It’s the hope that kills you


By Tim Charlesworth

I am starting to reflect on how lucky I am in life.  I am blessed with a wonderful family, living in a world without war (my bit of it anyway), my health, the privilege of education, living in an age of prosperity, absent of pestilence, famine etc.

This is not usually a good sign.  I am reminding myself of these things because I am sad about the performance of a football team.  And it all seems so daft.  When there are so many things in this world to be happy about, I am sad.  I’m sad because a bunch of men, who I don’t really know (however much I think I do), are not doing very well playing for their football team.  Just for the sake of clarity, this is a football team that I have never played for myself, and with whom my connection is largely imagined in my own mind.

Wouldn’t it be better, to just walk away?  I don’t need to suffer like this.  Most seasons, we don’t win, and of course this is true of all teams (even Bayern Munich have won less than half of the Bundesligas that they have participated in).  The whole thing is pointless, and even if we win, I can only gain by someone else’s similar misery.  My pain and nervous energy makes no difference to the team.  They will do just as well without me, and I would be letting no-one down if I left.

And I think I am not the only one who feels this way.  I hear talk of people who won’t renew their season ticket, people who want to ‘resign’ or even ‘switch to another team’ (the ultimate crime for a football supporter).  Of course they won’t.  I have wanted to resign on a number of occasions (particularly in recent years), but I have given up trying now.  I know I never will.  The next win just sucks me back in.  I just have to enjoy the good times and suffer the bad ones.  There is simply no other option.  I don’t know why I can’t walk away, but I have given up wondering.

We’ve suffered before.  2007-8 was taken away from us in a truly cruel manner.  2013-14 was hard, and really frustrating.  But this is worse.  This team is stronger, the opposition is weaker.   I really think that we are the best team in this league.  The sudden run of bad results is both perplexing and surprising.  It came from nowhere, and was accompanied by some bizarre losses of form (Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud, Gabriel)

And the prize seems greater too.  It may be silly, but I genuinely care about Arsene Wenger.  He is an amazing man.  He suffers with us, he hurts even more than we do in defeat.  He is a genius of football.  If he could pull off just one more championship, it would be one of the great achievements of all time.  Has any manager ever gone 12 seasons between triumphs – I don’ think so.

And there is something magical, in life, about the ‘old dog’ proving that they still have it.  Sport is littered with people who were unpopular in their pomp, but we came to love them towards the end.  Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, Stuart Pearce, Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Brian Clough, Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Robson.  We came to support all these people because they reminded us of times gone by, of happy days with friends and family lost, because they gave us all hope that we’re ‘not done yet’.

But also, there is a darker side.   We know that if these older characters lose, they won’t get another chance.  When a youngster is vanquished, the hope lives on.  They will get another shot.  A victory for Wenger would be one of the great comeback stories, and might finally earn him the universal affection that he deserves.  But it seems we may be denied that uplifting story.  And we start to wonder how many more chances he will get.

Worse than that, I fear for the club too.  Arsenal looks like it is corporately over-reliant on Wenger, and under-prepared for the next chapter.  His departure will leave a lot of holes, and they won’t easily be filled.  This is the era of the internet, when every setback is accompanied by gaggles of baying fans, feeling sorry for themselves and working themselves up into a self-fuelled feeding frenzy of anger and outrage.  Many boards of football clubs have made mistakes in the face of such provocation.  Arsenal’s board has resisted so far, but will they last forever?  It only takes one mistake after all.   The Man U-Fergie experience is not a good precedent.  The fans may be unhappy now, they may be angry, but I’m afraid that won’t stop things from getting worse.

Barcelona was disappointing, the Man U game was upsetting, but the Swansea game was a genuine disaster. By the time of the Tottenham game, I had gone apathetic.  Like many of us, my pre-match feeling was one of dread and gloom.  I knew we had to win to stay in the race.  I knew an away win against the second placed team was unlikely.  I expected us to lose, and for the final hope to be extinguished.  I didn’t dare to hope any more.  (Out of interest – all the Spurs and Arsenal fans I know were implacably convinced that their team would lose this match – how ironic that they were all wrong!)  I couldn’t watch, but just kept an eye on my phone amidst the mother’s day festivities.  I inwardly groaned when we took the lead.  It was the first time this season I have failed to greet a goal with joy.  Not more hope, I thought, not now, please.

