The energy and the sadness and the swearing and the disgust that we have thrown at our club for the last three months has, you may argue, been warranted. We spend a lot of money on merchandise, a lot of money on tickets, and then all of the extras that comes with going to games to see our side seemingly let us down after a season last year in which we were filled with hope.
Anyone who read the blog by my Man Utd fan friend last week will realise that other clubs fans also want us to come back to glory days to bring that fight back in games from yester-year.
I rant and moan about the lack of signings, the lack of leadership and the poor quality of players such as Arteta and Flamini and the questions as to why our club doesn’t compete any longer. I sit and spend all of my time watching, moaning and critiquing as well as the next man and then usually I will lose a further hour or so afterwards to then write about it too. Sometimes I feel better, but either way, to do it so often is surely not the best way to use all of my time.
Today’s article really should have been about how we saw enough promise in Arsenal against Dortmund last night to believe that this season is not yet done and dusted. In my view, the Premier League is already Chelsea’s anyway, so we are in the same position as the other so-called big clubs, as we are all playing for minor places. But today’s blog is not about that.
Sometimes you just need to take stock, to realise that as much as we love football, Arsenal or sport in general, in the grander scheme of things this is just a past-time. A past-time for the average joe (like myself) to be able to have a relationship with something that perhaps he or she aspired to be or do as a child but for whatever reason didn’t materialise. We need to realise that we really shouldn’t take it all so personally as there is so many more important things in life (including life itself) to translate that same passion for.
I am not saying that Arsenal is not important and it’s something you shouldn’t be passionate about at all – it’s a huge part of my life and will continue to be, probably until I am in the ground. All I am saying is that each and every day we should be grateful for everything that we have. This could be your wife or husband, children or parents or that you are healthy and alive living in this place for such a relatively small time and that in the blink of an eye it can all be taken away from you. Today has sent me into a world of thoughts and I ask myself – what is really important?
Is it to earn money? To buy a house with a mortgage that will take you 25-30 years to pay-off? To shout at Arsene Wenger (a nearly 70-year old man) asking him to resign? To be angry with a family member over an argument that perhaps could and should be resolved?
I don’t know everyone’s personal circumstance and it will obviously change for each person, but I would guarantee that even a homeless man could still find something in his life to be grateful for if he looked hard enough. I have a friend who I met today for lunch. He’s just finished a stint in an Asian prison for three weeks. He said all he had as his belongings for those three weeks was a plastic spoon, a plastic cup and a towel. He said that those three things became his most precious items as he needed them to get by. He began to look at them as if they were his whole life. It reminded me of that film with Tom Hanks called Cast Away, where his sole companion was a football who he named Wilson and the torment that he felt that fateful day when he lost him at sea. My friend told me that during his time, he really found himself as he had a lot of time to think and to reflect on what he wants to achieve in life.
I don’t want to bleat on and to make everyone sad or bring anyone down, I just think that for me today, Arsenal, football and sport has all become secondary. A young man of 25, a promising cricketer (potentially International Captain level) has died following a freak accident playing a game not only as his job but for the entertainment of others. Now I am not a huge cricket fan, but on this occasion, we need to ask are we putting the right energy into the things which (if we are being honest) are most important?
I just think that in a modern day society we have allowed ourselves (me especially) to allow work, sport, weather, etc, get in the way of the things which perhaps we would regret most if something were to happen. I am lucky enough to say that nothing major like that has happened to me, but after seeing a man collapse and then later die, it makes me feel that whenever whoever it is upstairs wants you or a loved one (and that could be any time), is there anything you might regret or would have perhaps done differently?
I will leave it for now, and I hope I have provoked some thought. There will be some that will agree, there will be some that don’t. That’s the beauty of life. But for me, I will park football for today.