Wanted: Suggestions for 2018-19 Arsenal Captaincy

WHO IS THE NEXT ARSENAL CAPTAIN?

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Mertesacker is retiring. His vice captain, Koshielny, has chronic achilles inflammation and is expected not to be very active next season. Someone else has to step into the big captaincy shoes.

We begin our search from the fact that what is required of the captain of today is a far cry from what it used to be. In those days, driving personality was the prime currency for leadership. The captain had to be as hard as nails, able to bawl out orders, pointing, gesticulating and generally urging on his mates. He communicated emotionally more than by any other means. However, football has since altered significantly and with it the environment in which it is played.

It has gotten less gross and more subtle. Egos have grown much larger thanks in no small measure to bulging pockets, the player power and the unprecedented level of public scrutiny. These have acted as game changers dictating that players be handled more delicately.

In a modern top flight football set up, there are various areas of leadership within a team. There is the leader of the dressing room eg Mertesacker. On the field there could be the technical leader eg Ozil, the emotionl leader eg Mustafi and the tactical leader who is like the coach on the field of play eg Mertesacker.

Of these four major areas of leadership, the most vital for captaincy is the leadership of the dressing room. Lucky is the manager who has all four in one player. The leader of the dressing room commands the highest respect amongst the players. He is the one with and through whom the manager works to weld the players into a team. Indivisible, the players become group driven and a formal captain on the pitch becomes more of a formality. A team have to reach this high level of integration for it to fully realize its potential. Klopp’s Liverpool, in my opinion, is one of a few teams that have made tremendous progress in this direction.

For that leader of the dressing room to emerge in the first place, he must have a number of things going for him. He has to be a good performer on and off the field. He must have an indefatigable spirit, equipped with shoulders that never sag. Lastly, but of great importance, he should be a good man manager.

Who can that be in our present team?

Not Ozil. His body language can be so wrong. Not Auba. He is too much of a specialist. Only the smell of goals animate him. Not the younger ones like Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Iwobi, neither Cech who’s got no further record to brake except his own as retirement beckons. Elneny, Welbeck, Ospina and Kolasinac are still on the fringes of things though about tomorrow one cannot tell. Mustafi is my Mr Passion. He catches the eye, but I doubt that he catches the ear. The language of the pitch these days issues softly and cerebrally. Lacazette is a lovely chap who should be left alone to play his flute.

Convince me of a manager’s ability to imbue the team with a sense of oneness as well as resilience in its win-mentality and I would stop this search knowing that each player would have become a wearer of an invisible armband.

Monreal is Mr Consistency, loads and loads of experience. Put to general vote, Nacho, if ever there was a professional, would carry the day. But expect opposition from mentalities unable to contend with the hurdle of in-his-final-years.

Wilshere is a child of the club, loves the club. But it is leadership we are talking about. Can he be the coach on the field, pointing, directing, conducting?

Mkhitaryan looks tactically astute. He reminds me of Mikel Arteta even though his hair is not as well groomed. He is so business-like, so keen to get on with the task, miserly with a smile and unselfish in his game. He looks to me a good leadership material but it’s early days for him and that might count against him.

Xhaka comes across as one of those fellows whose mere presence gets people tidying their details. On top of that, I’ve never seen his shoulders drop, never seen him fazed by what is or what was. And look how he’s suddenly become a pillar on the pitch. I never saw that coming but on this here topic his silhouette is clearly recognizable. He has captaincy written all over him.

Rambo looks adversity in the eyes without blinking. The odds are never stacked against him even if they are. The tougher they come, the harder he gets. That’s a stunning leadership quality. One just wonders if he’d handle the dressing room like an old-school headmaster with a cane in hand.

Sorry folks, I have always been slow with decisions. Not a great leadership quality, eh? As you can see, I can’t even make up my mind on whom to choose as our captain. So, over to you Gooners. Who is your choice?

By Pony Eye.

 

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39 Responses to Wanted: Suggestions for 2018-19 Arsenal Captaincy

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent Post, PE.

