Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Arsenal takes cold comfort from memories -- Guardian Headline

Oh boy. We've all been here before, haven't we?

You know, when we look back over our lives looking for that memory labelled 'Made a Difference' only to find pubs, cigarettes, and reruns of Degrassi High in its place, and then pondering the terrifying problem of how we could possibly morally justify our brief exertions on this giant rotating football we call the planet earth when we have done nothing but self indulge?

Of course, the dear Guardian Revamped and Now Annoyingly Re-Blogged Website is speaking merely of Woolwich Arsenal's dismal record in the Ukraine. Well, the Gunners can at least take solace that not many other foreign invaders have fared well there, except for Poland, Russia, and some Mongol hooligans in the thirteenth century.

But is this really about the Ukraine? Isn't this about Manchester United's dominance of the Premier League over the past decade or so, an Emirates sponsorship without any of DIC or ADUG's black and goopy cash, about the closing of Highbury, about Herbert Chapman's early death, about how Thomas could just have easily not scored in 1989 had the ball not flukishly come off Steve Nichol's shoulder, about Thierry Henry's ignoble departure, about Eduardo's broken leg and Adebayor's haircut, about how George Graham was London's answer to Don Revie, about Graham's kickbacks, about the entire 1950s and 60s, about the new rubbish mod crest when the older one was way better, about Chelsea's gajillions, about the club's lack of depth, about how most of its supporters are a bunch of trip-hop listening Nathan Barley's who watch football about four times a year?

No, just the Ukraine then. Good luck Gunners! And may flights of angels sing thee to thy yada yada yada...


Fredorrarci said...

Um...ah...yes...well...the thing Crikey.

It is somewhat disturbing to see one's proxy neurosis laid out so starkly. It is about those things - well, most of them (Henry's departure was a liberating act for the club, however counter-intuitive the idea seemed at the time; if the corollary of your Revie/Graham theorem is that late '80s/early '90s Arsenal = '70s Leeds, I might just start to weep uncontrollably). There's a large dose of status anxiety at work, added to Wenger's idealistic quest for righteous glory. There's a horrible/glorious state of tension these days: Arsenal are either on the cusp of their greatest triumphs or are about to smash into that windmill looming ever larger.

Of course, the compensation is that if they do conquer all while playing like little footballing godlings, the irrepressible tidal wave of Gooner smugness will be so huge even Rodney Marsh won't dare joke about it. It's gonna be well Jackson. Keep it livid, yeah?

Just-Football: said...

´about how most of its supporters are a bunch of trip-hop listening Nathan Barley's who watch football about four times a year.´

Genius! Couldn´t put it better myself. A brilliant assessment.

Richard Whittall said...

Reading over this now I do really come off all anti-Goon squad, but I have to say, there are times when they play the type of football I would want my children to play, if I had any. Anyway Fred, your wisdom as always breaks through my pretentious blather and I humbly accept your caveats.

And 1989 was great, really great. Even Ian Wright saying "I love Arsenal! I fucking love Arsenal" after one of the late 90's title triumphs made this curmudgeon smile...anyway, I think it's about time north London had something to be smug about *cough cough*.

Colin Smith said...

If Gooners listen to trip-hop, which supporters listen to grime?
It has to be a London team... Tottenham supporters?