Why Arsenal moaners are, and remain so depressed, while the rest of us are happy.

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.

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

Why did Arsenal manager Knighton turn down Man City but not buy players? Summer of 1921.

Six consecutive games without scoring, and Pires tackles Vieira!

And herein…



25 Replies to “Why Arsenal moaners are, and remain so depressed, while the rest of us are happy.”

  1. Who needs experts? When I get ill, I go to see a bloke down the pub rather than a doctor. We don’t need them 🙂

    A splendid piece Mr Dog. I somehow think the moaners will give this one a wide birth though and be back in numbers for other articles.

  2. Are you happy with Arsenals lot then?table position worse tHan last season,which was worse than the previous season,and that was worse than the season before that it just goes on and on never ever a chance of winning the premier league or Champions league with this manager.I am sorry to say his best days are long gone,and should have moved on 5 years ago.For a big club like Arsenal it is just unacceptable that the last title was 14 years ago they have needed a defensive midfielder since Viera left they have now sorted there forward line out but the defence has been a problem for a number of seasons which Wenger does not want to put right and by golly he has had enough time,I don’t care what your column says there needs to be a fresh impetus at the Emeraits, fresh ideas we are going stale and are being left behind,so the board most certainly have to make the decision to break with Wenger regardless of whether we win the Europa Cup or not,against his will if need be no person has got a God given right stay in any job if he is not successful.

  3. Oh the ironies when one glance at the title let’s us know this is going to be one comically repressed meta moan. I believe it is Dr Dog (sic) who sounds most unhappy under the veneer of dogged (geddit!) devotion to a fading dream.

  4. It’s a vicious cycle @tearyeyed.
    Comically speaking, or not? Depression, topically speaking, or not?
    Affects everyone you share it with. Intentionally– or not.

    Noting (here and elsewhere) that even the cleverer bloggers I’ve enjoyed for years– have most-recently succumbed to negativity. By-products of their environs, coerced long-haul, by the click-driven profitability demanded of– by the commentariat’s dark overlords. (Muahahahahaha! Love a good
    Snidely Whiplash

    So pardon if’Oh the ironies…’ lacks sarcasm as meant.
    Rended by nearly all-things-Arsenal posted on the web.


  5. Personally I just see the ‘moaners’ as individuals that either cannot face the reality, or for some reason cannot see the reality, of the situation Arsenal FC are in.

    Arsenal FC made a decision 15 plus years ago that the football club was going to be run on a ‘self sustaining’ model.

    This meant financing everything the club did with funds generated, by the club. This would primarily be trough:

    -Match day income.


    -TV money

    -Prize money.

    They would not be bankrolled by an owner pumping millions, nay Billions of pounds into the club.

    Arsenal FC made this perfectly clear to all many years ago.

    If you can accept, even embrace this approach, and if you can understand, and as a result live with the disadvantages it would put the club at, then that is a massive step towards enjoying being an Arsenal supporter at this moment in time.

    Of course when Arsenal chose this model they could not of known what was going to happen at Chelsea, Manchester City, and throughout Europe.

    In a very short time after that ‘money’ arrived, it became perfectly clear that the footballing landscape was going to change dramatically.

    To me it was obvious that it was going to be extremely difficult to maintain our challenge at the top when 2 clubs, soon to be 3, could sustain net loses of up to £50 Million, season, after season, after season.

    No matter how big our stadium. How generous our sponsors. We could simply not compete financially, and as a consequence on the pitch.

    Personally I embraced the challenge. To me, every match won against these financially doped clubs gave me an even greater sense of joy. I saw just giving them a challenge as an achievement in itself. Finishing above them as a triumph.

    I went in to every season not expecting to win a thing, but hoping against hope, that against all the odds, we could manage to overcome this enormous disadvantage.

    Alas it was beyond us, trophy wise at least, until circumstances enabled us to start spending a bit more ourselves.

    Despite these difficulties, and lack of trophies for a decade, at no time have I ever wanted us to be financially ‘doped’. I have said it many many times on here that I see absolutely no achievement in winning things after being given a Billion pounds to spend on players.

    This isn’t to say I never wanted us to have lots of money to spend on transfers.

    But I wanted it to be money we generated our way. Through the club. Now that to me would be an achievement.

    But maybe that’s just me.

    Basically, if you cannot accept, or don’t agree with how our club is run, then you are going to be unhappy, and people who are unhappy tend to moan.

    So unless either Arsenal FC completely change the model on which the Club is currently run, or a limit is put on how much these ‘oligarchs’ and there ilk can pump in to a club, then alas the moaners will continue to moan…….and moan……..and moan……..and moan…….

