The Boys who Mistook Their Arrogance for Pride

Come the end of the season we often find ourselves anxiously waiting, predicting, amateurly analyzing, and scrapping for every bit of news, and tweet for the promise of a better Arsenal in the upcoming season(s).

As our hopes of trophies fade away during the season we cling tightly to our stars or potential future stars with whom we learned to identify, and reflect our joy in victory and devastation in defeat. OUR players and OUR boys are Gunners at heart, they kiss the badge like we do, they hug each other as we do, they show their frustration when we concede, and run to us exulting in triumph when they score. They sing with us the songs we create, they tell us how happy and satisfied they are to play for one of the greatest clubs in the world, and some of the greatest fans in the world. All these rumors are nonsense why would these players want to leave after everything WE have been through together this year?

Then we wake up from our naivety and realize it’s a one-sided love story compelled with ridiculous emotional investment in actual people who kiss their badge, hug each other, run to us in joy, then turn their back, tap their full pockets and ask for more, always more.  Be it Money, Playing time, or position Change etc.  Asking is one thing, but thinking you are entitled is another.  Arrogance vs Pride.  I truly believe pride and loyalty comes hand-in-hand, so does arrogance and disloyalty.  Two players that come to mind now are the Ox and our own Jack Wilshere: Undeniable talent, incontestable potential, injury riddled careers, not living up to their promised potential, and yet asking and expecting more from a club that showed them nothing but support.

According to arsenal report  Jack Wilshere (570 days) has dethroned Diaby (555 days) as the player with most days out injured since Jan. 2013 and (surprise) The Ox comes in 4th place (519 days). These numbers greatly sum up both players story.  I can hardly not see them as exaggerating their own importance in contrast to the reality of what they offered us so far.  When you are injured for so long it is only normal to lose your spot to another more performing player or new additions to the squad.  Instead of staying and fighting gracefully for his place Jack decides to go to Bournemouth, changes his social media intro to “football player” removing “arsenal” from the equation, never congratulating the club for winning the FA CUP and comes back with rumors about his imminent departure.

Where did the hunger of proving your abilities and earning your playing time go? Where did the pride of winning and wanting to win for Arsenal go? Where did the humility of playing where the team needs me to play and gratefulness to having yet another chance(s), always getting the support of the manager, staff and fans go? Why is the Ox entitled to demand to play in central midfield -or he would want to leave- if we haven’t yet benefited from a full season of him playing at his level.  It is hurtful to think that The Ox and Jack might leave, but the flame within
that burns and lights up the pitch is not there anymore. It comes in flashes, and goes in long strides. With it goes our hope of clinging to our adored players.

Long gone are the days of a certain Fernando Redondo who moved to AC Milan, and got instantly injured for 2 full seasons. His response was to reject his salary pay until he was fit again.  Are we at fault for showering our players with praise, and adoration ever since they step foot on the pitch, and show us a tiny glimpse of emotions towards the badge? Or is it the manager’s for always showing faith and patience in his youngsters too early perhaps? Or is it just how football is nowadays? Too much arrogance, too little pride, and a whole lot of sense of entitlement for things not fully deserved yet.  No matter the answer the result is one. With every tap and kiss on that badge our love for our
boys keeps growing, our hope for glory under their glowing potential keeps us resilient amidst the club’s yearly under achievement, but our cautious mind keeps us grounded preparing for the inevitable heartbreak looming on the horizon when one of them leaves.



Guest Writer

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