A disgruntled but not (yet) former Gooner
By Tiny Manyonga
South African based supporter expresses frustration
My first soccer team was Manchester United. After a trip to England, I returned to Africa with a David Beckham No.7 shirt and, strangely enough, a pair of Liverpool socks! But like some fans I know, sometime in 2000 or so, I discovered Arsenal football. I was just 12 years old at the time and, as I got into my teen years, Arsenal football was roaring and my beloved No.14 became an icon and a hero in my life. We all know what happens in the middle, which brings us to the beginning of last season.
I discovered this forum about 12-14 months ago. I was just tired of suffering alone as United had won a record 20th title. My friends and family did not "defect" (as they call it) to Arsenal and it seemed as if their loyalty to Man Utd was worth it. As I became increasingly nervous about El Capitan leaving, I sought out opinions from fellow goners, which brought me here.
A terribly cagey start to last season drove me to the edge, and reading articles by people who were livid kept me sane. I wanted to break away from the AKB camp and start my own AKBBHIBHRWADBTB camp (Arsène knows best but he is being held ransom with a dildo by the board). Yes, this is a board that keeps profits in their pockets and shows a middle finger to the fans.
Then the tussle of the elephants seemed to have been settling and I had be brainwashed to believe that Silent Stan was the best option and would not pull off a needless, excessive spending-spree similar to what happens in the blue corners of London and Manchester, which I do not approve of simply because I want to see good football and a great team earn (not buy) trophies.
The season kicked off and after the first two months the Emirates looked like a city without a hero and the fans suffered like a nation without a voice. How could the board go to sleep at night when they were subjecting us to this emotional trauma? I would go to my local bars here in Cape Town during Arsenal matches. They were emptier than during Man C or United or Chelski games; even the network was beginning to move Arsenal matches to random alternate channels when other teams were playing. And each match-day became like an addicts’ meeting - same Arsenal fans, same expectations and hopes before the match, same disappointment at the end. At the end of the match there were the same disgruntled ramblings. It was like writing to Santa Claus to request a change in weather patterns - pointless.
What could I do? This is the only team I love and the only manager I know. Then an old legend appeared on our shores as if to answer the cries. Cometh the hour, Thierry Henry brought tears to my eyes and once again I was proud to be a gooner, so very proud. (At this point in time, I was writing a letter that if we couldn't get Hazard, at least name a stand after Henry again.) RvP carried the team so well and once again we were united behind our boys with a common goal to finish third (is this who we have become?). Come the final day of the season, it felt like a hollow victory, but a victory nevertheless.
This brings me to an open letter, THE open letter. Fourth of July, what a day to forget! After much speculation and anxiety, Captain Vantastic is leaving. This is like "El Capitan" all over again. But why would RvP do this to me? Have I not loved and supported this man through the years and now he has had his first 20+ goal season and he wants to leave? Does he not remember what happened a year ago? Yes, I and a million other people felt abandoned. Regardless of his issues with the board, why leave? Why not stand and fight with us, the gooners, instead of leaving the battlefield? (Who can blame him? He is looking for his best interests. But who can blame me for how I feel?)
This brings me to another open letter. As I read something that resonated with my thoughts and feelings, some questions came up. Was Usmanov ever a bad guy here? This guy seems to be one of us, a Gooner at heart and core. And he is making a lot of noise for the board on our behalf. I say f**k it and let's all join in and make noise for this board. We've had enough f***ing profits, I want results! I think it is time for our voices to get louder. Don't let these punks sell our captain; we still have time before the transfer window closes. Maybe our Captain is pulling a "Rooney"; let's make them spend!
11th July 2012
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.
Rickthegooner 13:04pm 11th Jul 2012
The fact you used to be a manc says it all. You defected to us while were winning. You will probably be a city fan next year. Being a football fan isn't something you change like your socks. It IS or should be non-negotiable !!!!!! "Through thick and thin KEEP THE FAITH" I'm as pissed off as the next man, but that don't mean i'll ever stop being a gooner !!!!!! - Post No. 26662
aONYmouse 13:14pm 11th Jul 2012
Why should we allow a "Rooney"? Once a precedent is set, there will be no end to it and the club will be run and held hostage by the players. Now Nani is pulling a "Rooney". - Post No. 26666
Jerry 13:15pm 11th Jul 2012
The most interesting piece i have read in weeks. Most gooners are sentimental but it is high time we call a spade a spade. When is 3rd position good enough for us? How could PHL say "it is not as if we are relegated". That is lame coming from a chairman. I move for a complete overhaul of the entire board. it is high time we drive this bunch of conservatives into the sea - Post No. 26667
Brookesssy 13:18pm 11th Jul 2012
What was the point of this article? All I know is that you are a glory hunter... - Post No. 26668
Real Gooner 13:30pm 11th Jul 2012
You're not a gooner Any real gooner wouldn't say that they might not continue supporting the club. Ever heard of supporting through thick and thin? Arsenal need less of your type of 'fan'. **** off and support City. - Post No. 26670
Dylan 13:31pm 11th Jul 2012
Your judging abit fast here, you probably haven't heard the whole story, RVP WANTED TO LEAVE, and him and wenger couldn't decide on a way to run the club, RVP wanted a more attacking spending club, but wenger wants to spend as little as possible bringing in younger talents from around the world, RVP believed arsenal needed some A Class players to gain a premier league title, or even a trophy, but wenger said he;s sticking to what he wants. It wasn't Wengers idea to letRVP leave at all. - Post No. 26671
