About the Author
I am an Indian currently residing in the Middle East. As with most of my countrymen, an interest in football developed quite late in life. Prior to 1995, my enthusiasm for the game ignited every four years when the World Cups came around – and extinguished soon thereafter. I wasn’t even aware club football existed then!
One of my favourite players at the ’94 World Cup was a Dutchman named Dennis Bergkamp. His move to Arsenal coincided with my move to the Middle East. And with access to almost all Premier League matches, I started following Arsenal to see Bergkamp play.
Once I had developed a more thorough appreciation of the game, it was clear to see that Arsenal played some scintillating football. Bergkamp, Vieira, Petit, Henry, Pires and Co. set your heart racing, like no other team in the late 90s and early 2000s.
While Arsenal were blazing a trail on the pitch, my love for the club grew because of the way they did things off it. Unearthing rocks and polishing them into diamonds. Building a super new stadium without going bust. The club oozed class in everything they did.
We all know who’s been credited with what Arsenal have come to epitomize in the past decade and a half – one Arsene Wenger. But we must also acknowledge the club’s board, management and non-playing staff for sharing this belief.
I am an admirer of Arsene’s vision and footballing philosophy. I admire the tremendous effort he has put into making Arsenal the force it is today. I admire that he sticks by his players – through lack of form, injuries and self doubt, and gives them opportunities to prove themselves, sometimes to the frustration of supporters.
But most of all, I admire his courage – for sticking to his principles, for doing the right thing every time. Even under immense pressure from within (fans) and without (media). Balls of Steel.
My connection with Arsenal goes deeper than what’s in the trophy cabinet. I hope to share this connection with fellow supporters via this blog. Let’s talk Arsenal!
Victoria Concordia Crescit.