    The big question is whether Wenger actually values leadership by ‘the one’ on the pitch. He probably believes in having many leaders on the pitch and him leading the dressing room. A leader needs to understand the system and tactics for every game and the biggest job is to ensure implementation of these. As I have said here a few times, we lack balance in the team and that also reflects on the leadership situation. No leadership, no balance; no balance, ineffective leadership.

    For me the leader plays in midfield, and I reckon that if Xhaka plays deep in front of the CBs he probably is the best leader to have. When you see him play for Switzerland, you will see a leader on the pitch. He sets out the lines and keeps discipline. Jack is a born leader and is a strong contender but it looks like he will not be here next season. Finally, IF (a fecking big IF) we were to move either Mustafi or Nacho into the DM position, I would make them captain. Both are fine communicators, extroverts, passionate and tactically astute.

  2. Pony Eye says:

    TA,
    Your comments say it all. Wenger seems to believe that on the field all are leaders. That’s actually the ultimate. But first the team, as you put it, must be balanced in all ways; personnel-wise, tactics-wise and most importantly attitude-side. But when there is not this balance, the need for personalities to help fill the gaps arises.

    You have distilled out four names; Xhaka, Wilshere, Nacho and Mustafi. Wished you distilled further. I wouldn’t mind alcohol absolutism.

  3. allezkev says:

    Very interesting post PE succinctly answered by a Total.

    Being given the armband can have a positive effect on a player, call it responsibly as much as leadership, suddenly that player thinks beyond his own performance and more about the team.
    Nacho Monreal would be my pick as captain, but I’ve heard that he’s not very vocal and despite the modern perception of captaincy I still believe that your captain occasionally needs to shout and remind team mates of their responsibilities.

    Jack would be my choice, but I can’t see him being at Arsenal next season so that’s not a go’er.

  4. Uranda says:

    Xhaka is a leader and he has done well with his former club and his National team.

  5. jw1 says:

    Not presently, but Rob Holding one day?
    Influences of Rio Ferdinand and Vincent Kompany growing up outside Manchester. Mention his name to Costa, Deeney, or Arnautovic? You’ll get wry grins and invective. Had been hoping in January for the club to have signed Jonny Evans– then the rumored loan of Holding to Burnley. Playing 5 months in Sean Dyche’s system would have been just the seasoning Holding requires to make the next step in his development.

    At present? The only guy in the club who ticks 2 or more of PE’s boxes is Jack. But Sven seems to have his sights set on another already (Max Meyer reportedly halted talks with Schalke this week). If I were to realistically add a player to the club who could be the leader/captain type? Kasper Schmeichel might be the guy.

    jw1

  6. Pony Eye says:

    Kev, Uranda, jw, …. all insightful comments.
    Exit polls has Wilshere leading, with Xhaka and Nacho a close second.

  7. geoffchase says:

    Hmm

    I’d lean towards Xhaka, as I’m still not sure where JW fits. I think nowadays he’s more than good and disciplined enuff, but per TAs comments, we’re unbalanced which is seen in my, and others, inability to coalesce on how the first 11 might look. Hence, he might not be here, hence also if he doesn’t quite fit, he shouldn’t be captain…

    I like the idea of deeper players in the Center being captain, as they see the game in front and an “captain” the ship… so, that’s Xhaka, Mostafi, Koz, Cech, Mhki or AR perhaps. Of those, no one mentioned an aging Koz? For me Xhaka, Mhki or Mostafi…

    Maybe a co- deal? One thing I like is Mostafi is Ozils mate and maybe a reason he stayed, and Mhki “understands” PEA. We need both those other two as on sing as possible. One up, one back..???

    Holding in a few years might be a goer too. I liked that idea..

    From outside? I’ve no real thoughts…

    Cheers — jgc

  8. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Houston, and Schwenningen, Germany

  9. Pony Eye says:

    Incidentally Wenger is currently talking up Wilshere for the captaincy. He said …”I just thought the combination of history, the fact that he’s a long term player for the club, the fact that he has experience and knowledge now, I trust now to make him captain.”

    Interesting also that when Kos hobbled off early against Milan, it was Wilshere that was handed the armband.

