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What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.

“The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.”
― C.G. Jung

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“Walcott with his pace is a threat, Giroud is getting better and better. The midfield, you can’t figure out who is the defensive midfielder and who is the offensive midfielder because they rotate all the time. I think they’ve got one of the best midfield-threes in the country. They’ve got very talented players, as you saw against Fenerbahce because that was probably one of the best results this year until now.”

Obviously the deluded ramblings of a crazy Arsène Wenger fan who needs to wake up and realise he supports Arsenal and not Arsène. That’s right mate whoever you are, you should support the abstract notion of your team and not the manager. Certainly not many of the players and never anyone on the board , medical staff or anyone in any administrative role whether or not  you know who they are or what they do. It’s simple isn’t it?

Actually those quotes are from the Fulham manager as he anticipates our visit this lunchtime. His words will be written off as playing down his teams chances , putting pressure on the opposition, mind games or whatever. There is of course a more simple interpretation. The man was talking the plain, unvarnished and manifestly unarguable truth.
Jabba_SWSB

Martin Jol entirely failed to get under my skin as the fifty eighth Spurs manager since Arsène began his reign of North London. Or was it fifty ninth? In any event while I know some of you couldn’t stand him I found him a mildly avuncular and unintentionally unchallenging figure. I certainly hope he can try to recapture his form as Spurs manager where he failed to gain a single victory against us in nine meetings. His  approach since becoming Fulham boss has been rather more irritating ; one win two draws and one defeat. Still signing Scotty Pigeon Parker is definitely a step in the right direction and for that he is to be pitied rather than censured. Many similarly uninspired managers have made the self same error in judgement.

What of our brave boys? Returning in triumph from Istanbul must have given them a  well needed shot in the arm after the ‘special circumstances’ surrounding their defeat at the hands of Anthony Taylor. For once immense good fortune attended us. The player chosen by the Gods to be carried on a stretcher bleeding from the pitch this time around happened to be the one who, thanks to the bizarre and possibly drunken refereeing performance last weekend, is suspended and would miss today’s match anyway. Sometimes we really earn the ‘Lucky Arsenal’ tag don’t we?

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Talking of ridiculous superstitions I was whiling away a lonely Friday evening in the bollocking shed after some domestic transgression or other and happened upon a season review of our momentous 1988/89 campaign. While we all recall the climactic conclusion at Anfield (and none more so than Mel who you may or may not know wrote a brief account of the evening. He has just sold the film rights to Disney and is in discussions with Amazon for a Kindle book deal believed to be worth 8p a copy for each and every download. Minus his agents fees) how many of you can with any clarity remember the opening to that particular season? If you remember it with same blinding clarity as that with which you remember just where you were when Kennedy killed Diana or when you first read Mel’s piece on Arsenal.com then skip the following lines and restart your morning reading at word 1, line 1, para 8. If not then pay attention as I dazzle you with a little Arsenal history.

We opened our home account that fateful season by hosting Aston Villa who wore some unlikely colour instead of their classic claret and blue. And we got tonked. Guess by how many? Yep. 1 – 3. Ring any bells? If that little rigging of the laws of chance and coincidence by whichever deity is responsible for such things wasn’t enough then how about this. The  first North London Derby was played at some horrible, dingy little place down some lane somewhere and came very early in the fixture list that year. In fact it was the third game of the season. Sound familiar? Spurs were touted as pretty hot stuff at that particular time in their history mainly because they’d splashed the cash and bought some fancy new players including one Paul Gascoine. Their superstar arrivistes even scored against us. After losing his boot, but that needn’t concern you and I. The salient point is that they went on to lose. Steller name signings or not, we beat them like we usually do.

One more landmark on my sojourn down memories leafy byway. You all know we went on to win the title don’t you? If not ask Mel, he has a fund of fascinating anecdotes and isn’t shy about sharing them. Actually what am I saying? If not, then what the hell? Have you literally just been born? No matter. We won the league despite the start I’ve just mentioned and despite the following startling statistic. We didn’t win a home league game until Saturday October the twenty second when we scraped past QPR 2 – 1. Can you begin to imagine – do you even want to – the kind of collective brain hernia that on-line (and sadly some in stadium) Arsenal fans would suffer if the coincidence Goddess referred to earlier decided to repeat that little gem?

And yet we went on to win the league.

You need to have some grasp of history if you want to hold an informed view on the possible outcomes of any situation in this life. We none of us have a crystal ball. We might think we’ll beat Fulham with ease today we might think that if we lose against them then the season is already over. We might think aliens made the pretty patterns in the farmer’s wheat field rather than the students that usually do it, but these are just ideas, possibilities based on wishes and fears. History, the real deal, the facts about what has gone before shows us that seasons are not won nor lost in the first few games. Great teams are often built over a long period and after or during times of adversity. Oh and Arsène Wenger is an exceptional manager with a winning mentality who has achieved feats to boggle the mind and which are so stratospheric they may never be equalled.

Facts. Proven by history.

But hey, we’re all football fans aren’t we? Since when did all that matter to us?  I know that my reason, logic and usual commendable good sense goes out the window the moment the first whistle is blown. No one can tell me that dropping and breaking my lucky Arsenal mug on the morning of the day that the Tiny Totts finally beat an Arsène Wenger team wasn’t 100% responsible for the result. No one. I won’t tweet about how well the defence is playing because I know we’ll concede before I finish typing or at the very least just as I hit send. My wife tells me I try to kick the ball at least fifty times a game despite sitting in my living room in Somerset. No matter how often she points out the inevitable failure of this policy it is one to which I am firmly wedded.

