Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
Nobody likes to lose, in fact it's hard-wired into our brains to feel uncomfortable when losing and itï¿½s aided the evolution of mankind.
To win meant to survive.
When we win our brains are rewarded with a lovely dose of dopamine making us feel great, inspiring us to win a some more and get our next fix, in short, we're all junkies craving our next hit. It ensured we didn't all get eaten by big f*** off bears.
Unfortunately much like the beloved Trainspotting character, Renton, when we don't get our fix we feel like crap, even more so when our fix is denied to us by someone or something else.
When our beloved Arsenal loses a game itï¿½s always unpleasant, some clashes more than others depending on the perceived importance of the match, and whilst getting knocked out of a very winnable League Cup competition by a Division 4 side at the quarter final stage has got "pain" written all over it, I'm feeling a little more uncomfortable this morning that I thought I would.
Maybe this extra dose of "kick in the bollocks" is down to the fact that last night was the first time I got to take my son to an Arsenal match. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, though instead we spent the night freezing our nadgers off watching an abysmal performance. It was so cold by the 100th minute of the game my boy was in physical pain as the winters night bit into his toes, so we departed early and were spared the ignominy of losing on penalties.
However, even though he spent much of the night letting out a rasping cough, he awoke this morning happy he'd finally gotten his wish to go to an Arsenal game and even got waved around by his Daddy as Arsenal finally found the net.
Could then the extra pain be present due to the defeat being inflicted by a team supported by many of my friends and people I know? Dropping my nieces off at school this morning there was a distinct rise in Bradford City scarves keeping the bitter morning air from the necks of visibly happy Bradford fans (I donned my Arsenal scarf in defiance of all the City supporters who usually couldn't give two craps about the team yet are gloating in force this morning, who knew League Two sides had plastic fans?). Losing to a Division 4 side is embarrassing enough (yes Mr Wenger it is very embarrassing, your players did not give their all, it was a farce) but when you're surrounded by the fans of this club it's like being beaten by an even sh*tter Tottenham side.
Then there's the fact that this loss is a stark reminder that we're not the team we once were. There was a time, not too long ago, that Bradford would have crumbled before the game even kicked off, but last night, they knew. Right from the off they were the better side, a side that are 62 places below us, they had our number. It didn't matter that our team was full to the brim with seasoned internationals, they'd watched all the tapes of our recent games and they just knew they had a chance as long as they could find a goal from somewhere.
It's painful to see how far we've fallen. Much like the current Liverpool side we've become a side of players who just don't look like a team, our boys look like they don't even know each other, so unbalanced it seems as though we could fall over at any minute, and we usually do. And we've arguable fallen much further than Liverpool as we were higher to start with.
So I wonder which of those points Iï¿½ve highlighted have made this loss one of the most painful of recent times for me? I suspect it's a little from columns A, B and C.
All is not lost however, oh no, for as even the most bland of sandwiches can taste like the greatest meal you've ever eaten if you've been denied food for any large length of time, being denied an all important victory for a number of years will only mean when the time comes that we finally lift another piece of silverware, that dose of dopamine delivered to our brains will be so great it will wipe out all these hideous memories in an instant.
And that time will come again, maybe not under Arsene Wenger, and maybe not for a few more years, but that taste of victory will be all the more sweet for those that have endured.