No Alarm

The price you pay for loss of control
Share |

The most exciting point in a football match comes when it dawns on you that neither team is in control of it. It might only happen for a brief minute or so, as possession quickly and repeatedly changes hands and expertly engineered systems temporarily become exploding clown cars. More extremely, it can result from a total defensive fuckupalooza, as in the recent game between Reading and Arsenal, that gang of scatterbrained jester's apprentices that has lodged itself in my heart like shrapnel from a very silly bomb. (Scientists' best estimates put the final score at 5-7, give or take.) Most deliciously of all, it comes when both teams hit the sweet spot of incompetence: just about bad enough that every attack on them is potentially fatal; just about good enough that each can exploit the other's dozing immune system.

Football's pretense is that anything can happen at any moment. It's true in theory, but in practice a tad too rarely for my liking. The bizarre, the sublime, the seemingly random: they occur just about often enough that the game can congratulate itself on its quintessential unpredictability. But what I'm really after is something more constant, a ceaseless hum of fear stalking each player which comes from total control of the play being forever just out of reach, bar the odd sainted moment. The spectator is a part-time sadist. The match isn't worth half a hoot if the players don't suffer just a wee bit. You want to be unnerved, to not know exactly where you are and to delight in your helplessness as much as the players dread theirs.

Except when my team is involved, that is. Sure, the Reading game was fun, but that was in the League Cup, and as President-for-Life Arsène Wenger says, the League Cup is not a proper trophy anyway, not like the opportunity to ship four in the San Siro. No, in proper Arsenal games, excitement is a curse. Truth is, I like 'em dull. I like them so dull that black holes can't escape them. But it's a peculiar kind of dullness I seek. My ideal Arsenal game is one they control utterly and obviously from the start, one in which they go, say, 6-0 up within five minutes, and stroll through the rest. It's one where the outcome is as certain as it can be this side of match-fixing. I'll take the nerve-obliterating euphoria when it comes, you understand, and wear it proudly. But mostly, I want the raw clay of the 0-0 scoreline to mould itself sharpish into something more favourable to Arsenal—by which I mean more favourable to me, natch. I want the heart to beat at a steady 72. I want seething waters to be soothed. It's not the vicious thrill of supremacy I seek, but peace of mind.

What a bloody stupid thing to seek in sport, which exists to tweak the nose of your peace of mind. Consider it cosmic retaliation for my sadism: the torment the spectator demands in the players rebounds back upon him. Lately, Arsenal have been doing more than their fair share of turning you upside down and shaking you till your nose bleeds. Days after Reading, they drew 3-3 with Fulham in the Premier League. I would have found it a joy were Arsenal not involved, what with both teams nervously exchanging goals like ambassadors bearing gifts. But they were, and I didn't. Such is life.

This is no whinge, by the way: there's little more pathetic—or funny, frankly—than fans of the gaseous giants grousing about their lot, as Chelsea fans have demonstrated in recent days. (Other pathetic/funny grousers available by request.) In fact, I and my daft little hang-ups have been spoiled rotten in the not-so-distant past. The easy Saturday afternoon demolitions of trembling foes was a semi-regular occurrence in Arsenal's good old days (ie. about five minutes ago). Plus, should it need saying, they did it in style. I caught a telly show last week on Thierry Henry's time at the club. Nostalgia for yesterday is a frightful thing, but it was hard to watch the footage from that epoch and not feel pained. Arsenal still see themselves, if mainly theoretically, as the most stylish team in the land. But they don't play like that anymore. The fact that no other team in England does either, nor ever did, does little to palliate the sore spot. Still, it's a point of pride to have had some meagre connection to it, a matter of vanity that my affliction once coincided with stylistic righteousness. My team played like the Apostles would have done if they'd had the good fortune to have Wenger for a messiah. There's been plenty for my fellow Gooners and I to gorge on.

