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August 2021

Arsenal sign Swedish midfielder. Are you afraid of happiness?

By Dr Billy “The Dog” McGraw

University Hospital of the North Circular Road

So we have got the Swedish international and Frimpong’s gone to Barnsley.   It’s coming up to 7pm and I’m going dancing, so if we do sign anyone else you’ll have to talk among yourself.

But meanwhile, unhappiness rules.  For the AAA happiness is frightening, something to be avoided.  Feeling good is to be avoided at all costs.  Along with therapy.

Which is why we are happy, and they are miserable.

These people feel unworthy of good fortune, because, well, after feeling good, comes the bad.  So let’s avoid the good straight off and get down to the bad.  Arsenal will be lucky to qualify for the Champions League because we only got one player in on loan.  At least up to 1900 GMT.

There’s even a researcher in New Zealand who has developed a way of seeing how AAA (or afraid of happiness) you are.

Paul Gilbert of Kingsway Hospital in England and his colleagues found in 2012 that “Some people experience happiness as being relaxed or even lazy, as if happiness is frivolous and one must always be striving; others feel uncomfortable if they are not always worrying,   It is not uncommon for people to fear that if they are happy about something, it will be taken away.”

As the Scientific American web site suggests, “Past research supports the idea that  an aversion to positive emotions often coexists with mental disorders. Patients with major depressive disorder, for example, have been found to fear and suppress both negative and positive emotions more than healthy people do.”

According to Gilbert. “It is very important that the fear of happiness become a focus for therapy in its own right, and that means treating it as you would any other fear.”

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Traditional therapeutic approaches often encourage depressed patients to participate in enjoyable situations, yet the new findings suggest that some people may first need to practice allowing themselves to feel any pleasant emotions at all.

So there you are.  Practice being happy.  I mean, you could do it in all sorts of ways.  Take lots of exercise and get the endorphins going.  Fall in love.  Smile a lot (that always helps).  Listen to some music.  Watch a comedy on TV.   Watch Tottenham on TV.   Read the papers.

Yeah, let’s take the last option.  Read the papers.

Let’s see what have we got.

“Cannibal rats coming to Britain”

The Sun.

There, that should keep you miserable for a while.

Do the quiz: are you afraid of happiness?

69 comments to Arsenal sign Swedish midfielder. Are you afraid of happiness?

  • ClockEndRider

    Dr Billy,
    Nice article sir.
    Now off to the Regal you go and strut your stuff.

  • Rantetta

    Tut, and thrice tut.
    I smell an unhelpful Dockta. Why not just let the miserable-istas have their day (lifetime)?

    And isn’t it oh so typical of you, that in the hour of need, you gone effing JIVING! You could be providing a service to many by sitting in front of sky sports news – who’ll have “reporters” stationed outside football clubs – telling us “nothing’s happened”. Then, every time sky broadcast from the Em’s you could tell us how desperate you feel.

    Oh no. Not you. If you want effing endorphin’s, why don’t you eat loads of chocolate or get drunk and run someone down with the car?

    Tut you very much.

  • rantetta

    Did I or did I not tell you we need a proper goaly?


  • OMGArsenal

    Happiness, as Albert Schweitzer often claimed, is found by helping others and forgetting oneself. Those who actively embrace any experience of happiness without abandoning themselves to a fear of it disappearing, are more likely to remain happy and satisfied EVEN when their actual cause of this happiness diminishes or disappears. This is NOT delusional but very healthy psychological attitude control and self-discipline. Those, on the other hand,who abandon all hope when faced with the slightest suggestion that their source of joy will dwindle, are psychologically preparing themselves for failure and depression, as the above article succinctly points out. Kallstrom, an experienced International with a solid reputation for defensive midfield play is a positive addition to the Arsenal, as we face the run in. What more did anyone want in a poor TW? Most affordable and high quality strikers are CL tied or not even available and few EPL teams will be willing to transfer a player to their rivals,other than Cheatski….Mourinho being the Machiavellian muppet he is.
    Anyway, based on our record since April 2012, we are the best performing team in the EPL and I cannot see any reasons that would drastically change, barring more serious injuries or a terrible drop in form…neither likely to happen imho.

