Of all the planned Arsenal protests, the one on Saturday received the most attention.
Parts of the media were almost willing it to succeed but what they witnessed at the Emirates forced them to readdress their narrative about Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger.
You see, for the past number of years, the voices and opinions of the loudest, most obnoxious of Arsenal fans have been the ones presented to the world as the voice of all Gooners. When Piers Morgan speaks, the press feel that the Arsenal fanbase has spoken. When certain fans call for Wenger to die, they estimate the discontent amongst Arsenal fans to be verging on hysterical.
Make no mistake, more Arsenal fans now think that Arsene Wenger should probably leave Arsenal and that the time for change has come as things grow ever staler. But what we saw on Saturday was the quiet majority standing up and saying, in one voice, ‘you will not treat our greatest ever manager this way.’
I think Wenger should probably be replaced. I don’t want to think it and I’ve fought against it for a while now. I want nothing more than to see him turn it around, but I don’t think he can, not anymore. That saddens me.
But when I hear the vitriol of some fans aimed towards this man that has revolutionised football and our club, all it makes me want to do is get behind him regardless of what is happening on the pitch.
I realise that makes no sense, but I also know that I’m not alone in reacting like this.
It is a natural instinct to defend something or someone you cherish and that, even in part, helps explain why the crazy ones act the way they do – they feel they are protecting their club. Others feel they need to protect the manager for what he has done for the club.
The protest during the Norwich game was meant to cause some problems for the club and Arsene Wenger but it was a calculated risk. RedAction, an organisation that does amazing work for fans, rolled the dice, backed the protest, and now has to live with the consequences of that action.
Will it harm their relationship with the club when it comes to organising the spectacular displays that we’ve witnessed, such as the one against Barcelona this season?
The protesters themselves have been damaged as well. They have now had the spotlight shone firmly on them and from out of the darkness, the masses realise that it was just a band of angry people lurking in the shadows who have voices louder than their number.
They also managed to unite the rest of the fans against them and uniting Arsenal fans in anything these days is quite a feat, so kudos for that.
It’s not clear where we go from here, but what is certain is that the team need us behind them. Third place is not yet secure but second is within reach, while fourth still looms as a possibility.
Ultimately, what’s best for Arsenal is winning football games. We might differ on how we go about that, but we all want to see Arsenal win.
180 minutes of support during games is not much more to ask, is it?
After all, I think we can all agree on the fact that we want what’s best for Arsenal. Can’t we?