By Hamza Ali Baksh
Does The Arsenal have the arsenal?
In response to Cannon Lore’s submission, titled Rules for writing about Arsenal FC. I am an Arsenal fan in spirit only (since I live 10,000km away from North London). You could, hence, call me a ‘tv fan’ of Arsenal, with no plan in the near or far future to visit London. Not from lack of desire, but purely ‘cos it’s a financial improbability (… my personal financial model is not as self-sustaining as is the Arsenal’s!)
The combination of the above statements means that I’m fully expecting a ton of abuse for what I'm about to say from the most hardcore of Arsenal supporters and fans, and just about anyone who attends Arsenal games
I am fortunate enough to get full coverage of just about all EPL and CL games that are played, and so I have the luxury of switching through channels to catch a bit of each game when Arsenal isn’t playing and I get to hear/see a bit of what the other stadiums and fans are like. After watching the CL game at Dortmund game (on tv) and listening (almost in awe) to how they sang their lungs out for almost the entire match, a thought crossed my mind, and then the thought was rekindled when Cannon Lore said “if there is one part of the club that doesn’t deserve brickbats and snide comments at the moment it is the fans.”
And so we arrive at the point of this submission…
I have noticed that, compared with many other teams in the league, we seem not to have as many ‘rolling’ songs to sing that will make us a truly formidable crowd throughout a full 90mins. And by ‘rolling’, I’m referring to a song that rolls on endlessly and is able to carry the crowd without dying a sad death after two repetitions.
Before you slaughter me without remorse, allow me to provide some examples… The most regular and fervent song that gets sung is the “Arsenal FC, we’re by far the greatest team” one, which can’t carry very long through the crowd. It’s always sung at kick-off and usually after a short period of dominant play and a few chances, or after a goal. It lasts maybe two or three repetitions on average, but will rarely carry beyond this. Then there’s “Come on, Arsenal” which is also fairly frequently sung, and sung with much gusto, but is equally unable to carry for a long time.
What about “Arsenal, Arsenal”? … same story… doesn’t last long. “We love you Arsenal, we do” … no different.
“1-0 to the Arsenal” … nobody can sing that with any confidence nowadays!
Then onto the player chants… “Robin van Persie, clap clap clap"… not exactly something that, by its nature, can last very long. “One song” …. might last a repetition or two. And who else can one chant for right now? We don’t have much of a Chesney or Vermaelen chant (…someone needs to come up with a good one). Sagna? The Ox has barely played a handful of games.
“Come to see Eboué” was a good one that could carry, but that one died when the man began to do ridiculous things on the pitch that cost us points. And he’s history now anyway. “We’ve got Cesc Fabregas” had potential, but we’ve not got him anymore. “One Arsène Wenger” won’t be sung convincingly any time soon, “Na na na na Samir Nasri” was quite the favourite last season but now can only be sung twice a season, and has some colourful lyrics replacing the previous chant of admiration.
Let’s then consider some of the better chants of other teams in comparison…
“Blowing Bubbles”… gets everyone involved, has a nice build up to a climax, and is repeatable. “When the _____ go marching in” … fantastic crowd song, easy lyrics, easy tune, repeatable, can be sung at anytime, unless you’re 0-3 down. The Germans have some cracking ones, as Dortmund proved. Go checkout the “We love you” chant by the St Pauli fans on YouTube… truly incredible. Simple, funny, encouraging, repeatable. And then one has to mention “You’ll never walk alone”…. long, endlessly repeatable (and endlessly repeated by the fans), and with a climax of epic proportions. The ultimate crowd chant. How I wish the Arsenal had such a chant to get the fans into full voice.
The point I’m making here is… Arsenal fans just don’t have that killer chant that can be sung endlessly and at any point. If you can, go watch that Dortmund game again … they seemed to have 20 of those, and they just kept going all game long. Arsenal fans really need a bigger arsenal of chants to keep them going through the game, and I am sure that, if the fans did have these sorts of chants, the noise level at the stadium would most certainly be pushed upwards and kept there.