    Is this part of Wenger’s ploy to get him to sign? Or as Kev hinted does Wenger believe it would help to improve a player’s, particularly Wilshere’s, game?

    It’s always difficult second guessing Wenger but I believe the fundamental thing to his thinking is that any in his team can wear the armband. So history can as well do it.

    If Xhaka’s new form has come to stay (it could improve even further) he’d be my 1st choice. He has the personality and the strength of character. Everybody, the fans, the players and Wilshere himself, is too sensitized to Wilsher’s proneness to injury and hold their hearts in their mouth at his every 50/50 challenge. A captain should not arouse such apprehension in his men.

  10. Pony Eye says:

    I should add .. “so I think”.

  11. allezkev says:

    PE, seems like mixed messages regarding Wilshere and the captaincy to me, back last summer Arsene more or less said that Jack could find himself another club, but then he was at different times trying to offload Mustafi, Elneny and Chambers, so who or what do we believe?

  12. njk84sg says:

    PE, is that pic posted by TA or yourself?

    Rambo and Jacko is the next captain, as Xhaka and Mustafi are hot headed at times and might need some cool from Ozil to cool down. However, Ozil is not captain material. He controls the pace when everyone else is on the same wavelength as him, but to me he is not the captain on the pitch.

    Agreed about Wenger needing many captains on the pitch, but then we are at a moment in football where the captain controls things in the dressing room, and each department have its own captain. EPL teams mostly do not have a captain where controls everything on the pitch. Not since the Vieira and Fabregas eras.

    That having said, we need more time to go through the future captains, but for now Rambo and Jacko is the obvious choice for me.

  13. Pony Eye says:

    njk, the pic is by TA.
    You are the first with Rambo. I had thought he’d get many shouts.

  14. njk84sg says:

    Could be that Rambo is linked with manu** that led to him getting lesser shoutouts.
    His injury timeout is another concern.

    We needed someone that can be like Vieira, but sadly players nowadays are not made like what it used to.

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey PE, good post…you have a very interesting way with words and you don’t seem to self-edit, which seems a good thing. It could be hard (for me) to shake the image of Lacazette and his flute…which I think could mean something (a bit) more than you’re suggesting here… 😮

    The post, however, seems premature. Don’t we need to get in a new manager before we worry about (his…or her) captains? Koscielny seems as good a (dead) man (walking) as anybody, for me, as long as AW is at the helm… If he has to hobble off or skip matches, I’d go with Xhaka, a guy who seems like the first name on the (Wenger’s…) team sheet…

    PLEASE IGNORE THE FOLLOWING as I’ve said it–or some variation of it–before (over and over and over)…

    No matter how grim the present might feel, assuaging those pains by getting lured into fantasy realms doesn’t seem quite right…to me…So, people (IMO) need to use their brains and not take EVERYTHING they read (in the papers/blogs) as the truth, esp. as we move towards the summer (fantasy) season, or while in the midst of an interlull (fantasy) season. Or maybe, given the pain of Arsenal’s on-pitch activities (for most Gooners), we’re now in a year-round fantasy season…

    When it comes to “links” and moves into and out of the club, who plants the story in the press? It’s either the clubs (and their media people) or the player (and his media people/agent). (The same, I guess, goes for managerial candidates these days, it appears…) Little Jack Wilshere did some good work last week (with his story about talking to AW in the gym about no new contract and getting one elsewhere) but then his injury problem(s) flared up. Rambo, linked with ManU and Chelsea seems enough to take him out of our captaincy but maybe it’s just to get a few more thousand pounds per week on his next contract. Looking at NewSnow, I see that Thomas Tuchel already has inked a contract to be our next manager, when, just yesterday, it was the other German, Shaggy-Low, who led the sweepstakes? Then there are all the old stories… Why would players like Elneny or Chambers or (insert favorite) be getting playing time (this season) when Wenger wanted to sell them in the last (or the next-to-last or one-before-that) window?

