Arsenal factions: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.

Recently, there has been a new outbreak of fan warfare regarding the Arsenal. A couple of bad results, some poor performances and Mr Wenger making certain statements has once again fuelled caustic and venomous debate within our fan base. It didn’t take long after the euphoria of the FA Cup win. So I thought it would be a good time to repost something I put on A Cultured Left Foot a few months ago.

_____________________________________~~~~~~O~~~~~~_____________________________________

Having now visited and read several different Arsenal fan blogs over a few months, I have started to formulate some thoughts relating to the diverse and sometimes abusive differences which have developed within the Arsenal fan base. The underlying causal factor is quite clear, the internet, which has  connected people from all over the world and therefore, increased the possibility to converse with others on a daily basis. The secondary causal factor is conflict, with a clash of opinion and belief.

 A faction is a subgroup within a larger organization that is in conflict with other members of that organization. Factions occur when a subset of organizational members begin to develop a distinct collective identity that is at least partially at odds with other members. Factionalism refers to this conflict between an organizational faction and other members, or between competing organizational factions. Strictly speaking, factionalism refers to this intra-organizational conflict.   (Kelsey Kretschmer 2013)

 From the perspective of Arsenal fans, the biggest cause of conflict to arise in recent times has been nine trophy-less years and who is to blame, or not to blame, depending on your standpoint. So factions have developed, from the pro-Wenger at one extreme, to the anti-Wenger at the other, with several variations in between. The catalyst for these conflicts appears to be Arsene, stuck in the middle, being judged by the way the team performs, by his decisions, his transfer dealings, his footballing philosophy, his hairstyle and the fact that his zipper doesn’t work.

 Each day on the webby, these discussions, debates, arguments, disagreements and sometimes outright shit slinging take up thousands (if not millions) of typed words. If it was happening in a pub there would be a full-scale riot and people would get hurt. Luckily the internet protects us from  physical violence but verbal abuse is not uncommon, I understand at some games however, different factions have resorted to fisticuffs. (I should put a little smiley here.)

 In 1787, George Madison (well I think it was him, some American geezer anyway) defined factions as groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions.

 What is clear from browsing the internet, is that opinion about the Arsenal, and Wenger in particular, is extremely varied and divided amongst fans and has led to some entrenched views and some quite aggressive reactions to fans with a different perspective. Break away blogs from established blogs have been set up because of the different opinions.

 We can also see a form of Webby guerilla warfare  taking place, by what are endearingly called ‘trolls’. Using various spy like name changes, these internet ‘warriors’ get some form of bizarre pleasure from visiting Arsenal blogs of a different philosophy  and trying to cause havoc and mayhem, often using offensive and abusive terminology and sometimes getting the same thrown back at them.

 “Do you know what “nemesis” means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an ‘orrible cunt…. me.”(Brick-top: Snatch: 2000)

 I’ve not visited or read blogs of any other fan base so have no idea if this happens on the Spud, Man Utd or Chelsea blogs for instance, but my guess is that Arsenal supporters are not unique in this and I’m sure someone will be able to enlighten me.

 Stanley Cohen’s study of Mods and Rockers in the 1960’s was a foundational text both in terms of investigating the workings of subcultural groups and identifying the concept of a ‘moral panic’ generated by the media, which leads to groups being vilified in the popular imagination, and inhibits rational debate about solutions to the social problems such groups represent. The insights Cohen provides into subculture and mass morality are as relevant today as they were when the book was originally published. (Stanley Cohen: Folk Devils and Moral Panics: 1972)

Cohens theory can only be loosely applied to understanding the current situation between Arsenal factions but the fundamental, underlying theme is relevent.

Factions develop over time, drawing together like-minded people, their beliefs being reinforced by regular meetings and discussions which help to consolidate the same ideas and to build a unified front against those with a different perspective. On the internet, this can be multiplied rapidly on a daily basis, whereby a faction is  able to strengthen what they see as their moral high ground.

