Happy Christmas one and all.
Even if you don’t do the pagan thing, I hope you’re taking the best bits of the festivities and making them work for you this Friday. Beers at 9. Too much food. MASSIVE fight with your partner.
How about presents? How greedy were you with your ask this year?
I asked for a way out of the mess Arsenal have leveled on themselves. Santa is going to have to work hard to satisfy this tall order.
If Mikel is staying, let’s see what he’s got. He’s been taught all the worst lessons over the past 5 months, his big challenge is whether he is capable of actively learning… or whether he’s going to dig his heels in and get sacked.
There’s an old parable Isiah Berlin used in one of his essays.
“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
Leaders are split into these two camps. Lincoln would be a fox. He knew where he was going, but he was prepared to zigzag to get there.
Steve Jobs was a hedgehog. A hedgehog has a singular vision and nothing will shake them from that path. When the world went opensource, he decided to close off his products. When the world offered variety, he went for a narrower focus. When Microsoft let others build hardware for them, he shut off contractors, and created an entire production arm, building out an unstoppable vertically integrated behemoth.
Who does Mikel think he is right now? He looks like a hedgehog. His plan is failing, he’s stuck in a rut, and he can’t see that his singular vision is failing. His one way of operating is tanking and he can’t adapt. It’s unclear whether his vision is even worth being a hedgehog for.
He needs to become a fox. Lincoln knew he wanted to end slavery, but he was painfully aware there were things that needed to happen before he could drive at that goal. He said things he didn’t agree with privately. He wouldn’t commit to anything that would rankle half the country he needed to vote for him. He was extremely cunning in how drove towards power so he could make the changes he felt were necessary for his higher calling.
If you’re going to shoot at the end goal early, boy, you’d better not miss. My oh my, has our boy missed. His lack of patience has cost him a season and most of his political capital with the fans. A grand vision means nothing in politics if you aren’t in power… he’s in serious jeopardy of losing power after only a year.
Arteta needs learn to be a fox. He needs to work out how to get back to winning ways. He needs to start crafting a narrative the fans can get behind. He might have to do some painful things, like give up on players he put faith in. Like admitting he made his very own Ozil mistake. Like winding back the ‘let’s do pretty football’ part of the process and get back to basics again.
Is he capable of being a fox? So far, it doesn’t look that way. He continues to make the same mistakes, trot out bland tired excuses, and flap around like a one-dimensional hedgehog.
This Sunday is huge. The coaching staff has had a week to plot out a way to get at Chelsea. If they fail, it’s going to be really, really hard to picture a way Arteta escapes with his job.
Our season starts at home to Chelsea. Win, and the next group of games feels more comfortable. We rack up some points. We move to midtable safety. Lose? Well, I don’t know where it goes.
It’s time to shut up and support the lads. Let’s see if we’re dealing with a hedgehog powering towards a main road at night, or a fox, that’s raiding a chicken coup before shitting in a farmers wellington boot.
Happy Christmas, have a great day, thank you for reading. I love you all very dearly. x