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March 2021

Arsenal 2016/17: Hopes of Joy for the Season


By Fishpie

Last season Untold was good enough to publish a series of my posts which tried to measure and assess our progress during the campaign. The basic idea was that Win, Draw, Loss and Points data from the previous 10 years had given us a pretty consistent picture of what it had taken teams to win the Premiership and I wanted to plot how Arsenal were doing against those champion-form norms.

I was hopeful that the momentum of Arsenal’s two previous consecutive FA Cup successes and the gradual acquisition of better players would propel us into that kind of form and into the title chase proper.

Obviously my idea of using precedents didn’t work…at least not completely. Last season proved to be totally unlike any of the previous 10 years in that none of the big clubs came close to those WDL or point tally norms they had previously established. Instead, without a precedent in sight, Leicester came from nowhere to win the title superbly.  With just three defeats all season, the Foxes won the title with fewer points than any of the previous 10 years’ champions.

So much for relying on precedents.

That is, except in the case of Arsenal; for us, what had happened before, happened again. While everything seemed to change around Arsenal, we remained the same. We were, as per usual, short of the points tally needed, even when the winning points tally needed was lower.

We experienced the same periods of form and loss of form, the same creditable victories against the “bigger” or leading teams but the same defeats or dropped points against ‘lesser” teams, we experienced the return of some familiar defensive collapses and too many games where the team looked less than driven. We finished second for sure but our performances, our numbers, our results didn’t add up to a championship bid.

Some blamed the refs, pointing to evidence studiously collected and analysed week by week, season by season, which indicated that Arsenal was the greatest victim of bad referring decisions. Others, even more frustrated than ever, blamed the Club, the Manager and the players, some of whom who had had very disappointing seasons for sure. This, as we know, was reflected in increasing moments of supporter protest, the appearance of banners and, ultimately, a call for change; not a convincingly supported one, it has to be said, but more evident and persistent perhaps than seasons before.

Last season I found particularly difficult.

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After the away defeat at United and the home defeat to Swansea, I just stayed away, not returning to my season-ticket seat until the final day of the season. I wanted to be there on that day specifically to applaud Arteta and Rosicky for their valiant efforts over the years; both great servants. As it turned out, it was a very happy day and occasion. The most joyous of many St. Totteringham Day days.

The thing is, for this coming season, I badly need to find a way to enjoy my club again.

The unexpected carnival atmosphere of last season’s final match provided me with a much needed reconnection with Arsenal joy and, in some cathartic way, tapped into the days of my past when I could embrace the joyous moments without letting the disappointments eat into me.

In the early 80’s for instance, there was real joy to be found in watching Tony Woodcock scoring another well taken goal, even if, at the other end, Tommy Caton was bound to be too slow to stop the equaliser. I lived with the truth of that team. It wasn’t a good enough team to win anything but it could give you some rewarding moments and days.

So what is the truth of our team for 2016/17 and where will I find joy by following it?

Now that the Summer Transfer Market is done and dusted, and our squad is fully in place, I feel I can assess where my hopes seem to sit and also assess what I am looking forward to.

So the first thing I sense is my expectations are a strange combination of being higher and lower, both at the very same time. Higher because I think the squad is better equipped and I think the team will be stronger but lower because I think the other bigger teams have strengthened even more than we have. They also have the added impact of new and the very best trophy-winning, proven managers.

We will do very well indeed, in my view, to seriously compete for the Premiership this season.

So, in effect, compared to last season, my expectations, my hopes are lowered.

And with that, I feel free.

I feel free to enjoy just seeing Santi play, to see his twists and turns, his dinks and dummies.

I feel free to enjoy the vision and cutting passes of Ozil.

I feel free to enjoy the  penetrating long passes of Xhaka.

I feel free to enjoy these things for what they are, in their own right, rather than whether they will win us the match.

I feel free to enjoy the developing young talents of Bellerin and Awobi.

I feel free to see how the new team develops, how Mustafa and Perez contribute to the squad.

I feel free to encourage these players, to cheer them on, to help them do their best. And hopefully less quick to moan or groan at a misplaced pass.

The story of the season has a lot to offer even if the title itself looks further away.

But that’s ok. The truth of this team and this season will emerge.

And I am going to try and enjoy this season’s journey wherever it goes and not worry about its destination. That’s my strategy to enjoy being an Arsenal fan and watching its football this season.

