Sunday 7 December 2008

Toys out of prams

There's been a lot of reaction to yesterday's events and rightly so, however this is no isolated incident, I have read and written a lot about this topic already this season, it appears that there is a lot more whinging and moaning going on within our own supporters than we've seen before, and it seems rather out of perspective with facts, so what is going on?

Well firstly we're fourth in the league, eight points off the leaders, we've lost some games unexpectedly but then again we've beaten Manu and Chelsea already too, we're still going strong in the Champions league and had a decent run with the youth in the joke cup. On top of this the club is in a very strong financial position in times when many clubs are on the rocks. In perspective things could certainly be going a lot worse, certainly it only takes a short memory to remember the days when we were struggling near the bottom of the table with the likes of Helder and Kiwomya in the side, if one goes back a bit further than this then one can easily get to some very very barren times when today's position would be taken without so much as a nanosecond's thought.

I'm sure if some of our rather demanding fans were Manu fans, then they would have been booing and abusing their own players while the score remained at nil nil at home to a poor Sunderland side, however their real fans kept supporting the cause and were grateful for the three points at the end of the game. In fact some have even called yesterday's 1-0 performance against Wigan as 'shit' and claimed that playing with Song was like playing with ten men, I struggle to find words to describe this kind of lunacy, maybe some people's inadequacies make them want to take it out on other people? Who knows. This is a Wigan side that was extremely unlucky not to take one, and maybe three points from Anfield recently. Some of the attempted justification of this kind of childlike behaviour does not cut the mustard.

In some people's eyes when we play well and lose, it's all about the result, but when we don't hit top form and win, it's all about the performance, it's almost as if they want to moan and whinge, they have an unquenchable thirst for the unrealistic, no team wins every week playing well, just look at Liverpool this season, they've been average at best but have ground out the wins, some people are demanding a Utopia that just doesn't exist.

In earlier games I've seen some utterly mindless criticism of our own players from our own supporters even when they're playing well, I just cannot understand what is going through these people's cranial vaults, it certainly isn't the firing of neurones. It's very popular for this brigade to scapegoat one or two individuals despite the fact that it is a team game and that the scapegoats are sometimes amongst our better players. It's easy to see what you want to see, so if you make up your mind that a certain player is useless then it's easy to fit the facts to your own prejudice, this is lazy and dangerous thinking.

Manuel Almunia, Emmanuel Eboue, William Gallas, Alexandre Song and Denilson seem to be some people's favourite targets. In fact this season the bigger and more established names such as Cesc, RVP, Walcott, Clichy and Toure have all had their fair share of stinkers as well. Ironically Almunia has been outstanding despite what some might say, while Song and Denilson have put in some good solid performances of late. It's easy to label Eboue as a lazy waste of space, but yourself in his shoes, would it not get you down to be abused by your own supporters even when you're playing well? We're in danger of alienating more players than just Eboue if this kind of behaviour from our fans continues, also it's hardly going to attract in future signings if they see that our support is as fickle as they come. I also wonder if we could have picked up a few more points if all our supporters got behind the team a bit more, rather than hurling abuse at a few convenient scapegoats.

One thing we should remember is that we're primarily Arsenal 'supporters'. There's an ugly streak in society these days that is now manifesting itself more than ever in football, in the week that Liverpool supporters booed their side off as they went top of the league with a draw we have seen some Arsenal fans abuse one of their own like never before. This ugly streak is the group of people who see everything as their 'right', they are people who will never enjoy life because they are never able to see what they have got, they always focus their attention on what they have not. Life is not about the end product of living, for we all end up as rotten corpses in the turf, it us about enjoying the majesty of the process, it's about appreciating what you've got. I think some of us have become too spoilt. I just wonder how much of an effect the abuse dished out to Eboue yesterday will have on keeping other players at the club, players like Cesc, it certainly can't be doing much good.


Anonymous said...

hi five! you'll enjoy this too - similar points raised:

i think the best way to deal with these people is to laugh at them. what they say is hilarious so let's not take it seriously. plus it winds them up SO MUCH!

blewlimbs said...

All true arsenal supporters should hold everyone that booed eboue off the field yesterday in total contempt; the booers belong at White Hart Lane.
For those who are not content with the performance this season the answer is simple...don't turn up and boo in fact dont turn up at all...arsenal doesn't want you there....sell your tickets on the ticket exchange so that the seat will be occupied by someone who actually supports the club.
I would like to apologise to eboue for the treatment he received yesterday...please forgive the boo-ers for they know not what they do...because they are shallow and contemptable and too fucking stupid to worry about.

