Pride, Pessimism and Prejudice is breeding negativity in Arsenal fans

Why are so many Gooners still so slow to see the clear improvement? And why do some seem relentlessly negative at every opportunity?

by Jon Fox

I have never believed in a ‘one size fits all’ life philosophy, so I wish to explore at least some of the many reasons why so many of our fans are so constantly pessimistic about our team, and why so relatively few are able to see the clear improvement but seem to my mind to actually wallow in their own misery and despair.

I fully accept that some people are simply, by nature, born pessimists and tend to see the wrong in many things far more easily than do those who are optimists. As is well known on JA, I describe myself as a realist, which means being neither pessimistic not optimistic, EXCEPT where the evidence leads me to have an opinion.

We cannot help our nature any more than we can help our skin colour, where we were born, who our parents are or were, our accent, shape, size, etc and should not be pilloried nor singled out for any of these “packaging differences”.

But  when a person has a mature brain – and they come in all ages – but still chooses not to follow the evidence  in their decision making, that seems to me to be because they have a deep-seated agenda, and in life  many of us cling tightly to our agendas, no matter what the weight of evidence saying we are mistaken.

One of my personal agendas, aka prejudices, is to be against much of what the USA   does and almost  all it stands for and I never wish to visit it, despite knowing a number of agreeable USA citizens personally.

This  prejudice of mine predates the Trump regime by several decades and I SIMPLY CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO LIKE SUCH A BRASH AND IMPOLITE SOCIETY, WHERE CONSUMERISM IS SUCH A GOD, when I see the harm that rampant consumerism does to our species and to our planet. I accept this is simply one of my own personal   prejudices, but I also believe it to be  a rational thought, which I believe with every fibre of my being. This shows me that some  prejudices are rational, though it  equally does not   necessarily mean they are always rational either.

There are plainly many millions of wonderful USA citizens, yet I REFUSE to ever visit that country. So, prejudice, of whatever form, certainly exists and I believe exists in most of us in our various ways.

Who among us is not prejudiced against …  Spurs, Chelsea, Man Utd, etc! I suggest strongly that almost all humans are prone to having prejudices against some things in life – indeed, I believe it to be a normal part of our shared human condition. It is not  a weakness but a strength to admit the weaknesses that our race almost all share and which make us human and therefore more interesting. Pride,  and especially MALE pride, so often prevents us being entirely honest with ourselves.

But I pose this question; can you be prejudiced against something you care deeply for or even love? I believe that you can and that many of us are, in our various relationships with all sorts of things: relatives, life partners, technology, those who believe in   demonstrating to save the planet by invading British motorways etc, even if we all agree with the concept of saving the planet from global warming.

How about our employers (who enable us to make a living), our kids, our parents, our football team? Yes, even our own football team, our beloved Arsenal.

CAN ONE BE PREJUDICED AGAINST HOW WE ARE BEING RUN?  It seems clear to me that some of us can indeed be prejudiced. I am extremely prejudiced against our owner and not simply because he is a USA citizen, though  that certainly makes it worse; A: simply BECAUSE he is American and B: as he also lives thousands of miles from our club and practically never visits, neither knowing nor caring anything for the sport our beloved team plays, let alone our team.

Apart from my personal anti USA bias, these seem to me to be  sensible reasons for being prejudiced against Kroenke. Therefore, being prejudiced is sometimes not wrong.

That then is prejudice; so, what else can cause us to fail to see team improvement then!  Well, one reason has to be, simply put, dull wits! It is surely a given that not all humans are of equal intelligence and of equal perceptive powers. We are all equally worthwhile – of course we are – but    just as some have bigger noses, some smaller, some are taller, some shorter etc, so some have greater wits in seeing things as they really are than others do.

I do not wish to mention any names and indeed I have no way of knowing who among us lacks wits. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ONLY EACH INDIVIDUAL CAN DECIDE FOR THEMSELF, if they are being honest.

Honesty with oneself and about one’s own lack of certain qualities is a sign of a mature and balanced individual, just as the lack of self-honesty is a sure sign of immaturity. I fully accept that I personally lack many things in personal qualities that I would wish to have and think desirable, but I know that at least recognising that lack, is being honest with oneself, which IMO is always the right way to think.

Patience, or rather the lack of it, is another way that some fans are prepared to  be more impatient than others. It is well documented among regulars on JA that I personally believe that in general – and it is a wide generality, admittedly – it is easier to show patience when one has been following our club for many decades, rather than those who   began following since Arsene Wenger came, some 25 years ago. That would mean anyone under, say 45 or even 50, would never have truly known what long-term mediocrity for our team has been. You would have needed to be at least 15 before George Graham’s successful years in the late 1980s to experience true long-term mediocrity, even if you began as a very young child. Think about that!

Essentially, the AW glory years and even since when we have still won cups has “spoiled” and skewed  expectations for many younger fans.  I truly believe that is the case. In the early to mid-seventies, we finished 17th, my friends. HOW MANY YOUNGER  FANS EVEN KNOW THAT!

Honesty compels me to admit that the final way – at least the final way I will explore in this article – that I  believe that pessimism is bad, is BECAUSE I am not pessimistic, BUT   I can still be completely WRONG in my personal opinion that pessimism about Arteta is wrong.

That NEEDS to be said in order to get proper context in this article.  Obviously, I do not think I am wrong, or I would not have written this article.

