Arsenal Fan TV is a fan-run website that covers Arsenal FC news, rumors, and fan sentiments. The site began in 2012 and won the 2013 Football Blogging Awards Male Blog of the Year Award. The “blog” captures the opinions and feelings of many Arsenal fans through video taping fans reactions after games. Their Youtube channel has over 140,00 subscribers and their most popular video, a fan interview after Arsenal lost 1-3 against Aston Villa on opening day in 2013, got just under one million views. It should be noted that many of the videos include some profanity, as they tend to interview drunk fans after matches. When one first arrives at ArsenalFanTV.com, there is a splash page that gives one the option of entering the ArsenalFanTV store before entering the full website. The store is sort of a letdown, but it does have many t-shirts with the players name and number on the front for a somewhat reasonable thirteen pounds.
There are two main types of videos on ArsenalFanTV.com: roundtable discussions and then fan interviews. The roundtable discussions are usually incredibly informative, especially when Claude, the founder of the site, discusses the Arsenal transfer targets and improved tactics. For example, Claude mentions that over the past few matches, Arsenal have had less possession than usual, but have been averaging over three goals a game. One downside of the site is that there are not many written articles. To get the content, one must listen to the podcast or watch the YouTube video. While videos separate Arsenal Fan TV from other soccer blogs, it would be nice to have text rundown of what they are discussing to see whether or not it is worth listening to for 15 minutes. It should be noted that there is a blog aspect of the site, but that this has not been updated since the Champions League Round of 16 Draw back in early December.
Authors and Contributors
Claude, the founder of ArsenalFanTV
Arsenal Fan “Bully” who ArsenalFanTV interviews after every match.
The founder of ArsenalFanTV is Claude, a middle aged male who is a supporter of Arsenal. Claude is the lead interviewer in each post-match video and hosts a Google Hangouts session to discuss transfer rumors. After the game, any Arsenal fan outside the stadium can be interviewed by ArsenalFanTV, however, many of the same fans, such as Ty and Bully (seen above), are interviewed after each mach. The “regulars” on ArsenalFanTV usually have an interesting personality and are incredibly outgoing, which leads to Claude choosing to interview them continuously throughout the season. Looking through past interviews, I have not come across any females being interviewed, but this may be because males go to Arsenal matches at a higher rate or perhaps females do not want to partake in the interviews as much as males do. However, males of all ages seem to be represented well, with Claude interviewing children, middle aged adults, and older match goers.
Intended Audience and Angle of ArsenalFanTV
The intended audience of ArsenalFanTV are Arsenal fans who want to listen to the opinions of other, biased fans. More specifically, the opinions of the fans who are paying money to see Arsenal at the Emirates, their home stadium, and at the opposing club’s stadium. Many of the same fans are interviewed after each game and it is interesting to hear their knee-jerk reaction to the game and how their tone changes throughout the season. After poor showings from Arsenal, these fans trash the team and coaches, and the most watched video, shown below, is a great example of this. While one does not learn much from these videos criticizing Wenger’s tactics and questioning why Yaya Sanogo is starting, it does feel good to hear other people vent about the game and comforts me that I’m not the only angry fan.
Example of Angry Fan Reaction After 1-3 Loss Versus Aston Villa (Caution: Inappropriate Language)
What is the Angle of ArsenalFanTV.com?
One of my favorite parts of ArsenalFanTV is seeing the knee jerk reaction of the fans after a crushing defeat or an amazing victory. Typically in these videos, a player will be praised as the greatest player in the world one week and then the next week, after a poor performance, the fans that are interviewed are calling for their heads. After Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, fans were claiming how great his performances were by stating that he was the only world class player on Arsenal’s current roster after his role in a 3-1 victory over Stoke City. Then, a year later when Arsenal lost 0-2 at Dortmund in the Champions League, a fan stated “I’m done defending [Ozil] and [Ozil’s] attitude stinks” and goes on to state that he would have started Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain, who at the time was 20, over Ozil. Then, after a stunning 5-0 performance against Aston Villa this past weekend, fans stated that Ozil got his “brilliance back again” and is truly a world class player. It is interesting to see how the perception of players changes during the season. At times, even the best players play poorly, but it is shocking to see how fast fans change their sentiments towards players after one good or bad game.
My favorite blog on the site exemplifies the unique atmosphere of Arsenal Fan TV. The video below is a 2:30 depiction of the Arsenal fans chants and actions during their 2-0 away win versus Manchester City at the Eithad. In the video, one can see and hear the Arsenal fans chant taunt City by singing “You’re just a sh*t United” at the beginning of the game. The fan’s celebrations to the two Arsenal goals are really incredible as well, and make one feel as if they are in the stands celebrating with their fellow fans. Personally, as an Arsenal fan, I got chills after seeing the fans celebrate Oliver Giroud’s goal.
Larger Conversation About Soccer
Arsenal Fan TV adds some discussion to soccer as a whole, particularly that of fan culture. While Arsenal Fan TV probably is not and should not be a go to stop for non-Arsenal fans, it would be worth a visit for those who have never been to a European soccer game as one can see the passion of many of the fans during and after the matches. For many of these fans, soccer, and more particularly Arsenal, is their life and their passion comes across very well in these videos. Written text does not convey the same message the way that these interviews do, as written media does not allow us to understand emotions as well as videos do. This makes Arsenal Fan TV an incredibly successful and popular blog among the Arsenal community.