I am an avid Arsenal fan from India (presently based in the US). As most Indians of my generation I grew up on a steady diet of Cricket. It was not until 1999 that I was first exposed to football on a regular basis. I first liked Arsenal simply because of their name and the jersey. Well, I had no particular reason to like or dislike any team, so this seemed fair enough.
Interestingly a dislike for Manure ( I didn’t know this name till quite a few years later) developed during the first few months. Perhaps it was because they were the most popular team in India during those days and I have never been able to support the favorites in any sport.
I was so naive that I used to think Arsenal were owned by Arsene Wenger and hence the name. Thankfully though, due to my initial interest in Arsenal, I was able to develop a love for the game itself. As time went by I picked up the nuances of the game better and started enjoying Arsenal for more than just their name and the jersey.
In Arsene Wenger I found the second sports personality that I truly admire and respect (the other being Sachin Tendulkar). Le boss has been an inspiration due to the purity of his vision, clarity of thought, unflinching perseverance and adhrence to principles in the face of scathing criticism from short-sighted individuals with limited comprehension of the beauty and values of the game (in other words – the media).
I also like the Arsenal board for backing Wenger through the years, more so in the recent years when most other clubs are struggling for stability and consistency. Over the last two years I have read a lot of online blogs from Arsenal fans around the world and in a lot of them I can see a similar set of feelings. My Arsenal bond has only grown stronger and this blog is an attempt to connect with them better and express my opinions about the beautiful game and Arsenal in particular.