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Reasons to be cheerful parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

By Tony Attwood

The Telegraph is currently running a “Fan happiness index” via which they ask “Which Premier League club has given its supporters reason to cheer, or be sad?”

It’s all invention of course – the bloke behind me in the east upper will be Very Very Angry every time Theo doesn’t put in a perfect pass or Alexis fails to score.   But the Telegraph had space to fill and so they invented their chart and it puts Arsenal supporters as the third happiest bunch in the league.

For reasons that will not become apparent at this time the table runs backwards with misery at the top.  It goes thus…

  • 20. Sunderland (-10)
  • 19. Manchester Jose (-7.5)
  • 18. Swansea (-7)
  • 17. State Aid United (-7)
  • 16. Stoke (-7)
  • 15. Hull (-3)
  • 14. Middlesbrough (0)
  • 13. Crystal Palace (+1)
  • 12. West Brom (+1.5)
  • 11. Burnley (+2)
  • 10. Watford Wrongbank (+3.5)
  • 9. Bournemouth (+4.5)
  • 8. Leicester (+4.5)
  • 7. The Kings Road Soviet (+5)
  • 6. Southampton (+5.5)
  • 5. Everton (+5.5)
  • 4. Manchester Airport  (+5.5)
  • 3. Arsenal (+7)
  • 2. Tiny Totts (+8)
  • 1. Liverpool! (+10)

Of course there is no science to all this – the notion of introducing 0.5 of a point in the scale is just for effect.  It is all made up down the pub, but even so I thought you might like to know what they say about Arsenal

Of course it would be a top-four finish. Things are going very well and there’s a ‘win every week’ expectation surrounding the Gunners again. November is approaching, however, and there are still question marks over the futures of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and indeed Arsene Wenger, but the squad depth suggests the Gunners have a better title chance than in the past few years.

Reasons for unhappiness: Ozil/Sanchez contracts, November’s upcoming arrival, Xhaka’s red card habit.

Reasons for optimism: Joint top, second in the form table, looking irresistible at times up front, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain revived. Genuine title chance.

The unhappiness reasons seem a bit dopey to me – it is very unlikely that Ozil and Sanchez won’t sign, and we knew about Granit’s cards before we started.

But I would like, if I may, to spell out a different reason for optimism.

  • 5 March: Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2
  • 19 March: Everton 0 Arsenal 2
  • 2 April: Arsenal 4 Watford 0
  • 9 April: State Aid 3 Arsenal 3
  • 17 April: Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 1
  • 21 April: Arsenal 2 WBA 0
  • 24 April: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 0
  • 30 April: Arsenal 1 Norwich 0
  • 8 May: Manchester Airport 2 Arsenal 2
  • 15 May: Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0
  • 14 August: Arsenal 3 Liverpool! 4
  • 20 August: Leicester 0 Arsenal 0
  • 27 August: Watford Wrongbank 1 Arsenal 3
  • 10 September: Arsenal 2 Southampton 1
  • 17 September: Hull 1 Arsenal 4
  • 24 September: Arsenal 3 The Kings Road Soviet 0
  • 2 October: Burnley 0 Arsenal 1
  • 15 October: Arsenal 3 Swansea 2
  • 22 October: Arsenal 0 Middlesbrough 0
Those, of course, are our league matches, and I count only one defeat in that list.

Now I have read the comment by one correspondent in the media  that “there was near-mutiny at the Emirates” at the Liverpool! game.  That along with the notion that Arsenal were the only team not to be able to get players fit after the Euros, Mr Wenger doesn’t do defence…. oh yes and State Aid have just completed “the most successful stadium migration in history.”

As subsequent events have shown, none of this was true.  But because in the world of football pontification, it is never possible to admit you are wrong explanations have to be found which suggest that out of the ramshackle opening Arsenal stumbled by pure chance and outrageous good fortune into a way of winning games.

After all, following the game with Liverpool! (and how the media loved to imply that exclamation mark every time they mention that club, even after a dire goalless draw), Arsenal have lost none.  It can’t be down to Wenger, so what is it?

The answer, according to the nay sayers and negativists is luck and pure chance.   Luck because we don’t have injuries (but look they are starting to return, with Pérez set to miss six weeks with ankle ligament injury, Akpom out to the new year and no return date for Santi Cazorla), and chance because… well, we are lucky.

So the story is that circumstance has pushed the inept Mr Wenger into making the right decisions.  (Although if such correspondents knew their TS Eliot they would undoubtedly suggest that these right decisions had all been made for the wrong reason).

For example, the claim is now emerging that it is only because Olivier Giroud has not been fit since the Euros that Alexis Sanchez has become a centre forward.  It is only because Barcelona invented the notion of the “false nine” that Arsenal have now slavishly followed the new idea.

The fact that through his time with Arsenal, Alexis has actually been scoring at the same rate as Thierry Henry and has been prepared for this move is carefully ignored.

And because of this chance move (forced on Wenger by the abject lack of players for the opening game, because of Wenger’s inability to sign even a dim witted toad that has hopped out of the pond by mistake on a rainy day), Theo has started to score goals.

The notion that Theo went off the boil because of his injuries, and the way he was mucked about by England, is not considered.   Mr Wenger always said Theo could score more – the only issue was whether he would score more by playing number nine and staying in the middle, or by doing an Henry and staying on the wing before turning up in the middle to score.

In fact what is certainly not considered is having Alexis who wanders between centre forward, number 10 and the left wing, and Theo who wanders between the right wing and centre forward, is utterly bemusing to your average central defender who doesn’t know where to look.

But that is still not all.

Mesut Ozil is playing well, and playing in various positions in each match – centre forward, false 9, right wing, number 10… you name it, he’s doing it.   I saw him called a “roaming playmaker” this week, and although this is right, it is not all of it.

