BAD DAY RULE

by .

It’s World Mental Health Day.

A moment to talk about one of the most important self-care items going: What goes on in your head.

A moment to talk to an audience that is the most likely to be affected by it and not say anything (you, my friend).

Men are pretty shit at this. Mostly, it’s men that read this blog. So let’s have a chat about it.

It’s ok not to be ok sounds cliche, but it’s true. Mental health, no matter how many ‘wellness days’ brutal office cultures offer up, is not respected to the level it should be… still. That’s why I think it’s so powerful superstars of elite level sport are crafting a way forward for normal people. Simone Biles tapping out of some of the Olympics? If she’s ok to say ‘no thanks,’ after all the shit she’s been through, then guess what… Pedro who makes tweets for a living can tap out if things are going badly.

I did a podcast last week with someone that works in a high-stress environment (football) and they shared this little gem with me:

‘We have a rule that I have made very clear to my people. If you are having a bad day, you tell me upfront. You don’t have to talk about the details. Or you can talk about the details. But if you’re having a bad day, I want to know, because we all have them.’

I loved that. So simple. So easy to implement in any job. Beautifully disarming in a way. You don’t have to get into the details, you don’t have to pull out a chaise longue, but if everyone around you knows the deal, it can really take the steam out of some heavy things going on in your head. How many people going through some severe shit would just like to say, ‘I’m having a bad day’, and haven’t, with sad consequences? I sat next to someone at new London job, the nicest chap you’d ever meet, incredibly sharp and easy going. He helped me navigate this new monster organisation I worked in. He set the tone for the culture of the office. He was beloved. One day, he just didn’t show for work. He’d never show again. Just like that, gone. I never thought to ask him how he really was, but I wonder if he’d been able to say he was having a bad day, whether things would have been different?

I actually don’t think I can remember ever having the courage to say something like that, but you know what, that’s going to be a new rule I bring to all my teams going forward. It’s a small thing, but it’s actionable, and if only one person reading this does it, then it’s a win.

Part of me wonders if some of the newfound empathy we’re seeing in football might be partly related to the tough year we’ve all had sitting in a box shut off from the world. Everyone wrestled with demons this year. We all needed something a little deeper than a Zoom happy hour. I wonder if the softening towards athletes is here to stay? They aren’t robots. They’re at work like you and me. Maybe the game is just better if we’re a bit nicer offline and online.

… as for the online bit. This is another area we can all be a little bit better and I will 100% hold my hands up here and say I need to take it easier and realise that it’s just football. Maybe we could all be kinder to people on the internet? It’s just a football opinion. It’s just a game. If you wouldn’t say it to someone in a bar, maybe you shouldn’t say it on the internet… because you never know what is going on with someone behind the keyboard. I’d say the internet is a dreadful place generally, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised how kind everyone is to me, Johnny and Matt on the Youtube videos. It’s very sweet. Same with the podcast stuff. The world is a better place when there’s a bit of kindness out there, life is a little easier, and one less thing to worry about is good for everyone.

Someone who has dealt with mental health issues is Tyson Fury. What an incredible story. I think he gave an entire paycheck to a mental health charity earlier in his career. He’s a symbol of someone dealing with his challenges head-on and coming out the other end a hero. So massive congrats to him.

Would it be wrong to cite Bukayo Saka as well? He missed a decisive penalty in a European Cup Final, he came back into club football, now he’s back scoring goals, looking extremely well. What a player. You absolutely love to see it.

Anyway, bit of a weird one from me today. It’s hard to write things like this, mental health cuts brutally close to the bone for me, so this is uncomfortable, but if it makes one person feel even 1% better about themselves, then it’s a win.

Be good to each other, check in with those you love, and set up a ‘bad day’ rule in your work team.

See you in the comments. NEW podcast below. BIG LOVE xx

131 Responses to “BAD DAY RULE”

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  1. Bankz

    Oh before I forget, Belgium have got to be the Spurs of international football.
    So much talent and yet never can get themselves to win a thing.