As for the longer-term future of the club, beyond this season, in terms of its status, its ambitions, its determination to be winners, its willingness to change and embrace change? That’s a different question.  How I will, as a fan, engage in that story, I suspect, may need be different. Because while I accept my job is to support the team on the pitch, I believe it is also my right to encourage the Club itself to be better than it currently is, to push on for greater glory. How to do that, without seeming to be critical or negative, is a tougher question.

But, as for this season, there is much to enjoy. Good luck to Arsene and the boys.

Commemorating today: 6 September 1913 First match at Highbury.  Arsenal beat Leicester Fosse 2-1 in what was the first opening day victory since 1906.  20,000 present.  George Jobey scored the first Arsenal goal at the ground but was later taken off injured.  See also George Jobey,  The Day it Began and Season Ticket Prices.

You can find 5000 Arsenal anniversaries arranged day by day on the Arsenal History Society site.

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35 comments to Arsenal 2016/17: Hopes of Joy for the Season

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Up the Guns!

  • Great Article. One of the great joys, but also frustrations of being a football supporter is that we are passengers. We kid ourselves that we can help the team by shouting louder or suggesting wise solutions to problems on the internet, but the truth is: the effect we have as individuals is somewhere between tiny and negligible. All our passion, thought and encouragement counts for virtually nothing. Even in the stadium, we contribute only 1/60,000th of the atmosphere.

    I often give myself ‘a good talking to’ on this subject. We all need strategies for coping with disappointment. I have long since given up on the ‘stop supporting Arsenal’ strategy. This strategy clearly doesn’t work (I don’t know why, but in the end you just have to move on). My second favourite strategy is ‘just enjoy the game, don’t worry about the result’. I really like this strategy, and it does help, but I can never genuinely get myself to stop caring about the result. The failure here usually comes when we win. I know that if I am going to stop being upset about the defeats, I also need to stop being happy about the wins, and this is where it usually falls down. ‘its silly not to enjoy a win’, my inner muse tells me, and then its all over. A couple of wins, and I’m right back where we started.

    Good luck, Fishpie, with your new ‘zen’ approach to enjoying football.

  • Also great to see recognition of the fact that last season It all Happened Again:

  • Omo r'Arsenal

    Good or bad, we just have to continue supporting the Arsenal…Love found in time and tolerance.

    Up Gunners and Gooners!

  • virg

    Takuma Asano scored for Japan in their game against Thailand today. He might be able to get his work permit for next season and will have had a full season in Europe under his belt by then. Can’t wait. He seems quite good. Having a lot of goal scoring options up front isn’t something we could count on for a long time.

  • Mandy Dodd

    have a feeling this could be a season to enjoy.
    As this excellent article mentions, we have an impressive squad.
    Others have their “superstar” managers….some unproven in this league, one destroyed his team last year. they have conducted surgery on their teams, may or not work.
    As for the future, Mr Wenger says that depends on how the team does this season….and I can only believe him.
    Whatever the truth,I am sure the manager will throw everything into this season. Not saying he hasnt in the past, but now, he has resources, a big backroom staff, and some excellent players.
    they deserve our backing, and the future can take care of itself.

  • Mick

    Tim Charlesworth
    ‘Even in the stadium, we contribute only 1/60,000th of the atmosphere.’
    Individually yes, but if we all give 100% of our own little bit we finish up with 60,000/60,000 and then that passion, thought and encouragement will make a difference.

  • omgarsenal

    Fishpie………..while I sympathize with your angst and unbridled pessimistic streak in your review, I find more reason to be positive about what can transpire, provided;

    a)we get fairer officiating this year including better protection of our key players,

    b)we avoid long-term injuries…this is always a pipe-dream with AFC

    c)the team gels faster than anticipated.

  • Richard

    Nice written piece fish pie, I enjoyed it and it is different to other pieces out there. Personally I think this squad has the greatest depth it has had in a long long time. That will have an impact on performances and hopefully results. Yes the other clubs have done some good deals in market, but let’s see where things are after all the top 8 clubs have played each other that should indicate where abouts everyone is. Having seen a lot of games this season already I can say city haven’t impressed yet they are still trying to click lucky against Sunderland some fortunate ref decisions against Stoke have helped them. Utd going forward looking good yet they can huff and puff to get an end product. Chelsea have been the best of the three with their midfield impressing kante has added something to them. We have had a slow start but that’s mainly down to defensive injuries and players having extended breaks. This weekend will be interesting a chance to close on those other three teams. For me the target for first half of season has to be 43 points if we make that then we put ourselves in a great position to win league for first time in a long time..

