Arsenal - We're Still Drawing The Fans
Following the League Cup victory over Shrewsbury a little over a week ago there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the press regarding the empty seats at Ashburton Grove.
Completely ignoring the fact that this was a League Cup tie against lower league opposition (and that Manchester United often have attendances of 55,000 for these types of matches, or Spurs and Man City`s inability to sell out Champions League matches), they claimed the end was nigh and that Wenger`s incompetence had led to all Arsenal fans completely abandoning the club.
Truth be told, 44,000+ is a good crowd for a match of this magnitude, and despite our poor form and lack of success recently, we still do draw the crowds and bring in new fans.
I had a nice timely reminder of this fact this morning.
As the sun is shining brilliantly for the third day running, shorts and Arsenal shirt were donned to take my little Gooner to school. Still knackered from Daddy letting him stay up for the first half.
Usually getting on to school grounds you see a plethora of Manchester United, City and Chelsea bags/hats/coats, and today was no different.
What was different however was the small group of boys, who upon noticing the tubby father in his resplendent red and white, ran over to start chanting "come on Arsenal", and asking questions about the best Arsenal player.
It was a simple, every day occurrence I guess that happens in playgrounds all over the country, but it was one that brought a smile to my face.
Not only due to the fact that I was in the company of small Gooners when I live hundreds of miles away from N5, but also because these boys were around 6 years old.
Now I`m not sure you`ve been told (this morning), but I hear on the grape vine that it`s 6 years since Arsenal last won a trophy. Now I did hear this from all the red tops, so I better check the fact, but if this is true, these young lads, so happy to see an Arsenal shirt, have never seen the mighty Gunners win a trophy, but their enthusiasm was as unmatched as one could imagine.
Whether the influence for becoming Arsenal fans was through their dads (or mums), older brothers, or just sheer rebellion, I don`t know, but this simple encounter left me feeling positive about our clubs future.