We asked Thomas Wachtel, editor of SB Nation's Arsenal blog The Short Fuse, to tell us why we ought to hate his favorite club headed into this weekend's clash at Wembley. Here is what he had to say:
Thomas Wachtel (born July 2, 1957) is a Canadian writer, actor and retired professional wrestler. Along with his nickname the "Hit Man," Wachtel is known by the monikers "The Excellence of Execution," "The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be," and "The Pink and Black Attack." He is credited with revolutionizing the industry in the early 1990s by bringing high quality in-ring performance to the fore. Since retiring from in-ring action in 2000, he's managed The Short Fuse, SB Nation's Arsenal blog.
I hate Arsenal, sometimes. I hate them like you hate your brother, or your best friend. The closer you get to a thing, the easier it is to find its faults – over and over and over and over again – so I'm here to provide a service to you, dear Aston Villa fan. If you're not really familiar with Arsenal, or if you are and you kind of like us, I'll help you get your Hate warmed up. Because there are plenty of reasons you should.
#ArsenalTwitter is the worst part of Twitter that isn't GamerGate
I mean, not literally, but it's pretty close. Arsenal fans on Twitter have committed a wide variety of offenses, including:
- Desecrating the sanctity of BBC and Sky Sports Twitter polls again and again, in increasingly absurd ways
- Fighting over idiotic things like which one of our good left backs should be playing or which of our not-that-great goalkeepers should be starting
- Whining about Jack Wilshere either playing too much or not enough, depending on which obnoxious side of the debate you're on
- Being generally disagreeable during games, no matter what the score is
Now that Chuck Johnson's been unceremoniously banned from Twitter, Arsenal fans are safely in the discussion of the most annoying and awful things about the site. And good news! The next entry is, too!
I really shouldn't have to say more than that, but I will anyway. His Wikipedia page has a section entitled "Feuds," which is great when it's a professional wrestler but not so much when it's a (supposed) journalist. Then there's all this, which is awful; I don't want anyone but the federal government hacking my phone, thanks.
As bad as a person as he is in general, he's just as bad a sports fan. He's managed to worm his way into being the official famous Arsenal fan; he shows up from time to time on Fox soccer coverage in the United States and on other programming elsewhere to deliver his views and complain about the team. That's generally all he does – for example, before his resurgence in form last year, he berated Aaron Ramsey on Twitter to the point where when Morgan tried to make nice with Ramsey, Aaron refused to shake his hand. He's been clamoring for Arsene Wenger to be fired for years, holding up such luminaries as Owen Coyle and David Moyes as replacements. He represents pretty much everything that's horrible about Arsenal fans.
Spoiled fans who don't understand why they're spoiled
Arsenal's one of the most decorated clubs in the Premier League, competing in the Champions League for nearly two decades uninterrupted and winning more often than not, even when not necessarily in the title race every single year. Obviously everyone wants to win stuff, but you'd think that people would have a little bit of perspective and remember that there are plenty of teams who'd love to get back to the Champions League, just once. Even when things are at their worst, they never really get that bad.
Of course, that's way too much to ask. Instead you get banners in the stands going in on the club's best-ever manager. You get people booing him as he boards a train. You get a pack of morons putting trash bags on seats in the Emirates Stadium. This isn't because the team's struggling to avoid relegation. It's not because the team isn't trying to win. We're not Newcastle. There's no reason for it beyond petulance, and a tremendous level of entitlement and unchecked privilege. It's very hateable.
Our players are prettier than everyone else's
Yeah, everyone knows about Olivier Giroud already. He's the King of Cuteville, European edition. But he's only the start. There's Mikel Arteta, whose hair cannot be damaged. There's Aaron Ramsey, who recently became the new Dread Pirate Roberts. Alexis Sanchez. Even Mesut Özil doesn't look like a strange alien anymore after joining the team. It can get intimidating for some people.
The team moved ten miles north in 1913
Oops, sorry. That's a really stupid reason to hate a team. Not sure how that snuck in there.
So there you have it. Three good reasons, one funny reason, and one dumb-as-shit reason to hate Arsenal. Take your pick, or share more in the comments! Hate can be fun too! I'll rate your Reason To Hate Arsenal on a 20-80 baseball scouting scale, and we'll see who has what it takes to get to the big leagues.
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