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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 it�s 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 it�s 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 I�ve 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.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 12 2012

Time: 11:27AM

Your Comments

If I try my best to remain neutral, I do feel that the time has come to make a change at the top. I feel that Wenger is now too ingrained in doing things his way and that is clearly not working. I do feel that despite a few weak links (who hasnt got those) you have a very good side and squad, and with the right appointment and reasonable investment, you are probably in a stronger position that your current rivals for the top four place and I include Spurs in that
oxfordspur
I must admit I'm slowly coming to a similar conclusion. When I look at our squad we've got some good players and some very good players. Players like Cazorla, Wilshere, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Arteta, I can't think of players who would be available who I'd want to replace them with. And when players this good don't work as a team then you've got to believe that wenger's motivational skills and tactics are being found wanting. As much as I hate the man Ferguson (or Mourinho for that matter) would not have tolerated that performance, yet Arsene comes outs and says he's not embarassed and the players gave everything. Does he think we're stupid? I fully accept that behind the scenes he could be giving the players both barrels, but this constant public mollycoddling of the players is boardering on sickly.
Rocky7
He does mollycodlle them a bit. Like saying Jack is close to his best, when it looks like Jack is currently at about 50% comparing his play from before the injury and after it. Even against West Brom a 60% version of the Wilshere who played Barca would not be giving the ball away that much. He should be telling his players to push on, not letting them settle for mediocrity.
Arsenales F.C
Support a club long enough and results like these in cup competitions go with the territory as Chapman had his Walsall, Mee his Swindon, Graham his Wrexham. Uncomfortable as it maybe it isn't really embarrassing. We have good players but we don't have a good team yet. That'll take another season or two whoever is manager.
Amos.
Amos - If this defeat isn't embarassing then, for you, no defeat is embarassing. Of course in terms of real world problems it's not embarassing or painful or anything, but in the footballing world, that's about as embarssing as it gets.
Rocky7
It may take a couple of seasons but don't forget the players have agents and will move them to better clubs for more money as we don't look like being capable of winning anything in the near future.
deadlydave
I have the 1969 league cup final defeat to swindon on vinyl! It's a constant reminder to me that that despite your darkest hour.. what doesn't kill you etc. Mee went on to achieve the double in 71 so hope springs eternal, impossible to see any positives as it is currently for many of us if this means heavier investment come January which may not have occurred had we scraped through last night then so be it. It's important that the clubs' upper eschalons see how their policy of consistently annually selling our best players is a policy that is killing us on the field and now visibly hurting the club more than ever. It doesn't matter who you have managing, noone can work with a destructive policy like that.
nikolaijns
I know it'w wrong to throw coins but what's the stance on freshly laid faeces btw?
nikolaijns
What we needed yesterday was a 'gang' (another name for this is Team spirit) mentality that says all-for-one and one-for-all. We don't have a team as it is, but quite clearly, we have good players. Gangs look out for one another but we lacked that a bit, yesterday. I recall Chamakh getting a barracking from the Ox for playing a through pass short. Now, that's a kid hollering at a senior player (if you consider experience only). That shouldn't happen when even the Ox himself had his own moments. It will take a while to have this team gel but I am not sure we have all of 2 or 3 years.
Naijagunner
Rocky, fact is Fergie has presided over similar performances and even if he wouldn't tolerate it, he didn't do any more than to return to the pitch to ensure his team did well by the next game. This is a first for Wenger (losing to a lower league side), but I can recall United losing to lower league and bottom placed opposition frequently- Exeter, Southend, Crystal Palace, Leeds, ....to name a few. I know Wenger appears to be soft on his players and perhaps needs to develop a consequence management process; problem is the media will get to know and make of it what they will, jut because it is Arsenal and Wenger. Take the unsubstantiated report that players were being offered contracts that suggest pay cuts, should the club not make it into CL places. This isn't a new clause in Europe and if indeed Arsenal did insert such, the furore over it is unwarranted. I will look on the bright side, bad as my heart feels, knowing it can only get better if we make the right investments. I don't put it past our American owner making the call on Wenger soon.
