What’s it like to feel so negative all the time?



“Making the Arsenal” – the book of Arsenal’s decline and rebirth

 Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal


By Tony Attwood

Thus we are progressing nicely through our 14th consecutive year in the Champions League.   14 years of ending in the top 4 in English football in order to qualify – something that has never previously been even remotely approached in our 125 years history.  The nearest we got before this run was five consecutive seasons in the top four – from 1930/1 on to 1934/5.  The following season we came sixth.

So high are expectations that there was talk before this match of “wrapping up qualification” so we could put the youth team out in the last two matches.

That’s the problem really: no matter how high the bar we raise the bar higher.  In the dreadful Rioch season we all went mad because in the last minute or so of the last game we came 5th because after coming 12th the previous year that was real progress.  Wild delight because we got into the little Euro cup.

Now top four and entry to the group stages is the absolute minimum – even though from time to time giants like AC Milan play in the little cup.  Only Real Mad and Manchester U can claim 14 solid years.

Even a 5-3 win away to the multi billionaires of Chelsea is not enough – we have to do it every game.  If we don’t hammer WBA next saturday the AAA will be out calling for Mr Wenger’s head again.  (Incidentally I see AAA is creeping into the vocabulary now on other sites.  Another bit of Untold entering the lexicon, along with “rotational fouling” and “rotational time wasting”.  A nice was to make a mark).  (In case you missed its origins, AAA stands for Anti-Arsenal Arsenal – the endless moaners around the club).

Of course it was not the greatest of games, but still an enjoyable evening out in north London.   But still I was left with a sense of bewilderment.

Someone said on the radio that we had two goal attempts all night.  I have come across these things before, and I suppose these days I subconsciously count attempts on target.  I think I made it seven, but I did not record the game so can’t go back and check.   Maybe we need the equivalent of Walter’s team of statisticians who do the ref reports to count the goal attempts too.

Lee Dixon made some bizarre comments on the radio after the game about how in his day he used to get the ball from Adams and pass it to Bergkamp’s feet who would sweep the ball forward.   Yes, sometimes.   But not always.   Even God-like Dennis had down times, like when he got himself sent off for elbowing.  Even majestic Dixon passing so sublimely made mistakes – like his majestic own goal against (I think) Coventry, scored from about 30 yards out because with no pressure on him he didn’t even bother to check where the keeper was before making a back pass.

So, this was not a great game, but I think we had seven chances on target, there was lots of excitement, and we have every chance of moving through to the next phase – quite possibly as the top team in the group, which is where we currently are.

Then there was some action in the away end – not the jumping up and down and singing, but obviously something that got the stewards a bit excitable.  No one reports that any more… so we never quite know.  (Oh and maybe we need someone close up observing the away support and reporting on the chanting.  On the way home on the radio we had all sorts of negative comments about Chelsea’s chanting and how it damaged their image.  Come on guys, that is Chelsea.  No one damages their image.  They have no image).

One thing we can agree on is that Vermaelen came back as everything we hoped he would come back as, and the revitalised Vermaelen / Koscielny combination ought to be something else when we see it – perhaps at the weekend against WBA.

Anyway, 10 games played, 8 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat.  That’s the sort of series of results we picked up in championship winning years.  Of course we are only 7th, and I would love us to be first, but we are still in the 14th consecutive year, we are still on a terrific run, and we are still top of our Euro group.   That’s not bad is it?

I wonder about the AAA and their journalist friends.   What’s it like to be that bitter all the time.


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24 Replies to “What’s it like to feel so negative all the time?”

  1. I thought it was a pretty entertaining game in the first half played at a fairly hectic pace. Everybody looked pretty knackered at the end of it and it showed in the second half.

    Some really good passing out of tight situations . Walcott played a couple of blinding little dinks. Everybody worked hard to cover for each other (especially for Santos 🙂 )

    Park did a lot of good running but looks like he needs game time

    VP and Kos got a rest.

