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By Ahmed El Hawary
I received a lot of flak for my last article, after which I was called a lot of things, among which was "Glory Hinter". This got me thinking am I really a glory hunter? After some thought I got my answer, yes I am. But let me elaborate how I came to that conclusion.....
I'm Egyptian, I'm not living in England at the moment though I used to in the late 80's and early 90's. During that period I used to watch the league as a casual football fan. I had no preference as I was a young kid back then. After I returned back to Egypt I wasn't able to follow the premier league as it wasn't being aired here, but then it started in Wenger's first season at Arsenal. I was still watching casually but bit by bit, game by game things started to change. I started loving Arsenal the way I loved & backed my local team, which by the way is AL-Ahli club which is one of the most successful clubs in the world & the African club of the century. They also went not one but two seasons unbeaten in the league, cup & african champions league. I was born & bred to support them, on the other hand no one made me support Arsenal, I chose to, by heart not mind & that makes me proud I'm an Arsenal fan.
Yes, when I began to support Arsenal we were winning trophies regularly, but my love has increased during the past 5 seasons. I've not missed a single game, when I can I travel to london to see the games at the emirates & at highbury before it. Although I don't go that often, I'm a member as I felt that I needed to be part of the club, an insignificant part at that but a part nonetheless.
So I feel as a true fan. One thing that I'm not really proud of but showed me how much I really love our club, is that this year African cup of nations' final where Egypt were playing Ghana was at the same time as the Arsenal, Utd game .....& I found myself only watching the arsenal game & not being happy that Egypt won the cup as Arsenal had just lost.
Anyway I'll never support another team, It's only arsenal for me( for better or worse?) . But yes I am a "Glory Hunter", I want arsenal to win trophies, that's what makes us fans happy, I don't see any fan that doesn't want his country to win the world cup, I don't know anyone who doesn't want his team to win trophies. Oh, & Arsene Wenger is a trophy hunter, isn't he paid to win trophies? doesn't he put tactics & formations to try & win games to win trophies? To hunt for glory? All our players are glory hunters, right? actually football & sport in general is about winning, about going for trophies, about glory.
I don't just want us to win, I want us to win the Arsenal way, the way that made this club a huge part of me, & I a small part of it. But I want us to win, what's wrong with that ??? Isn't winning good for our club ? Don't we all want arsenal to win? Doesn't Wenger, Cesc & Hillwood?
I will always love Arsenal unconditionally & for that no player, manager or chairman is more important to me than Arsenal. But I will never be content with living in our past glory, I want us to be the best as many times as we can. I Love Arsenal & I love us winning, I love seeing arsenal in glory, so yes I am Glory Hunter.
Mean Lean's Response
All Arsenal supporters want their club to win trophies. In fact every club in the world wants to be successful and so do their fans, we are in the same situation.
It is interesting that you have stated that we were winning trophies when you became a Gooner, many people did around the world because of our style, approach and success. Perhaps a supporter who has been through darker times can handle trophyless seasons a little easier. I have watched Arsenal from the George Graham era, during his successful days and after his trophy winning campaigns.
Without doubt, the most exciting time for me as a Gooner has been under the guidance of Arsene Wenger and I am sure many of even his biggest doubters will agree with that. I guess the question is can Arsene Wenger bring back those days again and more to the point do you believe in him still.
I do not wish to tar everyone with the same brush but it does seem like those who kick and scream the loudest generally do not take everything into consideration. Do not look at the bigger picture. That picture shows us that over the last five years we have been competing with our competition on a different playing field.
If you think that Arsene Wenger is not a winner and all he wants to do is make the club profit then you must be insane. He is a terrible loser and has shown that many times in public. Arsene Wenger is as you say, a 'glory hunter' but he will not do that at the expense of our club's future.
I don't just want us to win, I want us to win the Arsenal way, the way that made this club a huge part of me, & I a small part of it. But I want us to win, what's wrong with that ???
I think you have unintentionally hit the nail on the head with that comment. 'The Arsenal way' is the proper way. Making our club self sustaining, developing young players that will make it in the game at Arsenal or elsewhere whilst naturally generating cash for whichever manager is in charge at the club to buy players.
Don't worry, the glory will come. We have had to make massive cuts and reshape our club to take a massive step forward. Make no mistake, having the Emirates stadium is a massive step forward from our Highbury days and that will continue to be evident in the years to come.
I, such as yourself want Arsenal to win trophies, but supporting your football team no matter what level isn't just about winning trophies or glory. It is about supporting them regardless of the situation. There is no guarantee that any club will win and no team has a divine right to win all the time. We happen to be going through a massive transition which has required patience. Perhaps it has taken longer than we would have ideally wanted but we have been competing against clubs who are willing to plough themselves into debt and risk the future of said club to win trophies. Look at the state of Liverpool and Manchester United behind the scenes. One club has had glory while the other has won only one major trophy. Both clubs are in a terrible state financially.
If you are a Gooner for life then I am sure a few years without glory will not hurt too badly if the future of the club is in the best shape possible for plenty of glory.