A question for all you fellow Gooners

And the reasons why your author chooses option A

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Two trophies, at least one of which will be won by a London club.

You have to choose one of the following two options:
Option A) Liverpool win the Champions League and Chelsea win the Europa League
Option B) Tottenham win the Champions League and Arsenal win the Europa League

When pondering what my own answer to the above question would be it made me realise a lot about what kind of fan I have become in recent years.

If you rewind some 15/30 years Arsenal as a club were flying high and going through a period of relative success. During this time I became an Arsenal fan. At the age of seven I attended my first game with my father at the old Highbury stadium in the spring of 1988.

I was born in an area of North London that was mainly populated with Spurs fans and they all hated Arsenal with a passion. I vividly remember being pushed around in the playground one morning after Spurs had beaten us in a rare 2-1 loss at White Hart Lane through a Paul Walsh header.

The amount of hatred aimed at Arsenal fans by many Spurs supporters and the clear jealousy held by them at our relative success was obvious for any interested onlooker. Being brought up in this environment leaves a lasting hatred in you that runs deep.

Seeing as I started to support Arsenal in 1987/88 as a seven year old I have never had to experience anything like what I have been made to experience over the last few seasons. That is Spurs being ahead of us and basically having a superior chance of winning the trophies that really matter.

Don’t get me started on how this has been allowed to be the case as I can talk all day long to anyone that would listen about the clear lack of ambition that has been shown at our football club over the last 12 years or so. The facts as always are the facts and if one club consistently shows ambition in any sport and one does not then the gap will close and move in the opposite direction at some point in time. Those are the rules of life people and we as Arsenal fans have to accept this to be true.

The fact that both European finals will be all English affairs confirms if there was still any doubt that money talks loudest in football these days. The Premier League will continue to dominate European football more and more in the coming years purely because that is where the money is. What this clearly means on the domestic front is that we as a nation now have six goliaths within our own domestic league that will fight it out every year for just the four places for the subsequent season’s Champions League. This of course means in simple maths that two teams out of those six won’t make it each year.

This simple fact leads me to conclude that any club that fails to show real ambition will continue to be left behind by any other rival that does. Over the last 12 years as Arsenal fans we have sat aside and watched other clubs catch us up and then go by us in the pecking order as though we were not there. First off it was Chelsea, then it was Man City and in recent seasons it has been the turn of other clubs that have shown greater ambition than us - mainly being Spurs and Liverpool. This fact has led many Arsenal fans to bemoan the Europa League as a lesser light and almost a trophy to be looked down upon.

The truth is this. We as a club are far closer to the likes of Wolves and Everton than we are to the top two. In any way you choose to measure this statement it is proved to be true. When you then factor in the way we are run as a club when compared to how the likes of Wolves and Everton are run it then becomes very clear that any Arsenal fan looking up in the table rather than down is deluded.

When you look at all the facts of the last 12 years of being an Arsenal enthusiast and how it has gone from being a tier A club to a tier B club and then to a tier C club (think Pires to Nasri to Iwobi) we as a fan base are kidding ourselves not to realise the simple truth that within the next 18-24 months us qualifying for the Europa League will be hailed as a successful season. I for one would not be at all surprised if Wolves and or Everton were to finish above us as early as next season.

This isn’t being negative it is just seeing reality of what has and what is happening. A consistent lack of ambition at Arsenal when combined with a consistent showing of ambition at all of our rivals in the Premier League makes this outcome inevitable.

So when I go back to my own original question of whether or not I would choose option A or B I personally conclude that I would take option A.

There are two reasons why I would take this option. The first is our own lack of ambition. Will that course change if we win the Europa league and qualify for next season’s Champions League? For me the obvious answer is no. We were in that competition for the best part of two decades solid and what ambition did we show? Next to none in my opinion. Every year we celebrated getting back in it as though it was a trophy and did we look to kick on to the next level? No we did not, so it was pointless getting so caught up in the annual fourth place race as it didn’t make us any better the next season.

Stan will not all of a sudden become ambitious if we qualify this season. It won’t happen. The simple truth is the only chance we have of seeing genuine ambition again at our club is if Stan was to sell to somebody who could show that ambition. What makes Stan likely to sell out? One thing could do it and that is year after year of annual financial losses. A reported annual loss of around £70m is about to be posted in the latest tax year. If that keeps happening due to a lack of Champions League money coming in, might that be the catalyst for a sell-off in the coming years? One thing’s for sure - if Stan makes money on an annual basis at Arsenal he would never have any reason to sell out.

