Tag Archives: Arsenal

Why are Arsenal fans boycotting a final?

I have always found the concept of boycotting Arsenal odd. And I have found the need to tell everyone that one is boycotting even order. Borderline attention seeking.

You see, Arsenal is a love. Till death do us part. Through thick and thin. The sign of a real fan is those that stick with the club during the bad times, and then can reap the reward in the good.

Manchester City fans are a perfect example of this. They stuck with their side through multiple relegation’s down to League One. They were still getting 30,000+ gates in the 3rd tier of English football.

When they were going to away game in the late 90s to backwater towns like Gillingham in the then Division 2, getting back to the Premier League was a dream. Winning the Premier League the impossible dream. But 13 years after relegation, their fans were rewarded with AGUUUUUERO.

OK, it might not be a Leicester City story, as Manchester City were pumped with dodgy Thai money before the oilmen came in, but who can begrudge the fans who stuck with the club when they were visiting a dump like Luton for a 1-1 draw?

Their loyalty has been rewarded, and I am sure they are every bit frustrated about  the new (mostly foreign) fans who have attached themselves to the club since their success as Arsenal and other clubs are.

I have heard Arsenal fans in the past talk about boycotting “until Wenger leaves”. They do it in almost a boastful way. As if they are saying I am such a great Arsenal fan, that I am sacrificing going as a form of protest. Almost acting like by choosing not to go, they are a superior fan.

Many of those who have boycotted did not previously go regularly anyway, or have moved away from the London (or now have other responsibilities like children). Their boycott is not real. It is an excuse for no longer going. They would not go regardless of the state of Arsenal.

One chap I know who boycotted broke the boycott when he got free tickets at club level. Odd fella.

Another announced on social media at the beginning of the season that he “would not step foot in the Emirates again whilst Arsene Wenger is in charge”. He has been to more games this season then he has in his life.

I remember a fixture against Norwich a few years ago. A fans group attempted to organise a boycott, alongside a protest at Bear’s roundabout. A few fans who do not go to games turned up for the protest. Fair enough. But they then bought tickets to watch the game, taking advantage of their fellow protesters boycotting. All a little bit confusing.

Lets be honest, unless a boycott happens en masse, it is meaningless. And even if it happened en masse, the club would still have 44,000 fans worth of season ticket money for that game, and the remaining tickets on sale would still be sold on the general market. The club would not really care if a single person announces “I am boycotting.”

This brings me onto an articles I read by Layth Yousif in the Islington Gazette.

I have read the article a few times and I just do not get it.

Here we have someone who is a season ticket holder, who has been following the club for some years, making the decision not to go to the final. And whilst he attempts to justify the decision, I just do not understand it.

Football is about the moments, the memories, the success. The 3 FA Cup wins in recent years have been brilliant. Not just for the trophy won, but the day out. The early meets with your mates. Breakfast at Breakout. Beers at the Swan. Train journey up. The football. The Blue Check. Train journey back. More beers in Islington. Then home to bed.

The football is just a 2 hour part of a much bigger, much longer day. I remember looking round in the Famous Cock after the victory against Hull City. It as about 11pm. We were broken men. The day had taken its toll. Lads were falling asleep. It was time to go home. This is the reason we go to football. To have a cracking day out with mates old and new.

To deny yourself going to a final, whether it be FA Cup, League Cup or Europa League, is denying yourself the chance of a day out with your mates. A boozy day out. Hopefully a win. But if not, surrounded by people to drown your sorrows with.

If you are not at the game, and boycotting it, what are you doing instead? Gong round Westfields with the misses? Sitting in the Angel with your pint of cheap ale? Feeling sorry for yourself, playing Akon’s Lonely over and over in your head?

No thanks, it is not for me.

Regardless what you think of Arsenal at the minute, of Arsene Wenger, of Stan Kroenke, we have a final to play on Sunday. And the thing with finals is you never know when your next one might be.

For fans to think the League Cup is below Arsenal. Well that is just elitist. It is snobbery. It is BS.

Look at the likes of Aston Villa and Everton. These are big clubs. They have not won trophies for decades. Liverpool have not won a trophy since 2012. Tottenham since 2008. Newcastle for what has to be nearly half a century.

Those turning their nose up at the League Cup, it is just wrong. The next final might be a decade away. The next trophy 2 decades away. You never know what will happen in football. No club has a right to win things.

I always think those who declare that they are not going on Sunday have probably spent a decade moaning that Wenger has disrespected the cups. Yet what are they doing by not going?

To boycott, and almost be proud that you are boycotting, could be something you end up regretting.

Personally, I am already buzzing for Sunday.



Hector Bellerin, League Cup Final, Sergio Aguero & Emirates Deal

Hector Bellerin

Are Arsenal fans really that sad that they have spent their last few days perfecting a Cockney-Spanish accent before recording themselves in a car pretending to be Hector Bellerin on the phone?

Has it come to it that some fans are so willing to destroy the club they apparently love, that they have gone into method acting and have self-produced a short film in the hope of winning an Oscar?

I might end up with mud on my face if the recordings to the round of Hector Bellerin in a car on his phone are real, but a bit like the Kieran Gibbs one that did the rounds this time last year, it is probably the work of some sad little weirdo.

The fall out to Bellerin’s comments at the Oxford University Q&A have been hilarious.

Some self-entitled saddos on Twitter have proper lost their mind over it. It has been mental break downs left, right and centre. I have half expected some to threaten to jump onto a motorway before disappearing  for a week.

There has been one idiot recording himself for 2 minutes in his car. Saying how he him are Bellerin are “done”. “Hector, that’s me and you done mate” was pretty much what he said. I am sure Bellerin is unbothered. In fact, he said in the Q&A that fans getting on his back is something that he has learnt to ignore over the years.