 So at last, after a trophy-less nine years and a manager with money in his pocket, we  have a nice piece of shiny silver in the Emirates Trophy Cabinet and a bloke called Sanchez Sanchez. As Gollum would say, (puts on Gollum accent)

 “ We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious.” (The Lord of the Rings: 2002)

 As I would say (in the same accent)  “We gots it, we wants to keeps it, we wants to gets more. It’s our precious.”

 The million dollar question is therefore,  has finally winning a trophy changed things between the different factions? Have they all of a sudden come together in a great out-pouring of joy, comradeship and mutual masturbation?…………..from what I’ve seen so far, have they fuck! On the streets of Islington in May it could have been observed that there was a coming together of joy and celebration amongst the fans. But unfortunately, underneath the gloss, the disagreements and venom continue.

 From observation, I’d say some of the vitriol has increased on some blogs. On others, there is the obligatory congratulations, back-slapping  and gloating for keeping the faith with Wenger. Others are still in the ‘lets wait and see camp’ and alternatively, there are those who are just fucking relieved that  we’ve finally won something and Wenger is spending money. So if winning the FA Cup hasn’t changed the differing opinions within the fan base, what does this tell us? I would assert that  the basic flaw is that  we are not just Gooners, we are human as well, and as humans we have different opinions, we are varied and diverse, we feel that we have a right to stand up and be heard and finally, we want to support (or not) the Gunners or the manager in our own unique ways. In addition, we now have the internet to express ourselves, which fundamentally adds up to several different Arsenal blogs with their own philosophy, viewpoint and identity, which in turn, have thousands of fans and commentators with different viewpoints. Given the nature of man, factions are inevitable. As long as men hold different opinions, they will continue to fraternize with people who hold similar views to them.

 Spoon boy: Do not try to bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Spoon boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

( The Matrix 1999 )

 In conclusion therefore, I don’t see much changing in the near future. The disagreements will continue. The vitriol and ‘I told you so’s’ will continue, the gloating and the eating of humble pie will be awaited. So whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever you are, keep blogging in your own specific way, stick to your own individual perspective and contribute to the continuing debate which surrounds our great club.

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” (John F. Kennedy)

________________________________________~~~~~O~~~~~______________________________________

That was the article which I wrote for ACLF just after the FA Cup win, I didn’t realise at the time that the shit slinging would get out of hand again so quickly and with even more venom than before. The vitriol is also being aimed at our players. A recent tweet by Mertesacker about a friend who had died attracted some of the most disgusting comments towards one of our players that I have ever seen on the internet. That is not acceptable and is downright vicious and cowardly. I think as a fan base, and generally a good fan base, we should strive to get these cunts off the internet. They are a blight on our great club. The majority of fans, despite alternative views and opinions of how the club is run and the performances of the team and our manager, are able to discuss the issues calmly and with intelligence.

Beware though, with a couple of crucial games approaching, Man United and Dortmund, if those two games end up as defeats then the Arsenal world will probably go into meltdown. Demonstrations are already being talked about for the  home game against United, if things go badly for us in that game then the backlash against our manager will be vicious.

It’s something I don’t want to see, I don’t want to see Arsène Wenger under that sort of cloud. He has been a great servant to the club and I want to see him go out with pride and dignity. If things get bad on the internet then it won’t be too long before it spills over into the Emirates, something I’m sure most fans don’t want to see, who don’t want to witness the club dragged through the mud and mocked by rival fans and the media. We need to see the boys pull their socks up, claim a couple of good wins and then go on a run of good results. It’s the only thing which will calm the current negativity surrounding the fan base. If we don’t improve our performances then there will be dark days ahead for our club and our manager.

Quote from a recent comment on another Arsenal blog:

“This fighting in the stands has been going on a while tbh.

I first saw it first hand away to Brighton in the FA cup. That must be two years ago, nearly, now. It was after the game, which we’d won, a flag was unfurled and punches were thrown amongst our own.

 

 

Right, time for a glass of wine and some spicy chorizo…… I hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.