The second reason for me choosing option A over option B is this. I f***ing hate Tottenham. Even though I am now 38 and have not lived in North London for many years that seven year old who got pushed about after that loss at WHL is still in there. The human brain has a very strong memory bank. I therefore cannot commit myself to any scenario that involves Spurs winning that trophy.

 

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10
comments

  1. arrgee

    May 16, 2019, 21:56 #113872

    Arsenal win Europa League and never mind what happens afterwards cos there is nothing that can be done about it. Besides there are a couple of other options one of which is Arsenal lose and scum win which is the worst case scenario. Besides I would never acknowledge the scum as ‘“Champions” League winners because they ain’t been Champions of anything in my puff and I am deep into my fifties.

  2. arrgee

    May 16, 2019, 21:55 #113871

    Arsenal win Europa League and never mind what happens afterwards cos there is nothing that can be done about it. Besides there are a couple of other options one of which is Arsenal lose and scum win which is the worst case scenario. Besides I would never acknowledge the scum as ‘“Champions” League winners because they ain’t been Champions of anything in my puff and I am deep into my fifties.

  3. GoonerRon

    May 16, 2019, 19:00 #113869

    Clearly option c is preferable but I’d go for B. Yes, it would be awful for that lot to be lauding it but I’m more passionate about our success than I am their demise. In the context of our evolution in the post-Wenger era, we need a trophy and we need the income from CL if we’ve got any chance of rebuilding.

  4. peter wain

    May 16, 2019, 06:47 #113858

    easy scum cannot win anything

  5. markymark

    May 15, 2019, 19:19 #113857

    It’s an interesting theoretical question but of course they are not interrelated . Concentrate on ourselves . Arsenal to win all the way. Not bothered with the Spuds

  6. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    May 15, 2019, 18:32 #113856

    Option A for me - as the only Gooner in a school full of Hammers & Spuds fans that was not enjoyable. Losing the Europa Cup is no disaster, the Spuds winning the CL would be unbearable. That said I think their name is on the trophy, they have some how got to the final after being 4 -2 and 3-0 down against City and Ajax, the latter two teams for some reason gave a 10 minute impression of a pub team and gave the ties away, plus I think Liverpool are shot - that game against Barca was their final.

  7. John F

    May 15, 2019, 17:06 #113855

    Very hard decision but I can picture that lot that line the high road on Derby day who snarl and spit through the gaps in their teeth at Arsenal fans, all being deliriously happy and singing and dancing outside White Hart Lane after a Champions League win.I dread the thought of it.They have already had a set back this week with Jeremy Kyle being taken off the air, lets hope their misery continues.Option A but hopefully option c .What if it's a Spuds/Chelsea double.

  8. Pauljames

    May 15, 2019, 15:40 #113854

    It’s option A for me too. It took me long enough to get over Chelsea winning the CL! Tottenham would be a hundred times worse.We can win the Europa next year whereas I doubt Spurs will be getting to a CL final again any time soon.

  9. itsRonagain2

    May 15, 2019, 14:35 #113853

    i can see the thrust of yr thoughts, but bottom line is that Arsenal FC need a euro trophy. We ve not had one for 25 years. With all due respect yr article is a bit defeatist. We all want Spurs to lose of course but its not more important than Arsenal winning surely. The Spuds would love to be alone winning the CL if they win it so what better than taking the Europa in the same season? Arsenal need a prompt to change the ethos of the club too that we all keep moaning about. Concerning yourself with Tottenham to the detriment of Arsenal is daft and is what Spurs fans have been like for decades. Why lower yourself by acting as they do? Its a bit pathetic.

  10. TonyEvans

    May 15, 2019, 11:41 #113852

    Great article John, and I am with you all the way on option A. The Spuds being in the so called CL final has completely dominated my football thoughts, and totally overshadowed Arsenal themselves being in Euro final of their own. As I have said before I would gladly see Arsenal lose if it meant Spurs losing too. I simply can't bear the thought of that lot having bragging rights over us in any shape or form, and especially a CL win! Considering my support of Arsenal now is not a patch on what it used to be (I don't go at all now) I was amazed by quite how much I still want the Spuds to lose! 50 odd years of support is obviously not something you can just switch off from, no matter how hard I might try! Obviously option C is what we are all praying for - I do agree though, John, that an Arsenal win will not change much at the club, ambition wise, if recent past history is anything to go by, but it won't do any harm either!