Friend of the site Darren Berry introduced us to a new type of fan in his latest book Over Land and Sea (and Lockdown).
He labelled these fans the “Anti-Fan”.
In a nutshell, they are “fans” that only ever talk negative about the club they supposedly support in an attempt to appear “indifferent and cool”.
They hope by taking the negative standpoint they will “stand out from the crowd” and gain more clicks, RTs and followers.
It is reminiscent to a kid who picks on and bullies the girl he likes in the hope she will notice him more.
The fact that many of these anti-fans are in their 40s, and are not teenage boys shows a worrying state of their mind. I have seen others label them as “football incels”.
Their negativity towards the club is not just aimed at the owners and management but also the players.
They rate every player that leaves and think every player that stays is rubbish. We see them criticise Bukayo Saka, labelling him average whilst moaning we sold Joe Willock.
Emiliano Martinez, Willian Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi are the 3 favourites of these fans.
Their refusal to support players at the club leads them to create their own narrative around those that have left.
Suddenly Martinez is a world class keeper, whilst Bernd Leno and Aaron Ramsdale are derided.
It is the same with Saliba and Ben White.
The interesting one this weekend was Guendouzi.
Due to injuries Guendouzi got a call up to the French squad for the latest round of World Cup qualifiers.
“Not good enough for Arsenal but good enough for France” was the narrative they took.
He was an unused substitute for the Ukraine game.
Meanwhile Guendouzi’s replacement at Arsenal – Albert Sambi Lokonga – was also on international duty.
Lokonga had gained his first cap for Belgium – playing 74 minutes in their World Cup qualifier against Estonia.
The same people making a point that Guendouzi had been called up by France failed to mention Lokonga starting a game for Belgium.
France are the World Champions, Belgium are the number one ranked team in the world.
So on one hand, they make a lot of noise about a player currently on loan from Arsenal getting an international call-up; whilst making no noise about a player currently playing for Arsenal getting his first cap.
This situation really sums up these anti-fans.
They support Guendouzi because he is out on loan but do not show the same support to a Lokonga because the manager likes him.
Lokonga is an extremely talented 21-year-old footballer. How about we use our energy backing him? Encouraging him? Rather than crowing for a player that is not currently at the club.
It must be very tiring constantly having to take a negative stand point against a club that consumes so much of your daily thoughts.