Friday, 1 April 2016

ARSENAL

The first word that comes to my mind when I think of the letter A is something that is dear not just to me, but to millions of people worldwide. I happen to be a football fanatic. Like they say, football is 'The Beautiful Game', and what makes it beautiful are the displays of selfless teamwork, amazing skill, honour and a free flowing passing style. There are a lot of popular football clubs out there that are successful and win trophies on a regular basis. Although they have not won too many trophies in the past decade, and they are miles away from achieving the level of success that FC Barcelona enjoys, my favourite team is the North London-based English football club Arsenal. Their playing style which involves quick one-touch passing, swift interchanging of positions, flair and skill, and retaining the possession of the ball makes them a delight to watch. They certainly leave me mesmerized.

The 'Gunners', as Arsenal are fondly called, have always had a reputation for quite a few things - their ability to build teams at low costs, their amazing talent scouting system which enable them to develop gems from absolutely obscure players from unheard of places, their tiki-taka (one-touch passing) style of play, their attacking and fluid gameplay, and their fairplay. Their fans like to call themselves the 'Gooners'. Their biggest (and not so successful rivals) are fellow-Londoners Tottenham Spurs, although most fans look forward to their games against equally-matched fierce rivals Chelsea FC and Manchester United.

The club's current manager Arsene Wenger, who happens to hold a Masters' Degree in Economics, is Arsenal's longest serving and most successful manager. Ever since he took charge in October 1996, he has done wonders for the club, having guided them to three Premier League Titles, six FA Cup trophies and one UEFA Champions League Final, which they eventually lost to European giants FC Barcelona under controversial circumstances. The manager has also ensured that the team has booked a place in the UEFA Champions League over the past 17 years consecutively. The man has also been responsible for bringing to the fore some amazing players like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Robin Van Persie, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Cesc Fabregas, and many more. 


Many fans have criticized the manager for not doing enough to stop top players from leaving the club, for not spending enough to purchase new players, for a long trophy drought and for focussing more on the club's finances rather than silverware. However, it is a known fact that Wenger has done an amazing job in enabling the club to move to a new bigger stadium (the Emirates stadium), while brilliantly keeping expenses at a low and yet ensuring that the club always stayed in the top four of the English Premier League every season (which ensures a Champions League berth). The club happens to be one of the few European clubs that have managed to post profits over the past five years, and the credit for this achievement solely goes to Arsene Wenger.

If you ask me why I love the club so much, I would probably point towards the club's legacy and its beautiful playing style. What also tugs at my heart is the fact that Arsenal have now for many many years been the perennial underdogs, consistently finishing second, third or fourth in the League, but not having won for a long time. The hope that they will once again win the Premier League makes me root for this team. Arsenal's motto has been "Victoria Concordia Crescit" meaning, Victory Comes from Harmony. I honestly wish victory comes soon.

They say it's hard to be a Gunner, given the fact that they are perennial underdogs. However, true football fans know how special Arsenal are.


Proud to be a Gooner!!


5 comments:

  1. I have never thought that sports description could be so poetic. "football is 'The Beautiful Game', and what makes it beautiful are the displays of selfless teamwork, amazing skill, honour and a free flowing passing style. "
    You have shared some beautiful insights here in the post. My brother is a football fan, I forgot if it was arsenal or Barcelona though. I can relate to your passion though, he shares the similar love! :)

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  2. Great post! Football, or soccer as we Americans incorrectly call it, is just about the only sport I enjoy watching--and I think you've hit the nail on the head as to why. Great post--thanks for sharing!

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  3. Educated a little more... Never a sports one.. now becoming one..

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  4. For the one who has no clue about football except for the names, it was definitely interesting and informative.

    @niharikard from
    Just From Right Brain

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  5. Used to live off Holloway Road so would always see the Gooner fans after/before games. Love your spirit!
    - Joy @ The Joyous Living

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