    Just missed a goal for us but heh you cant have everything!!

  2. What the AAA and their chums will do is to nitpick through every game and list the increasing reasons why Arsenal cannot prosper. They won’t go as far as predicting relegation but a place in the Europa is the best we can expect.
    They will roll out ex-players left, right and centre and particularly ex Arsenal players, whose memories are as selective as those of politicians.
    It remains for all true Gooners to separate the wheat from the load of chaff. In the words of the old ballad “Accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative”.
    The doom and gloom merchants of the AAA will never disappear but
    they can be defeated by loyal support by true fans for whoever
    is the Manager of our great Club, coupled with whoever wears the shirt. We can do no less.

  3. A better 0-0 game I would say. It was intense and full of tension. As games in the CL ought to be.

    Like you say one defeat in 10 games and then only because of a not given handball from which they scored and still there are some who are complaining????

    What do they expect ?? 10 wins out of 10 games?? ridiculous…

    Oh yes I would have loved it if we would have won but that is football. You don’t always get what you want.

  4. > We feel negative about the team’s defending – ie. the whole team, not just the back four … and rightly so. When the oppo. has the ball we are as the ex players say … very poor.

    > We feel negative about the lack of tactical variation, lack of change in formation to bring the best out of key players. We rate it as ludicrous that Wenger doesn’t do tacics.

    > We feel negative about going so far behind in the EPL with the club leaving it till the last moment before suddenly buying several new players when the season was already 2 weeks old ! (though we don’t know whose fault that was)

    But let me change the subject … how does it feel to blather on uncomplainingly with the view that Arsene is wonderful and everything is fine ? Or do you not know any better ?

  5. The AAA seems to be a bit of a spectrum, from the sites I have visited , the more extremely dis-satisfied have often claimed to have long given up on their season tickets, hopefully to be replaced by a more supportive type of fan.
    Nothing wrong with constructive criticism from true supporters, but some of it is wide of the mark. I think most fans recognise the manager is trying to right problems, but some maybe underestimate how difficult it is to do so. For instance, how on earth do you replace Cesc or even Nasri in one go – no matter how much you may spend?
    Even as the team seem to be growing into the season, some of the more extreme elements of the AAA seem obsessed by what they class as AKBS,attendance figures, media reports, Wenger losing the plot etc. their perogative I guess but seems a strange way to support a team. Maybe they think they can influence things, but hearing Stan this week, well, I wish them luck!
    If anything made me feel as bad as some of them appear to about the club, I would get that thing out of my life, fortunately Arsenal, despite ups and downs have never taken me to the verge of self harm or suicide, as some appear to be on the path towards.
    But a couple things worth remembering, not all the AAA are Arsenal fans, and most other clubs have their own equivalent. West Ham booed yesterday, people calling for St Arrys ‘ead at the start of the season, just wait and seen how some Chelsea fans react if as appears they are faltering! Some pretty vicious stuff from Utd fans after the Citeh game as well, interesting to see their numbers or lack of them in the ground at the final whistle of that game

  6. @Chris,
    What I know is this. In whatever part of life you are, in work, rest or play, it is far happier to have a positive outlook on things, than be for ever negative, defeatist and a misery. You should try it sometime.
    Remember, never worry overmuch about situations you cannot change.

  7. @Chris: But let me change the subject … how does it feel to blather on uncomplainingly with the view that Arsene is wonderful and everything is fine ? Or do you not know any better

    Chris, let me see how many reasons I can come up with on this.

    Because…Untold has made it its business, in the face of the onslaught of the negatives, of, among other things, “…supporting the Lord Wenger”.

    Because, in doing so, Untold has found no shortage of germane matters to talk about as well as interested and committed followers to talk about them with.

    Because, it is more strange to assume that a coach who has delivered much more than any other in the history club and will rate among the top 10 ever in the English football coaching history based on performance “does not do tactics”.

