Calling supporters ‘Arsenal Haters’ because they dare to question is simply absurd.
The puritanical denunciation of any view expressed that does not first acknowledge Arsène Wenger’s achievements before daring to question any aspect of his tenure is a form of censure that has long made me feel uncomfortable. As an admirer of Arsène, I find it doubly unsettling when my natural instinct to allow freedom of speech impels me to come to the defence of a blogger who is expressing a view that does not necessarily reflect my own simply because he is being vilified.
Certainly the centre ground only exists because of the extremes on either side, but I naively expect that the good guys (Arsène supporters) who generally inhabit the intellectual high ground should have the self confidence and humility to allow others to express their view without being labelled as bad supporters.
The way some Arsène supporters unerringly defend his every action has the feel of cult brainwashing …. believe, because belief alone is all that is necessary. It’s the footballing equivalent of the ‘Stepford Wives’.
This has led me to ask myself, who is the more passionate supporter? ….the one who really hurts when we lose and lets his emotions overtake his reasoning or the one who one who shrinks back behind the Arsène force field that repels all criticism? The answer is in the question.
All human advancement has been driven by those who challenge accepted beliefs, otherwise we’d still accept that the earth was flat and we’d have no understanding of gravity.
Will the Arsène supporters still support Arsenal when there is no Arsène? Those who dare to question his decisions or implore more passion and work-rate from the players are derided for not swallowing the ‘belief’. It’s as if the desire of these supporters is somewhat dimished by their wish for the team to improve.
While there is an awareness and an acceptance that Arsène has been performing miracles for the past 5 years on a limited budget it would have been ‘good’ to have known how much the financial restraints were going to have an influence on the football. This is a valid point to question.
My argument is very simple. It is possible to question and support. Actually, it’s healthy to question and those who do so are not necessarily being disloyal. The majority of the time, they will be incorrect and responding from anger and possibly ignorance, but they have a right to express their views and those of us who disagree should always take the time to consider their view because once in a while, they may just have a point.