  • para

    I wonder if Mourinho will end up at Utd after all? If Moyes don’t make CL, i’m not so sure he will last. After all Utd can’t really afford to lose more than one year. Imagine that, Mourinho from Chelsea to Manu.
    Oh, where did that thought just come from?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Strange. A while back arsenal fans wanted us to sign experienced senior thirty something internationals with defensive capabilities. Now we have done that, the manager is berated for not signing an expensive unproven kid prospect, the like of which we used to sign much to our critics chagrin.
    Guess wenger cannot win.
    Still wish we could have got a striker though, fear that could bite us, not that I know of any great ones available

  • Mandy Dodd

    Talking of strikers , park off to,Watford,,good luck,to him. Still , a striker light, hope sanogo makes some,progress.

  • Gord

    Reading that story about Kallstrom, he seems a very attentive/aware person. How many internationals would notice a child mascot was in distress in the lead up to a game, and seek to comfort them?

    Maybe some of Ozil will rub off on him, and his passing will rise to where his awareness is? 🙂

    I wish him the best!


  • Damilare

    Thanks Doc for this great article.

    I guess the article may already be too complicated or too simple for our friends to take as serious advice. Whatever is done sir, some people are doomed gloomers.

    Folkslore from our elders: The jackal one day came crying to the carnivores’ meeting. ‘Why are you crying?’ they asked. He said he was scared that one day there won’t be enough meat left in the wild for them all. He quickly suggested to the meeting that a daily meat contribution should be made as reserve and pleaded to be the custodian. Surprisingly, they all agreed and jackal was very happy. After the meeting on their way home, jackal suddenly bursted into crying again. ‘Anything the matter again?’ the Lion asked. ‘Im just scared to death should you guys suddenly change your mind not to contribute meat again’ the miserable jackal answered.

    What a low life.

    Meanwhile, a very big warm welcome to Kimmy. I like to call him that.

  • bjtgooner

    I don’t know much about Kallstrom, but he is an Arsenal player and as such I am happy to welcome him to the club. Lets move forward with confidence.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very true bjt welcome KK

  • zuer

    Wow… seriously don’t expect any movement this transfer window. No Draxler, no Vucinic. Some people may get very, very upset. Well stupid of them to read believe stuff written in the gutter press.

    Kallstrom – never heard of him but I’m gonna trust Wenger on this. Unlike popular believe it is Kallstrom whom Wenger believe to help push us for the remainder of the season. Off goes Park and Frimpong. They seem to be not part of Wenger plan anyway. Finally manage to loan out Park. He’s not bad but not good enough for Arsenal I’m afraid. Frimpong? I think his time is up or else we won’t go for Kallstrom.

  • zuer

    Oh my bad. Seems Frimpong move is a permanent one. Good luck to him and also to Nico Yennaris. A couple years ago, they seems likely to break through the first but what can we say…

  • Gord

    KK is apparently eligible for CL. Which is a bonus. And Wenger would have known this from the beginning.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ bjtgooner – I was expecting you to be at the very least to be ecstatic !
    Wot ? No rejoicing at “Cannibal rats coming to Britain”-
    The Sun ? What a feast we shall see ! I do hope you’re not backing( or pitying ) the local vermins !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Doc Billy – The fact that governments paid money for such research and the researchers just proves the old adage ,”A fool and his money (happiness )are soon parted (departed ?)”.
    In America the study is called the Bernard Madoff conundrum , and it may be years before the results are out !
    The shrinks are also onto this racket as there is an unlimited market out there ! Good grief !
    As for doctors ( ahem !) don’t you worry that what we do is called practice ? Don’t you want perfection ?
    You do ? Its your lucky day !You have especially been selected to receive the Brickfields Gunners’ 2 Step Wellness Programme . Keep checking your e-mail daily for further details .
    As a special offer to the AAAAs , you only pay double!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “Be like a duck, paddling and working very hard inside the water, but what everyone sees is a smiling and calm face.”
    ― Manoj Arora( From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom )

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I watched many games with KK playing for Lyon; great central midfielder with a really good touch. Since I do not support Lyon at all (the President, Aulas, is a pretentious attention-seeker who weakened the Ligue 1 by making it noncompetitive, playing good academic football without much flair) and I am fond of the smaller neighbor (Saint-Etienne), I admit to have always liked KK and wished that he had never joined them. The other preeminent OL players like Juninho, Govou, Toulalan, Benzema, etc… were as unlikable as the rest of the team, but KK was one guy who looked like he should not be wearing the Olympique Lyonnais jersey.

