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Why do some Arsenal fans love moaning so much?

By Tony Attwood

I was interested to see how much interest my little piece Why the media are desperate to see Liverpool thump Arsenal next weekend attracted and I thought the comments on that piece were really interesting.

And having read the comments another thought struck me.  I am generally quite a positive person, and despite writing about the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal (AAA) a lot I still really don’t understand this desire to moan and whinge all the time.  Indeed the reason I have written so much about Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and their commentary about how awful Arsenal is under the “We Care Do You?” banner, is because I am trying to understand the reason for moaning.

And the fact is these guys in the AST and those who signed up along side them, moan a lot.  As my tiny amount of research revealed, they were moaning about transfer fees and making outrageous allegations about the directors secreting away money for their own uses five years ago.  That was all denied then, as it has been now, by the club, but they went on moaning and moaning.

In psychology the explanation for this type of incessant whining and moaning is powerlessness.  These people feel quite unable to affect change and so they moan.   The issue of the empty seats at the Emirates was a perfect one: they described the stadium as a “soulless place”, and it probably is around where they sit, but I suspect this is themselves feeding their own negativity onto themselves.

Indeed at the pre-season supporters’ meeting held on Club Level at the Arsenal Stadium I felt the place was a bit soulless when I witnessed a leading member of the “We Care Do You” movement push through the queue of fans patiently waiting for a drink, and demand she be served first.   Anyone with a soul would have got into the line with other supporters, not push through to the front.

But these people whine, complain, bitch and moan (and on at least that occasion push to the front) and that creates the dynamic of powerlessness.  And because they surround themselves with other people who also feel powerless to act, except perhaps by pushing to the front of the queue, they project powerlessness.   As such they are not all actually nasty people, they are simply in pain.

Indeed, so powerless are they that they were forced to nick their slogan “We care do you?” (written as all one word) from a group of young carers in Edinburgh.  They could at least have created their own slogan as we did with “Untold Arsenal”.  But no, not their style.

But copied or not, they have an influence, because whinging, whining, bitching and moaning has an impact on those around, and it can draw in many people who are not themselves feeling positive about their own life.

Now of course I can’t say why the writer of Arseblog chose to sign up, to such a rampantly negative and ill-informed piece, but I was a bit surprised by that because Arseblog doesn’t normally come across as a rampantly negative website.  As I was with RedAction who created the noisy standing part of the North Bank in liaison with the club.  But I guess they too are feeling dispossessed.

However the simple fact is that whining and moaning (etc) does have an impact.  It attracts negativists to its cause, and makes those in the cause whine and moan more and more.  The more they do it, the more people join them, not because the moaners are right, but because they offer an outlet for feelings of powerlessness.  The more people join the more they moan.

The thought becomes, “if we moan and whine enough, maybe Arsenal will take notice of us.”   And I guess they feel that this could be important, because Arsenal don’t seem to take much notice of them now.  Because if Arsenal took notice of us, Arsenal would win the league and the cup each year.  Or at least that is what they seem to think.

Now you might think that at this point I am getting carried away and exaggerating, but you must remember that the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal (the AAA, the whinging whining moaners and negativists) were at it full steam from around 2009 onwards with their “Fourth is not a Trophy” stuff, and were there at the start of Untold Arsenal over 10 years ago, inheriting as they did the mantle of the Boo-Boys as Chapman originally dubbed them.

But even if their talk at the moment is about getting back into the top four this season, but we have to be aware that they will not stop complaining at that point.  When we won the FA Cup three times in four seasons to make us the most successful Cup team in history, they were moaning because we had not won the league.  Even in 2015/16 when we won the Cup and were runners’ up in the league, they were moaning that we were beaten by Leicester.

My guess is that even if we win the League or do the Double they will be moaning because they will argue we haven’t spent enough money for next season.

The simple fact is that there those of us who see things positively and those who don’t.   I don’t suggest that I don’t get annoyed by and worried about the antics of our owner;  I do.  I am also annoyed that Arsenal won’t release the minutes of historic board meetings (presumably because it would show the Hill Wood family in a very bad light, and possibly reveal the source of the lies told about Henry Norris after they took over).  But I balance that by being pleased that the club listened to my idea for the statues around the ground, and indeed that they agreed to put up our “Football should be an art” banner.

So what do we do about moaners, whingers, whiners and the like, if we don’t have any chance to change their minds?   Personally I think we wait for them to make insane statements, like the fact that Arsenal only had £40m to spend and that this was verified by the AST “accountant” and keep reminding people of silly they have been.

Because only when people see how silly their behaviour is, and notice how much happier positive people are, will they turn away from the gibberish and start enjoying football again.

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