  2. Bankz

    Midnight’s fight between Fury and Wilder has got to be an instant classic.
    Both fighters were at the top of their game but Fury was just able to find that inner resolve over and over before the final KO in the 11th round.

  3. Adam Benabbes

    @Banks as a French goober I concur : Belgium are definitely the Spurs of international football. They are such sore loosers, they are still going on about the 2018 World cup semi final they lost to France claiming they were the better team!

  4. Northbanker

    Great post Pedro – my firm have invested a lot of time now in dealing with mental health issues.

    Seems like the pandemic in a bizarre sort of way has not only exacerbated the problem but given rise to helping to deal with it too – perhaps because it went so far across the line that this has helped put the subject very firmly into the public gaze.

  5. Highburyholbrook

    Absolutely massive post today Pedro. What fantastic timing for something like this. I know it is mental health day, but it feels like you were speaking directly to me. I know it must have been difficult to write this, but I have a huge amount of respect for you posting this. Hopefully this message reaches others who need to hear it. Thanks again for this post and all of the great content you, Matt, and Johnny put out.

  6. James wood.

    Until you have suffered with depression you have know
    idea how debilitating it can be.
    Talking to people who do understand is vital ( please talk to someone).
    Fresh air and the open helps.
    Really good that Pedro’s post today has highlighted this awful condition.

  7. Taylor Swift

    I’ve suffered mental health issues my whole life. The trouble was, until the age of 45, I didn’t know anything was wrong. I just thought everyone thought about suicide all the time, I thought everyone woke up four times a night drenched in sweat, I thought everyone watched the clock at work waiting for five o’clock so they could go home exhausted.

    Trouble was, the diagnosis at 45 of chronic depression and personality disorder was the start of a ten year journey, including 18 months in hospital, before they finally got the right combination of medication.

    I’m glad to report the last ten years I have been stable and even happy.

    In a way, I am lucky in as much as talking about it has never been a problem.

  8. MidwestGun

    You nailed it Peds.. well said. For what it’s worth I never take anything personally that’s said on here. I don’t think most of the bad stuff that’s said would be said to your face in real life. I enjoy the banter as I think a lot of people do and sometimes it goes too far. Plus the older I get the more I realize what matters in life, Covid focused that.

    That said, Come on the Arsenal!!! Help a brother out with some wins.

  9. englandsbest

    I’m all for people being nice to each other, helping each other – in other words learn to co-operate rather than compete – and the better chance humanity has of survival on this planet. But here’s the hing. Competition is the driving force of evolution. Survival of the fittest. Without that, life would be nothing more than micro-organisms in muddy shallows.

  10. DaveB666

    Pedro – top post fella. Love the sentiment and let’s all try and be respectful and positive. Makes the world a better place.

    Now Deontay Wilder maybe had a bad day (third time) but did he really need to behave like such a dick after the fight. Can’t wait for the excuses this time – my gimp walk-on mask was the wrong shade of red, my rapper was too Jay-Z and not enough Eminem. AJ was beaten and showed class and humility – two things Wilder doesn’t comprehend.

  11. TR7

    I don’t know whether any study has been conducted on it but physical activities such as weight lifting, aerobics, running etc. and yoga really help in curbing depression a little bit. And yes, staying away from social media helps too.

  12. andy1886

    Great message Pedro.

    Too many big organisations pay lip service to this issue. When push comes to shove money talks loudest. I hope that the message people take from this pandemic is that health and wellbeing comes first, it’s okay to walk away from situations and people who aren’t good for you.

  13. andy1886

    @TR7 – I’ve just signed up for the Brighton Marathon, will let you know how all that winter training impacts my mood! As I’m usually a SAD sufferer so maybe it might help.

