Transfers nonsense, ticket changes, and can foreign fans be true Arsenal supporters?

The club has just
sent me an e-mail to tell me that they’re considering making changes to the
membership cards and the ticket/season ticket cards. They’re considering a
blend of Old and New, retro I guess, an old subject created using modern
techniques. The new cards will contain solar powered digital screens (the
reason for which will become apparent.) – that’s the modern, and mixing it with
The Old – the other side is going to be like the old game “Top Trumps” (the
reason for which will become apparent).

You see the club studies Twitter really carefully, to keep
an eye on the mood of the support, checking up on who we should scout and sign,
and to find out exactly how much we should pay for said player, and exactly how
much of a wage we should give them, etc. (Sarcasm font).

They’ve noticed that
supporting The Arsenal has become just like a game of Top Trumps, so they’ve
decided to take it a step further and include it on the membership cards and
tickets, so that upon meeting another fan on say a matchday or just a general
meeting you can save all the bullshit and just whip out your cards and see who
the better fan is.

It’ll go something like this –

Name : Simon Scuttlebum

Length of time supporting : 2 years

Country of birth: LiamBradia

Distance from ground 7777km

Matches seen in total : 387

Matches seen last season : 26

Number of times you’ve called Arsene Wenger a
cunt/paedo/skinflint in the last month : 146

Number of times you’ve wished a player dead in
the previous season : 77

The amount of times you’ve compared any
financial situation in the world and turned it into a stick to beat the club
with : 745

The amount of times you’ve abused the club for
not signing somebody you want them to sign : 244

The number of times you’ve abused the club for
then signing that player but for paying too much for him : 412

You get the picture. So all you have to do is whip out the
cards and you’ll quickly see who the ‘better’ fan is.

“Disclaimer : this of course is utter bullshit
as you’ve probably guessed.”

(I also wanted to add a piece of technology that meant your
card got scanned going into the ground and it is linked to your Twitter
account, and if you’ve recently followed, tweeted to or retweeted Piers Morgan
then your ticket would immediately be put into review mode).

But the reason I’ve made this up is because of the age old
“FFS” – The Foreign Fan Syndrome. The “what
do you know, you’re not even from London
” type shite. It’s a debate that
has annoyed me for a long time now, but I always steered clear of it (life’s
too short), until today that is. As today is the first time it’s been directed
at me. Now I’ve had plenty of the “I pay
my money so I’m free to abuse anyone I fucking want
” bullshit, and the “ah sure you’ve obviously swallowed the
club’s bullshit and are accepting the medriocrity
” line too, but never
actually had the foreign fan one thus far, which is surprising really seeing as
I’ve got “Irish” in my twitter handle.

(Our Vietnamese fans – or as I now call the country/people

So let me paint the picture –

I was doing my usual routine, around 10am, buy paper and
coffee, sit down outside (weather permitting), read and laugh at the bullshit
in the newspaper then have a flick through my T/L and enjoy my coffee. Today I
turned on and my Timeline looked like the minutes of an underage KKK meeting,
who were out to get Arsene, Dick Law and Ivan Gazidis hung from upside down
burning crosses following a mob gathering. “What’s happened?” I wonder, so
after flicking further I see fuck all has happened really, just the Luis Suarez
bid or lack of, and the skinflint arguments, etc. Well there were a few more
bits and pieces of moaning, but I won’t go through them as you all have your own timeline’s
and I’m sure there not so different than my own. This sort of meltdown over
fuck all really gets on my wick, and can make me feel all Poldi.

So I proceed to Tweet 
– (this may take a while) – (apology to anyone who follows me and has
seen this already)

Queue the avalanche…rumbling …gathering pace…crash, bang,  wallop…explosion… as usual the reactions had
started before I’d even got the chance to finish my points, just jump on your
throat like a cornered rat (Spud). In fairness, mostly in support of what I had
said, but then I got the –

please do continue telling me how I support my club from your position across
the Irish Sea. It fascinates me, it really does.