But nothing in this article is more than my firmly held opinion, based upon my own life experiences. I do not believe I am wrong, passionately I do not. But it is entirely possible all the same, that I am wrong in my personal belief that given a fair chance to run the team without enormous online constant criticism, Arteta will come through as a fine and successful manager.

All I have aimed to do in this somewhat unusual piece is to invite some to think more deeply about how we all react to a defeat or subpar performance, or even a run of poor performances.

In reality, how important is football in life’s grander scheme anyway?  Are not the great cruelties, wars, Neanderthal attitudes in certain parts of our shared globe, far more important than mere football and Arsenal! And in particular, global warming, which dwarfs ALL other global issues right now.  A sense of true perspective is a great healing balm to us all, if we care to use it.

Thanks a lot, to all Gooners who have had the patience  to read thus far, and God bless you all!


Jon Fox


  1. Not for me this kind of article ,and Article that was only written to put some Arsenal fans down because they don’t toe the mine he expects everyone should ,written by someone who believes he is never wrong ,so for me an Article I could not read half of without having to stop .
    Hopefully my post does not get taken down just because I didn’t like the article as the writer is well known for slagging off article after article so what I said should be fine and nothing personal against Jon but I left school 25 years ago and now I’m a grown adult I dont want to be told what to do .
    Thanks for the effort Jonny boy but I would rather read the transfer stories than yours .

      1. Yeah stopped reading when I saw the title and author
        This is the same man who was negative towards Wenger and countless other players when the team were finishing outside top 4
        Now wants positively when the team are outside the top 4
        Double standards

    1. He literally babbled on about himself,I hate to say this but that is the most narcissistic thing I have ever read.
      He spoke about arsenal like twice.
      No one is better off for reading this.
      I’m sorry but what was the point in this,narcassistic nonsense.

    2. Late to the party but I will first say I agree with everything you have said and now I will go on to read the article.

  2. Mr Jonfox..
    Every football fan mean well for their Team!
    We all want Trophies and Progress for our Team!
    What else would make you support a Football team?😕🤷
    In 2003/2004, We used to be a European powerhouse!
    In 1998,99, We used to be an English football Giant!
    In 2008 with peak Fabregas and Hleb, We were the most Exciting/Entertaining in the Whole of Europe!
    Things have changed for d worse hence some concerned Fans air dier views!
    It is really Terrible dat some of you Guys interpret all of these as Negativity! 😒😏
    Show me the Football Fan that does not complain about his Struggling team?
    I bet fans of Barcelona, Norwich, Man Utd, Newcastle, Spurs, etc.. are very civil, Quiet and happy with their team’s performance!😏

  3. Jon, i have to say it is a very condescending article. Everything is about opinion, wether you rate Arteta or not, wether you like Kranky or not. Saying someone is optimistic or pessimistic. Its all opinion END OF. Please challenge opinion and not slag a person off you dont know from Adam and then it remains opinion. Anything else, its an attack on the person. Attacking people should be left too thugs.

    1. Such a shame your own patience Reggie , did not extend to reading right to the end of my piece.

      If you had done, you would have noticed that I SAID PRECISELY THAT THE ABOVE WAS MERELY MY OWN OPINION, AS YOU HAVE JUST AGREED!

        1. When people are not on the same page as jon fox, you get personal and that then has nothing to do with opinion. I also dont see any relevance in this article on this site. It has nothing to do with JA at all.

  4. Well I’m almost 40 years old and I’ve seen my fair share of ups and downs, I don’t care if there was long term mediocrity before my time, it’s all about the here and now in modern football… Arsenal is a global brand and makes a killing in merchandise and charges crazy ticket prices to watch a team content on Europa League qualification, I think we fans are all entitled to our opinions whether it upsets others or not regardless of how old we are. We haven’t won a league title since 2004 and made the move to the Emirates to compete with the big boys, yet we’re told to continue to be patient.. there’s only so much patience fans will take! Regarding Mikel Arteta the jury is still well and truly out on him.. we’ve had a nice unbeaten run and hopefully long may it continue but he has far from proven himself.

  5. Yep- what’s personal prejudice got to with all this. So JF dosent like America. He also dosent like Americans. I would remind him we would all be speaking German in the UK if they had not intervened in two world wars.
    I would also remind him of his post removing his support for Arteta when It was announced the player would not be leaving the club and would be getting a longer improved contract. Is that no the writer showing his prejudice against a player he dislikes.
    Stick to writing about football, this is after all a football site. I’m just surprised this article was actually allowed to be posted.

    1. Phil, Him actually giving a political example should have made this article pulled down by admin, but to comment on his pessimist and optimism points, people will always have different opinions. Being overly negative hasn’t deterred Arsenal fans from supporting the team, but a bad showing will always warrant negativity. Put it this way you have done a bad days job at your office!, Will you be let off for an excellent job the other day? And will your boss be a pessimist for overlooking the good deeds?

  6. What seems clear to me is that few, if any, of the above posters bothered reading right through to the end. So my view on a modern day lack of patience is graphically illustrated on this very site.

    1. Jon- I read it all through. I just cannot see what you are getting at.
      I feel we have every right to be pessimistic about the position we are in.
      Let’s see where we are after Citeh on News Years day shall we?
      Arteta is still unable to put out a side that controls a full game. Spuds dominated the 2nd half against us, especially after going down to 10 men. It says everything about Leicester away that our GK was by far the man of the match.
      A very average Palace side dominated us. An over achieving Brighton made us look so poor.
      So we are sitting in 6th place. I’ve never been aware of what trophy is won for being 6th at the end of October after 10 games. Unless of course I have missed something.
      This article has more of a place on BBC Radio 4 than any football blog. Far too self-indulgent.