    It’s all distraction, of course, but the need to create a narrative–whether it be of blame or hope–seems the essence of how the internet makes its little (or not so little…) bubbles these days… Let the buyer beware… that’s my only message here…

    So, since it’s a sunny morning with some good snow to ski (and, blissfully, no Arsenal football on the telly to bring me down)…this buyer is going for something hopeful and happy and along these lines: Arsene-L to win the Europa League this spring and compete MUCH better, both in England and in the CL in 2018-19 with Kolscielny as captain and Wenger as manager. (In the off-season, with CL football on offer, some very fine players come our way, while others–some mooted as potential captain material in this post, in fact, leave for more playing time at mid-table clubs… Hmm… I’ll have to ponder exactly who’s in and who’s out…but, if I had to choose one new player at the club I’m gonna pick the little guy from Argentina and Barcelona…Leo Messi–even if we have to lure him by promising him the captaincy…) With things on the up for Arsene-L, by mid-season, the manager is offered a new contract and extends for another two years, taking the Wenger era all the way to 2021–25 years since he joined the club in 1996. After that, more improvement and even…wait for it…the big double–double (sorry, I still feel the quadruple is out of reach)… That’s right. Arsenal raise both the league AND CL trophies in both 2020 AND 2021, LIttle Leo lifting them first (each time) and tall (and proud and still smirking…) Arsene Wenger lifting them last…

    OK, that’s my happy place…to which I will now escape… (Come join me. Why think small when you can think big?…)

    Or maybe I’ll just go off and play with my flute… 😀

    (Enjoy yours!!!)

  16. jw1 says:

    So where is it chiseled? That when AW steps away from the touchline– that he’ll also leave AFC? I’ve never understood the rationale that implies the ties between Wenger and Arsenal must be — severed.

    Very few have knowledge of the agreement.

    Assertions that such a complex and lengthy relationship would be guillotined overnight– satisfying media-churned narratives– are superficial pablum.

    Don’t buy it. Do not recycle.

    jw1

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    You talkin’ to me? J-Dub?…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re of the mind that this is Wenger’s last season, I think… Soooo, that would mean some sort of agreement (i.e., a new contract) between AW and the club for a new role…and tearing up the current contract that sees him managing until May 2019. If I’m Wenger–or any other rational actor–I’d only do that if it meant better terms, i.e., a richer overall contract (i.e., a bunch more years at the club if I have to take a cut to my annual salary).

    Of course, as a Wenger loyalist, I’m not against the idea… It just seems not very logical to me, esp. if you’re bringing in a big name manager who would command similar money–and, ostensibly, take on similar responsibilities (shoulder ALL blame for the team’s results)…

    Sports IS an entertainment industry and A LOT of Gooners, I fear, would be highly entertained (by way of irrational improvement of their “hopes”…) if Wenger moved onto pastures new. The (great) man himself might fancy a couple of years at PSG or with the French National team or just doing a bit of television work (while pocketing that cool 10 million pound salary that he’s due to earn next season). Who knows, really?… Still, Wenger at the club (but not in his take-all-responsibility/blame, figurehead spot) seems like a lose-lose-lose proposition (for the club, for the fans and for AW himself)…

    Those are just my first thoughts, and I’m happy to be convinced otherwise…

    Nope, I’m still liking the idea of finishing his 25 years (as a manager) with back to back (big) doubles… 😀

    (Oh my, in my mind, I’m ALREADY getting tired of all the winning… More smileys…)

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    PE, good point about Rambo: why did so few name him as our best option for our captain? I reckon it is a combination of his occasional positional indiscipline and the fact that he is regularly injured (same goes for Super-Jack). I also feel he has not made that full switch to on-pitch maturity as yet.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    —— Xhaka (C) ——- Rambo/Elneny
    ————–Mkhi/Jack (V-C) ————
    Das Ozil ————————- Laca
    —————— Auba ———————-

    Front six sorted for next season, maybe with a new box to boxer if Rambo leaves? Or do we still need a beast of a DM to play in front of the defence?

  20. jw1 says:

    17HT–
    Not directed at you so much– as positing an alternative to the B&W outcomes that seem most popular. I believe the perspective is skewed– in the sense that a large majority think the club is looking to force AW to move on at their leisure.

