The Ferguson-Wenger love in continues, with Fergie getting on the back of our supporters who give Arsene a hard time whenever the clubs meet.
Wenger is an dislikeable character who has brought relative success to a team that challenged us to the title for a while. Whenever a decision wrongly goes in favour for his side he doesn’t see it, when the opposite happens he is livid. Even though Arsenal don’t pose the biggest threat to our title chase, I enjoy watching Match of the Day when the Gunners have lost because I like to see Wenger’s chewing a wasp impression. Great coach, lovely style of play, but generally, a bit of a wanker.
Arsenal fans could say the same about Ferguson. Whilst some prattle on about the money spent, there’s no denying that Sir Alex is a fabulous coach, but they’ll think he’s a wanker, fair play, they’re going to aren’t they.
But does the feelings on opposition managers entitle the fans to sing insulting songs?
Wenger isn’t a paedophile. He knows that, we know that, Arsenal fans know that. There is no serious accusation of paedophilia floating around. Are the songs about him amusing? In my mind, yes. Would I find them funny if they were sung about Ferguson? Certainly not. That’s how it goes, isn’t it? Fans can dish it out, but we’re not so good and taking it back. We can sing songs which insult other players or managers or teams, but when someone does the same back, we lose our shit over it.
So Arsenal fans go off on one about the Wenger chants, yet find it totally acceptable to sing anti-Semitic chants week in week out. What about the songs sung by Arsenal that talk of gassing the yids? What about the hissing noises they made in imitation of the gas entering the chambers in the Holocaust?
“I never felt more like gassing the Jews when Tottenham win and Arsenal lose.”
“We’ve got Cesc Fabregas, you Yids are scared of gas” which was sung September 2007.
Is there a line that can be drawn between acceptable chants and those that aren’t? Probably not. The line is fairly fuzzy and what offends people is personal. I’d say there are degrees of unacceptable chants, with some songs picking up more points than others in the poor taste charts.
My personal opinion is that singing about Wenger being a paedophile, which we all know not to be true, doesn’t come close to making fun of a fucking tragedy that saw six million people lose their lives. To a lesser extent, I’d still put Wenger’s songs lower on the list than the songs City, Liverpool, Leeds and the like sing about Munich, where 23 innocent people lost their lives. Maybe that’s just me. Or maybe it really is time for Arsenal fans to get off their fucking high horse.
Regardless, Ferguson has opted to liken our chants about Wenger to the scum’s chants about Munich. Nice one, Sir.
“It should stop,” he said. “There’s been a focus on fans’ behaviour and the chants towards Arsene Wenger and other managers. It’s ridiculous and I think the police should be doing more. They should be stepping in. Manchester United and their supporters should know very well the chants that have been levelled at us over the years — ie Munich — and understand the sensitivity, and the criticism directed at members of the club itself. I don’t agree with it at all and hopefully our fans appreciate it comes to me too. I hope other clubs share the same views I do. There is enough to admire in our game without having to denigrate people.”
I understand the sentiment. Yes, for the public image it would be lovely if we could all play nice. It would be nice if Adebayor’s elephant washing father and whore mother weren’t sung about, it would be nice if poor ol Michael Shields’ sore arsehole didn’t get a mention in football grounds, it would be nice if Sol Campbell wasn’t described as hanging from a tree, it would be nice if Gerrard’s illegitimate children weren’t sung about, it would be nice if we weren’t told about all the fucking noise the United players were making as they were dying in the snow, and it goes on and on. I understand this point of view.
But fans sing horrible songs to wind other fans up. No fans have the moral highground here. What goes around comes around, so when morons chant “Ninety six wasn’t enough!” there isn’t room for them to get enraged when they hear “Who’s that lying on the runway?”. If you’re going to sing about Hillsborough then they will sing about Munich, like it or lump it. Unfortunately, all the fans who choose not to sing the sick Hillsborough songs pay the price when seeing the away end do their best aeroplane impressions and sing about our dead legends.
These chants aren’t going to go away because there will forever be fans who want to get under the skin of their opposition, no matter how low they have to sink to do so. This does mean then before fans start to point the finger at other teams, they should probably consider the songs their fans sing.
Less than a year ago Arsenal fans were suing the club because of the anti-Semitic chanting going on at the Emirates. Yet in an article I wrote yesterday about Ferguson wanting protection from the Arsenal fans, following poor behaviour the London club acknowledged themselves, I have Arsenal fans coming on here asking why is it acceptable for Wenger’s paedophile songs to be sung. I dunno. I’ll get back to you once you’ve told me why it’s acceptable to sing about the Holocaust.
Roll on 12.45, the Wenger bus is coming!