Arsenal fans can't be blamed for being bitter

Many have described the Arsenal fans who booed Robin van Persie as 'bitter', and so what if they are?

When Robin van Persie stepped onto the pitch at the Emirates, the mix of boos and applause took a heavy swing in the favour of the former, as Arsenal fans made their feelings known towards their former player.

Much had been made prior to yesterday's game about the 'Guard of Honour', with Arsenal players welcoming the newly crowned Champions onto the pitch.

The club did the 'right thing', by observing the ritual - much to the chagrin of supporters who were harking for the days when Arsenal used to look down upon United from the Premier League summit.

Fans of the Gunners even discussed insulting United by doing the 'Poznan' celebration, adopted by the Red Devils' rivals Manchester City, by disrespecting Van Persie and his new club by turning their backs.

If it seemed a bit immature and bitter, it was just a natural response, of supporters trying to score points ultimately to save face, of seeing their having to clap in, the one player they would not like to, in their own backyard. 

But not everybody approved of such attitudes, with Arsenal fan and Blackburn player Colin Kazim-Richards one to voice his opinion on the matter in the week leading up to the game.

Now at this point, if you are not a supporter of Arsenal, place yourselves in their shoes.

Imagine from a United perspective if season after season, their best players departed to better themselves. 

It has happened in the past, with Cristiano Ronaldo moving on in 2009, but the difference was he left on the back of three consecutive Premier League wins.

Arsenal fans have had nothing in the way of silverware since 2005, not even a League Cup, even being beaten in the 2011 final by Birmingham City.

United fans did not take kindly to Carlos Tevez joining rivals City and winning the league last season, and few fans would have taken kindly to having to welcome him in with a Guard of Honour last season.

There are aspects such as 'class', and acting properly to consider - after all nobody wants to look bitter. But there is only so much disappointment, and walking out from 'stars' who fans considered heroes, which can be tolerated.

There is human nature, which means upset fans, who purely care about their club, want to throw their toys out of the pram from time-to-time and don't simply want to be 'good losers', but winners.

How to react to such a begrudging circumstance as Van Persie being owed a Guard of Honour, is no simple task when there is emotion involved. Fans who applauded United and the team should be commended, but those who turned their back or booed should not be castigated either, for they are just dealing with it in their own way.

image: © cactusbeetroot

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch