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A Civil War Among Arsenal Fans Is Developing And A Divided Club Wont Succeed

Our Arsenal fan ‘Lloyd the Gooner’ looks at how the divisive attitude towards many players has left Arsenal a ‘divided club’ that can’t unite behind the team

Andre Santos Arsenal

There were undoubtedly angry exchanges between Arsenal fans at Brighton on Saturday. Already this season there have been demonstrations about the running of the club. It is also the case that, as far as I understand the history of the game, a divided club will not succeed.

Santos may have been the pantomime villain at the weekend, useless is a common view, but his performance was not the only divisive aspect of the game. So many players divide the fans. Large numbers feel the squad as a whole is nowhere near what it should be even given the financial position of the club as compared to our rivals and the building of the stadium. There are others that want to see this team given a chance to develop.

A civil war amongst the fans is developing because of the inconsistency in performance of the team and individual players. We win and one faction asks for patience to allow the team to develop, we lose or play as we did for the most part at Brighton and the antis are in full voice. And the pros and antis for this player or that have their say.

So much in the game of football is subjective. There is no batting average or a PB. But I cannot recall a time since I have been watching Arsenal, 45 years or so, when SO MANY PLAYERS divide opinion.
Around the time of the double in 1971 John Sammels was singled out for criticism by some fans so much so he had to leave the club. A wonderfully polished midfielder who could pass and was famed for the power of his shooting but his departure left the club largely united. Paul Davis was another player who for many years criticised unfairly. He turned the fans round and proved the doubters wrong and in the end was a force for unity. Whatever the rights and wrongs of each they were rare cases.

This season I have heard regular criticism of EVERY player apart from Jack Wilshere. Gibbs is beginning to get that sort of respect too.

That is only half the story though. Those same vilified players have many supporters that won’t hear a bad word about their particular favourite. Even Santos. I read many comments in support on Sunday. One fan trotted out his Brazil caps and how that MUST make him a good player. If he trots out that line in the stands it’s no surprise that a, shall we call it ‘difference of opinion ‘, develops!

We are a house divided, sadly, but how can we unite around a squad with pro and anti factions for practically every player? And we haven’t even started on the subject of the manager…Arrrgghh!!


What are your views on the state of AFC right now? Get involved in the comments section.



  1. RL

    January 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Pipe down bro…and go get a job. a real one.

    Manure fans were divided on the Glazers. But standing fairly tall today!!

    • WC

      January 30, 2013 at 12:44 am

      But Fergie is the great equalizer as he continues to win. Wenger and the Arsenal board are not winning anything and there’s not even much of that beautiful football anymore to be seen. Maybe only when we play relegation teams and rack up 7-2 scores but not actual good teams.

  2. Ed

    January 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    What a load of liberal flower power nonsense.

    We should be united as a team of supporters calling for change, demonstrating and fighting this board and their glove puppet Wenger to save this club. (and we know where the fist goes in a glove puppet)

    Let us not forget that we are British and that Brits draw a line in the sand and make a stand.
    We don’t bow our heads and skulk away with our tails between our legs.
    As long as we turn the other cheek the board and Wenger will continue to f**k us over.

    Now they throw us bones of ‘no price rise for tickets next year’ FFS do they really think Arsenal fans are that gullible?

    We should be together in calling for change and those who defend Wenger must defend his failings of 8 years and there is no defense for that!

    Don’t know where you have been but Santi has been playing consistently better than any single player on the team this season and you place Jack above him? If it had not been for Santi we would not be anywhere near 6th place!

    • MG

      January 29, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      It comes down to the chairman and his approach to business practice.

      Unfortunately for us Stan Kroenke has no love for our club, he bought it to make money and that is what he is doing.

      The sooner he pays off the debt, the sooner whichever glove puppet is running the club will be able to work unrestrained.

  3. Mfournier

    January 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Wow if there was ever a post designed to get comments that will prove it’s own point this is it

    BUT you are wrong about one thing the Fan base being divided is NOT the same as the TEAM being divided. I think many fans put way too much importance on Fan support vs success.

    If the players are good you can boo them all you want and it will only drive on even more. (kind of like when Ade came back against us with City or Cole with Chelsea)
    or you can You can cheer in favor and give all the support you want but if the players are not good enough to beat their opponents the team will still lose.

    Fans like to feel they are part of the team and through their support they somehow can effect the outcome of the game well if that was the case NO away team would ever win. It may be exciting and add to the enjoyment of a match but it really does not make much of a difference only the players can really effect the outcome of the game.

    And I think if you have the drive to make it to the first team of a EPL team a few fans booing you should not mean much if you really have the quality.
    Hay I am not even a pro but when I play I do not need someone to tell me when I F,,up I know it and if someone, be it spectators or team mates yell at me for it I know I deserve it and play harder to make up for it. If players in the Arsenal squad are not playing well they deserve to hear it from the fans the manager and their team mates. hay there are plenty of quality players that would all love to play for Arsenal so if they want to keep their first team place then need to earn it.

  4. g clarke

    January 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Where should the squad be man c chel got all the money and still not top arsenal has a wonderful set of players and and will have most for next years if people can’t see that they should follow a sport they understand

  5. sadiq

    January 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    hmmmm! na arsen wenger causes all these long standing shambolic situation. wawa kawai!

    • MG

      January 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      I bet you go every week.

