48 Comments

It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times

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2016 has seen us take a further step towards being a club that can compete on all fronts. Are we there yet? Not quite.The frustration for many fans is that the steps are not big enough or come quick enough and often enough. The huge income of United, and the even greater  wealth of the owners of City and Chelsea seems to allow them to take leaps and bounds, rather than steps.

If you can’t accept that although we are better placed to compete with transfer fees and wages, yet still unable to match the money that some others can, then the rate of progress the team is making could be seen as not being good enough. But it does take the disregarding of this fact, to reach that skewed conclusion.

With the additions of Xhaka, Mustafi and Perez it takes a special type of stupidity not to see progression.

For me its a simple choice, I can enjoy The Arsenal or I can choose to be miserable because of it. I can appreciate what the Team, manager and club is striving to achieve, or I can think I could do better. I can support or not.

There is nothing (apart from some of the fan-base) about this great club that I don’t like, no, that I don’t love !

Its been 12 years since we last won the league, and not once have I felt let down or disappointed in the efforts the club has made to win it. Of course huge disappointment that we haven’t, but that is two every different things.

As Terry Griffiths , my favourite snooker player once said “There can be a certain beauty in defeat”.

So that’s it for this year and we march on into the next, full of hope and promise.

Fortunately , here on Positively Arsenal we have had Stew and Andy at the head of our little column and for that I thank them from the very bottom of my heart. I get some credit for this site, but the reality is I’m just standing on the shoulders of giants. It would also be remiss of me not to thank my old allies Shotta and Arsenal Andrew, and of course all the other occasional contributors to the blog.

Thanks also to all those that take the time to read and comment, after all, that’s what this place is designed for.

All the best to you all in the coming year and UP THE ARSENAL

48 comments on “It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times

  1. Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy New Year to you, George, fellow PA’ers and all connected with the club we love.

    Fundamentally I think the fans of Arsenal can be divided into two groups – those that can see the woods for the trees, and those that can’t (or don’t choose to).

    In other words, to me, the progress the club has made, in a ‘global’ sense over the last 20 years is undeniable.

    I refuse to let results at the granular, matchday, level, affect the way I think about the club in the round.

    Yes, I admire the efforts of the club to improve, succeed and win but I’ll always have their back when things go wrong or we endure a set back or two.

    Those individuals who go after the club and it’s employees at these times I choose not to recognise as fans and I’m actually convinced a good number of the worst of them are actually thinly disguised fans of our rivals, entertaining themselves with deliberately over the top and provocative words and deeds.

    THEY should just be ignored.

    WE should continue to celebrate our progress, enjoy our successes and focus on the positives.

    Much as we have done since (and before) PA set sail.

    Good luck to you all in 2017.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I can’t see the sense from the anti Wenger element of the fan base demanding that he plays Lucas Perez more often, when we have Giroud itching to get off the subs bench and show us all what he can do.
    Lucas has shown us promise, in the few games he’s had in between injuries. He will certainly be given the FA cup run to prove himself, possibly with Welbeck as an attacking duo. In the mean time it appears our fan base are not satisfied with the TWO superstars we have as forwards at the moment.

    People have forgotten that Wenger spent what is considered very serious Money £90m last summer on players who strengthen the overall squad, in military terms it’s called a force multiplier. Our only remaining weakness is that we only have one Santi Cazorla and players like him are as rare as hen’s teeth in the marketplace, our own homegrown version was more concerned about impressing Biggus Sammus that earring place in our squad.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Shotta, thanks for your article.

    PG, thanks for this one, and PA.

    I wish everyone the best for 2017, inc. Arsenal. Have a wonderful year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks George for making this platform available for those of us who are tired of the insanity, the fake news, the lies, the duplicity, the hypocrisy, the fearmongering and the emotionalism of the mainstream and most of social media when it comes to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. The main planks of this site are held up by Andrew Nicholl and Stew Black. I am just happy to stand on their giant shoulders.
    Happy New Year to All those who contribute to this blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Stoke just giving me heartburn. Fuckety, fuck.