  • Goonermikey

    I’m with Mick

    The difference between being a supporter or a dissenter in the ground is of major significance not just to the team on the pitch but the future of the club.

    Imagine the scene, you’re on international duty talking to a team mate who plays at Arsenal and ask, “The club have made an enquiry about me, so what’s it like at Arsenal? It looks like a great stadium.” There are of course two potential responses:

    a) “It’s great, the fans support the team through thick and thin”; or

    b) “It’s awful, at the first sign of a misplaced pass the crowd start booing…..and if the team has an off day, there are protest marches, social media campaigns and calls for resignations even if you’re second in the league……it’s a complete nightmare.”

    Any fan that thinks their actions don’t have consequences is seriously deluding him/herself.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I try to watch the Arsenal without any of the emotional baggage that seems to afflict many. While winning always gives me a great high , a defeat doesn’t necessarily bring me too low either .

    I try to enjoy each game without too many distractions , alone and with the sound off and a bottle of wine for company . Why bother taking crap from the commentators or so called experts , when your eyes don’t lie to you ?

    Up the Gunners !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WINE and wisdom –

    Fred was driving home from one of his business trips, in Northern Arizona, when he saw an elderly Navajo man walking on the side of the road.

    As the trip was a long and quiet one, he stopped the car and asked the Navajo man if he would like a ride. With a silent nod of thanks, the Indian got into the car.

    Resuming the journey, Fred tried – in vain – to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo man. The old man just sat silently, looking intently at everything he saw, studying every little detail, until he noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Fred.

    “What in bag?”- asked the old man. Fred looked down at the brown bag and said: “It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my wife.”

    The Navajo man was silent for another moment or two. Then, speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, he said, “Good trade!”

  • Fishpie

    @ Goonermikey

    or c) ” The crowd have been remarkably patient, the tickets always sell, they get behind us when we turn up and increasingly have a pop when we don’t. But it’s been a while since we delivered so fair does. Frankly they deserve better and thats why the club want you.”

    And the Club have spent big this summer and new players are here. And that’s partly why there is some good stuff to look forward to.

  • bukola

    i believe in God and His work.i believe God has endow wenger with ability to manage anything.with the depth of the squad.we can conquer anything.forget others with players and managers.ours is the best.the team work is great because of the manager and fans…up gunners!!

  • finsbury

    Off Topic:

    the Manchester Grunt is grunting about car bombs and stuff in Cypriot football, but not any further comment on the comments from Halsey or the PR releases from Lord Riley that they’ve been printing,, at least non that I could see.

    I’m sure Amy Lawrence is scribblining her exclusive as we speak. 😉
    “The rumblings of discontent in stadiums around the land (at the state of the awful officials and the lack of aid they get relative to their peers in other modern sports and the consequent adverse effect oon the entire sport and it’s credibility”

    yes. I can see it now. Or maybe not.

    Funny thing about Cyprus is that it declared independance from the UK in 1960. But fortnately that kind of thing could never happen here.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Fishpie, you will truly find constant joy this season if you follow and watch Arsenal constantly. I am not a football god nor am I a sorcerer. But with all the Arsenal’s titles success conviction which has found habitation in my football mind and thoughts, I can assure you you won’t find any sad cause to boycott the Ems throughout this season to forfeit the use of your season ticket. But become joyous as Arsenal kick start their winning run in all competitions using Southampton as their launching pad to accomplish this possible mission in the 1st half of this season.

    @ Richard, 43 point? Mark you we are going to finish 1st on the table this season. And a PL winning run that begins with an emphatic victory over Southampton on Saturday will see Arsenal finish the 1st half of this season on 53 points.

  • nik

    Goonermikey you posted-“It’s awful, at the first sign of a misplaced pass the crowd start booing…..and if the team has an off day, there are protest marches, social media campaigns and calls for resignations even if you’re second in the league……it’s a complete nightmare.”
    Why are comments like this allowed to be posted.Its not correct ,doesnt involved any factual evidence and is plain wrong.The backlash is because of 13 years underperforming not 1 game.

  • Arvind

    I feel ( and I am open to being corrected ) that this article wouldn’t have been written had we not bought some new toys.

    The article itself, I thought was genuine – while I did not agree with many parts of it.