I’m mentioning no names as I for one don’t like a witch
hunt, as I see it as bullying, so I for one don’t want that. Now granted my
language is a bit harsh, but anyone that follows me will tell you – that’s me,
plus I wasn’t preaching, I was in fact trying to do a public service in mental health,
trying to help people from cracking up as if you wake up every morning being
driven to moaning and whinging and bitching about everything single thing to do
with The Arsenal, then I feel it’s time you took a good look at the reasons
that you are supporting, and maybe consider stopping.

Now I know everything’s not perfect, I have plenty of bones
to pick with the club, with Arsene and the board, but I really can’t do much
about these things, so I have no problem talking about them, debating them,
etc., but to be constantly repeating the same old abuse at the club and the
rest is tiring for us to look at, or listen to, and surely tiring for the
person doing it, being so bitter all the time. So I continued –

You see I don’t think anything can be gained from all the
moaning. I also got some comments about “If I thing that being a fan is total
blind support”, well now I never said anything of the sort. I love a debate on
all things Arsenal, and I think debates between opposing opinions is in fact
the best way to come up with the best solution to a problem, as a lot of the
time the best remedy is in fact the blend of those two views, and that’s why I
don’t like all these differing groups like AKB or WOB’s, it’s getting nobody,
anywhere fast.

I got some great replies from over-sea supporters and from
home-grown ones too (more in support actually than abusive ones). One such guy
said “it sickens him to be labelled as not being a proper supporter as he now
lives 10,000 miles away, even though he was born and bred within five minutes
of Highbury, but circumstances meant he had to move”, but you see these foreign
fan haters don’t wait to get this info, they just see the location on your
tweet and launch into full ninja abuse mode. It’s sad really. Especially that
at the moment we’re watching the pictures of the fans out in Indonesia, Vietnam
and Japan, going delirious when our boys arrive. Try giving out to the that
we’re shite, skinflints and ‘we haven’t won anything in eight years’, they couldn’t
care less, they’re getting  a chance to
see their idols up close and personal, the ones that they get up at 3, 4 , or 5
am to watch all season long, and they love it. Try telling them they’re not
real supporter. Try telling that guy who ran 5km along behind the team bus that
he’s not a true supporter.

The thing that I always do to compare this to, is to use a Beatle’s
fan instead. Just because a guy hasn’t seen The Beatle’s live, due to
circumstances, like not being born, not having the money, etc. doesn’t mean he
can’t be the biggest, most committed supporter in the world.

 You see, the term
supporter/fan/fanatic call it what you will, for me is the amount of time,
effort, energy, and thoughts that you devote to said passion, be it Arsenal,
The Beatles, or Piers fucking Morgan even (oh jesus my stomach) whether  you’re a fan in Ireland, Indonesia or
Islington, If the first thing you do in the morning is switch on your TV or
phone to see if The Arsenal have signed anyone. If you pick your holidays around
days or times that The Arsenal play. If you turn down work or social occasions
to watch The Arsenal, these are the things that make us all similar, regardless
of where we are situated.

I find it ironic that these people don’t want/or don’t
recognise foreign fans, but at the same time are actually beating the shit out
of the club for not paying £41m for a Uraguayan, or £30m for an Argentinian, or
the fact that they ever paid money to a certain Dane ( this one I agree on ).
As a legendary Irish Gaelic football commentator would say “ah Luis Suarez, his father from Montevideo
and his mother from Le Paz……neither an Arsenal stronghold”

The last thing is I find it hilarious that this shite all
came about, it seems, because of the amount of time it’s taking, and the amount
of money being offered or not being offered over transfer dealings. We’re being
made out as if we’re the only ones doing this (mainly cos they like to bitch at
the club about something). When in all honesty if they’d just look around and digest
some of the other things that are going on (or maybe they do but it doesn’t fit
their arguments so they ignore completely.)

Chelsea have been trying to sign Andre Schurrle
for nigh on two years – ssssshhh not a word!

Neymar to Barca didn’t happen overnight, I’d say
more like a year to 18 months – ssssshhhh

In recent days Manchester United have had three
bids for Cesc Fabregas turned down, starting at a ridiculous £26m– ssssshhhh
it’s only us that do this.