Naijagunner
I think part of the reason there was no urgency at the start is that for years the manager devalued the league cup so much that its relative unimportance has been ingrained in the players. And I also think the manager has the players thinking that against teams like Bradford and mid-table and lower teams in the Premier League all they have to do is show up and their splendid skills will carry them to victory. It doesn't work that way. I agree with the comparison to Liverpool, but Brendan Rodgers seems to have a long term plan and they are improving. We will get back to the top but not under Wenger. To continue the Liverpool reference, Wenger now is like last season's Kenny Dalglish - a club legend but completely ineffective in the role of manager. I imagine we're stuck with Wenger until the end of the season, or likely until the end of his contract (odds on him getting an extension?), but we should be letting a new man start his vision for the team ASAP. He might not do any better, in all likelihood we'll drop back a bit, and the new man will need 2-3 seasons to implement his vision, but Wenger's is apparently gone so why add another few years of stasis under him? I wouldn't be surprised if the only eventuality under which Ivan would call him into his office for 'a word' would be if season ticket renewals dropped below a certain level.
elbondo
It might be the first time he's lost to a lower league side, but it's certainly not the first time we've put in one of these hideous performances. Maybe it's just coincidence, I don't know but Fergie is not scared of chastising his players in public and it's served him well. Just the other week he criticised Wayne Rooney for not scoring enough goals and bam! 3 goals in his next 2 games. What we get with Wenger is comments saying xxx player is doing well and we should give him time, this in turn give said player room to relax. What he should be saying is pick up your performances or do one. But as we've seen from his perseverance with decidedly dodgy players he's not going to do that.
Rocky7
Unless you are suggesting he says one thing to the public and another to the players, I don't think Wenger made the point that it was not going to be an easy game any more emphatically as he did before the game. At his pressers, he kept stating that he would have to put out a strong enough squad. If putting out his strongest available squad doesn't convince that he took wanted a win vs Bradford City, then I wonder how else he is supposed ingrain a new mind set in the players. Cut the man some slack. He wasn't responsible for the players fluffing their lines, or was he? Maybe, he should motivate his players well enough for a battle but even that doesn't guarantee anything.
Naijagunner
Rocky, I can see reason with you, believe me. But this lot we have here will wilt under the pressure instead of improving. However, there have been times when Fergie has had to give some players time and asked for same; but, I agree he had a way of just letting you know what he thinks. That comes from retaining what I will refer to as club's "corporate memory" where you have veterans of the club still in the team to remind the younger ones how it used to be and even put fear into them about the manager's famed hair dryer treatment. This is missing with Wenger and Arsenal. Which is why I wonder why I hope we give Sagna the contract that will keep him and tie down Theo. Of course, both weren't a part of our glory years, but you get my drift...
Naijagunner
I don't just blame Wenger for the defeat I blame them all. Wenger's poor choices in line-up and positioning, substitution, tactics, the players lacklustre performance, poor technique. Everyone has to take blame for that abboration. For Wenger to say it's not an embarassing defeat is completely out of touch with the fans.
Rocky7
The difference is that when Ferguson loses you know he'll more than make amends by winning another trophy. Wenger is simply incapable of doing that and has been for a very, very long time. Basically, Wenger has lost it. In the beginning his sides were quick but overplayed the passes. Then they slowed the pace but still overplayed. Now they look confused and rudderless, totally inept. The wheel has come full circle. Arsenal are now ***** as they have been for most of their history. And we absolutely ******** love it..
Henry Baker Brown
I think first thing gooners need to is to have is a reality check. Understanding our position in the food chain will help us get on with our lives. We are no longer a big club. We need something dramatically fortunate to happen to become a big club again. I know Wenger is not the problem, but neither is he the solution. We need our luck - whether it comes in the form of a sugar daddy or a bunch of exceptionally talented youth players - I dont care. But there is NO way we are going to become competitive again if things remain the same.
