Why rival fans are revelling in Arsenal ‘failure’ before their next Quadruple push

Editor F365
Arsenal supporters before the game against Bayern Munich
Arsenal fans need to earn their 'arrogance'...

Why are rival supporters laughing at Arsenal? That’s easy – they haven’t earned the ‘arrogance’ their fans have displayed all season. Try winning something.

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com


Sent at 12.30 on Thursday afternoon…
Five years ago I wrote into the mailbox saying I reckon we could turn the 3-0 deficit v Barcelona around. You published it. The rest is history.

Well I reckon the same thing again tonight.
Derek, LFC.


Flat-track bullies
I said to a mate at work that I thought it was odd that City were such short favourites to win the Champions League when they’d struggled for wins against anyone decent in the Premier League all season – no wins against the current top 5 and two scratchy wins against the team currently in sixth, not to mention needing late winners in their only vaguely challenging group games against Leipzig.

It also feels like it’s going relatively unmentioned that the highest paid forward in the league (not including brown envelopes to Alf) is turning out to be pretty ineffective against anyone half decent – in 12 games this season against the seven teams mentioned above, Haaland has managed two goals and one assist.

UNIQUE TO F365: Mediawatch | Mailbox | Winners & Losers | Bespoke PL tables

Kevin de Bottler?
After reading Lee’s email about KdB not turning up in big games and it has me so confused. He turned up home and away to Madrid in the CL last year and in many other seasons. He has destroyed the big 6 very regularly. He scored the winner for Belgium vs Brazil in the 2018 WC. Do people just cherry pick the games they want to pick?

The same with Saka. The guy has scored a very impressive number of goals against the big 6 already in his career and was England’s top scorer in the last World Cup. He was the best player on the pitch against France in the game they got knocked out in yet I hear people he doesn’t do it in big games? He quite literally scored the opener in the first leg against Bayern.

I’ve no idea where people come up with this shite. Am I missing something?


There may be Treble ahead
For me the most quietly pleasing aspect of City’s loss to Madrid is the end, for a few months at least, of this season’s discourse on who is winning a Treble, a Quadruple, or whatever combination of trophies for another year.

It seems like every year for the last few we’ve all had to listen to giddy fans of various teams talking endlessly about the impending sweep of trophies their favourites are about to embark on, with an air of arrogance and entitlement that only comes with serial successes they’ve now decided was insufficient, all the while forgetting something quite important: there are only a few trophies to go around and winning any of them is usually really f***ing difficult. Being the best team is rarely enough; you need others to have bad days when you have good and usually a good slice of luck too.

This year it was City chasing the Double Treble (never a thing outside of domestic Scottish football) and Liverpool wanting a parting Quadruple to see Klopp off into the sunset. A nice idea, but Jurgen never won so much simultaneously with a far stronger team than the current iteration, so not exactly realistic. Some Arsenal fans were similarly giddy when they looked good in the autumn; their hopes were just dashed earlier.

Trebles have been won ten times, ever. Celtic were first in 1967, when they won a Quadruple, still the only one ever. Cruyff’s Ajax did it in ’71. PSV, 17 years later. I’m old enough to remember United’s run in ’99, and the difference was this: no one talked about the Treble with any seriousness until about April, around the Champions League and FA Cup semi-finals. They faced a great Arsenal team, domestic double winners the year before, and an absolutely vintage Juventus in Europe, Zidane, Del Piero, Inzaghi, Davids, Ferrara et al. Nothing was taken for granted. They were not favourites. It was not until both had been beaten and the finals confirmed that anyone began believing it might actually be possible. United fans were not banging on about it since the group stages.

READ MORE: Ranking every big league Quadruple, with Manchester United seventh

As the Champions League has concentrated money in the same handful of teams who qualify year after year, smothering the majority of competition that pops up from outside the usual elite, Trebles have become more frequent, but still, look at the quality of teams who have won them: Guardiola’s Barca, probably the best team ever assembled, with peak Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Eto’o, Henry, Puyol; peak Mourinho’s greatest achievement, his gutsy Inter team; the great Bayern teams of Ribery and Robben and peak Lewandowski, Muller and Neuer; the Barca of Messi-Suarez-Neymar; and finally City, who needed this generation’s greatest coach, more money than virtually everyone else, and still felt the need to allegedly break the financial rules 115 times to match Ferguson and United’s feat.