Juve’s first bid for RVP was (alledgedly) £8m –
ssssshhhhh keep it down

Spud’s only this morning have had a £26m + add
ons deal rejected by Valencia (allegedly) for Roberto Soldado – sssshhh, please
we’re moaning back here. (that one doesn’t really count as they don’t count)

So the “well another club “X” want a player, offer the right
money, and they get him, BOOM, job done, quickly” doesn’t really wash with me.
OK Real Madrid for example got Asier Illarramendi fairly quickly, but they
offered 38m euro immediately, for a player who could’ve been bought for around £12m
before the U21’s tournament, but they are backed by the Spanish Royal family
and they knew others would get involved in a bidding war and they have the cash
to do it quickly, simple as..

In reality if we’re shopping in a market and try to buy a
t-shirt and it’s £27, well I sure as hell will try getting it for £20. Now some
folk will just, “ok £27 there you go” and be on their way. Manchester City,
Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid say “how much for the t-shirt?” –
“that’ll be £27 sir!” – “Right oh, there’s £30, keep the change (you peasant)”.
Unfortunately we’re not in that position. At the same time if I walk away, and
come back just before the close of selling, and see that the t-shirt remains on
the rack, then that means –  

Nobody has said “here you go keep the change”

Nobody has said “OK, that’s a fair price here
you go”

I sure as hell will get that t-shirt for if not
£20 then at most £22.

Now I know  a lot
think well if you think it’s worth the £27 then pay the bloody money,
unfortunately as with some sneaky market stall owners , when you give an inch
they’ll take a mile, just like Madrid did with the Gonzalo Higuain deal, the
sooner the better everybody finally registers that the better.

It’s getting to the stage that the mental health of some has
to be questioned, and that I might just have to call in the services of Dr.
Phil again.

So there you go, another eventful day in the T/L of
@woodysirish, so as Dr. Phil might end a show I’ll leave you with this – as
Oscar Wilde once famously said –

Wherever you be,

it’s Arsenal we wanna

With our club shop

We’ll go to battle.

Whether Dublin or

We support the same

So unite, be as one,

Trust me it’s more

Oscar Wilde also famously wrote –

They cometh from our
darkest shadow,

Those cretinous, hideous

And to an Irishman
they try to inform,

That these are meant
to be Spuds.

Disclaimer – ah do ye
know what? I’m not going to bother, it’s more fun to believe it’s true.

One final point, and it’s in keeping with the main point of
my piece. I would just like to congratulate our great club for its handling of
“The Vietnamese running man” story. How cool is it in a time and an age where
bodyguards and security even block your farts from reaching a professional
footballer, such is there new god like stature in society, that we stopped the
bus and allowed that guy to get on and get photos with his heroes. How classy
of us to do it. God knows how awful this guy’s everyday life might be (maybe
it’s not), but forever more he shall remember that day that the classy Arsenal
opened the door to their bus and let him on. And also how typical of Arsenal it
would be if the rumour be true that we are going to fly him to a game in The
Emirates – Dreams can come true.

So you see, you mightn’t like a lot of what goes on at the club
– I’m sure there’s been some already saying “WTF flying that guy to The
Emirates, that could have paid for Higuain’s flight, FFS sack, the board, it
has to go, and Wenger for allowing it” type crap, but for me, it just shows
that the club remains classy even if all our fans don’t.

‘Til the future


John Woods

2 Responses to Transfers nonsense, ticket changes, and can foreign fans be true Arsenal supporters?

  1. Studio7group July 24, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    I live in Southern France and used to got on every home game back in 2001 as I had the chance to get free tickets and was living in UK. A few friends (you might know @GrooverBlog) and myself are strong fans of Arsenal, doesn’t matter the results, doesn’t matter who Arsenal will sign this summer, our blood is Red and White and we will remain true gooners till we die. To all Arsenal / Wenger haters, get a life even though you can be disapointed sometimes wich is understable, you must show you support to the team because if you hink it’s hard for you to watch Arsenal loosing games or not winning any trophies, just think about those 11 guys on the pitch, this is their goal, their passion, their job and missing out something is like not doing properly what they like the most. Keep it up Gunnerstown, you doing a great great job

  2. Damian Connor July 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    So very tru AT WOODYSIRISH . Not english no very perfect But Mr.Wegner want very fast player always very young. Like French very much . Asia players sell Very much jerseys . Thanks?

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