Of course I couldn’t ignore the siren call of the North London Derby.  I had to watch the second half.  I arrived in a pub full of Spurs fans, just in time to see Coquelin making a slightly silly tackle.  “Oh, you’ll get booked for that”, I thought, not realising he already had a yellow – because I hadn’t watched the first half.  Of course, I had arrived just in time to watch the worst ten minutes of the whole season (there is some pretty stiff competition for this title).  I sat there and just wanted to cry (being an Englishman, of course, I didn’t – especially as I was the only Arsenal fan in a sea of Spurs).  I thought I had got rid of all the hope, but I clearly hadn’t, there was still enough to hurt me on its way out.

Sanchez’s goal barely caused a flicker of a smile.  It was too little too late, and anyway I expected Tottenham to score the winner (a Kane rabona from his own half seeming the most likely option).  The Tottenham fans around me were charming by the way, full of sympathy, and equally convinced that their team was about to concede the winner.

But neither team did concede, and both NLDs end in draws that could end up expensive for either team.  The draw keeps us in touch with Spurs, and still hoping for St Totteringham to come.  And if you can still beat the second placed team, then it’s got to be possible to catch the leaders.  Leicester are not out of sight.  If they slip up, they are still catchable.  And if ever you thought a team leading at this point in the season had a chance of slipping up, then surely Leicester would be the most likely candidate.

And that’s even worse.  If Leicester do it this season, it will be one of the great sporting stories of all time.  Surely their supporters deserve it, for all the years of loyal support, without hope, suffering the privations of the Championship.  Surely, a Leicester win would be a good outcome for most fans, and for the game overall?  And here’s me, wishing misfortune upon them, for my own petty selfish reasons.

My heart tells me that something, which I don’t really understand, has gone wrong with this talented team.  My head tells me that you shouldn’t believe in mumbo-jumbo, and this is a high-quality team that can still do it.  Of course, as observed above, my own assessment of the situation is now highly unreliable.   And you can’t get around this problem by talking to fellow fans right now.  We are all emotional wrecks who have lost the power of reason and objective analysis.  I listen, even to respected commentators, and they are talking nonsense.  Bookmakers seem to think that there is something around a 1 in 5, or 20% chance of Arsenal winning the premiership.   This is actually quite similar to the odds at the start of the season. (And I wasn’t depressed then!)

So there is a chance in the Premier League.  I struggle to see it myself, but that’s an emotional reaction, not a logical one.   The objective bookies evidence suggests that there is enough of a chance to keep me interested, but also that I am very likely to suffer more disappointment.  This is exactly what I don’t want now.  I don’t know how much more I can take.  And I think that’s why I really didn’t enjoy the Sanchez goal.  It restored a glimmer of hope, in a hopeless situation, and that was the worst thing about it.

The truth is that, in the unlikely event of us winning the title this year, I will be delighted with everything that has happened (including, and especially, the Sanchez goal).  I will say things like ‘what a ride’ and ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way’.  Its all ridiculous isn’t it.  I quit.  Only, I don’t, of course, and I won’t.

So now its back to the FA Cup.  And its really difficult to keep the hope away.   Even the most pessimistic analysis has to conclude that we have a good chance in this one.  Hull are surely beatable (albeit another Swansea-esque opportunity for unexpected heartbreak).  And if we win, then its Watford at home, a good draw, and a good chance to make the semi–final.  Even if the CL and the PL are gone, the FA Cup dream lives on.

The irrational side of me still thinks that somehow we are destined to meet Chelsea in the final and finally prove that we can beat them in an 11v11 match.  And what a story that would be – three in a row, Wenger winning more cups than any other manager, Arsenal setting a new high watermark in FA cups won.  All on a happy, sunny, May afternoon, with spring turning to summer and Spurs to come in the Charity Shield………


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27 Replies to “It’s the hope that kills you”

  1. I think that if ever there was an advert for studying the Alexander Technique, or going to Yoga classes or indeed for taking a course in hypo-therapy it is supporting a football team.

    If ever there was a second case for any of the above it must be seeing and hearing how the mass media has attempted to steal our game from us.

    I could never have survived a lifetime of Arsenal without having learned how to take myself away from the stresses of being a supporter.

  2. Being an Arsenal fan builds character! Unlike you I really enjoyed both of our goals even though I fully expected us to lose. I absolutely went crazy because our goals were so unexpected.

    Also unlike you I do not think we will ever win the title because I think football is totally fixed and a Leicester win has been set up since Howard Webb became PGMO head.