    Like

  7. To one and all, a hearty thanks for your efforts in making this not only the most entertaining of Arsenal blogs, but also the most informative. It is one of very few “communities” with which I feel a strong sense of empathy with my fellow man in a world that, on the face of it, makes less and less sense.
    We all recognise that football, and dare I say it Arsenal, might not appear to matter much in the greater scheme of things, but life is made up of a number of individual pursuits none of which might matter much when viewed in isolation. The fact is that supporting Arsenal is a big part of me even though that might sound somewhat infantile and facile.
    I enjoy each and every game but like everyone else suffer from the frustrations when the team is unable to perform at the wondrous level we know it can through the whole 90 minutes of every game in every season. Just saying this makes you realise how foolish people are when they comment on one seemingly poor performance. If we can only enjoy supporting the team when they win, we are in danger of missing so much.
    I recall when I was much younger that many friends at that time could only rejoice if the team won, and that if we had been playing poorly for 89 minutes suddenly the performance was wonderful if we scored in the 90th minute! Now don’t get me wrong, I was as ecstatic as everybody else in celebrating that last-minute winner but I realised then that the team might have been a little fortunate. Indeed, over the course of the game we might not have deserved to win. By the same token, I well recall watching the team suffer defeats but coming away believing that we had played well. That’s football. To so many people it seems the team’s performance is measured solely by the criterion of whether a win is secured (and vice versa) but that seems to me to be a reductive way of looking at things. There is invariably much to enjoy over 90 minutes and focusing solely on the result misses this. (Even the Man City game had that wondrous, ecstatic, moment of the Walcott opener, although I’m struggling to think of many good things that happened in the second half!)
    As I get older (although regrettably not necessarily wiser) I have come to realise with each passing year that things are not black and white. Even beliefs long held often end up being based on misplaced premises and less than robust foundations. But in general I welcome this greyness; surely one measure of our intelligence is the ability to recognise there is, to coin a cliché, two sides to every story. One can either wallow in ignorance and seek the black & white world in which many of our fellow citizens (and regrettably fans) seem to want, or alternatively to “embrace the greyness” and recognise that things are generally more complicated and nuanced. But enough of my inane musings…
    Gents, through your erudite and rational contributions PA shines as a beacon of testimony to people who do not react in knee-jerk fashion to each and every development, but who instead understand that true insight comes from the recognition that matters are invariably not always what they seem. And that post-match (statistical) analysis and review of tactical formations, the study of which I happen to enjoy hugely, form a big part to understanding and unlocking our wondrous game.
    Thank you once again for so many interesting articles and discussions. Long may they continue.
    And so it is that I wish everybody associated with this wonderful site a Happy, Prosperous – and most important or all – Healthy – New Year (and 3 points tomorrow would not go amiss…).

    Liked by 6 people

  8. There are some very kind things on here today !

    I’m welling up – well almost

    We have a sound platform here; a collective unyielding support for Arsenal football club, a firm but invariably polite door policy, an informed clientele, a willingness to respect the views of others, a range of writing styles and contributors, the occasional flicker of wit.

    Yes I think I shall renew my membership for another twelve months – where do I sign?

    Liked by 4 people

  9. It may not last but ……

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Can fricking Stoke hang on or score another?

    Like

  11. Sighs loudly

    Like

  12. HAVE EEET CRAWCHEEEEEE

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Damn Stoke, damn them.

    Like

  14. My love for Crouchy has 25 minutes to go. Come on big fella!

    Like

  15. Chelsea up 4 but show they are vulnerable. Stoke cannot defend for toffee. Martins Indi was so frickin soft.

    Like

  16. 4-2 – good go by Stoke though

    Like

  17. The unbiased historical data is clear; 13 wins on the trot is title-winning form. But pretty much this same Chelsea team limped to the title in 2015. Liverpool looked unstoppable until April 2014. This campaign is far from over.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Happy new year boys and girls!