  • Armin

    Kallstrom was quite important wheel in OL while the were “best of France football” few years ago.
    He is maybe 31 on paper, but his fitness is of someone with 25. He is there to cover hole between Ramsey and Flamini. For me, it is very wise signing.

    Talking about opinions, few days ago, on Mirror Football I found comment from guy who was telling it is crazy to bring another winger (meaning on Draxler) and that Arsene only know to bring wingers, other players don’t exist in his head. Yesterday same guy said “How many world class players we have to miss to bring till Wenger realize. In Summer Chelsea or City will buy Draxler and we will again be left empty-handed”

  • Sammy The Snake

    Good words. Thanks Dr Billy.

  • robl

    Come come Armin, it makes perfect sense to spend 37.5M on a player that can’t have a medical.

  • Armin

    Why not, we have money and could be nice present. Like real Christmas/birthday gift. Warped so you cant see what is in.

    Though in most of cases I got disappointed getting all those boring sweaters.

  • robl

    Could also run the risk of it being pants..

  • Armin

    yep and you will hear from stands

    He wear them when it rains
    He wear them when it rains
    Hawaii pants he wear when it rains.

    After few games, on LG you will than read post how those Hawaii Pants don’t deserve to be worn on our asses and they have to be sold immediately.

  • Lief

    Another window gone and another washed up signing bought… Well done Wenger. So I am guessing girouf is to remain fit and injury free throughout the whole campaign? With the managers lack of trust in the prolific German the drinker bar tender is meant to fire us to the title? And late bids for a grandad in Klose and the Chelsea rejects….. Seriously what are they smoking at the Emirates these days?

  • Va Cong

    Ieif why not van pooopy did? don’t cry when we win the league just jump off the nearest high building. Kind regards the rest of us.

  • gouresh

    This KK chap seems to have a vicious left foot. Lets hope he shows what can do. Welcome home KK.

  • Asif

    And how many in the gutter press had guessed/imagined this guy’s name! The press has again been left on the trail…well done AW! In Arsene We Trust..!!!

  • TJ

    As pointed out on a different thread, on Football Focus Martin Keown said

    “Kim Kallstrom will come into the Arsenal midfield. It’s a temporary signing, but the front of the Gunners team is still a problem. It’s a gamble, though we trust in Arsene Wenger.”

    I believe that sums up accurately how most Arsenal supporters feel. Lets hope that Arsenes gamble pays off.

  • Rupert Cook

    Bit miserable after the transfer window are we Dr. Billy? You’ll get over it.

  • Va Cong

    Can someone shoot piers Morgan.

  • The font

    How can people criticise it’s been a great season so far I have really enjoyed it top of the league second phase champs league ozil joining Ramsey emerging as a superstar joint best defence record a new find gnabry . and lets not forget tom rosicky and a massive new sponsor deal

  • Gf60

    I suspect that many of the AAA are direct descendants of the Plymouth Brethren? Of whom, a recently married couple went to the minister to ask if it was OK to make love standing up. He deferred answering and said he would ask guidance from the elders. Shortly thereafter, he called them and said “NO. It might lead to dancing.”

  • Robl

    @ Va Congress, who is going to abuse Piers now we’ve sold Frimpong??? He was worth the money for that alone.

  • Lief

    Rupert, sssh don’t say anything against the dictator too loud here, you will be branded a spuds fan.

  • bjtgooner


    Very funny about the cannibal rats! I did notice that!

    I also noted in Dr Billy’s article: –

    “As the Scientific American web site suggests, “Past research supports the idea that an aversion to positive emotions often coexists with mental disorders. Patients with major depressive disorder, for example, have been found to fear and suppress both negative and positive emotions more than healthy people do.”

    Could this explain a certain depressive AAA sewer rat?

  • ARSENAL 13

    Then came the storm. Window slammed shut. And people say Mancity have signed so and so. Noe they’ll win the league by 8-10 points…. Hmmmnnn.I guess we should stop playing now. And give them the tin….

  • jambug


    Ssssh, I’ll let you into a secret….it’s a Pro arsenal pro Wenger site.

    WHY ARE YOU HERE ??????

  • bob

    “He is maybe 31 on paper, but his fitness is of someone with 25.”
    Hopefully you’re right. Why do you say this?

  • Armin

    because what I know about him and what I sow, he is strong powerful guy, on whom you cant notice he is over 30. And I cant remember, but I don’t think he is even injury prone.
    So based on all I know about him, he is quite fair gap filler in absence of Flamini and Ramsey. He can also be “Arteta” in games Wenger decide to push Arteta further up. So quite good all-around midfield player.

