I decided to create a Twitter account pre-season so I could discuss all things Arsenal with like-minded fans. I’d never used Twitter before and had heard mixed views about what it’s like. It’s actually quite hard work building a network of fans you like to dialogue with on a regular basis. But I’m getting there.
I quickly came to realise Arsenal Twitter is so full of hate. It’s brutal. You only have to disagree with someone’s viewpoint and you get threatened with violence, have numerous insults thrown at you, and mentioned to other accounts so that they can pile in as well. I never thought I’d have to, but I’ve blocked quite a few accounts because they are so hate-filled in their views it’s disturbing.
I’ve unfollowed a few accounts because I simply don’t agree with how they carry themselves and how they put their points across, and I daresay I’ve lost followers for the same reason. Even though I tweet a heck of a lot I have too much good stuff going on in my life that to waste time with people I don’t get on with. I only have one simple rule and that is to only follow people who follow me. Only @Arsenal is exempt from this (I’ll bag them one day!).
Despite being relatively open in my views on changing managers I have found myself linked up to mainly non-WOB accounts. Largely because they, like I do, have so much respect for Arsene Wenger and are more measured in what they tweet. I’ve seen a few change opinions throughout the season on who the manager should be but I’m pretty confident they won’t abuse the man, nor will they let their support for the team be influenced by their wanting change. They don’t hate him, they just respectfully want a new chapter in our history.
Social media is playing a part in our clubs plight. The fanbase is royally screwed up. I have seen a marked change in many people’s behaviour in the last few months. Even level-headed accounts have become more argumentative and aggressive when debating with fellow fans. In-fighting is now commonplace, even amongst those with similar views. Arsenal Twitter has become a battle ground. Kill or be killed.
I have a firm belief that this negativity transfers to matchdays (I won’t even get started on the protests!), which adversely affects the performance of our brittle players. A united fanbase is worth quite a few extra points in a season and sadly 2016/17 has seen us fall short of where we should be. I’m not saying it would make us champions as the players clearly aren’t hitting the required levels but it certainly would have improved our tally I’ve no doubts about that. One thing it would do is improve the matchday experience. Oh, and the Twitter experience too.
If the fans can put all negativity aside for the whole of May then I’m sure we will have a good month. I don’t think they will but here’s hoping!
Fingers crossed for an enjoyable end to the season and a summer to lift all hope and spirits amongst the fans ahead. My god it’s needed!