    COYG

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Tom Gordon ‏@GoonerGordo 53m53 minutes ago
    Imagine Arsenal went on a 14 game winning run again. The 15th would be a draw and everyone would be Wenger Out immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oxlade-Chamberlain was in full training today, would not be surprised to see the team v palace being

    cech
    bellerin mustafi koscielny monreal
    xhaka ramsey
    alexis ozil oxlade-chamberlain
    giroud
    subs: ospina, holding, gabriel, coquelin, elneny, lucas, iwobi,

    only other contender for a spot in the squad is probably welbeck, but I’d say Preston next week in the cup might be when we see him back.

    Like

  21. Osman ‏@OsmanZtheGooner 6h6 hours ago
    #Arsenal Top scores in 2016;

    Alexis 22 goals
    Walcott 15 goals
    Giroud 15 goals
    Özil 12 goals

    Osman ‏@OsmanZtheGooner 6h6 hours ago
    #Arsenal numbers in 2016;
    Played 53
    Won 28
    Drew 15
    Lost 10

    Premier League in 2016;

    Played 37
    Won 19
    Drew 12
    Lost 6

    its clear we had too many draws, needed to have turned about half of those draws into wins.

    Like

  22. Dear Positivistas

    Many thanks for remaining steadfast and ‘positive’ as we enjoy our Arsenal. I thank all our regular writers and erudite commentators. PA is fundamental to how I enjoy this period in the history of Arsenal.

    I wish you all a Happy and rewarding New Year.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Well, today’s football isn’t really going our way at all, is it? Think I’ll just abandon ship and go shopping.

    Happy New Year to all of you. I’ve made great friends here, some of which I had the distinct pleasure of meeting in person this year. 2016 wasn’t all bad! Here’s to more great Arsenal memories in 2017.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Happy new year to everyone on here,I’ve got a silvery feeling about next May..

    Liked by 4 people

  25. so how much longer will man city persist with pep, he is clearly outdated, deluded, and senile, half way stage of the league and he has city about to go 10pts behind the leaders, this after winning first 10 games of the season, and the first 6 in the league, since that impressive start city have lost (if the lose to lfc) 4 and drawn 3 of the last 13. and if AFC and THFC win tomorrow city will be 4th, and only 3pts ahead of utd.

    Like

  26. Tom Gordon ‏@GoonerGordo 34m34 minutes ago
    KDB and Silva were absolutely fucking abysmal in that half, but they’re not called Mesut Ozil, so no one will mention it.

    Like

  27. Mel – You are so right. I have that silvery feeling too and it is supported by the data. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Mel: But it aint over until its over. Liverpool looked odds-on up till April 2014.

    Like

  29. Citeh absolutely dreadful at Anfield – a poor game all round.

    Like

  30. But Andy Liv played exactly the same tactic vs City as Arsenal 2 weeks ago. Score 1st and hold on, cede possession and look to counterattack. Difference is they weren’t undone by a dodgy offside goal in the 2nd half. But poor tactics by Wenger while Klopp is a genius.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. city could have done with a couple of offside goals today.

    Pep the man the media tried to convince us had reinvented football earlier in the season, will of course be spared the sort of headlines that arsene and arsenal endured after our recent defeats.

    city 6 wins from first 6 bpl games

    city 6 wins from last 13 bpl games

    4 defeats and 3 draws in those 13 bpl games.

    Like

  32. Nick Harris ‏@sportingintel 14m14 minutes ago
    Man City’s last 93 (ninety-three) Premier League games AWAY when losing at half-time (dating back to April 1995):

    Won 0
    Drawn 11
    Lost 82

    Like

  33. Sky News Newsdesk ‏@SkyNewsBreak 55m55 minutes ago
    Press Association reports Paul Clement will be appointed as Swansea City’s new manager

    poor old Clement, will be getting it in the neck from the media cos he aint their chum Ryan Giggs

    Like

  34. arsenal currently 12pts off top, but play twice before cfc play again

    Like

  35. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 6m6 minutes ago
    Imagine the demand for banners and A4 if Arsene had been 1 down all game and waited to the 88th minute to make 2 subs?

