Future Positives

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Rich has had a go at some positivity. Well done lad.


So, Positively Arsenal. Positively, positively…Arsenal. Hmmm. It hasn’t been a great few weeks. In fact they have been stinkers, though interspersed with better news from the European front. For many here, it hasn’t been a good let alone great season, or rather it has been a really poor, really worrying one, and that following on from a previous one which was hard, even heartbreaking. Well, that’s not a good start for a positive piece , but lets hope it is just setting the scene and things pick up (no plan here yet, so, erm…I’m waiting to see what comes, too).

Right, things can change quickly in football. It doesn’t feel like it, of course, and because they can change does not mean they will change, but they can change quickly. Liverpool were apparently days from bankruptcy not so long ago, now they are near the top of the football world, and it happened sans oligarch or oil state. The end.

No, there has to be more. Try this. We have on our hands, a prime opportunity to re-evaluate our supporting selves. I can’t be alone in the feeling that ‘this isn’t working for me anymore’. By that I mean particularly the whole loathing rivals at least as much as I love my team business.

With the advent of so many more televised games, and the Internet which allows you to follow, discuss and imbibe all the action and reaction 24 hours per day, every day, among the plethora of changes is that you can end up ‘following’ rivals almost as much as your own team, or, in total, a lot more (because there are a lot of them, rivals).

The ‘following’ consists of tuning in wanting (needing) them to lose each time, or when against each other picking your poison for whatever reason . As they tend to be pretty good teams, it makes for a lot of disappointment. As there are normally at least a couple of teams better than us, and this might be the case more than ever at present, some acute misery- supposing you aren’t flying high because of our results- is guaranteed. Is this the lot of the football fan?

Is it betraying your club not to agonise over them, alone and in comparison to others, if performances and prospects merit such behaviour? Maybe, to a degree, but it’s also valid to come back to ‘this isn’t working for me anymore’; and if that’s the case, you surely have a big opportunity to look at how you are doing football, and see if there is anything you can change to make it better for you.

On a related note, anyone who began their Arsenal journey during Wenger’s tenure, or who has naturally forgotten much of before, is currently undergoing a broadening of their football experiences. Yep, we are getting to find out what it is like to play 6 shit matches on the bounce at the business end of a season, losing four of them,

Can you feel it, folks? That is us gaining new insight and perspective into the lot of the majority of supporters. For us, we can at least believe it will not become our norm, and we are a large enough club to imagine that at some point in the not too distant future it will be an interesting ingredient in the joy of a big success or successes again. Who has not looked at the fans or Barca or Madrid, crying over a terrible season and sacking their coach, when they have come 2nd or something, and won a league or something a year before. Who has not looked at that sort of thing and thought ‘you spoiled bastards’. Well, we are, potentially, a little further away from them today than we were a few years back. A little, but it’s something.

The academy. We have a bloody good academy. At the moment there are a large number of prospects with the potential to become good players with us, and a few who have huge potential. We will, fingers crossed, get to see more of a few of them next year. They appear to be in very good hands with Freddie. We surely need our academy to perform well at this juncture, and there are players there to encourage hope it can happen. We need some new heroes, and it is hard to beat a home-grown hero.

So, that might be about that from me. Revealing, perhaps, that I cannot pick out more or even any definites (feck off ,spellcheck; it stays) or certainties, and am mostly reliant on indirect, self-reflective and circuitous (potential) positives. Maybe I am wrong in assuming most people are even interested in anything like that, when it comes to football at least. It’s the best I can do and I don’t think it’s complete rubbish.

There are the traditional positives- the good academy, the hope which uncertainty naturally permits, the fact we do have some good footballers at the club, the fact things can change quickly in football- then there is the rest, this weird internal stuff; this great opportunity to recalibrate how you do football and see if you can find a better way for yourself. My own experiences suggest this is improbable, but I nonetheless feel some optimism today. Maybe I’ve hit rock bottom.

If fecking Spurs can get a pretty good team, after so much trial and so much error, why can’t I trial and error my way to improvements? And, if it comes to that, why can’t the club? Though hopefully a lot quicker than Spurs, with a higher high, and with some trophies to show for it. Speaking of which, we may just end this season with one of them. Now, that would be a positive, and no introspection required.

37 comments on “Future Positives

  1. Nice Positive Arsenal pick (us)-me- up Rich, not an easy thing to do this week. And cheers to George too for the idea, a needed tonic.