à bientôt

GunnersoreArse, an Arsenal chill out bar for those who are searching for a safe haven from the crap that sometimes invades our bloggosphere. A place where fun is more important than argument.  Where wine, women, food and song  live comfortably alongside football and the Gunners. A refuge from the negativity. 

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104 thoughts on “Arsenal factions: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

  1. Morning NB
    A very apt post script.
    As for the text, I shall wait until the star and mail comment and my opinion will be the same ha ha.

    p.s Power…… I love it. 🙂

  2. For a moment there, I thought the Headline was about the time, me, Stretch and VCC went to the Reading game at the Emirates which I said was like the meeting of…..The Good, The Bald and the Ugly Muvver Fucker !……….I`m the good one !.

    Great read `69er and I can tell you that ….yes ! other clubs supporting factions are just as bad !….in two ends of the spectrum you have Manshafter Std and The Spuds !…….The Spuds have been moaning a lot longer than us and rightly so, the knuckle draggers have lived in our shadow and are still awaiting the invention of colour !.
    At the other end you have Man U !. I know a few of these glory hunters and you would think that with all the success they have had over the years, they would accept a couple of years barren spell…..nope !……I know some who were moaning even when they winning stuff !.

    All these different factions of supporters reminds me of The Life of Brian !……you`re either in,,,,,The Supporters Front of Arsenal ! or …The Arsenal Supporters Front !. or……. hahaha

    Here is what I call an intelligent joke, one I wrote for Arsenal academic and professors !……so that’s none of you fucking retards !. hahaha

    How many Totnumb supporters does it take to change a light bulb ?…………….It`s totally irrelevant !.
    Arsenals shadow is more dense than a black hole !.
    Arsenal`s shadow is a place where ordinary shadows have become so extreme that it overwhelms all other forces in the universe.
    Once inside, nothing can escape Arsenal`s shadow – not even light !.

  3. `69er !…….I`m going to ask a question and line you up for a punchline and even though I know what the punchline is going to be ( remember the answer to Brian in the clip ), it still makes me giggle !. hahaha
    OK, ready ?.

    `69er !….are you in The Arsenal Supporters Front ?.

  4. During the 32 year period between 1953/4 & 1985/6 when we only won 4 trophies the media coverage was far more limited and the fans reaction to our plight was far more muted. The internet really changed all of that and now emotions gets whipped up by journalists and sites seeking readership and hits. I’ve heard it said that many headlines are “planted” by various media organizations / personnel for the specific purpose of creating a hit / readership frenzy.

    I personally stay away from the turmoil and read only news that I trust and blogs that I believe in, I’ve supported Arsenal through 68 seasons so a few bad games or bad seasons will have little or no negative effect on this blogger.

    You see I’m a supporter, follower, fan, enthusiast, devotee, ally, backer, adherent, sponsor, advocate, exponent, helper, defender, champion, patron, benefactor or guardian of my club.

    I’m not a Board member, Financial Investor, Manager, Coach, Trainer, Doctor, Player, Referee, Lines-person or Scheduler so I leave all of that to the skilled experts and accept that like us supporters they are also fallible human beings.

  5. Norther,

    I somehow missed your comment/Post on ACLF, and this is the first time I have read it, and I can say that it is truly one of the best Posts I have ever read. Well constructed, and an observational master class, with a sadly all to relevant message.

    I hope I do not sound patronising, but your ‘normal’ persona is one of humour and jest, together with being a bon viveur, but you are also one of life’s hidden writing talents, which is in reality no surprise when coupled with your wonderful artistic skills.

    Thank you – that was excellent. 🙂

  6. That was a really good piece NB

    I think after the Cup win expectations were high for this season but alas up to now things haven’t gone to plan.

    Most of those keyboard warriors are spotty little insignificant shites who take a morbid pleasure in stirring things up,be they true or false.All clubs get them.

