Heh Gooners – If it’s so bad why are we all still here?

Ankit1

Today I am delighted to welcome my good frienmd Ankit Singh to 1ND2OU for the first time, although he has twice appeared on my sister site Gunners Town. He is a superb writer and I look forward to welcoming him to London from India in a few weeks for the NLD.. By profession he is a photographer and as such all bar one of the images in this post are his own from his previous visits……

I read many blogs and like many of them, but 2 of them I admire greatly. Mr. Arseblog’s Blog & Mr. Seager’s blog. I don’t write very often, but when I do Dave is the one of the first few people I share it with. And that’s because he loves what he does. He reads every single blog! If he has commented or RTed on any of your stuff ever tt means he read it, and perhaps thought about it. I admire such a person and I’m glad he’s a friend. It’s a complete pleasure to be featured on his esteemed site and I thank him for letting me share my thoughts here.

Why am I here?

Ankit2

If you’ve not asked yourself this question your friends and media over the years must have ensured that you have considered it. No, not the option, just the question or questions….

Think what it is like to be champions (again). How green the grass smells on the other side? Also when it’s freshly cut? The times when you look at Swansea passing the ball around, like a puppy looks at treats or when City buys yet another big name?

Or, the moment Kosc got slapped on his head when on his knees staring at the pitch. The moment when Babel dived for the penalty in the Champions League? I’m sure everyone has a personal favourite here. Or perhaps it is just when heckled continuously by friends or United/Chelsea/Barca fans on online forums?

Seeking Pain?

Pain!!
Pain!!

 

Do we enjoy the pain? Like Nick Hornby wrote The natural state of a football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score . True. On the pitch, and off the pitch. During football season and during transfer season. True. True. True. Then I wonder is he talking about all football fans or just Arsenal? Sounds so much on the money for me. Can’t imagine if my United mate feels the same way. But if you look at it closely even the Barca fan is worried about tomorrow and a United fan is unhappy with transfers.

Though parts of it are true, bonds borne of pain & suffering are deeper one could argue and are harder to shake off. While pain is inevitable for most (fans), there are some individuals who go looking for it. While some turn it around and find humor in it, it’s an addiction for a few. Sadism sometimes trumps Schaudenfreude. Think about it.

But that’s not why we are here.
Or why we’re still here.
Or why we’re all here.

The Crest on the Chest!
The pact with the crest on the chest!

 

We are here because of own choice. Irrespective of how it started, whether your dad was a Gooner, or all you friends were. Whether you live in North London, or you just disliked the idea of United Frat boys, or you saw DB10 play. Whatever your reason, it was you who made this choice originally, and when you wore the metaphorical jersey and kissed the badge, you made a permanent pact with the badge. The badge has become you and the colours of the Jersey reflect their hue on your thoughts. It might sound funny but your DNA did in fact mutate and Arsenal became a permanent part of you. The idea has taken permanence as it amalgamated with your own identity over time. Arsenal’s defeat is your defeat, Arsenal’s victory your own too. This banner makes sense for any club. And it’s true for most. We come first and then the others.

The club doesn't matter the sentiment does
The club doesn’t matter the sentiment does

Arsenal is now a part of you. No, not like as a middle finger which can be cut-off, but more like the blood which flows through your veins. You are Arsenal. Arsenal is you. It’s not something you can throw away or change. It’s permanent and thus switching loyalties is impossible. Gooners for life is not just an awesome line on a poster, it’s the truth. You could never bring yourself to wear a United , Spurs’ ‘pool jersey in your life even if you wanted to. You can’t run away from yourself can you?

 

My Arsenal is NOT your Arsenal.

 

All different yet all the same!
All different yet all the same!

We are not responsible for what we have come to be said the protagonist in a movie recently, (Stoker – A master piece by Tony Scott, must watch!)

That line makes total sense doesn’t it, in our context too. We’ve been through a lot together, seen ups & downs. We are almost all in agreement with which clubs we can’t stand and which clubs we respect. We’re exposed to the same principles and ideologies. The ‘being-a-better-man’ school of thought is championed by Arsene Wenger. A shining example of what world football should be. And we should imbibe those principles in our daily lives too perhaps. I know some do.

But that’s only half the story isn’t it? While we have much in common, we all disagree on so many fronts too. On which players to buy, what is right time to go ape-shit on TL, which ex-player is a four letter word, what joke is appropriate about Bale, whether Cesc is welcome back, and whether Suarez is welcome at all?

We all disagree on most of those issues. And more than being right or wrong it’s about who you are, where you’re coming from and what your own personal values are, in life.

E.g. Some understand the business logic and how it’s all about commerce, while others choose to stay angry over Cesc’s departure. Some accept that the club needs a big time push in quality while others can’t stop supporting Denilson.

It’s not really as easy as slicing Gooners as pessimists,optimists or realists. Romantic or classic, perhaps left brained or right brained, (or the famous acronym labeling).

Some people demand more, some trust blindly, some are far more patient. Some are aggressive and some are so calm you might feel they’ve no passion in them.

Besides the values they’re ingrained with they also are in their own personal stage in life – a caring mother, a promising doctor, a struggling DJ, a ‘popular’ bouncer, a veteran soldier, a stressed nurse, a cancer patient, a divorcee banker, or a simple cab driver.

All these fans (people) and thousands more such cannot agree on many things, because they have different views about money, ethics, emotion, planning, trust, patience etc. You can of course insist in every situation that you are right and your way is the right way, but it would be wonderful to accommodate another view which comes from another approach/background may be.

I say screw those who think you are wrong. Screw those who love to preach. Screw those who say only their way is the right way. Screw those who bully you into buying their view. Your Arsenal is you, and no one can take that away from you. Enjoy it as you please.

