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Arsenal Supporters Greatest Moments

If the Arsenal team has taken some stick over recent weeks then so have Arsenal supporters. As journalists have seized on the disaffected and malcontents among gooner support on the internet, which manifested in angry exchanges at the Emirates after the Blackburn game, they were able to paint a picture of 'civil war' among supporters. The scuffles at the Emirates were relatively minor and built on the greater body of supporters insisting that protesters get behind the team.

The AST's announcement that they were 'considerably disappointed' with recent results, superficially at least, isn't unreasonable except that it was the wrong time for a body that prides itself on its regular direct contacts with the clubs executives in which case such a public announcement didn't serve any purpose anyway. Other than to encourage Peter Hill-Wood into an even more injudicious statement denouncing them as 'silly' and 'stupid' prompting the PR department to issue a correction explaining that emotions are running high.

In his robust press conference prior to the Blackpool game Wenger told reporters not to hide behind the 5% of supporters that air their grievances over the internet suggesting that a great many more were able to retain some perspective over what we were doing but were less vocal in doing so.

But supporters are able to raise their game and play a key role in the whole gooner experience so I thought it was worth highlighting some of the good times when the brotherhood of gooners showed just how united in a common cause they could be.

May 23rd 1998: Arsenal had won the double before and George Grahams team had its share of civic receptions in the decade before this but there was a special air about this celebration as Wengers successful double winning side paraded through the Islington streets to the reception at the town hall. We`d earned grudging respect for the professionalism in which we'd won trophies in the past but this was different. There was more than a fair amount of admiration in the way we`d won this time. Typified perhaps in the 'that sums it all up' commentary as Adams scored the final goal from a chipped through ball from centre back Steve Bould playing in midfield in the game against Everton that sealed the title. Awesome Arsenal we were and somehow the manner in which we won was echoed in the crowds that flocked to the streets. The carnival atmosphere wasn't just about us winning trophies. For the first time in an age it was as much about how we won. There are various guesstimates of the numbers there that day, the BBC puts it at 300,000 which is as good as any I suppose, there was certainly a heck of a lot of people there. As a shirt sleeved Arsene stood in the sunshine on the town hall balcony and looked out in awe over the vast ocean of red and white he memorably said 'Now I can see why Highbury isn't big enough for us'. An observation that gave realisation to the thought. 8 years later it was to see the club into a brand new stadium that was still far too small to house more than a small portion of those there that day.

April 15th 2009: When Robert Pires left Arsenal a few seasons earlier to take the option of a longer contract at Villareal it somehow left supporters feeling that an opportunity was missed to pay due respect for the importance of his contribution to the achievements while he was with us. The CL draw against Villareal and the knowledge that he was in the team provided supporters with the chance to redress that and if anything the passage of time added to the passion with which the ovations were delivered. Many stayed on long after the game and in unison sang his name along with chest swelling renditions of 'you'll always be a gooner'. Pires felt the love that night and long after careers are ended those individual moments will be cherished as much if not more than the collective triumphs of trophies.

February 16th 2011: There is something about being underdogs that galvanises support in a way that goes missing the greater the expectations are for a team. Drawn against Barcelona, purportedly and believably the best club side in the world, the risk of a hammering was as palpable as it is rare for Arsenal. Somehow that gave a voice to supporters missing in other supposedly easier games in which support was just as necessary but just not seen as such. Against Barcelona it wasn't a night in which supporters only sang when we were winning. It seemed as though the support was needed. The strength of that support was there throughout the game and even when we were a goal down the crowd were still with the team. Ultimately the team and importantly the supporters got their reward. Robin van Persie was in no doubt that the win owed as much to the support as their own efforts saying at the time 'It wasn`t just us. It was the fans as well. The fans were unbelievable'. Arsene added 'When we suffered sometimes tonight the fans were very positive and behind the team and played an exceptional part in it as well'

Of course there are many more other glory nights for supporters than just these illustrations and I am sure many of you will have other memories equally as worthy of mention. But as much as complacency can be a handicap for the team so it can be for supporters too. It's all interdependent and players and supporters should always expect to get out of it what they can put into it.