    I also like the hatred of Arsenal by the media because I know how evil the media are. You want to be hated by evil people not liked.

    So surrounded by all the evil and negativity towards Arsenal the few moments of joy the team can provide me are even more wonderful because I know how hard it is for our team to accomplish anything in this environment.

  3. I like this piece,Tim. Honest and with lots I can relate to in there.

    Got to laugh at the fact we just about managed to watch the game between us. I took myself off to sit in my garden when Spurs equalised.

    I’d put in some work beforehand on approaching the game calmly, with hope and without the sort of anxiety et al I’ve been dogged by of late. It was going very well and I evidently deceived myself that I’d managed it and would henceforth be watching the action in a more appropriate, stoical manner. The joke was forming , ‘huh, so positivity really does work’

    Then that damn feeling, nightmarish and not really appropriate to the reality of such a tough, close sport, when things went wrong. Nope, the new tougher, saner football-watching me is only good until one of the slings and arrows hits the target.

    My guess is that things will change a lot when Wenger is no longer there. Even if I happen to like whoever replaces him it will be impossible to want success as much for/with another manager.

    Still, even though it will presumably be more comfortable psychologically, I don’t look forward to that time and hope it’s a while yet and that something truly great can happen in the meantime.

  4. tbh i wished the season would stop after we beat leicester for the second time
    they could give the title to chelsea or aston villa for all i care, since it became clear they won’t let arsenal win it

  5. I wonder if someone has made a statistic of lost games because of a) a red card b) an own goal or deflection c) 5 minutes of passivity.
    It just seems to me that we’ve inflicted many of the problems ourselves…

    Then as Mr Wenger said : football is cruel.

  6. Football is cruel. It’s an heartache, a permanent regret. If a human being is sinew, bone and consciousness, football is in there somewhere, never forgotten, always returned to. The Swansea game. The ball crashing against the woodwork.

    The deflection against ManU for the third goal. That cannot be explained, nor is it capable of being replicated. Therefore, it has to be lived with.

    Which is why the PGMO is corrupt. It betrays the principles of the game. Where fairness is demanded as the principle, the referees do not supply it.

    Hull tonight. I live in hope. Many thanks for the article.

  7. Good write up Tim, Arsenal football is definitely not for those with weak hearts! I tried being apathetic before the Spurs game too so I can just enjoy the game win/lose/draw, but that completely goes out the window once the match starts!

  8. Good piece, sums it up really. A supporter’s dilemna.

    My emotions are now on low, what ever happens i won’t be too happy or too sad. 🙂

    Who am i kidding?

  9. Tim.

    Nicely written. Being a football fan is a roller coaster ride of emotions. I hate the 24 hours after a defeat, my mind just cant seem to let go.

    You said: “I really think that we are the best team in this league”

    We are. No doubt about it.

    I know it’s not popular to say this but I think we have genuinely been unlucky this season. Those who wnat to raise their eyebrows can do so but I truly believe this.

    I often hear this ‘excuse’ dimissed on the basis that ‘luck evens out’ but it doesn’t. That is not to say you don’t benefit from fortune as well as misfortune, you do but this season I do think we’ve been negatively affected by fortune. Tactically we have dominated many games, shots on target demonstrate that. Did we deserve to lose to Swansea, no. Neither Swansea goal was a ‘goal’, on another day they are both scrubbed off. We hit the woodwork three times. West Brom beat us with just 1 shot on target, when we took them to the cleaners. We are not being outplayed, we just havent really been getting the rub of the green. This has happened frequently. There have been elements of naiverty that we have to sort out, certainly Coquelins ill discipline in the NLD that cost us a couple of points but against Spurs we showed we are far superior to them. We’ve rolled over Leicester twice and gave them a good hiding at their ground.

    I heard someone say that its wengers fault for not buying a proper goalscorer but hey, thats a cheap shot because Balotelli,Falcao and Benteke who were top on amy peoples wish lists, are pretty hopeless. The Fantasy fans favourite Lewandowski is hardly going to leave Bayern, unless you have a Playstation. Sanchez has missed chances he would normally bury, that’s not wengers fault. I blame the shove that put him into the camera pit at Norwich, the same game ironically we lost that little genius Cazorla.

    For me, losing Santi was the biggest bit of misfortune we have had, he made us tick in that role in front of the back four. That’s bad luck there. So too Welbeck, since he’s been back he’s shown us all just how good he is.