  7. Great article, Jon. Unfortunately, there are many football fans who can’t analyze the games properly, so they can only judge the managers and the players based on their team’s table position

    1. GAI so say your team is 19th in the table and winless and fans turn on the manager.. they aren’t analysing the game properly? Our job as fans is to support and be entertained we aren’t paid to analyze anything, a basic understanding of the game is more than sufficient for a supporter to make his own judgement.. I’ve been an Arsenal supporter for a long time before Arsene Wenger and I don’t sit around analysing tactics stats etc as making a living and supporting my child is far more important but I certainly understand them!

      1. Kev, there are many factors behind a team’s downfall. Look at Spurs’ mess and we can’t solely blame their last ex-manager for the results

        All fans basically don’t want their team to lose, but sometimes replacing the manager isn’t the best solution. If the manager isn’t the biggest factor of a losing streak, sacking him will only set the team back

        This is why the fans need to analyze the games properly and think about the off-the-field factors, before making any unconstructive comments about the team. They also need to understand that a club owner will always act quickly if his team is under relegation threat, so they don’t need to worry

        1. GAI you can look at it many ways but the buck stops at the manager.. you can’t replace an entire squad and you can’t fire the owner.. if a squad of players aren’t playing for a coach/manager what’s the solution? Look at Chelsea under Lampard, now look at Chelsea under Tuchel is it just a coincidence that the latter Chelsea are much improved? You don’t have to be a tactician to understand sometimes change is good.. some people are lead to believe that Arteta was managing a squad full of league one players, these players are still quality international players maybe not grade A but still better than the last two 8th place finishes and we have also witnessed some dire football to go along with really underwhelming league campaigns. If Mikel Arteta comes good and eventually has the team challenging again I will be first to hold my hands up and admit I got it wrong, and I do hope he does prove me wrong as he’s a likeable character.. but I’ll always speak as I find no matter who it upsets. Everyone will have their own opinions and they are welcome to them who am I or you to say their wrong ?

          1. Kev, Tuchel is an exceptional manager, whereas Lampard is just a noob. Arteta is also a noob, but the way he stabilized the team after the trashing in Manchester shows his great potential/ talent and we shouldn’t have burdened him with negativity

            Replacing Arteta with Conte or other manager now will only destroy our rebuilding process, since Conte has never stayed long at a club and I don’t think Edu’s vision matches his. If we need to replace Arteta, we have to replace Edu as well and it can only be done in next summer with Ten Hag/ Overmars available

            Everybody has his or her own opinions, yet unconstructive comments will transmit faster than the constructive ones. I think most of your comments are like suggestions, but some people here obviously have personal vendetta against Arteta and only appear when we lose, just to spread more negativity

            1. It certainly won’t be Antonio Conte GAI he’s off to Totts if reports are true! If Ten Hag and overmars become available in the summer and we can lure them then I would happily endure Arteta until then but like I said I would happily like to be proven wrong because he’s a likeable character but the true acid test is after the international break, when we come up against Liverpool, United and West ham I think, if we somehow come through that positively then my opinion on him might change until then I will reserve judgement.. it’s just a relief that we are on a nice little unbeaten run and credit to Arteta, I said as much after the Leicester game I have no personal agenda against him. Watford next and it’s a game we must win 👊

              1. Yes Conte is off to spurs but only on an 18 month contract which tells you a lot as I don’t think he’s ever lasted more than 2 years anywhere.

                1. Haha he won’t last long at Totts either Declan, there isn’t many that survives the axe wielding Daniel Levy and Kane doesn’t even wanna be there lol

              2. Kev, if we can win against Watford/ Newcastle at home, lose at Anfield and get a draw at Old Trafford, that would be good enough for the youngest manager in EPL

                Let’s just hope Man United or Newcastle don’t sign Ten Hag and Overmars 🙏

                1. Gai i would expect us to lose at Anfield but watching how Brighton handled them there might be hope of at least a draw although our recent Anfield record is horrific! I would expect us to sweep aside cash rich Newcastle and get something at Old Trafford just like Liverpool, Villa and a poor Everton have done. Agreed mate as I don’t see Ole lasting the season and Newcastle will offer them a kings ransom, those two clubs will definitely be on the hunt.

    2. Well said GAI.

      Symptoms as to what historically led us to become an 8th finishing side had to be identified, and corrected.

      Personally I believe we should thank our lucky stars that at this point in our history someone like Arteta (whether he stays in situ or not) walked through the door, took stock and came to the obvious conclusion that in his opinion the side he took on was simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH and had stagnated, becoming well passed it’s sell by date (oh, but of course we could barely sell any of them …….. a clue there).

      Such was the neglect of previous years, a quick fix was never an option. It was going to take time, and now the evidence seems to point to us edging forward.

      Rather like the opposition constantly carping about the government of the day “this is rubbish, that’s rubbish”.

      Can I ask what you would do in this position???

      Conte this, Conte that – he probably wouldn’t touch with a barge pole the problems Arteta initially walked into and had to wade through.

      You’re right GAI. Simply referring to the last two years finishes when shortcomings had clearly been identified, and now got to work on, is so very blinkered.

      This is the “no more excuses year”, right now it could be very much worse.