    I thought you covered a lot of ground which was great, a broad sweep but in detail too, capturing this moment really well. Could Freddie be the man(ager) of the future?

    Im not sure you can ever hit rock bottom, I think it doesnt exist, seems more like not allowing yourself to go any further. Lets hope UE and the lads agree on Thursday night!

    And despite sometimes (lol) feeling compassion and well being to all sentient beings, I still hope Spurs get booted out! (banned smiley) Come on you Ajax!

    Cheers Rich, great stuff.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Is it betraying your club not to agonise over them, alone and in comparison to others, if performances and prospects merit such behaviour? Maybe, to a degree, but it’s also valid to come back to ‘this isn’t working for me anymore’; and if that’s the case, you surely have a big opportunity to look at how you are doing football, and see if there is anything you can change to make it better for you.

    Nice one boys couldn’t agree more.They should do what I do and say fuck it and move on with their lives.It’s just a game after all.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Cheers, first two posters.

    I’m not looking to knock analysis of situation- criticism, unhappiness. Would be ridiculous considering how much I do it.

    Just know I genuinely want to change my ways and, foolishly maybe, feel hopeful about it today.

    Gotta laugh at day I’ve picked, though, with the mother of all potential tests this evening.

    Fingers crossed.. I aint ready for that yet. I’ll never be ready for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is thoughtful, and I appreciate the reflection and the opportunity it provides us all to reflect.

    It’s probably easier to have a less agonized perspective here west of the Atlantic. Although oddly we might be able to see more matches, we can adjust our exposure with no difficulty. The same can’t be said for folks in the UK and Ireland, where objectionable takes are always present.

    This is not to say that I don’t experience frustrations in the moment. My family can attest that I do. It’s just no work to move on, acknowledging that a longer period of negativity is pointless. Hanging on in such a fashion does me no personal good; it’s of no benefit to fellow Arsenal travelers; it certainly doesn’t help the players or their leaders.

    Still, as you so artfully note, there are always chances “to see if you can find a better way for yourself.” My impression is that the majority of folks on this site are open to that — they just need a nudge. Thanks for providing one.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This is a very good and a very well written article. I enjoyed reading it. Shame it doesn’t have many comments. But at least in my case, that’s because there’s so much covered in a non contentious way, that there’s not much left to add.

    I just wanted to express my appreciation. Maybe I’ll think of something to moan about later. Such is my current disposition.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ajax score early now 2-0 on aggregate

    Liked by 1 person

  7. so Ajax for the cl still on track from my end


  8. and a second.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t think it was overtly negative back in the day, as a football fan, to consider that Hillier and Morrow as rookies would’ve been happier playing football alongside the genius almost Invincible Paul Davies. Instead of playing in his place whilst he was relagated to the reserves.
    And probably have developed into slightly better footballers too.

    Likewise I read previous objections from others over people asking the simple question why the rookie Guendouzi was starting more games in CM then the trophy laden veteran Rambo as being slightly too precious considering the topic: which is simply the football.

    People like to watch good football…they really do! Which is why it’s the most popular sport in the world.
    Not for laundering shit on a stick or playing shite like the Spurs – anyone who references Poch as a good manager is IMO ignoring the strong handicap from the sweet fa whilst he’s been winning sweet fa. Good manager my Arsenal.

    Thanks to our once and former sister club Ajax, the club who the Arsenal replaced in most football fans’ hearts over the last twenty years of boot room graft and craft, and thanks to Bergkamp and Overmars who has the credentials but not the connections to be The Arsenal’s new DoF.

    So. At least the Arsenal are not Spurs. Getting lauded for sweet fa by the FA and other cretins sorry I mean the stalwarts of fleet street etc. That’s definitely a positive!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Shard
    Thanks for your previous commentary on Ajax.

    It’s also a positive to know that a club can regain it’s identity after getting lost.


  11. Heh I jinxed it!


  12. Come on Ajax!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bloody Tottenham. Grrr!


  14. Given the need to score couldn’t understand Spurs not starting the senior striker they had available.
    Hopefully that first half will cost them the tie though Ajax might need to score again themselves…


  15. St.Totteringham please give Ajax some help to win the game!.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. bloody bugger. Chicken poop. Bah! Grr!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I hate football

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Liverpool fan I spoke to wanted Spurs to win. Wants them as they prefer the odds i hope they’re right!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh boy. Starting to think football Gods have the smell of sulphur to them.

