We Wear The White Hats.
When I was a kid, we would stay after school to play football. Some days, there might be 12 of us, an even number! Cool, that works. 6 vs 6. That’s fair. But then some weanie would have to leave early because he didn’t want to get into trouble with his mommy. Now it’s 6 vs 5. Not fair…for somebody. I would always insist that I played on the team with 5. Then someone else would leave. Cool…4 vs 4. Then someone else…4 vs 3. I would insist on playing on the short-side team. And so on.
As you too are an Arsenal supporter, I don’t have to tell you why. But I will, because perhaps this particular reader is not an Arsenal supporter. There is no glory earned for winning when you have an unfair advantage. There is no sense of having achieved anything. And…if I played for the long-sided team, there would have been disgrace in losing to the valiant, plucky short-siders. Now that I really couldn’t have tolerated.
Fortunately, by the next day, there were few bragging rights. There was no Champions League trophy to hand out. And so, honour was the primary prize.
When I was 8, I won a few fights in the play ground. Some kids in my class said there was a kid tougher than me who lived on their road. They challenged me to fight him. Being a moron, I said a reluctant “OK.” The next afternoon they walked me to their road, then to a laneway where my gladiatorial opponent awaited. They walked me up to him. My heart was not in it when I saw he was smaller than me, and worse, a year younger. I couldn’t win in my own mind, even if I won, which I expected to. The others had to start the fight for me, pushing me into him a couple of times.
And then holy shit, this kid went fucking ballistic. He was a fucking animal, all rage and animal instinct. All I knew was a bit of fisticuffs and wrestling. You know, honourable fighting. But this fucker was biting, kicking, pulling my hair, scratching, punching in the balls (fortunately I was 8.) About a minute into it, I started to fight. A couple of minutes later, I’m sitting on top of him, with him pinned down still going completely animal. I declared the fight over. I got up and went home. Don’t get me wrong. This kid could fight. I could see why they said he always won. But I felt no pride. I felt my own weakness for allowing myself to be pushed into this bullying. I felt pity for the existence the “animal” was going to surely face in life. If at the age of 7 they have you waiting in laneways to fight someone you’ve never met, who is bigger than you…
Big sports means big money and even bigger cheats. Sprinters, Cyclists, Oil-rich Football clubs, greedy agents. It puts off people who have seen behind the curtain of professional sports. These days all sports are professional, even the amateur ones.
Remember when Ben Johnson was disqualified for doping and they gave the 100m 1988 Olympic gold to clean Carl Lewis. And years later we find out that Carl Lewis was doped.
John Terry is a cheat and a liar. John Terry sleeps with his team-mates’s wives and gets them pregnant. John Terry is the captain of Chelsea.
And the way he sneaked into the Champions League trophy lifting ceremony, which has never happened before, (a guy who wasn’t playing, not because of injury or misfortune but because he was red-carded for kneeing someone in the back who wasn’t looking.) How did he get up there…he must have paid one of the Bayern Players £10k for an unofficial stadium tour and then broke away. And there he is, up there, wearing the Chelsea uniform, shin-pads and all. As Robbie Savage kinda said, he is like the kid who blows out the birthday cake candles at his baby sister’s birthday party. Make a wish, John.
Chelsea are a doped 100m runner. They spent £1 billion pounds of someone else’s money who has £10+ billion of the Russian people’s money.
Ashley Cole said after the match, when asked what this CL win meant, “No-one can say nuffing to me now.”
Really, how about that your team needed £1 billion of someone else’s money to buy the cup, Cashley. Of course, you have a blind spot where money is concerned.
Bayern had 40 shots on goal, 20 corners, multiple open opportunities, a missed penalty by Robben. And then some more missed penalties. Barcelona was the same story TWICE, including a missed penalty by Messi.
Chelsea didn’t try to win the final, according to Fernando Torres. They played for 0-0. They won no new fans for good football.
Johan Cruyff: “Chelsea winning the CL final is a defeat for proper football. I’d rather not win it than to have to play this way.”
You may say that there has always been money in football and that the wealthier clubs always had an advantage. Arsenal used to be thought of as wealthy, but we used our own money. But now it’s clubs using other people’s money, and you know what that leads to: stupid, crazy amounts being spent with no regard to true value. This is the equivalent of a market bubble. And during bubbles, it’s the small and medium guys who get crushed as prices spiral out of their reach. The rich always seem to do just fine on the way up. And then again on the way down they can buy from the little guy who just got crushed.
