Written by Gooner in Exile
Some of you will know the above line as a lyric from a song. If any lyric could reflect my existence on this planet that is it. It has two meanings for me, one is in the middle of a music crowd, the most important is in the middle of the red and white army.
Maybe I am suffering from a dose of ‘rosetintedglassitis’ here, if so, I hope I am not alone.
I remember a time when there wasn’t twenty-four hour rolling news, let alone twenty-four hour rolling sports news, a dedicated sports radio station and print media as obsessed with back page stories as they are front page news, when I arrived at Highbury and picked up my programme it was the first bit of inside information I had seen all week, the team sheet would be the first clue of injuries. As I took my place on the terraces I didn’t know what was in store, I certainly hoped for a good result, but expect it, demand it? How could I? I was just a fan there for ninety minutes of respite from my life ninety minutes when nothing else mattered.
Why is any of this important? Simply put I have never felt an atmosphere around the club like I felt at the end of the last season.
Some will say it is justified to be so vocal in dissatisfaction, and that if we the fans do not air our views the Board, Manager and Players won’t know exactly how we feel. Unfortunately it is this airing of these views that led to scuffles between our own support, something I have never witnessed before between our fans.
My default position is to defend the club, this is usually from attack from outsiders. More often these days it I am defending the club from mutineers within. It probably gets me classified as a certain type of fan, or I am viewed to have no ambition, that I believe the “second is success” line. None of that is true, I just don’t care about trophies as much as I care about the experience of supporting my club. Win, lose or draw I have a great time, obviously its better when we win, but its football you can’t always win there has to be a loser, you pay your money and you get what you’re given. Its never been any different, sometimes it gives you Steve Morrow, sometimes it gives you Gus Caesar.
I fear that some of us may have forgotten why we support this club. Do we follow the club because we demand wins or because we want to win?
This coming season that lyric seems more relevant than ever, not just to me, but for the entirety of our support, it is time for us fans to heal our hurts to reunite as one in support for our club. Forget the manager, forget the players, forget the board, remember why we are all here, to support our club, whether hereditary or because of what it stands for you and I chose this club, we chose The Arsenal, we give it our support unconditionally, don’t we?
Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Comes From Harmony