    Me, I am just a one off, who needs a haircut 🙂

  7. Actually, The Spuds being derived of sunlight is probably the basis of some of the main characters in HG Wells book….The Time Machine !……published in 1895. Research took HG Wells to Totnumb years earlier and due to his shock at the lack of sunlight in the area and the wealth of fucking ugly residents, he hit on the idea of….The Morlocks !.
    Walk through N17 nowadays with a torch and as you can see from the link, the resemblance is uncanny !.

  8. Good morning muff munchers 🙂

    Thanks for the comments yesterday, it was a slow day for blogs.

    I’m going to be upset if Hodgson plays Walcott this week. He hasn’t played a full game for us yet. But I suppose a small run out against the Jocks won’t do any harm, it won’t, will it?

  9. Small run out would be good for him, maybe, NB. I read it the first time and liked your additions to this updated version as well. The main thing is how tiresome the “debate” on AW has become. Even a new manager won’t have any influence over the board and execs–in fact, he’ll have less than AW. And I respect him over The Kroenkes and Gazidis in all the important matters. I just wish he was able to get the side to play better with the increased resources after a good step last season–it is sad if all we manage is 3rd or 4th and round of 16 in Europe without even playing the scintillating style of 2007-9 or some new version of Wengerball. At the moment I sense no real identity to the team beyond Sanchez brilliance. Hopefully a couple of decent results–I’d be delighted with a win over MU and a deserved draw v. Dortmund–that would give some breathing space. In the meantime, I am making sure to ignore twitter, read blogs sparingly, and enjoy the international break by checking out the London Jazz festival!

  10. Morning Limey

    Glad to see that you are making the most of your time in London. Shame about not meeting up when you were in Provence. Perhaps in April when I’m in London.

    I think every genuine Gooner should be hoping for a win against Utd, though there are those who are hoping that we lose… fecking idiots

  11. Nice one 69

    The in fighting don’t bother me mate. In a couple of years time everyone will be begging Wenger to stay and wishing they could unzip him.

    My fighting days are over, well actually they never even started. I have very feminine hands. I cock my little finger drinking tea for fucks sake. If I wernt thick and straight, I would have made an excellent intellectual homosexual.

    Dont care for groups either. Every organisation I have been a member of has led to expulsion.

    Thrown out of the Bounds Green Subbuteo club for allegedly putting weights in my opponents players bases and the local salsa dance for rubbing up inappropriately the chairmen’s wife.

    All these allegations were false and without foundation

  12. Hahaha Stretch……I thought you were banned from the BGS for putting your tackle in from behind on an opponent in the Semi-Finals of the Bounds Green Inter Toto Cup !….and in the offices of the Bounds Green Subbuteo Association your photo takes pride of place in the Unwanted section, not even a Bounty on you head…..from the photo it looks more like a Twix or a Curly Wurly !.

  13. hahaha, the funny thing about those stories is that the bans are actually true.

    For the Subbuteo one though I was thrown out after refusing to continue after an argument with the ref on whether my shot was a goal or hit the post led to unnecessary violence.

    For the salsa, I admit to the inappropriate grinding. My defence that she was fit and loveing it cut no odds. hahaha

  14. NB,

    I read your comment on AA this morning. The documentary about Keane and Vieira is excellent and a not to be missed show, you will find it to be quite surprising.

  15. Early morning
    See those sneaky bastards at FIFA are going to court in Switzerland to hang a few their own out to dry. Their view presumably is to show that they are indeed transparent and ethical. This of course bollox and is intended to prevent the report from being published. There is plenty of mileage left in this story.
    Sepp Fatter out ha ha

  16. That’s brillant news Kels

    But before you buy the wine, get your teeth sorted out with a decent dentist.

    Me, I prefer to swig whisky around my gums when I have a dental problem, cheaper and much more pleasing 🙂

  17. Hi Kelsey.

    Glad to hear that you got to the root of the problem with your dentist and that he can no longer jerk you about!!

  18. Great film NB, Hoffman was 77 last week.

    Hi GN 5, yes but now I have to start all over again with a new dentist.8 weeks wasted and not very pleasant to eat.

