Football has got to be the most popular game on the planet. In America, where it is referred to as soccer, it may not be the first sport that springs to mind when talking about popularity. That is not to say that there isn’t a loyal following in the country though. Certainly, in New York, there is a real love for the game.
With England being the home of football, many Americans follow the English Premier League. As the biggest league in the world, it attracts some of the very best players around. While many teams may be followed, New Yorkers seem to have aligned themselves with Arsenal FC. What is it about this club that makes it stand out in the Big Apple?
It’s not about glory hunting!
If New Yorkers were simply looking for glory, Arsenal would by no means be the obvious choice. The last time that they claimed any silverware was back in 2005 and if you’re looking for any titles being taken, you’ll have to go back even further. Sportsbet.io Premier League betting is certainly popular, but whether or not New Yorkers would bet on Arsenal being crowned champions anytime soon is up for debate.
So, the love for Arsenal is not about seeking glory, but nor is it about supporting the underdog. Arsenal, over recent years, has just been seen as mediocre. They have a great past but are struggling to recapture past form and glory. What else could lead to this team being such a draw in New York?
‘A’ is for apple
Some New Yorkers will have you believe that the reason that Arsenal’s following is so big is all down to the alphabet. With games such as FIFA being enjoyed around the world, when you load it up and go to choose a team, who should appear first but Arsenal.
It seems to be a bit of a stretch that a New York fan club would be set up for Arsenal purely based on the alphabet, but it is certainly a common theory.
A love of history
It is often said that those in America get a little frustrated about a lack of history in their country. Many have a love of all things British purely because of how far lines and traditions can be traced back as well as some of the stunning architecture that the country has. That being the case, it makes sense that New Yorkers would find themselves focusing on Arsenal as their club of choice.
Formed back in 1893, Arsenal was the first team from the south of the country to join the football league. There is a rich history and great back story to the club. New Yorkers enjoy taking a look at the humble beginnings that the club had and understanding how it transformed into the club that it is today.
Some of it has to be about the football
When you ask New Yorkers when their love affair with Arsenal began, you will often hear that they watched a particular match or saw a particular player working wonders. Most commonly you will hear that New Yorkers fell in love with the magic of Dennis Bergkamp.
Bergkamp is an Arsenal legend and his style of play brought the club fans from around the world, including New York. With 423 appearances and 120 goals for the club, Bergkamp is remembered most for his 1996 goal against Bolton that secured Arsenal a place playing European football for the following season. Of course, there are other greats from the past that made the club so popular such as Ian Wright, David Seaman, and Thierry Henry.