As football fans we long for the glorious days of our club captain collecting their winner’s medal and lifting silverware aloft, letting out roars of euphoria which will be remembered as the echoes of glory that are engraved into the history of the club, winners.
However, as the modern game progresses, pundits and fans alike have built up somewhat of a credibility party which is strictly no silverware, no invite. Is the constant silverware narrative becoming a stick to beat clubs with? And are we forgetting the true beauty of being a football fan?
The glory of lifting silverware and a fanbase singing in unison as a trophy is lifted is one of the greatest feelings a football fan will ever experience, and is the stuff dreams are made of. But, in recent times the constant question of “What have they won?” is used a stick to beat away all credibility with, going by this logic, is it possible that only three teams within each top division can know that progression has been made and they can say they’ve enjoyed their season?
In football, supporting your team is not about how your club is perceived by other people, it is about how you feel about your club. This barometer of how much said team has won can not be a mark of how you feel about your club and how much you enjoy watching your team. It is about the experience, the agonizing lows, the buoyancy of the highs, the hairs on your body standing up as each word of your club’s chants ring around the four walls that you call home.
This season, Liverpool were the feel good story of the Champions League, progressing from a Champions League qualifying game in August all the way to the final in May. The journey throughout the season is the stuff that each football fan longs for, their mesmerizing run ultimately ended in heartache and whilst the hypothetical ifs and buts will live with agonizingly with them each day for the rest of their lives, so will the sheer euphoria of each win, the celebrations after the semi-final win, the unity of the fanbase as they look onto their big day with blind optimism, these are the types of moments football are about.
In 2017, turmoil surrounded Arsenal. Managerial unrest, protests against the board, division amongst a fanbase of sentimental optimism or angered pessimism. Throughout the 2016/2017 season the club and the fans appeared to become more and more distant, with players answering back at fans and publicly criticizing them. An FA Cup triumph is the stuff that those fans will have to cherish, the memories of glory on that day. Yet, in the grand scheme of things does that make the way their feeling about the club any better? no.
Across the town, Tottenham had finished another trophyless season coming second to Premier League champions Chelsea. Whilst, Spurs fans may have looked on in deceitful jealousy at their rivals FA Cup win, the romance of falling in love with each player, the manager, the club and the unison between the fans as they look ahead to the future was a special moment, signing out of their home of 118 years knowing that all was good at the club and the hierarchy, those on the pitch and the those that pay their hard-earned money to watch each week were becoming a collective unit all pulling in the same direction is exactly the sort of romanticism that being a football fan is all about.
From a fans point of view, yes I want silverware, we as football fans all do, who wouldn’t? And yes, a Spurs fan writing about silverware? You can’t make this up!
It is the days we live for, but ultimately that day we left White Hart Lane wasn’t damped because we didn’t win anything, it didn’t change the way I feel about my football club.
If winning silverware is what football is about, why bother turning up to watch the Bournemouth’s, the Burnley’s, the Huddersfield’s of this world? It is not all about silverware, everybody wants it but not everyone can have it.
Ultimately the media narrative of how much silverware a team has won, does not define a club, the way each fan can enjoy their experiences each 3pm Saturday, because come game time, when it’s you and the football there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be.
Do you agree with Luke? Leave a comment below or simply tweet us @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF!