“Class Is Permanent!” Are You Sure, Mate?

“Stay Classy, Arsenal” – Ron Burgundy, Anchorman.
Or did he say San Diego.

Gunners generally take a pride in Arsenal being a classy club, perhaps the classiest of the clubs at the Elite end of the European leagues.


Class is only permanent for as long as those who make up the club have class. In the long run, the Supporters get the club they deserve. (Oh dear…Gulp…Double Gulp.)

Class relates to Who We Are and are not.

Cause And Effect: What Class Gives Us

It also relates to whether we win in the long run when you follow a self-sustaining club model:
Class => Brand => Attractiveness of Club => Commercial and TV-rights => Revenue => Better Players => Winning Stuff (eventually.)

Class attracts Class: young, idealistic talent who want to play for a gleaming, shiney club. Think of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ryo Miyaichi, Wojciech Szczesny, Jack Wilshere and of course a young RvP.

But while Class leads to money and winning, Class is its own reward. You don’t try to be Classy just to win. That would be a lack of Class. Classy people know that instinctively, don’t we?

Recognizing Class

The Class of the club must be preserved and upheld. So, what is this Class that we must protect. What does it look like?:

  • Dennis Bergkamp
  • Thierry Henry
  • Robert Pires (Superb 4-4-2 interview)

“Class” certainly looks like those 3 gents. Therefore we do know it when we see it. But are they class just because they were brilliant, just because they were the best?

Carlos Tevez is also one of the world’s best but is he Class. If you answered “yes” then you and I have a different definition of “Class.”

Roy Keane was a great player. But Vieira was “Class.”

Imagine a much more skillful Joseph Barton. Would he be “Class?”

John Terry used to be good but classless. Very, very soon, he’ll just be classless.

Drogba and Busquets throwing themselves on the floor is not Class.

Do you and I and the guy shouting from row 7 mean the same thing when we say “Class Is Permanent?” Perhaps he just means that he wants us to buy all the best players so we can beat Spurs and he’s heard Dani Alves’s younger brother is great and is flirting with all the top clubs and he hopes Alves, Jr. picks Arsenal.

So let me have another go at that list. See if you still see Class:

  • Dennis Bergkamp
  • Thierry Henry
  • Robert Pires (interview)
  • RvP

Sure, Robin can get a bit pissy occasionally with an opponent who’s been kicking the backs of his legs all game or who’s trying to steal a result by time-wasting for most of the game and Robin used to be a bit wayward as a youth but anyone who follows the Arsenal knows they are looking at “Class” when they look at RvP. They are looking at what Wenger calls “quality”. A Thinker in the game. A man who has run more miles in the league than anyone else this season. They are looking at a Captain who can get paid double at another club but chooses to play for The Arsenal. So, no argument, then.

How about:

  • Dennis Bergkamp
  • Thierry Henry
  • Robert Pires
  • RvP
  • Tomas Rosicky

“Hmmm, Rosicky, eh?! Yes, I see where you’re going with this, Mr. BlogsWhenHeWantsTo. Rosicky is a Classy guy, written off by some, who has served the squad well and now is grabbing his chance to shine with both hands.”

To have a Classy club, you need a Classy team which needs a Classy squad. Not every player in the squad can be World Class but they can and should always be Classy. OK then, hit me one more time:

  • Dennis Bergkamp
  • Thierry Henry
  • RvP
  • Tomas Rosicky
  • Theo Walcott

“You know, Mr. BlogsWhenHeWantsTo, I don’t really have a problem with that. Sure, there’s much debate over Theo’s consistency but he’s always been a Class act. He’s professional, committed, and he is clearly working hard and looking to improve. And I just plain like the kid. He’s no Thierry yet but, alright, he’s in!”

Hit me again:

  • Dennis Bergkamp
  • Thierry Henry
  • RvP
  • Tomas Rosicky
  • Theo Walcott
  • Aaron Ramsey

“Ooooh, you’re a crafty one, Mr. BlogsWhenHeWantsTo. Yes, OK, I get it. He’s professional, hard-working and talented but he’s a bit out of form and lacking confidence. No-one knows if he will become “Great” but clearly he handles himself with Class and when you think about how he came back from that horrific injury and that this is his 1st full season and that we have asked an almost ridiculous amount from the kid and when you consider his work-rate and his leave-it-all-out-there-on-the-pitch mentality, then yes, the boy has Class.”