And all this before we consider that Theo Walcott has scored eight goals in 10 matches.  Or before we think about the centre back no one tipped us to sign, or the young centre back who was derided because he only cost £2m.  Or before we remember that Iwobi can only get better.

There is a philosophy of living which has at its centre the notion that “it is not the world, it’s how you see the world.”  In other words, two people can look at the same situation and one can be happy and the other miserable.  The situation is identical – it is their mindset that changes.

These days my mindset is not doing to bad.  And Arsenal are only making it better.

Recent tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Reading in the library: watching the EFL cup from the posh seats

Empty seats at the Ems? You should try the Tax Payers’ Stadium!

Alisher Usmanov makes his move – and it is not the one predicted.

Why 26 October is such a special day in the history of football, and of Arsenal (and the Royal Family)

10 things we learned from Arsenal v Reading.

League Cup: Arsenal – Reading 2-0, The Ox with a brace

Arsenal vs The Spectacles. The teams and other stuff.

All the young dudes – but which one is this year’s breakthrough kid?

 

11 comments to Reasons to be cheerful parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

  • Xhaka'spassing

    Tony

    Enjoyed that post

    After being in the slough of despond during the second part of last season I am now lookingvforward to our games with real enthusiasm. I think we’re playing the best football we’ve played in quite a while

    Much of this has been the result of Alexis playing up top and our fluidity it brings. Iwobi compliments Theo and Alexis really well.

    We missed Giroud against Burnley and Middlesbrough and he’ll be a vital component for our team going forward. He will be a great option to have with different attributes to Alexis eg his header that nearly went in against Reading and his lay off for Ox’s second goal

    We now have genuine competition for places that spurs on performance. If you don’t play well there are others that can take your place. See how Theo and the Ox are playing. We also have Ramsey coming back.

    Somehow we have to rotate our players not just to keep everyone fresh but also to keep some top players happy.

    One negative is that Lucas became the victim of a really bad tackle by a hatchet man. A real pity, just as he was getting game time and starting to feel part of things.

  • Xhaka'spassing

    If we’re really being fair and upstanding we ought to really give Bolton the other £10 million for Rob Holding 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Andy Mack

    It’s obvious that the list runs backwards because newspapers thrive on the misery of others….

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Sir Alex Ferguson has said what he believes and had to say on Arsenal in the interview he had with Kicker magazine.

    He has ranked Arsenal the 5th likely club among Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd & Tottenham HS in the pecking order to win the PL title this season. Sir Alex did not consider Arsenal as serious title contenders this season despite us currently in 2nd position in the table as he can only say we are now sturdy and he admires young Alex Iwobi.

    Hmmn. It’s not Sir Alex fault to have looked down on us. But being the North London giants, it is our fault not to have won the title at least 3-4 times in the last 10 years. Otherwise no one will have the guts to be looking down on us or condemning us title-wise.

    Nevertheless, I personal believe Arsenal can win not only the title this season but can also win a host of others with it. All we need to do from now is to natured to maturity our recently bounce back to winning ways again in all competitions after we’ve shown Reading the exit door of the ELC.

    We just have to extend that our winning over Reading to a new start of winning run beginning at the Stadium Light on Saturday by sinking the relegation strugglers – Sunderland into further relegation troubles with a 0-4 away victory. I reserve further comment until after Le Prof’s press conference tomorrow when he’s expected to give the update on the state of Gunners.

  • bushido

    like i mention before, the journos and pundit never gave a fair assessment about Arsenal and only look from a negative point of view. this year team is a breath of fresh air and gave some supporter like me a buzz of excitement + confidence. not to mention Arsenal is in the last part of transition into a new era where mostly players who played and bought during the tight budget era is replaced by players that on a top pile of manager transfer wish list and mix with quality young players. your point about the reason for optimism is spot on Tony. mostly your point is exactly the same as how i feel as an Arsenal supporter. keep up the good work’ Tony

  • nicky

    Not surprised that bullyboy Ferguson is forced to admit Arsenal are in the running for the EPL title.
    No longer does he wield corrupt influence on the likes of Dean and Riley. 😉

  • para

    “it is not the world, it’s how you see the world.”

    Love it:
    Can only add to that, that it is our experiences in life and usually what we have been washed brained that forms our perspectives.

  • Leon

    Tony
    Talking of being cheerful (or not), a recent survey discovered Corby (which is near where you live) was the place in England where the residents were the most miserable. This might explain why you appear to be such a cheerless person.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3809613/Interactive-map-lets-check-happy-town-is.html

  • Gord

    Sorry, not being cheerful.

    The game after Santi got hurt, Wenger said we were missing creativity. The medja puts 13 and 37i (i being the square root of -1) together, and starts writing articles about how Arsenal are fall apart because Santi is hurt. And apparently Santi may miss the game this weekend. So, crisis continues.

    Santi has creativity. He is not the only player with creativity. We need to replace the creativity that we normally would see, if Santi was playing. And as usual, the medja is just plain dumb.

    Just like distributed goal scoring is better than just relying on a single goal scorer, distributed creativity is better than having all (or most) in a single player. Having all the players “pick up their socks” on being creative, helps the team in the long run. And it has nothing to do with replacing Santi. If the team finds the creativity within itself to work through Santi being missing, Santi will only have more to work with when he comes back. As I believe creativity feeds upon itself. It is more than the sum of its parts.

  • markyb

    Ferguson has no influence any more? Hmmm not so sure about that.

  • Menace

    nicky – whatever is it that you see about Ferguson being not able to control the PGMO requires a good imagination. He has bought a lot of good runners & controls all of it when he needs to. All the PGMO need to be extricated from the game before anything like honesty can triump.

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