The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Arsenal Fans Strive for the Premier League Trophy

Rival fans, Seniors Seb Illing and Nikola Zec, repping their teams. (Courtesy of Nikola Zec)

The Premier League season is wrapping up once again. However, with a month remaining in the world’s most popular soccer league, the league table looks different from past years.

It’s been 19 years since one of the world’s largest sports franchises hoisted the prestigious Premier League trophy. Since that season, Arsenal have watched their major rivals surpass them in average league position, suffering through six consecutive seasons outside the top four places.

However, this hasn’t dampened their support. The team has one of the largest fan presences at WIS, despite these fans not having been alive the last time the team got their hands on a major trophy. And now, almost two decades later, Arsenal sit on top of the league  with six games remaining until the end of the season, for the first time in over a decade.  

It’s hard to describe the feeling soccer gives to someone who doesn’t follow the sport. “For 90 minutes, we’re all behind one cause and invest all emotions,” senior Nikola Zec said. 

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The emotional rollercoaster of being a Gen Z Arsenal fan is unparalleled. Zec, an Arsenal fan, described this season as “being pure euphoria.” 

With countless last minute goals and wins over rivals, Arsenal have given their fans plenty to cheer about. “It feels like we’re checking things off a list,” Zec said.

However, after stumbling to Liverpool, drawing 2-2, the title race between Arsenal and Manchester has suddenly swayed to the Mancunians for what seems like the first time all season. 

Arsenal fans are trying to balance optimism and being rational when giving their predictions for the end of the season. With Arsenal’s recent history, optimism seems foolish. However, it’s hard to not get excited. “I think if we win or draw at the Etihad in late April, we could win the league,” junior and Arsenal fan Xavier Tanyi said. 

Gaining points against Manchester City at their home is a big if, though, since Arsenal has not done so in seven years. “We’re on form right now,” sophomore and Manchester City fan Marcos Capella said. “I don’t see us losing another game.” 

Manchester City hasn’t lost a game since February and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. The clash between the two teams on April 26 seems to be on the front of everyone’s mind. 

While the odds may be against Arsenal, they have proven that they can shock anyone this season. Arsenal have consistently defied expectations this year, beating major teams teams like Manchester United and Liverpool. 

Arsenal’s large fanbase will be behind the team all the way and will be investing every ounce of emotion they have left. The team’s performance every weekend plays an important role in their fans’ spirit. “It dictates my mood [for the weekend.]” Zec said. 

However, it’s not simply the play on the field; for many people, Arsenal is more than just soccer. Zec and Tanyi expressed that their love of Arsenal ties them to their family and allows them a way to connect. “We’re an Arsenal family here,” Tanyi recalled his father telling him in primary school. 

Family is just one way soccer brings people together. The sport is often referred to as a great equalizer. “It brings people together so much, despite their race or sexual identity,” Zec said. 

While this description may seem overblown to some, the simple act of kicking a soccer ball around is a release that simply can’t be explained. After many rough years, winning the league would mean an insurmountable amount to Arsenal fans. “When you’ve really stuck with your team, it makes the hard moments worth it because the highs are so much sweeter,” Zec said. 

By Kas Salehi

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Kas Salehi
Kas Salehi, Sports Editor
Hi, I’m Kas. I’m a junior and this is my second year as the Sports Editor at Dateline. I have been writing for three years and I enjoy writing about personal stories and profiles within sports. Outside of Dateline I enjoy playing tennis and the guitar. 

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