Obsinho said...

Is it me or is this all a bit over-the-top. Eboue had a stinker, a few people booed. End-of?

Don't quite understand why blogs and the press (MOTD) felt this as such a big issue to cover - do we want to create the aura of a crisis over the club? We played fine, the boss made a sensible substituion and ultimetaly we won, and could have won by 3 or 4.

There are fans at the Emirates who seem to have lost the faith entirely. There is moaning from the first mis-placed pass to the last minute when Wenger doesn't bring on Ricky Kaka who he has signed on the sly as little gift to us fans.

Fans pay the money to turn up and watch. That doesn;t mean you turn up and boo - if a film is shit you don't burn down the screen do you? You don't watch the movie again. So if we lose some of these "fans", then so be it. Would they still be there when Gilles Grimandi pulls us through another relegation dog-fight thanks to a last minute header from Ade Akinbiyi against Stoke? I doubt it, so lets lose them now.

Ted said...

two days after the event, my feelings about Eboue have hardened a little.

I couldn't give a shit if he feels "down" today knowing that he got booed on saturday. The rest of us feel "down" about going to work, whereas he gets to kick a ball around near London Colney for a bit, go for a soak and a massage, and be at home by 2pm, and plan what he is going to do with this week's 20 grand.

Eboue is a decent footballer. And I will not boo him. But his performance against Wigan was shocking. I applauded the decision to take him off.

If players want their massive salaries, then they have to earn them. They also have to understand that the people in the stands who earn less in a year than Eboue does in a month, will be upset with him if he does not seem to be trying hard.

I don't like players getting booed. But I also don't like players blatantly taking the piss.

On so many occassions this season, our technically "superior" players have not impressed against well organised and motivated teams.

I strongly suspect that Eboue is not the world class talent that we once might have thought he is. One season at right back is not enough to lay any great claims. History should not be rewritten - Eboue was always dodgy at the back, but good going forwards.

He needs to get back to basics and work hard. I really hope he is given the chance to do so against Porto.

Obsinho said...

Agree with your points entirely.

I still just don't see the big deal - "Fans boo own-player in playing crap shocker". So what?

If we're seeing it as a sympton of some fatal moral malaise at the heart of both Arsenal and society, as some people are richer than others, then balls to that. Life isn't all roses, so let's just get on with shovelling the shit again.

1979gooner said...


I think the eboue booing is the tip of iceberg

it's about a group of fans who are never satisfied, they thought a 1-0 win against a decent wigan side was 'shit'

it's a group that will abuse eboue at home games even when he plays well

as blewlimbs said I wish this bunch would f*ck off and support tottenham

Obsinho said...

But if that is what we're all up in arms about, then it's quite a futile rage.

We have those fans because we moved to a stadium with double the capacity. SO most people who are now going, have not had years of actually watching a team live. They have lived with televised football, where you can shout at your tv or rant some naive pub punditry. That is their matchday experience of the Arsenal.

So we are stuck with them, and it is also thanks to them and their ticket sales that we have such an awesome stadium. We need to take the rough with the smooth with the fans as much as we do with the club. Sometimes being a fan/club is easy & sometimes they make mistakes. Doesn't mean that anything is wrong with either of them, just that they're both collections of humans who often balls up.

As I said earlier, do we now want to spin a nothing story into a view in the press that the fans are turning on the team after they won 1-0 at home? I am sure we could do without hack bullshit at the moment.

Si said...

What upset me most of all is the fact that fans are looking to vent their spleen so early in the season and at the wrong target.
Im not going to boo any of our players, but if I was, after the lunacy of certain things happening at the Arsenal, I would be booing Gallas. Eboue had a mare of a time, but Gooners were getting on his back because he's an easy target, he's the player the league loves to hate, 'so fuck it, let's boo him and lay the blame of our indifferent season at his feet.' It's utter bollocks, the boo boys are too spineless to boo Wenger, and even fucking Gallas, but Eboue is fair game? Bunch of tossers who should be made to stay behind after the game and litter pick.

K man said...

Fair point. Gallas deserves boos if any player does. Eboue has been shit for a while now and Wenger made the right decision to take him off. No, those spoilt idiots should not have booed him and I do feel sorry for him but lets not get carried away with this. He'll get a decent reception the next time he plays and we'll all get on with our lives.

We all know that we have a large group of shit fans. Most clubs do. It's the norm now. Go to the games, support your team, have a few pints and don't let the idiots annoy you. Life's too short.

Obsinho said...

Well said K-man.

Ted said...

Looks like Eboue will play against Porto and I expect the travelling fans will give him a good reception.