I am an Arsenal fan, now on a serious note, but a football fan first! There are many Arsenal fans out there but I can’t speak for them, I speak only for myself.
Now, after 6 years without anything to show for the “beautiful football” we (Arsenal fans) claim Arsenal plays, the question has always been:
“WHY ARE YOU STILL SUPPORTING ARSENAL?”
Let me sample several answers we (Arsenal fans) have been giving to this question for the last 6years:
1. We have a young team. NEXT SEASON they’ll be better! (Heads up my fellow Arsenal fans.. have you checked Messi’s age lately?!! And oh yeah.. Barcelona is a relatively young team too)
2. In Arsene we trust! (This is one of the more ridiculous reasons I’ve heard!)
3. We have fragile players so the injuries mess us up almost every 2nd half of every season. (Ok, this is a little true but an excuse nonetheless!)
4. Our defense, led by the “absentee” goalkeepers is our big problem. (Also true, ever since David ‘Didn’t See that’ Seaman, Jens ‘Angry man’ Lehman, Manuel ‘Aluminium’ Almunia, Lucasz ‘Flappy-Handsky’ Fabianski, Vito Manone, Wojciech Szczesny – the last 2 have given a good account of themselves but still.. ). This still is an excuse because greats like Barcelona & even Brazil are not exactly known for the defensive prowess now, are they?
5. A friend of mine, one of the best Graphic designers I know, sides with Arsenal (NOTE: HE CARES NOTHING FOR FOOTBALL), because, as he puts it, the Arsenal logo is designed better than most! Found this quite interesting, so let’s compare:
Now, 2nd & 3rd were so perfectly poorly designed you can’t even “pimp” it! What can you do to make that red imp lion with a pitch fork to make it look better? And a red & blue lion.. REALLY? HAHAHA!! Now the 4th is better, much better – a griffin … maybe emphasizing how they’ll “Never walk (or possibly even fly) alone”.
6. There’s also the “Arsenal credentials”.
- Arsenal, the team that won the league unbeaten.
- Boasts of having the only player, in Chamakh, to have ever scored in 6 consecutive Champions League games.
- Arsenal, the only team NEVER to have been relegated from the top flight league in England (although as “Woolwich” Arsenal was relegated in 1913 but after being renamed “Arsenal” it’s the only team NEVER to have been relegated. More info here ).
- A friendly match between Arsenal and Arsenal Reserves at Highbury on 16 September 1937 was the first EVER televised football match.
(Useless facts if you ask me but hey… it’s an Arsenal name attached to them!)
7. I know some people who were Arsenal fans because of Thierry Henry & obviously moved with him to Barcelona but since moving to the New York Red Bulls… let’s just say I doubt they even know the schedule of the MLS!!
8. Others just don’t have a clue!
Now let me speak for myself.
“WHY ARE YOU STILL SUPPORTING ARSENAL?”
Before I answer, I’ll take you to the beginning. I’ve loved football since I can practically remember. Growing up in Eldoret, football was a common pass time activity for me. (Apart from the other seasonal childhood games – tin & wire toy cars- of course). And, NO! Not everyone from Eldoret can run or runs for that matter!!
For us, football was never about winning but the display of skill & finesse in how you play the game. It was more like And1 for basketball – almost purely about how much better you are at doing a trick than the next player.
I was good, really good at football & played with Collins Kisuya (now with Ulinzi & Harambee Stars [local players squad]. Now he was a tough one with a mean left foot!!
We always met to show off who can do the “around the world” trick better. For those clueless here, this is what you see greats like Ronaldinho (& me ha!) do… just Google the videos! My being ambidextrous was my advantage over him because he’s a pure bred lefty!
It was therefore only natural for us to love teams/clubs that actually inspire us to do more. Brazil stood out for us & even more so the Brazilian league. There was this program on TV back then “Latin Football”. Now that was just skill galore! So when it came to the EPL, we really didn’t feel much. Real Madrid & Barcelona made La Liga a more attractive option.
I initially liked Manchester United because of one man… Eric Cantona.
Aggression seems to be a French thing… that happens to the best of them! Must be one of the 365 cheese flavors they have.. Maybe it happens on eating a certain flavor! HAHA! Remember this?
Then there was Gianfranco Zola who was with Chelsea (The club had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship. Next time they won a league title was in 2005… That’s 50yrs!! 6 years doesn’t look too bad does it? Hahaha!) Zola was just special- his skill & discipline was all a football lover like me would ask for!
Then Arsenal as a team, with names like Bergkamp, Overmars even Kanu just gave me a rush. They made football poetic for me. And that’s when it all started for me. I care little to nothing of History so what happened before then, titles or not I think not about.
So “WHY AM I STILL SUPPORTING ARSENAL?”
Well, Arsenal for me is like my favorite author; His works may never be bestsellers but they inspire me to read more and maybe even write myself! Arsenal inspires me. The others don’t!
Arsenal works as a team… that’s what all my coaches have always asked me to strive for – TEAMWORK!
All this is fine but winning silverware is as important right? I TOTALLY AGREE! And quite frankly I’m beyond frustrated that it’s more than likely Arsenal will NOT win the league again this year!!
So why are Arsenal fans not ditching the club? Why isn’t Arsene Wenger being fired? My theory is simple. PRIDE! No Arsenal fan will leave the club while they are down. Arsene Wenger (out of respect I suppose) won’t be sacked while down. Wait till Arsenal wins something… there’ll be a mass exodus! [I doubt this will happen either… Arsenal fans are too proud to do this!!] The idea is quit while at the top. A lot like what one of the greatest boxer did.
At the moment, it’s “Que sera sera.. whatever will be will be” for me!
Come rain or shine (though it’s been raining hard for 6years with nothing to give our trophy chest even a “glimmer” forget shine!!) I’m still an Arsenal fan!