    Another utterly ludicrous game. A filmmaker would be pushing his luck with that damn script,

    How’d you explain it? The guy PSG were willing to let go, and the guy who ended up at Swansea City while still in prime years, doing all the damage, and destroying such a promising young team who had built a 3-0 lead in their own stadium.

    I’m glad yesterday launched my soul-searching. Helped me deal with it so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I can see what is going to happen. We, the only one of the 4 who won their first leg will be the only one not to get to the final.

    We never get the sort of rub of the green that we have seen over the last 2 nights

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I remember that we have lost a few, but have we ever won a knock out tie on away goals?


  22. its like a nightmare has come true, with nowhere to run and hide, I keep thinking it cant be true. A pox on the Chicken.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Well put that in your positive pipe and smoke it. Wenger’s departure opened a vortex which sucked all the joy out of everything.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. What a shit season, unless of course we can do something about it.
    An admirable attempt to try and be positive, this article. Well, yes we have a semi, an under the radar semi, but without Ramsey. I also get this nasty vibe that Emery really does not rate some of the players he is forced to play, and would prob be rid of given the choice, and it is causing some of the problems we are seeing as the season draws to a close. Wenger may have had more trust and empathy, although in the end, some of the players , and I believe his CEO seriously let him down.
    Sadly, the last couple of seasons, despite having good players, we are just not very good as a team. We as a club have let rival teams we not so long ago ruled, overtake us, if the club don’t get their act together and the budget is as reported, mid table teams might overtake us before we eventually bounce back.
    So other teams are out to play. Liverpool seem to have a more ambitious ownership structure than we do, they dive, sorry play well, Klopp has his qualities, and it seems to be showing. Spurs have a decent team and have taken advantage of a lot of luck in this competition, luck I dont remember us ever getting. Maybe we could learn from that, take what is given, often felt back in the day we focussed to much on budgets and stadium payments rather than just getting out there and winning things, which I know is easier said than done.
    Whatever happens in the EL, just hope the club get things right, mistakes have been made ,in buying and selling, running down transfers for starters . It is written David and Danny started each day thinking how to make Arsenal better. I doubt the Kroenkes have the time and inclination for that, as is their right, but I hope they put people, and …things…in place so Arsenal can start improving. I must get with the times overcome my cynicism and bewilderment of all these Tech directors, DOFs etc.
    But again, a couple positives, we are 3-1 up in a European semi. Whatever issues within the squad, fatigue or whatever, I am sure they will give everything for a European medal.
    Secondly, let Spurs have their day in the sun, and be thankful it is Liverpool they face rather than those flakey Catalans we saw this week.
    Not ideal, but better in the circumstances, Spurs luck will run out and Liverpool will triumph in the diving darlings derby, they will make sure they don’t lose two in a row and Klopp lose another final

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Remarkable fitness levels by both Liverpool and the Spuds at this point of the season, well compared to us and I thought we did more work on our fitness this year. Maybe our medical staff need upgrading.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Yes Jigsol, I cannot recall ever winning on away goals in a European knockout tie. Twice in a row for those horrible spuds


  27. “I say that I’ve got bags of years of supporting Arsenal. So, I am ‘all right’ for a supporter? However, there’s a truth: in what’s supposed to be this seventeen-year period, my footballing knowledge has been hardly ever improved.
    I am often lazy in terms of trying to gain details of what or whom I already liked or chose to like. It’s a kind of “chose this, still feel right about it, so what’s the point?” approach. I heard Arsenal was pretty good in some aspects, seemed to play attacking football. That was all I vaguely knew of before my ‘support’ status was set. What about the reason for thinking of it in the first place? Well, those many French players at that time. Again, I partly randomly had chosen France, chosen Zidane as my first favourite ever years before; one day Arsène and those players appeared on my TV screen. They were training and all. The fate was then clear.
    The way I support most of my favourite actors, singers has been being not following them at all! Their songs, their films have reached me, not the other way round. So have many facts about them. As a result, I am familiar with just a tiny number of their works. It’s odd that after years of neglecting them this way, if someone asks, I will still put the majority of them on my list, because it’s what I feel.
    Arsenal was not much different, but hey, the football world’s got regular schedules, broadcasting and all; therefore, I became passive-agressively obsessed with this club. Lucky me, I admit. I remember a time where I was able to memorise in the exact order every opponent, every of our goalscorers in every single PL match we played in one season. Fantastic on my part, and a miracle considering my memory in the last few years. The most and maybe only impressive knowledge I have when it comes to my beloved Arsenal.