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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 12 2011

Time: 11:19AM

Your Comments

Nice article Amos. My personal favorite experience in witness the great support the Arsenal fans can give was at the Real Madrid match at Highbury, the atmosphere was tangible long before I got anywhere near the stadium, and when the match started it was quite unreal. We got the label of the Highbury Library years before, sometimes rightly so, but that night it was the loudest I've ever heard a football stadium, and the eruption of pure joy and passion at the final whistle is something that will stay with me for ever. I'm not sure a 0-0 will ever be celebrated as ferociously as it was that night. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end just thinking about it.
Rocky7
Real was a great night. Much like with Pires, I loved Henry's return with Barca: the huge cheers as he was warming up and preparing to come on as a sub, and then being roundly booed whenever he touched the ball. Of course only Henry would have the arrogance to stay behind after all the players had left the field to soak up the fans' adoration but only Henry would deserve it. Rarely would you see so many fans staying behind after a draw but Thierry needed to be given another goodbye and hear the, albeit repetitive, vuvuzela-like drone, of his chant one more time. Similarly, the fans cheering Eduardo's goal against us this season was a bit of a goosebumps moment. But for me, my favourite that I have personally witnessed first-hand was the 5-3 win against Middlesbrough during the unbeaten run. Much like Spurs last season, only more so, the feeling of not even finishing celebrating one goal and seeing another fly in within seconds is as good as it gets. It's almost a shame Tyler's commentary of, "it's Reeeeeyeeeeeeeees" wasn't available if you were at the game. Some wonderful moments indeed.
super_gooner
I wasn't at that Boro game and watched on TV, and we didn't even get to see the build op of Reyes goal as they were still showing the replays of the previous strike. Tyler started screaming and they cut back just in time to see Reyes slam the ball home. Awesome stuff, watching the gooners wave themselves into oblivion was great. The booing of Henry was a classic too. Only Arsenal fans would come up with that. lol
Rocky7
For me it was the Leicester game which sealed the unbeaten season. It's not that the atmosphere was particularly great (we'd already won the league). It's just when the final whistle went an air of disbelief was around. I don't think us gooners could fully comprehend the feat we'd achieved. For atmosphere, what about the United semi in the CL a couple of years ago...... for the first 10 minutes! ;-)
navydave
Probably one slightly less sentimental from me, but I'd have to say the last 10 mins or so of the Stoke away match last season. Not the most ecstatic of circumstances, granted, but the way the team reacted and clawed that win in such adverse circumstances and Fabregas in particular totally dispelled the doubts I had about him being captain. The huddle in the centre circle at the end with the Stoke cretins booing was one of those moments that genuinely felt like an us v the world moment and reminded you how close knit a club and its supporters can be.
Little Dutch
Yeah Stoke away last season was a great moment. Not just the huddle, the celebrations from Sol and Vermaelen after the late goals scored by us were also spine tingling.
Eboue=GOD
The excitement at the Middlesboro game and the reaction in the Stoke game were great moments but I suspect they were great moments in the sense that they were the fans reacting to what happened on the pitch rather than the supporters sparking the reaction themselves. That's sometimes hard to judge if you're not there especially in away games in which outnumbered supporters have more of a sense of purpose about them. I think the Real Madrid game was a good example though. There was an air of the firstleg result being a freak one and that Real would surely put that right in the return. Particularly as our league form was fragile. The attitude of the supporters that night was that they must play their part in making sure that the team believed the supporters felt they could do it.
Amos.
The standing ovation for Eduardos goal at the emirates in this years champs league group stages was awesome
bootoo
Though, I watched it on TV, the experience on February 16, 2011 v Barca was one that had adrenalin pumping in me and I would say the same went for the fans in the Stadium. I punched the air so ferociously, it was an unbelievable game for me. One other game got me that pumped: vs Bolton, January 20 at the Emirates, in the 2009/10 season. A win was to ensure we go top but Bolton went 2-0 up and it was like dream shattered. The lads rallied round and produced a 4 goal salvo (Rosicky, Cesc, Vermaleen and Arshavin) that ensured we won 4-2 to go top. I was in a frenzy that day.
Naijagunner
