Wednesday, 1 June 2011

"Get them to sign on the line that is dotted"

"Always Be Closing"

Renewal time came and went and like many other addicts I committed my body mind and cheque book to the cause for another season. Yes I ummed and ahhed about it. I cogitated and deliberated but deep down I knew I would pay up. Why would I, a person who sees so many negatives at AFC, stump up £1300 to put myself through 10 months of aggravation? There's always that optimism that this time, this time, it might work out alright. This time it may be magnificent. This time it could be our year. This time…

No salesmen needed to cold call, no being stopped in the street no hard sell at all; just pay by the dealine or miss out on what might be.

I find myself thinking that 2011-2012 I will go to each game with lower, more humble expectations. I will adopt the guise of a Dagenham & Redbridge supporter and be glad to win the odd game, not get angry or upset at setbacks. This best laid plan will, of course, go right out the window once we get underway. I will then become obsessive and wrapped up in the detail. I will expect victory and achievement, I will begin to believe. The reality is more prosaic though, it’s mostly about putting up with things, accepting the inevitability of defeat. It really is a trial supporting Arsenal, and I would imagine most teams, a trial that we pay heavily to take part in.

The football landscape will be different. The premier League will see sides such as Man City and Liverpool gaining momentum. Manchester United will move forward propelled by Ferguson’s obsession, Chelsea will forge ahead under the expectations and Euros of Abramovich. The truth of Barcelona’s dominance will result in European sides looking to compete. Sides like Milan, Bayern and Real will all be trying to regain the upper hand. By the same taken the premier League’s lesser lights will see how successful Stoke were in playing that brand of football and, in the reality of staying up at all costs make every league game difficult. It is in this environment that Arsenal have to adapt or die.

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