    I take a different tack. Feeling this is a two-way arrangement. I think he’s been asked to stay on –UNTIL– circumstances are optimum for Arsenal (he’s like– the only manager I can think of who could handle any sh*tstorm that comes his way– without a meltdown or running off).

    How about this?
    1) If optimal circumstances aren’t met? He stays until next Summer.

    2) If the braintrust get every one of their wishlist players at the World Cup Mall– he moves on. Shiny new manager takes the reins.

    3) If they don’t get ideal outcomes? But somewhere between? He stays on in a consultancy. Bring in a manager who knows how the HMS Arsenal is captained. Gives the braintrust another year to synch everything. If he’s good for just a season so be it. And by the grace of Dennis– if he proves to be good? Then you keep Mikel Arteta on.

    I can’t view complex situations and relationships in simplistic terms.
    Because they aren’t.

    jw1

  21. jw1 says:

    Mo Elneny signed a long-term extension today.
    Should warm Seventeenho’s cockles (or ‘flute’? 🙂 ) !

    jw1

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    That is great news, jw1.

  23. jw1 says:

    Seems that on other sites I visit? The talk involves Mo’s new contract; Jack’s profferred, reduced one– after both were deemed as surplus prior to this season. And “how muddled the club’s decision-making” appears.

    Can any of the (other sites’) writers whose writing I enjoy– just state that both Elneny and Wilshere have had ‘good’ seasons? That both are/were being offered new deals based on new circumstances? None, anymore, anyway– apply the requisite perspective of a situation before launching into gloom and misery of the club’s existence.

    Apparently it’s a contagion. And it certainly makes being a dyed-in-the-wool optimist more difficult.

    TA? Thanks for this place. A sanctum.
    The expression of ideas without ‘groupthink’ — make BK a welcome respite.

    jw1

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    JW… Maybe there’s not much groupthink because it’s not a very big group… 😀

    Also, I disagree. To me–even in our tiny group–there seems plenty of somebody saying something and then it’s just true. That, of course, is also a function of people making snap-judgments about on-pitch play in the form of generalizations; characters who appeal–or the obverse, more usually–have an element of their play branded to their name and that’s that. Bellerin can’t make decisions with his final ball, Xhaka is a terrible athlete, Elneny passes backwards (or maybe that too was another of Bellerin’s faults), etc., etc., etc. Then, of course, folks watch for confirmation of these biases, hoping to get the chance to repeat them…

    I try to go the other direction and search for the exception to the stereotype I’ve got in my mind. “Hey,” I say to myself (now that my live-blog days seem behind me), “Jack just used his right foot!…” for example… 😉 I will say this, I do believe most of the folks who post here are searching for more positive feelings about Arsenal, so they do tend to notice (and write about) good things done by players who have taken criticism. Also, please note that I’m talking about people watching the actual matches, things which become almost beside the point on a LOT of other Arsenal blogs. It’s a good thing and TA deserves credit for making the blog what it is… I haven’t written on any other Arsenal blogs in a bunch of years because the group-think elsewhere (most certainly) IS worse…

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    I think most of us look at the world (of football and Arsenal) from their own values and scripts of reality. The ability to see the point of view of others is relatively high here, though. Nobody ever sets out to be wrong as Socrates pointed out a long, long time ago. We all think we are right but wisdom only occurs by listening to others and trying to understand their points of view. One or two are better at this than others on BK, but in general I feel there is that sense of trying to understand the others’ point of views. I am quite allergic to script-inflexibility or people only coming on here when the shit just hit the fan.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    LOL, “Script-inflexibility…” Here I am, looking at myself in the mirror… 😀

    You really do deserve to take a lap of honor (honour?) TA… For keeping it going here… Truthfully, I’m TRYING to figure a way forward, but’s it’s a struggle… Maybe with improving health (and a change of scene–I’m on the move back to the ancestral home area this morning…) I can figure a way forward… Obviously, it’s a struggle for me….