    I’ll pick out just one here to talk about a little, which I feel is the crux. The need for you to find something in Arsenal to enjoy again. Why can you simply not roll your mind back to the early 80’s you describe and enjoy.. precisely that? Why do you need to get sucked into the rubbish that the media write in the first place? Why do you need fancy toys (I’m aware its disrespectful to use this term for our players but do so just to make my point) to feel you can now enjoy the club again?

    Its your life though and of course you can choose to live it how you please. But remember this, fans are largely nothing but puppets. Not just in football, anywhere. We all can shout however much we want about how ‘football wont work without fans’. The reverse is true too. If tomorrow football and its players stop playing, there will be nothing to be a fan of.

    Arsenal owes you and me nothing. Sure, you’ll hear PR being spewed by everyone around. But that’s it. Do what Tony does and go and dance after a loss or shrug your shoulders, be sad for an hour like me 😉 and move on.

    Here’s wishing we have a successful… no… enjoyable season, and out players give us some moments to enjoy.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Wine , whiskey and wisdom –

    This allegedly happened to an Englishman in France who was totally drunk.

    A French policeman stops the Englishman’s car and asks if he has been drinking.

    With great difficulty, the Englishman admits that he has been drinking all day, that his daughter got married that morning to a Frenchman , and that he drank champagne and a few bottles of wine at the reception, and many single malts scotches thereafter.

    Quite upset, the policeman proceeds to breathalyser test the Englishman and verifies that he is indeed totally sloshed.

    He asks the Englishman if he knows why, under French Law, he is going to be arrested.

    The Englishman answers with a bit of humour, “No sir, I do not! But while we’re asking questions, do you realize that this is a British car and that my wife is driving ….on the other side?”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A frog decided to climb to reach the top of a tree .All the other frogs shouted out to it , “It’s impossible , its impossible !” . Still the frog continued till it reached the top .
    How ?
    Because it was deaf . And it thought that the other frogs were encouraging it to reach the very top .


    That’s the reason that the AKBs and the Arsenal will finally reach their intended goal – we are deaf to negativity !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A farmer ordered a hi-tech milking machine. Since the equipment arrived when his wife was out of town, he decided to test it on himself first.

    So, he inserted his “manhood” into the equipment, turned on the switch and everything else was automatic.

    Soon, he realized that the equipment provided him with much more pleasure than his wife did. When the fun was over, though, he quickly realized that he couldn’t remove the instrument from his ‘member’.

    He read the manual but didn’t find any useful information on how to disengage himself. He tried every button on the instrument, but still without success. Finally, he decided to call the supplier’s Customer Service hot line with his cell phone (Thank god for cell phones!).

    “Hello, I just bought a milking machine from your company. It works fantastic, but how do I remove it from the cow’s udder?”

    “Don’t worry,” replied the customer service rep, “The machine will release automatically once it’s collected two gallons. Have a nice day!”

    ** I know what the regulars here are thinking – that if it only had been one of ‘them’ , or one of those stupid experts /commentators / ex-players ; and if only they had put it into their crap holes , the machine would have collected the two gallons in no time at all ?
    They are after all always so, so full of it !!

  • Nik, the answer to your question: Goonermikey’s comment seems to me completely accurate. That is what happens. Goonermikey describes a situation that I have certainly witnessed. Whereas you consider a cause – but it is you that does not provide any evidence whatsoever. Causes need evidence. Descriptions of events without interpretation which are verified by others don’t. Sorry if you don’t like that, but there are plenty of other sites that will run your sort of interpretation commentary without evidence.

  • nik

    Tony you dont have anymore evidence than i do.If you ,like goonermikey THINK the protests were a result of just one game( even you dont believe that)Why werent there mass protests in 05,06,07,08,09,10,11,12,13,and 2014.Why only in the last 2 years have we seen fans demonstrating with banners and protesting against the club and owners?Why only recently have we seen infighting amongst fans?You show me a season where fans have stayed away more than last season.Look at these factual stats on how many fans boycotted the games at the end of last season in protest at the way the club is run.

