I hate Arsenal
I can't help it. I can't stand them. It's hate. But hate in its own box. It's not like a global hatred of racists, bullies, the spiteful and the uncaring. It's not as big as hating tribal massacres in Sudan. It's not even as big as hating the council for putting speed bumps in your road, or the neighbour who plays loud music which you don't appreciate. It's a special football hate.
If you understand football, if you belong to a tribe, then you know what this is all about, so click Back. For women and Americans, here is something you will never understand. It's all feeling.
Tottenham have played in North London since 1899. Woolwich Arsenal moved across the River Thames in 1913, a massive 14 years afterwards and a mere 97 years ago. How can these newcomers, these parvenus, these interloping immigrants, call themselves a North London club? So they think of Spurs as the local rivals? How wrong they are. There is only one team in North London. But proximity is at the heart of the hate.
It would make more sense if we hated a team from the other end of the country. But, no, we hate the team next door. Sheffield Wednesday hate Sheffield United, Norwich hate Ipswich, Exeter hate Torquay. This season, next season, last season, 20, 30, 100 seasons before, the hate carries on. But it's not negative. Not a bit. It's an expression of love for your club, for the team and your friends.
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