  • TJ,

    Whenever I need to make a decision on my support for Arsenal or how things are are going for the club and the game, I have always wondered: “What would Martin Keown think about this?”. Because as an Arsenal legend, whatever he thinks must “sum up accurately how most Arsenal supporters feel”.

    I like it when we outsource our thinking to the pundits (club legend or not), by looking up to them to validate the decisions of the man that has actually proven his mettle as one of the best at his job in the entire world.

    I am a big fan of MK as my avatar shows but until he has acquired and shown management acumen, his opinion is only a little different from that of hundreds of other paid talking heads.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am I the only one ,or are there others out there of the same impression that, AW realising that everyone has cotton on to his “converting the winger into a striker ploy” and thereby so passe , has changed tactics by buying an older experienced midfielder to be made into a true false centreforward ?
    What’s that Billy ? I’m the only one ? Oh ! OH !
    In fairness , I’ll been ‘adviced’ before on this site not to do tactics !
    Well ,you know what they say .” A prophet is never ….

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Bootoomee – And I’m sure AW checks out all the AAAA websites to get a feel of the pulse of ‘most’ of the Arsenal fans before acting !

  • Armin

    Brickfields I disagree, I think he is going to be used as Steve Boulds wig.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Armin , then ees’ been cheated !

    “Three things are men most likely to be cheated in, a horse, a wig, and a wife” Benjamin Franklin

  • Gord

    The BBC has bad news:

    > 14:45: KALLSTROM BLOW?

    > Some worrying news for Arsenal supporters coming out of Sweden, with reports that loan signing Kim Kallstrom has suffered a nightmare start to life in the Premier League after picking up an injury that will keep him out of action for the next two to three months.

    > Leading tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet say the Sweden international picked up the knock in his first training session at his new club following his deadline-day move from Spartak Moscow. This has not been confirmed or denied by the Gunners, who next play on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace.

    > He was only signed on loan as cover for injuries – so his stay could be very, very fruitless…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Two AAAAs were walking in the woods when they came across a pair of tracks.
    One of them said they were Deer tracks while the other insisted they were moose tracks.
    Well, they argued and argued about it. They were even still arguing about it when the train ran them over.

  • TJ


    I do not allow Martin Keown or any other person to make up my mind for me. However, I do agree with what Martin Keown said yesterday, and his opinion reflects what most fans I know think and have thought since the summer- that we are short up front.
    Obviously Arsene knew this too, which is why he bid £40 million and one pound for one in the summer. The only change since then in the striking department has been losing Walcott as an option, Park is gone now too, and Sanogo is proving not to be an option. At the same time we are looking at an increasingly fatigued Oliver Giroud trying his best to play every game.

    Is there a chance that Martin Keown and many others may be right and Arsene could be wrong? While Arsene has been saying we are title challengers for the last 9 years,these other people you call ‘talking heads’ have been correct and we have finished miles off the pace- closer to 5th an 1st.

    We will know by May, or possibly the end of March

  • Mick

    ‘Sanogo is proving not to be an option.’
    Given that he has been injured for most of the season and hasn’t therefore had a chance to ‘prove himself’ you are quick to write him off are you not.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    And now he’s reported being injured in the first practice. If the reporting is a lie, it’s evil. If not, it’s tragic.

  • bob

    And in equal fairness, Sanogo’s being counted as an AFC striker in reserve (to somehow say we’re fine as we are) is equally premature. There’s no record either way of what we have in him. Just a name for now.

  • TJ

    Mick- has he proved to be an option yet? No. Will he prove to be an option before the end of the season? Who knows, Arsene said he would be back in January but he has not been seen. Is he likely to be a good option? Who knows, but its worth remembering he has never played outside the French second division- so unlikely to set the PL or CL alight this season.

    Bob- KALLSTROM LATEST: Arsenal head of comms Mark Gonella denies he will be out too long. “Two, three months is a little exaggerated.” #AFC
    15:10 – 1 February 2014

  • Mick

    Well now he is back in training so we shall see in due course what it is that Arsene saw in him. Lets just give the bloke a chance before coming out with ‘proven not to be an option’.

  • Gord

    Some more from the BBC

    > 16:59: David Ornstein, BBC Sport Kim Kallstrom update

    > “New Arsenal signing Kim Kallstom is set for a spell on the sidelines with a back injury that was discovered in the medical before he signed on loan from Spartak Moscow.