    Because, even with the club’s stellar performance in the last 10games and clear evidence of potential to keep improving, some fans will prefer to see the glass half empty. Much as it is the fans’ right to do so, those who prefer to to see the glass half full and filling choose to speak up in Untold.

  8. @Chris

    “We rate it as ludicrous that Wenger doesn’t do tacics”.

    For a manager that ‘doesn’t do tactics’ to have a team go 49 games unbeaten is a real feat then.

    For a manager to mastermind a young team reaching the champions League Final with a record number of clean sheets and midfielders playing at LB and RB is a real feat then.

    Wenger told the media what tactics he relayed to his team while losing 2-1 at half-time to completely turn a game on its head and record a 5-3 victory against a top team.

    And Wenger (while “not doing tactics”) has NEVER seen any of his Arsenal teams finish outside the top 4 of the league. Despite almost exclusively using cheaper/free players with no marquee signings we only finish below teams that spend HALF A BILLION on their squads and while finishing above teams that have spend far more than Arsenal.

    To all that i say thank heavens Wenger ‘doesnt do tactics’.

  9. Strange, this team has beaten every top team in the world during the last few years, if we really do not do tactics, this fact alone suggests tactics are over-rated. Think it was either Shanks or Sir Matt who said something along the lines of football is a simple game complicated by fools?

    On all the negative stuff the club have recently been on the end of, good to see them fighting back. Was a bit unsure of Stan but am impressed by his recent comments, he leaves nobody in any doubt who is in charge of the team matters, that must be of great assistance to the manager. Only my gut feeling, but I was coming under the impression some players, and maybe even Ivan were starting to get a bit flaky in their backing of Wenger at the end of last season. IF there is any truth in this, Stan has turned any such thoughts on their head. Wenger is in charge and whoever your god happens to be.. willing there to stay, the media, AAA or unhappy / possibly some spoilt players are not going to change that. And it seems a lot of the fans are responding positively to this call to arms.
    Is it just me or does Wenger look a different guy that the figure he cut at times last year?
    The factions in the AAA are entitled to view the world as they wish, not all are completely wrong on all issues, but as their club do not seem to give some any happiness at all,in fact quite the opposite, I hope the most extreme can successfully find inner peace and satisfaction elsewhere. At the end of the day, life is just too short to let Wenger / Theo / AKBS /crowd attendance announcements / Stan / Usmanov / O’Neil / Ancelotti get to you to that degree

  10. @ Chris,

    The constant moaning from people such as yourself is boring, you don’t support the team but instead are along for the ride, happy when we win but end of the world and spit your dummy out when we don’t. We were spoilt with some of the best football ever during the invincible season and you expect no less than this again even though football has changed. Wealthy owners are now in abundance, the sky is the limit for transfer fees and wages. Teams like Man City could in theory pay a player the same wage as Arsenals entire annual turnover if they wanted, how do you for one second expect us to compete with that?

    We are lucky and you should be happy with how well Wenger has done with the team given the constant uphill struggle he faces from every direction, lack of resources. I for one feel as Arsenal fans we owe Wenger a great deal of grattitude as any other manager would have walked by now leaving us in the sh@t. Things are certainly much better than they have been historically.

  11. People who are generally positive live longer, and have more fulfilling lives, according to the medical reports. That is why those involved in the medical world are so desperate for the government of the UK to do something about the biggest medical problem we have in this country: depression and illnesses related to depression such as anxiety.

    Sadly the government is cutting the money being spent on such problems, so the matter will get worse.

    What I was asking was why people put themselves through all this torment and sorrow, and risk tipping themselves over the edge into depression.

    I guess from the AAA member who has written in, we can see the answer: they do it because they can see no other route. They are lost within the depressive mindset, and can’t see that the mindset you adopt is up to you.

    You can be happy, you can be sad. You can be negative you can be positive. It is your choice.

