From the statistics provided by WordPress – the company that provided the set-up for the Bergkampesque blog – I know there are Gooners almost in every country of the world. This really fascinates me: who are you, how did you end up supporting Arsenal, and how do you follow our beloved team?
Generally speaking, there are four categories of Arsenal supporters:
- Those who were born in an Arsenal family (one or two parents, or an older brother or sister were already Gooners);
- Those who choose at an early age to support Arsenal (sometimes opting for a different team than their father and/or mother support);
- Those who ‘fall in love’ with Arsenal’s football and the club in general, through watching them over a long period of time;
- Those who were/are a big fan of a particular footballer who went to play for Arsenal, and became an Arsenal supporter gradually.
I fall into category 4 first and for all, but also in category 3. My father has always been a great lover of football and had brought me up to find and see the beauty in it. He turned 70 recently and still does not support a particular team, and yet he watches at least 6 football games per week. He will watch the teams that play the most attractive football; something I used to do a lot more before I became, ever so gradually, a fully devoted Arsenal supporter.
In my early twenties, I became a great admirer of Dennis Bergkamp: he just had something that set him apart from all other players from the first moments of his career. We all know that Dennis was developed into one of the greatest footballers ever at Ajax firstly, and that he had a miserable time at Inter, before he came to the mighty Arsenal. At Arsenal, and under Arsene’s tutelage, DB10 was able to both develop further into the top star he eventually became and to express himself; his abilities, and vision of how football should be played to the full.
I did not become an Arsenal supporter simply because Dennis had joined the club: it was a gradual process.
Firstly, I loved the way Dennis was treated by the club, fellow players and the fans: he was respected and fully supported by everyone from the start – a far cry from what happened in Italy.
Secondly, I loved the way Dennis was deployed and how Arsene built his teams around Dennis’ capabilities.
Thirdly, I loved the way Arsenal played football and I gradually became a big supporter of everything Arsenal: the club, the players, the style of football, the manager, the history and the general culture of the club. For me, Arsenal became the true home of football, and this will never change again. Unlike my dad, I have put my football anchor down at a particular club; the best club in the world: the mighty Arsenal.
That is my reason for becoming an Arsenal supporter, but what is yours? Why Arsenal, for how long, where are you based, and how are you able to follow our beloved team?