Hector Bellerin’s Oxford Union interview covers so many wide-ranging subjects both in and outside of football, including his charity interests contributing towards Grenfell Tower fire relief efforts, his entrepreneurship interest in technology, his business in brand marketing and desires to help out in Africa, but one particular questions seems to have sent the whole Twittersphere into a polemic fits; the Arsenal Fan Tv question. Dear o Dear! did he touch a nerve?
HECTOR BELLERIN RESPONSE TO QUESTION ON ARSENAL FAN TV IN QUOTE:
‘Ehmm, I don’t think any player actually just go on the internet to watch Arsenal Fan Tv’
‘it does sometimes pop up on your timeline, I mean I see it sometimes, or I have friends that, be like ‘i have you heard that guy from Arsenal fan Tv?’
‘I think is so wrong for someone to claim to be an Arsenal fan, and their success is fed off of a failure, so how can that be a fan?’
‘so, I think they are just people hustling, trying to make money their way, which everyone is entitled to do’
‘Ehmm, but for us players, it doesn’t affect us, for us, you just realize that when you grow, you just realize what is important for you to listen to and what not to take’
‘If a coach comes to me and say, you know you have done something bad or something wrong, am going to take that, but if someone from Arsenal Fan Tv said this guy needs to do this, need to do that, am not going to listen to that’
‘But you, as I said, they are entitled to their opinion the way they want to do it if anyone finds it funny, then go and watch it’
Following the above, opinions are divided over Bellerin’s view on Arsenal Fans Tv and he was forced to make a further clarification that his views are solely on AFTV and not Arsenal fans in a tweet:
There's some misleading quotes going around. At no point have I criticised Arsenal fan base. I have nothing but respect for all the support we get through ups & downs. I just voiced my opinion about a platform. Guess some people just can't take opinions about themselves🤷🏻♂️
AFTV on their part was forced to make clarifications of their own but these have failed so far to cool the tension:
As we clearly stated we respect @HectorBellerin right to have an opinion on AFTV although we don’t agree with it. Lots have been said but let’s now concentrate on Success on the Pitch! That’s what we & every other Arsenal Fan wants. #COYG
Hector Bellerin basically dismissed the entire concept of AFTV as people using the struggles of the club for their own hustles.
It is true that interest in AFTV usually peak when Arsenal failed on the pitch, individual players often get picked off by commentators on the show which tends to provide a platform for negative sentiments but the platform also celebrates the club’s successes.
The Arsenal right-back is definitely within his right to air his views, whether or not the show would be this popular if Arsene Wenger was no longer the manager or Arsenal had been more successful as a club generally is another point.
Arsenal fans generally are very engaging and passionate, the same reasons sports journalists find the club an easy target for criticism in order to attract viewership and clicks, but platforms like AFTV provide opportunities for ordinary fans to air their views, although it can be argued that there are only handful of people that speak on the show.
By and large, AFTV has had it their way since its inception in 2012, with commentators on the show dishing out sometimes toxic criticism of the club without no major figure coming out to criticize the concept, so Bellerin saying what he said may be a good thing after all.