We used to mercilessly mock them for this particular trait.
But with a fall from the heavens comes nostalgia.
Yup, Liverpool, during their 30 year hiatus from lifting the League title, would often cite their total amount of championships that they had won in their history.
And we all would bite back and refer them to the key word in that sentence.
Liverpool, despite their famous Champions League triumph in 2005, were living off the fearsome reputation they had forged across Europe – and especially in England. Title after title was won. Twice in the 60s. Four times in the 70s and six times in the 80s, with their final championship won in 1990, before finally lifting the Premier League crown they had longed for, for three decades.
That’s not counting the domestic cups and European trophies they also lifted.
So, they could be forgiven for harking back to these halcyon days during their dips, the barren years, the seasons when nothing was won and nothing seemed close either.
And it could have been forgiven, if it weren’t for the entitlement.
All that success meant that a fair portion of Liverpool fans thought that they merited being one of the top teams, simply on reputation alone.
But we know it doesn’t work like that – don’t we?
Because at this moment in time, we too are mired in fantastical daydreams back into our golden years. The Wenger years when we were a heavyweight, slugging it out with Man Utd and Chelsea for top honours. The George Graham years when trophies and titles were delivered with efficiency and a cutthroat swagger. The Bertie Mee team of 71 that gave Arsenal one of the best seasons we could wish for.
These teams, players and coaches represent Arsenal. They embody our team. And Arsenal wouldn’t be an elite team without every single one of them. But it doesn’t indefinitely reserve us a spot at the top table.
We need to continually earn it.
What success does do, is give teams the capacity to grab more success. They become a more tempting package to the best players and of course, more money comes rolling in.
But let’s look at the cold hard facts.
The last part of Wenger’s reign where a large portion of Gooners were unhappy with the Frenchman’s tenure ongoing and thought he should leave – that section when 4th place was the mission every season?
We hung on to the last Champions League spot by our fingernails for the best part of a decade. Now we have been without the European Cup for 4 seasons?
The last 3-4 seasons we have slowly seen our monopoly on a Europa League place being whittled away. Now with no FA Cup to lift to keep us in the European spotlight, it comes down to either winning the Europa League (difficult) or finishing in the top6.
And both look out of bounds at the time of my writing this (written in the aftermath of our losses to Wolves and Aston Villa).
Which would leave us without a European campaign to our season for the first time since 95-96. And the considerable coffers it adds to our balance sheets.
The most up to date Deloitte money league already shows us out of the top 10 clubs and below that lot.
Could we slip even further?
But some of our fans complain about the Europa League and even ‘just’ winning the FA Cup. That unless we’re contending for the title, we are underachieving.
But the restructure Arsenal have needed for years, both off and on the pitch, is still ongoing. If we were renovating a house, the skip would still be awaiting removal.
The work isn’t complete. Arsenal have some way to go before they are fully prepared for anywhere near the top. And until we are, we may have to endure some lean times again.
But we need to avoid that entitlement that makes most other fans despise Scouse fans.
We don’t need any help to be hated by other fans. Plus, we aren’t the media darlings, beloved by journo’s who constantly outpour their affections with articles underlining why they are still a big club despite floundering at times.
We are currently nowhere near where we should be.
But most importantly, we are nowhere near where some fans think we are. Take a step back and smell reality.
If you’re a Gooner – then support the team. No matter where we are in the league, support the team, adore our legends and sing as loudly as you can (when back in the stadium of course).