      1. Thanks AJ. I just wanna remind Arteta’s detractors that Kroenke won’t stand still if we have another losing streak

        1. Kroenke has a huge court appearance in January.

          Settling out of court could cost him as much as 1 Billion USD, whereas found against in court could cost up to ten times that.

          He could be tempted to sell up.

          1. Great info. My only criticisms of him are his lack of supervision and the leniency culture

            Aside from those aspects, I applaud his guts for trying something new by hiring inexperienced manager and technical director

          2. A. J, I am following this court case closely, as you are and advise all interested Arsenal supporters to do the same.
            Kroenke Sports & Entertainment are under severe financial threat due to the litigation by St Louse authorities and others on the Rams relocation. Kroenke is antagonising the other owners on his potential reneging on the indemnity of other franchise owners to law suit. These owners only supported the relocation on the basis that they were protected.

            1. Hi Ozzie.

              Yes, it appears Kroenke has now reneged on an “agreement” with fellow owners, re’ the paying of legal fees incurred across the board.

              If reports coming out of the States are accurate, said fees could run to “tens of millions”.

              Relatively small change to Kroenke in isolation, but added to the bottom line if found against (the likely outcome) the already eye watering figures we are talking here continue to grow.

              I would say that most organisations suffering such a financial hit as KSR are potentially facing here, would study their portfolio and look to recover their losses in order to balance “balance the books” (bearing in mind at the end of the day this is Kroenkes personal wealth we are taking here).

              Is the sale of Arsenal Football club a distinct possibility ?

              We continue to follow events stateside.

    3. GAI. Do you still maintain that if we aren’t in the top 6 in January, Arteta should be replaced ?

  8. Defeat is 100% acceptable to myself and all reasonable fans, when beaten by a better team on the day. What real fans dont accept is headless, planless and hopeless performances that result is defeat.

    I for one am very positive at the moment. The manager and players have shown what they are capable of when they work together.

    I expect no less than a top 4 finish and/or a cup at the end of the season no excuses. Wouldn’t you agree Jon?

    1. Started the season with min goal of top 6 and while things are looking better there is enormous competition for top 4. Our team is quite young and it will be a struggle to hold it together. Lately they are a blast to watch though.

    2. PJ-SA No I do not agree that we should EXPECT top four. I do not think we have the right to EXPECT anything, actually! Hope yes, but expectation NO!

  9. I agree that no one size fits all supporters. But the one thing that does unite us is that we all want Arsenal back on top.

    Just one observation – folks can take it as they wish. I have never read of any poster taking a break from this site because there is too much positivity from other posters. I’ve known many, including myself, who have stayed away for awhile because the negativity has felt toxic.

    But most come back because we love Arsenal and the Gooner community. If you are a glass half empty kind of fan, all I ask is that you consider the drain that constant negativity is having on some fellow Gooners, let alone yourself.

    Thanks for the article Jon.

  10. That was a brave topic Jon. I wouldn’t have tackled it because I’d end up tied in knots as it is too deep for me.

    Your prejudice against Americans is sad really and I’m sure you suffer as a result of it. You’re tarring them all with the same brush and you know that you are doing it but seemingly can’t stop. It’s more like an addiction.

    I understood- I think – your motive for writing it was because of the pessimism that is so frequently shown when there are blips in the team’s progress and doom and gloom prevails and moods fray. There are those that convince themselves that the worst will happen and when it doesn’t, still find a reason to blame Arteta in some way.

    I think there is an element that your viewpoint on life and the importance- or not – of certain things like winning a match becomes generally speaking less important due to the passing years. The climate crisis and the fate of the Afghan people are more important to me than a weak showing against Palace. This age thing and creeps up on most of us. Hence I’ve been more patient with the last 22 months of Arteta than I was with Emery who was an experienced manager at a high level.
    However, I can only speak for myself, because I’m sure there are others who are oldies that don’t share my views. We are definitely not all wired the same.

    1. Sue PA thanks so much for taking the time to read all my piece and I DO SENSE A KINDRED SPIRIT IN YOU, THOUGH I FREELY ADMIT YOU ARE A FAR KINDER PERSON THAN I AM.

      I am often far too critical for sure but have to be as I am , as equally must we all.
      I probably should not waste my time on a fan football site, when speaking of matters that so many will never care about.
      That saddens me, as I have always thought that most decent people everywhere, which includes most football fans, are naturally concerned for the helpless and disadvantaged. But some care so MUCH for our club that they seem to have little interest in other matters.

      Maybe I am being too pessimistic in that comment, but to me it seems that way, to judge from majority comments on my piece.

      1. Jon maybe you are being too pessimistic in your last statement because as usual you are talking about people who you have no idea about what sort of a person they are and are judged by you, when you haven’t a clue what they do or think off this site. This site is about Arsenal and thats what the opinions should be about, not being told a person is infantile, stupid, thick, uneducated and all the other things you hurl at people when they differ from you. Your opinions matter, your put downs dont.

        1. “That then is prejudice; so, what else can cause us to fail to see team improvement then! Well, one reason has to be, simply put, dull wits!”

          Not very nice on those that differ in opinion to you Jon.

          “All I have aimed to do in this somewhat unusual piece is to invite some to think more deeply about how we all react to a defeat or subpar performance, or even a run of poor performances.”

