Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.
Gooners the world over are today experiencing a multitude of different feelings. There will be those who forever think the sun shines out of Arsène Wengers arse and he can do no wrong, to those who at this moment think he has lost the plot and needs to be put away in an asylum for the mentally deranged. In between, are those who swing between the two extremes, sometimes their glass is half-full, sometimes half-empty. That’s millions of Arsenal fans, ordinary people like you and I, experiencing illogical mood swings and symptoms of anxiety, negativity and irrational feelings. Being a supporter of any football team causes these experiences, but it often seems that supporting the Arsenal is worse, doesn’t it?
For the more positive amongst us, these emotions are not such a big problem you may think, but I bet their resolve is sometimes sorely tested. The start to this season will be seen by them as a necessary learning curve, new team members and injuries meaning that Wenger has had to experiment with formation and tactics and in the process we have been good enough not to suffer a heavy defeat, achieving two draws and a win in the Premier League and a hard-fought win in the Champions League. Others of a more negative persuasion will be pointing the finger at the manager and shouting, “why did he do that?”, or, “can’t you see we lack a centre-forward and a defensive midfielder” or even, “It’s time for him to go”.
Others will be thinking it can only get better and others will be thinking we’ve got no chance of winning the PL and we’ll be lucky to get fourth place. One fan will see a match from one viewpoint and alternatively, another will have a totally different perspective of the same match, one positive and one negative. The outcome of the match is the underlying cause of such feelings but ultimately it is the individual person who puts the experience into his or her pigeon hole marked Negative feelings or Positive feelings or Let’s wait and see.
I’m trying to calmly analyse the situation, trying to stay positive. Stand back and count to ten before reacting should be the philosophy. Sometimes negativity can’t be avoided, your immediate response to an emotional situation bursts forth, uncontrolled. I have heard this is often the case on twitter, fans having critical and negative responses during an ongoing match. It’s like an argument between husband and wife, in the heat of the moment things are said which will later be regretted. I’m sure most of us have done it. The issue is, does it really matter?
Let’s try to get it into some kind of perspective. Firstly, we go through this vast range of different emotions every season, whether it’s a good season or a bad one. Last season can generally be viewed as a good season, we won the FA Cup, our first trophy in nine years. Alternatively, others will say we lost out on winning the double because of the lack of depth in the team due to not spending to strengthen the team. Two valid responses and quite normal in my eyes. This season has just started and already there are questions being asked of the team and the manager, but you could argue it has started better than last season. Two games won and a loss last season and we were on 6 points and in 4th place after three games, this season two draws and a win with 5 points and 7th place but crucially, not having lost a game. But what does that mean for the rest of the season, it means diddly squat. We can’t predict anything from it.
Many excuses and reasons can be put forward as to why this and why that, but ultimately, as fans we can only sit back, accept the decisions made at the club, by the manager and try to understand the form of the team and individual players. We are going to come up against some stubborn sides from the lower end of the table this season, Crystal Palace and Leicester have already proved that, but then again, we were easily outplayed by Everton in April but this time we got a gutsy 2-2. In the transition period waiting for new players to acclimatize and waiting for established players to come back from injury, we have discovered a new-found level of mental toughness. Wenger has often spoken of it but we have rarely seen it, until now. Last season, being two nil down away to Everton saw a collapse of spirit and humiliation, this season the boys fought valiantly to come from behind to get a point.
So at the moment, in amongst all the different emotions I’m likely to suffer during this season, I’m definitely looking at a half-full glass and I would urge other Gooners to do the same. If you need to be persuaded then just look at Man United and the woes they experienced last season and are experiencing now. I will not always be travelling on the bus of positivity but I know at times I will be there, rationally saying to myself that things will improve. This is one of those moments. But after the next game I may well be questioning my mental fortitude, it’s the inevitable consequence of supporting a football team, but as Wenger would say, let’s take one game at a time.
Right, time for a glass of wine and some spicy chorizo…. hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.
GunnersoreArse, emotional and unpredictable. Characteristically human by being changeable and fickle. Sometimes confused but seeking to be rational and reasoned but also knowing that life needs passion and desire. Trying to find the perfect balance to support the Arsenal. The Sunday supplement will be published during the international break, next Sunday morning at 9am GMT.