By Don McMahon
We beat Valencia 4-2 at their home ground. What a useless lot of twits Arsenal are, taking so much time to beat a team that had almost never lost in Valencia! That’s the inveterate critics view…..
From a psychological and cognitive point of view, backed up by neurological evidence and a vast archive of research in cognitive and affective functioning, here is what I see:
1) A negative outlook takes less physical and emotional energy to maintain than a positive outlook does. Research has shown that the vicious circle engendered by such negative thinking is easier to maintain than a similar positive mindset, which requires actual rational thought and appreciation of the positives in life,
2) A pessimistic, demeaning attitude has far fewer risks than an optimistic one because it places the blame for what ails that person’s world-view onto others, thus relieving the pessimist of any responsibility or accountability for their views or actions….it’s everyone else’s fault and the wonderful thing is that it will eventually be proven ¨true¨ in their blinkered minds,
3) The constant critic profits from attention, which he or she desperately needs and incessantly seeks. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and immediate, if not prolonged attention. Because their self-image is so deflated and damaged, any attention, whether it is to call them out as whiners or moaners, to support them in their black views or to uncomfortably ignore them, allowing them to take centre stage, is a win-win situation for them, until it isn’t.
4) Pessimism is attractive to the enfeebled mindset that considers itself a victim in all things and seeks to victimize others as a vengeance for their sorry state in life. It offers endless material to criticize, freedom to ignore facts and reality in favour of one’s twisted views, independence from responsibility or accountability because their greatest weapon and most pronounced weakness is to attack anyone daring to contradict or reason with them, a brotherhood or sisterhood of ¨like-minded¨ delusionals whose sole raison d’etre is to lament their lot in life and decry perceived or marginally real events that have little or no relationship to causal effects,
5) These unfortunate people are in a growing minority of negativists and emotional anarchists, best represented by Trump’s base where, denial of reality, perversion of the truth or outright untruthfulness, weaponizing ordinary, civilized dialogue to strike ¨fear¨ in their perceived adversaries, discourteous and prejudiced behaviour and attitudes, denial of scientific and hard statistical evidence, recourse to myths and pseudo-scientific explanations, and the dismissal of skilled experts and proven research, is normalized.
6) I may be incorrect but I suspect British English lends itself wonderfully to the vocabulary a whiner and moaner relies on, which North American English lacks. Such words and phrases as; Wankers, Ponces, Shambolic, Skive, Tosh, Barmy, Bollocks, Chav (not the nickname for Chelsea supporters), Daft cows, Gobby, Gormless, Lose the plot, and my personal favourite, Sweet Fanny Adams, provide beautifully coherent terms with which one can abuse anyone. In North American English we replace all these words with the f**k word.
With such colourful euphemisms, the dedicated bitcher can absolutely and fabulously demean, deride, denigrate and diminish his/her own players, manager and club without ever having to look up a new insult in the dictionary.
7) Constant negative criticism and ubiquitous insults, combined with an obsessive-compulsive need to strike out at whatever ails one, is a classic symptom of a psychological disorder I have described in previous articles…suppositosis. For the benefit of those UA faithful who may have forgotten its definition, here it is : a neurological condition where the optical nerve in the brain gets crossed with the rectal nerve in the autonomous nervous system and one ends up with a shitty outlook on life.
Seriously, positive criticism is justified and after a few away game displays this season, merited. I regularly watch Adrian Clarke intelligently and skilfully dissect Arsenal’s games and he NEVER moans, whines, disses, unjustly criticizes or assumes or assigns motives or attitudes to any player or manager. Rather he analyses why the good and the bad occurred and how it can be remedied.
Not that it is the only kind of evaluation I place any value in…anything else is simply ventilating and bitching based on one’s ¨feeling¨ which, in their mind are facts. I am a former national official and watch AFC’s games with a jaundiced eye to the officiating. However, I know the Laws very well and more importantly, as Walter can surely certify, knowing the application of the spirit and the letter of the Laws is the cherry on the Sunday. I reserve my criticism for things I possess the knowledge and experience/skills to judge, the rest I leave to the lazy pub-crawlers who pass as journalists.
Ønward to the Europa trophy!!!!