At the moment Arsenal supporters are under attack, from the media, the club and fellow fans. We are variously labelled as ‘ungrateful’, ‘fickle’, ‘impatient’, ‘spoilt’ etc. etc. etc……. I’ll take those descriptions as along as no-one tells me or the other supporters that I know, that we don’t care. I do care; we do care; we care far too much. It’s not healthy, it’s not good for family life, it’s not good for the cat…..and there is sweet naff all we can do about it.
Blogging is just a microcosm of society; a mini world we inhabit as part of our thirst for involvement in the Arsenal, and as such it will have its extremists and those who need our help and support. The majority will occupy the middle ground and probably be dismissed as lacking in passion. As in life, the extremists appear to have the loudest voices and to be the most forceful and unrelenting in their views.
We have had a turbulent 12 months as supporters. We’ve experienced highs and lows, optimism and disappointment and we are likely to have a difficult summer ahead. There is already carnage on some sites fuelled by mischievous journalism and unsupported speculation.
So I offer the following simply as my guide to retaining some of our sanity………..
1. If anyone spends the time and effort to go to matches or if they are unlucky and that is not possible, so they watch games on TV and trawl websites seeking information and interaction with other fans, they ARE Arsenal supporters and no-one has the right to say otherwise.
2. There are no criteria that define one supporter as better than another. It’s great if a fan has supported the club for decades…. is a season ticket holder…. can name every player since the 60’s etc etc ….. but, they are no better than a 25 year old who lives in Asia and doesn’t have open access to the media.
3. Every blogger is entitled to his/her opinion and has the right to challenge and debate with others who hold a different view as long as there is a recognised point at which they have to agree to differ…..and that point is located before insults and claims of “not being a proper supporter” are bandied about.
4. Sarcasm is not clever unless there is wit involved. Irony is acceptable when it reinforces a point and is obvious to the reader.
5. The ethos of a site is defined by the site owner. Bloggers are guests on their domain and should abide by their rules. It’s O.K. to blog on a site that has a standpoint you fundamentally disagree with as long as rule No. 3. is observed. The site owner must assume ultimate responsibility for what appears on the site.
6. One blog site should not be used as a vehicle for attacking another blog site. The main objective has to be to discuss Arsenal. Attacks on individuals because of their views or any other issue are unacceptable.
7. It is never acceptable to suggest that a fellow Arsenal blogger should go and support S***s
8. Match predictions can never forecast a loss.
9. A sense of humour is essential.
10. People who submit headline posts should be showered with compliments and sycophantic praise at the brilliance of their words………………………..