          Somewhat hypocriteical of you Jon, did you not have Negative pessimistic views on Wenger, yet you give Arteta a free pass. Yet, Arteta guided us to our worst finish in the PL history.

          what progress do you speak of because the table the last two seasons disagrees with you.

          This in spite of us blowing more cash than seasons passed.

          Maybe, just maybe you should focus on yourself and worry less about others. Your disdain for those with views different to yours is quite off putting to say the least.

          Hey, but maybe this is the reaction you wanted?

      2. You referred to me as kinder,Jon

        I repeat, that we are not all wired the same, and how our written word can affect people in different ways rather than one way alone is important to reflect on

        I’ve learned over many months that the written word can so easily allow me to get the right end of the stick or completely the wrong one or be misunderstood by others.

        You are combative in your tone. It can make me chuckle and at times, make me wince too. I often agree with an opinion you put across but wish you were more patient with those you disagree with. You clearly have the skin of a rhinoceros and seem unmoved by your critics. Equally, there are those who post on JA that are so wedded to their own views (me included at times) that we can also come across in a poor light and one dimensional

  11. Jon, I’ve seen you be pessimistic plenty of times. The line between pessimism and realism seems to be exclusively defined by you, and anyone who falls into the former category is heavily scrutinized by yourself. You talk about America being an impolite society, then I urge you to take a moment longer before you post some of your replies to fellow JA members. We are all guilty of moments of impoliteness, and cruelty, but it’s also our responsibility to check our emotions sometimes, as you explain in the article. That is not exclusive just to people you deem as pessimists. I commend you for touching on this topic, and I do actually agree that pessimism has very much infected many aspects of our lives. It’s a challenging time in human history and the consequences of our decisions now will be felt for a long time, so I can understand where the overwhelming feeling comes from at times. Yes, Arsenal is not the most important thing on the planet, but even during moments of happiness, as well as frustration, it does provide a nice escape. I enjoy conversing with ppl on this site, even the ones I strongly disagree with. We’re millions in numbers so of course we all have so many diff opinions. Thanks again for writing.

    1. RSH, Thanks for the thoughtful and honest reply. It was always my intention to try to reach fans like you who can think more deeply than others, and many on this very thread, are obviously unwilling to do.

      What some do not even now seem to realise is that in my life, morality and honesty – even brutal honesty and esp to myself, more than many will ever know BTW- are infinitely more important than AFC, important though the club is to me.

      I do not live my whole life and being through our club, as some seem to but that is the individual choice of us all.

      Being tenth in the PREM, as we were last week is not and will never be a cause for a deep personal depression in my life. BUT THE TALIBANS BEHAVIOUR IS!
      I do feel unusual among keen fans for that reason but cannot make apologies for being as I am.

      NEITHER CAN ANYONE ELSE ON JA. We all march to the sound of our own individual drumbeat and that must be the way it should remain.

      That some are uninterested in my humanitarian concerns was always obvious to me and I of course knew I would be attacked.

  12. Pure rubbish from someone with a largely insular view of club and country…to think that one could make such rash generalizations about those within the fanbase who don’t drink the same Kool-Aid is actually quite disturbing…I’m neither too prideful nor so overtly pessimistic that I can’t make logically-deduced observations about all issues Arsenal-related…furthermore, your prejudicial leanings are your cross to bear, as they play no role whatsoever in my personal assessment process, so you would be wise to spend a little more time in quiet contemplation and a little less time standing at the pulpit trying to point your now crooked finger of blame…to be frank, you’ve actually provided those who might have a reasonable axe to grind with your usual age over substance argument, as you’ve reduced yourself to a slightly more cerebral version of the old man on the porch, swinging his fists and spewing out old school expletives at anyone your junior…good luck with that

  13. Jon, good to see a promised article appearing in JA.
    Your opinions are well known on here, some are positive and some negative.

    What I always find with your observations and thoughts, is the need to challenge how you view others who disagree with those said views.

    Be it players, fellow contributors, or even admin themselves, not many of us have escaped your acid reply… if it’s not what you want to read.

    Of course, the written word can be misconstrued by the reader, as others have done with my thoughts…. but it is the incessant way that you rebuff any other thought than your own, as not being worthy, that causes friction.

    The fact that you and I (plus many others on JA) have supported The Arsenal for a long time, means nothing with regard to our club today… there is not one single thing that we could quote from today, that is the same as when we first started supporting back in the 50’s.

    PRIDE? We were proud to support a club that had tradition, morals, a board that ensured the club would always be admired for it’s integrity away from the pitch, if the results on it weren’t good… we didn’t care, because we supported the club.
    Times are different today.

    PESSIMISM? After the wonder years (doesn’t matter how long) of AW and GG, the words of the kronkie family, the sell out of the old board, the promises never fulfilled… of course pessimism sets in.
    In “the old days” such talk was never done, we were The Arsenal and what we saw was what we got…. and we were happy not to be taken for idiots!!!

    PREJUDICE? You admit that you are prejudiced, so why berate others who are?
    It’s all about opinions, simply because we are not the manager, the player, on the “board”, or the owner.
    What we ALL ARE, however, is passionate Gooners and that’s what we all tend to forget when arguing about club matters.

    Finally Jon, your thoughts regarding longevity being a factor in how opinions should be “graded”… no relevance whatsoever when judging a football match!!!
    Because the game has evolved beyond recognition as to when we were watching and playing.

    Enjoyed the article and hope you took something from my reply.