In case you haven’t noticed, football is rotten to the core. City, Chelsea, Malaga, PSG, UEFA, FIFA. Barcelona and Real rape their own league for TV revenue so no-one else can compete in La Liga. Manchester United is owned by a parasite who has stolen 1/2 billion pounds from the club and fans so far, and counting. It’s enough to put you off the sport. It makes you wonder who you can support who is clean, who has some class, who will try to win the “right way.”
WE are the good guys. We wear the white hats. We fight the odds and no one ever said it would be easy. This is your birthright as an Arsenal supporter, the hard road.
My club chose me when I was a kid. THANK GOD. I have always been infatuated with our shirt, with our players. We have never won the most bling.
If you were to suddenly arrive on these shores from another time and place and fall in love with football as you most surely would, what team do you pray you would fall in love with? The team of John Terry, Ashley Cole and Roman Abramovich. The team of Wayne Rooney and Alex Ferguson and Ashley Young and their trophy cabinet and their London-based support. The team of Nasri, Tevez, Gareth Barry and Adebayor and the Mansours and their Premier League Trophy.
You can’t be the good guys in football without the bad guys. Every time WE win, there is honour.
We are the good guys, we wear the white hats.
Thank you Arsene Wenger. Thank you van Persie, Vermaelen, Sagna, Mikel Arteta, Koscielny, Rosicky, Benayoun, Ramsey, Walcott, Gibbs, Santos, Gervinho, Szczesny, Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong, and little Jackie Wilshere, and Abou Diaby. Thank you for saving our souls.
We parked the bus away to try and beat Barcelona and I have never been more ashamed as an Arsenal fan when we played no football and for penalties to win FA Cup in 2005.
TBH on both the occasions, we werent good enough. We did try to play football, but we cudnt. I dont mind our team being outplayed at our game if the other option is not to play our game on purpose.
I agree with your sentiments but clearly not every Gooner. There was a worrying number of comments/tweets/blogs yesterday of people wanting Usmanov to take over. So, if that happened, how principled are you and would you keep your white hat or get a dirty black one? I’m pretty sure I’d give up my (silver) membership and follow Arsenal from an armchair only.
It’s bad enough he has a 30% stake in the club already. If you think buying Rangers’ Arsenal shares was not enought reason to mistrust him you should google ‘Craig Murray &
Hmm, thinking about it, I might go to AFC Wimbledon a few times next season.
Almost shedding tears. Am a Gunner for life here in Kenya.
The problem I have is that I suspect the majority of our fans would put on a black oil soaked hat in a New York minute .If it meant they could laugh at other fans when they were out for a pint.
If you judge people by your own standards you risk being badly disappointed.
As a neutral – as a lover of football – as a believer in good conduct and morality – there is only one club to turn to in England – and that happens to be the club that plays the most interesting and evocative football – The Arsenal, under the great man himself, Arsene Wenger.
You just can’t worry about the fans who don’t understand The Arsenal and its values.
Man if this article were a women it would be s supermodel-a supermodel who gives all her money to charity.
Cheers for an uplifting peice:)
Thanks. When our time comes, we shall win. For now gooner till i die trophy or no trophy
That was a fantastic read. Thank you for posting it! The only thing I fear is that while I share your view and for me, doing things the right way means more than buying a trophy, too few share the same mentality. I am of the opinion that if Usmanov were to declare tomorrow that he had £1 billion to spend on transfers and wages for Arsenal – the vast majority of ‘fans’ would want him in straight away and voices like yours and mine who argue for doing things the right way, would be very marginal ones. I love the Arsenal for the unexpected. That is what sport is about. Not about buying into an expectation of a trophy.
Amen, brother. Amen.
Lovely blog, thanks.
All that money and they still played like Greece in 2004.
‘It’s a f*cking disgrace’ to quote Dogbra.
Great article, Thanks. Just in case this hasn’t been seen….http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2147522/John-Terry-lampooned-online-Chelsea-captain-lifted-Champions-League-trophy-kit-shinpads-despite-banned-final.html
Great link mate!
The fans calling for Usamov are in general those who became fans on the back of the Invincibles. They just don’t understand what makes a Gooner, something you clearly do.
Will Bookmark this blog..
Stay Classy Gunners
What a truly amazing article..makes you feel real PROUD of being a Gooner.. :’)
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