  14. Bigper

    ‘That’s why I think it’s so powerful superstars of elite level sport are crafting a way forward for normal people. Simone Biles tapping out of some of the Olympics? If she’s ok to say no thanks’

    Doesn’t help whatsoever for the working man in the real world. If you’re self employed in construction for example you have no choice but to carry on until you fall into your early grave

  15. Northbanker

    TR7 – totally agree. so too does variety – finding new ways to spice up life. However big difference between feeling pissed off and chronically depressed as i found out years ago when my best mate (a doctor) committed suicide. Played squash with him regularly, went on skiing trips and he was life and soul of party. BUT he was also chronically depressed and I had no idea…….

  16. TR7

    Andy

    Keep running marathons if you can, surely helps. I can say it from personal experience.

    North

    I don’t know how some depressed folks manage to hide their pain. I wish I had that ability.

  17. englandsbest

    I am no expert on depression (except my own) but it seems to me that depression is vastly more prevalent now than it was when I was young. And yet we had so much more reason to be depressed, a war, rationing, no NHS, etc, etc. Evidently partly due to better diagnosis nowadays. But back then you mostly swallowed hard and got on with dealing with it yourself.

    I don’t mean to sound hard-hearted, it’s merely a personal observation, But one that asks for conclusions. One is that we’ve become too eager to seek medication as a crutch. It often leads to dependency. The second is that there is no shame anymore in victimhood. People bursting into tears recounting their troubles, I don’t remember that happening back then. The third is ‘stop competing’. Very often depression is caused by insecurity, a sense of failure, a feeling of inferiority.

    Or better still, compete in areas that don’t involve survival. We football club supporters do that instinctively, we metamorphise our ambition to the Club. In the worst of times there is always Arsenal.

  18. Gommit

    Good post Pedro. It does wonders to be able to voice your feelings at the office, I work in a team of 5 running a biotech company and the culture is so that everyone can have a bad day. But more importantly, for me at least, is that we have the same rule at home. It is so important to be able to say to your spouse that you are having a shitty day and be accepted that way even more so with three young daughters with all their needs.

    On the same note, this break from real football is not what I needed while staying home sick with the one year old sick also… I am watching Secret life of pets 2 for the 10th time in 3 days now…

  19. steven bullen

    Great article Pete, I’m not hiding behind my own dark dog but I’ve replied to you in a rude and abusive way , to almost start an argument to make me feel better.
    A few days later I re read your article or watch the live stream and think to myself “what a c@nt” I can be.
    I sincerely appreciate this post and sincerely apologise to you on a personal level.
    M

  20. Words on a blog

    Middy,

    Relieved to hear that you never take things personally coz I really think you’re a scumbag and don’t mind telling you.

    Plus (the horror, the horror) you’re American, and (even worse) from the (yuk) MidWest.

  21. Jdawg

    Thanks for that Pedro good read as ever. It’s nice to read that there’s good humans out there with awareness for others.

    Also brilliant always reading the comments, some raised eyebrows, some laughs. Nevertheless you don’t know the person sitting behind the keyboard/phone. I can only wish you all well and hope for more positivity

  22. Gommit

    It amazes me how many people feel the need to abuse other people here for holding a different opinion.. It is not like you have to live with the individual nor do you know anything about him (her?)..

    And I agree with Bankz.. I like the setup of the Spanish team

  23. Elmo

    Positive words, Pedro. Showing empathy and consideration to others can be universal principles.

    Though the whole ‘bad day’ / ‘duvet day’ thing is very much a perspective of employees / executives of multinationals and big companies. I can’t really see the same flexibility being granted to the self-employed by their clients: you eat what you kill, and if you fail to perform, there will be no calls back.

    On football matters, the Telegraph are reporting that Newcastle are bringing in Ralph Rangnick to re-shape the club as technical director.

  24. Dissenter

    Pedro
    Good article
    You do have to walk the talk though
    You can’t be writing long treatises about depression, burn-out and online abuse when yuh are allowing gross insults like ‘bedwetting’ to stand unchallenged
    It’s seemed as though, some things are passively lowed so long as it in defense of Arteta.

