There’s a strange thing with Arsenal fans historically: they like to have a fight with each other.
The biggest punch up in recent years was the Wenger debate. The IAWT (In Arsene We Trust) v WOB (Wenger Out Brigade) rumbled on for around five years before Arsene vacated the top job. Fans were going at each other in the stadium. Planes flew with banners. ‘Wenger Out’ became a Meme around the world. I still don’t think this has been put to bed as many fans want revenge over their hero being dumped.
The Ozil debate hung around like a bad smell for a long time. Some Arsenal fans thought he was the second coming. Other thought he was a poor man’s Paul Merson. Never the twain shall meet. The confrontation wasn’t as violent as the Wenger version, but it manifested itself online on the Arsenal blogs and social media.
Which is where the latest battle is being fought. The Arsenal Blogs appear to be losing out to other forms of social media, in particular the Fan TV model. Most Arsenal fans have probably viewed Arsenal Fan TV. The channel has generated vast numbers of views and has built up a nice little business for the owner and regular contributors.
Arsenal Fan TV generates most interest on the back of poor Arsenal performances. Coupled with outspoken views from the regulars it’s a combustible mix, which has polarised the Arsenal fan base. Some love the highly emotive style and unusual characters. Others can’t stand them and feel the channel is making a mockery of the Arsenal support.
This is starting to get ugly. A few years ago Arsenal’s ‘Firm’ decided to disrupt filming after a home game. Lately the away supporters have been trying to intimidate Arsenal Fan TV to stop filming at Arsenal away games. ‘Arsenal Fan TV get out of our Club’ has become a regular chant. One of the contributors has accused these fans of racism towards Arsenal Fan TV. Other Arsenal fans accuse the channel of using hate speech towards players and the manager.
It seems that social media, and particularly the Fan TV model, has poured petrol on the flames of Arsenal fans’ opinions. Where it used to be a select few journalists that could broadcast their opinions, now somebody willing to make a crazed minute long video can generate millions of views. There is also an element of jealousy at the success of the Fan TV format. Some Arsenal fans probably think they deserve the notoriety and money that has flowed that way.
There is trouble brewing. I expect there will be a punch up over the next few months played out live on YouTube. Then the Arsenal fans will move on to the next thing that is annoying them…
For the record, my views:
– Wenger Out – He should have left after the 2017 Cup Final victory.
– Ozil – A poor man’s Paul Merson.
– Arsenal Fan TV – Not my cup of tea, but don’t watch if it offends you.
And if you don’t agree with my views, I’ll meet you before the next match for a game of Shove Ha’Penny to settle it!
Pete the Thirst