From the highs of Tuesday night when Luis Suarez announced to the world he wanted to leave Liverpool, for who we’ve all assumed to be Arsenal, to the lows of yesterday when it appeared Liverpool have refused to sell him to us regardless of the price.
We are all going “leetle beet mad”.
As irritating transfer windows goes, this one has been that massive wasp that refuses to fly out of one of the 20 windows that you’ve opened for it.
I touched yesterday on the impact that twitter has on how we think about the club and the expectations we place on them, and in particular how it affects our moods. I think many would agree that actually, this time of year is becoming less and less fun the longer it goes on. We entered this period with such high hopes and those hopes seem to be eroding day on day.
As Oscar Wilde probably once said “It’s the hope that kills you”. We all had hope, big handfuls of hope in June, and because the club have done nothing, Pay-tience is wearing very very thin. A lot of this is down to twitter, the constant rumours the constant disappointment, and our need for continual news updates. This isn’t just restricted to Arsenal, or even football, we are all news junkies. The f5 button must be the most globally pressed button in history.
As a club, we have a number of high profile bloggers, and in particular we have one who is probably the most well known of all club bloggers in Arseblog. I’m sure most of you follow him on twitter and read his blog on a daily basis, and have done for years.
This morning I came across a conversation between Arseblog and @bradyesque7. The latter was suggesting that Arseblog had a responsibility to the fans to not create panic and be more careful with his words. What ensued was a frankly excellent exchange between two people who argued their points very well without the need to resort to abuse or childish insults. And I wondered the validity of the point.
Moving away from Arseblog or any other bloggers in particular, do those that write to a wide audience have a duty of care to their followers? It is a difficult question for sure. In all walks of life, those that write on a platform that is accessed by many often have their views elevated above those of mere mortals. Rightly or wrongly this is how the world works. On any subject high profile journalists have the power to influence public opinion. This was never more evident that when Labour and Tony Blair won their first UK election.
“It was The Sun What Won It”
Ignoring the ridiculous bastardisation of the english language, there has rarely been a truer headline in that paper. They threw their weight behind Labour, who duly romped to victory in the election. From a previous staunch Tory paper, this switch in stance influenced an awful lot of people. I actually don’t have any fact to back this up, of course, but I’m certain that at the very least enabled such a large majority.
So in that case, the journalists shaped the future of our country. Is that extreme example relevant when talking about football club blogging? No, probably not, but it does highlight how easily peoples opinions can be manipulated.
The question is then, what is the impact of an high influence blogger changing their stance on things? Well again, I would say its probably quite significant. Many people use the blogs to either confirm their opinion, or even shape it. I definitely have taken my opinion at times from someone else.
So what is the implication of this? Well, we are an odd bunch as a fanbase. Criticised for not making enough noise in the stadium. And criticised for making too much noise when it is perceived boo-ing. Every club has boo-ers, us probably less than most. But its such big news when Arsenal fans do it, it gets hugely over reported. But there is no doubt we are an emotional, needy, and often fickle bunch.
Can the stadium atmosphere and the feeling towards the team be shapen by an online opinion? I’m actually not sure. If it was proven that it could be, then perhaps Arsenal writers DO have a responsibility to be careful, as we all need to be behind the team at all times.
However, nobody wants to read anything that is written for popularity, we want to read what someone actually thinks, and we want to know it is a heartfelt opinion. If you are reading something, and are upset that it isn’t the opinion you share, then maybe you shouldn’t be reading other peoples opinions.
I’m not sure where this actually leaves us? There isn’t really a right answer. Each individual will take something different from every blog that they read, and if they like it, they will return. It’s the definition of “like” which is the issue. Something that confirms what you think, or something that challenges it. Or maybe, as I suspect is the case in the aforementioned Arseblog, something that is exceptionally well written without agenda, and occasionally very funny.
This transfer window is an extreme example of how emotions are running high. I’ve certainly tweeted stuff recently that perhaps in hindsight, I shouldn’t have. And as such I’ve made a conscious decision to wait until the 3rd September before throwing myself out of my bedroom window. And you know what, if we end up with no high profile signing, whilst I’ll be pretty annoyed, Arsenal will still be Arsenal. You cant just stop supporting them.
Finally, I think we can all take a lot form the twitter conversation that happened earlier today. Arguments can be had without the need to take it into the gutter, and I reckon twitter would be a much better place if we could adopt this policy more often (note to self).
Have a good day
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