  25. DaveB666

    Steven Bullen – kudos to you fella – sometimes it takes a lot to admit you have ben a c@nt. We’ve all done it but maybe not always admitted it. I like what is happening on Le Grove today – don’t always…..

  26. David Smith

    I work for a company with a few thousand employees, that Bad Day suggestion will be put into action in my team tomorrow and to our Exec team via a virtual suggestion box type thing we operate.. they are always looking for initiatives like that, especially something so simple that is surely effective.
    And don’t worry, I will credit this blog as where I heard of it first if it gains the traction suspect it will!

  27. NJ Gooner

    Pedro

    Bravo. Big hugs and support. I generally love reading your blog for the Arsenal content. But this was a most welcome digression.

    I’m old – and old school: never say or write anything, to anyone, that you wouldn’t want your parents to hear. Sometimes biting your tongue can be a bit painful. But good support from family and friends goes a long way. We need to understand that your blog is a community, just like your office, and people need to be civil and not insult for sport. You never know the mental health consequences.

  28. Ishola70

    Brazil so average against Colombia.

    Nothing exciting or impressive about their football at all in that first half against Colombia.

    Fabinho has been caught out a few times in midfield.

    Paqueta has actually be one of the more accomplished players on the pitch so far.

    Colombia have a very drab team now compared to their previous sides.

  29. Pedro

    So many great comments today. Nice that if we can all be unified about one thing, it’s mental health. Great stuff everyone.

  30. LoveSausage

    Good post. I always tell people I work with to refrain from criticising others in writing. There’s something about writing things that takes empathy out of it. When you read it, it comes across colder and meaner than intended.

    I try to only say things here in the comments that I’d say to a person’s face but sometimes I make the same mistake I tell others to avoid. So if I’ve ever made anyone here feel shitty about themselves, I apologise. I appreciate the community and debate we have going on here!

  31. China1

    Good post Pedro. If my eldest brother had spoken up when he was not ok maybe there’s a chance we could’ve helped and he’d still be here today.

    I’m having a shit time of it myself at work recently, but I won’t do anything extreme. Just can’t wait for the corner to be turned and things to calm down. Exhaustion plus stress is a rubbish combination

  32. Ernest Reed

    Thank you Peter, thank you for this moment. I have been struggling with my thoughts ever since i lost my wife and at times i suffer in silence because i have that feeling that I’m supposed to do so. I have more good days than not now but admit easily that I’m incomplete without her as my partner and conscience.

    Covid is the vehicle by which i lost my beloved wife, but it may as well have been anything to be honest, the loss to me is profound and without any real recovery. Simply put, I struggle daily with reasons as to why I should continue, but i know that i must because, truth be told, i love life too much to simply give up – but its so damned hard.

    I thank you all on here for providing me with an outlet and please know that i harbour no ill will towards any of you, no matter what. To Peter i thank you especially for this very outlet to express myself and i know that perhaps i push limits, but i don’t mean to.

    Time is the great healer and i so believe that. Its on me to carry on the legacy of the memory of her and all that she believed and stood for, and that is my mission with my remaining time, to try to be a better person despite myself.

    Thank you all again for just letting me be as i am, thank you.

  33. China1

    Btw I can’t stress enough how closely poor sleep quality and amount is linked to mental health troubles. Lack of exercise and poor quality diet as well.

    Sounds obvious but it’s true. Brain chemistry is hugely hugely impacted by these things. Sleep most of all. That dark cloud descends ever so easily when you lack good sleep

  34. Ernest Reed

    You are so right China, sometimes simply let go of your troubles for just one night just feels so good. To lose oneself in their dreams can be so rewarding and yet so cruel at times when you wake up. Life is so worth living, please try to not suffer in silence, help at times is but a call away. Life is precious, please try to remember that.

