Carragher and Neville distraught as their anti-Arsenal attitude exposed once and for all





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By Tony Attwood

I had expected that we might be alone in criticising Carragher and Neville, pundits both, for their putdowns of Arsenal players’ celebrations at the end of the Liverpool game.   The measly-mouthed commentators were dismissive of Arsenal players for enjoying their moment with the crowd, although much of their criticism was incoherent, as we might expected.

As the Guardian reported “get down the tunnel. I’m serious, honestly,” is not one of the clearest of sentences ever uttered.   Carragher however has not given up, writing on social media. “By all means enjoy it but enjoy it by being disciplined.”

Obviously, players do need to be disciplined in their training, otherwise they won’t be fit, but Carragher and Neville have taken this to another level, suggesting players cannot share emotions with the crowd but should instead be isolated.

Martin Ødegaard however got the response right, as he was quoted in the Guardian as saying, “if you’re not allowed to celebrate when you win a game, when are you allowed to celebrate?”   The answer from these pundits is, “if you are Arsenal, never.”

What Caragher and Neville suffer from is a well-recognised mental health condition of Anhedonia, the inability to get enjoyment or pleasure from life and it is a common side-effect of many mental health conditions.

People like Caragher and Neville with anhedonia do not “feel” in the way that most of us do; they have an emptiness where most of us have feelings.  Such people are often in a dark cloud while the rest of us are in metaphorical sunlight.  They feel boredom, apathy and negativity while we feel fun, which is exactly what they expressed in relation to Arsenal’s celebrations.  It often leads to social anxiety disorder. and can be related to depression.

Obviously we feel sorry for these two who clearly are struggling, and it is unfortunate that their employers are not providing help, but there is also an impact on football of having these two people so prominent in reporting football.  Sadly many people who are completely unaware of psychiatric disorders may actually believe that these two were putting forward a coherent reponse to the moment.

But there is also a deeper problem, because people like Carragher and Neville seek to define what football is, how it should be, and who is doing well.   This is in contrast to how Jorginho spoke, saying, “I feel like our team is getting more mature. Not just with scoring goals but the way we play – understanding the game, when to play short, when to go long, these kind of situations.”

In contrast to the psychological whinging of Caragher and Neville, Mikel Arteta described the Liverpool game as “best atmosphere” of the season, and having been there I would agreed.

Of course many in football are not as influenced by their own mental health shortcomings.  Indeed as the Telegraph reports Guardiola has always been aware of the psychological position of his team reportedly making a policy of selling players who while on the bench did not leap up and celebrate a goal scored by those on the pitch.

Thus what Carragher and Neville see as “immaturity” is actually a major part of putting a winning team together.  The problem is within them, not within Arsenal.

But it is not just that Carragher and Neville don’t understand this, and their rampant negativity towards many aspects of football, is having an impact on the game, as it extends from not celebrating into not protesting at errors.

Now this is a major demand of PGMO, whose aim is to avoid all criticism of itself and its employees. All of this is an attempt to keep football in a straightjacket maintained by key pundits and organisations such as the FA, PGMO, Fifa, Uefa etc.  There can be no criticism because players should just get on and play the game.

In effect, the raging anti-emotionalism that comes from the Anhedonia that Carragher and Neville appear to suffer from provides the basis for the anti-Arsenal, anti-fun, anti-everyone-else’s-opinion, that Carragher, Neville and others have installed into football reporting and which has been so enthusiastically taken up by the media.

This leads to a view (as we have seen over the Carragher and Neville comments) that the pundit and commentator knows exactly what’s best and can say it, without ever having to justify it beyond claiming it is right.

In the media we see this developed in the insanity of the transfer reporting.   Through the January window much of the media was telling us all the players Arsenal would sign.  Nothing happened, but the day after the window closed, they were still there, telling us (without any apology for past failings) about the transfers that would happen in the summer.

It is all lies and fantasies, and is aided by the fact that those who suffer from Anhedonia such as Carragher and Neville, attract others – and so more and more of the journalists who write the nonsense about transfers that don’t happen have the same problem.   They can’t share joy, fun, laughter, togetherness.   Their response to a wonderful team win, is to tell the players to get down the tunnel.

Of course it doesn’t matter what people with the problems that Carragher and Neville have think, for as the Telegraph said, “It is what those celebrations do to the players, the coaches and the fans associated with the club. It is about the message they send and the impact they have, both on the team’s performance and on the atmospheric power of the Emirates Stadium.   

“In short, celebrations matter — and we can be almost certain that Arteta knows it.”

And we can be grateful too, that unlike Carragher and Neville, Arteta studies the psychology of sport.  He’s probably read “Deconstructing celebratory acts following goal scoring among Elite Professional Football Players”  published in 2020 which shows that teams that celebrate collectively always end up higher up the table.