    I was actually writing something else related to JW’s comment, about trying to break down the motivations of the parties involved when it comes to “transfer talk” … and the cycle of Gooners hating on their club for how “badly” Arsenal do their decisions, etc., etc. but I might hold off now… It’s *almost* worthy, perhaps of becoming its own post, but, time is slipping away from me…

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    That would make an interesting post, Seventeenho. We have a post from another blog but it needs a bit of editing which I hope to do today. This one can wait, though……………

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    In terms of script-inflexibility, I was referring to the use of stats to say the same thing time and again.

    Have a safe journey and hope your mum (mom?) is doing well (relatively). When are you going to email me again? 😀

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, TA, I’ve gotta run so no “post” from me… but here’s what I was working on… re: reflections about BKesque, etc., etc…

    Like I was trying to say, I think we do keep a better focus regarding the actual matches, even if some (in Britain, ironically…) don’t have full access to the live matches on the bigger screens… As such, it does get quieter (here) when there’s nothing happening on the pitch… (On the flip side, there are a few BKers who, I think, get too high when matches go well and too low when they don’t…esp. the latter. It’s a more competitive league these days and all matches are tough, 49 unbeaten will not get beaten any time soon, for example, etc., etc…)

    So…in these quieter times–if we’re not gonna follow the minute by minute “transfer news,” it becomes (even) more natural to discuss these BIG “club issues”…

    And, indeed, like JW above, I am relentlessly depressed by how folks seem to sift through the (almost ALL untrue, in retrospect, at least…) transfer (and club finance) talk for negative conclusions about the club (or its figurehead leader, Wenger). I was trying to say, just a few days back, that, in my best moments at least, I’ve found it quite a thrill–over the years–that my club gets linked to some awesome players and a handful actually come and play for us (!!)

    OK, here comes my (pointless) lecture…which is just a slight spin on sh*t I’ve said (many times) before… in other words, PLEASE IGNORE….

    When it comes to transfer talk, if you want the truth, you got to sleuth (or something)…

    To me, in this realm (transfers, new contracts, club finances…) it seems simple to observe that there are actors with selfish interests who then communicate with each other and/or use the media to help them. EVERY player has a valuation which can vary from Team A (the player’s current team) to Team B (a team he might join), not to mention what the player (and his agents) believe he’s worth (in terms of salary and contract). When Team B fancies a player from Team A, they communicate about it, directly inquiring with the other club, talking to the player (or his agents, sometimes called “tapping up,” or JUST by making mention of that player and then letting the press run with the information. SOMETIMES it might even be a pundit or a blogger mentioning a player (or a hypothetical valuation) and suddenly the move is on…or at least a link has been made…or it becomes a truism that one club wants to buy and the other wants to sell.

    So, Mustafi, Chambers and Elneny were all “going to be sold last summer” but they weren’t.
    Wilshere, finally on the up and back in the English National team, put out his tale too. (And, all too ironically, couldn’t answer the bell, injury-wise, to suggest he was fully back to his best…) The valuations–of all these players–indeed have changed and stuff is happening (Mo Neny extends his contract, Jack has one, albeit not a block-buster, on offer, etc.). Like (our) JW suggests, things have changed for these fellows, mostly for the better, it seems… What’s wrong with that?

    Nothing. Still, (some? many? most?…) Gooners spin the (transfer rumor) history to flog the club and (most likely) keep clicking on the articles and blogs that reinforce the stories FROM the same outlets that probably put out whatever rumor (true or false) got them the hits back then. These folks are independent actors (addicted to their trickle of ad-revenue or just their hit-count) and they COULDN’T CARE LESS that the hits they get are from Gooners who just have to see the latest way their club has betrayed them. To me, it’s a cycle of ever-increasing (self) hate and it doesn’t speak well about the fans of the club (or all clubs, I’m guessing, or just how the culture seems to work these days).

    What can you (I) do about it? Nothing.