So What’s the Real Question Here?

Ah, but the real question is not whether Aaron Ramsey has Class, or whether Theo Walcott has Class. It’s whether that one guy, that one Arsenal “supporter” who heckles his own players has Class. And there is only ONE guy, because you or I wouldn’t do it, would we? Sure, Theo has been stifled in the 1st half and then won us the game in the 2nd half on numerous occasions but “Boo, get him off.” And while we’re at it, “Ramsey, you’re shit. Boo”. Meanwhile, Ramsey has just blown a lung and donated a kidney to the effort on-field while Mr. Row 7 just finished stuffing his fat face with a pie and a beer followed by rolling over onto his left buttock to let one rip. “I just paid fifty quid and gave up my Monday night to watch that tosser? Well, I’m going to get my money’s worth by booing him off the field.” Oh, and “Bring on the Ox!” (The next lamb to the slaughter).

Rudyard Kipling’s Son Must Have Played For The Arsenal

Rudyard Kipling must have had a son who played for the Arsenal. He wrote a poem about him, a poem I would like to borrow and dedicate to Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey and whoever the next player is that Mr. Row 7 abuses.


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Now see the parallels to Theo’s classy interview in the Mirror. It’s “Class” personified:

Walcott said:
“The fans want the best for you because they know you can do better – and I knew I could do better. But I could hear it from the stands. You’ve got to deal with it and the great thing about the manager is that he got me back out in the second half.

“He (Wenger) didn’t point a finger at me at half-time. And I just told myself: ‘Let’s just go through it, second half’. Because you always talk to yourself during a game.”

Walcott responded with an outstanding second-half performance, capped by two fine goals.

He added: “Look, you’re always going to hear something. But I didn’t stop doing anything. I was still trying. And when you do that, you might try too hard. I wasn’t trying to hide in that first half, though. It’s just that things were not happening for me.”

They have happened ever since, however. In total, Walcott has piled up 10 goals and 13 assists this season, placing him among the best wingers in the country.

The versatile England speedster is an automatic pick for boss Arsene Wenger and has formed a deadly understanding with striker Robin van Persie.

Yet, even that is not enough for some critics.

Walcott smiled: “People think I’m older than I ­actually am. This is the first season I’ve been injury-free, touch wood. So, hopefully, I can continue to play at a consistent level. I know people have been slightly frustrated.

“But I’m not going to have anyone tell me what to do. I’m the best judge of myself and if I’m not performing I know that and I’ll beat myself up about it!

“But you can’t play well every game. No one can – apart from Messi! But you wouldn’t be human. There is always going to be ­pressure. The best reaction is playing well and putting it in the back of the net.””

Well, Mr. Row 7, Theo is more of a man than you’ll ever be. Ramsey is too.

Arsenal’s Worst Team in a Generation

There are many who repeat the phrase “the worst Arsenal team in X years.” That has got to be unbelievably offensive to every player on the team. They all must have heard it. If I were RvP and I heard that was the viewpoint of the supporters, it would not make me inclined to want to re-sign for the team.

I understand that many use this phrase to humiliate the Spuds. But be careful because it’s catchy phrase and it may stick! And you know how those Journos like to say they heard us say things first, that we sold the team out first. Remember the Black Bin Bags? Remember them implying that many/most Arsenal fans wanted Wenger out but that it was the Journos that stood up for him!

The Guardians of Class?

Who are the protectors of this “Class?” Errr, it’s you and me, mate! It’s you and me. (Oh dear.) And Arsene and Silent Stan and the Board and the Players of Yesteryear and the Players of Today.

And who is the enemy of Class? Let it not be you and me, mate. Let it not be you and me!

The Classiest Team in a Generation

Johan Djourou
Kieran Gibbs
Vito Mannone
Alex Song
Theo Walcott
Manuel Almunia
Andrey Arshavin
Mikel Arteta
Yossi Benayoun
Marouane Chamakh
Abou Diaby
Lukasz Fabianski
Laurent Koscielny
Per Mertesacker
Chu Young Park
Tomas Rosicky
Bacary Sagna
Andre Santos
Sebastien Squillaci
Robin van Persie
Thomas Vermaelen
Francis Coquelin
Carl Jenkinson
Jack Wilshere
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Aaron Ramsey
Wojciech Szczesny
Ignasi Miquel
Ryo Miyaichi

Supporting The Arsenal is a privilege, not a right. It carries responsibilities.