You know, there is something to be said for being consistently above average. I mean it’s not as depressing as abject failure and it’s much less risky than greatness. It’s quite a comfortable place to be actually, if you think about it. Besides, complaining about being above average is like complaining about your meatloaf when children in some place I saw on an infomercial are starving. World Hunger Fund for Dirt Poor Desert Dwelling People International would shake their collective heads at you. And no one wants that on their conscience.
We who support The Arsenal should let go of all this consternation and curl up with a warm blanket and an oft read book and settle into our above averageness. After all, it’s really not that bad. We get Champion’s League every year, the odd cup run, and being secure in knowing we will do it again next year all over again. Being predictable is only bad if you are not very good. Well, we are almost great and doesn’t that make you feel cozy?
Let’s look at the alternatives. Taking chances for greatness is way, WAY too scary for people of our fragile heart. Our emotions are wound tighter than piano strings. Hell, I think we almost had a mass suicide when Xhaka was sent off a couple of weeks ago. Risking our solid top 4 footing for a chance at a title would break us I fear. Also, what if it failed so epically that we became like Chelsea and finished way down the table. They will be lucky to ever get back into the top 6 let alone the top 4. No, the cold, damp place of being out of the Champion’s League spots doesn’t sound very appealing to me
Arsene has been our champion of above ordinary over the last decade. He knows what comfort means to us and he has delivered. He has tucked us into our above average bed at the end of each season. He has kissed us on the forehead and told us never to worry. He will keep us safe and always above mediocrity. Who else would try to buy greatness with £1 above the average transfer fee. Even our bids are just above. The players we bring in were destined for greatness but he quickly set them straight that Arsenal will have none of that reaching for the stars guff. Who really wants a team of winners when a squad of just good enoughs is so much more steady?
Leicester has cemented my feelings on this. Yes they risked it all and had an amazing season but look at them now. They are fighting relegation. Yes, we have a much more stable financial setup to fall back on should the unthinkable happen(out of top 4) but why would we even risk it? Slow and steady wins the race to top 4 eh Mr. Tortoise? The Foxes are a warning shot for any of you psycho title dreamers that risk can be devastating. No silverware can ever replace our cemented position of also rans in the football world.
So I, for one, have learned to love where we are. It’s like a savings bond or moderate yielding CD. It may not win you the lottery but there is safety in earning just above average. We’ll never go broke and we will keep living a pretty good football life. Titles are for the attention seekers. We don’t need the glory of all that if it means exposing ourselves to any gamble. No sane individual asks the dealer for another card sitting on 17 when the dealer’s show card is a 7, do they?
I’ve eliminated the worry by just accepting what is a pretty sweet deal. I can relax through the home defeats to bottom half clubs. I can Netflix and chill through the inevitable midfield injury crisis every season. I can be content while being drawn with Bayern or Barcelona every year in the Champion’s League knockout rounds. I can take naps through the yearly dropping out of the title race by February/March. I can do all of this because we are safe. We are as regular as a senior citizen on extra fiber. I’m reminded of Mel Gibson’s speech in Braveheart except I imagine one of our crazy supporters who wants change saying it. It would be something like this: “Aye, change and you may fail. Keep top 4 and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the seasons from this season to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our rivals that they may take our top 4s, but they’ll never take… our TITLES!!!” I, for one, would’ve walked away. Top 4 is my happy place.