By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw, senior psychologist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.
Moaning almost never works. It rarely makes life better.
But people still do it, basically because moaning, moaning and moaning again acts psychologically as a way of embedding the notion that “it is not my fault”. It allows us to explain away an inability to engage with the world and make things better for ourselves.
In the end, for ineffectual people, it is easier to go into the pub and have a pint and a moan, than it is to try and improve one’s life.
Moaners have two common attributes (apart from an inability to improve their personal lot): they voice they complaints to everyone willing to listen (or those who can’t escape) but they generally lack the ability to persuade those who can do something about events, to do what they want.
For example, the Arsenal Supporters Trust have been sending out questionnaires to its members which have regularly come back with negative comments about Arsenal, and of late, suggestions that the manager should be changed. They send these results to the club and to the media who dutifully publish them (the media, of course love free news). And as a result… nothing has happened. So they do it again, and again, year after year, and each year nothing happens. It is a bit like Arsenal Fan TV which has alleged fans moaning to alleged fans about the club. Does Arsenal FC take any notice? I am not sure I have really seen too many incidents where I can say, “yep Arsenal FC listened to Arsenal Fans TV and has made changes.”
These moaning approaches lead to a defeatist mindset at two levels. Arsenal Moaners get into the habit of seeing Arsenal as a negative entity, and so complain more and more and more. Nothing happens so slowly a feeling that nothing will ever change reaches deep into their souls.
Mohamed Elneny signs a new contract, and a little website runs the story that fans are unhappy seeing this event as a sign that the club has no ambition. A dozen or so tweets are published saying just that: “no ambition”. The moaning continues ignoring the fact that of late the club has extended the contract of Ozil, and signed Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, and got rid of whinging Alexis to Man U where he is (according to “reports”) managing to undermine the Man U team.
This notion, that the ownership and management of the club is happy to sit in the current position in the league, and be knocked out in the third round of the FA Cup is self-evidently preposterous. Why would anyone at the club have such a view when achieving more would generate more money and more happiness?
It is in fact the people who themselves don’t have any ambition and who are caught in a cycle of negativity, who blame others for something that is inside themselves. These are the people who are causing the negativity, which transmits itself to the players, and which ultimately holds the club back. Players who feel that they might like to come to Arsenal hear the negativity and incessant moaning and think “stuff that for a bunch of donuts” (or whatever the local term is) and decide to go elsewhere.
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However although multiple individuals in our society are trapped in what is known as the “zero ambition” phase and find no way out (getting out of that moaning world is possible but requires quite a bit of strength to break the mental habits built up over years) there actually are some positive stories appearing at the moment.
Of course these could be fantasies but recent alleged comments from Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele suggest that he is asking Arsenal to sign him this summer. But while the moaners and whingers believe all the negative stories, when a positive happens they can’t believe it, so they put it down as “not likely to happen.”
Granit Xhaka scored a penalty for Switzerland and put on a fine display in his country’s latest (admittedly easy) victory. But instead of saying the lad has had another very positive game, the negative comes out. Yes it was just Panama – (but they have reached the world cup finals).
Ramsey, Wilshere and Lacazette could all be fit for the Stoke match – but then they’ll probably all get crocked again by Stoke Industrial LegBreakers Incorporated or whatever they are called these days.
The big difference between perpetual moaners and those of us with a sunnier disposition is that the brighter members of the public can have a jolly good smile at the headline, “How life would be with Sean Dyche as Prime Minister” (that’s in the Telegraph) without taking it seriously. We work towards a brighter future rather than moaning, moaning and moaning.
Not moaning, like not smoking and not drinking too much, is better for your physical and mental health. Believe me, I’m a doctor. Ah, there you are Sir Hardly. Mine’s a rum a coke – a double if you are offering….
From the Arsenal History Society
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