    How would Leicester fair losing Vardy or Mahrez? Tottenham without Kane? Man City without Aguero?

    It is about time Leicester or Spurs had a bit of misfortune and our shots went in, instead of bouncing off the post or crossbar. If it’s true that things ‘even themselves out’, then we will be Champions.

    But first of all lets do Hull tonight and build on our renewed confidence.

  10. We all know that Arsenal were the best team in EPL in 2015. But, do you remember how a good run started?

    With a cup victory over Hull.


    P.S. Tim, I share your view. I believe we have the best balance in terms of quality and the best starting eleven in the league. That’s why eventual disappointment for not winning the league would outweight the one from 2013-14 when we had been leading the league for 128 days.

  11. May be I am one of those “Over optimistic” supporters. I always start a season with “oh we’ll win the quadruple”. Even now I am hopeful that we’ll win the triple. Ofcourse loss makes me sad, but that doesnt manifest itself into abuse of players/manager/staff.

    BUT then what connects most people to the club is an emotional thing. Its the loss and the victory that follows that generate the emotional connect. Its the visible weakness of the team overcome by the passion and strong character that generates emotional connect.

  12. Nice article Tim. I am one of those faint-hearted ones.. Well, not actually true, but I can’t stand to watch being cheated. I didn’t watch the second half, as soon as Coq was sent off and spurs equalized i went upstairs. My son yelled to me that Sanchez had equalized but i still didn’t come back downstairs as i thought that pgmo man would soon find a way of ensuring we lost. It is really difficult to move on from such moments.

    I have never lost faith in any of Arsene’s teams, even when we had average players they still performed better than these billionaire clubs. I once said I believe Arsenal have been cheated out of a few title wins since 2004, and I can tell you this year will be another year that will count towards that. Hell even the Sun did a warped analysis and found had refs done their jobs properly we would be on top. And this was before the second pgmo chelsea saga, the pgmo mess at southampton, the rashford clearance, the dier incident… I recall posting a comment last week saying of the top four sides, all had had dubious decisions go for them in at least one match apart from arsenal who had at least one important wrong call in every match since Jan 01.

    Andrew’s table of shame says 17 potential points stolen, even though i would say that’s being conservative, give us those 17 points and see where they take us. Another season, another title stolen.

  13. @Proudkev,
    You are quite right in your quotation.
    I was brought up in England during the first four years of WW2, during which the weekly visit to a football game was a respite from the toil and pressure of daily life in a country infested with food rationing, the blackout and long working hours.
    Tribal rivalries were largely forgotten and as I say, attending matches were treated as more of a relief for a couple of hours.

  14. Nicely put Tim.
    I watched the game in an Arsenal Supporter’s bar and promised not to get carried away either way. But, you should have seen how I jumped out of my seat for both goals. And as you rightly say, all for 11 men I don’t even know.
    We were the best team in 2015, as we were in 2013. Most points won in the calendar year. But we just seems to drop off… And drift away.
    I don’t believe in luck or magic, but I could swear a spell has been put on Arsenal! How can it be that we’ve lost our touch. How can the boys hit the frame of the goal 3 times in the Swans game. That’s more difficult than scoring!

  15. Nicky.

    I was sitting in Club Level as a guest once in a North London Derby. We had been two down but when our third goal went in to take the lead, I lost all my sense. I jumped up and punched the air, jumping around with both arms raised, soaking up the atmosphere as i watched my fellow Gooners going nuts in the West bank. I Probably kissed my discreet Arsenal tattoo on my arm a few times, a habit I seem to have developed. I remeber high fiving the guy sitting behind me and another fan. Amazing feeling. I may have said something unpleasant about the Spurs fans, I really can’t remember. I was just ecstatic, it’s the sheer release of emotion that makes your mind disappear into another place for a few seconds.

    As I sat down, the guy next to me wearing a BT Polo shirt and eating a sandwich of some kind, tapped me on the shoulder, smiled and said; “You want to be careful mate, you’ll bust a blood vessel”. Luckily the cucumber in his sandwiches had been sliced.

    The point is that some people seem to be able to cope calmly and show a lack of emotion. All I know is that I would rather have extreme emotional highs and lows, then sit on my bloody hands eating a sarnie. Nothing beats that adrenelin rush. For me, football is ABOUT the passion and it should never be underestimated.

