An Appeal & Stone Cold Friday: Unscrew The Pooch
Ordinarily, I would have thought of some witty, pithy quote from a movie or joke. Instead, a note I received yesterday from a long time reader, Flint McCullough, who has been a huge source of encouragement since the early days, is reproduced here:
My great nephew Freddie Garcha, just 22 years old, was shot dead in Colombia for a gold chain. He had been travelling through South America to learn the languages & about life. Like his Mum & brother Max, Freddie was literally a lifelong Gunner, he must have been about 6 or 7 when I first took him to Highbury.
His last message on his Facebook page before he went out on his shopping trip was just after the Sunderland game is here:
“Arsenal fans stop moaning like a bunch of f****** d********s its doing my head in. People like you take us down. Obviously pissed we didn’t win, but what you saying its over? Need to show some fucking encouragement, don’t need you bitching & moaning, we need to support whether win lose or draw. You lot bring bad energy for the game on Tuesday…come on you Gunners…be optimistic”
The first indication of what happened was when messages of sympathy from his many Colombian friends started appearing on his Facebook page. These were picked up by friends in England & eventually the truth was revealed, albeit with very little help from the British Consulate.
My point in writing is that it has been a huge expense (around £10k) just to bring Freddie home.
His friends in England have set up Bring Freddie Home completely off their own bat to help the family with this unexpected sad loss. It has raised to date around £4000.
Freddie is now back in England & his funeral is on Sunday. The hurt will go on forever but I hope that some more Gunners/Gooners might be able to help with the financial burden.
I would ask that if people feel able to contribute they do so via the above link. If you are unable to do so, take a moment to reflect that there is more to life that bitching over whether Arsène said this or that, or did this or that.
I told you folks last week. That blasted warning sign outside the entrance to the Arsenal rollercoaster is there for a reason. It’s not just about ‘Elf and Safety to protect the faint-hearted. What do we then go do? We jump on the damn thing and press the self-destruct button as a bonfire is lit under our arses.
This week hasn’t just been about the disappointment of dropping out of 3 cups in 2 weeks. I’m pissed off about Birmingham’s smash and grab; I’m pissed off that Bendtner didn’t wipe that smug grin off the face of all the arse-licking Broke Back sycophants.
I’m pissed off that yet again, we let the Manure roll us over at Old Trafford. I’m pissed off that at a critical stage in the season, we have given the anti-Arsenal brigade all they need to bury us in the media and on the blogosphere.
But let’s get it straight, none of these emotions and feelings should never ever lead to the collective hammering that we have witnessed this week. I can understand and accept the reaction of the hacks, pundits and smug supporters of our rivals, but I continue to be baffled and deeply saddened by the reaction within the Arsenal ranks.
Those who can’t stomach the rollercoaster ride have picked a really ideal moment, just when its trajectory changes to 79º due south at 187 miles per hour. All they see is Armageddon and their weak, lily-livered psyche defaults to pressing self-destruct as they sing “Kumbayah my Lord” in unison, making peace in preparation for meeting with the footballing gods.
“But we’ve been here before”, they scream from the as they plot our very own Jasmine revolution to oust Wenger, the board, the players and anyone who steps in the way of Arsenal getting trophies.
“Bring me the head of Arsène Wenger” is the refrain as they march steadfastly towards Highbury House, oblivious to the fact that there’s still 30 points up for grabs and a small matter of the Premier league to fight for.
Many take the fence sitting position and demand that actions should speak louder than words, that the team should stop talking and start ‘doing’. Look into the mirror my fellow brethren. Stop talking about supporting your team and actually do it.
The business end of the season is not the time to pontificate and bitch about what could, should and would have been. It is time to take the here and now, to run with it. We are where we are; that’s the most important thing right now.
We have the whole of the summer to drag Arsène Wenger and all his ‘scapegoats de jour’ to Tower Bridge and carry out the executions; to chew the fat about improving our fortunes.
But pray tell, when Arsenal have a realistic chance of winning the title, how is it acceptable that we get as miserable as we have done. How can we demand that the team show courage and character to overcome the fact that we’ve screwed the pooch in the last fortnight. When the heat is on, the cowardly hit the bunkers, hide behind the sofas and demand that the team has to change otherwise we will win nothing, yet again?
It’s not enough to blubber on the clichés about how we’ve been here before in the last 6 years. Nonsense! This is our best title challenge for years. We haven’t spent north of the £2.5 billion like United, Chelsea or City yet we have remained competitive.
Much work still has to be done on the pitch but the same is true of some sections of Arsenal supporters, including some very prominent bloggers. The team needs us now more than ever; I wonder whether it’s the supporters who don’t have the mental strength and character to go the whole distance.
I wonder if it’s the lily-livered section of supporters who are chokers and bottlers. They moan about not winning anything for 6 years yet don’t want to carry the team across the finishing line.
Of course, we’ll hear that it’s their God given right to have an opinion and to criticise where valid. A sign of maturity is knowing when and where to criticise, knowing when to fall in line and back the team to the hilt. If criticism is not constructive, it becomes venomous and consumes us.
Yes, the team has fallen short in the last fortnight, but it’s time for all of us to unscrew the damn pooch and bring the cup home.