Football

WATCH: "Arsenal Fans, You Are Spineless!"- Craig Burley Roars That Arsenal Fans Are Mentally Weak

WATCH: "Arsenal Fans, You Are Spineless!"- Craig Burley Roars That Arsenal Fans Are Mentally Weak

Those of you who have sampled the greatest hits of Arsenal Fan TV may have formed the impression that the club fanbase are permanently at war with their urbane but stubborn manager.

But one pundit - Craig Burley of ESPN - believes that Arsenal fans aren't near warlike enough.

"SPINLESS!" is the one of the catchphrases of Arsenal Fan TV's most vivid personalities, Claude Callegari (@goonerclaude). But now, Burley is accusing the Arsenal fans themselves of being "spineless".

The implication here is that the status quo at Arsenal is so intolerable that it necessitates something close to a boycott or at the least intense protest.

The Arsenal fans are spineless. I'm telling you, Arsenal fans, you are spineless. You are a mirror image of your team. Weak! Mentally weak! How can Arsenal fans continue to accept what they get every year? What they pay for their ticket and their season books and they follow their club across Europe and up and down the country in England and the accept the mediocrity - and it is mediocrity by a club of that standard - of getting in the top 4.

And they keep using the Champions League as a barometer of their success. But every year up until now - apart from the year they got to the final when Jens Lehmann was sent off - they've been knocked out in the Round of 16. Every time. What's the point?

You've got a manager who is stale. Who is 8 million a year or whatever it is. You've got a board that makes money. I understand that. But you've got supporters who allow it to happen. Now if the Arsenal fans believe that they don't have a voice that can change that thinking, that mindset within the board, then they're wrong. Because, as fans, you can make that change. You can pressurise the board. You can pressurise the manager.

He went onto ask whether Wenger was too "ignorant" or "arrogant" to believe that he didn't have to move on. He reiterated that Arsenal fans were spineless whingers.

Balls enjoyed the portrayal of Arsenal fans as "mentally weak." It's not often a charge levelled at supporters. It's levelled at losing players every four seconds. But not at supporters, not even the traffic beaters who proliferate on the GAA. It reminds us of Nick Hornby's assertion in Fever Pitch that fans take on the character of the team they support. In 1992, this meant Arsenal fans were cussed and unromantic.

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Now, in Burnley's telling, it means they are "spineless" and "mentally weak".

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Conor Neville
Article written by
Perennial finalist in stand-up comedy competitions and former Contract Lawyer/ Coal Salesman with Corless, Corless and Sweeney

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