A very mature outlook for a 22 year old living in a different country. He is more mature and mentally stable than the 30-somethings who have spent the week abusing him.

It has even gotten to the point where some fans have declared “we need a new right back”. How odd. A player that would walk into the majority of first XI’s throughout Europe is suddenly deemed not good enough? Odd little fans proper throwing their toys out the pram.

Then you have this voice recording doing the round.

It is all getting a bit sad really isn’t it?

The fact is, on Thursday and again on Sunday, Bellerin’s name will be sang loud and proud by the majority of fans. You see, most normal, level headed fans, like myself and others, back the players, back the team, and want them to do well.

League Cup

On that note, I read something wierd recently.

You are not a real WOB if you want Arsenal to win on Sunday.

How odd. People that cry out “it’s Arsenal FD  not Arsene FC” then saying calling themselves something as sad as WOB and wanting Arsenal to be destroyed on Sunday because it suits an anti-Wenger, and ultimately anti-Arsenal agenda.

The rise of social media has been brilliantly. It has opened the world, made it a smaller place.

But it has also given idiots a voice. The type of plonker who would usually be found in a pub corner, on his own drinking his Holston Pills. A wet patch on his groin. Trying to speak to anyone they know about football and UFO’s. Proper sad folk.

Social media has given these idiots a louder voice. They are no longer standing in their pissy-pants talking to themselves.

Imagine wanting Arsenal to NOT win trophies, then saying if you want Arsenal to win trophies, you are not an Arsenal fan.


Sergio Aguero

So Sergio Aguero hit a fan last night.

Let’s be honest, if it was an Arsenal player who had hit a Wigan fan after they tried to mug him off, we would be celebrating it.

Aguero will get a ban. I only want him to be banned because it means he is out of the League Cup Final, but I have no issue with what we did.

In fact, I wish what Aguero did, and what Bellerin has said last week, would happen more often.

Fans think they are untouchable. That they can say and do what they want. They need to realise they can not.

Emirates Deal

A small note on the Emirates Deal. I was going to write more on it but time today has caught up on me.

Emirates sponsor 6 European clubs. Arsenal are second when it comes to how much they pay to sponsor:

Real Madrid – £60m (Deal started in 2017) – This is also the worlds biggest deal
Arsenal – £40m (2018)
PSG – £22.25m (2014)
AC Milan – £15m (2014)
Benfica – £1.6m (2015)
Olympiakos – ???

The Arsenal deal is the second largest in the Premier League, level with Chelsea and below Manchester United.

You could question why we have signed a deal level to Chelsea, but Chelsea’s £40m a year includes sleeve sponsorship. Arsenal’s does not.

We are expected to do a deal for sleeve sponsors starting in 2018 for around £12m a year. This will take us to £52m a year from shirt sponsors. £22m  more than what we have at the minute. That works out at around £425k a week more.


Back to the football..

I wish we could get back to talking about football was what a pal solemnly said last night.

He was fed up, we were all fed up. No game at the weekend had led to us having very little to talk about bar the fall-out from the Hector Bellerin comments. It had become dull and was giving hot hair to those that really do not deserve the attention.

So it is a new week, and with a new week brings new vigour. Bellerin’s comments are last weeks chip paper. The 3-0 victory away from home in Europe ended up a side note. Time to move on and concentrate on the next 7 days.

Beating Ostersunds so comfortably in Sweden means that the pressure is off for the first half of this week. The side can train with one eye on next Sunday’s game – the League Cup Final against Manchester City.

Whilst it is still important to take Ostersunds seriously, they showed nothing when playing in the sub-freezing climate of Scandinavia. We basically need to split the squad into two groups this week.

Those who are set to start Sunday. Those who are set to start Thursday.

The likes of David Ospina, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker, Saed Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny, Riess Nelson, Joe Wilock, Danny Welbeck, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (cup tied) and Eddie Nketiah should all get a run out on Thursday.

This leaves Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, , Laurent Koscielny and the rest of the strongest XI available free for the week to concentre on Manchester City.

Ostersunds should be comfortable. Get an early goal and it is done. It is probably done already. The Ostersunds players have the game of their life. A match against a big team from London, England. They will be star struck.

That brings us to Sunday.

I do not care what anyone says, the League Cup Final is important.

It might be 5th on the wish list behind Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and the FA Cup, but it is still a final, still a trophy.

Perhaps it shows how spoilt Arsenal fans are that some are disregarding it. Saying they do not care – and in some cases saying that they want Manchester City to win. We should be excited about playing in yet another domestic final.

You never know when your next chance to play in a final is. Next time you have a chance to win a trophy. Look at the likes of Aston Villa & Everton. Back 30 years ago, they were big names in English football. It has now been over 20 years since either won a trophy.

Chuck in Newcastle as well. What ha sit been? 50 years without a trophy?

Liverpool have not won anything since 2012. Spurs 2008. You never know how long your side might go between trophies, so to write off a chance of winning one as unimportant, even if we have labelled it the Micky Mouse Cup in the past, is just silly.

I want us to win the League Cup. I want us to win the Europa League. I wants us to win the Premier League, the Champions League and the Super Bowl. A day out at Wembley without needing to hire it. A trophy lifted above the grey skies of North-West London. Not much get better than that in life.

It might be a low priority at the beginning of the season, but for this week, the League Cup is the priority.

For those saying Arsenal will not win. Well you probably said the same last season when we played Manchester City in the FA Cup, and the same again in the final against Chelsea. In recent years we have shown up in these games. There is no reason to not expect us to show up again.

I look back at 1993. Does anyone care that we finished 10th? No you do not. That year we won the domestic cup double. The first team to do so.

So we have football to look forward too this week. And I am buzzing for Sunday already.