  6. Lol, says the site that moans everyday about refs, the FA, other clubs spending, the press, the charity commission, FIFA uefa, the pitch at sansiro,the youth recruitment at every other club, the loans made by Chelsea, the fact that the sun rises in the east,sets in the west, probably every and anything that moves

  7. Mel, you asked, “Are you happy with Arsenals lot then?”

    The answer is no.

    I don’t think you quite understood the point of the article.

  8. The use of the word ‘lot’ is useful. It can come with statistical connotations.

    In many sports, the winner and loser (or even better the score) are often quite predictable because the sport allows for high scores. Football is the antithesis of that. Scoring is difficult, and even with honest and honourable officials, the outcome of games (or even seasons) is unpredictable.

    The best team doesn’t always win. Your team doesn’t always end up with a standing you feel is representative of the quality.

  9. Mel Bestley

    “For a big club like Arsenal it is just unacceptable that the last title was 14 years”

    How do you justify that statement ?

    Arsenals periods between titles:

    1938 to 1948 = 10 years

    1948 to 1953 = 5 years

    1953 to 1971 = 18 years

    1971 to 1998 = 18 years

    1991 to 1998 = 7 years

    In the 51 years between our 1938 and 1989 titles we won just 3 titles (’48 ’53 ’71). Wenger matched that in just 6 years,

    And during those periods none of the managers had to:

    -Compete with clubs of infinitely superior wealth.

    -Deal with the financial implications of building an entirely new stadium.

    -Deal with the implications of moving from one stadium to another.

    All at the same time.

    It’s ‘unacceptable’ you say.

    I’ll tell you what is ‘Unacceptable. This is ‘Unacceptable’

    SPURS 57 years

    ASTON VILLA 37 Years

    EVERTON 31 years

    LIVERPOOL 28 Years

    Prior to Wengers arrival all 4 of these clubs were considered at least the equal of Arsenal in historical status.

    Even if we talk about Man City and Chelsea. Prior to being bank rolled to the tune of over a BILLION pounds each:

    CHELSEA 50 Years

    MAN CITY 44 Years

    And some people still try to claim it has nothing to do with the money?

    What I want to know is, Where on earth do you get this sense of entitlement ?

  10. thanks, billy,

    you know what? sometimes, i’m even happy to hear/see/read the moaners moaning
    what makes me really, really, happy, is the thought of our lads winning the europa league, and those “sad peter pans” – thanks, vic chesnutt) having to publish any rubbish stuff that will pop up in their depressed minds, so as to belittle the pêrformance.
    remember: the moaners will still be in their crybaby circus when we – the happy-go-lucky guys – are laughing, laughing in our graves
    (thanks, mick jagger, of course, for that last one)

  11. @ Nitram

    I rarely disagree with anything you say but often wish to say something to compliment what you say. On this occasion there is little I can say to enhance your comments.

    The only comment I would make is to point to Mel’s diamond comment, “the defence has been a problem for a number of seasons which Wenger does not want to put right.” This had me rolling about. Why on earth would he not want to put anything right that wasn’t working? It’s completely irrational to even suggest something so preposterous and hence rather suggests a rather inept line of debate in the first place.

  12. Off topic:


    An interesting read, I haven’t finished it yet might not agree with every thought but there’s a thread in there that our good friend Hunter will agree upon.

    Are you still here?
    Can you, if you have the time, please write an article for Untold telling those of us who don’t know what’s been going on in Greek Football.
    PAOK gunslingers, the dodgy geezah at Forest who got a few dodgy calls in a dodgy game back in Jan (yep we saw the poor performance too, and all the rest 🙂 ), do you agree with me that the FA would like to try and do to AFC what has happened to Forest? The same people who chose “Don” Revie over Clough. Etc.

  13. Thanks Gooner.

    Sometimes when I read a post such as Mels my heart sinks.

    There was so much wrong with his/her post it beggared belief. You highlighted just one more ‘preposterous’ statement.

    I asked where this sense of ‘entitlement’ comes from, but to be honest I think I know where it comes from, and perversely enough it comes from Wenger himself.

    What Wenger gave us in his early years was simply beyond anything we could of dreamt of, especially if you had grown up watching some of the dross I had watched in my time.

    One particularly memorable highlight being a dreadful 0 – 0 home draw against Norwich City on a particularly wet and windy Tuesday night back on the 28th of February 1978 in front of 23,506 saturated soles.

    Ah, those were the days !

    But it was always going to be difficult to maintain because, as much as some people cannot comprehend this, other clubs are also trying to win everything.

    But alas some seem to believe, as Mel obviously does, that what Wenger gave us was the ‘norm’, when in fact it was anything but the norm. The only other period we had anything like that level of success was of course way way back in the 1930’s. Long before both you and I were even a glint in our mothers eye.

    But as the article suggests, it wont stop them moaning.