So… Who’s got a good chant?
21st October 2011
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
Nikita 14:03pm 21st Oct 2011
His forehead is immense he'll tear apart your defense Gervinho! Gervinho! - Post No. 16010
The Truth Is 14:06pm 21st Oct 2011
For a good repetoire of chants your better off visiting some of the local pubs where the old school fans still gather, half of these songs sung are NEVER heard in the bowl. The reason being is that the E******* is full of tourists, pensioners, women and children - not the best combination for creating noise. - Post No. 16011
Nick 14:07pm 21st Oct 2011
Totally agree mate i used to stand on the north bank in the late sixties right through to the advent of the all seater stadiums and we had some great chants then i remember at ****e fart lane the teusday night we won the league singing virtually all night na na na na were the arsenal and their whole ground with the exception of one small pocket was a sea of red and white we had songs for raddy and charlie the list goes on but most of all we had PASSION!!!!!!!!!!! - Post No. 16012
goonerista 14:13pm 21st Oct 2011
Let's nick the Blues Arteta song: "Follow, follow, follow. Arsenal is the team to follow. And there nobody better than Mikel Arteta He's the best little (or looking) Spaniard we know!!" - Post No. 16013
Kernza 14:16pm 21st Oct 2011
As a South African Arsenal fan who also watches all the EPL games on tv I must agree. In comparison to most of the top teams Arsenal's home games are much less noisy. In fact the away fans seem to sing more. - Post No. 16014
Goonerjim 14:17pm 21st Oct 2011
Season ticket holder, and youre spot on mate. The away boys do a cracking job of keeping some of the songs you mentioned rolling (see the Manure game for a 30 min rendition of "We love you Arsenal"). The home crowd really need a song. - Post No. 16015
Van Perfect 14:27pm 21st Oct 2011
I argue, the atmosphere is terrible in the emirates. We have been spoilt and have too many of the prawn sanger patrol. We need to get behind the team and wenger and make up some proper chants, enough groaning and negativity. Let arsene and the team be judged at the end of the season. - Post No. 16016
livin in ireland 14:27pm 21st Oct 2011
It's not the chants, it's the atmosphere. Standing in the clock end use to be full of noise thoughout the match. Seemingly when you stand you sing more maybe. - Post No. 16017
Alan Adams 14:28pm 21st Oct 2011
Nice post however I wonder how many games you actually go to? The best and most famous Arsenal chant ever is 'Who's that team they call the Arsenal?' - This is a very good chant and probably one of our strongest. I agree we should have create new/spiced up chants but most of the Arsenal fans these days just don't want to sing. - Post No. 16018
Elvis 14:44pm 21st Oct 2011
Lets be honest when it comes to Anthems and songs we are pathetic.There is no original song that we have ever sung.No anthem comes close to "You'll never walk alone".A song from a musical taken up by the Kop in the 60's and still sung before and at the end of every Liverpool game.West Ham have a song,Stoke have Delilah.What do we have?When the club started playing "The Wonder Of You" before games we were to timid to join in with a great song.Why if Liverpool can sing a Rogers and Hammerstein song and Stoke a Tom Jones song why cant our fans sing an Elvis song.Bubbles is a classic nothing to do with West Ham but a great song for fans to sing.It was bad at the old library its even worse at the concrete bowl.A song that sums us up is "The Sound of Silence" - Post No. 16019
The Noise 15:25pm 21st Oct 2011
Problem is mate, our HOME fans report you if you get too loud and insist on standing up! Many a time I've had rucks with supposed 'Gooners' telling me to "sit down, stop swearing" and even "stop singing so loudly"... Hence the huge difference between them and our away fans who are up there with the best in the league! - Post No. 16020
V 15:52pm 21st Oct 2011
Arsenal putting the old Clock enders and old north bank in the same section at the Emirates was absolutely horrific planning! We have many a chant!!! did you hear us at the spurs match? That is our song! - Post No. 16021
Dave 16:35pm 21st Oct 2011
