The art of enjoying football is hard to grasp. I reckon my 70+ old man gets it about right: do not support a team but just look for the beauty in each and every game is his mantra. There might be a few teams he likes to do well but these change as much as the seasons in a year. He can watch – and enjoy – up to eight games in a weekend and tell me about each of them in surprising detail, whereas I can only really talk about the Arsenal game.
I used to be like him till about my late twenties, when Dennis joined Arsenal and I gradually became a monogamous lover of the mighty Arsenal. I would not change this for anything now and I am happy I found my red and white footie woman for life. When she spoils me with her attractive and winning moves I am happy, and when she disappoints me with her shortcomings I am saddened; but that is life. Arsenal, like in the Billy Joel song, is always a woman to me.
“She will promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she’ll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you’re bleedin’
But she’ll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she’s always a woman to me”
I have some sympathy for those who want Wenger out. We are humans and do not look at what we have as much as what we could have. Under Wenger we have done remarkably well, especially given the economic/financial changes the club had to endure both as a result of building THOF and managing through a severe, worldwide economic crisis.
We are witnessing progress now but for some it is not (fast) enough: their vision of the Garden of Eden is simply more rosy. We are keeping our stars now and add real gems if and when we can. Cech picked us and not any of the other clubs out there desperate for such an experienced and professional world class goalkeeper: that in itself is an achievement. We won the FA Cup twice in a row and beat the Chavs and Citeh for the season-opening Charity Shield twice in a row as well. We are still in with a shout for this year’s league title.
But some gave up on the latter months ago: they are having that deja-vu sensation of having seen it all before – of that ‘same old Arsenal’ experience. A few cuts and we are bleeding, and then fear the worst.
Arsenal, just like Billy Joel’s woman, is frequently kind and suddenly cruel, and, whether we let Arsene go or not, this will not change. Support for your team comes with joy and pain, and hopefully with more of the former and less of the latter.
The art of loving this woman is to take her as she comes and enjoy the beautiful moments as much as possible, without looking too much ahead or having too high expectations.
I loved our fightback against the Spuds. A twenty year old nearly-man passing a beautiful diagonal ball to Alexis who takes an instant diagonally placed shot past the surprised Lloris. Ten-men Arsenal pushing on for the winner at WHL and almost getting it but for a tired Rambo opting to take another touch and letting the Spuds of the hook – but then there is that cheeky back-heel by our Welsh-Wizard to make up for this. Ospina taking his chance and fighting off any self-doubt with two outstanding performances. The composure of Elneny and dynamism of Iwobi against Hull on Tuesday. I can look at Theo’s and Ollie’s goal time and again: the quality of our own Joel’s assist for Theo’s first goal; the fine first touch and cool finish by Theo; the anticipation and positioning of Ollie for both goals; the sound of the net when Theo’s second hit it.
I am hoping for more beauty against Watford at the weekend and that our woman will be kind to us again. 😉