On being subjective about Arsenal


Ex-husband and Man United fan: but, but, but…. This is the thing with Arsenal…. They lack that something, that self-belief. They start off well and then something happens… and it’s to do with that belief.

Me: ehhh, okay… and where are Man United right now…. What does that say about their self belief? And while we’re at it, where did you end up last year? And where was Arsenal?

Ex-husband: Chuckle… but, but, but
But but BUT… the reality is… Footie is subjective. Being a fan, even if you are a man, is a prerequisite for subjectivity. If we are passionate about football, and I think that’s a sub-text of the “fan” label, then we cannot help but be subjective – we see things through our own intuitive and loving, or not so loving, eyes NOT through a scientific, non-biased lens. And that is a good thing.

I know I’m subjective. For example, I love Alexis Sanchez and I believe he’s brilliant, but when I hear that Chilean footie fans are calling for him to leave the team because he’s the only one working, then I’m inclined to say… well, if he agrees with them then he must GO. I’m not interested in prima donnas in my club.

My subjective view is that it doesn’t take ONE player to make a team. Sure, when Lexi first came to Arsenal, he really lifted the team – with his tenacity and commitment, he was exactly what we needed. And then Ozil had his moments where I wanted to ‘slap him upside his head’ – when he would so easily give up. But he turned that around and in the game against Bayern, while he was quiet in the first half, he worked hard right until the end. Even Lexi’s shoulders were dropping then.

And if anything, the game against Bayern should be opening our eyes to how central our captain is to our game.

But one player does NOT make a team. And this is the thing about Wenger – he builds a team. Not ONE player… a team. And when I heard that Ozil wouldn’t sign his contract with Arsenal unless Wenger was given a new contract, I knew I would love this player forever. Because that action told me a lot about his character, his loyalty. It also reaffirmed what I love about Arsene – the fact that he builds boys into players; that he takes care of his boys and that he believes in the beautiful game.

In any event Barca lost 4 – 0 to PSG in the same week. So if nothing else, at least we are keeping good company. I said it earlier, and I’ll say it again. I don’t care anymore if we win anything this year. I LOVE every one of those guys and I LOVE Arsene Wenger. And that is my subjective view.