Sometimes I think that I’m a little easy on the “Big Four”. When I mention them on here (and, in keeping with the spirit of this little corner of the internet, I do try to keep it to a minimum), I tend to mention them as one entity – a single, four-headed beast, intent on swallowing up the whole of football and owning it all to ourselves, and occasionally allowing us a glimpse of what they’re up to, so long as they toe the party line and pay a premium rate for a premium product. It doesn’t really matter if they live near the King’s Road, in Salford, in north Liverpool or Islington – in the age of the global marketplace, you can make money from all four of the corners the the globe.
There are plenty of reasons to praise them. They raise the profile of the English standard of the game. They provide most of the few good young English players that come through (though, it has to be said, not all of them by a long chalk). They… umm… make a lot of money (apart from Chelsea – they lose money hand over fist, but it doesn’t make any difference to them). But I’m not going to examine that on here. There are plenty of other places on the internet that will do that. Before hoards of you flock on here complaining and bitching, please remember two things: firstly, I don’t care what you think, if you disagree with me. This is very important. If fans of these clubs can’t bear a little completely irrational criticism of their clubs from time to time, they shouldn’t be here in the first place. Secondly, it doesn’t matter. I hold no sway over anything. If I did, the world of football would be a very different place indeed. Save your typing fingers.
The self-aggrandisement of Arsenal’s supporters knows almost no bounds. Here are a few sample quotes from the Guardian’s normally excellent sport blog – and all of them come from Arsenal fans:
– “They have a very beautiful way of winning or losing which is by far more entertaining than any other team”
– “It certainly is interesting that Arsenal appear to evolve almost organically, season by season”
– “I hope Arsene will once and for all prove that the medeival concept of football that requires rugby midfielders and rugbyesque long balls belongs only on grainy-film archives”
– “Arsenal just haven’t moved to a new stadium they are taking the level of football onto a new plane and yet might have lost at Bolton despite their superior quality play”
– “I don’t know if Arsenal side is or isn’t really cheap, but there is no doubt that their squad at the moment worth more than any squad in the world!”
I don’t feel as if I need to pass any further comment on this matter.