    Which is another reason I should STOP writing these sorts of comments. Why bother when it only gets worse and worse (in my view)…

    Oh, btw, I AM pleased the Mo-Neny has, er, extended. (That could be a flute reference, but I didn’t mean it that way… lol…) I’ve always looked at him as cover (or a long term replacement) for Ramsey. With Elneny tied down for a longer period, AR-8 may not have quite the leverage trying to negotiate his next contract with the club. We shall see…

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, you’ll get that e-mail sooner than later… I’m hoping that March goes out like a lamb…for me, it’s been a tough one… I need to catch up with a bunch of correspondence I’ve been putting off… In general, I don’t prefer to go on and on about how crap things have been…

    And perhaps Arsenal can help my mood… (Oooh, that sounds like a bet only a fool would play…)

    Arsenal–Stoke, kickoff at 5:30 am (California time) on Easter Sunday/April Fools Day….

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, final lol… Take it easy on W****, our stat-man, when it comes to script-inflexibility… It’s still my theory that he’s a bot… 😀

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Try and shake it off, Seventeenho. Spring is upon us and a thermos can full of good coffee could accompany you on your journey. Maybe a fine classical CD will lift your mood further. 🙂

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha, a bot.. spot on.

  34. jw1 says:

    I dunno HT…
    The fact that the audience of contributors at BK IS smaller? Makes for any tilt in opinion to be magnified. Whether that angle is justified or perceived is a matter of opinion.

    Where I was going with my views on other sites (where I infrequently comment)? There are a couple of stylish writers (and frequent commenters) whose opinions I’d thought were of the face-value variety– that seem to have succumbed to the corrosive/divisive groupthink of the at-large commentariat. And much more noticeably since, say, December.

    And while you and I do disagree on many ideas? We both want what’s best for the club, for AW, for individual players. Elsewhere, I don’t get that vibe. Though I used to. It’s disturbing, the sense of conferred privilege masking the masses’ impatience.

    jw1

  35. jw1 says:

    HT–
    I went through a period of about 6-7 weeks from late-December on where I just could not shake the after-effect malaise of an 8-day bout from the flu.

    Honestly, the further you move from it the better your perspective on all things. It’s been a burden my psyche battled. Just in the last few weeks started to ‘feel like me’ again.

    Stiff upper lip HT. 🙂

    jw1

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    and a stiff upper flute too 😀

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    A little break for some lunch…and there must be some friendlies on for some folks…

    Thanks, JW for the long term view on the flu… It’s been super-depressing around here with the bad weather–good weather for skiing–and being too weak to get out on the new snow… (I’ve done a bit in the past week but the snow has been in transition, as they say…) The weather is turning so there should be some corn skiing when I get back up to altitude…In the meantime, trying to do projects around my mom’s place will suffice (for exercise and self-esteem)… Cheers for the reminder that I need to be patient…

    Ah patience, not something that seems in big supply on Arsenal blogs…except, see below…

    I was thinking about “the commentariat” or, more generally, good writers (smart folks) who are hard-core supporters…and it has put a little wrinkle in my critique of “the support.” It’s those who are most addicted…like the traveling support…and those (of us) who just can’t quit the blogs…who play a two-faced (or half-hearted) sort of self-preservation tactic… I support the team and the players BUT, if we underperform, I’ve got my narratives and/or easy solutions to fall back upon…the easiest being…that it’ll all be roses if we got a new manager… And, of course, I fall (back) HARD when faced with disappointment…

    That’s why I was so intrigued (a couple of days back) when TA suggested that the (well, his…) new guy (Shaggy-Low…) should be given a FULL season before his influence would yield results…

    So, my take on that is that it’s not the results that bother folks but the sameness of it all…i.e., the drop in entertainment value (in the form of different will be better) is the real issue, here… Hey, I thought the same thing with each of my wives, said, King Henry (the Eighth)…

    The earliest bad results, this season, we should note, were in away matches (which that hard-core, addicted group of traveling supporters still attend)…and then blog about… 😀 😦

    Like they say on the fishing trips (trying to recreate the glory of Brokeback Mountain)…AND must say on those long journeys to away venues… “I wish I knew how to quit you…”

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    It is all about a belief in the future again, structurally. Under Wenger we are extremely unlikely to compete for the title again and therefore a better manager needs to be acquired asafp.

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