A love hate relationship

by Peter Pickles

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

I’m a typical fickle armchair supporter.

I’m not the only one. There are hundreds and thousands of us skulking around the edges of football. We’re defined by our intermittent love for the game, and our wavering support for our chosen team. We’re the guys who only watch MOTD when our side win. We’re the people who go to the pub for the big match, when really we’re there for the social aspect of it. We’re the curmudgeons who fork out for a ticket once every three years, then spend the whole time at the stadium moaning about the price of hotdogs or the uncomfortable plastic chairs—or the lack of hot women in attendance. We’re the people who shout about our love for (insert team) when we’re winning, and shout about our hate for (insert team) when we’re losing. We’re basically like discontented husbands.

We’re the fickle armchair supporters.

I support Arsenal, who themselves are an inconsistent unit of players, a team intent on ruining my faith on a bi-weekly basis. I’d almost prefer to support a team like Hull, because at least with them any result is a good result—even a loss. They could lose thirty games in a row, and it wouldn’t surprise me or upset me or annoy the fans, fickle or otherwise. But with Arsenal, there are certain demands and expectations that us fans (at least us armchair fans) want to see fulfilled. Otherwise we’re not happy. We become despondent, even if most of us don’t know what that word means.

When we’re winning, I always assume we’re going to win forever; just one victory after another, until either I die or the premiership joins with the La Liga and loses all credibility as a league. I automatically believe we’re unbeatable, another team of “invincibles”. I tell everyone THIS is our year (forgetting that I say this every year) and THIS season we’re going to win everything: FA CUP, the premiership, that competition that used to be sponsored by Coke before they realised no one cares about it, the Champions League, and any other cup someone else can think of or invent. I usually say this to everyone with belief and great alacrity, as do most typical fickle armchair Arsenal fans, even if they don’t know what alacrity means without the help of a teacher. (It means enthusiasm, to save a few of you a trip to dictionary.com and/or your aunty who seems to know everything; from the meaning of long words to where you can find good quality coke to who your real dad is).

But then along comes the inevitable: they let me down. They let us ALL down.

Arsenal switch from champions of the world to a team you usually see playing in a park on a cold Sunday morning, most of the players jogging off at half time to the nearest bush to either relieve themselves, or to relieve their teammates, depending on which park you go to.

I stop applauding Van Persie as the next Dutch Delight; I no longer call speedy Gonzales Walcott Wunderkind, nor do I refer to Alex Song as anything other than nappy-headed (which I occasionally add HO to, if he’s played particularly bad). All the team receive an equal amount of chagrin, even if most of us—including me—don’t really know what that means. Also, everyone hears about my disappointment and shame to be an Arsenal supporter.

I then switch tactics: I tell everyone Arsenal are terrible, the manager should be fired, the players are slow and stupid and probably rapists, too. I lament my team in every single way possible. I even consider giving up watching football altogether.

Then the next week they win four-nil or five-nil or eight-five, and I’m back to loving them and praising them again. No more cussing my players; they’re once again amazing.

I’d like to be a fan who sticks with his team, through thick and thin (like Sol Campbell did in the showers), but it’s just not in me to do it.

Because I’m a typical fickle armchair Arsenal supporter (quite a mouthful I know; I said the same thing to Sol Campbell), and at the moment of writing this: I hate them, they’re rubbish, Wenger should be fired, and Bendtner should be shot.

Hopefully they’ll win soon and change my mind again.

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  • Mike somerville

    They’re not that inconsistant! At least they haven’t spent that much money on players, compared to the likes of Man City ( who are struggling when you think about what they’ve spent.)

    They can be frustrating, but they’ll come good! Big part of supporting a football team, faith.

  • Peter Pickles

    I had faith tonight…and they lost 3-0. They don’t deserve my support lol

  • stevie

    we were well beaten again. I Wenger has got the blend totally wrong. You can’t expect kids to beat the likes of a full strength City away from home.

    What’s more worrying if we’ve hardly created a chance in 3 games against Premier League opposition. We were averaging 3 goals again, as per usual we’ve lost one player and we’ve folded like a pack of cards.

    TIME TO SPEND. No more we have good spirit blah blah blah

  • Peter Pickles

    We’ve got Eduardo syndrome…

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    We can’t take this defeat to seriously to be honest. However, it’s obvious to see we urgently need a world class forward. Vela may become one but we can’t keep waiting for the kids to mature. We were very naive last night, rosicky who should know better was quilty of giving the ball away for the first goal.

    It’s also obvious to everyone except Wenger that Silvestre is woeful. I would like to see the goals conceded stats when he has played.

  • Peter Pickles

    Yeah Silvestre is worse than Senderos…lol

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