10 August 2014

An apology to Man City (and Gooners as well?)

Every once in a while, I go for something a bit satirical, tongue-in-cheek, risque, and so on.Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. My previous post seems to be more the latter than the former. I meant to tweak noses, more playfully than pointedly, but I was too clumsy. Sure, I expected a few Citizens to get irritated, but I figured that Gooners would leap to my defense. That second part didn't happen, leaving me to accept that I failed in what I set out to do. Citizens, I'm sorry. Gooners, I'm sorry.  I hope you will both read on...

I admit to a certain envy. After all, City have skyrocketed to the pinnacle of the Prem, leaving Arsenal in the dust. I'll stand by my disapproval of City's spending, but I admit this: aside from Nasri, whom I dislike for his attitude more than for his departure, I like Man City's squad. I don't think there is a player in it whom I dislike. By contrast, Chelsea is chock-a-block with players (and a manager) whom I loathe. I should take greater care in remembering the distinction going forward.

It is true that Arsenal snaps up players from other clubs.It is a business,  and I don't imagine for a moment that we are pure and innocent, playing only those who come up through our youth system, but I do maintain that we differ from other big clubs in having a bit more balance in our squad. I am proud that we continue to find and develop our own players and have mixed feelings about our new aggressiveness in the transfer-window. Chances are that another trophy or two will sort that ambivalence in a hurry, though...

Speaking of trophies, I overlooked how long-suffering Citizens, those who have followed the club since well before its dizzying ascension, might dislike the recent arrival of a few glory-hunting fans, who have likely exacerbated the sense among others that Man City are nothing but some oligarch's toy. There is meaning and pride in supporting a club through thick and thin, and those who have experienced more of the thin than the thick deserve better than what I offered the other day. Even some of the band-wagoners do, too. You have to choose a club (or have a club choose you) at some point, after all. Those new fans who are loyal to the club even after the bloom is off the rose will know what it means and the others will have skulked away anyway, probably to whoever finishes above City this season (ahem) or next.

Without trying to aound sly, I wish I could claim to have supported Arsenal through the leanest of times, but I imagine that most clubs would trade most of their best years for our worst. In the thirty-odd years that I have supported Arsenal, we have had a few mid-table finishes, but it has been almost twenty years since we fell out of the top four. In other words, I haven't had to suffer, nor has my faith been tested. Who am I then to heap scorn on some other fan's dream? By "fan", of course, I refer to those who have the club in their hearts, not those who decide whom to support based on who's atop the table that week.

Long story short, I apologize again for coming across as bitter and as ill-informed as I did, even moreso on the eve of a friendly match and ahead of an exciting season for us both.  All the best, City, and may you finish above Man U, Chelsea, and Liverpool...but below Arsenal!