  35. China1

    Much love Ernest

    For me my biggest issue is a combination of having a hyper stressful, always on, job with being naturally a poor sleeper. Around twice a week I wake up about 2am and won’t get back to sleep until 5am no matter how hard I try

    In my work when we make any absolutely tiny mistake the consequences for me, my colleagues and the management are massive – and because everything is hectic and a constant rush mistakes can easily happen. Last Friday all was good until 9:30pm when I got a call from a colleague with the usual ‘we have a problem’. Worked until 1am on it. Had to call senior management to explain and get help around midnight… ended up being unable to solve it. Today is going to be a very bad day when we have to talk about what went wrong and instantly work out a solution. We’re going to get slaughtered for it for the second time in two weeks. Got 3 hours of sleep last night to boot.

    Not sure what else can be done except own it and try our best and see what happens.

    It’s for reasons like this that I continue to hold Arteta to high standards. I am inexperienced in my role too (actually less so than he is) and yet I have very little protection. When stuff goes cross in Investment banking tech, you get lined up and slaughtered for it. High stakes. Oh well.

  36. Tony

    Andy1886
    That’s a tough trial you’re putting yourself through. Good luck on your training and hope you stay injury free. At 66 I stopped my gym training last Xmas to clear the many niggling injuries that even now haven’t cleared and will take probably until New Year to clear.

    Ernest
    My father and I lost my adopted mother 27 years ago, which my father never got over and where she is never far from my thoughts.

    In the end I finally brought my father to Thailand to live with us where he had 12 short holidays in the 5 years he lived with us and a triple bypass at 84 with my heart team in Bangkok and with a private ICU nurse 24/7 (my wife’s sister) who quit her job to take care of my father.

    I saw his grief every day he lived with us where he loved the short breaks, but they were just band aids and papered over the cracks.

    As with China much love to you Ernest.

  37. Ernest Reed

    Thank you both China and Tony, i guess each of us carries a burden we would rather not have, but i also look at you both as sources of inner strength. Life is indeed a very fascinating thing and these days i find myself asking why i gave so much of a care about, what now is obvious, were really unimportant things.

    I hope that one day soon China you will find rest from a stressful life? Life, i now truly realize, is far too short to perhaps go to the levels you find yourself going, all in the name of a job – is any job worth that? And Tony, thank you for the words of encouragement you have been giving me over the last year,. Stories of your son bring a smile to my face and one day soon i hope he begins to post on LeGrove, though i’d rather hope he does so with the knowledge that not everyone he will encounter will be genuine in their intent.

    Much love back to you both as I continue to enjoy all that you have to offer, each being true Arsenal supporters. Take care to you both and please try to find moments for yourselves..

  38. Ernest Reed

    If i may be honest…I can say with honesty that i have had some God awful days, days that i just lay in bed and wished that i never woke up. Dark days, terrible thoughts, thoughts of terrible things. Through it all i have thankfully not gone into that place that those in my support group talk of, i just cant go there for my own reasons, but their stories ring loud within me and offer me the knowledge that i am truly not alone.

    I guess what i am trying to say is please don’t suffer in silence, and not for long. Please do reach out for a voice of reason in times of despair. There are people out there who really do care and will take the time to care about you. Try not to give in or give up, life is simply life but you are worth so much more to you and others.

  39. Goobergooner

    Also from reading the last post:

    “The frustration is the team we have now isn’t built for an Auba. It’s built for a DCL, who we’re tracking apparently. Someone mentioned that this Arteta system, as it is right now, looks more like Atletico than City. Not where I thought we’d be taking the football, but hard to argue that a peak Diego Costa in the striking position wouldn’t make us immeasurably better.”

    I would say our team is definitely built for auba, the first half of spurs shows what we can do when we play on the front foot.

    The major reason auba has declined (apart from age) is the system he’s played in.
    Everyone knows he loves a tap in (to pad his stats apparently) but I’d say getting him in behind was a major tactic rather than him just padding stats.