  12. Its far easier to sit back and snipe like little c cris from Cambridge is doing above, firmly seated in his ignorance and prejudice than to try and maintain a balanced view like most of the posters on this site.
    Why be positive when you can stand out as a minority of sore-headed, misinformed, whiny moaners and groaners whose candy has been stolen and milk spilled by big bad Arsene?
    Little cris…..did you bother verifying any of your claims against reality before posting?
    1) We feel negative about the team’s defending – what exactly are the problems you and ex-experts feel are causing these defensive issues?

    2) Wenger doesn’t do tacics – tell us exactly what and how he misses in tactical skills that your Fantasy Football skills detect?

    3) leaving it till the last moment before suddenly buying several new players when the season was already 2 weeks old ! (though we don’t know whose fault that was)- why does there have to be any blame and tell us exactly under what circumstances these transfers were negotiated and when they started!

    4) Obviously you do not know any better – you’re blathering about how bad Wenger is when you can’t seem to support your rant with anything specific or factual, just the usual AAA speculations and hyperbole that the media generates for you lot.

    We do see the issues and problems at the Club, as does Wenger and the Board but they choose to try and solve them without pointing fingers at phantom evil designs and supposed but illusory failings, unlike you and your AAA cronies. Try a dose of reality or better still a dose of X-Lax to lighten up your mind!

  13. In live you can choose: you can choose to be unhappy or you can choose to be happy. I chose to be happy most of the time. It’s better than being unhappy.
    And no my life ain’t perfect. Far from it. Every person has to bare his own cross as they say in Dutch. So do I and so do most of us. But I made the choice to feel as happy as I can.
    And my boy only 1 defeat in the last 10 games is something to feel happy about. I wish it would go further like this for the rest of the season. 🙂

  14. There is a lot to be happy about with this team, not least the way they can play. There is RVP, our keeper, Rambos development, TV returning, Kos becoming a top top defender, Jenkinson , a kid who we can all see will run through a brick wall for the club he has always loved, the fact that we should have refreshed versions of JW and Bac available at the end of the season, hopefully great things from Gibbs, Theo,Ox, Coq, Ryo, Frimpong, Miquel and others to look forward to. On top of this, we have Wenger.
    Yes there have been some negatives but thats life. RVP may get injured, we have lost great players, City may win more than we do for a while, the refs and media have it in for us, ex players and a manager spout nonsense and the stadium announcer sometimes over estimates the numbers inside the stadium, Talksport do not like us as much as they like Arry.
    But there are worse things to be than an Arsenal supporter…..

  15. @Stuart:

    I don’t believe that Arsenal is incapable of competing with ManCity. Let’s wait to judge that until after we play them.

  16. ‘At 11:00 30th Oct 2011, You wrote:
    It’s usually a good idea to shut the boot before you let off the handbrake if you want to nip up the M6 to Manchester without hair-raising adventures. Course, if you just pottering around the village, you may get away with it………’

    BBC property, so you can’t use it.

    My quote on Arsenal ‘letting off the handbrake’.

    Obviously, they decided last night to shut the boot before putting the key in the ignition. So they kept Arshavin on the bench, despite him being fit as a fiddle and not tired. Manager’s gamble which didn’t work.

    I’d be surprised if a deal wasn’t done with Marseille. The result suited both parties. And as Park played so badly after being pinched from Lille, maybe that was the quid pro quo extracted by the French mafia??

    Just hope Dortmund aren’t party poopers. And Arsenal draw in Greece. Now that really WOULD be a disaster. If Dortmund beat Marseilles and Marseilles beat Olympiakos.

    I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with me chiding Mr Kroenke for saying what wonderful owners the Glazers are. Along the lines of ‘how would you like to pay your mortgage off then be told to pay it again at 12-odd percent?’

    Seems obvious to me that the way to commercialise globally without LBO is to do a commercial JV. Costs of management staff for JV are single digit millions per year. You build the deal flow up and the profits are shared. The Glazers get their dividends, the fans pay what they were paying before, everything in the garden is lovely. Sorry, forgot to factor in the Yanks having to crush the English if they get good at anything. So LBO the lot of them.

