It’s the Tuesday after an Arsenalless weekend and I’ll be honest with you, it feels as painfully slow as an international break. The club news is relatively benign, there’s little excitement to speak of from a football perspective and as I wrote the other day we have a fan base that appear to be finding new ways to be pissed off with each other.
Division is toxic and my hope is that nobody actually wants it but I do wonder if people just like to argue with each other online. It seems like people get so much more passionate when arguing than when everything is good and people are in general agreement with each other.
But what I also find perplexing is that there are people who have flipped roles in the Arsenal social media space.
The seismic shift that happened at the club last year when Wenger was essentially axed has seen some people completely shift the way they position themselves online.
Take people who were staunch supporters of Arsène Wenger until the end. The real end. Most of us kind of turned and agreed he needed to go at some stage over the last two years I think, but some remained to the end despite the clear decline in the team. For those people the questions were “who else are you going to replace him with?” – which I detest as a question if I’m honest – or “you’ll be sorry when he’s gone”. Never look a gift horse and all of that.
But these people also positioned themselves as moderates. As those who were happier to be seen as not one of the ‘crazies’ who were baying for blood. You will probably know one or two of the people I’m talking about. But what I find really interesting is that after eight months of Emery in charge these same people are turning on him and turning quicker than most of the rest of us. Well, that’s what it feels like to me, anyway.
It feels like those people who took such a conservative stance with the Wenger situation are the first ones baying for blood with Emery. Which is just, well, weird if you ask me. It’s weird because all it’s doing to someone like me is think of these people as extremists. They who labelled those as such for wanting Wenger gone are choosing similar lines of narrative for Emery.
I don’t profess to speak for Arsenal fans. I can speak for myself and probably tell you the thoughts of people around me on match days or in the pub before. But most of those are probably just in the middle like me. I think some of Emery’s decision making has been poor of late. I’m not a fan of his ostracising of Mesut Özil. But I am certainly not at the stage in which I think Emery should be booted.
I just find it odd that some those who were #WengerIn seem to be adopting a #EmeryOut approach far quicker than the rest of us.
And by the way, to a lesser extent, there are one or two people who I think are also going to side with Emery probably a little more because they were such staunch #WengerOut Champions. Perhaps that’s the inevitable stance someone would take if they’ve been at odds with those in the AKB?
People flipping from in to out and out to in. Maybe I was right the other day when I said that as a fan base – certainly online – we just always have a need to be divided?
Alternatively, maybe the fan base is in a situation where we’ve had such clear divides, that the battle lines can’t just be redrawn overnight? People who argued with each other this time last year are hardly going to hug and make up now, are they?
So perhaps much like Emery needs time and the squad needs time to be rebuilt, we also need time as a fan base, to rebuild some of the divisions that have taken years to build up?