As the Telegraph says, Arteta seeks to weaponise emotion.   And that is what the emotionally dead Carragher and Neville can’t do because of their own inner failings.

There is however also a darker side to Carragher and Neville’s protests.  If any manager seeks to weaponise emotion in victory it is Jurgen Klopp, but he is never criticised by these two emotional dead-beats.

Celebrating makes a difference, as Arteta and Klopp both know, and that is why the emotionally dead Carragher and Neville hate it.  They want the power in the hands of the pundits, not in the hands of the manager, the player and the crowd.

In the Arsenal Liverpool game they saw their power slipping away.  If it went Liverpool’s way they would put up with it, but for Arsenal to get the upper hand, that they cannot stand.

Today on the Arsenal History website:

13 Replies to “Carragher and Neville distraught as their anti-Arsenal attitude exposed once and for all”

  1. Further to previous thread, the specific Carragher remark directed at Odegaard is worthy of comment.

    I saw the exchange with the photographer as a sign of respect from the club captain for a long-standing and valued member of Arsenal staff as well as a loyal supporter of the club. Also a demonstration of an emotional connection with the supporters through the sharing of celebration, as well as a sign of solidarity and a healthy team culture within the Arsenal organisation.

    Nothing but a positive incident among many.

  2. Carragher and Neville are classless thugs. You can’t expect better from them.

  3. John L,

    Well said. That’s how I reacted as well. Good example of leadership from the Captain.

  4. I am all for suggesting them both to be the next managers of their respective clubs . Well , seeing that they are well versed in all things football , and being able to predict outcomes of games . What have their clubs have to lose ?
    Go for it !

    Am sure , many would back me on this . Probably not from their respective clubs , but still millions would demand it ! Come on lads , line up !

  5. I was looking for how just a goal, not even a win, was celebrated by Liverpool fans and it took 2 seconds to find a clip of Liverpool fans going mad with ecstatic chanting and cheering and, dare I say it, actual boisterous celebration, when there was not even a trophy being won. It puts the whole thing and the bitterness of Carragher and Neville into perspective. I am not against celebration at all, whoever does it. It just adds to the general happiness. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black:

  6. I heard a brilliant point made by a former professional footballer around this matter of celebration and they were spot on.

    Imagine a team like Leeds playing Liverpool at home in the Premier League. In the first minute Leeds score and go 1-0 up. Are Leeds and their fans not allowed to celebrate the goal? The final whistle blows and Leeds have lost 5-1, will tthe pundits and analysts criticise Leeds for celebrating that 1st minute goal? Of course they won’t because they will praise the Liverpool team for overpowering the opposition and coming back from a losing situation.
    As Liverpool score their goals will they criticise the celebrations. Of course not. They will analyse for the quality of the goal and whether Leeds made a mistake.
    This whole situation is pure BULLSHIT.
    The one question one needs to ask is why do certain pundits just select one team to criticise? I don’t hear Man City fans being criticised for doing their Poznan….
    What is the Agenda here?

  7. I actually blame Sky and BT sports for the utter dire commentary, what happened to objective and unbiased commentary of the old? All you get now is condescension and patronising bullshit opinions from idiots. I don’t buy into the narrative of TV company’s promoting soap opera style scenarios. Unfortunately being assholes comes naturally to some people, and those two are prime examples.

  8. As I see it, the most severe side-effect of VAR is the curtailment of celebration. Carragher and Neville are the hired henchmen sent to enforce that.

  9. A Premier League official says that “video assistant referee decisions are taking too long and offer a poor in-stadium experience”.

    He also said that the incident where VAR incorrectly overturned a referee’s penalty decision involving Kai Havertz in the match against Man. Utd was incorrect.

    This is interesting because Howard Webb claimed that it was a clear and obvious error and a good use of VAR.

    Who was VAR that day? None other than Jarred Gillett.

  10. Excellent article as usual on the money. I would add that the analysis of the game after the final whistle was even more bizzare, focussed almost entirely on the mix up between Allison and Van Dyke. Much was made of the fact that this was a one off and that they are the best in their positions in the Premier League if not the world, ignoring the fact that both Van Dyke and Allison are both prone to errors. I’m not sure it is Anhedonia but I’m no doctor but I am sure it is in part jealousy. Also I would argue that their predictions for the game made them feel the need to justify themselves in some way. Compare the analysis on match of the day by Danny Murphy and you get an idea of just how biased the Sky team were. Still we’re gooners what else do we expect the media have slaughtered us since the move to the Emirates and even before that. Don’t expect a mature debate especially from Carragher who never won a Premier League title in all the years he played for Liverpool.

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