This is post 1962 and there have been 2,908,148 people who have crossed the threshold of my site in search of something funny, poignant, statistical, stupid, or sentimental.
Of those 2.9m hits, there have only been 54,984 comments. And of those 55,000 comments only 55 were good.
Just kidding, all the comments are good even the ones from people who only come on here to hate. What is it the kids say these days “he’ll kill you to death! He eats hate and craps thunder!” Something like that.
Of my nearly 2,000 posts only about 20 of them have been excellent, 200 of them good, 200 bad, and 20 have been dog shit. The rest are somewhere in the middle.
Some folks, apparently, felt that yesterday’s post was dog shit. Fair enough, even Arseblog seemed to take my post to task with his offering this morning. Joking about how we shouldn’t look at the body language of the player or how he seems to be ostracized in nearly every photo. I know Arseblog isn’t being a jerk and is just gently poking fun and I even agree with him somewhat. I even said as much when I stated that perhaps Stuart MacFarlane is picking the photos he wanted to tell the story that he or Arsenal FC want to tell.
But it’s the end of Arseblog’s post that made me smile a bit. The part where he said:
This particular issue aside the team look happy and in good spirits during the training camp. There seems to be good camaraderie, a positive atmosphere, and hopefully that will translate itself into performances once the season starts.
This is basically what I said yesterday, though I made it more about Song and Robin. But there is very little difference between me saying that I think van Persie’s smile looks winsome based on photos and me or Arseblog saying that the team looks in good spirits based on that same set of photos.
A set of photos, I will quickly add, that we all know Arsenal have chosen to tell exactly the story they want to tell. As a professional photographer I can tell you that MacFarlane has enough photos and videos of that training camp that he could edit together to tell whatever story he wants – he could probably retell Macbeth – but Arsenal and MacFarlane are choosing to show that the team have a great camaraderie and that the captain is being ostracized. That’s my interpretation.
For example, after news broke yesterday that Robin van Persie was supposedly already flying in to Manchester to sign for United, Stuart MacFarlane posted two photos on twitter showing that RvP was still in Cologne. It looks like an obvious rebuttal from the club and is a glimpse into the fact that they are telling the story they want to tell using various media outlets and media forms.
So, there’s nothing wrong with me intuiting from their photographs what story they are trying to tell and reinterpreting that here for you. It’s what human beings do, we are visual creatures who gather clues about the emotional state of other human beings based on subtle changes in posture or a difference in a smile. I don’t really have to launch into a 10,000 word post proving this, do I? You already know it and use it every day.
But in the end, that’s what I’ve done with all 2000 of my posts, interpreting data and research to tell you a story. I could be telling you a story using an interpretation of the stats that shows Aaron Ramsey sometimes dwells on the ball too much but that he also has great vision to pick out the right pass. Or I could be looking at the media that Arsenal have to offer and reading subtle clues as to the body language of the captain. It’s all interpretation and story telling.
For example, the big story today is Ferguson talking about “not understanding” why Arsenal aren’t just giving United Robin van Persie. There are lots of different ways to interpret this. Fergie’s playing “mind games”! Is probably the simplest but that’s not how I saw it. Fergie looks to me like he legitimately doesn’t know what else to do and he’s reaching out to the press in an attempt to further unsettle the player and Arsenal. Meanwhile, Arsenal seem to have stopped communicating with them and are looking to sell Robin elsewhere. Which is much to their credit.
“It’s difficult to say why they’re operating this way,” Fergie is reported to have said. Really? Fergie is the one who once claimed that he wouldn’t sell Real Madrid a virus so it’s a bit funny for him to act so confused. But just in case he really has lost it, tet me make it perfectly clear for Mr. Fergilicious.
When I first started watching Premier League football, I only knew one thing; Manchester United were the only team that I hated. I hated watching them get all the calls, win all the games because the referees gave them the benefit of the doubt, and simultaneously be the dirtiest cheats I’d ever seen play the game. I had already started to love Arsenal because of Vieira, Bergkamp, and Henry but I fell well and truly in love with that Arsenal team when they overcame the worst kicking I have ever seen a football club endure and win the League at Old Trafford. I went to ebay that morning and bought a gold away kit and the next day dyed my hair red in honor of what Arsenal had done.
Some of that hatred has been tamped down a bit but it’s still there, festering like an old boil.
Rationally, I don’t see any difference between selling Robin to any of the top six clubs in England. They are all Arsenal’s title rivals and they would all be strengthened by the deal. Moreover, the argument that United wouldn’t sell us Rooney thus we shouldn’t sell them Robin applies across all the top teams. I couldn’t see City selling Arsenal Aguero or Chelsea selling Arsenal… who is their top player? Mata? So, I think selling any of them Robin is bad for Arsenal.
But when it comes to United, reason has to go out the window a little and I think that the club should rebuff nearly every offer. Because United have been one of Arsenal’s closest rivals for the last 15 years.
Well, reason nearly needs to go out the window. I mean, if they want to pay us £40m for him, diminishing their ability to buy in other areas that they need to fix like defense, and we can use that money to buy someone like Lewandowski. I might be a bit more amenable.
What am I saying? This is United: Roy Keane, Pizzagate, van Horsetilface, the brutal kicking they gave to Reyes, Rooney diving to end Arsenal’s unbeaten run… We can’t sell United our Golden Boot winner at any price.
P.S. There’s some confusion over my link back to Arseblog’s piece. Arseblog assured me on twitter that he didn’t actually read my blog so his criticism wasn’t leveled at me but at the idea. My point wasn’t to actually accuse him of attacking me but rather to head off any of the critics who would come on here and use his post as proof that my post was crap. I’m sure if Arseblog was going to criticize me, he would link directly to what he wants to critique. Or he’d email me behind the scenes. I was very deliberate with my language and linked to his post using that very deliberate language and I thought that would come through but apparently it hasn’t. So, just to be clear: I’m not taking Arseblog to task, nor am I “butthurt” over any perceived criticism. Cheers.