Wishful Sinking: Why We Should forget van Whatsisname.
“If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let'em go, because, man, they're gone.”
~ Jack Handey, “Deep Thoughts”
As much as it mows my lawn seeing the “skunk-headed Dutchman” (an Arseblog classic) plying his trade for the Death Star – I must say, I find our obsession with him, post-Arsenal, both tedious and tasteless.
As news of his injury hit the headlines today, I wasn't surprised to see that the average Gooner response was gleeful schadenfreude. Sure – there would be a sense of ironic justice if Manure's new £73-million Man became a £73-million Invalid. (Especially with Rayne Wooney Minding The Gash). There is a sense of Instant Karma-ishness to a van Persie injury so soon into the season, I'll admit. But this form of 'revenge' leaves me cold.
I'd much rather see us beat Man U (and the rest of 'em) convincingly with our 'ambitionless squad'. Winning trophies would be the ultimate payback.
We have our own injury concerns to worry about. Wilshere, Sagna, Rosicky, Frimpong are all supposedly on the fast track to match fitness – but the nature of serious injuries these days means that the smallest complication, the slightest recurrence, can effectively sideline a player for years. Look at Wilshere: originally out for 3 weeks: it will have been well over a year when he finally returns and claims his Number 10 spot. Diaby has never really recovered physically from his shocking injury. And I believe Ramsey has never recovered psychologically from his.
Us Gunners are a passionate bunch. No doubt about it. And competitive rivalry between clubs is an essential part of being a supporter. But, in the same way that we run the club with solid principles, and play the game with a sense of style, so should we, I believe, conduct ourselves in an appropriate manner.
It is possible to express our distaste tastefully. Case in point: this tweet by @LimparHalfway:
“Interesting news about van Persie's injury. Hope it's nothing minor.”
But it was in the comments of the various sports sites that carried articles about Penis Over Brain's bruised thigh, that I came across the vitriol one usually associates with the Orcs from Up North. Arsenal supporters wishing for permanent, career-ending injuries to players, no matter what the back-story may be, is just plain wrong, in my humble opinion. I don't like seeing us sink to the sub-shark-shit level of the yobbo supporters who boo Ramsey for getting his shinbone in the way of Shawcross's studded sledgehammer.
Of course I'm as biased as they come, but I've always believed Arsenal supporters to be in a class of their own. I don't condone the rapist “She said no” chants of a couple of weeks ago, and I don't condone blatant thuggery on twitter or in blog comments. It's a small step from there to the hooliganism that used to plague football.
Who made me the Tweet Police? No-one. But if you don't agree with me, I'd rather you engaged me intellectually than threatened to break my legs.
A quick thought on van Persie's conduct:
Although he didn't help much with his Independence Day statement – effectively reducing our options to something slightly below zilch… Since then, van Persie has been quiet and respectful. Compared to Nasri and Cole – the ungrateful sods – he has conducted himself pretty admirably.
He hasn't added fuel to the fire. He's getting on with his life. Scoring goals. And unless we want to feel sick every time he scores, I suggest we do the same. Get behind our team. Prove ourselves where it really counts.
On the pitch.