By Matt Giles
No playoffs? Relegation? Transfer Window? What the hell is an Özil? These are all questions that were uttered from my ignorant mind regarding the beautiful game three years ago. I quickly found the world of football was way more than just a ball being kicked into a net.
After the 2010 World Cup and my selection of the glorious Arsenal as my team to support, I began divulging into everything Arsenal. You see, I have what some might call an extreme commitment and obsession for things that I choose to indulge in (thus the beer gut I’ve carried since college) and so my life became invaded by this newfound delight.
I played soccer when I was a kid and understood the rules of how to play, but the structure of the EPL was completely different than any other sport here in the United States that I have followed. Thank you Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. for taking initiative in the creation of the Internet! It was there that I found many countless nights reading and studying the history of Arsenal and the competitions they were involved in.
However, nothings sparked my curiosity more than when January 2011 came rolling in and I began to hear the phrase “Transfer Window” muttered everywhere. Rumors after rumors flooded in with players leaving their team and joining others. This excitement was all new to me. It became very much a rush to read up on transfer news and hear of the newest player linked with Arsenal and the ones rumored to leave. It was a very fascinating aspect to the sport that was completely new to me. However, after heartache and disappointment I had come to loath it.
I feel that I became a Gooner at a very interesting time in Arsenal’s history. My love and support was growing each day but was met with the negativity of unsatisfied “seasoned” Gooners. I soon began to wonder if I had picked the right team. At this point we had gone quite a while without any silverware and people were shouting for the removal of that skinny Frenchman whose name I couldn’t keep locked in my memory (not sure why I had such a hard time remembering Arsene Wenger’s name back then, but whatever).
Five transfer windows I went through up until this summer. After experiencing the sale of big name players such as Nasri, Fabregas, and that Judas Van Piece of Shit, I had found myself easily engulfed in the anger and bitterness that I was reading about. I found myself critical and negative with the club’s handlings of the business as if my 3 years of following Arsenal has given me the qualifications to know how things should be ran. Sure I have opinions and ideas but honestly what good are they other than to blow up a Facebook support page?
I had a major revelation at the end of last season that caused me to become Matthew McConaughey chill and a better Gooner. This freedom took me through my sixth transfer window with a calm head and controlled nerves. To be a Gooner means to love and support the club regardless. Period. Sure we can object to something we do not like, however, that does not mean we don’t support the club. For me though, it has become more enjoyable to cheer our boys on regardless of who they are, who has left, or who has joined the team. This summer it was easy not to get lost in the madness that is the “crazy season”. I was just ready for August to get here so I could wake my kids up early in the morning by yelling at my TV and teach them how to swear just a bit more at the scum we happen to play against. Sure I wanted to see us bring in new talent and strengthen our squad, but in the end it didn’t matter. I would not allow my support, attitude, and love for the club to be waived. I made the choice to cheer louder and sing harder no matter what! I feel somewhat foolish, perhaps immature, as I am still a pretty new supporter, of the way I had allowed my emotions to roller coaster during previous windows as if I were some pathetic teenaged pubescent fat kid who writes crappy poetry because “she” chose the other guy.
I’m stoked to have brought in Özil. It is a breath of fresh air and I think it has chilled out a lot of people. I have high hopes for the Arsenal this season. But above all the noise and craziness, I’m just proud to be a Gooner!
The SG Blog
Gooners from Oklahoma share their views and insights about Arsenal Football Club!