  19. When someone says, “Still, I am pleased for all concerned as to how the blog has moved on and I wish you all well.” it could mean many things Kels………. but don’t read too much into it. He’ll be back tomorrow 🙂

  20. Morning NB
    I see that who knows? In fact who knows anything? Arsene works in mysterious ways, lets just extend Diaby’s. 🙂

  21. I know about Ozil , he wants to go back to Germany but Wenger wouldn’t spunk 42 million and take a loss or would he.

    Michael how much are Rothmans King Size in Ireland, as my son is over for the weekend.

  22. Kelsey
    Not sure as I roll my own, but I think about 11 euros for normal ones, we just had a budget.
    He will want a jacket as it has turned cold, it went down to 0.5d last night here in limerick.

  23. Actually !…..`69er being a piss artist, I could send him the roll up Manure @ £5 tonne and Michael could send him the dead penises from Kilcock as an alternative to chorizos !……..the cupid stunt is always too far gone to know the fcuking difference !. hahaha

  24. Fine bit of writing that NB. A challenging read.

    But …. that scene in Marathon man was one of the first scenes in a movie that I had to turn away from (though Bambi’s Mum dieing was very traumatic)

  25. I`ve just been on ACLF and made a comment, but it`s in moderation !. So in case it doesn`t get released for some kind of mums test, I will copy and paste it here !.

    Nice one `69er !, but have I read this one on another site called ….A Ruptured Left Testicle or something similar ?. hahaha
    Living in the different country of Cornwall, it takes me about 4 hours to get to The Emirates with a journey of 220 miles, which isn`t too bad, but it`s the return journey that’s the bastard !………I have to check in at the Tamar River Cornish Border Control with all sorts of questions such as where to wine and dine farm animals for the price of a pasty and proof that I shag my mother and sister !. It`s so much easier getting out of Cornwall with just a friendly pat on the back and a Cornish Male Choir singing….fcuk off you cockney bastard !. hahaha

  26. Oh well !…..my comment was in moderation on ACLF, but is now…no where to be seen !. I looked at their “about” page and it said profanities will put a comment into “spam”….what ever that is !. Is French connection uk a profanity ?…….maybe, cockney bastard is a profanity !. hahaha

  27. hahahaha. You crack me up Cornwall.

    I understand been pulled up for your horrendous crimes of mentioning mastobatory stretching techniques and the vile offence of uttering that Moronio is a good manager, but been banned for fuck all is taking the piss.

  28. Hahaha Michael, just up my street !. Don’t know if I have put up any on here or whether you have seen any, but Mike Strutter is brilliant ( It`s Paul Kaye, who is a Gooner ! ). For some reason he reminds me of Stretch !. hahaha

  29. You know what Stretch, I still cant get over how Total lost his marbles when I complimented Jose of the fine Hose !. He definitely got more upset about the Jose comment than the inappropriate joke !. Sad really as it`s got fcuking boring on there without something different !, it`s all…..”this is my team, this is my tactics !”………contrast has gone out the window !.
    As for the “joke”, all I said was something on the lines of ……..” I have a first rung of the ladder FA coaching certificate which allows me to teach kids up to the age of 15, football techniques ! ( that is actually true, I got it at the pleasure of her majesty ! ) but I stopped doing it as I was frustrated that they couldn`t grasp the tactics and technique in the showers after the game !”. Fcuking mild compared to other stuff I put on there !. hahaha
    If Bertie Smalls had not got on his evangelical soap box, I doubt if Total would have blinked an eye, but the Jose comment sent him in to meltdown . hahaha

  30. Vic`s !….where the fcuk you been ?. I was going to phone you tomorrow whilst ogling the Jack and Danny on my break in St Ives !.

  31. Vics, me old mate, how the fuck you doing? is everything ok?

    Cornwall, hahaha, you dont have to defend yourself to me mate. If it was down to me i would give you a medal for your comments. However, your praising of Moronio was f*ucking out of order and you deserve to be punished. hahaha

    By the way, ime meeting up with Total for the Dortmund game. TA is a really good guy and ime looking forward to it, but ime turning up in a Morinio mask. hahaha

  32. I`ll give you a bell tomorrow if that`s all right, Vics !……….personally, I cant wait to see the end of 2014, apart from Arsenal doing the double of FA Cup and 4th place, it`s been a shit year on the health front for nearest and dearest !.
    Laterz.