The point is, it’s really, really hard to do. It took Alex Ferguson 7 years to win his first Champions League – that was the real prize, the Treble the bonus – and 9 more years and another imperious team to win “only” a League and CL double. So no, your team is probably not going to win a Double Treble, or a Quadruple, or other such nonsense. Because everyone else is playing too and they want to win something too. It needs so many variables to fall perfectly into place. Even when you have more money than anyone else and can stockpile players who would otherwise be the stars of a dozen different teams, you might meet another really good team managed by another possible best-ever coach who can organise a world class defence and be better than you at penalties. City will have to console themselves with likely the League and FA Cup and if as a fan that’s not enough for you then I’ve no words for you.

At least City fans can comfort themselves, much like Liverpool and Arsenal fans, knowing that in a few months’ time in August the Quadruple is back on.
Alistair Gilmour, Glasgow


Why we laugh at Arsenal fans
A little note for the defensive Arsenal fans:

In my experience, based on my social circles and my (albeit limited for the sake of my mental health) social media interactions, the reason opposing fans are generally enjoying Arsenal’s failure is the way your own fans have been talking up your own expected success.

It’s the same as when Spurs were pushing for titles and in a Champions’ League final (a couple of steps beyond where Arsenal got to this season). The issue then was that Spurs had won nothing yet, yet their fan base (not all of course, but the vocal majority) were crowing as if they supported prime Barca.

For a while now (Arteta has been in charge longer than you would think), fans of opposing teams have been hearing how amazing he is, how every single purchase made is exceptional and the loss of the selling team – I have even seen it said that Jorginho was Chelsea’s best player by some Arsenal fans – and how they are on the right trajectory and definitely winning something big soon. It’s all exactly as it was with Spurs, so you Arsenal fans (who experienced that firsthand) should understand it.

This Premier League season will bring the lowest winning points total in a while. Usually Man City and Liverpool would set a pace that would leave this season’s Arsenal trailing. It is likely Liverpool fall off next season, but will City or will they revert to type and leave Arsenal wanting? Another way of seeing it is that City always do just enough, whatever this total need be.

The idea that Arsenal will definitely win titles soon summarises the position perfectly. Why say that? There is no guarantee. Spurs didn’t go on and win anything after being the 2nd best team in the league/Europe. Why can’t fans just enjoy the ride with a bit of hope rather than deluded expectation? People may tell me that’s a pessimistic view and fans should be positive. I agree with that, but arrogance has to be earned. Arsenal fans having seen zero European trophies saying things like “bring on Madrid” and “pray for Bayern” will inevitably bring a barrage of hysterical abuse from opposing fans.

I pity the poor fans who haven’t said anything of the sort who get tarnished with the same brush because of the AFTV brigade. I have a few lovely Arsenal supporting friends and colleagues who I would love to see happy after all the pain they’ve endured following their teams, but seeing the average Arsenal fan on social media, it’s clear why you lot are getting a pasting – it’s certainly not jealousy.

Enjoy the ride, trophies are not guaranteed for anyone except 115 FC.
Dom Littleford

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Have Arsenal got it in them to bounce back after a miserable week? Join the debate.

Why Spurs supporters take pleasure in Arsenal failures
Hans, I direct your attention to the past few mailboxes over the last week or so. It is FULL of Arsenal fans referencing Spurs and our continued propensity for being Spursy. Works both ways, sweetheart.
Jon, Lincoln


I started supporting football in the early 2000s after being mostly a basketball fan. The grace of Pires and Henry drew me to the sport; Ronaldinho’s famous shimmy and poke goal against Chelsea was my first open-mouth moment. I supported United after learning about the Munich disaster and George Best.

I was a very casual fan of the club and the sport. Like most of us, I read more and more about the intricacies of the game as time went on and I became more attached. My first cup final memory was the topsy-turvy Liverpool vs West Ham FA Cup final ( I had little idea how much I was “supposed” to dislike The Reds at the time ) and Steven Gerrard’s thunderbastard volley. It made me realise why people spoke of “the magic of the cup”.

I’ve just found out that the Premier League and Fa have agreed to a “deal” to scrap replays from next season…what the f*&$ is this sport becoming? Haven’t we catered enough to the whims and interests of the so-called bigger clubs enough already? I can’t even begin to imagine how the supporters and well-meaning owners of clubs lower in the pyramid must be feeling right now. It’s a proper sh*tshow and just an all-round tragedy.
Emma (Abuja)

READ MOREPremier League shows arrogance and power again with selfish FA Cup replay sop

More: Arsenal | Tottenham | Liverpool