Sajit
If we got great youth players, how long would it be before they have been tempted to leave for the likes of City, Chelsea etc??? While the financial situation in the premier league remains as it is then there is nothing for us and the vast majority in the premier leqague. We now make up the numbers and provide fresh meat for the mega rich clubs. That's the reality now whether Wenger is manager or not.
deadlydave
And even in our hours of utter abject shoititude we still manage to bang 10 past your sorry arsed chicken strokers in the last two meets eh Hank? looooooooooooooooollllll
nikolaijns
Not to mention even being "absolutely *****e for most of our history" we've still bagged 11 more league titles than them ... even winning more titles at White Hart Lane than Spurs have. Not bad for absolutely *****e, eh?
Rocky7
Coming here like they got anything on us, the frickin deluded affrontery of them, who exactly do they think they are?? everton and villa are above these numps in the most decorated club stakes - Red scouse, utd, Arsenal, villa, everton, chelsea, scum. That's how the list rolls Hank, read it and weep.
nikolaijns
Arsenal and it's fans, me included, act like Zimbabweans! Knowing that ***** ain't right at the top yet, we keep supporting the same ***** year in year out! Time to get the gaffer out. I know it's a decision to far as I don't know who's capable and available at the moment, but seriously, like a bad relationship, it's got to ewnd!
e dubbz
Or to look at Egypt maybe the new guy will end up actually being far worse e dubbz? ;)
nikolaijns
What makes my heart "feel so sad'" is NOT losing to Bradford in the Capital One Cup (snakes alive, MUFC get eliminated by lower league opposition in either one of the cups just about every year!) it is seeing our fan base now starting to turn "en masse" against this man, this great legendary Arsenal manager to whom we owe so much. If Arsenal sack Arsene Wenger, it will break my heart and I will never watch another game of football again ever. If Wenger gets the boot, it'll be hands -down worse than anything that Chelsea have ever done to a manager. Wenger puts the club's welfare before himself. Who are are you going to replace him with? Somebody who comes in and demands "spend, spend, spend," as long as his CV's alright and to hell with the consequences for this football club. Give the man time to sort this out, or we'll be turkeys voting for Christmas.
julieloveshenry4ever
There's little to no chance that Wenger will be sacked. The board are sensible enough to appreciate that there's a longer game to play and they've been playing it. It's a case of whether he'll see his contract to the end of next season or not. The probability is that he will but there might be enough noise for him to think he's had enough before then though I doubt it. He'll see out his contract I reckon.
Amos.
julie that is an utterly pathetic post
shewore
Why, Shewore? SOMEBODY has to stand up for Wenger. Collective hysteria among the fan base this week. Everybody just needs to calm down; it's not even Christmas yet. I stand by my post- sacking Wenger is the WORST thing we could do.
julieloveshenry4ever
Wenger definitely shouldn't be sacked now, and as has been pointed out, he won't be sacked now. i'd say that if anything you're the one being hysterical, stifling any form of argument (as legitimate it may be) with completely OTT statements
shewore
He shouldn't be sacked at all. He has earned the right to leave this club on his own terms. The only argument being stifled here, is the one that supports Wenger.
julieloveshenry4ever
Oooh nice to know Arsenal did not exist before Arsene , julie.
Sajit
Because you've associated yourself with the club because of Wenger, doesn't mean that the best thing for Arsenal is that he has to stay for ever, you know? A lot of people remember Arsenal losing many games, and winning a few trophies, before Arsene - it did happen you know
shewore
What was that about completely OTT statements? Arsenal existed before Chapman too but he still put them in a better place. The noise around Wenger is natural enough but it won't make much of a difference to Kroenke. It might make a difference to Wenger himself, and you could understand it if he now regrets staying on after 2006, but whatever happens history will judge him far more positively than many can judge him now and appreciate that he did stay on.
Amos.
