I’ve Been Supporting Arsenal for 27 Years, and …
I’m sorry, I am getting tired of crap comments. What got me into this state was someone who wrote in (who I am calling Super-brain) and who said (on the night the 2012 season ended) something to the effect that Arsenal had only been 1st or second in the highest league in the last 27 years. He had apparently supported club for 27 years, and so after this run he found Arsenal finishing 3rd this year is inexcusable.
2 Me and Arsenal
I don’t know how long I’ve supported Arsenal. I liked watching them on TV the odd time I seen them playing. I can remember Alan Smith as a striker, so my memory goes back a ways. But, I acquired a friend over the years who was a Manchester United supporter. He had the attitude a bit like SuperBrain that before a new season even started the rest of football should just give first place to Manchester United, and then squabble among themselves for the other places. First was theirs by right.
Since then I’ve found Liverpool supporters that have the same arrogant attitude, so personally I hope that for Liverpool it chokes to be finishing below Everton this year. David Moyes has had nothing to work with for far too long, and to finish above Liverpool is probably the only gift he will get this year. But I am getting a little distracted.
3 Why 27? Why median?
I don’t have a problem with anyone being a supporter for 27 years… and 27 is short enough for me to go and find league standings and actually look at things. The era starts in 1985 – a time which pre-dates the EPL, and so some of the records I would be looking for are in the First Division and some in the Premier League. Thankfully, Wikipedia had data. (It is entirely possible that the data I took from Wikipedia has errors, in which case I may have to restate things later, but I am guessing they are more or less on the right track).
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In generating a response to this Superbrain person after doing the math, the intention was to present both arithmetic mean data and median data. As the median is a more robust measure of central tendency, it is better to use for situations where outliers (exceptionally bad or exceptionally good) are likely.
I can only support a team that will be top 2, that’s what this Super-brain said.
Okay, 27 years ago, when Super-brain decided to start supporting Arsenal. He just KNEW upon watching them the first time, that they would always be in the Top-2 of English Football. Where did Arsenal finish in 84/5? Seventh. And in 85/6. Super-brain had to watch 4 seasons of unacceptable football, before Arsenal got a Top-2 finish. Next year, fourth. How could Super-brain not kill himself? They finally got to a Top-2, and they follow-up with a totally unacceptable fourth? The next season, Arsenal finishes 1st again. Oh joy! Arsenal will finally stay Top-2. The next year, another fourth.
Surely suicide has to result?
The next year is the first year of the EPL. Where does Arsenal end up (according to Wikipedia), tenth! Fourth was horror! What can a person do with 10th? Surely this must have been the end of time on the Maya calendar? Or some other apocolyptic event that fruitcakes keep coming up with?
Fourth. Twelveth. Fifth. This Super-brain, who only accepts Top-2, and that is why he supports Arsenal for so long (27 years) has had to endure just way too much. I think we should nominate Super-brain for something like the Nobel Peace Prize. He must be like the best person on Earth, to endure so much substandard football!
4.1 Wenger Arrives
Arsene Wenger arrives in 1996/7 (13 years after Super-brain has started following Arsenal because they are always a Top-2 club). Arsene’s first year is like death itself, third! How could he possibly come third? First, second, second, second, first, second, first, second. Ahh, after following my team that can never finish out of the Top-2, he finally gets a string of Top-2 finishes. Since then: 4, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3. Surely the manager must have lost it to consistently drop a single place over many years? This HAS to be the definition of mediocrity!
It has to be utterly horrible, that any manager can have his team finish in 4th or higher for 15 years! Surely it is trivial for all 20 managers of EPL teams to have an average league ranking of 2.56 over 15 years, and a median league ranking of 2.5? Any team owner can just hire any Tom, Dick or ’Arry and get that kind of performance from your team.
Please, someone go calculate SAF’s average and median league placing over his tenure at Manchester United! I’ve got other things to do, like making it easier for Walter and his reviewers to convince people that refereeing in the EPL doesn’t measure up. Hey, go calculate Pep’s and Jose’s while you’re at it.
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with what Arsene Wenger has been doing! If the AAA “supporters” who can find nothing but problems with anything and everything from game to game really want to help, put all of your money in a common bank account, and go buy the contract of whoever you think Arsenal needs the most. Then offer that player to Arsenal (and Arsene) for FREE! For one year. And then we can start talking about whether you actually know your mule from a hole in the ground.
There are a few possible explanations for Super-brain’s feelings:
1. Super-brain has early onset Alzheimers syndrome. In which case he really should talk to his GP and start getting tested.
2. Super-brain was actually born in about the 1993-1995 time frame, and didn’t start watching Arsenal until the 1997/8 season. Everything before that were memories while he was still an unfertilised egg inside his mother’s body (Rosie? ).
3. Super-brain is a fraud, and just lives to post nonsense.
My initial guess was 3. Perhaps you have other explanations for how Super-brain could come to the state of mind that he apparently has?
Is there a point in engaging with arguments with people that just live to tear down people’s feelings for their club?
Fine, I wrote this without looking back in the thread to see Super-brain’s two responses since I posted my numbers (and did mix up of modal and median twice so I wasn’t being as clear as I wanted).
I suppose I owe it Super-brain to read his response, and read the other 6 comments in that thread since then, actually two predate my response, so 8.
First response is generic. Accepting third or fourth place is meritocracy.
Super-brain reports my logic is flawed. What logic? I gathered a bunch of numbers, calculated averages and medians, and presented them. He presented logic, my intention was just to shoot holes in it with data. I wasn’t arguing. He wants the old Arsene (the 1-2 places), as the (3-4) of late are unacceptable. Knowing the various statistical problems with football (nothing to do with refereeing reviews), there is no statistical difference between an average of 1.5 and an average of 3.5. As the statisticians complaining about this lack of differentiation are not limiting themselves to the EPL, some of this inability to predict winners comes from the rules of the game itself. This doesn’t preclude there being confounding factors, such as referees trying to influence the outcome of games, or referee assignors trying to influence the outcome of games.
And it was nice to see a few UA people, provide incentive for Super-brain to go elsewhere. Thanks guys and gals (I suspect mostly guys from the handles).
Footnote. [By Tony]. I was moved by this article and so decided to offer a little solace. I have created another set of awards known as the Oik Awards. Superbrain, referred to in this article has just won one of these awards – Hysteric of the Week.
The point of the Oik Awards is that it helps draw attention to people of the type described here who come back day after day repeating the same points without any analysis. For superbrain you can instead note a dozen or more others who say, “for a club of this size this is unacceptable”.
If I have not created an award for something that you want to draw attention to, please do suggest it. Otherwise, if you want to comment on someone who is just repeating the same old stuff over and over, simply go to the Oik Awards, find the right award, and award it to the oik of your choice.
And anyone who calls this childish is right – it is. And I reserve the right to be childish when I want to. I spend far too much of my life being grown up and serious.
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