Monday, July 22, 2024

Let’s not call the thing anything because nutcases

Yesterday, in a piece which showed how Twitter tracks Arsenal fan activity across the globe, my erstwhile (or is that hirsute?) colleague Andrew Allen attempted to describe the sensation where winning all the time kills off the news.

We know how it goes. When you lose there’s always something to talk about. Why that goal was conceded. Why the manager didn’t play this particular player. How this other player is no good at being a professional footballer. How, when it comes right down to it, Arsenal losing the game was a deliberate strategy because they HATE ME and want me to be SAD and ANGRY all the time. Why everyone associated with the football club should be vaporised with a special machine then inserted into the anal tract of an angry gnu. You know, the usual.

It’s clear that 9 wins in a row doesn’t provide the same kind of material. There are only so many ways you can say ‘That was good and I enjoyed that and this player is also good and I don’t have to think about gnu butts’.

Anyway, Andrew’s suggestion was Winlull – which I kinda like, but he wasn’t totally happy with it. I mean, a Winterlull plays on the old Interlull thing but it sounds kind of seasonal. Like something that can only happen when the leaves are gone from the trees, or that particular season is imminent.

“The Winterlull is coming” and we’re all ‘Shut up Jon Snur, yur knur nuthin’, and that cloak is too big and why don’t more of the chaps living on the wall have massive beards to help keep themselves warm? Not to mention that I’m unconvinced that disposable razors are plentiful in that area of the Seven Kingdoms. Maybe they are all just really conscientious shavers, but I think we all know this is just done for the ease of continuity.

Anyway, Winterlull would only be a period when we win lots of games in November, December and January and there’s a break for international games except there isn’t ever one at that time of the year. Well, not until they move to the World Cup in Qatar because it’s, you know, boiling hot in the summer and the FIFA family have received all the dollars and gold bullion from the Qatari government and fuck the rest of football. We can revisit it in 2022.

The point is we need a new word to describe this rather endearing phenomenon. VictoryDwindle? Sounds like victories are dwindling. A Winterlude? Again, cold weather plus it sounds like wins have stopped for a time. A SpiteRespite? It’s a struggle. Maybe by trying to name it we’re making unnecessarily into a thing and we should just enjoy it for what is.

Because as soon as something becomes a thing human nature tells us that some people will just be opposed to it. That’s the way it goes. Even things which are really good like, vaccines for children for example, have lunatics and crazy angry people who are on the opposite side. It’s not as if there’s any good reason to hold that position, it’s just that when X amount of people are for something, there’s always a section of society who will take against it.

And do we need to expose ourselves to those who, for whatever reason, view us winning all the time as a bad thing? No, no we do not, so let’s never speak of this again [unless somebody comes up with a super-awesome name for the thing I can’t find a name for and I co-opt it into the blog for use evermore]. Glad we’ve got that sorted.

Meanwhile, there have been some changes made to the Champions League seeding which will affect us next season. Rather than the top seeds being made up from a points system tallied over the last five years, the winners of the competition plus the winners of the English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese and Russian leagues will be in that group.

If the winner of the competition is a team from one of those leagues, which is almost always going to the case, then the winners of the Dutch league will bumped up. So, no two teams from the same country can be in the top seeded group. What it means from an Arsenal point of view is demotion to a lower pot, assuming we qualify, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. It’s not as if we’ve had a stellar European record recently that means we’re being punished in any way.

It might also add a bit of variety to the group stages. You might get a hard game against someone like Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the early rounds, but so often the early part of the tournament is a crashing bore that’s very hard to get enthused about – even with all the TV hype and rigmarole that goes on with it.

It’s when they decide to hold the entire tournament in a flurry of games in early January because they’ve sold the rights of the World Cup to an investment group who want it played every 6 months. In a stadium they’ve built in orbit around the moon. That’s when we get worried.

Right, that’s all there is this morning. Tomorrow I’m quite sure there’ll be team news and we can start looking ahead to the weekend’s game against Chelsea. As well as an Arsecast, naturally, so until then, have a good one.

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