But honestly? If they'd had the same success with none of the style, I don't think it would have mattered too much to me. In fact, under George Graham, whose tenure ended just a year and a half before Wenger's began, they did have some of that success with none of the style. At their best, Graham's Arsenal played with a glorious dourness. At their worst, mind you, they were just grim. But how quickly and thoroughly style can change shows how fragile and ephemeral it can be. There are Arsenal fans who have no notion of how things were before 1996, who think that prettiness is etched on the club's soul. But as far back as the 1930s, they were "Boring Arsenal". (Not coincidentally, they won five championships and two FA Cups in that decade.) As recently as 1994, the Cup Winners' Cup final victory was an example of beautiful ugliness if ever there was one. That said, so too, arguably, was the run through the knockout phase of the 2006 Champions League, which included a ten-hour spell with an aggregate score of 5-0 to Wenger's Arsenal.

I prefer the Wenger era, of course. It leaves more picturesque reminiscences, more telegenic season-in-review DVDs, a lasting astonishment at just what that team was capable of. Such long-range effects matter: better to have some beautiful memories to keep you warm in a chill wind. But it's impossible for this fool to escape the more primary emotions my team has prompted in me. Before the day's attaining halcyon status comes the relief that it didn't turn out worse. And when it does turn out worse, well, don't get me started.

I'm tempted at this point to quote Mrs. Doyle from Father Ted, from when a salesman was trying to convince the fanatical teamaker of the virtues of a machine that would do the job for her, that "takes the misery out of making tea," to which Mrs. Doyle replied, with a look of filthy contempt, "Maybe I like the misery." There's a tradition of football supporters who delight in bearing the turmoil their teams heap upon them (usually supporters of clubs who try their fans' patience far more than Arsenal do theirs, it must be said). Think the Stations of the Cross, or the Four Yorkshiremen. However, I don't think it's as masochistic as all that.

Watching sport, however you do it, is an exercise in optimism. God knows there's plenty to be cynical about when it comes to sport. But if you were totally cynical, you wouldn't watch it at all. You're always hoping for something that's going to move you, however great or small the chance of that happening is. You can't watch without being hopeful.

But the slag of hope is anxiety. (That's "slag" as in "n. 1 stony waste matter separated from metals during the smelting of ore," you understand.) It's an unavoidable part of the sporting experience, whatever the nature of your involvement. You can only manage it. You could pretend it's not there. You could engage in sport half-heartedly, stepping outside when things get too much. You could probably watch it ironically, Lord help us. You could, as many soccer fans in particular do, choose to regard your fandom hedonistically, as a quest for grade A beauty.

But a hedonist is just someone who thinks that pleasure is good and that he's the first fucker in the world to have discovered the fact. Some of us have no choice but to live with the anxiety. For me, whose sporting rambles over the years have shaped my tastes in sometimes unusual ways, the anxiety happens to have mostly been loaded onto my Arsenalistic side. If I want rapture, or even just entertainment, I can—and do—get it elsewhere in sport. And sport is entertainment, of course—it's just that it's more than that too. It's too untamed to fit snugly in that category; you can't always choose what it gives to you, or you to it. You can tell yourself that you watch sport for the drama or the beauty or the violence, that you follow a particular team to be part of a community or to be connected to a glorious history or because of a mutant gene. And it could all be true. But I suspect it's more common than people own to that there's another basic drive at work, maybe even ruling all others for some. When Real Madrid beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp last season, for example, I bet there were madridistas whose very first instinctive reaction, before the roaring and the gloating, was Phew. I guess Chelsea fans must feel it sometimes, but we'll leave that question to the anthropologists. The anxiety of sport, and its management, are as life-affirming as any of the other things we get from it. But maybe you need to disguise it to bear it.


Share |

Comments

Arsenal still see themselves, if mainly theoretically, as the most stylish team in the land. But they don't play like that anymore.joann fabrics coupons

But mostly, I want the raw clay of the 0-0 scoreline to mould itself sharpish into something more favourable to Arsenal—by which I mean more favourable to me, natch. I want the heart to beat at a steady 72. I want seething waters to be soothed. It's not the vicious thrill of supremacy I seek, but peace of mind.
Color Correction

xnxx free porn Watch the best xnxx movies on the web for free. We provide you excellent adult videos with the highest resolution. Please visit http://xnxx-freeporn.com/ ...

