20 Jan 2013 at 16:15
Oh dear. Arsenal fans really are sensitive little flowers, are they not? Indeed, not only that, the majority of Gooners on Twitter seem to have both a sense of humour failure and a massive inferiority complex. Let me explain.
Yesterday lunchtime I was driving to West Ham listening to 5 Live Sport (apols to Ken and David). Someone made the point that Jose Mourinho has told friends he intends to return to England in the summer. Curiously they didn’t speculate about which club he might end up at, so I started thinking about it myself. Here’s how my thought process went…
Manchester United – Unlikely as Fergie has a couple of seasons left in him
Manchester City – Possibly, but not if he ever wants the United job
Chelsea – Just can’t see it.
Spurs – I suspect Spurs will need a new manager, given the identity of their current one
Liverpool – Not when Brendan Rogers comes good. And he will
And then I started thinking about Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has been a legend at Arsenal but there are real signs that he might be entering his last period as manager of the Gunners. Speculation links him with Paris St Germain and some Arsenal supporters (and I don’t just mean Piers Morgan) are losing patience with him. I think there is more than a chance that this season will be his last at The Emirates. And if so, who better to replace him than Jose Mourinho? So last night I tweeted this…
And then the floodgates opened. Now to me, that tweet was quite clear. It was a prediction. It implied no inside knowledge. It was like me saying I think Eddie Mair will be the next presenter of Newsnight. It’s my opinion, nothing more. But the torrent of abuse I received from Gooners was astonishing. It was as if I had no right to have an opinion, or even make an educated (or even uneducated) guess. I was called every four letter word under the sun. I must be drunk, said many. Or on drugs said others. Look, everyone has a right to disagree, to make fun of me, but the abuse really crossed a line. And it’s still going on! Others reckoned I must be desperate for new followers. Well, I can think of many better ways to attract new followers than tweet about Arsenal, although having said that, 250 Arsenal fans have now started following me. What really fascinated me though is that the majority of Arsenal fans who responded seemed to think that their little club wouldn’t be big enough for the Special One. How bizarre. Not that long ago Arsenal were one of the two biggest clubs in the country. It was they who fought it out with Man U for the title most years. If I were Mourinho I might fancy the challenge of restoring Arsenal to their former glories.
Mind you, I’d probably also emulate Robin Van Persie, with Arsenal being a mere stepping stone to my ultimate destination – Old Trafford.
Oh dear. I’ve done it again.
Just as well I won’t be able to go to The Emirates on Wednesday to see Maroune Chamakh score the winner. Actually, strike that. I imagine he’s ineligible. For any Gunners reading this, Chamakh played quite well against QPR yesterday. Rather encouraging actually.