    We play so horribly slow with Artetaball it’s not funny. How is a player we all know isn’t great in the air, isn’t great at hold up, isn’t great at link up but great at getting on the end of things meant to live up to the expectations when the tactical approach plays to nearly all his weaknesses???????

    It’s utterly baffling, and it’s not just auba that is affected, it’s the whole of the attack. Saka, esr, Pepe, ode would all thrive playing faster football.

  40. Habesha Gooner

    This is a great post pedro. Men actually suffer in silence more often than not. And I don’t know talking to your buddies about how you are having a shit time helps that much in the long run. But it can pull you back from dark moments. Just someone checking up on you helps.

    Depression is a bitch. The ways to cope with it seem so simple but are hard to do day to day. You have to get the motivation to do those things. Anyway what I have found is the following things that help massively.

    – Having a good night’s sleep
    – Eating healthy
    – Excercises
    – Quitting Social Media permanently
    – Stopping using any kind of electronic devices for a scheduled part of the day
    – Meditation
    – and Lastly if you have the means, talking to a good therapist regularly.

    Most of these things are achievable if you are motivated. But depression is hard, so much so that even daily activities are a climb of a mountain let alone meditating and working out. You always need someone to help you get the ball rolling.

    Anyway I really appreciate the post Pedders. Fantastic job.

  41. Jamie

    Great post.

    I go to a cognitive behavioural therapist every 2 weeks for an hour.

    People need to maintain their mind in the same way they maintain their teeth.

    The leading cause of death for men under the age of 40 is suicide. Incredibly sad statistic and highlights how men ignore their emotions until it’s critical or too late.

  42. Left Testicle

    It seems there is a disproportionate amount of people on here who suffer with their mental health. Common denominator? Le-Grove?

  43. DivineSherlock

    So so thankful that I stumbled on to this great blog of Arsenal related stuff. Sometimes a really brilliant reminder of how sports unite people . This community in comment section is top class. An article like this helps a lot Pedro , thank you to you as well . Just brilliant.

  44. Graham62

    Goobergooner

    Spot on.

    What is our ID? After nearly two years, what is it exactly?
    I’ve criticised Auba on here but when you’ve got an asset like him in the team why don’t you play to his strengths?

    Arteta is so rigid in his methods. You’re 100% right, it’s all the attacking players. It amazes me that Arteta doesn’t see or act on the obvious, something Wenger became very good at.

    You have to question things and not have you head stuck in the clouds all the time. We have a more than potent attacking force but we never see it, apart from 30 minutes against Spuds the other week.

    Why is this?

    englandsbest, are you out there?

    Explain it to me.

  45. WiltshireGooner

    Appreciate I’m late to the party for world mental health day but is it possible to do a you gov poll on mental health? Identifying possible causes of mental health within arsenal fans. While I appreciate it’s a very small specific segment of the community it might be enlightening? Personally I suffered with Being molestered in childhood. Fortunately out of the worst of the mental health and depression issues now but only just looking for councilling. On average it take 24 years for male survivors of male child sexual abuse to come forward. And even after raising it 10+ years ago it still feels like a taboo. Something that can’t be talked about. Reality is it isn’t my secret to keep. But it still isn’t easy to discus. the general concieved figures are this happens to 1 in 6 males but it’s beloved figures could even be as high as 1 in 4. In addition, in Scotland they did an addiction study and over 50% of the males they worked with disclosed child sexual abuse as a cause for their addiction. My personal issues revolve mostly about my ability to communicate now as I spent so long bottling things up it’s very hard to find the words to express when their is a problem. When that happens eventually I’d message the wife instead as I find it easier to clarify my thoughts in writing, in addition it means I’m no longer bottling things up.

    If anyone is suffering in silence though strongly reccomend speaking to someone it really does make a difference. Be it family, councillor, a friend.