  14. @GM,
    OK, so he wants to but years on can’t, why would that be? Perhaps he doesn’t kno how to, or perhaps he’s being constrained. I’m guessing the latter would be your explanation (excuse). I’m of the opinion that the former is the case. Therein lies the difference between the AKB & the WOB

  15. @Nitram–
    Regarding: “One particularly memorable highlight being a dreadful 0 – 0 home draw against Norwich City on a particularly wet and windy Tuesday night back on the 28th of February 1978 in front of 23,506 saturated soles.”

    Was the attendance then 11,753? And number of wet feet 23,506? Or wuzzit ‘souls’. 🙂
    (Could not resist!)


  16. An old classical misunderstanding about moaning joke –

    Morris comes home to find his wife, Sadie, crying.

    “I found out from the neighbors that you’ve been having an affair with that cheap secretary in your office! Why would you do that to me? Haven’t I always been a good wife? I’ve cooked for you, raised your children, and I’ve always been by your side for thirty-five years. What haven’t I done to make you happy?”

    Embarrassed, Morris confesses, “It’s true, Sadie, you’ve been the best wife a man could hope for. You make me happy in all ways but one. You don’t moan when we make love!”

    Sadie questions: “If I moaned when we had sex, you’d stop running around?! All right, come to the bedroom so I can show you that I, too, can moan!”

    So they retire to the bedroom, get undressed, and climb beneath the sheets. As they begin to kiss, Sadie asks, “Now, Morris, should I moan now?”

    “No, not yet.”

    Morris begins fondling Sadie. “What about now, Morris? Should I moan now?”

    “No, I’ll tell you when!”

    He climbs on top of Sadie and begins to have intercourse.

    “Is it time for me to moan, Morris?”

    “Wait, I’ll tell you when.”

    Moments later, in the heat of passion, Morris yells “Now, Sadie, moan! MOAN!”

    “OY! OY!” Moans Sadie. “You wouldn’t BELIEVE what a day I’ve had!”

  17. And on the subject of not moaning …

    Q- Besides Man City , which other EPL clubs’ fans would you consider to be happy and content with their owner,manager ,players and their team generally?

    A –
    a) Burnley
    b) Bournemouth
    c) Leicester City
    d) Huddersfield Town
    e) Brighton
    f) Other

  18. Actually, even if arsenal won the premier league, the moaners won’t be satisfied as it is indicated by what they have been saying e.g before winning the first of the last three FA trophies, they were saying they need a trophy and that qualifying for champions league was not a trophy; then after winning the FA cup, they start saying FA cup is not a real trophy; now failing to qualify for champions league, they are crying out loud on top of their voices that arsenal now is the worst team as if its the first big club to be in the sixth position. so in view i think the arsenal moaners have never appreciated whatever arsenal have achieved.

  19. Report: ‘Scientists have just announced today that dolphins are second to man in intelligence levels ‘.

    Fool : ” So that pushes women down to third place?”

    Q – Where does this new information place those moaning about the Arsenal ?

  20. I do agree that most EPL fans have their fair share of frustrations during the season. However, there are- perhaps uniquely- some followers of Arsenal who want the team to lose every game in order to justify their own desire to bring about change at the club. Unfortunately, either winning or losing does not seem to make these followers any happier.
    I must confess that it is time to give up supporting a football team when you are willing your own team to lose.

    But apart from those followers-the arguments being put forward that this seasons position is due to the finance model simply does not explain defeats to sides like Watford, Stoke, Swansea,Bournemouth, Forest, Ostersunds, or even Spurs, whose expenditure on players has been much less than ours. This argument also does not explain the feeble nature of defeats to those teams that have spent more.
    It is quite clear that one of Arsenal F Cs objectives this season was to finish in the top 4- and that is a reasonable expectation on paper- which at this point looks like it will not be achieved. When the club sets achievable targets that don’t get achieved- it inevitably results in moaning.
    When it comes to a sense of entitlement-should there be none- what is the point in the club setting objectives?

  21. goonergerry

    “But apart from those followers-the arguments being put forward that this seasons position is due to the finance model……..”

    At which point did I try to put forward our ‘finance model’ as an explanation for ‘this seasons position’ ?

    My response was to the following statement, as I clearly point out.

    “For a big club like Arsenal it is just unacceptable that the last title was 14 years(ago).

    I have my own thoughts as to why what has happened this season has happened, and at no point have I tried to suggest money had anything to do with any of our poor performances this season.

    Where did you get that from? please show me.

    And as for:

    “When it comes to a sense of entitlement-should there be none- what is the point in the club setting objectives?”

    There is a big difference between what you wish for, aim for, and work for, and what you feel you are ‘entitled’ to.

    Surely a sense of ‘entitlement’ is the enemy of ambition and hard work.

  22. I think it is because so many people either can’t be bothered to, or lack the intellectual capacity to think logically. Thinking logically takes a bit of brain power, whereas moaning takes very little brain power and is just the pouring out of words.

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