Who Would You Support If The Arsenal Didn't Exist Anymore?
Allow me, if you will, to play a hypothetical situation out for a couple of minutes. The Arsenal we all know and love (and are sometimes driven insane by) ceases to exist, with no prospects for it ever returning. Say one day a giant hole in the ground just opened up and swallowed Arsenal Football Club whole (exactly how many of us will have felt after the mauling by AC Milan in the San Siro on Tuesday just gone). You are forced to turn elsewhere for your football fix and pin your colours to another proverbial mast, but where would you turn?
I am sure that there is a small minority out there who would turn to United or City in glory hunter fashion (not that I imagine Arsenal have many glory hunting fans left after the last couple of seasons) but the majority of Arsenal fans would either a) not support anyone or b) be a bit more selective about the issue.
What would I do? I have varying levels of affection for a number of other clubs, so I guess I would adopt one of them. My family have something of an association with West Ham after my dad made friends with former Hammers captain Julian Dicks over playing golf back in the late nineties and since then I've always held the happy hammers in fairly high regard (apart from when playing The Arsenal of course) and very much hope that they'll be returning to the Premier League at the first available opportunity come May.
Newcaatle are another team I've always had a soft spot for; Kevin Keegan's great Newcastle side were in full flow in my first full season of really taking interest in football and one of my best friends is a member of the toon army, but Newcastle fans and West Ham fans alike seem something of kindred spirits in that like The Arsenal fans in recent years they've suffered a great deal through the trials and tribulations of decisions made by the managers or owners and had false dawns that haven't come off for them, though fortunately Arsenal never spent time outside the top tier as the other two have in recent times. As a side note, if Arsenal don't get fourth this season, I'd love Newcastle to get it, as they've been brilliant at times this year and a welcome breath of fresh air.
Slightly closer to home, having been my local club for most of my life the club I always watch out for the results for first after Arsenal's are Stevenage. Having been to the odd game at Broadhall Way (now The Lamex Stadium) if we didn't have The Arsenal anymore I might have chosen to abandon the Premier League for League One, though no one could bet against Stevenage getting a third straight promotion if they keep going the way they have been. There's also my now local side Cambridge United who are trying to find their way out of the Conference and back to the Football League after an unfortunate decline of recent times, and it would be great if they could do a Stevenage and find themselves on the up again.
Bearing in mind I've only talked about domestic clubs, I know many Gooners out there have European allegiances to Barca, Real, Dortmund, Ajax (where our resident legendary DB10 happens to be) and others but I decided to just stick closer to home. Doesn't mean anyone reading this has to of course! (And I wouldn't ever properly support Barca or Real, too much wrong with both of them).
Hopefully this is something that never happens, and isn't likely to, especially since the current AFC board wouldn't buy you a packet of peanuts, never mind another striker to take the load off Robin Vsn Persie, but I'd be interested to see what other people's responses to this idea would be. Over to you guys.