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Arsenal need a change of manager but the fans are hysterical

OPINION: There's people worse off than you is an irritating phrase, but in this case...

07 September, 2017 — By Richard Osley

THERE is a stock answer from the people who schnuckle to themselves about how “football is just 22 silly men chasing a bit of leather around” when they find you somewhere worrying too much about something as frivolous as sport.

“There’s more important things in the world, you know?”, they’ll opine, presumably having never allowed themselves to watch anything other than the news, Newsnight, Question Time and, for fun, University Challenge. On the same theme, at some stage in your life somebody will have told you “there’s people who are a lot worse off than you, you know?”.

Yes I know, and should you ever want to belittle a companion’s anxiety du jour, try it: it works for any occasion.

You didn’t like your broccoli bake dinner? Well you know there are children starving in Africa.

You’ve got a paper cut? Well I read about a guy who accidentally chainsawed his own arm off.

Your football team is playing very well? At least you are not a Spurs fan.

Actually, that last one may be a little redundant now, but you get the point. Unless you can prove yourself to be the world’s most unfortunate person living in a puddle and suffering from lugworm and rickets, then it’s impossible to argue against the fact that there is always somebody worse off than you. I

know how irritating it is to be told there are more important things in the world, when you let slip that you are concerned about Nacho Monreal’s ability at centre back, as if it’s somehow impossible to both be concerned about the impending nuclear apocalypse while also wondering whether Granit Xhaka can pass the ball forward before the H-bomb hits.

But. Arsenal fans, at this moment I’ve got to say it: There is somebody worse off than you. Even by the standards of some of our club’s most You Tube-ready supporters, the quite ridiculous levels of fury have made me feel quite sorry for Arsene Wenger.

This, even though for the past six years I’ve been among those supporting a change of manager, albeit with a slumped look of resignation rather than the more commonplace pressure-play tactic of a swearhili message on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Instagram account.

I understand people spend a lot of money to follow the team, but the vitriol, the spitting anger has reached hysteria. Here is a club which has won three trophies in the past four years – had great days out at Wembley winning them – and still has a squad so good its players were peppered across the international fixture list in recent days.

It’s been a rough few days, weeks and months, but, really, there’s fans of other clubs who never have such highs, fans who really are worse off than you.


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