Arsenal will not win any silverware this season.
It will be the sixth season in a row that this has happened.
Our team has frustrated and delighted in equal measure but when you cut to the chase, have not done enough.
Too many mistakes have been made, too many good positions wasted.
Despite statements from the man in charge, too little mental strength has been seen.
The response from a typical Arsenal supporters has been one of frustration and disappointment. Very few will have been satisfied with the way things unfolded.
But there is a new type of response that is becoming more and more common amongst Arsenal supporters, particularly those who have a strong online presence.
White rage. Irrational reactions. Profanity-fueled outbursts. Statements of suicidal intentions.
Anger. Anger. More anger. Hate, even.
They take this club’s apparent lack of silverware as a personal insult.
How dare those overpaid posers piss on my money? How dare that grey-haired fool believe in such a bunch of losers?
Well, I would like to ask another question: why are you getting so angry about something you’re supposed to enjoy?
A reply comes back: ‘shut the f*ck up you c*nt’.
* * *
Brian Phillips from The Run of Play is my favourite online football writer.
In his recent masterpiece, entitled ‘Your Stupid Rage‘ he wrote:
“You condemn yourself to a life of always being at least a little angry about a thing you supposedly love, a life of storing up slights and spinning them into bitter little stories, a life of basically hostile, suspicious, and un-fun commitment to a thing that only exists to give you joy. The sole and entire point of sports is to enjoy sports; even if you think athletic competition has a deeper purpose, that it helps with moral instruction or enforcing community ties or whatever else, it’s only able to serve that purpose because it’s fun in the first place.”
“The secret is to care, I mean really care, about something other than your club. That thing can be the game itself, or the truth, or just being a reasonable person. You can care about something other than your club and still be totallysupercommitted to your club. It doesn’t mean not supporting your team through thick and thin; it just means being able to tell the difference between thick and thin, and not thinking that your favorite forum, or your group of like-minded supporters, is so important that it throws reality on the wrong end of a greater-than sign. It means doing this for fun, and not for revenge or for a sense of deep-down defining identity, even if you’re a crazy tattooed ultra. You can be a crazy tattooed ultra and still be fine, for that matter. You just can’t be an idiot.”
So think about that next time you want to abuse the manager or one of the players.
Or the board.
Or the referee.
Or the guy next to you at the pub who has a different opinion than you.
* * *
Earlier in the season my brother was watching the home fixture of the North London Derby at a pub in Australia.
When the final goal went in an opposition fan threw a pint glass into the Arsenal supporters.
As fate would have it, it hit him in the head.
Now the two supporters groups, who had always gotten along fine, have to sit in separate areas.
Does that sound like fun to you?
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