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.

display center uk

I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. towels for curly hair

Sex Toys Emporium 60% Off RRP @ Australia's Best Sex Toys Emporium, We have over 3500 top quality products at rock bottom prices. Fast discrete delivery guaranteed. Please visit http://www.sextoysemporium.com.au/ ...

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice articl

Buy HGH in San Francisco

kas perfect vision Perfect Vision Today: Dr. Sen And Samantha Pearson Reveal A Breakthrough, Step-By-Step System To Achieve 20/20 Vision And Help Cure Myopia, Hyperopia, Presbyopia, And Most Other Visual Problems In As Little As 2 Weeks... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Perfect Vision Today review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Dr. Sen and Samantha Pearson's unique and highly popular guide to better vision. For more info, please click here website: https://www.rebelmouse.com/perfectvisiontodayreviews/ ...

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.

Agar.io Hacks

I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed.

plumber apex

Hmm your post is truly amazing, the theme, the topic, the ideas, the solution each and everything is really perfect.

les détails du système

It kind of feels that you're doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece.
www.rebelmouse.com/johnbarban/

I read this type of nice and awesome post. Please share with us in future more wonderful post. In the last my request is please keep it up…

POS Systems

crack the girl code download review Get The Girl Code: Michael Fiore And Miss X Reveal A 3-Step, Scientifically Proven Evolutionary "Cheat Code" To Get Any Girl You Want Quickly, Easily, And Without Having To Lie, Manipulate, Or Play A Single Ridiculous Mind Game. Written for consumers by a consumer, this site includes a fun and informative Get The Girl Code review and buyers guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Michael Fiore and Marni Kinrys' unique and highly popular system for helping you bring out the very best parts of yourself to attract, date, and seduce absolutely any and every woman you want. Learn everything you need to know about the program so you can decide if the Get The Girl Code is the right choice for you before you buy it. Please visit my web: https://www.rebelmouse.com/getthegirlcodereviews/ ...

copy fight Get The Guy. How To Get The Man Of Your Dreams And Keep Him. Although there are plenty of fish in the sea, landing a “keeper” can be a challenge. Many women find certain traits. Please visit my website: http://copyfight.org/ ...

Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader.

page one engine review

jared gates rebuild hair program program review Rebuild Hair Program: Jared Gates Reveals A Weirdly Effective, Science-Backed Hair Restoration Technique For Naturally Regrowing Hair In As Little As 4 Weeks, Simply By Altering What You Eat... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Rebuild Hair Program review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Jared Gates’ unique and highly popular hair loss treatment guide. Please click here website: https://www.rebelmouse.com/rebuildhairprogramreviews/ ...

survive the end days download Survive The End Days: Nathan Shepard Reveals His Ultimate Survival Techniques That Will Keep You And Your Family Safe From The Coming Catastrophes Prophesized By The Bible... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Survive The End Days review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Nathan Shepard's unique and highly popular disaster survival guide. Please click here website: https://www.rebelmouse.com/survivetheenddaysreviews/ ...

fotógrafo infantil Fotografía infantil y fotografía de la familia, son memorias para toda la vida, también fotografía de niños y embarazadas. Para obtener más información, por favor haga clic aquí mi sitio web: http://www.julesdupont.com/ ...

by which I mean more favourable to me, natch. I want the heart to beat at a steady 72. I want seething waters to be soothed. It's not the vicious thrill of supremacy I seek, but peace of mind.
toronto rug cleaning

I don t have the time at the moment to fully read your site but I have bookmarked it and also add your RSS feeds. I will be back in a day or two. thanks for a great site.towels laundry

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.

bandar bola

I read this type of nice and awesome post. Please share with us in future more wonderful post. In the last my request is please keep it up…
Help@xareltocares.com

The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks.

sourcing profits

www.rebelmouse.com/ Boost Your Bust: Get The Sexy Curves That Drive Men Wild By Using The "Magic Formula" To Natural Breast Enlargement. This site is a leading resource for information about the Jenny Bolton Boost Your Bust PDF book and breast enhancement system that teaches you how to get bigger breasts naturally right from home. Includes a collection of Jenny Bolton Boost Your Bust reviews, PDF ebook download information, and tips for increasing your cup size from around the web. For more information, Please click here my website: https://www.rebelmouse.com/boostyourbustjennybolton/ ...