    Also if they help Some podcasts I’ve listened to recently include

    – The men healing podcast
    – after: surviving sexual assault

    The final episodes with Kevin were particularly poignant for me

  46. Nelson

    “We could yet see a midfield of Xhaka, Wilshere and Oxlade Chamberlain.”
    _________________________________________________________________

    I wouldn’t mind signing Ox. He was used by the Pool as a midfielder who can shoot from outside the box. But we already have Martinelli and Pepe who need game time.

  47. Kris

    Good post, Pedro.

    As someone who has severe, treatment-resistant depression combined with 2 types of 24/7 chronic pain, I can appreciate what you wrote.
    I also hope that most of you support euthanasia and assisted suicide for people like me who have no better option left after 15 years of hell. Strange how so many still oppose that or they want to only have it for people who will die anyway in a few months (I’m 45).
    Some people just have a broken brain due to a combo of factors: genetics + extreme stress usually.

    Anyway, I hope you all feel fine, but if you have moderate depression, the best suggestions are: omega 3, magnesium citrate, folic acid, vitamin b6, combined with exercise and being outdoors as much as possible in the middle of the day. SAD lamps for SAD/winter depression are good to during the winter.

    I also apologize for any harsh words towards any of you. Depression’s hopelessness sometimes turns into uncontrollable anger, and while I try my best, there were a few times when I was too impolite.

  48. englandsbest

    Graham62

    Sure I’m out here. And sure I’ll explain.

    You are not looking, or maybe you prefer not to see. At times Arsenal’s speed is truly astonishing,. That is what repetitive training achieves – speed of thought and action. But it’s a kind of dance rhythm – slow, slow, quick. The slow stuff is mesmeric, the fast is lethal.

    It’s true to say the team is not scoring because Auba is not scoring. You may get away with a one-man bandwagon if Messi or Ronaldo or Lewandowski is the driver – but not with present-day Auba. His best is behind him. Time to turn a new leaf.

  49. Tom

    Englandsbest, now perhaps you can explain how Wenger giving the 28 year old Ozil the 350kpw 3 year extension was a crime of the century whilst Arteta giving the 31 year old Auba the same a simple blip.

  50. englandsbest

    Tom

    At the time I thought it was a mistake, and I gave my reasons: – the ridiculously high wages, Auba’s age, putting him in the comfort zone, etc….so it’s hard to explain. So I’ll make an excuse instead, Arteta was a rookie, learning on the job.

    However, putting myself in Arteta’s position, I can follow his reasoning. Auba had pretty much kept the team ticking, won him FA Cup, losing him at that early stage would have seemed cataclysmic. And he had enough dross to get rid of on his hands without losing Auba.

    But what matters is now. For me Auba is holding back players like Eddie. Arteta should swallow his pride and use Auba as bench man. Sell him in Jan and, if necessary, bring in a slugger up front, not a lurker.

  51. China1

    Kris it saddens me greatly that you’d feel that way

    Life is so beautiful despite the shit that comes with it

    Kris the Big Bang happened 13.7 billion years ago. Whether or not people believed there is a god or whatever could’ve happened before that, take a moment to consider in order for you to exist, it required all the physics, chemistry and biology of 13.7 billion years to culminate in who you are. You exist on an absolutely minuscule oasis of what is an incredibly inhospitable universe. The very fact you exist a phenomenally remarkable series of circumstances

    So whilst I don’t know whether the traditionally accepted gods exist, or whether there’s any great point to it all outside of ourselves, I do know that we are given a one in a trillion chance here and are fortunate enough to have the biological capability to process and explore this hand we’ve been dealt and that is something as beautiful as it is remarkable.

    Don’t give up. Keep on trucking. And keep on doing everything you can to reevaluate and discover that which gives you purpose

  52. englandsbest

    I’m wondering how players regard the prospect of three weeks in Qatar. With joy? Or with despair?

    Still find it hard to believe that this bad joke WC will ever actually happen.