    1. Don’t think for a second I didn’t notice what you did there with your opening statement…far more subtle than usual

    2. I have been moved to write this note of appreciation to you Ken. Objectivity and analytical arguments are two characteristics that identify you as someone who is a realist. You are never snobbish despite your long support for the club. Your easy and down to earth manner is what all of us need in life.

  14. well now, how very sad , that, a large number of replies are light years away from the actual message contained within this fine and fresh article.a white tornado has just blown through the halls of the justarsenal building !.no cobweb left unturned,the stale air has been firmly shown the door.i dont know if the people that are knocking this article are doing so because JON FOX is the author , or, if the article, in some way, goes above them.maybe there is another reason for such lack of understanding.but it does not come as any surprise, at least, to me , that the comments are mostly negative.please guys and gals, read this article once more and see does it make sense the second time around.there is a message contained within this article, that,i think we could all follow. oh, and always remember, football, is only a game, after happy.well done JON FOX, more of the same , please.

  15. KEN AND GERRY, Huge thanks for both taking the time to give your own detailed take on my piece . I am esp gateful that you both clearly read it all; not something that some others have done, as some comments made clearto me. THANKS TO YOU BOTH !

  16. Pessimism, Optimism, Negativism and Politivism I suppose are all English vocabularies in the English dictionaries that us can/could use in our write ups
    And the erudite Jon Fox, the professor, one of the big Arsenal fans has chosen to use one or two of them in his posting today to express his personal opinion on a subject he felt he should air on JA.

    And those who have agreed with me have agreed. Likewise, those who partially had, have. And those who didn’t, haven’t. Hmmm,

  17. I find this article predudiced and lacking in wisdom. It is full of misguided hubris. All I see of you, John Fox, is forever criticizing other JA posters and then acting like you are a wise man. You may have years but your tolerance levels are despotic. Others have similar, or different views to you, and that is normal. All they are are views they have no absolute basis. Hubris. People have different views to you and they are just as valid as yours.

  18. Sergio Aguero has been diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia – an irregular heartbeat – after leaving the pitch with breathing difficulties in Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Alaves on Saturday evening. Wishing all is well

  19. I read the entire article by Jon. It gave me an insight into a few things. One of those is his prejudice against Americans. I can understand why many Britons despise Americans. It is due to the fact that when the British Empire collapsed American hegemony replaced it. Perhaps the hatred for Kroenke stems from this.
    Although I admire Jon for his courage in expressing his views I feel he sometimes exceeds acceptable limits. It is this radical approach which puts him at odds with many people on this platform.

    1. David, how I wish you would contribute more often.
      Your simple, but honest, responses are so good to read.

  20. Very courageous article Jon which generated the type of responses I expected from certain respondents who seem to think that Arsenal FC has a devine right to be successful .They are incapable of confering credit when credit is due.The fact that five of our six recent signings are already making a positive impact for the team seems to have escaped them, such is their open hostility towards our Management team.I had to laugh at the comments concerning our “failure” to dominate the likes of Palace and Brighton.The very same teams which defeated Man City and deservedly drew with Liverpool at the weekend.I am afraid the arrogance of certain fans who regard these Clubs as minnows is not only disrespectful but a failure to recognise that there are no longer any easy games in the EPL.As for your comments on non football issues Jon, you are a braver man than I .My son has lived and worked in the Houston area of Texas for 16 years and having visited him on numerous occasions I have never felt uncomfortable during my visits nor have I been aware of any fundamental difference in the attitude of the American man in the street to his equivalent in the UK.In any event you are right to point out that there are far more important issues in life than football although it would seem that many on JA do not share our views.Poverty,climate change,NHS pressures ,the Pandemic and the Economy are issues which effect everyone on the Planet and in relation to that lot the fortunes of Arsenal FC is not really a big deal,or have I got it all wrong.

    1. @Grandad- that reply was quite obviously directed at me. So your quite content to watch us play as we did against Palace and Brighton are you? I’m not, and I’m joined by many many others as well. Your pleased we got two points from games we could, and probably should have lost. I’m not. Even under Wengers darkest days we did not lose too many points against inferior teams, especially at home. But your content with this are you?
      You carry on ducking up to old JF PAL. You two were made for each other. Outdated views from two dinosaurs who seem content with mediocrity when most expect far far better

      1. “Semper progrediens” is what all clubs should strive for and fans alike and not standing for progressing just because we regressed in the first place under the same manager .

        1. No offense taken Ken.A very eloquent rant from the keyboard of an intelligent Arsenal supporter and a man who sees the broader picture .As to the comments from Phil, I’m afraid he has failed to grasp the nettle.The likes of Palace and Brighton are no longer inferior, that is my point.This is the most competitive League in Europe by some way.Your heart is in the right place Phil as far as Arsenal is concerned but if you are expecting Arsenal to be a dominant force in this League , you are going to be disappointed ,

    2. Grandad, for one supporter you HAVE got it wrong.
      What impact can one single football fan have on the global issues you mention?

      That is why we have governments to try and run the world isn’t it?
      Do they?
      How did bankers get away with bringing the country to it’s knees, yet became richer in the process and got away scot free for example?
      Why are we selling arms to dictators?

      Once every four years or so, I personally have the opportunity to cast a vote, which I do religiously.

      As I see the world leaders, slowly but surely, taking us further towards the cess pits, one of my outlets is The Arsenal.

      While we see the rich getting richer on the backs of the other 99%, watching my club play football is something that I look forward to with immense pleasure and as a release valve.

