This is my first Christmas as the author of the World of Arsenal and wish to thank you all for reading, commenting, dialogue-ing with me daily over email and facebook too. It's great to have such a forum to discuss everything Arsenal and long may it continue.
On this quiet day, I'd like to bring you a quotes from yesterday's blog.
Parsi made some great festive comments on yesterday's blog, and this is what he had to say:
There are three big reasons why most football commentary is negative.
First, it is easier to write negative than positive commentaries. I remember the classic moment 20 years back when we beat Liverpool Not-yet-insolvents in the last game of the year. The fanzine “1-0 down 2-1 Up” celebrated that with a series of articles at the start of the following season. Naively I expected the mag to be full of positives. Instead it contained a whole string of make-believe articles considering what might have happened… if we had lost.
Second, journalists write negative all the time simply because most people don’t support Arsenal, Liverpool Insolvents, Manchester Bankrupts or the KGB in Fulham or any other team you can imagine. (Incidentally that is why sponsorship of any particular team is always pointless from a commercial point of view. Would you ever buy Crown Paints or Holstein? Sponsors lose far more trade than they gain through their sponsorships. It is all vanity for the top dogs.) So if a JIP (journo in pub) writes a scathing attack on Arsenal, they are pleasing most of their readers, because most readers are anti-Arsenal, and that is good for sales.
Third, no matter how good you are, you could always be better. (Even Arsenal Ladies have this – true they win every league match, but they have just lost Julie Fleeting, and they have been knocked out of Europe…) – which make criticism so easy.
So negativity is what we get. You may have noticed how jolly the JIPs were over Cesc’s injury, and how they poke fun at the Lord Wenger when he gets annoyed on the touch line… it pleases most of their Anti-Arsenal readership.
The only consolation is that JIPs do it to every club. Just today (24 Dec 2008) there are stories about Liverpool’s failure to get the money for a new stadium, about how Scholari is demanding money and the club ain’t got none… so it goes.
Hence my thought as I get ready to go to my partner’s house for Christmas… a true supporter supports. That’s the deal. To peoople who say they are “Arsenal” but moan a lot about Arsenal my answer is that they should have a bash at being a supporter of a team that doesn’t win stuff, ever. Like Torquay United. Small ground, in need of repair, small crowds, relegated to the Conference, no reason local concern or feeling for the club, got to one Wembley final only to lose… Go there and try supporting them every week. Then come back after three years and realise just how blessd we all are to have had Arsenal chosen for us by our families, our heritage, and our background.
Just under 99 years ago, Arsenal went bust, and were on the very edge of being taken over by and ultimately merged with Fulham. Because of the dedication and determination of George Leavey, the chairman, who despite not being a wealthy man, selflessly put his own money into paying the players during the summer of 1910, Woolwich Arsenal survived as an independent club, and when the move away from the declining Plumstead area did come it was a move that brought growth and maintained independence rather than bringing closure and oblivion.
In 1910, first division Woolwich Arsenal were struggling on crowds of around 10,000, and criticism was everywhere. We no longer remember how everyone at the time was a critic of Arsenal, but those who really know their Arsenal history do remember people like George Leavey. He never got his money back, and no one ever really thanked him for saving our club, he is not honoured with any plaques or busts, as far as I know. But I believe we would all do better to remember him, than spend our time sniping at Wenger, the board, the team, or the club.
A little reminder about who we are and where we are…
If I don’t speak to you tomorrow, have a great Christmas!]]>