OPINION: Arsenal fans must return to ‘fandom’ – By Baba Grumpy

We all leave in a new world. A world of instant gratification, a world of me first where people’s feelings trumps any other consideration. Welcome to this wonderful new world.

These me first ism has resulted in the return of the Wenger Out protesters in the last few days. The ‘Wenger Outers’. They took a smack in the face last season during the Norwich game when the fans inside the stadium without prompting started signing the praise of Arsene Wenger.

Sit back, take a deep breath and reflect on that occasion. The spontaneous Pro Wenger chant was smack bang at a time when we were on course to lose our bragging rights against the pesky little Middlesex neighbours. A majority of fans forgot that for a long moment and paid homage to our greatest manager of modern times – Arsene Wenger.

The protesters didn’t learn back then. They have started again this season. They are quite vocal online. I hope this is not a case of empty barrels and all that. The protest march before the Bayern game attracted the media but had less than a 100 people participating according to observers / onlookers.

A fan who wanted to organize a pro Wenger march was apparently dissuaded by threats of bodily harm. It is a big shame if those who are exercising their rights by marching turn around to deprive others of the same rights just because they are at different sides of the Wenger debate.

The Wenger Outers clearly don’t want Wenger. It is their right but they do not speak for the fan base. The miniscule support for their protest marches and the lack of support inside the stadium evidence this.  These minorities are turning the club and its fans into a circus act. They are helping the media feed a narrative of crisis and failure. Two scenarios that clearly does not describe Arsenal. Narratives only designed to fill the ‘sheepy’ click links of the media and ravenous pretentious bloggers. The protesters are helping charlatans disguised as fans feed fat on the pain and suffering of all genuine fans.

Yes we have had a torrid January & February in our two top competitions. Everybody knows that, the club; the manager; the players; and the fans. It hurts everybody. The only people who are not hurting and who revel in the run of poor results can never be called Arsenal fans. It doesn’t matter if the great satan is Arsenal’s manager, a TRUE Arsenal fan will never wish the club ill for any reason.

You don’t like Wenger? Hold your nose and support your club. Support the boys in red proudly. Create a frightening atmosphere for opponents inside the Emirates. Lets turn our home turf into a boiling cauldron for those competing against our players. Let us well and truly be the famed 12th man not organizing all these purposeless marches designed to turn everything about Arsenal into a joke.

For me, Wenger’s position is assured in the history of world football especially in England and Arsenal. The way football is going there will never be another manager to go the whole season undefeated. Wenger is in a peer group of 1. Mourinho for one desperately wants to crack that group and is even more horrible to Wenger because he can never attain that goal or the status Wenger has with all the top guys in football.

Yes the stats speak for themselves, the last time we won the league was 2004. Yes FA Cups no longer counts except Manchester United wins it. True 4th place finishes are irrelevant except Wenger and Arsenal drop out.

But what has not changed is Wenger keeps Arsenal at the top table achieving something The Spuds will die for. Something Liverpool will kill for. Something Man U will pay £100m for right now. Yes those three and many others have changed their managers multiple times but they still cant lay hands on Arsenal & Arsene’s records.


Mr. Wenger’s time will come soon. Maximum, in four years time, he will retire. Maybe he will consider the French Football Manager’s role then who knows but at the moment, his life work is Arsenal. He wants to finish his career at our great club. Not because of the £8m per annum salary as some ignorantly infer, not because he doesn’t have other options as some sneer but because he is loyal to this club he has helped modernize, this club he has given a fair share of his working career to.

Arsene is a decent man. A very decent man. A thoroughly decent man. I believe  him when he says his commitment to the role is still as strong as ever and he himself will walk away when he thinks he can’t contribute positively. I believe Arsene, I trust Arsene more than any of the protesters especially the ones who we are now aware have criminal records. The ones who appear to be failures in their personal lives and are feeding fat and getting multiple 5 minutes of fame by denigrating The Arsenal. These ones who who appear to be clinging to Arsene Wenger’s good name to make a notorious name for themselves and other Arsenal fans.

Mark my word, these Wenger Outers will be the first to turn on whatever new manager is appointed when Wenger leaves in 2 or 4 years time.

My message to all Arsenal fans, SUPPORT THE ARSENAL. Let us return to ‘FANDOM’. The support for Arsenal should be for the squad of players, the manager / coach and his staff and the Board.



Baba Grumpy works in Financial Services in the United Kingdom. He blogs mostly about football at http://babagrumpy.blogspot.co.uk. His Twitter handle is @BabaGrumpy

8 thoughts on “OPINION: Arsenal fans must return to ‘fandom’ – By Baba Grumpy

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