My prayer is that the supporters enjoy even greater moments this season and beyond.
Naijagunner
OT. Is Chelsea just so poor, now or is United just that good? They hardly exerted United; physical recovery will be easy for their weekend game. I expected more, to be honest.
Naijagunner
Not all people who are 'internet' supporters are not dedicated, some of just don't have a choice. I was born in England but have lived in Western Australia for the last 12 years. But i don't miss a game (apart from the F.A cup which unfortunately just isn't shown). Not missing a game involves getting up at riciulous hours and bearing days with very little sleep for any midweek game (that period of about 2 months where we were playing 2 games a week was killing me!) But i feel the emotion, the above mentioned stoke game i've never been so fkn proud! When we beat Barca in Feb, trying to stay quiet (it was about 5am and my 2 housemates were sleeping) was proving so difficult which forced me into some sort of strange dancing frenzy... id love to make every game but unfortunately the 22hr $2000 flight for a one night stay isn't very economical!
FuiKaka
I was in stitches every time the fans booed Henry (he loved it!!) after such a big heartfelt applause and cheering while he was warming up, it was completely unplanned and very spontaneous. I'm chuckling to myself now at work :o)
LondonGooner
Another moment I'd like to bring up, even though I wasn't there. It was a couple of season ago and we lost 2-0 at Old trafford I think, the Gooners stayed behind after the match and offered some unbelivable support, singing "We love you Arsenal, we do" for about 30 minutes non-stop after the game had finished. You could hear it in the Sky Sports studios, and could tell it was p*ssing of Richard Keys and his mates. Epic support.
Rocky7
Mhmmm. Contrast that (loss to United) with the kind of reaction a similar result will elicit from the support today, then spot the difference :-)
Naijagunner
Eduardo's return to action against Cardiff in the FA Cup. That was a fun night. Quite emotional too. Brought out a trickle in my eye. Just a trickle.
Eboue=GOD
Naijagunner - Totally, Arsenal supporters have gone from being the bestest in the world to the ******st in the world and all in just a couple of seasons......
LondonGooner
The club has announced the passing of Danny Fiszman. May his soul rest in peace.
Naijagunner
Gomes develops butter fingers and they tell us how bad Almunia is....:-) :-)
Naijagunner
I know this is off topic but amazing how the spuds come oto our site anytime our goalkeepers do a FLAPPYANSKI and their Gomez has done same in a number of competitions this year including today's champion's league.
phreddy
What did you think of the commentators? Notice how they still tried to make out Spurs are some kind of tragic heroes? Crouch this...Crouch would have done that.... In the first leg, it was Lennon (the pidgeon) this & Lennon that. Well, guess what? He played this time out, at WHL. 5-0 on aggregate! Loving it!
Naijagunner
We lost 4 - 3 on agg to a team that beat Madrid 5 - 0 earlier this year, but the media calims WE'RE the losers. The double standards amaze me sometimes.
FuiKaka
I have long forsaken expecting some good journalism from English print and electronic media.
Eboue=GOD
R.I.P. Danny Fiszman. Thoughts to the family
e dubbz
4-4 with newcastle that match will go down in history and arsenal were a part of it
rabit71
I live in Lagos Nigeria, and I've had to content myself with watching and following Arsenal from the relative comfort of my living room for a long long time. My first visit to the Emirate was to watch us come back against Barca in last year's Champions League, I flew into London with Virgin and went straight to the stadium where I hooked up with the friends who got me my ticket, I was freezing, but the roar in the stadium cheered and warmed me up. I felt like I was part of some primordial tribal rite, and my neighbours made me feel like we'd known ourselves all our lifes. It was a fellowship cemented by our shared love of Arsenal, and even when we went behind, the singing never stopped. I was taught several Gooner chants that night, and shouted myself hoarse in the process, for me, the comeback was the icing on the cake, and its a night I can never forget. I've been back a few times since then, but like they say, nothing beats your first time!
deledudu
Deledudu, .."Virgin"; .."your first time"; "hooked"; "warmed me up"; "fellowship cemented by shared love". Are we still on the same topic here or are you straying, man? Lol!
Naijagunner
deledudu, are you actually saying you heard a roar at the emirates stadium?
HuddersfieldYiddo
HuddersfieldYiddo - He quite obviously is :)
FuiKaka
You crack me up man! Lol! HY, I don't have to live in London to realise that one thing I don't want to do, is support Totteringham Hotspuds! And I've been supporting Arsenal since the mid 1980s before you start shooting your mouth about glory hunters. No dangers of Totteringham attracting any of those!
deledudu
 

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