By Scott C. Mossman
Sooner Gooners launched our very own YouTube channel this season to produce post-match interviews as well as other content and have been fortunate to see some of those videos end up on the very popular Arsenal Fan TV. One of the most interesting things about seeing SG content on the AFTV channel is reading the comments and the back and forth discussion about the legitimacy of American or otherwise foreign Arsenal fans. I am most definitely on the side that says American Gooners can be every bit as passionate and knowledgeable about the club as anyone else, but that is not to say there aren’t those lacking in knowledge about Arsenal’s history or tactical understanding which sometimes lends to some noticeable ignorance and frustration.
It’s a tough topic to talk about. Many, if not most of us weren’t raised with football much less Arsenal Football Club. Everyone deserves the chance to learn about their favorite club and I always try to be accepting of any Arsenal fan knowing full well I was once in their boat. However, there are times when I do expect a bit more from my fellow Gooners. Yesterday, after our second group stage loss in the Champions League this season, there was quite a lot of bitching and moaning. We defended like children and performed below our potential once again and I’m certainly not going to defend the performance. What gets me is when the complaints reach far beyond what is warranted. I don’t mind if you’re ‘Wenger out’ or if you’re outraged by our lack of activity in the transfer window. There are many Arsenal fans around the world who share those feelings. What bothers me is the generation of foreign fans who came along after Wenger’s early success and the building of the new stadium that carry a ‘super club’ mentality. Arsenal is a very big club and has been for a long time, but too often I hear fans talking about Arsenal as if we’re suddenly a second tier team behind the elite clubs of Europe and we’ve fallen from some mythical European throne. Here’s the thing. We are second tier in terms of historical success in Europe and modern spending ability. Arsenal has never won the European Cup. We have won two separate European competitions which are no longer in existence. For the most part (that’s putting it lightly), Arsenal’s most memorable moments have been domestic and that’s something you must contextualize. Most Sooner Gooners have never even watched an Arsenal team that wasn’t involved in the Champions League and the entitlement I sometimes see is downright ridiculous.
Yes, it’s true that we have been disappointing in the Champions League in recent seasons, but if you were bitching yesterday and talking about how it’s the same shit every season finishing third or fourth and I saw you going mad at the last two cup final events then there’s a slight problem. Look, the guys that watch matches with me at George’s will know how critical I am of the team. That’s part of football. We yell at the TV, drink, and hopefully celebrate. That’s our right as football fans and I’ll do it until I die. However, I’m not going to sit here and act like we’re a shit club for not winning the Champions League while we’re clearly not suited for winning it anyway based on a number of variables. I’m not going to pretend Wenger owes us something while we’re literally winning trophies and competing for the league right now. If the FA Cup isn’t good enough for you, if you can’t handle two poor performances at a stage of a competition we usually do well in, or if you don’t understand why I’m having a go then take a good look at yourself, a Wikipedia page, and maybe an informational video. Arsenal is a great club, but not the best club. If you can’t handle that then I really can’t help you.
The SG Blog
Gooners from Oklahoma share their views and insights about Arsenal Football Club!