Only two songs the Red Action dont help by singing the dumb "stand up if you hate Tottnumb" ten times every game when we are not even playing them!!!.We need a song that is original and it doesnt have to mention Arsenal.YNWA doesnt mention Liverpool.B'Jesus would be great and is exclusive to us but Red Action dont sing it. - Post No. 16022
Harold 17:27pm 21st Oct 2011
Ever heard of Jesus Said Paddy? No neither have most of the tourists at the spacebowl. - Post No. 16023
Yanto 18:46pm 21st Oct 2011
It might help if the wankyboard allowed Us (The Fans) to choose the song to which the team come on to - Thw wonder of you is shyte....we need an "Anthem" - quite a few have suggested "Impossible Dream" in the past, and let's be hoinest never was a song / title more appropriate for the situation we now find ourselves in ! :O( There have been quite a few good chants put forward on the OnlineGooner - but no one seems to take em up.... Until the board start listening to the fans and we really do get our club back nothing will change... Oh! I know!, how about Sack The Board! Sack The Board! ad- finitum. - Post No. 16024
maguiresbridge gooner 20:47pm 21st Oct 2011
sorry hamza i,m going to stray of your point.Forgetting the chants for a moment why at cl away games do you always see homemade flags and banners (wednesday night good example)yet you never see same flags and banners at home games dont tell me its different supporting arsenal away than it is at home. - Post No. 16026
Keep the noise down 23:07pm 21st Oct 2011
Yanto you say The Wonder of You is ****e.What do yo think of YNWA,Bubbles,Delilah and Blue Moon? Do think they are ****e songs? at Liverpool West Ham,Stoke and Man city their fans are not afraid to sing them.The ICF singing about pretty bubbles in the air.Thats the problem if we had the greatest anthem ever our fans just will not sing.We are passionless.More concerned about the prawn sandwiches - Post No. 16028
Seánie 1:04am 22nd Oct 2011
A lot of people here have already hit the nail on the head. We DO have lots of chants but most of the fans in the Wengerbowl will not sing them. Perhaps because, as has been mentioned oh-so-very-often, they are not true football fans. The fact is we attract a very many spectators now who do not care a jot for the club's songs or folklore. Slow rolling Arsenal songs that go on forever? How about: 'Bejesus said Paddy I sung it so well...' Can't beat it - if you can ever get it going in these 'modern' times. - Post No. 16029
north bank 6:31am 22nd Oct 2011
highbury we the north bank / clock end ring a bell - Post No. 16032
EssexGooner 10:34am 22nd Oct 2011
Good Old Arsenal....now that doesn't get sung enough. - Post No. 16041
Bring Back David Dein 11:14am 22nd Oct 2011
"Where's our David Deeeeeeeeein? Where's our David Deeeeeeeeein? Ever since you're gone Tel me what we've won Where's our David Deeeeeeeeein?" - Post No. 16044
JM - LONDON 19:34pm 22nd Oct 2011
I remember the opening game at the then new and some what grey coloured 'Emirates' when there was no atmosphere atall, a lot of it put down to people not sitting where they normally do or not sitting next to who ever like they used to at Highbury. Lee Dixon was doing a bit of punditry that day on the box and he said of the stadium and atmosphere something along the lines of 'Just need a couple of trohphy's now and people will celebrate and start to feel at home here'. I reckon our Lee has hit it right on the head - when 10 men tell your drunk, you had better sit down. It's our under strength, under performing and grossly under invested in team is what is at the route of the lack of atmosphere at the 'Emirates' not the supporters. - Post No. 16053
Gooner S 10:10am 23rd Oct 2011
