Treat Stoke Fans With Apathy Not Disdain
As is the norm any time we play Stoke, the football has taken a back seat today whilst all and sundry take to the world wide web to comment on what a bunch of complete and utter c***spanners Stoke fans actually are.
I won`t deny that it`s quite pleasing to see the media on the side of our club for a change, many of them condemning the fans of a club they usually describe as "plucky" of "industrious" when what they actually mean is dirty bunch of orcs … but that`s by the by.
The booing of Aaron Ramsey by the majority of the inhabitants of The Britannia Stadium was something that was quite distasteful, indeed it`s not even the first time it has happened, but the reaction from Arsenal fans and the watching media is something the Stoke fans will not be bothered about, but they will also be positively thriving on it, ecstatic that they managed to get under the skin of the Gooners.
Following the match Arsene Wenger handled the situation perfectly (and we should all follow suit), stating simply that Stoke fans believe they have some kind of relationship with the manager and they think they can get to him, when in reality he doesn`t give two craps about what they do, and that`s exactly how attention seeking children need to be treated. Ignore their antics until they realise they`re not having any affect.
The subsequent articles that hit the internet yesterday suggesting that Arsene Wenger was furious and that he called for action to be taken were very wide of the mark. The Arsenal manager was far from angry, and he certain wasn`t calling for the heads of Stoke fans on a silver platter, indeed he merely offered a scenario in which the Stoke fans might take a good long look at themselves.
I think that we all may be being a little precious about this too. The challenge that broke Aaron Ramsey`s leg was despicable in footballing terms, the reaction of his manager and their fans equally so, but despite the hideousness of the injury (amplified by the graphic images plastered across the tabloids) it was just a broken leg, a break from which the young player recovered. Nobody died & no careers were ended.
Yesterday the Stoke fans booed Rambo, is that really the worst thing we`ve heard on the terraces? Arsene Wenger was referred to as a "French twat", I doubt that`s even the worst thing he`s been called this week. Indeed I believe that both gentlemen will have already have forgotten about the incidents and be getting on with their lives, and we should too.
After all I`ve heard much worse things uttered from the mouths of Gooners, granted not from the majority of Arsenal fans on such a regular occurrence, but all the same these chants and insults are common place in football stadiums and always have been.
That`s not to say I would agree that just because they`ve been around for ever that makes them ok, but there`s nothing we as fans can do to alter the behaviour of other sets of fans other than ignore it. If we`re going to get upset every time someone says "booooooo" then we`re in for a rocky time.
The reaction of Gooners and the media has ensured that the next time the two teams face off, Aaron Ramsey will be booed more ferociously than yesterday, of that you can be sure, because they Stoke fans got the reaction they were looking for, and they`ll want that reaction again.