I'm going to read this. I'll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article

www.skyphonenumber.co

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Makeup Ideas For Blue Eye

I feel really happy to have seen your webpage and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details..

Diet program

the information the following. It's therefore superb in addition to to the level together with lots of useful materials. Carry on the truly amazing perform keep on.

shoe brush

It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing.

http://officialdigicodes.com/triviacrackcheats

I visited your site & after visiting i found that it is very informational for everyone you have done really a great job thank you.

voyance amour

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people..

https://www.rebelmouse.com/fibroids_miracle/

This sequence was unique of the initial we started shooting further it was unmoving running

digital marketing agency in joplin mo

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept.

have a peek at these guys

alexa aimes world's best head World’s Best Head 2.0: Joshua Rose & Alexa Aimes Reveal A Weirdly Effective And Extremely Pleasurable "Sexual Cocaine Technique" For Giving Your Man An Incredible Blow Job That Leaves Him Passionately Addicted To You... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative World’s Best Head 2.0 review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Joshua Rose & Alexa Aimes' unique and highly popular fellatio guide. Please visit my web page: https://www.rebelmouse.com/worldsbestheadreviews/ ...

his is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work.

Ragnar Relay Colorador

The match isn't worth half a hoot if the players don't suffer just a wee bit. You want to be unnerved, to not know exactly where you are and to delight in your helplessness as much as the players dread theirs.
wire wrapped bracelets

Well, this got me thinking what other workouts are good for those of us who find ourselves on the road or have limited equipment options.ανιξιατικα μποτακια

https://rebelmouse.com/obsessionphrasesreviews/ Obsession Phrases: Kelsey Diamond Reveals The Weirdly Effective Emotional Trigger Words You Can Say To Any Man To Make Him Fall In Love And Never Want To Leave You... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Obsession Phrases review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Kelsey Diamond's unique and highly popular relationship guide. Please click here webpage: https://www.rebelmouse.com/obsessionphrasesreviews/ ...

I love reading stuff like this and its why I keep coming back. I have bookmarked this page for future updates.

Wireless towers on lease

Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site. Satılık müzik seti

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post.I haven’t any word to appreciate this post…
Mike

I am really excited about the trailer which is going to get released in the coming month. I am sure that the visual effects works are going to get you a lot of fans. Thanks for sharing the updated, links and information. Keep posting.

read review

Your good knowledge and kindness in playing with all the pieces was very useful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a step like this . girlsdoporn

I'm not going to lie, I'm really impressed. Its rare for me to find something on the internet that's as entertaining and intriguing as what you've got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are great, and what's more, you use videos that are relevant to what you're saying.

AfroMassive

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing...

voyance par telephone sans cb

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this

more reviews

Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

Franaar Oral Job Formula

hair loss protocol does not work Newspapercat.org/rebuild-hair-program-review-can-jared-gates-help-you-stop-hair-loss-and-regrow-hair-naturally/ Click the link to read our complete Rebuild Hair Program review. Jared Gates Rebuild Hair Program Reviews: Program Details. "HAIR LOSS PROTOCOL REVIEW BY NEWSPAPER CAT" This video provides a mini review of the Rebuild Hair Program (AKA Hair Loss Protocol) by Jared Gates. This program is an excellent choice for men and women who want a low risk, high reward solution to restoring hair naturally from home in as little as 4 weeks... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-J5IAvY0gk ...

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.

sell my wrecked car