  16. Luck? Whats luck and where is the evidence for it? Sad about the teams performance? AFC played not so well v ManUre but the other games AFC played well as the stats show.Do you not think its the fact the team didnt win that youre upset about not about their performance?
    Hope doesnt kill anyone its the polar opposite that does that.All players have hope to win,whatever age,whatever league whichever country.All know the risks of the game and all take it.Why because its playing that counts and an outside chance of winning,its a dangling carrot of hope, but its the actually playing, and the hope of mastering physics and the other unruly polemics of football that they play for. Yes the aim linked with aim.But that cant be dont with negativity.Who would even start to play if there was no hope.Which fan would support(or even follow negatively)if there wasnt some kind of hope?
    Arsenal are totally prepared for the next chapter as much as they can be.A quick scoot around the infrastructure of the club shows this.No,really they are.
    If you think this time is bad, then take the pill and go back to the the post 1980 pre 88/89 seasons.And even 88/89 was a bloody nightmare in that we only just got it,by the slimmest of margins at the last second of seconds having messed up badly the end of the season.In fact if then was now theres a chance that we couldnt have pulled off the Liverpool game.I speculate but the collective negativity at that time was seemingly invisible,now it would have a massive affect. But that team and the fans of the time didnt give up hope,because it all we have.And thats what made that evening even more magical,because it looked like hope had gone.Good job Mickey Thomas didnt think so.Why even bother start a game otherwise? Try the 79/80 season and playing c 75 games and coming out empty handed after two finals? And Brady going.Now that was difficult to deal with.
    Why as an Arsenal fan would you not have been joyous at Sanchez’s goal? Without the Coq going off we may well have won that game. It was a goal that put us back in the game.It wasnt just a glimmer of hope.Arsenal arent shit in a hopeless situation, but a team still in three competitions.
    Nothing will stop the fans getting more angry except to win the league and then as many times as possible after that,until the day comes when they will lose and scream blue murder again.Tough shit, thats football you win you lose.Ask the Chelsea and ManUre fans what this season is like for them?The FAC means little until the league looks like going and then its a big game again.And even if we win it,that will still not be enough.Such is the world of cravings,hungry indeed,never to be satisfied.
    What can you achieve with pure negativity?
    Some people actually want us to lose tonight, why would some want their team to lose?Wenger or not, I support the club.
    So we have a match that might be tough but one we can win and many sections of our fan base think we might lose.Think is the key word here. Mind=subtle energy=matter. Until people get this then the negative people will continue to pull things apart. Good job we have excellent away support who know how to swing a game.OK sometimes home support too.Think of the Leicester game,people staying until the end and willing the team to score, then the nback again at teh Swansea game?No affect?Really? Why did representatives of Swansea FC state to journalists post game that they knew they could get the home support against the team and it would swing the game?
    Who was the best team in the calendar year of 2015?Spurs?Chelsea?Leicester?
    Whats the Mumbo jumbo you dont understand? Some guys got injured( Groddeck will tell you why)and we sometimes couldnt raise the game.We arent the only force in action at anyone moment.Its not even two, the polemical forces at any point are perhaps going to into the collective billions.Thats football.Its more about psychology than anyone is will to admit and after we’ve mastered that it will go to the next level,then wait for how complicated it might become.
    The bookmakers only speculate, they arent some kind of authority,otherwise the odds on LCFC would have been different at the start of the season.There is no objectivity.Only assumption.And the ability to change.And thats a key point.
    Plus all the reactions to things you write of are emotional and not logical.What’s logical about shouting or getting upset about 22 blokes kicking a bit of leather around hoping to get it between some posts? Footballs a massive illusion.And from there it will show all the other crap we buy into.But the real problem is that we invest our other values into it thats the real illogicality.But its a big deal now and expensive.And in some ways thats great as there might be some shit like Adolf Hitler whipping certain people into line and doing their bidding rather than raging at Wenger for not delivering the goods.Or in this case, emotions.
    Thats why people go potty when Arsenal lose and say in a mood for a week when other people are starving or have flies in their eyes or live on the streets or are being trafficked.Plus the planet is facing some big shit, a friend of mine has just got back form Siberia and has talked about the permafrost melting, which will have catastrophic affect on the planet.Bigger than Wenger out.Bigger than Kashadians buttski too.

    (Just imagine if football fans put the same amount of passion into solving those problems as they do with “problems” in football).