    The journey I’ve done with Arsenal is a heavily emotion-oriented one. What I saw, what I witnessed brought feelings into my observation experiences. I have been largely blind to the technical stuff, so much so that you would be easily stunned by my ignorance. Anyway, the obsession with that certain lack woke me up for almost every after-midnight game I could watch, always alone yet never lonely. I dreaded transfer windows, only wanted all of the then current players to stay. My beloved players, be it them being soft or whatever people called them, didn’t cheat, didn’t compromise. They fought with Arsène bravely despite tremendous hardship through the years.
    How heartbroken I was the day that bloke called Theo was reported to be on the way to have medical at Everton. That news was followed by a three-day stayaway from Twitter.
    How hurt I got seeing someone label Gibbs greedy (thus was still at Arsenal) days before his move to West Brom. It reminded me of the emotions I got years before–when some said Denilson could only ever play for us because he was “Arsène’s son”. And soon after that, he moved on too.
    How confused and gloomy I felt when suddenly, rumours related Podolski’s future at Arsenal emerged in autumn 2014. He was for me a complete symbol that united my two loves back then–Arsenal and Germany.
    Smiles of joy ‘meeting’ Eboue, Almunia, Reyes again in the red and white shirt last year. They are part of an Arsenal I so cherish.
    Tears of joy seeing so many dear faces in a 2013 summer tour clip I rewatched last summer, especially when Mikel Arteta greeted that Running Man with his big smile and a ‘Thank you very much’ handshake. I felt his love for this club.

    France started all of my three love affairs in football. The heart stopped beating for them in summer 2010… that infamous incident. No tears, no regret, never look back.
    Germany and Arsenal continued to keep me appreciating football, being inspired by it. The heart stopped beating for the former last summer. Again, no tears, only a massive, silent disappointment. Then a huge fear of losing the latter–and last–some day.
    As with all things in life, I count on the remainers to get over the loss of some certain leavers; when even those remainers desert me too, there will be no way back for me.
    The Arsenal I’ve always known is a dignified team playing exciting football with whom I grew up and matured, who in Arsène’s most challenging years taught me how to truly love something in one’s life.

    To hell with all clichés that my players were gutless and didn’t care, that my manager overstayed his welcome. To hell with them. Hoping against hope there’ll be rainbow.”

    Above is what I wrote down in mid-January. No idea about anything at the present, honestly.
    Without this inspirational source called football, I would still have fun as I’ve got my own dreams, friends and family. And because all these football people I cherish–many of them now far away from each other–are still here and there in this world. Except… a great thing may have died. A thing that would definitely be missed by me.
    Although I’m sure I haven’t seen Fabregas the same since his departure, the words he’s recently replied to an Arsenal fan’s tweet got to me in a way: I LOVE YOU ALL. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT. Whatever happens in the future, the Arsenal–with all it brought to me–remains like that in my memories.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Woke up and the nightmare was real. More scary than a night at Waverly Hills. Ajax defending for the second goal was terrible. But Ajax fans at the end, applauding and staying, a touch of class. Mandy thats a great post, feel the same.

    Feel nervous as a jelly about tonight.


    Liked by 2 people

  29. If Arsenal mess this game up, I fear there are people within the club who will use it as an excuse not to sack the manager, but to rip the first team squad to pieces, to the maximum extent they are able. It will be in the name of a clean slate, stabilising wages, finances or some similar term instructed upon Ornstein.i think that will delay the transition even longer.
    A real shame AFC haven’t really taken the opportunities put our way. Seems somewhere along the line, we went from being extremely financially cautious to extremely wasteful, when maybe more balance was called for all along. Personally believe these factors and other negatives have been directly a result of an under reported Wenger Gazidis fallout, which maybe culminated when IG enlisted the help of JK, but we may never know the full story, just that it really didn’t end well for the club , with Ivan ultimately doing his best David Cameron impression.
    A real shame , what could have been in those years. I don’t think anyone did anything drastically,legally wrong, however a lack of proper leadership from top down can go a long way, in the wrong direction, I believe we are seeing this now, and for a few years to come.
    But that aside, good luck to them tonite, they may need it, already too many British clubs getting the fairest wind in Europe, we rarely get the same.
    Let’s hope they are taking some of what Liverpool and Spurs are, providing they don’t get caught!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. George could 1886’s post go up after the semi hoe-down round up and before the Burnley game as a proper article?