  33. Hahaha Stretch…..anyone would think that he caught me in bed with his wife whilst wearing a Mourinho mask and told me to take his wife out of the room as it was going to get ugly whilst he beat the crap out of the mask !. hahaha

  34. Sh1T end to the year boys…..Arsenal ain’t cheering me up either. Enjoy the game Stretch, ~I might watch it with a beer if there’s nothing decent on the other side.

  35. Sorry to hear that Vics

    Been a shit year for me to. Orphaned at the tender age of 47, having to pay money to two women ime no longer with, three if you include red light Sandra, and to make it worse my cock no longer works as it used to.

    Roll on 2015.

  36. Morning Atse lickers

    VCC… sorry to here that things haven’t been good.

    I had problems with my internet connection yesterday so wasn’t able to participate. Some great banter.

  37. Morning All
    Football tomorrow, looking forward to the match but fearing the result. Our mental strength seems to be found wanting against Utd.

    NB using AA as a sales platform. If arnie likes it it must be good, he knows, I don’t. In which case i’ll bid 10p more than him, but don’t tell him ha ha.

  38. VCC. Not good. Hope 2015 brings a change of fortunes.

    Terry. Is that Red Light Sandra from Bounds Green? If so she is striping both of us – she told me if she was to be a one man girl then I would have to stump up the grandchildren’s inheritance. I have but don’t tell Mrs. R.. 😦

  39. Northbank & Big Raddy…….cheers guys, thanks for your concerns. I’m sure 2015 will bring better fortunes. I become officially retired so a further income from the government reaching 65, that’s always a welcome. Take care guys.

  40. Buenas Dias Northbank1969………….

    You may well be an upstart but your still ugly. 😉 🙂

    Prediction for today…… as both defences are crap it may well be 5-5.

  41. 69er….hope the chorizo and Vino Tinto is going down well this fine morning.

    I may watch the game today if There’s nothing interesting on the other side.

  42. Full English for me this morning 69er.

    Hoping for a lazy day until KO time this evening. Perhaps catch up on the blogs with some Kenco Coffee.

    Latterz

  43. I can beat that NB

    I had a girlfriend who loved to give blow jobs whilst I was driving at about 90 m.p.h. on the M.I. 🙂 no, not in reverse.

    Ah, those were the days.

  44. Looking forward to the game, 12:30 pm our time. I sure hope that AW has figured out the right back issue or Di Maria will take us to the cleaners.

    Not sure I like so many of our team being so friendly with Rooney, they need to remember that he is despised by Arsenal supporters.

    I can’t get rid of this image of Kelsey bobbing up and down along the M1, sounds like he was taken for the ride of his life!!!

  45. The problem with having a Blow Job on the M1 is that eventually the motorway ends, that’s why I prefer a Blow Job on the M25 !…………………………………………………………………………….I should add in case you bastards have been out of the country for too long, that the M25 doesn`t have a start or an end !, it`s a circular motorway !……I hope you lot feel good about your selves now for making me have to explain and ruin my joke !…..bastards !. hahaha

  46. I was driving behind this Greek looking fellow in a convertible on the motorway and he had long flowing hair in the wind !………which was the cause of my crash !, it flew off his head, hit me in the face and blinded me !. I`ve kept it as evidence as it has the culprits name and address in side it !.
    I`ve also set up a petition to have a new law written in the highway code !………Syrup wearers are banned from owning convertibles !……..right off to Bounds Green to return the syrup via Eddies ….”Knuckle Dusters “R” Us ” shop !.

  47. С добрым утром

    New post will be up at 9am GMT. No dooming bollox, no post-mortem of yesterdays game. Just a nice guest post about Highbury and Islington. 🙂

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