      If every person on the planet carried the world on their shoulders and were willing to share the burden, I would be at the very front of the revolution!!

      Until then, my family, friends and The Arsenal are the issues that I indulge in, while also, privately, donating to organisations that ARE trying to change the world and not just playing lip service …. I don’t need or want goody two shoes to preach to me on what is good or bad (the goody two shoes is not a reference to you in particular).

      Until the politicians start to address the issues you quite rightly point out and stop acting like “pigs in a trough” , the world will never change – ask Oliver Cromwell (theoretically speaking of course) as that is where the “quote” came from way back when and is as relevant today.

      As a footnote, it has been said that 25 % of the NHS budget has been handed out to companies, with links to the present government, on covid related issues that have been proven worthless…. let’s look at those people, rather than football fans who despair at the corruption in THIS country, let alone THE others, including Trump’s USA and go to watch a game of football

      Which in itself is corrupted by other human beings, also telling me what I should be doing to save the world!!!

      END OF RANT and I apologise to anyone I might have offended or missed out.

    3. A grounded and mature reply that, fortunately, I and others have become used to from you Grandad.

      My big divide from many on JA is that to me our club, though a massive part of my life , is in the place in my life I would wish it to be.

      That is not in the top four most important things. Not even top ten actually. Some people can care passionately about many things in their life ; some others only their personal loved ones and their football team That is life I suppose!

      1. So what’s the role of JA in non football matters? Unless there are somethings I missed this platform was created for football matters and I can assure some of us are in different groups about the non+football issues you mentioned. We come to JA for our beloved club and football. I care what’s going around me and the world.

  21. We all have different personality traits.
    Most evolve over experiences we are impacted by over our life (I use impacted because we experience daily events but not always with open eyes) and this is what makes us unique

    Some comes with views we just cannot comprehend, others make more sense to us.

    What is true, is all humans represent a personality trait we can all have, it is just some of us express them and others don’t – but we all have these traits within us.

    Take for example the Trump backers who stormed capitol hill. I personally disagree with their views and actions, yet I have seen footy fans have similar actions towards their footy club.

    What is the difference here with the fans who stormed into Old Trafford?
    And yet I bet there is though amongst them who had condoled the capitol hill invasion!

    The older Arsenal fans tend to…by logic…have better perspective…but in truth, this is not even that true. There is no right or wrong.

    I feel some of the negativity we see and hear is because of how much we are becoming disconnected with the world of football.

    – There wages, their lifestyle, their protection and multiple sponsorship deals… The men we once could be seen in a pub with, as the footy writers once said are now dining in different circles.

    We are so disconnected with the reality of a footballer we cannot really comprehend the reasons when they don’t perform.

    Any point to overpaid no interest, others blame the manger, the board, the kit man, the hotdog stand owner outside the stadium on match day….

    Where I am with it all is that I find myself less and less on blogs like this over the year because the opinion of fans changes weekly.
    How can we take what some fans say seriously?

    You can write the most, you can talk the loudest or you can say the least it doesn’t matter, most will stick to what they feel because we are emotional beings, even in the face of knowing logic, we are emotional beings.

    All I can add is a wonderful quote I read only last week

    The real problem of humanity is the following;
    we have paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions; and god-like technology

    1. You can write the most, you can talk the loudest or you can say the least it doesn’t matter, most will stick to what they feel because we are emotional beings, even in the face of knowing logic, we are emotional beings.

      Sorry forgot to add after this
      Maybe we need to be emotionally changed in our view. And this will and can only be down to how well we play vs our expectations.
      In the end of it all, we need to support our teams. The connection to the performance can only drive out negativity we discuss of

  22. I have been reading JA daily for many years and over time have gotten to know the tendancies of a number of the regular posters on this site. Jon Fox is one of those and his style is certainly evident to all who read here regularly. As in this article, he often makes some very keen observations, but again, as in this article he has a tendancy to mix his opinions and observations with personal attacks on those he disagrees with. In today’s article he has decided to up the ante a bit by disparaging an entire nation, many of whom are his fellow gooners. As an American gooner I take offence, but not with John. He can have his prejudices and views. My umbrage is directed more at Admin that reviews articles that get posted on JA. We are all aware that Admin regularly removes posts that it deems off topic, political, or too harsh. It would seem to me that articles would be held to a higher standard than even the posts. So I was surprised to see an article, representing JA and not just a poster, that uses prejudice against another nation as illustration of the greater point of the article. I would have to assume that Admin regularly requires edits of articles before they are accepted. Which causes me to wonder if the Admin of JA might just share this particular view with John? Aside from sticking to the the purpose of this site, it seems it would not be good for a business that relies on site traffic for its ad income to go out of its way to offend the Arsenal fanbase of an entire nation.

  23. I would agree with JF that his is an unusual article, but I would simply say that the Justarsenal site is a site for fans to comment freely, whatever their views and opinions. Our views will necessarily be many and varied, and that is the spice of life, and what gets people to log on and comment on the articles. We should read all comments with interest and understanding, and refrain from condemning those with whose opinions we disagree. I could go on, but then I would seem less patient with others maybe than I am suggesting we should be.

    1. It’s a football forum, Peter. The view on America whilst ostensibly being used to make a point, had no connection at all with football. This was an article not a comment. It was poIitical and potentially very offensive to any patriotic American. We have many American readers. I may or may not disagree with Jon – that is irrelevant. I would say the same if it was directed towards another country. How would you feel if those comments were made by an American about England. ON A FOOTBALL FORUM?

