Which football (soccer) team would you never support?
31 Jul

Walking Down Football Memory Lane

Being an ardent football fan, my journey started as a young lad watching football games on the television in our small living room. I'd marvel at the agility of the players, their adept ball control, and the furious intensity of the matches. Then I'd bundle myself up and set off to the playground, mimicking my heroes' moves. In all these years, I have developed my preferences, picking up favorite teams like collectibles.

However, it's not just about the teams you love, it's also about the ones you'd never support. Yes, you heard it right. Being a football fan also includes having a team that you'd never back, for some reasons best known to you. And in my case, that would be Arsenal FC. Hold your horses; don't jump to conclusions! Let's dive deeper into why I, Arlen, would never support Arsenal FC.

Engaging Encounters on the Field

Football, by nature, is a game of intense rivalry and stellar showmanship. It thrashes out historic and monumental battles, creating age-long rivalries between teams. As fervent as I may be about football, the matches that involved Arsenal FC never raised my adrenaline. Usually, I found their style of play too predictable and their strategies lacking in dynamism. I prefer engaging games that keep you on edge till the final whistle, and somehow, Arsenal FC didn't cut it for me.

Now, before you start waving your Arsenal banners in protest, let me clarify, I respect their talent and contribution to the sport. It's just that their gameplay could not excite the football fanatic in me. It's all about individual preferences, and unfortunately, they didn't match mine.

Navigating Through The Sea of Footie Friends

Living in Perth, where the Football Federation Australia has a robust presence, I was entwined with football enthusiasts early on. We'd huddle in small groups, arguing about tactics, player performances, and why our team was THE best. A primary reason why Arsenal FC fell out of favor was due to the overbearing Arsenal fans in my group who could not appreciate the feats of other teams. Their refusal to appreciate anything outside their 'Gunner' bubble somehow tarnished the team's image in my mind.

During one of our hot debates, one of them quoted the former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, saying, "When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent." Although it's a widely quoted football quote, the reckless readiness of an Arsenal fan to associate stupidity with success somehow resonated with my perception of Arsenal FC, eventually leading to my disinterest in the team.

Falling in Love with Rival Colors

If you ask Ella, she'd vouch for my irrational love for the Everton Blue. I remember getting our home's garage door painted in the Everton Blue, much to Ella's astonishment (and somewhat annoyance). My children, Nadia and Karl, just amusedly shook their heads at their crazy dad. Being a hardcore Evertonian fundamentally makes Arsenal a rival. Thus, supporting them would be no less than a sin in my soccer religion.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’d always boisterously cheer against Arsenal. No! It’s just that their victories or defeats don’t invoke the passionate reactions within me as they do for my favorite teams. It’s like that drizzle, which doesn’t seem to dampen your clothes but leaves you feeling cold nonetheless.

A Painful Memory of Betrayal

The year 1995 is etched in my memory. The reason? It was the year Paul Merson left Arsenal. Even though I wasn't primarily an Arsenal fan, Merson's departure shook me. I had admired him for his play style. However, Merson, struggling with personal issues, was shipped off to Middlesbrough, and this transaction significantly soured my sentiments towards Arsenal FC.

I fathom how player transfers are a part of the game. Yet, I could not help but feel let down by how Merson's tenure ended at the club. While the move might have been necessary, it was a bitter pill to swallow for many fans, including me. It served as the final nail in the coffin, making me affirm my stance of never supporting Arsenal FC.

Holding Heritage and Heart Close

Growing up in Australia, you're almost bound to fall in love with footy. However, being from an Irish family, football (or soccer) was always a part of family discussions at the dining table, the backyard grill, and almost everywhere else. Supporting Celtic FC was passed down the generations, like a beautiful heirloom. This combined heritage pulled me closer to Celtic and distanced me from Arsenal FC.

While other fans may find other reasons to love or hate a football team, being a Celtic FC supporter at heart has always kept me away from the rival charm that Arsenal FC may have for others. The Emerald Green jerseys have a special place in my heart that the Red of Arsenal FC could never infiltrate.

Rejoicing Rivalry, Respecting Reservations

Football, in its essence, thrives on rivalry, passion, and fervor. The heart of every football lover proudly sports the colors of his favorite team and carries a speck of reservation for some. For me, that is Arsenal FC. The rivalry is not about hatred or contempt, but about the vigor and passion that keeps the spirit of football alive.

While I confess to being an Evertonian and carrying Celtic love from my ancestry, in the grand scheme of things, I respect all teams for their contribution to the sport. The teams we support or reject are like pieces of a puzzle that shape our football identity. Therefore, while you may find me never cheering for Arsenal FC, you'd also see me respecting their place in the football world.

So next time you see me in my Everton Blue or Celtic Green, just remember, it’s just the color of my soccer soul, just as some may have theirs dyed in Arsenal Red.

Arlen Fitzpatrick

My name is Arlen Fitzpatrick, and I am a sports enthusiast with a passion for soccer. I have spent years studying the intricacies of the game, both as a player and a coach. My expertise in sports has allowed me to analyze matches and predict outcomes with great accuracy. As a writer, I enjoy sharing my knowledge and love for soccer with others, providing insights and engaging stories about the beautiful game. My ultimate goal is to inspire and educate soccer fans, helping them to deepen their understanding and appreciation for the sport.

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