  53. China1

    To any one else having a hard time with depression or even just having one of those ‘proper wank’ days, I wrote this poem a couple of years back

    The Best is Yet to Come

    I have seen despair so deep – my heart reduced to ash
    Laid to waste, a crumpled heap, no strength within to thrash
    Pale in spirit, grey in soul, a tourist of great depths
    Burnt and stung so many times, a hoarseness scars my breath
    But it ends in me tonight – for I will find a path
    A guiding light within me to make darkness fear my wrath
    A voice within compels me to never give up hope
    I’ll not relinquish this belief that I can always cope
    Each daybreak brings a future, unwritten – not yet sung
    The only thing I’m sure of is the best is yet to come

  54. China1

    Englandsbest I’m still not sure what the arrangement will be with Qatar. Like can people get smashed and flip tables like they do at football tournaments elsewhere?

    if there’s no alcohol or whatever it’s gonna be a very odd vibe lol

  55. englandsbest

    China1

    No problem getting a drink, in my experience. Spent one of the best afternoons of my life getting pissed with friends in a taxi driving around Lahore.

    Drinking alcohol is as natural to us humans (almost, anyway) as eating. I’m told the first farmers grew their grain more as a drink than a food. And without agriculture there would be no towns, no cities, no civilization. Yeah, I guess we can blame everything on booze – and Arteta, of course.

    Nice pome, by the way

  56. raptora

    China,
    that’s deep man and well written.

    I hope that everyone who feels depressed, finds the will to fight back for better days. The easier thing is to stay in your own shell and feel nothing. When friends or family ask you to go somewhere with them, don’t say no. What can you lose? If you don’t have fun and you don’t enjoy it, you’ll be back to your comfort space in no time. But the small chance that you might just find a new passion or a way to go through the rough days… don’t miss it. Give yourself the chance.

  57. Graham62

    englandsbest

    Our slow is incredibly slow.

    Do I give Arteta the benefit of the doubt here? Do I give him the leeway and freedom to create a dynamic rhythmical style of play or do I question if I see slow, ponderous, one dimensional football?

    Coaching is based on muscle memory and repetition, as you highlighted, but it should also emphasis the significance of playing to a pattern of play that is progressive and threatening to the opposition. I haven’t seen any of this to date with Arteta.

    Two years……….THAT’S TWO YEARS! to get things right, is an awful long time wouldn’t you think to program the players to perform in a dynamic manner.

    Teams should fear what we have. The reason they don’t is that they read Arteta’s game plan like a book.

    A very slow, ponderous book.

    Oh yeah, by the way, Aubameyang isn’t finished yet.

  58. Dissenter

    It’s great to see the humanity of the blog on full display
    Maybe now, we will all accept that criticisms of anything Arsenal is never intended to be personal. It’s just passionate gooners venting about everything Arsenal.
    Safe to say, everyone will have a moment of transient or persistent depressed, at some point in their lifetime. Even if it turns out to not be clinical depression. The last two years with the covid pandemic has been devastating.

  59. Graham62

    Dissenter

    I agree and I would be the first to admit I have not been too enamoured with Pedro’s Arteta love ins these past few months.

    We all have differing views and opinions on things but, at the end of the day, focusing positively on something that clearly needs to be questioned is, I feel, relevant, as long as that is the evidence is there for all to see. Imo, it definitely is..
    Today’s society is different to 30-40 years back. If you question and criticise you’re seen as being the aggressor and rude but if you’re ignoring the flip side to an argument because you feel your own views are right, you’ll get a reaction….especially from me!
    Arteta deserves criticism and, as it stands, he needs to start showing very quickly that he knows what he’s doing because, from where I stand, I’m not seeing it at present.

  60. China1

    Cheers Rap

    I actually self published a poetry compilation on the kindle store a couple of years back (since taken down as I want to edit it more and add to it)

    I come on here all careless and bristolian like but when push comes to shove I’m a FOOKIN WORDSMITH

  61. raptora

    China,
    So you’ve got no excuse for not participating more actively in the blog’s artsy fartsy circle. One day when Almunia and co are back with the good stuff, you better be ready and bring in your A game.