WTTGT Writer: Travis Barsueday
It is understandable why Barcelona fans shuffle into Camp Nou with heavy feet and even heavier hearts because Barca often play a brand of football best described as an eyesore and they still don’t get results every time and Madrid find it hard to cheer on despite thumping a lower side team.
Arsenal FC under the leadership of Arsene Wenger has had an upward climb from being a mid table team to a house hold name branded by a flourishing style of play and a habit of winning and contending for major trophies.
The team, from all this time has strived to be the best; attracting among the hardcore support, “theater-goers” and casual fans who file through the turnstiles of a league game and an increasingly vocal section of entertainment seekers who seem to expect – nay, demand – free-flowing football and a guaranteed win every time the team takes to the pitch.
And fair enough, I suppose, although it hardly seems logical that some fans feel so entitled to three points. If ever you pronounce to be the best, people will judge you harshly when you fall short of those standards. This is the crisis that the Gunners and their boss find themselves in.
The fans have endured six trophy less seasons, an exodus of star players, presence of lacklustre playing personnel in Alumnia, Diaby, Squilaci, Arshavin, Djourou to mention but a few, insults and mockery from their closest rival fans and shameful results from must-win games, but despite all this, the support has never waned. The Emirates fills to capacity and the fans travel along in fanciful ways to all games away from home.
The team seems to have lost its character and has become unstable. We used to be an offensive side with quick and sleek passing, counter attacks and very unpredictable. But judging from the way Newcastle turned our first half 4-0 lead to a draw, Fulham dominating the play from a goal down to a 2-1 win and Swansea beating us at our own game, it all seemed clear we are taking a nose-dive!
Our trust in the manager has never waned, after all he “knows best” and has on many occasions demonstrated so. But his team selection and substitution has so often come under question this season and fans have labeled it “blinding”. This has smacked the manager in the face!
But does heckling the team help inspire them or does it further demoralize an already fragile playing squad?
I’ve never quite understood why fans boo their own team, even though I’m fully aware of how emotionally invested most supporters are. Despite a brief release of frustration, what does booing a team from the pitch accomplish, although in our instant gratification society it seems to happen more and more frequently?
Is it the case that a growing number of fans now expect instant results and entertaining football, all in one? Or is it a natural reaction to poor performances from footballers paid handsomely to play the game?
Arsenal has set pretty high standards, the challenge now is to consolidate them and work hard to fulfill these ambitions, short of this and we predict a riot!
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