    > “The 31-year-old Sweden midfielder sustained the problem on Tuesday while playing football on a beach during Spartak’s pre-season tour in Abu Dhabi.

    > “He informed Arsenal of discomfort upon arriving at the club on Friday but, despite an MRI scan showing no damage, a CT scan found an issue with his back.

    > “The Arsenal medical team provided manager Arsene Wenger with the prognosis, but it was decided Kallstrom would still join and undergo his rehabilitation with the Gunners.

    > “He is expected to miss at least Arsenal’s next six games, in which they face Crystal Palace, Liverpool twice, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Sunderland.

    > “Kallstrom did not train with his new team-mates on Friday or Saturday and will briefly return to Sweden and Russia before moving to London and beginning a course of treatment.

    > “The former Lyon player, Arsenal’s only signing in the January transfer window, joined on loan until the end of the season to provide cover for injured midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, plus the suspended Mathieu Flamini.”

    I guess AW figured on KK being there for March, not for Feb. I sure hope things are okay.

    Tie for the spuds, and loss to ManU. Mannone doing well apparently again. Frimpong sent off for 2 yellows for his new team.


  • chibyke-nija

    kk injured? arsene’s luck sometimes is …..*shakes head* i personally feel kallstrom is a good move.( if he is fit before the season ends that is)

  • Lief

    Haha you couldn’t make this up…. So Wenger signed a player he knew was already injured… Brilliant scouting there.

  • bob

    “i personally feel kallstrom is a good move.( if he is fit before the season ends that is)”

  • Arvind

    This is one of the better well balanced articles I have ever read –

    I strongly recommend everyone here who is down in the dumps because we didn’t buy read it.

  • Gord

    Nice article Arvind (if I ever mis-spell your name, it is because I actually know someone named Arvid).

    As I read the article, it seems to me the author is suggesting that AW would like transfers at any time. I don’t know that I agree with that. I think that AW would like all transfer activity to stop once the league starts. No transfers 2 weeks into the season at the beginning and no transfers at mid league.

    And loans are also on his mind. The only thing I can think of wrt the Chelsea transfer of a player from France, loaned back to the same team, is to keep some other team from buying this player next summer. And I suspect this player will never play for Chelsea at any level. Financial doping.

  • Arvind

    Not a problem Gord. I remember AW saying that either do it once at the start or keep it all through the season , as it apparently was when he started. I started watching Arsenal only a decade or so ago so I don’t know.

  • jambug


    You’re on a pro Wenger/Arsenal site doing nothing but whinge and you wonder why you attract some abuse!

    You couldn’t make it up !

  • Rupert Cook

    Hilarious, so the one signing we make to cover for injuries is injured and will likely be out until after Ramsey and Wilshere are back.

    I don’t know whether it’s rank incompetence or just bad luck.

    I think it would have been wise to have another striker. Berbatov might have been decent back up as he knows the league and might have been more motivated at Arsenal than Fulham. Of course that wouldn’t have been fair on all the other league teams according to Wenger’s weird rationale. Strange then that we signed Arteta after the league had started but I guess an 8-2 thrashing can suddenly give a man flexible principles.

  • Pete


    Just to clarify, do you want Wenger to leave or not?

    Thx, Pete.

  • bjtgooner

    I wonder did the rupert read the title “Are you afraid of happiness?”

    What a miserable existence to be always negative, always moaning, complaining and criticizing in a snide way.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Pete, I wanted Wenger out five years ago. Do I still want him out? Well it’s very interesting now because he actually says he’s only going to buy super quality and did just that with Ozil. Now he seems to want to use some of the immense resources available to him it will be fascinating to see how successful he will be. If he really does start buying players of the calibre of Ozil, and I’d expect to get at least two such players in summer considering these deals we’ve made and the 3% ticket increase planned for next season, then maybe he should get another year or two. But I find it hard to believe that Ozil wasn’t just a sop for the frustrated fans and Ozil will start doubting Wenger’s ambition just like RVP did.

    Having said all that I still doubt Wenger will win another trophy, the CL is certainly beyond him.

  • Pete

    Rupert – thanks. Interesting observations actually. But I may remind you of them in the future as I doubt many are still reading this thread!

  • Rupert Cook

    @Pete, you may indeed. My comments usually kill a thread off! And I hope I’m entirely wrong about Arsene.