The hard-hitting Rewind opinion column: Arsenal fans have every right to march – but airborne protest is ‘plane’ wrong
PUBLISHED: 20:49 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 21:00 16 March 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Layth Yousif’s Rewind Arsenal column is essential reading for Gunners fans. Find out his views on controversial plans for an airborne protest against Arsene Wenger at West Brom
Buy him a pint
The Arsenal team for winning through to a Wembley semi final by beating Premier League giantkillers in the process after coming under sustained – and some of it deserved – criticism for a poor run that has seen them beat a single league team in nearly two months. More of the same against Tony Pulis’ West Brom on Saturday please.
Get your coat son
One of the benefits of living in a democracy is that people are allowed to protest if an issue moves them enough. So for those who have made their point vocally, but peacefully, about the fact they don’t want the current manager to have his contract extended I don’t understand the opprobrium heaped on them from certain quarters.
I met up with some of the marchers and organisers in Avenell Road outside our beloved Highbury during the protests before Bayern Munich and Lincoln, and everyone I spoke to bar none was respectful about Arsene Wenger and what he has done for the club, simply believing his time had come. Of course there were more hyperbolic members viewed later on a TV screen near you, and that’s their right, even if I don’t particularly agree with such histrionics.
But the patronising dismissal from fans of other clubs slamming some Gooners for having the temerity to protest, at times have resembled Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch – ‘Ow can those pampered Arsenal fans protest when mah club ‘as had two spells in administration.’ ‘Luxury. Mah club ‘as ad three bankruptcy’s and were deducted ten points’. ‘That’s nothing…’
The fact is Arsenal fans put their money where their mouths are and front up week in, week out – paying some of the highest ticket prices in world football. Not to mention selling out every away game this millennium.
If that doesn’t give you the right to expect nothing but the best from one of the world’s biggest clubs, then why not?
Especially as the move from our beloved Highbury was due in part to an expectation the club would compete on a more level playing field with European giants such as Bayern Munich.
Well, I’m sorry but a 10-2 aggregate loss against the Germans doesn’t suggest that.
What I do take exception to is the aircraft which has apparently been chartered to fly an anti-Wenger banner over the Hawthorns on Saturday. It’s a self-serving act which is, excuse the pun, just plane wrong.
It personalises the issues and Wenger deserves far more respect than that. It smacks of grandstanding and a ‘look at me’ culture which appears to be enveloping a number of Arsenal fans through becoming legends in their own loo break, merely by dint of being asked their opinions on internet television.
By all means protest, but don’t make yourselves look silly by a selfish, misguided and plane wrong (sorry) airborne stunt.
Follow Layth on Twitter @laythy29