Following Wednesday’s nights torpedoing of El Submarino Amarillo at the Grove our season is at a cusp. Before we all start ‘avin’ it large like we’re all eight feet tall and covered in hair (only Gooner Geezers that is), let’s not forget it could all end in tears before this month is out. However, before the end of May we COULD have achieved something VERY special.
And when I say “we”, I mean all of us. Players, Le Boss, the coaches and the vital backroom technical, medical and administrative staff, the board and chief executive and, most importantly, US, the fans. We need to crank up the volume. The players need to feel the love.
I hesitate to raise this now. I’m the last one to tempt fate. IF we do go through to either Wembley and/or Rome for the FA Cup and Champions League Finals though. We should be prepared to go the extra mile to bring the boys home with the silverware. I’m not naive. I know many of the players are at Arsenal because we made them the best offer in their view, financial and otherwise. I don’t mind that, as long as they’re professional and put in the work and mental concentration needed. I’ll never criticise any player in an Arsenal shirt if they give it their all. I expect them to leave it all out on the field in every game in return for their generous salaries and bonuses. Even if a player is having a stinker I won’t get on their back if I’m convinced they’re giving it their best.
I also understand the legal status of the club as a public limited company. The directors have a legal duty to the shareholders and nobody else. I’d much prefer the club to belong to us the fans. I do what I can to achieve that by supporting and helping the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust where I can. To me Arsenal is and always will be a club, not a business. Of course it should be run on sound, sustainable business lines. Nobody ever asked for their ashes to be scattered at Tesco’s however. Most of us enjoy an emotional attachment to our club. For me it’s a large part of my social experience.
If, and I emphasise if, we go through to Wembley and/or Rome I’d like both finals to be something we can all remember.
I want all the fan groups and fanzines/websites/blogs to work together, involving the club if at all possible on a positive basis, to put on a big, big show at either or both finals. I’m raising this now and risking the wrath of the Gods of presumption because time will be short if we get through either or both semi-finals. I haven’t got any ideas set in stone. I want to start a debate.
I’ve put a few photos on this blog of the fans of my Argentine team River Plate to promote debate. Let me know what you think. I know Britain is a different culture to Argentina but I think a lot of the ideas could work if we’re all prepared to get in the boat and pull on the oars together.
That’s all for the future however (we hope!) Tomorrow is yet another vital, monster game against the Forces of West London Darkness. Let’s really go for it with total focus and determination on and off the park. On a prosaic note those good people at the Football Supporters’ Federation (check out their website have ascertained there is NO prohibition on taking food or drink into Wembley. The information sent out with tickets is wrong. You are NOT permitted to take in glass bottles and tops may be taken off plastic bottles but that’s it. The FSF would like to hear from you if some over-zealous steward tries to confiscate food or drink. Contact details on their website.
Setanta Sports have launched an online FA Cup fans channel where you can have your say and upload footage of your favourite goals, fouls and sending offs to share with all. You can also win 2 tickets to the FA Cup final at Wembley or a copy of PES 2009 for X Box or Playstation.
That’s it. I doubt if I’ll be getting much sleep tonight. Nearly 53 years old and I’m still like a kid on Christmas Eve before big games. No shortage of them in the coming weeks. Love it!
Keep the faith!