As I’m sure many of you are aware, Galatasaray remain an important part of Arsenal’s history. This history however is not of a positive kind and it is a very controversial matter which resulted in the violence and unfortunate deaths and injuries that left us saddened and angry.
The return of Galatasaray does nothing but bring back those thoughts and feelings to the club and I think it was an absolutely terrible idea to invite the Turkish Champions to our home. Firstly because what they did in Istanbul on our champions league visit was disgusting and ultimately the reason why, not just as fans but as people we must despise their actions against the innocent.
The injuires incurred by many during the violence proclaimed that Galatasaray are a dangerous club and we have seen on many occasions the intimidation both with violence and non-violence (mainly because of control) of several teams including Arsenal, Manchester United and Leeds United.
And the second reason is the fact that violence still remains in the Galatasaray fans. Just yesterday in their game against FC Porto to open the Emirates Cup, just 10 minutes into the game, the crowd because rowdy and violent so much so that they had to be contained in their block of the stadium by police and many were in fact escorted off the premises. It doesn’t bode well for the club of Galatasaray, nor Arsenal who now seem to be the target which will surely stir up further controversy. Depending on what happens today (hopefully nothing); the reputation could be on the line as Arsenal once again line up against Galatasaray.
I believe the threat of violence from their fans was one of the main reasons why the Emirates Cup has been poorly attended this year. Normally it is a fun family event, but there is nothing enjoyable about loud, threatening and violent actions, whilst also the memory of what happened before in Istanbul. Ivan Gazidis or whoever it was that had main control over the decisions regarding the Emirates Cup really put a line out by making this decision and I remember at the time of announcement, people were disgusted by the choice. He may have openly endangered people as well as put a club reputation on the line regarding what is expected from Arsenal, and should anything happen in this unfortunate case then his position really needs to be looked at.
I don’t know how many fans there will be for Galatasaray today bearing in mind a lot were escorted away by police yesterday and probably banned from the stadium, but if you are attending today, remain safe and hopefully you can enjoy a good game watching the Arsenal.