What I’m trying to say is we all are prey to superstitions, hopes, fears, poor logic and wild flights of fancy. It is because we are placing our future happiness in the hands of events we cannot control and upon which only the lucky few in the stadium can bring any influence to bear. But we are also intelligent, sentient carbon based life forms. Once the 90 minutes is over and our shredded emotions begin to approach normalcy we must be capable of allowing our rational minds to regain control of the tiller or we are in danger of running aground on the same jagged rocks that have torn the bellies of the ships of those deluded souls who think one or two poor results means the great project, the second coming of Arsenal Football Club should be scrapped after so much hard work, so much joy and heartache has gone into it.

So I shall be all calm reason and rationality up until lunchtime today. Then and only then will I put my lucky socks on and start chewing the coffee table. I trust you all will be similarly engaged.

lucky socks

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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116 comments on “What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.

  1. Little bit o sunshine up their ass wouldn’t hurt them or anybody else around them parts….
    All aboard!!!!!

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  2. Glad you got your mojo back. Where did you misplace it??

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  3. I am so pleased with the performance today. Wengerball in all its glory.

    But more than that was privilege we now have, with this digital era, to enjoy a game with people in other parts of the globe who can join me in my own living room!

    Sensational Arsenal has met my wife, daughter, son and ManCity supporting neighbour. All of us watching the game together with Pedantic George listening in too (we couldn’t see him but he could see and hear us). We could hear the joy in his voice after every goal and at the end when we all signed off.

    If this is what others elsewhere as the ‘sunshine’ bus I’m glad I’m on it!

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  4. Others elsewhere call the ‘sunshine’ bus…..

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  5. Santi Cazorla’s footwork was outrageous today…..what unbelievable skill….
    Ramsey just gets better….
    Bacary, at 1.78 m tall, did not lose a single aerial duel……
    Little Mozart takes my breath away…..
    Theo can be easily far more dangerous than he already is…
    If we learn to set Poldi up on that hammer of a left foot he will blast holes in the opposition goal…..
    Giroud, Giroud, Giroud……
    Gibbs is brilliant and Monreal gives me such confidence for the season….

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  6. banner:

    ONE ARSENE WENGER
    NEVER DOUBT THE PROF
    MOANERS GO HOME

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  7. and another gigantic one to piss all the doomers off

    ARSENE FC est 1996

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  8. Shotta, according to most keyboard managers, since he leaves everything up to chance, Arsene is lucky Sagana can play a bit in the middle of defence. Never mind that Sagna is one of the best footballers in the world and would walk in to any top side with his eyes closed.

    By the way everyone, just so we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet, Fulham was dire and Craven Cottage is not one of the hardest placs to visit in the Premiere League. Pass it on.

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  9. mmm lovely phrase..keyboard managers….

    i saw arry and alan and gary on motd … puahahaaa…

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  10. Harry, i have never offended you or interfered in any of your discussions. When clueless people spenD their days posting snide remarks on the greatest manager we have ever had i take offence to that. It is an insult to question Wenger after everything he has done for us and still does. It is an insult and even treason to call him past it, useless, that he cant do transfers and to abuse him in the stadium he built for you , me, your kids and all our grandkids.

    Bill, Yogi and the rest of that lot have NOTHING to say to Wenger …

    They attack the club according to what THEY think should be happening. Who the fuck are they? What do they know?

    They moan about wenger not doing transfers when we havent even secured CL yet? Are they that fucking stupid ?

    You know what, it is more likely that they are wrong and Wenger is right….maybe you need take a step back and think about it.

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  11. You read what Bill has to say? Does he still compare football to monopolized sports such as baseball and throw-kick-run ball?

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  12. Sorry guys, but I think the mocking thing is stupid and comes with a price. They’ll just come over here and do some payback mocking the next time we suffer a defeat. And that will happen, you know.

    Apparently being football supporter really brings out your basic personality. Why not just let the groaners play with groaners and the cultureds with the cultureds. That way PA will stay a relatively moan free oasis. I, for one, really prefer it that way.

    Besides, ACLF has given a lot to most us, here. Let’s not piss on their parade so they won’t piss on ours. Being a doomer is crime and punishment rolled into one, anyway.

    Oh to be a postive gooner. Or OTBAPG, for short.

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  13. No, it’s not an insult – or treason – to question Wenger. He’s human – has made and will make mistakes. Admits so himself. As supporters, we can question and criticize. Preferably constructively and showing some knowledge of football and the real world. Always with at least a modicum of respect to the greatest manager in Arsenal history. That’s what makes an Arsenal blog enjoyable for me. Nobody wants a North Korean style personality cult, do they?

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  14. Good posts Micky Finn. I agree with you. We need a balance and enough disagreement in order to have some level of debate. We need debate otherwise it becomes a sterile, love fest.

    I have noticed that the descent into excessive negativity seems to correlate with a change in the profile of the posters. ACLF has replaced many who are here with others who must have been fostering negative sentiments and felt a little more welcome there, and they become the default mood. Perhaps we should have a mission statement against which we should periodically test the prevailing mood of the posters. Difficult to do I must say.

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  15. GP – there are plenty of places full of ‘debate’. I like that PA is different. If people want debate they should go there otherwise this place will go the way of others before it and that would mean I lose the last oasis in a cesspool of negative bile that is the online AFC ‘fan’ experience.

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  16. nah harry sorry…people who question or doubt wenger as a manager are absurd and ridiculous.

    i have been watching with my very eyes wenger performing miracles for this club the last 17 years…maybe its others who are blind and let their egos and preferences climb above the well-being of the club….

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