  31. Yes Mills, I was thinking the same. Might even do it latter today.


  32. Enjoyable post 1886

    Wouldn’t worry about knowledge thing either. I’ve been into all that for years but last couple of night’s make me wonder if I know a damn thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Anyone else feel we are entering a different sort of era in football? Or maybe been in it a while.

    The incredibly distinct all-conquering style of Barca and Spain feel a long time ago now. Pep is sort of keeping it going, but it seems to require massive massive spending to do so.

    I don’t know what Germany 2014 were exactly, apart from a very good team (mixed style?), while France 2018 were clearly built on defence first, albeit with some excellent attackers.

    Real Madrid’s triple European champions were a team of high quality who clicked once midfield three of Kroos, Modric and Casemeiro established. Casemeiro with the power, athleticism and defensive abilities to complement the other two.

    We can expect a big reaction from Barca, I think, most likely it will be looking to inject more youth, speed and running power. Although it is not likely they will alter the status of Suarez and Messi as the main attacking force, so maybe a third attacker with great counter speed? De Jong coming into their midfield so maybe that will be that, but still expect to see them try bolster their legs and power in there. Who knows how that will all shake out.

    Madrid likely to do a lot,too. No idea what that will look like or what the idea will be. Will Zidane look for new pieces to try build something that functions like the triple-winners, or something else?

    Bayern against Pool looked a team who will undergo big changes. Though they have signed two of that France defence, maybe that is an indication of them intending to nail down that area.

    Meanwhile, to me at least it feels as though virtually all teams in the 7th-12th bracket in our own league, and whatever that loosely translates as in others, are more and more committed to defend and counter football, with something similar below them, though typically with an even greater emphasis on defence, less room for flair, and pieces or players in the system who are a notch or two below the teams from the bracket above.

    Then there’s question of what we will try do or become in this era, whatever it is.

    I saw a tweet few days ago listing the ten-ish type players whose futures are allegedly up in the air this summer, think it had Ozil on it, know James Rodriguez was on there, along with another four or five. Maybe Isco. Suggestion was that coaches no longer know what to do with these players. Isco for goodness sake, with the skills he has, at his peak!! Pep would probably take him if he can even if he has another 5-6 top players in those spots.

    Canary in the mine maybe about where we are? In future will even most skilful, artistic technical players have to marry it with the sort of work Bernardo Silva increasingly stands out for, with all his harrying, endless running, tenacity etc?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Blogger 1886 is now the star of the show.


  35. Hard to tell Rich.If the big Weng was still in town we would have seen more following football on our doorsteps, so would that style seem more alive?

    Klopp loves his pressing but its knackering to keep up, and certainly burnt out the last BVB side he managed. It looks pretty impressive though. Makes you wonder who will stay or go this summer, at either the Lpool or the Spuds, who would want to leave if youve won the CL? Although personally I cant see the Spuds making it back to the final 2 years in a row. VAR let everyone down with their handball v City
    Us? Depends on tonight. Q is should we as a club be sticking with the manager if we lose? If we win and make it to the final is that enough ( surely we need to win it). Also what do the bigwigs think about the fact we could have quite easily come third, and the Spuds should be in 5th and desperate, would they have beaten Ajax under such pressure?
    Seems utterly bizarre to me that a player like Ö could even be thought of a surplus to any team. Im sure there are plenty of managers and clubs who would know how to play him? It also seems that playing in the EL means a team might not be able to afford big wages for players like Ö.I dread going back to the style of play that was under GG, some of it was good for sure, but not as much as places like LG have ranted on about for years. But maybe thats my memory lying due to the large Wenger shadows? Back in 89, how would that team have dealt with the social media on their backsides? We really messed up the run in and the Liverpool game was did by a miracle( as the tabloids said next day)… but the tension was kept to individuals in pubs, not as mass movements online.
    In a way arent we always in some new era? Some seem to hover about longer and seem more apparent and others not? Does our gaffer know how to play some of the lads we’ve got? But then Cologne fans thought that Wenger didnt know how to play Poldy…seems that we are a club a bit in the mists, while others are not so cloudy?
    The bloody Spuds are over rated though. I didnt like feeling how it must have been for them to have seen us over the last 20 odd years last night, and being taunted by LCFC fans was a real low point, but I felt they were looking to engage us, in order to be our new Stoke and see what they could get out of it. Whatever happens justhope we turn up for the next three games !


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