    Like

  36. Arsenal play tomorrow and again on Tuesday, so if you were manager how would you approach team selection, would you rotate a little tomorrow in the home game v CPFC with an eye on needing fresh players for the away game v AFCB on Tuesday, especially considering that AFCB will not only have home advantage, but an extra days rest.

    If it were me I’d play our strongest available team tomorrow, try and get the win, and hope that a win will help the players feel strong for the game Tuesday. And if any of tomorrow’s starting 11 need a rest on Tuesday, then make changes for it. Simply for me, its play one game at a time, don’t complicate things by trying to pick and choose, or mix and match. Also if we are factoring in need for rest, well we have lower league opposition in the fac next weekend, if any game should see rotation, it is it, not our BPL games.

    Like

  37. eddy
    In fairness paul Clement is the best manager available,
    Even Swansea ain’t stupid enough to sign on Ryan Giggs.

    And apart from sky or BBC not mentioning it, I don’t think giggly has the coaching badges.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Eddy 8:09 pm
    I believe Arsene knows better than us.
    He’s welcome to my advice if it helps if he follows me on Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Giroud has to play tomorrow.

    Like

  40. Thanks for this. Wonderful. And in many ways my favourite post of the year as it sums up exactly how I feel (and support) about it all. And thanks too too Stew, Andy Nic’s and Shotta for their writings and to all the other wonderful posters (especially Fins, Mills and Kelly who have been so kind to me).
    Forgive me too if I’m not around much for tomorrow as my very elderly mother was taken into hospital today and it.looks all a bit complicated.
    Bless you all and thanks.

    Liked by 5 people

  41. FH-heres to your Mother getting well soon.All thoughts and prayers to you and your Mother.

    Guten Rutsch PAers!

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Happy New Year everybody have a happy and healthy one

    Liked by 4 people

  43. when is elneny off to the acn, I seen an article that says Man utd’s Eric Bailly will miss utd’s game on Monday as he joins the Ivory Coast squad on Monday.

    Like

  44. Happy new year to all of you sunshine bus passengers.
    The trip is worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Yet again, most of the rivals won today, apart from city in a game we would get something out of….par for the course at the moment.
    But, this squad, team, infrastructure are clearly improving.
    And get a strange feeling we will see a bit of a jump in performances in 2017 , not saying when it will start, or that we will win every game 6-0, but I believe we are in for some pleasant surprises. Soon, we will hopefully, injuries permitting, have Alexis, Giroud, Danny and Lucas possibly Chuba to call on up front.. Cannot remember anything like that since our four forwards in the times of Invincibles. Think Ramsey, should he stay fit is going to be invaluable……and hopefully, at some point this season Caz will return.
    For anyone to look beyond the media or trolling fans of rival clubs, these could be exciting times. Just hope Mr Wenger choses to see it that way as well

    Liked by 3 people

  46. FH, thoughts and prayers for your mother. I hope everything is ok.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. https://mobile.twitter.com/SMignolet/status/815285355125637121?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Liverpool posting selfies after a win, but not a trophy….just hope the ex Liverpool pundits and media in general are as harsh on them as they are on our boys when they do the same thing

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Happy New Year one and all!

    I’m grateful for the assemblage of seasoned writers pre- and post-match who faithfully serve us perpetual literary delights despite highs and lows of results; the erudition of the commentators (special mention to you all who make me like your posts every time I read them…I wish I could do so more than once, true); the statistician in da house (take a bow, son); and just about everyone on this site who makes a loss that much bearable and a victory or so sweeter! And of course, the site admin whose watchful eyes have kept the baying hoardes out where they belong. In the cold, dark wastelands beyond PA. Thanks George and all your able assistants. (PS. I still want to know the story of the banned smiley thingy going on here! Banned winkey smiley!)

    Thanks for 2016. Let’s hope for an even better 2017

    ForeverHeady, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Liked by 2 people

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