Date: 17th March 2008 at 6:59pm
Written by:

lads and ladettes, it’s good to be a Gooner. You know it is.

There comes a time in a season when the team goes through a rough time and we become upset, fickle, smart-arse, greedy, desperate, sad, self-pitying so-called experts on all things related to Arsenal and forget that we need to stick together and give our all best in any form and shape possible with one goal in our minds: to lift the team up. I see myself in those categories, too, although at different points of time.

This down-hearted mood is evident at the Emirates both in visual and audio. A very small section of fans can be heard singing throughout the game, I assume this is the die-hard contingent that follows the boys around the world, unfortunately scattered around the beautiful stadium. The rest are set with their elbows on their knees, some with watery eyes, struggling between the angry and the sad because their beloved team is not giving them what they came for – a ‘sexy’ brand of football, plenty goals and three points to take home.

Immediately we see the ‘analysis’ masters asking for heads to roll: Ade should be off coz he is ultimately crap and inconsistent, Hleb is a circus pony, Flamini is actually nothing special, Nick should be playing coz he is promising, AW has lost it, Eboue should be sold, Cesc is overrated, we need a left winger (duh!), and my personal favourites a tall centreback (Matt Taylor the Butcher springs to mind) and a holding midfielder (?!). Of course, the inevitable ‘shopping lists’ follow immediately, usually containg famous ‘brands’ such as Eto’o, Benzema, Van der Vaart, or the more general categories ‘a goalscoring midfielder’, ‘a freescoring forward’, or the footbaling cyborg that is ‘a striker who scores 1 goal from 1 chance, not like Adebayor’. Interesting.

What people fail to realize time and time again that this is a team that has gone against every prediction launched prior to the season, against every expectation of any honest Gooner who had they been offered this position with 9 games to go prior to the season, (we) would have bitten their hand off with no hesitation. What people also fail to realize is that the team being slated (including Eboue) is the same team that produced amazing games, results and comebacks, and with this slump has proved the most obvious fact: they are human. Arsene Wenger is human. Emmanuel Adebayor is human and has an ego. William Gallas also. Cesc Fabregas, too. The non-signing Matthieu Flamini as well.

Another point is that this season is everything but over. It could be in a few weeks, and then it could not. That’s why football is a magical game. Where is our role as fans/supporters in this? Gooners have done marvelously in showing teeth to Usmanov and Dein, have behaved impeccably when going abroad for CL games, supported the team with vocal venom on all away games, reacted with grace when beaten (the whole 4 times), and constructively depicting the sad state of affairs at the Lane. So where now?

I say relax. We will have time to analyze at the end of the season. It is big balls time and we as fans have to show that as well. For all those going to the Grove, week-in week-out if u think moaning and booing at your own team helps at this stage of the season, go ahead. If not – sing up for the Arsenal!

It is great to be a Gooner!