Living with the Enemy (and Bruce Springsteen)
by guest-blogger Tricky
The thing about North Londoners is that there are two sides to the extended ‘family’, the ‘forces of good’ and those from the ‘forces of evil’.
There are many amongst us who have families with representatives from both sides. Call it a ‘quirk of genetics’, ‘rebellion against the good’, ‘the black sheep of the family’ or just plain ‘getting it so horribly wrong’. There are those for whom ‘never red’ derives more literary connotations than anything else.
I have bona fide relatives who come from both sides of the track, and so for many years have learnt how to deal with conversing with the ‘forces of evil’. Additionally, work, and life in general, has also has led to my meeting many more ‘gooners’, some of who appear on the surface to be thoroughly decent chaps, and dare I say it, some I even get on well with and like as people outside of football.
But all that means nothing at least twice a year when the finely honed the ability to deal with them in a manner that allows, at the very least, moral higher ground rears its head. When ‘bragging rights’ and other such choice phrases start being banded about by the media hacks in a pre-emptive stylee.
The thing is, with all the arguments and counters from both sides that our aspirations would have us join them (or preferably replace them) at the top of the footballing elite in the seemingly mythical ‘top4’, the ephemeral ‘goose that laid the golden football’.
But a word of caution, perhaps we should be careful what we wish for, as we all wish to see success at our beloved WHL, but at what price?
The thing that I have learnt the most from decades of banter is that both sides see their frailties, but it is only the white side that are sufficiently open enough to acknowledge it to others. The red side are more blissful in their belligerence and denial.
And to be fair, it’s not their fault that they have believed every press statement from their club, and more specifically their manager.
And it’s not their fault that the timing of the stadium rebuild and the costs were to go silk glove in sweaty hand with the deepest recession for many decades, and so it’s understandable that the squad are not the ‘tour de force’ they used to be 5 years ago. And Ok they never really replaced Patrick Vieira, mostly due to financial constraints and this ‘grand plan’.
And so what if their stadium has hampered their ability to compete with players wages and transfer fees with the real top clubs in the last few years, and who cares if all it has done is attracted plastic fans who are no more loyal to the Brand of ‘Goon FC’ than they are to ‘Ted Baker’. And so what If the atmosphere at the library was non-existent, then the Effeminates has more ‘corporate ’ who arrive just in time for their amuse bouches and entrees rather than to join in with the singing a song of support for their boys in red (and I use the term ‘boys’ quite deliberately here’).
And let’s be honest, when it comes to what the usual noise levels are like, please don’t ask a spurs fan (after all he’ll more than likely be biased) just ask ‘The Boss’ himself, who had to introduce additional soundproofing to put a gig on at the effeminates. Clearly noise pollution hasn’t been a problem before now.
The Boss: What do you mean I’m too noisy for you?
But it is worth noting that not all goon fans are that trusting of the powers that be, in the main they bitch amongst themselves, with the fans sitting it one of two camps, the ‘AKB’ or (‘Arsene knows best’) and ‘the real world’.
Spotting an AKB is quite easy, usually you can approach them from the side as the blinkers will prevent them from seeing anything that isn’t presented to them.
In fact approaching them from straight ahead is also easy if they will be sporting the latest pair of 'deludavision Dennis Bergkamp 2010 edition denial sensitive sunglasses'.
Please bear in mind that an AKB will also not see the most obvious flaw in their manager, his deliberately obtuse and condescending attitude which keeps coming back to slap him in the face. Or at least it would if any hack has the balls to point out that he is a living breathing contradiction at times.
This can be most exemplified by his persistent whinging, take the it’s not fair we have to play against a team who has had a break midweek, when other (top4) teams are all playing someone who have played a midweek game earlier this season.
Do we now see Fergie and Ancellotti moaning about how unfair the schedule is as the goons now have to play a team that will be tired from an FA Cup semi only three days before? Do we hear it yet? No? Why not? Because it’s all part of the game, and playing fixtures over the course of a season you whinging pasty faced turd.
The main issue the goon fans seem to have is this; they cannot see that their greatest strength (their manager) is in fact also their Achilles Heel.
Each manager has his limitations and the fact is that Whinger over the years has turned into his own parody, an AKB will not only not see this (ironic, huh?) but will refuse to accept it even from a non-AKB goon supporter trying to make sure that not all of his fellow fans appear to be the sort of pizza faced belligerent window licker who tragically is probably now eligible to vote. This two-facedness by their manager has been shown on many an occasion.
(It is perhaps both ironic and unfortunate that in their collective failing they have shown that Spurs fans greatest asset is their ability to see, and point out on a regular basis, the problems of successive managers, without considering the value of ‘stability’).
This of course does not mean that those Goons who sit in ‘the real world’ aren’t in denial about their teams failings, far from it. Rose-tintedness can exhibit itself at any time during any given conversation.
The “We’re not a team of divers” debate for example – one of my favourites, and perhaps even more so, given the aforementioned propensity for generally contradictory statements by their Alzheimer riddled manager. When in 2006 Whinger suggested that players who dived should be banned little did he know that only three years later when playing Celtic, a certain Mr Eduardo would perform a dive that not only was blatant but registered 5.9’s from three European judges clinching him the bronze medal position. Subsequently he would describe the banning of one of his players who blatantly dived as a ‘witch hunt’.
Still, it has been said before and probably not for the last time, 'life’s not without its sense of irony sometimes’, the potential for rhyming slang with his choice of words alone is worth noting.
And so to round up this rambling there are a few more points worth remembering, should they be raised in some banter in the next 24 hours:
- The 2005 cup final, goons undeserved victors by playing 120 minutes of anti-football
- Theo Walcott / Wingnutt / Walnutt – he is to the goons what Jenas is to our team
- Whinger = Wengker = Myopic cheese eating surrender monkey
- Theirry Henry – works on a number of levels especially when in an Irish pub
- The fact that the ‘kids’ in the ‘cup team’ is now the biggest fallacy in the EPL today. Unfortunately a myth still perpetuated by the media, who have conveniently failed to notice that it is not what it was over 5 years ago when they were winning other stuff, it has now graduated into being ‘kids blended with experience’ or some other crass title that basically means ‘1st team with a few rested and a couple of youth team members thrown in’ or more than likely ‘a balance of 1st team starting and second choice members’
- 5-1 in the Carling Cup; Fabianski, Sagna, Justin Hoyte, Gallas, Traore (Eduardo 65), Hleb, Denilson (Fabregas 18), Silva, Diaby, Walcott (Adebayor 65), Bendtner. Bet you don’t recognise any of their ‘yoof’ from that day a couple of years back, see above
- Carling Cup winners 2008, more recent silverware of note: FACT. (and if they say ‘its not real cup’, ask them if they would be saying cup double had they actually won both domestic cup, or would they just call themselves FA Cup winners, or maybe that doesn’t count either in their weird world)
When is a cup not a cup? When it’s a domestic cup (according to some that is)
You see the single thing that IS entirely their own fault, is in believing the hype (something of course that we could never be accused of, clearly). After all to have the bitterness of defeat and disappointment you have to have tasted victory.
And when not winning anything, but financial stability is the end goal of the club, as I said earlier, 'perhaps we should all be careful what we wish for', as hollows victories are exactly that.
I shall leave all 'battle cries' to spooky, safe in the knowledge that sooner or later our time, as inevitably one day it will, will come. Maybe not this year, maybe not in my lifetime, but everything goes in cycles, sooner or later.
After all, that's why we have kids. Isn't it?