Victory Through Harmony by Dan Smith
The assertion is that Arsenal were fortunate stadiums were empty last season so the team avoided any backlash from fans. Therefore there was a genuine fear about what the atmosphere would be like with our stadium full again.
Yes, there was a full house for the Chelsea fixture but there seemed to be a resignation within the crowd, an acceptance that they are better.
If ever discontent from the stands would be noticeable it was this Saturday.
Norwich’s visit represented how far our club has fallen.
A fan base, where some cried about only finishing top 4, was now hosting a newly promoted side, both without a point this season. It was the first time we began a league campaign with three straight defeats since the 50’s. That’s before you factor in that we are without European football for the first time since 1995.
So with the scoreline goalless at half time I was worried. It doesn’t take a lot for the Emirates to get nervous and my fear wasthe Canaries would use that trepidation to their advantage.
Most teams will be thinking the same when they travel to North London. The longer they stay in the game the more toxic the atmosphere becomes. At that point we often don’t have the leaders to respond.
Yet to the majority’s credit, the atmosphere was not poisonous at any point this weekend. Sure, there were ironic chants of ‘we are staying up’ but you need to be able to laugh at yourself. Not everything has to be serious.
It’s like Gooners made a collective choice to back the players, perhaps realising confidence was low and individuals needed that extra boost of support?
Perhaps it was smartly viewed that negativity would be self-defeating?
If you’re paying a lot of money to see the team you love, you want to give them the best chance of winning. Booing and jeering wouldn’t do that.
A lot of my peers are unhappy with how far the club has fallen.
The likes of myself will use platforms like this to question the owner’s ambition but there is a time and a place.
In the short-term players needed our support this weekend. That’s our job…. to support, to encourage, to help.
In an era where many Youtubers build views on how loud they shout, well done to the majority of fans for putting the teams needs first.
There’s a phone in from Talk Sport which has been trending where a caller (adamant they are a gooner) says they have chosen to go watch Man United this week rather than Arsenal because the return of Ronaldo would be more entertaining.
The hosts were left to debate if this was the behaviour of a true fan? That’s not for me to say. I do feel that no team has a divine right to be successful and as much as we have enjoyed seeing our club win trophies, you can’t bail the moment things get hard.
Part of sport is the journey, the chase. The lows we are feeling now will make the future highs that bit more enjoyable.
What I do know is true Arsenal fans did the club proud on Saturday at a time where there hasn’t been too much to be proud about to be a gooner.
They applauded the work rate of Aubameyang as our captain closed down the keeper, they responded well to Tomiyasu’s debut and most of all they stayed with the team in the tricky moments. Most importantly they
stayed calm in the second half when it was easier to lose patience.
There is a famous motto for years we had on our shirts, Victoria Concordia Crescit, Latin for Victory through Harmony. For decades we had a reputation of being the club who acted with class and did things the right way.
You can learn a lot about people in adversity.
Who stays loyal?
No one is pretending that a 1-0 win over Norwich is anything to be excited about. Yet in a hard time, I was very proud to be a gooner yesterday.
Well done to the fans for sticking with the team and as our own skipper said, providing energy for the team.
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