Metathesiophobia, Emotional Intelligence and Arsenal

Many Gooners preach about change, but actually find it hard to
handle, or even picture in their minds. Whatever scale it may be, in general we
don’t like not knowing the outcome of potential or actual alterations.

Of course, there
were, and still are, many fans (more than ever) calling for change last season.
Big changes seemed to be the popular choice (eg managerial change or changes at
board level). A seemingly fearless bunch of fans ready to take risks in order
to move the club forward (in their view at least). I respect that, I really do.
Of course, I don’t respect it if ‘it’ happens to be a sad, lonely and probably
sexually frustrated keyboard warrior hurling the word c*nt around because it
makes them sound ‘ard! No, I don’t respect that.

As someone who is
still pro-Arsene Wenger, I obviously don’t agree with those who believe he
should be shown the door. However, that doesn’t stop me being respectful of
those ‘WOB’s (although I hate the labeling of fans) and their passionate
intention to move the club in a new, positive direction. But I still think that
even the most die hard ‘WOB’s will have a certain amount of apprehension when
it comes to their hypothetical scenario of Arsène being replaced. It’s human nature
to fear the unknown, after all.

Does that fear of
the unknown or fear of change mean that the Gooners who believe Wenger is still
the right man for the job are more human? No, not at all. But a certain
proportion of them might be more instinctive and emotionally attached to
certain figures. For me, age is a big factor. Being born in 1994 (thus making
me 18 going on 19) means that I can only really remember Arsenal with Arsène
Wenger. I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit that having him at the helm feels
inherently right for me or someone of my age. However, as one matures through
their teenage years, one’s intellectual intelligence improves, which means that
one is more capable of assessing and understanding a situation. However, until
one’s emotional intelligence improves, one cannot expect to be able to be more
in control of their subconscious emotional bias. I like to think that I have
become more objective and emotionally mature. I see the faults in people,
no matter how much I may feel a sense of loyalty to that person. I think that’s
a good thing and it means that I do not just judge Wenger, for example, on how
much I love him or how many good memories I have of him, but rather I judge him
on the job he has done and does do. However, it is near impossible to be wholly
objective, especially when the subject is something as emotionally driven as
one’s football club.

Emotional
intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the
emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. In business, for example, people
with ‘better’ or ‘higher’ EI are often in charge of teams or customer services.
These people are often more successful than those with a higher IQ but a lower
EI, because they are better equipped to engage and relate to other people in a
manner that is conducive to productivity. Emotion is something that is very
hard to successfully asses and connect with over a social media site such as
Twitter. So much so that some people really don’t bother at all and allow
themselves to slip into the dark, dangerous and undesirable world of ‘it’s my
way or “c*nt!”‘. This is probably why I prefer speaking to people
about football in person or over the phone (or even being on or listening to
podcasts). That way, I can latch on to vocal tones or project my own and have a
truly emotionally engaged conversation. We all ‘love’ football for a reason at
the end of the day.

I’m not saying that
all Gooners should get together in their thousands and let it all out with a
big pack of Man Sized Kleenex kicking about. That’s what match days are for
aren’t they? I’d just like to see a bit more camaraderie between supporters of
one football club.

Anyway, back to the
mouthful that is metathesiophobia. One aspect of Gooners fearing change really
gets my goat. It’s to do with potential transfers and our unwillingness to
accept that having a better player in the team than the one we have currently
is not a bad thing. In fact, that is the purpose of adding quality to a squad
with the view to improve. You don’t sign top class, hugely competitive players
and then tell them to sit next to Gervinho on the bench. I constantly hear/read
comments such as: “Oh but he did so well in this game and the balance of
the team will be ruined if such and such is dropped.” Seriously? Some
people sound like the whiniest bunch of scared, psycho-centric wrecks. I’d
rather start Wayne Rooney or Gonzalo Higuain than Olivier Giroud. I’d rather
start Marouane Fellaini than Aaron Ramsey (I LOVE Ramsey, but that would be me
allowing my emotions to overrun my intellect… Eg I KNOW Fellaini is a better
player). I’d rather start Cesc Fabregas than anybody, ever. I’m sure you get my
point.

In one way, this
emotional attachment to current players is promisingly cute. However, much like
an intellectual intelligence is nothing without emotional intelligence,
emotional intelligence is nothing without intellectual intelligence. Nobody’s
saying we all have to be the perfect balance of the two main types of
intelligence, I mean you don’t have to be bloody Albert Einstein to know that X
player is of a higher level than another. (With regard to transfer targets) If
it’s not clear to the average Joe, we aren’t aiming high enough. But I believe
we are aiming high enough. I think that those who fear change will soon have to
accept that a team alters and moulds around world class players, but I’ll let
Arsenal sign those players before I tell you it’s all going to be okay and that
Giroud will still get some game time and actually provide us with a very useful
alternative in some games.

In the mean time,
open your mind, get in touch with your emotions, retain sensibility and remain
patient.

Up The Arsenal!

Billy Dunmore


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One Response to Metathesiophobia, Emotional Intelligence and Arsenal

  1. gooneral@googlemail.com July 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Sorry, but you really need to condense your writing style. Far too dense and wordy for what are, essentially, simple points being made.

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