Written by CarlitoII
It’s time to fly the flag, to stand up and be counted, to be unequivocally and shamelessly chauvinistic about all things Arsenal. Today, we fight for our pride!
I may be preaching to the choir on this one but a re-affirmation of all that the letters AFC stands for is long overdue.
We are the most successful club in London and the third most successful team in English football history. Herbert Chapman was our first visionary manager, introducing numbers on the back of players shirts for the first time, developing under-turf heating on his watch and creating new playing systems (the famous W-W) that are still relevant today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/oct/26/the-question-barcelona-reinventing-w-w
The way we won the league in ’89 has never been matched for excitement by any other league-winning club and the Graham years featured a back four that was so famous it inspired references in films!
And then we have the league and cup doubles in’71, ’98 and 2002, the league and FA cup double in ’93- the first time this was done, and we were the first team since Preston in 1888 to go an entire league season without losing.
Not only do we have an immense history of success, we also have a history of ‘firsts’ in innovation and changing the game that has inspired the whole of world football.
No team anywhere in the world has such an elegant kit. The red shirts and white sleeves have been copied but never bettered!
I don’t believe any club in world football has been entirely honourable in their financial dealings. That said, with the exception of the Graham Bung story, our club is world-renowned for its transparency in financial dealings and its unwillingness to get involved in the murkier transfer dealings. I believe that the owners of the club have always been keen to set the standard and operate as gentlemen. Long may it continue!
Aside from Barcelona and the current Spanish national team- which current team can compare to the mighty Arsenal for attacking fluency? The oohs and aahs than emanate from the stadium and pubs across the country are testament to the “fantasy” of our players and the vision of our manager.
Amazing Youth system
We produce more first team top level footballers from our youth team than any other in the country. West Ham and Manchester United may feel they have a claim but neither have a next generation as promising as ours.
The Mothership! The beautiful, curvaceous, state of the art arena which we now call our home. It needed to be to follow on from the uniqueness of Highbury.
We all have our favourites and I’m not old enough to talk of the players from the 70s and early 80s. But there are so many! All teams have their heroes but does any team treat their heroes with such devotion? Two that strike a particular chord are Rocky whose song still echoes around the ground on most matchdays and Eduardo’s reception on scoring a late goal in our recent Champions League encounter with Shaktar. You wouldn’t want to play for any other club would you? If you hear our ex-players talking about Arsenal you would be forced to agree.
There’s just something about the way we treat our villains- from Totnum to Cashley. There is so much humour and banter and very little true bile. Yes we hate them, but we’re secure enough in our own identity not to take it to extremes. When you compare with the way the spuds treated Sol or West Ham and Millwall go for each other- it makes me proud to be a supporter of the greatest club the world has ever seen!