  24. Firstly, whilst you are perfectly entitled to your political views, Jon, JA is not a soapbox for political or xenophobic statements. We have many American friends here, some of whom will quite rightly be very offended by a big part of your post. And you do not mitigate what you have written about America merely by saying that you know some “agreeable” Americans. Think what you like, but shame on you for putting that in an article.
    Secondly, although I agree with the basis of your theory that some here are impossible to please and seem to enjoy being negative, I think you are diluting your argument by wrongly ascribing that impatient, perfectionist mindset to predominantly younger fans. In fact as I get older I am if anything more angry and more impatient than I ever was before! Society has changed, football has changed, and the makeup of Arsenal fans is now global rather than merely British. To believe that patience is the sole property of older, English fans is both naiive and incorrect.

    Finally, I see fans proclaiming themselves as being”realists” as if simply to declare it makes it both true and desireable. WHAT THE HECK IS A “REALIST”? Football is a game of opinions and blind faith. The only “reality” are stats and league tables, and both are subject to interpretation: are we sixth in the table? Or equal fifth on points? Or are we three points/one win off third? All are true. Look at any two player rating reports – one will say White was superb, another that he was average. The stats are manipulated according to the agenda, and the rest is opinion. So where does being a “realist” get you in football?

  25. Nice to see an article from you, Jon. But when you make sweeping statements like defining the supposed ‘negativity’ of people on certain factors, even if you blanket it as your opinion at the end without relevant data your article won’t strike home properly.
    Now won’t delve into your prejudice against American society as others have done it already. Now as you have defined this statement as your opinion, next time someone says a referee has taken bribes or a director of football is a fraud, just don’t go marching asking for evidence, lol. Because that’s just an opinion of a poster…

  26. Guy, yes you are right. This is a football forum and I was suggesting that we all respect differing points of view/comments on things football and the way our team are performing. As for JF’s article, I refrained from comment.

  27. A rhetorical question for a rhetorical article. The main point point being that Arsenal fans are expecting too much and that it’s better to chill, go with the flow and take whatever comes with good humour. I can do that when watching local suburban games but find it difficult when it comes to Arsenal. Over the years there has just been too much emotional investment and it doesn’t get easier with age.. Regarding the other issues such as football and politics, I’m not sure how I would react if Arsenal fans were in the same position as Newcastle’s. I’d like to believe that I would call it a day, but then again while the Kroenkes may not have murdered anyone their connection to Walmart and it’s psychopathic anti union stance does not exactly put me in the high moral ground.

    1. Interesting to read your point of view Joe.S

      As supporters it probably isn’t wise to take the high moral ground with the Newcastles of this world, especially when our owner has dubious credentials.

      I don’t think we as fans should just chill and go with the flow, but I do believe that perspective needs to be brought into the equation.

      It is impossible to be successful all the time, I’d have thought. There will be ebbs and flows and my memories of the pre Wenger era were just that. I think what Jon was trying at times to get at was the years and years of CL football and the earlier years of truly stupendous players has in some cases brought an unrealistic expectation of where Arsenal should be now. If you haven’t known the ups and downs then coming to terms with the last few years will be difficult. The younger generation will now be feeling what i felt years ago when seasons were poor. But we did rebuild then and have success so it will happen again.

      1. Hi SueP…

        These are simply great words from you! With sheer simplicity, you have keenly summarized an “attitude to life” that serves as a stable approach to handling the uncertainties of this world.

        I believe it is such an approach that Jon’s bold and highly engaging article aims to describe. While trying to explore answers to a highly intriguing question, Jon has offered a solution that seems not to settle with many for reasons bothering on opinions. For me, the solution proposed by Jon simply advices that we tame our expectations about Arsenal, which on the larger scheme of things, is of less importance as compared to other facets of life. Unfortunately, the nostalgia remains, and not all will embrace such a solution; and again, that’s life for us!

        As much as we all want success in life all the time, we must know as well that nothing lasts forever. The successful years under Arsene have slowly weaned into several years of underachievement.

        Unfortunately, because all things are causal, we never realize that changes occur simply due to our actions/inactions. We construct the events and the world we live in by such actions/inactions, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

        Therefore being concious of our individual and collective actions/inactions is our only lifeline towards changing our future. We must therefore embrace positivity consciously if we ever intend to have a positive future. And by our actions/inactions, we will slowly and often unobservably construct a brighter tomorrow.

        Just like you SueP, I do believe that with concious efforts geared at always getting better, tomorrow has only one responsibility, which is to deliver success to us all, as well as to the Arsenal.

        Trust you are safe!


  28. Hi jon fox , you should have written this article under a different name 😉
    You might not have had such a negative response just a thought.
    It was different from the usual ( don’t have to think articles) well done and God bless.

  29. @Jon Fox
    Thank you for taking the time to write this article.
    I find it interesting and thought provoking.
    While I disagree with some of your views, i.e. your view on America, I will limit myselft to one particular thing.
    Prejudice actually prevents us from being rational, and as such, I believe any opinion or thought influenced by prejudice can never be entirely rational.
    Having said that, I agree, there is probably not a person in the World, who by any right can claim not be influenced by prejudice in at least one or some aspects.
    As fan culture is very much about feelings, it does leave us all much more open to be influenced by prejudice in our opinions of our players, our results, our manager, our owner etc etc.

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