Amid ongoing concerns around Gabriel Jesus’s fitness and Eddie Nketiah’s levels, enquiring minds tend to stray. One of the targets to which they’re drawn, like moths to a flame, is Brentford’s Ivan Toney, scorer of 35 league goals in the last two seasons. That tally might have risen even further but for his 18-month ban for gambling, set to expire in mid-January, and I promise that you that I won’t be making any clever puns on that situation. Suffice it to say that we’ve registered interest and that Brenford must surely be sizing up options.Continue reading
While there’s been quite a lot of talk about Arteta’s ambition for having a squad two-deep at every position—and admirable progress at most positions at establishing that—there’s a troubling imbalance that coudl very well derail all of the progress we’ve made over the last few seasons. By now, I’m sure you all know what I’m going on about: the wings. On one side, we have so many options we don’t know what to do; on the other, we have…well, just one option. We need only look back to last week to see how precariously our season teeters on a knife’s edge.Continue reading
Yesterday, we explored the possibility of Arteta and Edu making a bold move for Napoli’s VIctor Osimhen. It’s the international break, after all, so there’s little to do but to engage in idle gossip. That said, a move for Brentford’s Ivan Toney might amount to something more than idle gossip. He’s Prem-proven, and our dealings with Brentford over David Raya have been amicable enough to suggest that they might be open to selling Toney…at the right price.Continue reading
|From a previous incident…|
I’d like to say a few words about any so-called Arsenal fans who have directed racial abuse at Ivan Toney after his controversial late equaliser on Sunday: GTFO. Hand in your Arsenal shirts, posters, scarves and anything else. Sod off to Milwall or Chelsea. You’re not wanted here. We’ll set aside fancy words like hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, for these are almost certainly too lengthy and polysyllabic for you to understand, and the last thing I want to do is to enrage someone whose idea of a legitimate reaction to conceding a goal is to hurl racist abuse at the scorer. If you doubt me, take out your sarcasm detector and check.
How does a racist brain work in these situations? How do you explain spewing racist abuse at Toney because he scores? Do you do the same with Saka or Nketiah or Magalhães if they make a mistake? Does putting on an Arsenal kit absolve black athlete of his previous “crimes” against this club…and forgive you your previous prehistoric insults? Every club is going to have its share of racists, and the chance of that only grows as the size of the fanbase does…but that’s no excuse for these antics. If you’re one of the ones who tried to insult Toney on the color of his skin, what was your aim? Were you trying to get him to reach out to Lee Mason to offer Mason line-drawing lessons? Were you trying to intimidate the player so he won’t dare to score against us in future matches?
News flash, ace: neither one of those will happen. If anything, we’ll now face a galvanised and inspired Toney (not to mention his mates) the next time we face each other. I sincerely hope you won’t be present to see such a day because I do honestly hope you are found and handed your lifetime stadium ban before the week is out. Maybe even a P45 as a bonus.
If you’re one of those I’m addressing, you’re one of two types, neither one of which bathes himself in glory. You’re either an actual racist, as in someone who genuinely and sincerely believes in the inferiority of black people. If not that, you’re one of those who insists that his racism is simply bantz. Second news flash in as many minutes (I hope it doesn’t fry your brain). That’s still racist. Now, you may be thinking, “but I don’t actually hate people”. You might even add, “I have quite a few black friends”. If your brain has truly been fried, you might go one step further and think, “I even find [famous black celebrity] to be attractive.” None of that matters, mate. In fact, most of it makes it quite a bit worse. There are levels of racism, of course, and you may not rest at the bottom of the barrel, but you’re still in the barrel.
28 September 2002. Does that date ring any bells? It should. That was the day that Arsène (the man the club is named after, after all1) submitted a teamsheet that listed nine black starters—the first time this had happened in English football history. Now, I’m not claiming that this club has spent its entire existence at the forefront of the movement to kick racism out of football, but we’ve been among the better ones. As you can see from the tweet above, the club has issued a strong statement in support of Brentford and promised to take the “strongest possible action to anyone [they] can identify sending hateful messages”.
If you’re going to go the racist route, you’re going to have to disavow the contributions and achievements of countless black men who have represented this club. This is not just the club of Saka and Nketiah and Partey; it’s also the club of Henry and Vieira and Campbell; Wrighty and Rocky and Thomas…well, if you don’t catch my drift by now, maybe you never will. If you’re still willing to resort to that racist route, sod off.
Victoria Concordia Crescit. That’s not just some fancy Latin to make us seem classy. “Victory grows out of harmony” is a club motto that dates back to 1948, hardly a time of racial enlightenment. If you can’t get behind this club and its players without resorting to racism, you don’t deserve to support this club in the first place. There all too many other clubs out there that tolerate or even encourage racism. Take your pick. You either disavow the racism or we disown you. End of.