Before the game yesterday, I decided I was going to write a blog this morning. I didn't know what about, but I just felt like writing something. Then Arsenal went and did that thing they seem to do every week; you know, losing a game for what feels like the millionth week in a row while producing a performance that would not be out of place on Hackney Marshes..... or maybe it would!? This has left me in a foul mood and with even less of an idea as to what to write about.
There are just so many avenues I could venture down but also nothing that would be an even remotely new or interesting take on the dour situation that Arsenal Football Club currently find themselves in. This is as bleak as it has been for the club in the 31 years that I have been loving and supporting them. Yes, there have been stickier periods in the history of the club, but of which I have been a part of there simply has not been anything of the sort. Coupled with the never-ending nightmare that is the Covid-19 pandemic and it leaves me with a feeling of loneliness and a distinct lack of fulfillment in my life. Should football have this much of an effect on my mental wellbeing? Probably not, but it does, so there.
Life has become a routine of working and then sitting in the house, waiting for one day to finish and another day to begin. Sometimes, the two combine into a swamp of misery, with no light at the end of the tunnel. It's okay though, because football is there to soothe the pain at the end of the week. Except it isn't. Instead, Mikel Arteta and his band of merry mood killers are there to simply compound the stubborn pain into the deep recesses of both my physical and mental world.
Ordinarily, I would be at games, offering my support but also sharing the anguish with my fellow Gooners. We would be complaining to one another; declaring vocally how so and so is not good enough for the club; sharing our thoughts on the lack of opportunities afforded to our talented crop of Hale End graduates; and generally moaning in unison. But away from the raucous environment that is a football ground, we must make do with social media and our portable devices to replicate these negative but comforting acts. On arrival home, there would usually be a clear and distinguishable separation from the football world as I walk through the front door. Football still exists, but the doorway helps to separate one event from another. In this new normal, walking into a different room has to make do, and even then everything feels and remains the same.
Without going to football, weeks have no focal point and no differentiation from one another. There is nothing to look forward to. Of course, this could be applied to many things, but this pleasure of choice seems slightly different given the devotedness and passion that we commit to the club each and every week. In what other industry would someone complain about the entertainment on show yet still pine over not being able to return to pumping hundreds of pounds into each month!?
Arsenal can't defend. They can't attack. Without those two things, there is not much on a football pitch that they can do! Yet still, I'd give anything to be back watching them at least try.