Arsenal is a way of life and during this journey, I hope we meet each other at some junction along the way and hopefully with a smile on our faces.

Thanks Ankit. A great read and a calming message for all supporters. Please follow @yoiii and he will be with me in the Tollington before the Spuds game if you want to say hello.

Here is the man himself in case you want to a face to the name:

Ankit - Lonely Gooner
Ankit – Lonely Gooner

 

Like what you read? Agree/disagree? Leave a comment below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitter – http://twitter.com/goonerdave66

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59 comments

  1. Beautiful article. Couldn’t agree more. Very refreshing to read such a piece amidst all the negativity and frustration. I love arsenal for the club it is,the principles it believes and the football it tries to play. I’m an idealistic person and the club reflects it beautifully. Win or lose I will support and hope it can show the world that it can win with its philosophy intact.

  2. Well said mate.
    Yes, ARSENAL is in our blood and it is being poisoned by the greedy f#ckers that own it.

    1. No, you’ve missed the point. You’re poisoning it for yourself with your self serving , cynical, short sighted vision of the club and its progress. Look around and realise what you’ve got.

  3. Amazing article!
    Truly there has never been a better analysis of the football fan, be it arsenal or otherwise.
    Look forward to reading more of your work.

    …… Up the araenal!!!!!!!!!

  4. Loving the sentiment behind the blog, my old friend Mr Topchiiiiiiiii. Everyone’s opinion counts equally because no Gooner is superior to another.

    Also…you managed to snap me in that pic of the North Bank! Tryna remember whether it was Villa in the Cup or Norwich final home game of 11/12.

      1. Good thanks Dave! Hoping we’ll pull out some signings soon…not holding my breath though. Sensing another post-CL qualifier dash to the transfer market.

        Nice to see that you’ve kept 1ND2OU going strong alongside GT’s success! Hope you and yours are well.

    1. OMG!!!! Squid!!!!
      Woaahhhh how are you my friend. We’ve missed you here.
      And yes this was Norwich 🙂
      Hope to see you in London next month!
      Thanks for reading it.

      1. Pleasure was all mine. I’m glad to see it has been so well-received, judging by all the comments. I hope people liked it as much on Twitter 😉

        Which match(es) are you in town for?

  5. well-said. It’s a point of pride for me that there’s so much more of a bond formed in following Arsenal. Where I live (Chicago, IL, USA), all too many fans decide who to root for based on who’s in first when they happened to check the standings (or because they know who Beckham is/was).

    VVC.

  6. Excellent read. A true supporter of a great club. Let’s get behind AW and the team and stop the negativity – a Gooner for 40plus years and I love our club- stop whining and enjoy!!

  7. “Some are aggressive and some are so calm you might feel they’ve no passion in them.”

    No doubt I fall into the first group. I must learn to control my temper.

    A timely piece. I had no idea where you were going with it, which turned out to be a good thing. In recent weeks I’ve found myself thinking about my relationship with the club and what it means to me. I’ve still not come with a definitive answer but I’d be surprised if many would come to the same conclusion as me. Supporting a football club is such a personal thing. Last season I witnessed so much bickering and fighting, both at matches and on twitter, between fans who clearly love THEIR club, Arsenal FC. As you said, there is no right or wrong way to support. I’m not holding my breath but I hope people remember that in the weeks, months and seasons ahead.

  8. @Yoii you rouse a kindred spirit that hasn’t been roused in a while with all that’s been going on in our backyard. Thank you for a wonderful, passionate post, namaste.

    Gooner Dave, host this Indian Gooner often will you? 🙂

  9. CLAP!CLAP!CLAP……
    A true Gooner at heart. keep it up bro. You are not alone…
    GoGunners4Eva

  10. whoa…as refreshing as it is passionate…brilliant touch on the soul of being an Arsenal fan…class!

  11. i do believe no words could speak affection and tell of the way it feels like. But in my consciousness of self and in my every sense, you’ve blog-ically convey in cold prints how the affection and passion feels like. A post not only for today, but forever especially when the going becomes glorious and more perilious. Gbosa!

  12. Great delivered. True pschyco analize of us. No personal statement about our recent situation from you but it’s fairly on context. Anyway, I’m typical of ” a very patient fan”. Still a month before transfer window close, but can’t hold my mouth to say that we are on the verge of major punk’ ed by Satan Kroeke once again.
    I feel, we (maybe Arsene too) have been foolish around by him. From start to the end, I don’t like Adam Kemp, but he might almost spot on this time.
    But again as me, I’ll will wait. And as you’ve said, even if there’s nothin’ happen, I’m still here. But for Godsake, I hope the Satan dissapeare (he’s not immortal does he?)

  13. Nice post buddy. Enjoyed reading it. You have a flair for writing. Very difficult to obtain and needs courage.But your writing persona and twitter persona are different. Old monk is theonly explanation. Stop drunk tweeting 🙂

  14. Honestly, I had no doubt you’ll murder this. You spoke the mind of all from every angle. Brilliant piece. Infact this is something people should read whenever they forget who they are / whenever they’re feeling the lows that come with support-ship. You need to write more mate. I like the twitter prick more than this reasonable Ankit. Weldone.

  15. Goodness Gracious!!!…this is absolutely brilliant!!…God Bless Yoiii….wonderful write-up…unblvable delivery!..if any of u guys av an Arsenal fan that is losing faith,js refer the person to ds write-up…and God Bless BrainySteppo for calling my attention to ds piece!…finally guys,its MY ARSENAL not your Arsenal!!!…#TeamArsenal #AllGunsBlazing

  16. Great article!
    Can’t believe no one has pointed out that Ankit looks almost identical to Walcott though 🙂

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