In the early days of social networking, my attempts to integrate with the indigenous fauna were laughable. I had tweets regarding biscuits, work dross & morose bobbins. Mostly though, I was on a warpath with morons who were bastardizing the English written word. The Queens English being repeatedly punched full force in the face, like Dale Winton Vs Mike Tyson in his pomp. I took to the cyber-streets, criticizing unwanted abbreviations &; giving typed lashings to vagabonds who fell into the snare of internet-speak. ROFLMAO my fucking ballbag.
It didn’t go down too well with friends when they posted baby pics & the general concensus is cooing & wooing over the cute new addition to the world & my comment on the bottom, contrary to the rest, chastising the new parents for their flagrant use of ‘lol’. The problem is not me. It never is. Maybe my approach was too militant, but scroll through your TL ( I realise this is an abbreviation ) & I guarantee you, once you start looking for the errors, they will flood your eyes & make you wish you hadn’t seen them, much like a naked selfie of John Mcririck.
It’s a plague & soon all memory of correct spelling, punctuation & general grammar will fall by the wayside as youths who are parented by youths & communicate only in grunts will rule the world. Maybe.
The reason I mention all this is because of the constant misuse of one word. @GoonerGirl1969 & @Gooner_In_BCN raised a valid point regarding it & it was exactly what I was attempting to write about. The phrase ‘Legend’ is bandied around far too frequently. It conjures up images of Kavos cavorting teens, with their sideswept ‘reem’ hair, with their slogan t-shirts & avid compulsion to vomit. Those fuckwits. They use this word that is surely reserved as the highest accolade one can bestow on someone? Surely someone doesn’t deserve this moniker if they can crush a beer can with their forehead? It should be earmarked for heroes, ones that warrant unrelenting praise. In the words of @Gooner_In_BCN “There are very rare cases of players that deserve support no questions asked, it’s becoming too frequent & easily given”. My point entirely.
Who can you instantly name that justifies such praise? I bet that his name begins with T & his surname is Adams. Look no further ladies & gents, we have a winner.
Mr Arsenal. 4 League titles. 3 FA Cups. 2 League Cups. A Cup Winners Cup. 672 apps spread across 19years. All with us. No other Club. Just us. Surely ‘Legend’ is the least we can use? How about ‘The Exalted One’? No? I honestly struggle to sum up all the praise I want to lavish upon him with just one title. Legend is the least he deserves. What attribute makes him a legend though?
Is it his longevity at the Club? If so, then surely David O’Leary, our RECORD appearance holder, warrants the title more than he? Surely the Celt lords it above Tony in the Legend stakes? There is more than just duration to consider.
Fans views of a player ultimately define what Title the player will be remembered with. Case in point, look no further than John Jensen. The man had mettle & was, whilst not world class, a workhorse in the centre of the park. He made 132 apps for us, but mention his name & most Gooners will remember his toiling for a goal, so much so that no matter what position he found himself in on the pitch, he was implored to shoot by the baying fans. He got his goal, but he has found himself with a cult status & most importantly, a lasting memory with the fans who screamed his name when he got his solitary goal. So, to sum up, the only reason John Jensen is remembered so fondly with most fans is, let’s be fair, not for his robust tackling & Danish accent, it was his everlasting struggle to score. You don’t have to win a cart full of silverware to leave an impression with fans, you just have to work harder than horse placenta on Diabys knee. What else could affect the way fans refer to players after they leave?
If it was just honours won, then every member of the Invincibles team would be remembered equally fondly, but everyone has their favourites. For every Henry, you have a Gilberto. This is not a slur on the Brazilian, far from it. Everyone who watched slackjawed as that team took opponents apart more efficiently than a plastic surgeon on speed could see the brilliant job he did. Aside from his early goal Vs PSV though, I can’t remember a singular occasion, a raw tackle, a top corner screamer from him. He was the Ultimate watercarrier. So another variable to consider is memorable occasions. For example, Ozils goal Vs Napoli was ALL technique. It was visual treacle. Sticky. What about Sylvain Wiltord grabbing the League Winner at Old Trafford? Not a huge slice of skill, but you’ll struggle to wrack your brains for a more memorable domestic moment. Henry volleying in from 30yds Vs Barthez. Wrighty getting his 179th Vs Bolton, Pires lobbing Schmeichel. EVERY BERGKAMP GOAL. Anything else to consider?
Players may leave under a golden haze of praise, fans hoarse voices ringing in their ears as they repeat the players name over & over ad infinitum, but if they leave for a rival club, instantly the praise switches to vitriol, where once it was memories painted with the full spectrum of colour on the canvas that is memory, once a player joins a rival the kaleidoscopic range of colour turns brown & the painting is ruined. Many discussions have been had regarding Sagna leaving in the past few weeks. No points more pertinent were made than this. It doesn’t matter if he leaves to go to PSG, or even Citeh. The point is, that the hard cash offered to him from a plethora of clubs can be obtained without sullying his memory of what a remarkable player he was for us. He doesn’t need to join a rival. Some will argue that Citeh is a rival & you’d be right, but it would smart a whole lot more if he jumps ship to the bounders down at Chelsea. It matters where you go & what choices you make even when you’re not wearing the Cannon. You can’t take it off. It is forever emblazoned upon your chest. At least in our eyes. there are exceptions though ( Nasri, Cole etc ).
Ian Wright I would surmise as a Club Legend. I look past the cups he won. I look past his amount of apps. I refer simply to the sheer amount of goals he plundered & the amount of love he had for our Club. It’s a good thing really, as he has said some almighty stupid things as a pundit. Some things were truths shared by many but didn’t have an adequate soapbox to broadcast their opinion. Mostly though, this is an opinion that a few share, as a pundit, he’s a bit of an idiot. I feel bad for even typing that about him, such is the adulation I lavish on him, but it’s true. The same with Smudge. Brilliant goal-hanger for us, but is prone to the odd bout of verbal diarrhoea. Your actions on the pitch have to outweigh the inevitable cock-ups that will befall you when you stop playing. Some players it doesn’t matter a jot what they say in front of the cameras or in the rags though, as they didn’t endear themselves to the fans in their playing days. David O’Leary is a strange case as mentioned at the start of this lengthy blog. For a man to make the most amount of appearances for the Club, more than ANYONE EVER HAS DONE, then I would like to think that would book your ticket to Bronze-StatueVille. He is regarded by most though, with indifference. Due to his behaviour as a manager with Leeds & Villa, his memory is forever tainted. Which is a shame.
So, to wind this fuckery down, let’s sum up. It takes good behaviour off the field & after you leave, you need to win honours & make your performances memorable, you need the fans support & you need a lengthy stay. You also need to love the Club as much as the fans love you. All of these elements combined will indubitably leave your likeness forever etched in bronze outside the home of The Arsenal.
That leaves the people currently cast in bronze as Legends. Would any of our current squad warrant such a title? In short, no. Not that we don’t love them, we do, with all of our heart, but not all the boxes are ticked. Love isn’t the only consideration, otherwise Tomas Rosicky would have his likeness splayed in cloud writing in the sky before every game. There are plenty of contenders for the crown. Jack, Rambo, Theo, BFG, Kos & Szcz are at the forefront of my mind in regards to potential statue candidates. A lot hinges on the variables mentioned previously, but I have confidence we will see these names in the distant future talked about with as much gusto as we do with God, Mr Arsenal & Le King.