It’s safe to say that 2017 hasn’t been the best year to be an Arsenal fan but what are the absolute worst things about being a Gooner?
Although Arsenal fans have been spoiled in the past with the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp playing for our club in their peak years, Arsene Wenger introducing total football to our club, and going a whole season unbeaten, Gooners don’t always have a great time.
Particularly not recently.
Wenger, who was once one of the most respected managers in the game, appears to be past it, our best players apparently want to leave and fans don’t know what team is going to turn up from one week to the next.
We can go from beating Spurs 2-0 to getting defeated 3-1 at home to United weeks later.
Being a Gooner these days isn’t as fun as it used to be, that’s for sure. Well, at least not 15 years ago anyway.
With this in mind, what are the worst things about being an Arsenal fan?
1. “Arsenal used to be so good…”
We can’t seem to go a single week without pundits going on about how great Arsenal used to be.
“Yeah, well, we’re not anymore alright, let’s move on!” I cry as I re-watch the Gunners’ second title-winning match at White Hart Lane on YouTube.
2. Former players losing respect for Wenger
You can probably count on one hand how many ex-Manchester United players came out and criticised their former boss after they’d left the Red Devils.
Ex-Arsenal players are practically queuing up to slag Wenger off.
3. The Transfer window
For most clubs, their managers sign the players they need during the transfer window and strengthen their squad with the budget they have available.
Not Arsenal. We have no idea who we’re buying, if we’re even going to strengthen, or if players are randomly leaving (Gabriel to Valencia?!).
“I hate it. I hate it so much,” said one Reddit user.
“As an Arsenal fan, one can only feel helpless.
“But, whenever I feel like I’ve made it. When I feel like it really isn’t worth to contemplate about, as other problems still remain. When I’m sure that this year, I’m not going to get sucked in. I relapse. It starts with a simple, little YouTube compilation. A quick Scoutnation video. Just one. I mean, how bad can it be?
“Hours later I know how much he weighs, how much pace he has on FIFA and the birthname of his mother.
“Then. The inevitable disappointment. When it’s clear, that the happening status isn’t “it’s” anymore but “it’s not”. Hello darkness my old friend. Same old story. Wonga spend some money! The void remains. Waiting to be filled by the “next Viera” or the “next Henry”.
“Every year, every transfer window, every day – I’m like a mini-Wenger. Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.”
4. Constant negativity
Arsenal fans love a moan but when the comments towards our player and manager are downright abusive, the internet isn’t a nice place to be.
“Everyone thinks it’s easy to play and manage a football team. It’s easy to see things after they’ve happened and quite a different thing to make decisions when you don’t know the future.”
5. Biased media coverage
Arsenal’s media coverage is absolutely biased. Whether it’s because the press genuinely just don’t like Wenger or Gooners are easy targets, I don’t know.
“There’s this constant need to paint us as the bad guys, ever since the club hired a foreign manager, and Pires being a “filthy diver” and all this s**t. We got that stamp back then from 1996 and onward, and it hasn’t really diminished. It’s infuriating. It feels like a constant uphill struggle.”
6. The feeling that nothing is ever going to change
“Every December, we fall apart and drop points that we have no business dropping.
“Every transfer window, we stop short of making every buy we need to.
“Every game, Wenger makes substitutions that make no sense.
“Our strategy for each game is either 4 at the back or 3 at the back. There is no effort to tailor a squad to an opponent’s weaknesses.
“Every 2 years, Wenger gets a contract extension.
“Every year, Spurs look a little better and a little more exciting. We look exactly the same.”
7. The humiliating defeats
“I know it happens to every club, but it happens to us far more frequently than any other club in the top 6 – the 8-2, the 6-0 v Chelsea, the 6-3 v City, the 5-1 vs Liverpool, the various 5-1 we’ve had against Bayern etc…
“It’s happened too many times in our history that I get all pumped up for a big match, only for us to not even put up a fight.”
8. Our owner genuinely does not care
Stan Kroenke literally could not give a damn about what happens to Arsenal as long as he’s making money.
9. Injuries upon injuries
Silly injuries, serious injuries, ALL the injuries!
10. The eternal Wenger debate
Will he stay? Should he stay? #WengerOut
11. Club in Crisis™
“The way non fans eat up all the media bullshit about us and think we are a club in crisis as a result.”
12. Alexis Sanchez
Honestly, anyone would think he was the manager.
“Having to hear about Sanchez every single time I try and watch a match or read any Arsenal-related news.”
13. The death of Wenger-ball
Whenever I hear pundits bring up Arsenal’s free-flowing style of play, I instantly know they’ve not watched us in action for years.
“Our once beautiful passing play style has now been replaced by sideways passing with at most one or two penetrating passes a game, even though we dominate the possession stat.”
14. Life is like a box of chocolates…
“You never know what you’ll get with us, it’s not good for your heart.
“It would be like approaching your dog and being very high pitched and very happy/bubbly so it gets excited and starts wagging it’s tail. Then immediately putting on a deep voice and telling them how bad they are. Poor thing would be traumatised after a few weeks, That’s Arsenal fans but it’s been an entire decade.
“Edit: Please don’t do that to your dog.”
15. The gradual acceptance of mediocrity
If we realise we’re a top six team at best, maybe it won’t hurt as much?
16. Scapegoats R Us
Either it’s Mesut Ozil, Arsene Wenger or a lack of cojones. We always need a scapegoat.
“If we look closely at the actual events occurring during each individual game, we can determine why we lost/drew.
“The reason doesn’t have to always be the long-term issues we had. Sometimes it’s just 1 player having an off-day, another it can be injuries (downplayed reason for our lack of success imo), another it can be refereeing decisions.
“But no, it’s always that our club has no leader, Wenger tactics, and players having no balls etc..
“I believe the Arsenal image would be much different had we been rightfully critical most of the time, but now the Arsenal name is working against us with all this negative media attention we receive, be it the players’ psyche, transfers or whatever else. It’s not fair.”
I’m pretty positive the only people who watch ArsenalFanTV are opposition fans who want to laugh at us.
Arsenal fan tv absolutely finished it for me. Celebrating total imbeciles.
— Dave Strauss (@Goodman_london) December 31, 2017
Ticket prices are high for everybody but when your club doesn’t appear to care about playing football, just getting money, it’s pretty gutting.
19. Piers Morgan supporting to same team as you
I don’t think I need to elaborate.
20. Fans divided
Right now it is the divisions in the fan base : so many factions constantly at war with each other, when we should be turning the guns outward
— REDaction Gooners (@REDactionAFC) December 31, 2017
21. Watching Spurs get better
It’s a tough pill to swallow and they’re not title-winning material at the moment, but they’ve looked far sharper than Arsenal for a couple of seasons now. Yuck.