Firstly, just because you are thousands of miles away doesn't make you any less of a supporter. There seems to be a lot older supporters posting about the 'glory days'.... I can't comment on the 60's games like some here and it is true that a lot of old songs do not get sung anymore. There was certainly a more vocal support and a different atmosphere in the ground at a pre all seater Highbury but Arsenal support, at home, has not, in my experience (since late 70s going on my todd), been consistently loud and song laden like, for example, the Geordies. We've never been as quiet as some would make out though and certainly have had more than our fair share of moments, even in the Emirates. Regarding the Emirates, make the most of what we have. I sit right in J18 and I haven't experienced fans being told to be quiet or stop singing. At times, supporters are told to sit. We're up and down more times that Jordan's knickers during a game. I don't mind that and if somebody asks me to sit politely I will...no problem with that... if I can still see. I only stand when I can't see. You can still sing sitting down! Try it! That said it is a seating stadium, and that has influenced who attends games. That's life. Some people want to come and sit to watch and some can't stand for very long as they might be elderly or suffering from a medical condition that prevents that. Some can't see even if they are standing up. It just takes a bit of common sense and respect for your fellow supporter.......something that seems to be diminishing of late. - Post No. 16061
Jayelljay 12:02pm 23rd Oct 2011
At a risk of showing me age.....I am one of the older generation of supporters these days....I've always thought a good suggestion would be the old Bud Flanagan song..'Strollin'....would have been more appropriate, of course, if we'd still had a certain George Graham still in the team !! - Post No. 16063
Yanto 12:34pm 23rd Oct 2011
The Noisewrote: "Many a time I've had rucks with supposed 'Gooners' telling me to "sit down, stop swearing" and even "stop singing so loudly"... Hence the huge difference between them and our away fans who are up there with the best in the league" I have had exactly the same ting happen to me...not only has the game (Tackles/Challenges etc) become sanitised beyoond all recognition, but so have the grounds/stadiums/fans....last year at oldfartford - the only time manure fans could be heard was when they scored....a bit like 90% of our ground....Some of those around me (at games) who start shhussshhhing or moaning coz I call the ref a "Wanker" or something similar about an opposing player are usually the one's wo are more focused on their (overpriced) coffee/hotdog/pizza slice and their mobile phone and camera.....Gooners!? my Arse....Feckin' Tourists....and of course the situation has only be made worse by the nosedive we find ourselves in under the (now) mis-guided management of AW and of course the 6.5% increase...which has now out-priced and so excluded some Gooners who have been attedning for over 30 years....DISGUSTING!..we are no longer supporfters we are now Customers...roll up roll up get your merchndise here...never mind the shyte that's being offered on the pitch...KERRRRRCHHHINNNGGGGG! "GRRRRRRRR" - Post No. 16064
Big Dave 21:30pm 23rd Oct 2011
We have forgotten all our old songs fact lets face it we are **** at singing - Post No. 16066
Nick 11:35am 24th Oct 2011
Please please please get rid of that bloody Elvis song as the players come out. How was this ever voted in! I love songs like 'right here, right now', let me entertain you. The Elvis song is flat, it doesnt stir any emotions and means that at kick off the fans are also barely pumped and ready to fight. The biggest think I hate about Arsenal at the moment, is the 'sit down' fans and the lack of standing potential at the Emirates. We should have a dozen blocks where they warn that people will be standing. Hard to get excited sitting down with dickheads behind shouting at you every time you get do! If anyone from Arsenal is reading this, sort it out as we as fans are crap, embarrassingly so. I even hate it when the Arsenal players say how great the fans are, like a script (only at home games), we are not. The reason we are crap is that Arsenal are not helping us - Post No. 16067
goonerjake 12:31pm 24th Oct 2011
I like you dont go to the emirates, but i do make it to about ten away games per year. The problem i see is that the more passionate fans should band together and make the souless fans stand up refuse to sit down and sing long and hard. This is a football match after all and not the theatre. PS Some will say what about the stewards, well let them try to get 20,000 plus to sit down they cant throw everyone out. Real fans stand together Victory through Harmony. Not of course giving harmony to the prawno's. - Post No. 16069
