For some it’s difficult to talk about other clubs without recourse to cheap insult and slinging of mud. I always feel it far better to look to my own club first and view others with a detached logic. Where Liverpool are concerned there is often a fear that one may (for want of a better phrase) put ones foot in it and have to bear the brunt of outrage: the suggestion being that Liverpool fans, rightly or wrongly, can be touchy.
Lets be clear. As far as English football is concerned there are really only three clubs that have been the benchmark: Manchester United, Liverpool and The Arsenal: that may change in the future but without decrying any other clubs this is the case and has been for a century.
Manchester United, since Ferguson’s arrival have mostly had the upper hand and Liverpool have been in the doldrums for a while, as have we. This fact should not cloud judgement on the historical greatness of either club rather it should fan the flames of aspiration to return to the summit.
All the other stuff that surrounds Liverpool FC seems to have painted them into a corner somewhat and in that they have a uniqueness: which is probably hard for the average supporter who just wants to follow their club. I’m not saying it’s hard any harder being a Liverpool supporter but it certainly can’t be easy at times. Us Arsenal supporters have to put up with bias, ridicule and unsavoury comment aimed at our manager but not the level of cruel and disgusting chants and so called jokes that are sometimes aimed at the Koppites.
I like to think that Arsenal as a club have always been respectful and thoughtful towards Liverpool and that may create a mutual respect between fans, yet I see more and more of my fellow supporters talking about hating them.
My view is this: Love the Arsenal rather than hate the opponent, beat them on the pitch and silence them in the seats but don’t hate. We showed that in Anfield in 89 with flowers and dignity in victory and many a Liverpool supporter appreciated our gesture and conduct that fateful night.
To my mind there is no room for abstract hate generally and as a concept it brings a lot of bitterness. For ninety minutes today I want us to crush Liverpool and I want their fans to leave early and endure a long journey, sad eyed and pissed off. Then again that’s what I want for all visitors to the Emirates.