  • Fishpie

    Tony, you ask for evidence that Nik’s notion that the negative atmosphere experienced at the Ems (and at some away games too) is caused by an accumulative reaction to many years of underperformance. And sure, it’s ok to ask for it and in so doing suggesting that perhaps there is another cause. And there might be. But certainly for me personally, it is the ongoing, unchanging nature of Arsenal’s inability to challenge for the league title that drives my frustration. I feel, year by year, increasingly upset. And hence last season, it got to the point for me when I actually stayed away. The act of a bad fan? Certainly. But I did feel driven to it. Not by getting sucked in by the media (as Arvind suggests) but by watching matches, watching performances and seeing for myself. Now one personal story is not quantitative evidence but I think it’s a pretty fair conclusion to draw that, overtime, unresolved issues fester and build into something increasingly unhealthy. There are probably results from fan organisation end-of-season surveys (AST’s or the Gooner’s for instance) that provide some sort of evidence that overtime fans have grown or remained unhappy. I know these groups of fans may be at the negatively predisposed end of the spectrum and their views may be overrepresented in those surveys but those fans do exist and have grown, I suspect, increasingly negative as time has passed. Either that or just increasingly resigned. Devoid of hope. My article, in a sense, is a fan such as these (which at times I know I can be) trying to fight the black-hole gravitational pull of persistant underperformance. It can drain the soul. In the end of course all fans of all clubs at whatever level have to cope with teams not meeting their expectations or hopes.

  • Fishpie


    Not in your league, obviously, but….

    A frog decided to climb to reach the top of a tree. All the other frogs shouted, “You can do it, you can do it, go for it”. So the frog, emboldened, continued to climb …but after a few attempts wasn’t getting any closer to the top.
    Some of the other frogs shouted, “Why not try another way, a different climbing technique, it might help”. But the frog believed he knew better (after all he was an experienced climber) and persisted. Unfortunately, after a few more attempts, the frog was no closer. Some of the other frog’s continued to encourage the frog but other’s gave up on him; “We want a new climber frog”, they shouted. But the frog ignored them, what do they matter, and made even more attempts. They all failed. The other frogs all turned on each other accusing each other of croaking nonsense. And, to this day, the climber frog can still be seen dangling somewhere in the tree.


  • Nik, you have started to talk on one subject, changed and gone onto another. Angry of Islington’s police figures are, as he admits, rather curious. And for what it is worth I can most certainly remember booing in earlier games. You’ve made your point, you’ve changed the subject, you’ve called in evidence that even the originator of the evidence feels is dubious, and asked questions which can only be answered by opinion, while telling me I don’t have evidence. Fine, you’ve had your say.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Fishpie – Have you ever heard of the tale of the crabs in a bucket or basket ? I’ve seen it happen over and over again . And there is no need for a cover either !

    It says that if a bucket is filled with crabs, and one of them tries to get out of it, the other crabs do not allow him to escape pulling back to the bucket again.

    Commonly used to show that when a person tries to improve, the others will discourage him to do it.

  • Brickfields Gunners


    Lesson One

    An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, “Can I also sit like you and do nothing? “The eagle answered: “Sure, why not. “
    So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit, and ate it.

    Management Lesson – To be sitting doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

    Lesson Two

    A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.
    “Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients. “
    The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

    Management Lesson – Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

    Lesson Three

    A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold; the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

    Management Lessons – (1)

    Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

    Management Lesson (2)

    Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.

    Management Lesson (3)

    And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

    This ends your two-minute management course…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Take a few minutes to learn a few lessons on leadership .

    What it means to lead by Simon Sinek

  • Fishpie

    I can’t compete Brickfields. Respect.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Fishpie -September 7, 2016 at 11:04 pm – Thanks , but we are not in competition at all ! We would love that the Arsenal do well , but we may defer in opinion in certain aspects on how we may finally achieve it.

    Here is a fine piece that someone sent me . It is purportedly part of a conversation between two famous ‘beings’ on a famous mythological battlefield taken from a very ‘good book ‘!

    1.A : I can’t find any free time. Life has become so hectic.

    K : Activity keeps you busy. But productivity sets you free.

    2. A : Why has life become complicated now?

    K :Stop analyzing life… It makes it too complicated. Just live it.

    3. A : Why are we then constantly unhappy?

    K : Worrying has become your habit. That’s why you are not happy.

    4. A : Why do good people always suffer?

    K : A diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials, but don’t suffer.
    With that experience their life becomes better, not bitter.

    5. A : You mean to say such experiences are useful?

    K : Yes. In every way , experience is a hard teacher. It gives the test first and the lessons later.

    6. A : Because of so many problems, we don’t know where we are heading…

    K : If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. The eyes provide sight. The heart provides the way.

    7. A : Does failure hurt more than moving in the right direction?

    K : Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you.

    8. A : In tough times, how do you stay motivated?

    K : Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.

    9. A : What surprises you about people?

    K : When they suffer they ask, “why me?” When they prosper, they never ask “Why me?”.