Dav 13:05pm 24th Oct 2011
last good song was "We Love You Freddie" - Post No. 16070
Gman 16:42pm 24th Oct 2011
I always thought that the chorus from Daydream believer was a good tune to sing, it certainly is when the Scots sing it, or the Brazil anthem singing it and inserting Arse-nal Arse-nal instead of Bra-zil Bra-zil Arse-nal, the Arse-nal l that I know, Where I wandered with you Lives in my imagination. Where the songs are passionate, And a pass has flash in it, And a goal has art in it, For you put your heart in it, And so I dream of old Arse-nal Where hearts were entertaining soon, We stood beneath an amber moon And softly murmured “someday soon” We sang and clung together, Then tomorrow was another day The morning found me miles away With still a million things to say Now when twilight dims the sky above, Recalling thrills of our team, There’s one thing I’m certain of - Return I will to Arse-nal, Arse-nal - Post No. 16083
breadman84 18:49pm 24th Oct 2011
While in principle I agree, having bemoaned our lack of creativity on the tarraces myself, the problem is not simply down to the lack of quality or quantity when it comes to chants. The issue stems from the fans in the seats and the stadium itself. I was at Stoke yesterday surrounded by quiet folks who often looked at me with contempt as I myself tried to get some chants going. At times I even had the stewards coming and asking me to sit and be quiet, so what can people really do? Another thing I noticed was that the North bank corner the opposite end of the stadium couldnt be heard by us in the clock end. And because of this stadium design the sound doesnt travel and any songs that do get sung rarely have chance to carry and take hold, which ties in to the short nature of our chants argument being put forth in the article. That said, I know loads of arsenal chants but its hard to get any of them going when everyone around is sat expectantly quiet waiting for robin to score before they rise to their feet. - Post No. 16089
Rocky RIP 22:43pm 24th Oct 2011
Anyone on here(eg Elvis) knocking us for never having original songs is plain wrong. We've had loads down the years, most of them adopted by others. Anyone who stood on the old NB at Highbury will back me up on this. We just don't hear them at the grove, as I think we're all agreed upon. It's seriously frustrating when you've got thousands of lost voices in the stadium going to waste. Genuine 'supporters' forced to sit in silence in order to fall in line with the JCLs, plastics and tourists. So many people want to sing their hearts out all game, but can't because they are made to stick out like sore thumbs. Repeat together: This is football, not the opera. Don't hold back from singing, it's what we are supposed to do at football. The atmosphere and the incredible feeling of being in a mass sing song was what attracted so many of us in the first place. We need to seriously work out a way of improving this situation, or the fun will go out of being at a game. It can be joyless. More like-minded fans areas is the way forward. Put more people who want to make some noise and won't get offended by people standing together all in one place. Put those that who want a more family-friendly environment without the standing and chanting together. People then get on much better=happier, noisier atmosphere. Block 6 is excellent, but it needs to go further. The lower tiers of the NB and CE should be designated areas. - Post No. 16093
Ron 15:23pm 25th Oct 2011
The ticketing/Membership arrangments are to blame plus the Stadium design. I reckon at least one end should have created as one 'bank' i.e minus Boxes and Club level and been allocated to a section of our fans who could show they were North Bank and Clock End regulars. I know the mechanics of 'selection' might have cuased some issues and annoyance to some but we would then have had a large bank with regular types, cotaining maybe 10- 12000 souls who would have 'identity' within the stadium, leaving the rest of the ground free to be allocated as planned. - Post No. 16107
Daniel Vandyke 22:41pm 27th Oct 2011
If you want to sing join a ****ing choir, I go to watch the football. - Post No. 16163
26th January 2015
Online Ed: Déjà vu in Sussex