Ok people, so listen up. Fairly soon, a matter of days rather than weeks, the look of this here website is due for a bit of an upgrade. People don’t like change, being a bunch of conservative bar stewards, but you know what? It’s part of life. You’d still be wearing nappies if not and at about 11.30pm your TV picture would switch to an image of a girl playing noughts and crosses against a stuffed clown toy. The reason for this is that The Gooner website is not mobile friendly, which in this day and age is not good news. The Gooner forum apparently is, but the main part of the site isn’t.
So we are trying to up our game a little, and part of this will be an intention to try and post something on a daily basis. Now, this is actually an opportunity for young bloggers to make a name for themselves. If you have your own site, you can do a guest post with a link to your normal place of expression, or if not, you can simply build a reputation here in a place where your words will not be lost in the wilderness. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel like contributing. In the short term though, we’re going to have to see if yours truly can come up with something each day.
So let’s get the ball rolling with mobile phones, given that is the reason for the attempt to go daily here. Football has certainly changed in terms of supporter behaviour, with phones used during a match for all kinds of stuff. Some people film matches, others spend a good deal of their time in conversation via whatsapp with others (presumably not at the game themselves). I recall at the Euros in 2016, stadiums had a facility where you could order food and drink to be delivered to your seat via your mobile phone. And of course, you can report out of order behaviour via a text message if someone near you is doing something they shouldn’t.
Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium apparently has free wifi for everyone in the stadium, although I have no idea what the quality of the reception is like. However, in this day and age, the signal you can get on 4G phones is often good enough to do plenty. I say this having re-tweeted one of @FishpieGooner’s new player chants after I thought Alexandre Lacazette had scored against Watford on Saturday. It turned out to be an own goal, but anyhow the retweet was out there by then.
A bit of me wonders though, whether a mobile blackout during the 90 minutes plus of play might actually focus the crowd a bit more. Of course in 2018 people would be in uproar at such a suggestion, but with the march of technology, I really do think this is going to get worse. Naturally, consumers make their choices, and we are customers not fans anymore in club-speak. It’s not going to happen.
Still, mobile phones do have their benefits. You don’t get so many PA announcements asking individuals to report to the nearest steward because their wife’s gone into labour, and we can be told by those watching on TV or a stream whether or not the referee should have given a penalty. But best of all, we get the odd moment like Sir Alan Sugar’s legendary tweet informing Spurs fans that Newcastle had equalised against Arsenal back in May 2013, making those at the Lane believe they could leapfrog the Gunners to a Champions League spot. I still scratch my head at the thinking behind the former Spurs chairman’s tweet, but hey, it was a great moment seeing Tottenham supporters get excited for nothing. Such Chinese whispers would be far more difficult today, as people would be able to quickly verify such a tweet before believing it.
I suspect that when Gooners recall the influence of mobile phones in football, that particular moment will go down as probably the best.
That’s your lot for today. A man has work to do. God alone knows what you'll get tomorrow.