'i'll never watch another game of football again' is an example - not ott no? It's a typical attitude of someone who supports Arsene and not Arsenal. The rest of your post isn't really what i'm talking about. Your thoughts on him leaving in 2006 are interesting though, what are they based on? A hunch? He was never gonna leave after we moved cos he thought the stadium would enable us to compete and the whole project revolved around him, so that was in truth never an option.
shewore
How dare you Shewore. I'll always be an Arsenal fan, but that doesn't mean I'll support a decision to sack a manager, if I don't agree with it. And what do you mean by that Sajit? There are plenty of people willing enough to forget the achievements of 1997-2006. Nobody here said AFC didn't exist before 1996. My point is, why is anybody supporting Wenger being dismissed as OTT?
julieloveshenry4ever
'nice to know Arsenal didn't exist before Arsene' is also an ott statement no? Wenger leaving 2006/2007 after the stadium move would have been the best career move for him personally. He'd have picked up a big job at Real or Barca or whoever. Won a few more easy trophies and enhanced his reputation. Staying on at Arsenal as Abramovich and Mansour ultimately began to claim football in the UK while AFC rebuilt their finances meant that he was going to have to take the flak for it from those that weren't able to understand the environment we've been operating in. Given what has been happening in the game it was far and away the best thing for the club that he stayed but from his personal perspective if personal glory is a measure (it may not be for him) it was a mistake. At least, as the noise grows, you can understand if he holds such a sentiment now.
Amos.
One of the values that make this club one not to be taken lightly is the maturity of its board and owners over the years, especially in recent times. I am glad that the board is unlikely to be spontaneous in considering Wenger's position; nothing knee-jerk about our board's reaction. We are a big club and the board will not allow the media or a minority of the fans to cause it bring the club to the level of certain clubs I shall not name. I feel we tend to respect our institutions and legendary figures and it is in keeping with that disposition that Wenger will and should not be sacked. He deserves to leave on his terms. This is the reasoned position and we have to take a step back after set backs as what we are going through now, so we don't truly go overboard with the issues.
Naijagunner
By the way, who did not know that the Real Madrid president (forget his name now) had Wenger in his sights in the period between 2004 and 2006? The man was well sought after and it was only his resolve to see his contract through that enabled the club retain his services. He, no doubt, enjoyed working here maybe, for the joy of seeing his project through. Maybe, it is the knowledge that his job is secure; whatever the case, it will seem the feeling has been mutual between the Board and the manager. Nothing wrong with that. It only enhances the esteem in which the club is held as a going concern.
Naijagunner
What on earth would lead you to believe he'd win stuff at somewhere like Real?! Mourinho's getting moved on this year after them winning the league last year, there's not a cat in hell's chance he'd have gone somewhere like that. Where he's expected to deliver straight away and spend big, he would be well out of his comfort zone with a club like that's administration.
shewore
Florentino Perez (that's his name) wanted Wenger more for his famed ability to work with youthful and/or unknown players and turn them into big names. He appeared to want Wenger as a total package. But I take your point that Wenger would rather retain the friendship of Perez than take the risk of leaving his comfort zone, even if he would make quite a stash in pay-offs.
Naijagunner
Yeah, i know how much Real used to want him, even United were after him for a while before Fergie was gonna retire for the first time. I just don't think there's much chance of him ever going to a club like that, where success (trophies) is expected.
shewore
Mourinho never stays too long anywhere and only goes where he can be pretty well assured that he'd win something. Of course Wenger would have won something with Real or Barca or Inter, Bayern et c., and they would have wanted him and probably still would. Those with the power of decision would be able to see through the superficial judgements that are being made now. That's why I say on a personal glorification level he made a mistake staying on after we'd moved to the Emirates. But given the way the game has panned out here one of the club's biggest achievements is in getting him to stay on as long as he did. It has set the club up to remain a competitive force for sometime. By staying as long as he has thankfully Wenger himself has made it easier to replace him, and given his eventual successor a real opportunity. Sadly it'll be a few years yet before everyone will appreciate that.
Amos.