    10. A : How can I get the best out of life?

    K : Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

    11. A : One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.

    K : There are no unanswered prayers. Keep the faith and drop the fear. Life is a mystery to solve, not a problem to resolve. Trust me. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.

    Stay blessed and Stay Happy Always…..!!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ‘ Sugar and salt may be mixed together , but ants reject the salt and carry away only the sugar .
    We are also surrounded with infinite choices and possibilities….
    The art is to select the right people and the right choices in life to make your life sweeter and successful . ‘

  • ob1977

    The article in itself was very interesting to get an insight into fans who struggle to find happiness in our club at the moment, to which i somewhat facetiously say if you don’t enjoy it stop doing it.

    But this is my problem with some of these fans, i truly believe they enjoy booing, moaning, or protesting, the problem here is that for them to boo, hiss, etc Arsenal have to lose, so therefore they can only be happy when Arsenal lose, is that really any way to support your club?

    I take great joy from my club winning, obviously some games more than others, and I hate a loss, or sometimes even a draw, but i take each draw or loss on its own merit, a good performance and a loss, or being scre*ed by a poor decision, obvious or not happens, a loss to a good team (which is now every team in the league) can happen, if we give our all and on the day isn’t enough then so be it, of course I am not happy, but I accept it happens, i try and move on and look ahead to the next match (and usually come on here to help my sanity).

    What is the point in getting angry at players who are out there trying their best (no sportsman unless taking a bung is happy with a bad result), or at a manager who has given everything to the club we love, realistically given more than we will ever give…

    About the comments, the point some of you are trying to make about 12 years of failure etc is all opinion (as is mine, not right not wrong) as failure and succes are relative, i loved it when we were winning leagues, cups, doubles, got to the final of CL, but felt we were over acheiving as we hadn’t shown that consistently before in my lifetime…
    Yes our team was amazing, but it wasn’t an amassed name of expensively signed superstars, it was a team that gelled, unfortunately for 8-9 years we couldn’t hold onto our best players, our team could never fully gel, any the oil teams come out of nowhere. Our league form and trying to compete on all fronts during that period are a testament to our success as a club in building a future, one which has given us 2 FA Cups and a 2nd place finish, and a swuad truly capable of competing on all fronts, but to some this is failure…

    One final point and thank you if you have stuck with me, it can’t only be about winning, if winning the league was truly the only measurement of success then the sport wouldn’t exist, in every league in every country at all levels around the world there are realistically only about 5 teams that can win each league, why do the other teams exist, why do the managers and staff get up in the morning, why do the players put their body’s through it week after week, season after season, and most importantly why do fans turn up week after week, year after year, generation after generation…

    (Sorry if I had thought I would be rambling this long I would have tried to submit this as an article…)

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ ob1977 September 8, 2016 at 7:25 am – Some very nice sentiments . Thanks. And I thought that I was the only one here !

    One last , but interesting and inspirational tale –

    A man was asked to paint a boat. He brought with him paint and brushes and began to paint the boat a bright red, as the owner asked him .

    While painting, he realized there was a hole in the hull and decided to repair it. When finished painting, he received his money and left.

    The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice cheque, much higher than the payment for painting.

    The painter was surprised, ” You’ve already paid me for painting the boat!”
    he said.

    ” But this is not for the paint job. It’s for having repaired the hole in the boat.”, said the boat owner.

    ” Ah! But it was such a small service … certainly it’s not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant! ” said the painter.

    ” My dear friend, you do not understand. Let me tell you what happened. When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention about the hole. When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip. They did not know that there was a hole.
    I was not at home at that time. When I returned and noticed they had taken the boat, I was desperate because I remembered that the boat had a hole. Imagine my relief and joy when I saw them returning from fishing.

    Then, I examined the boat and found that you had repaired the hole! You see, now, what you did? You saved the life of my children! I do not have enough money to pay your “small” good deed.”

    So, no matter who, when or how. Just continue to help, sustain, wipe tears, listen attentively and carefully repair all the “leaks” * you find, because you never know when one is in need of us or when God holds a pleasant surprise for us to be helpful and important to someone.

    You may have repaired numerous “boat holes” along the way, of several people without realizing how many lives you’ve saved.

    In the midst of a world full of darkness and evil, everyday we must propagate all that our scriptures taught us: To love our neighbor as ourselves.

  • ob1977

    Loving the management lessons…