During a recent talk at the Oxford Union, Hector Bellerin gave his thoughts on ArsenalFanTV.
The YouTube channel which has just under 670,000 subscribers has been causing controversy since it was created in 2012. When Hector Bellerin was asked about ArsenalFanTV at the Oxford Union, he said:
“I don’t think there are players that actually go on the internet to watch ArsenalFanTV. It does sometimes pop up in your timeline. I see it sometimes. I have friends who say, ‘oh, have you heard what that guy on ArsenalFanTV said?’
“It’s so wrong for someone who claims to be a fan and their success is fed off a failure. How can that be a fan?
“I think they’re just people hustling, trying to make money their way, which everyone is entitled to do.
“But for us players, it doesn’t affect us. If people want to have fun with it, then have fun. For us, when you grow, you realise what is important to you to listen to and what not to take.
“If a coach comes to me and tells me that I’ve done something bad or wrong, I’m going to take that advice. If someone from ArsenalFanTV says this guy needs to do this or that, I’m not going to listen to him.
“They’re entitled to their opinion and the way they want to do it. If people find it funny, then go watch it.”
Bellerin’s comments have divided Arsenal fans and I can see why. On one hand, I agree with Bellerin that ArsenalFanTV tends to feed off the failure of the team. As soon as Arsenal lose a match, all football fans can’t wait for ArsenalFanTV because they know the channel will contain several angry rants from DT, Claude, Robbie etc. Even when Arsenal win, the rants are positive but there is still some criticism.
On the other hand, the fans have every right to voice their opinion in whichever way they see fit. Hector Bellerin could decide to leave Arsenal and move on with his career but Arsenal fans support the club for life. They pay their hard-earned money to go and watch their team, home and away and they are entitled to be vocal.
In the words of Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp: “When you start supporting a football club, you don’t support it because of the trophies, or a player, or a history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; found a place where you belong.”
I don’t think there was anything wrong with Bellerin’s comments. He was asked a question and he gave an honest answer. Some footballers would have avoided the question but he expressed himself in an eloquent manner.
Personally, ArsenalFanTV has never interested me. In fact, none of my friends who support Arsenal watch it. Many of my friends who support other football clubs such as Man United and Chelsea, however, find it hilarious.
Hector Bellerin’s comments were honest and that is refreshing. He joined Arsenal seven years ago and clearly loves the club. While he may have caused controversy with his comments, Bellerin was just voicing his opinion, something ArsenalFanTV do every week.