WTTGT Writer: Stephen Byrne
The ‘six years without a trophy’ has become more repetitive than a Wham Christmas album. It must be hard, going so long; so long without silverwear, jubilation and that over-exuberant joy. As a fan of a lower league club, a club that has never even been in the top-flight, yet alone challenged for it, I really do empathise with those hardy gooners who crave that reward so energetically… it must be really hard [said in a sarcastic tone]…
I find it hard to understand sometimes. Are these people who ‘support’ Arsenal and that are angry at the lack of trophies in north London real ‘football supporters’?
I’m not writing this to be judgemental about what makes a fan, a fan, or which boxes you need to tick to be called a ‘true supporter’, but I am genuinely confused by those of you that are sitting on a perch, red faced, bulging veins and more tension tucked inside you than a fat lass’ girdle.
I have read over the summer articles and comments stating ‘Wenger must go’, statements disapproving of the goings on within Arsenal Football Club. I literally shudder at such obscure suggestions, questioning folks’ logic.
The ‘six years’ that you read about every day in reference to Arsenal’s transfer targets, match reports or blogs, is merely a fabrication of the media and if you find yourself wound up and sucked into ‘the six year wait without a trophy’ obsession, you really need to take a deep breath and think a little bit.
The problem Arsenal have is that Manchester City and Chelsea have crazy money and they’re willing to spend it stupidly. Would you want that at Arsenal? It’s open to debate whether you’d rather finish fourth doing it with loyal players, true community fans and honest hard work, or you’d prefer to effectively buy a fabricated championship with a team of prima donnas and money-hungry superstars. Again, referring back to my ‘little club’, I would rather stay little and honest than corporate and rich – but that’s just me.
Newcastle fans have not won a major trophy since 1969, just as an example. Could you imagine going 43 years without lifting your ever so elusive trophy? Albeit it’s probably fair to say that Arsenal are a bigger club than Newcastle, and it’s maybe justified to have that higher level of expectation, but I don’t think Arsenal are 43 years better than Newcastle. Geordies have a good right to feel miffed at their lack of real achievement.
Six years might feel like an eternity, but really it’s not that long and given that Arsenal play arguably the prettiest football in the country, I wouldn’t grumble at all paying to watch and support that most weeks. Of course you want success to go alongside that elegant brand of football, but really, it’s not a hardship watching Arsenal play is it?
Top flight football is fast becoming a global corporate game, and not so much a football game, so if you don’t spend stupid, akin to Chelsea/City, then you’re inevitably going to fall down the league table. That’s not a criticism of Arsène Wenger, or Arsenal’s board, but the ‘six years’ is more to do with other clubs’ growth opposed to Arsène Wenger’s transfer policy.
Arsenal are a great club, with great fans; but any fan out there who feels angry or discontent at the current glut – if you can even call it that – well they really need to look at the bigger picture. It could be a lot lot harder supporting your club.