 21:12pm 17th Feb 2013
@old timer - the modern breed of fan can be infuriating. As you say, they sit on their hands in total silence and only pop up to moan. Imagine an entire stadium of these types. Total silence virtually all game, but they deign to get vocal when it's to be negative. I watched the Tottenham v Arsenal semi from 1987 on youtube just now (the first one, not the replay.) The noise of 'we're on the march ..' when Tottenham take a corner is worth watching. Proper support. - Post No. 34631
N4 21:35pm 17th Feb 2013
I think the board should come clean with the fans and tell the fans exactly what they are doing and what they expect!! The board has been lying (including wenger) to fans for a very very long time now with all sort of Bulls***! Just come out and say that they want money from everyone and everywhere and that's all they care! At least the fans will know where they stand!!! - Post No. 34634
GaryFootscrayAustralia 22:16pm 17th Feb 2013
@RockyRIP, yes, I know what you mean. After the Wimbledon home 2-2 draw in '89, there were plenty justifiably down in the dumps walking away from the Clock End that night, but still a good few of us saying "**** it, they can still do them at Anfield". As for the '87 semi against The Spurtz, I admit to a bit of teeth gnashing at 0-2 in the second leg, but then again I was only 12 at the time so that probably explains it. I can't vouch for grown - ups behaving in the same manner. - Post No. 34638
Joe S. 22:27pm 17th Feb 2013
Adrian, getting behind the players is a fair enough call however what ihappens if you can't stand the majority of them because some of us tnink they lack character, are a spineless bunch of second rate mercenaries and should never have been brought to the club in the first place. These players are one man's legacy and a result of poor decision making.They are not local lads where you take the good and the bad.You'd have to be an idiot to want any other player's name beside Wiltshire on your shirt at this stage. We fan's have been getting a dirty rotton deal, given by underhanded con artists who only have their self interests at heart. Forget the Wegner loves this club nonsense. There is nothing wrong in booing what has become an abominale state of affairs, however staying away and avoiding club merchandise like the plague would be even better as this is where the real pain lies. - Post No. 34639
Amar 21:18pm 18th Feb 2013
1. You're wrong, fans can do a lot. 2. Boycott shirts? Pfttt.. 3. Boycott games, 3 home games in a row should be enough, SERIOUSLY 4. The impact of boycotting games would be BIG 5. Booing won't help the team? ALL THOSE WHO BOOED, STOP GOING THEN!! 6. Season is practically OVER now, fans might as well test this 'Boycott' method, what do we have to lose now anyways???? 7. WE MUST TEACH THE BOARD AND THE MANAGEMENT SOMETHING!! 8. As good as your article and many more out there, YOUR VOICES DONT COUNT!! START TO TAKE ACTION AND HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS THE MO$$$$$$T!! - Post No. 34777
15th May 2013
Online Ed: Job done in final home game of the season