Opinion – Arsenal need players that have passion and pride in the badge

The significance of the badge

Football in the good old days was full of passion; passion was fuelled by either your team winning or by a player who is doing well on the football field. Football these days also fuel passion in people but are these passions genuine? Are the passions fuelled by the money that powers football these days?

During our unbeaten run in the early 2000’s, Arsenal fans were treated to scintillating and free flow attacking football by players who played for Arsenal with so much passion. We had players like Vieira and Adams who would fight to protect the badge; we had Henry who would give an arm and a leg just to see Arsenal succeed, and several other players like them. It was not uncommon then to see players kissing the badge on their shirt whenever they score a goal or they prevent a goal. The kiss on the badge signifies total loyalty. But not anymore; these days, a kiss on the badge might just be a way of identifying with shirt sponsors or sportswear brand.

As fans, we invest all sorts of emotions in our football clubs and deceive ourselves that the players somehow feel the same sense of loyalty and duty; as fans, we assume they share our passions and that the name of our Arsenal FC is aggressively etched on their hearts, but the truth is different. Most feel as much loyalty to the club badge they are pecking for the cameras as they do to the logo of the kit manufacturer stamped alongside.

A player may kiss the badge of a shirt in August and by February of the next year; he is kissing the badge of another club. Where is the loyalty in all this? Do these players really care about loyalty anymore? What a world we find ourselves in at the moment.

We have seen players like Ray Parlour, Ian Wright and David Seaman play for Arsenal with passion and loyalty written all over them. Whenever Arsenal plays, the world took notice then because they saw men and boys, willing to tear the stadium down, just to make Arsenal win. These same set of players were ready to spend their eternity in Arsenal; they were not moved by money then but by pure passion. Footballers of several years ago could spend as much as 20 years playing for a football club. They were emotionally tied to their clubs and this created a strong bond between them and the fans. Can footballers of this generation of ours, please take a cue from the footballers of old? The game of football needs players who can honestly kiss a badge and be ready to give their total loyalty to the cause of their clubs; but can we find such players in today’s football? Your opinion is welcome.

Sylvester Kwentua (Lagos Gooner)

11 Comments

  1. GB says:

    We also need a manager who knows the values of not only the badge but also the club, it’s history and it’s proud heritage of class, ways of doing things the right way and being a part of the local community. We need a manager who will fight just as hard as the players to win games as though he was out there playing with them.

  2. Eddie Hoyte says:

    Unfortunately I don’t think anybody should be surprised. Money and FIFA ruined the beautiful game. The catalyst was money. Sports, entertainment, Religion, family and Passion, once it gets monetized, you see people putting up acts and losing that genuine attitude, or probably hiding the genuine attitude.
    I don’t expect these guys to play for badges no more, those crops of players are gone trust me.
    You might say, we should trust English players more and our academy players more as they’ll play for the badge. It’s just a mirage, they will jump ship the moment a sweet offer come along, they would jump ship after just a lil challenge.
    Money rules the world Sylvester, money rules it.
    The only people who don’t care about the money in this situation are you and I and other fans, what we express comes dddp from our emotions, it can’t be bought. Forget thinking you’d see a player with loyalty

    1. Allanball08 says:

      I whole heartly agree with you but unfortantly that is the way of the world now days and if you dont accept it and join it then we will end up as a mediocor team which we are now becoming.
      At this rate we will become a Burnley ect and that is no disrespect to them.
      Champions league and winning some kind of honours will be become a distant memory

  3. jon fox says:

    Echoing Eddies post above mine and his correct phrase”Money rules the world, Sylvester, money rules it” and there you have the problem with modern life as reflected in football, in a nutshell. The great tyrant and enemy of our planet and our species is the love of money and of still more of it. Pleae note I do not say money is the tyrant but the love of it and still more and more and more. In short the Blair/ Beckham/ Kardashian disease. Weep !

  4. gotanidea says:

    Any Gunner could say nice words and kiss the badge, but only their spirit in the matches can tell whether they put extra efforts for the team or not. Otherwise those flowery words are just lip service

    Sanchez was fighting hard for Arsenal, but he lost his motivation along the way. I don’t want Martinelli to lose his energy as well, after watching the half-arsed efforts from our senior players

    Arsenal need to get rid of the lazy players that set bad examples to our youngsters

    1. Akan says:

      Xhaka Mustafi Torreria Kolasinac Sokratis Luiz Ozil are all professional football players who play with pride and conviction whenever they step on to the field of play. All the pride passion and kisses on the badge can’t help you if a player is physically and mentally incapable of performing the task required at the level to be successful. That’s what needs to be recognized and managed out of the present team. Instead the team is being picked by favoritism or the ones with the biggest mouth. That’s the only explanation of how Xhaka keeps getting in the team, despite the numerous inept performances he’s given since coming to the club.

      1. jon fox says:

        Akan So Xhaka, among others, plays with “pride and passion” but is “mentally incapable.etc.”. So then WHICH is it then, the first or the second since both are contradictory. Muddled thinking old son! Xhakaa and all your list, save only Torreira are, mentally and physically hopeless. And even Torreira is physically disadvanged , being so tiny.

  5. Grandad says:

    I get where you are coming from Akan,in that all the passion in the world cannot paper over the lack of real quality in the players you mention.Ironically,Ozil,who on his day was a top quality performer is the least passionate player on your list.

    1. jon fox says:

      Yes Grandad, Passion and Ozil go together like Donald Trump and humility. Along with the appallingly lazy WaLCOTT, I put Ozil as the least pssionate player to have evere worn our shirt, in my time watching since 1958. There are several others in the squad today who would not have a clue what being passionate means, except about women, clothes, cars, bling and social media. Football is to them just a means to become filthy rich enough to indulge these other REAL passions. THE PASSION THEY SOMETIMES PROFESS TO HAVE FOR THE CLUB IS SO FAKE THAT IT IS LAUGHABLE. Weep!

  6. Franko says:

    The problem is that most of the players are not suited for the EPL because of the intensity and pace of the games in the EPL. This players would flourish in a lesser league. That is why we should always scout and buy players who’s natural way of playing is intensity and pace. By so doing, we’ll have the type of players that are suited to the EPL with little or no adaptation period ela Alex Sanchez.

  7. Grandad says:

    I think your right Franko, in fact there is a case for us concentrating on players who have or are proving themselves in the Premier League or indeed the Championship.I say this because two of the best young full backs I’ve seen this season play for Norwich and West Brom namely Aerons and Nathan Ferguson.Ferguson in particular impresses me and would put real pressure on Bellerin.

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