    Most un PC I know, but it’s the truth. And as I didn’t even get an acknowledgement of my application when commercial jobs at Arsenal were advertised, I’m hardly likely to share that with the scions of business genius whose experience puts mine to shame, am I?

    I’d suggest Mr Kroenke sells up and does a JV with Arsenal on global commercialisation if he’s got ideas about leveraging Arsenal to pay off his Deutsche Bank loan.

    I’m sure he won’t take any notice of me.

    But if he were a great businessman averse to investing so much money, I’m amazed he and Arsenal didn’t do that deal in the first place.

    He grows commercial from 30 – 100m per year.

    £70m incremental income = £35m for 50% JV. Less 30% to players, say £10m. So he gets £25m. If he pays £5-10m a year to do it, £15m dividend annually after a ramp up period of 5 years. So does the club. Great ROI, low downside. He could sell it for £100m+ back to the club if all parties wanted to do that……..

    So much less strained than contested takeovers, eh?

    So much nicer for all the fans not paying interest for years on some banker’s sharking.

    So much better way to really build trust in business than threatening all over the Murdoch media empire if you darn limeys don’t sell up when we yanks tell you to.

    And the club and players get a fair return too.

    That would really cement a ‘special relationship’ wouldn’t it?

    Thing is, you know something, I’m not sure America wants a special relationship.

    They like sending their scholars and has-beens to study and work in Britain.

    But Britain actually growing in partnerhsip with them?!

    Get real. They’ve taken our place in India’s hearts, China’s their best buddy. Why would they want us to be a strong, independent voice?

    Perhaps Mr Kroenke et al would like to prove me wrong??

    I’ve seen nothing yet which says they had any intention other than grabbing the juiciest franchises and making us pay for the privilege of them doing so…….Tom and Jerry down, any more for the high jump??

    But if their intentions are pure, now’s the time to show it…..

  17. @Stuart:

    Ok, good. Guess I hear the alternative so often that I just jumped to the conclusion that that was what you meant 🙂

  18. I bet ‘Chris from Cambridge’ up there believes that he has elucidated his points quite magnificently up there. The trouble is, one needs to stand the bottle the right way up, or one risks loosing all of its contents. An unfortunate outpourings, I call it.

    Just my opinion.

  19. It is unfortunate that Arsenal Holdings now has a single majority owner. Without checking I believe Henry Norris was the perhaps the last to have overriding command of the Board?

    Bolton, Everton, Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanders are the only teams in the EPL to have what I would term the old style, local boy and support the local team, owners. Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers keep their managers away from the financial decisions and are relatively debt free. Both Bolton and Everton have managers who are allowed freedom of management. The Financial Reports of those two clubs are proof that David Moyes and Owen Coyle are both financially unsound of mind. Everton and Bolton have both increased staffing levels with players and ground staff to an extent that the turnstiles and broadcasting monies barely cover the annual wages bills. Allardyce started the overstaffing at Bolton, which Coyle has continued.

    Both David Moyes and Owen Coyle have been touted as future managers to replace Mr Wenger. Heaven forbid!

  20. @Rhys:

    I’m not sure that Mr. Kroenke really praised the Glazers for being such great owners. Here is the full transcript of his comments (or at least it’s a full transcript according to John Cross):


    But I thought that his comments on the Glazers were kind of…obtuse… Not sure exactly what he was getting at, really.

  21. @Notoverthehill:

    In response to your comments about Everton, I’m just going to re-post what I just said on the Everton/ManU ref review:

    “Looks like Everton also has a “sugar daddy” trying to move in:


    What do you guys make of that? Maybe it would be worthwhile to keep a closer eye on Everton in the near future?”

  22. @Chris from Cambridge,
    Here’s a little nugget for you to ponder
    “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.”
    especially the last bit and the god bit is also optional, infact it is only included because it adds authenticity.

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