He hasn't stayed at Arsenal purely out of the goodness of his heart. He's seen staying at Arsenal, being the boss through the stadium change, and then coming out the other end being successful, as more personal glorification than winning stuff elsewhere - that and comfort zones (which he undeniably is in at Arsenal) - but a few factors, both external and internal have put paid to that, I for one can't see us winning anything under him again.
shewore
Few people would ever see any one who hasn't won anything for a while ever winning anything again at the same club. It maybe that time won't allow him to do so before he goes but even in the barren years he has come close enough to suggest that it isn't an impossibility. That's much of the current frustration of course. He hasn't stayed out of the goodness of his heart but there's a fair element of mission about it. He has probably been a little naive in believing it would have been universally understood and appreciated though. Not all of the changes and their impact on his 'mission' could have been foreseen. Had he been able to do so he might well have chosen another route. The Mourinho route is definitely the best for personal aggrandisement.
Amos.
Arsenal FC has been as good for Wenger as Wenger has been for Arsenal. What he values is the stability and freedom to do his job without interference and that's what he's had at Arsenal. He would never have that at Barca or Real where the pressure compared to Arsenal is on a different level. He wouldn't even be able to cope at Chelsea. Arsenal is a perfect fit for his philosophy of how a football club should be managed. There's not many places in the elite of the game where he'd get that.
Gooner_Vin
How much real pressure can there be in a two horse race if you're riding one of the two horses? Of course Arsenal was a job that held far more interest and involvement for Wenger and in that respect it was tailor made for him - and he for us. But that step change in the club was 80%+ completed once the stadium was up and running. The other 20% or so, keeping us in the game while the game was heavily loaded against us, is the less visible achievement and one that in retrospect he might feel he would have been better passing up on having done 80% of the job. The remaining 20% is where the flak is and little in the way of compensation in terms of reputation gain outside of those that employ him.
Amos.
Amos this is Wenger you're talking about, a genius, i'm sure it didn't take all of his IQ to work out that the great British footballing public would not just stand back and applaud whilst he kepts us in the top 4 and winning nothing - but sustainable, if you genuinely think that i'd imply it's you being naive. This Mourinho route you speak of, chequebook management i believe it is, what suggests to you that Wenger would've done well with that approach? I'd put it to you that with his history of polishing rough diamonds, at clubs that are nowhere near as demanding as Real, Inter, Chelsea, would simply not work - it certainly would be a guarantee that he'd be a success as you're suggesting.
shewore
wouldn't*
shewore
It being two-horse race doesn't make it any less pressurised; if anything, because of the intense rivalry and expectancy it's more. Del Bosque and Capello even got fired after winning things. Managing Barcelona is not like managing any other club. He may well have left to join Real Madrid before signing his last contract but he could easily have been out of a job after a year and then job hopping around. Arsenal gave Wenger what he values above all else - even above winning as we have seen the past few years.
Gooner_Vin
Wenger isn't a genius (or a messiah or magician) just an extremely intelligent and pragmatic 'scientist'. I'm sure that he's worldly wise enough to know that superficial judgements on what he is doing/has done will be the noisiest. He'll also be frustrated that he hasn't been able to produce something more visible to quell that noise or that the distortions in the game here combined with other changes (in contract law particularly) would have confounded him to the degree it has. Mourinho's style isn't chequebook management - he usually joins clubs where the resources (polished diamonds) are already in place and just has add a diamond or two to the squad. Mourinho will usually only ride the favourite. That would have been an option that Wenger could have pursued easily enough and been just as successful if he'd been of that character. He isn't of course but not everyone fully appreciates that. Wenger may or may not have lasted longer at Real (I'm inclined to think he'd have been quite successful in managing their resources and delivering enduring success) but the trick is not to stay around too long at such clubs and as with Mourinho jump before you're pushed. Of course Arsenal was the perfect fit for Arsene and vice versa. Given the same resources they have he would have been able to achieve as much as anyone else anywhere else but I doubt that there's another manager who, given the same resources he has had, would have achieved quite as much as he has at Arsenal. All speculation or course we'll never know what would have happened if things had happened differently but I'm sure he's human enough to have a tinge of regret, as things stand, that he has stayed as long as he has. I'm sure the history of the club will properly acknowledge the benefit that he did whatever happens over the next season or two.
Amos.
 

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