  6. Chongo

    January 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I am all for house cleaning and getting rid of some Arsenal fans especially the racists (enemy within). I disagree about division killing a club, instead I see the club getting stronger when young players get appreciation, not derision. Who is Arsenal’s nucleus now?
    Walcott, Gibbs, Diaby, Wilshere, Cazorla,Sagna, AOC. THEY HAVE TWO THINGS IN COMMON. hatred by Arsenal fans at one time. Were nt purchased players,except Santi but Wenger products.Get rid of non fans.

    • Jenkins

      January 30, 2013 at 4:16 am

      Regarding ‘Wenger products – not purchased’ players – all were purchased with significant transfer fees and came through other teams acadamies except Wilshire and Gibbs:
      Walcott and AOC purchased from Southampton
      Cazorla – Malaga
      Sagna and Diaby – Auxerre

  7. jah!

    January 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Santos should be sold his is useless… And C. J is getting there..

  8. Goonerboyo

    January 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks Lloyd for a thoughtful balanced analysis of the situation in our club at the moment.
    I don’t for one minute doubt that the disenchantment felt among fans towards certain players is also reflected within the squad.
    It is only natural to resent consistently poor performances which let the team down badly.
    Your critique is fair.
    I am beginning to think that some of the fans posting on this site are either unable to read or if able cannot understand the text.
    Onwards and upwards. Hopefully

  9. ArsensalisYourDaddy

    January 29, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    The anti Wenger group are made up of twitter rectums passionately pleasuring each other with ‘Wenger out’ twitter orgasms. If these butt pimples ever got away from the FIFA12 box to.real life, the pressure would crush their 6 brain cells.

    • MG

      January 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Absolutely bang on.

      We are not going to do a portsmouth, once the debts are cleared we will begin competing for the title of biggest club in the world.

      This is a capitalist world we live in, its business sense that is required, not spoiled ‘supporter’ day dreams.

  10. ArsensalisYourDaddy

    January 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Remember Nuru Suhin and the weeping by the unwashed rectums screaming Arsene must buy Nuri or else the world would end. How is Suhin doing? Shut up and leave decisions to adults!

  11. Prof Grey

    January 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    This is one of the most thoughtful and insightful blogs I have read for a first time. With your permission I’d like to cite it on our own blog – – to draw attention to the sense of perspective we must all have when we comment on the club we all love so much. I look forward to reading more of the same in the future.

  12. MG

    January 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    So there is a little disagreement because our form has been slipping.

    Show me a manager who can do a better job with the 2m a year transfer budget (Net spend over the last 10 years) and I will agree changing the manager may be a good thing.

    Back in REAL LIFE, if we want the money we pump into the club every week to be freed up then there is one thing we must unite to achieve.


    Only then will our manager (Who ever that may be) have both hands released from behind his back to get on and do the job properly.

    Either most of the debt is paid off by kroenke or Usmanov buys him out and does it.

    That is what must be done for our club to begin to rise once again.

  13. lloydthegooner

    January 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    As far as I’m concerned no problem but check with the guv’ner at FOOTBALLTALK.By the way for those of you that have gone in for a bit of mind reading and decided what my view is…!? er…I could be a Spurs fan for all you know!

  14. RealisticGooner

    January 30, 2013 at 3:01 am

    This is the storm before the calm because sooner rather than later all those screaming for Wenger & Stan out will be choking on their cries. All these fans think is hand over all the work AW has done with the Emirates Stadium to protect the clubs future over to Usmanov so he can reap the rewards & buy us trophies. These supporters are crazy merely building there hate on 7 trophy less seasons yet are so blind to realise they have a £600mil trophy sitting smack bang in the middle of North London. Blinded by the pitch to not see what’s around them. Arsenal are almost debt free they have money to spend are self sustained & are the 4th wealthiest club in the world. By the end of this season Arsenal FC will have if you include their current funds available, CL Qual, the funds from Queensland Rd & profit, close to £100mil in cash reserve. The clubs total debt has dropped below £100mil. We are on the home stretch to finishing this transition from grounds and these Wenger out supporters want to destroy it. Tell me what other club spends net -£45mil & can still challenge for top 4? We sold our best players to sustain the clubs income whilst continuing to play CL & finish top 4 every one of those 7 years. Fans should be behind the club & the team 100% right now & not moaning about transfers. We don’t need to buy anyone it’s pointless. We have £38mil right now to spend if we go & buy 2 players and end up spending £20mil & qualify for CL there goes the £20 mil for qualification and we are back to square one. If we spend that money & fail to qualify we just wasted£20 mil & increased our wage bill for nothing. If we qualify with this current squad we make £20mil profit & will have a war chest of £58mil for next season. If we fail to qualify with this current squad unlike Leeds we don’t have to rely on CL qual funds to pay of our debt we are safe & we will survive. That’s what these fans need to understand. We are there we don’t need Usmanov we don’t need anyone. AFC had a multi million pound loan approved during a recession to build a stadium that will very soon be paid off & the club will have more disposable cash available for player purchases not to mention £600mil of equity in their stadium. Other clubs like Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea even will need to look at bigger stadiums if they want increase their revenue it’s inevitable. White Hart Lane currently has a capacity of 32,000 Emirates is double that. Our operating profit shits all over Tottenhams & Liverpools. In 3-5 years time when AFC is sitting at the top of the wealthiest clubs in the world then these fans who lack vision will be looked upon like fools by fans like us who understand what is truly going on. It’s a shame that such a prestigious club has such selfish childish & spoilt supporters who don’t realise their tantrums are only giving AFC bad media press. Instead they should quit their whinging shut their mouths & wake up.

  15. Chongo

    January 31, 2013 at 2:01 am

    anyone want to disagree that this is intelligence. I want some Arsenal fans to be made redundant now. We are not going to stand by and watch you destroy our club.

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