    –Or scream at players telling what to do when they could never do it.Ever.You try going in front of 60,000 people and master the laws of physics in a split second with everyone calling you some form of term for genitals or worse while some other highly talented person is bearing down on you? Football looks easy but it isnt.
    Truth is?Truth is a vast complicated form that isnt involved with dualistic thinking. That which we perceive as truth is us all swimming in a pool of trillions and trillions of elements so interwoven that nobody can see the final affect of anything in the long term and all feeding off each other in relative terms.
    Wenger spoilt most people, but his might not come into perspective until later when hes gone.But also maybe not.Hes certainly changed the club forever with his ambition, especially in the CL.But perhaps the next manager will win every thing for the next 20 years never losing a game ever.Then some will complain about that too.
    Why would you want to keep hope away against Hull?I hope that we win, and if we lose I will deal with it.One day we all die which means changing your form, never to moan again or anything else.And for the ego in its final seconds will be worse than AFC losing.Unless we’ve calmed things down before.
    Arsenal needs your support,it just might change things.
    I dare say you might think Im a twat,I sure can be, but I was kind of worried about what underlies you article: I feel upset and we might not win-anything.So Ive address a few points.We might not, but we might.

    And Spurs to come in the Charity shield? I hope not.

  17. Emotional? It is more than emotional. The affinity with a football team is more than a marriage it is a commitment without a charter or certificate or vows. It starts somewhere when a heartbeat misses & does not know where to stop. The Manager is a part of now but doesn’t hold control over the affection. Each player has a similar affinity but nothing is greater than the club. The club is the sun in our football solar system. We live by it & it is there day or night (reflecting in the moon). The greatest part of this football life is accepting that there are good times & bad. Never bad because of the club but because of forces pulling outside its natural purpose. The loss of a match in sporting fashion is never an issue. A loss that is contrived by non sporting methods imbalances temper more than a marital arguement.

    I love you Arsenal.

  18. @Proud Kev

    Nothing can bring you on the brink of divorce like striking fear into the beloved wife after Welbeck’s goal because she has seen a crazy side of yours she hadn’t been aware of (most of the time I watch Arsenal all by myself so that an occasional punch in the screen doesn’t disturb my wife).

    Or explaining who is that Alexis girl I wear her name on my back.

  19. I believe the Russians have a saying that goes ¨the last thing to die is hope¨….which says it all!

  20. Awesome guys , all that I had wanted to say and some ! Its a little easier for me as I watch the games alone at home , don’t really have to face or avert anyone the next day after a bad game either at work or on the streets .

    But like most of the regulars , coming on here the next day and enjoining the AKB group therapy is usually very cathartic and I’m in a better frame of mind by evening . By then I would have found a relevant joke or two to post on here and get some laughs.

    As a MAD subscriber , I always remember this quote from many years ago that always puts a wry smile on my face.

    ” Adversity prepares you …., for more adversity !” – Alfred E. Neuman.

  21. @omgarsenal

    Yes, you’re right. There is a friend of mine who is married to a woman called Nada (Hope). He says: “Hope dies the last…but hopefully before me!”

  22. I could never imagine supporting a football team can help one grow so much, in so may ways. Dealing with adversity was never my strongest point, now I lash out every now and then at the yobswobs but most of the time making a rational argument settles the case (as long as there is a glimmer of logical thought left in their primitive minds too).

    Which is another interesting and stunning realization – how much of this world is driven by raw emotions and how different could it be if it were only 10% more rational.

    Maybe hope dies last indeed. Until then, we hope:)

  23. Excellent as ever Tim.
    Really sums a lot of it up.
    Also wonder if a May Day at Wembley could be our appointment with destiny….and Chelsea.
    Won’t be Spurs in the CS though, they are running our of steam. Just cannot for the life of me work out why Leicester are not, we have debated this issue on here, but still a bit baffled by them tbh.

  24. What a great debate. Kenneth (the longest comment I have ever seen) and others remind me that I shouldn’t be too flippant about the idea of hope. Its hope that makes the small child choose education over violence in war-torn Africa. Its hope that keeps the young girl in school in a repressive society. It was hope that allowed Nelson Mandela to inspire the world during his long imprisonment. It was hope that made bombed out and bereaved families carry on in the blitz. Hope, (with its sisters: faith and charity) are our lifeblood. Hope is, indeed, the last piece of our humanity that we lose.

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