The postponing of the the English Premier League prompted me to look for Arsenal fans’ views and opinions on social media. A brief look through my Instagram followers helped me to find an interview with Prathamesh Kahar; who runs a social media channel on Instagram. His channel is called: ‘We Are The Arsenal,’ and having followed his live account and channel, agreed to an interview for Gunnerstown.com. The passionate Arsenal fan regularly chats online through a live channel on Instagram @we.are.the.arsenal.com.
The ardent Gooner shared comments in this interview on the ‘realism’ for Gunners and football fans in India, and the development of a national football league and squad. Support for The Gunners in India is growing, and social media, global and digital TV channels such as ESPN, means we now have instant access to current and past football matches. Prathamesh Kahar is currently a student from India’s economic capital Mumbai.
Prathamesh said: “If we were to still be competing in the Premier League then we would realistically finish 5th or 6th because we were only five points behind being placed in 5th, plus, Manchester United had one game in hand. Keeping consistency with the recent results we are unbeaten in the Premier League, but 5th would be realistic. Currently my favourite player for the team is Aubameyang, because he consistently scores goals and never misses the target. When he scores goals it makes him likeable through his emphatic celebrations with the crowd. I think Aubameyang brings a lot of positivity to Arsenal Football Club.”
“Honestly, there is far less chance of young footballers becoming professional footballers, because there are only a handful of active professional academies. There is a real passion for cricket in India, even cricket stadiums are converted to football stadiums all for the game the development of The ISL or Indian Super League. I can guarantee that in a few years we can become a football following-nation.”
“I discovered football through playing FIFA 2015, and the game helped me discover, and choose Arsenal. In 2016, the first game I watched was a Manchester Utd versus Arsenal fixture, we narrowly lost the game 3-2. It was that moment I then followed my loyal and passionate support for Arsenal football club. I now read watch and run this channel on Instagram daily.
In terms of the Premiership, there is massive support for Arsenal in India now, the so called “top four” or the Champions League qualifying squads are very popular. Support for our club is booming in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Prathamesh added: “My favourite player of all time is Thierry Henry, because of what he did for the club. He always gave our fans lots of happy moments, even though I never had the chance to see him play a live match. I started supporting the Gunners in 2016, but watching highlights of Henry’s great goals, makes him my favourite player. Henry’s goal against Real Madrid on our road to the Champions League Final, in 2006; gives me goosebumps because it was such class, and against such a good side like Madrid. It is sad Thierry Henry never won The Champions League with Arsenal.”
The situation is changing because new “professional” clubs are now playing in India. Following the start of The Indian Soccer League it is launching a football supporting revolution and is growing rapidly. The Indian National Team reached The AFC Asian cup For the first time in seven years. A record attendance for The Fifa Asian World Cup Qualifiers last year.