rolando 13:38pm 11th Jul 2012
Its Wenger not the board who don't want to spend. Wenger always says he has the funds but doesn't want to spend them. RVP wants to win trophies not for the board to spend money. That's why he is leaving. - Post No. 26672
T-Ski 13:40pm 11th Jul 2012
I don't think you were in VP's thoughts when he asked his agent to write that letter, VP doesn't even know who you are............nor does his agent for that matter. I'm sorry to tell you that some day we all have to come to the conclusion that the World (and Arsenal Footclub for matter) does not revolve around us. - Post No. 26673
Supergunner14 13:52pm 11th Jul 2012
Nicely put fella - Post No. 26678
Any Old Iron 13:59pm 11th Jul 2012
Yes, Ferguson flatly refused to crumble to sh**ty, and upped his man's wedge. That's why they are where they are, and we are where we are. Make no mistake, Ferguson and Utd will be back(have never gone away). It's only Wegner that espouses FFP. The rest win trophies. My fear is we will not find our gears early and will struggle to find the net this autumn. Shipping them may also be a worry. I hope not-NOT! - Post No. 26679
Mike the Realist 14:13pm 11th Jul 2012
Oh dear yet another misguided young blogger who seems to belive everything he reads in the papers and takes everything at face value and knows how to run a multi-million pound football club better than everyone - Post No. 26680
Rizwan 14:18pm 11th Jul 2012
United won there 19th title. Not the best of an article. and i dont really think there is much chance of van persie staying. Arsenal havent been cometing in many cups and leagues recently and there is more than 90% cahcne in my eye that he will leave. Furthermore, Pulling a "rooney", i dont think so. Van Persie's contract negotiation has been rumbling on since the past year and a half and its pretty evident that he is adamant on elaving. Keeping him would do maore harm then good, seeing as he wants to leave. Not only will arsenal lose the transfer money made on him, but they would be paying the wages of an unhappy player. Selling him right now is a good option and personally arsenal need not to worry. Olivier giroud is a fantastic striker and a podolski is too. theyre both great players and dont think they wud let the losso f van persie be felt all too much. - Post No. 26681
maguiresbridge gooner 15:19pm 11th Jul 2012
Tiny i think the preferred name is football rather than soccer we have enough of an American influence at the club at the moment.You probably shouldn,t have mentioned your first club but we'll say nothing as you were so young and influenced by family.I don't know about arsene being held ransom with a dildo by the board but whatever turns them on because it's not winning trophies.But its not the board who buy dross players and sanction astronomical wages and pick the team and employ tactics.Unless there is changes from previous seasons yourself and the rest of us will end up at our addicts meetings with the same disappointment. - Post No. 26686
Realist 16:12pm 11th Jul 2012
People need to get their facts straight on Usmanov. He was originally a Manc fan so the fact you say he is a gooner at heartand core is laughable. I suggest you read up on him and you'll realise what an evil crook he really is, If you still want him at our club after that then you're mad. - Post No. 26689
Theo's Bikini-Line 16:55pm 11th Jul 2012
I think the author's nom de plume reveals his intentions (and possibly his ailment!!) - Tiny Man Yonga indeed!! - Post No. 26691
Clubclassgooner 18:27pm 11th Jul 2012
Rickthegooner well spoken,we become gooners for life,in my case since a 15 year old in '68,boy could I quote some low times, but we will always be a gooner. What the problem is the amount of monies its taking to carry on supporting them. My stone in the wall north end sums it up "Spent my youth at Highbury and my money here!!!!! - Post No. 26693
Ramgun 19:34pm 11th Jul 2012
For the millionth time - The Board are just window dressing and have no power. Kroenke owns Arsenal and he has given absolute control to Wenger. The Board members have no shares and get a nice seat on matchdays. It is not sustainability that is the problem because we are quite capable of winning trophies without running up debts or using unearned money. The problem is that the current manager is a tactics-free zone who has wasted massive amounts of money and time on players who are not good enough. Almunia being an Arsenal goalkeeper for 8 years on incredibly high wages has nothing to do with Chelsea or Manchester City. Wenger runs the club and as long as he stays then nothing will change. - Post No. 26694
Mike the Realist 20:34pm 11th Jul 2012
@ Clubclassgooner Absolutely right mate. I stood on the roofless terraces in the 60's too. Living in the shadow of the Spuds was no fun at all. It both amuses and annoys me that some 24 year old who used to be a Man U fan thinks he has a right to laud his pathetic opinions over the rest of us as though they have any validity whatsoever. There's far too many young glory hunters who are doing all the moaning nowadays. We'd be considerably better of without them imho. - Post No. 26695
maguiresbridge gooner 21:23pm 11th Jul 2012
Ramgun your spot on about the board i think we only use that term to describe the DDT'S yes men agree its a disgrace the amount of money we've spent on players who aren't good enough and never were the waiter been one example of many. - Post No. 26696
wrag 0:03am 12th Jul 2012
Ransom with a dildo ! im off down the halifax ,i will be back with money for m'vila ! - Post No. 26698
RVP 5:51am 12th Jul 2012
I support the noise but once we win a couple of games we forget about the past. Wenger got so much power and told us already that he Will not change and it's all about profits. - Post No. 26702
Tony Evans 12:21pm 12th Jul 2012
Ramgun - you are right and the excuses used by some (thankfully not so many now as more and more of us see through the spin and lies) to defend Wenger amaze me. His zero tactics, woeful atttitude to defending and purchase / backing of so many crap players has very little to do with lack of money and much, much more to do with an ego the size of a small planet and a pig headed resistance to changing his ways, even by a little. - Post No. 26706
Lame Article 13:25pm 13th Jul 2012
Life in plastic, it's fantastic. - Post No. 26778
20th May 2013
Online Ed: 4th place trophy and CL qualifier secured