Arsenal medical problems solved; Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey just what the fans ordered

Mesut Ozil 17

“Ah, hello. Come in, do take a seat. What seems to be the matter?”

“Well, I, er, have been having these feelings, movements even, inside me. I first noticed them when I was watching Arsenal play West Ham last week. Arsenal, well, you know, have been going through a bit of a bad patch of late, proper depressed I was too. And when Matt Jarvis put them a goal up, I kicked the cat, walked out the lounge and put the kettle on. As it happens, I er, didn’t have a cuppa tea, I reached for the Johnnie Walker Red and took it from there. Anyway, Arsenal, well, er, they came right back into it. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, despite the stick they’d been getting, scored some lovely goals. And that is when I first noticed the feeling, you see.”

“Yes, I see. And have the symptoms become…not worse, perhaps, more profound?”

“They have. They got much wors…I mean, profound when I caught the Arsenal game versus Hull City at the weekend. We had Aaron Ramsey back, and Mesut Ozil, and the team, they were back, you know, like they were before Christmas. I was worried about Hull away, we face them in the FA Cup Final next month and with that Scouse lot chasing us down for the league position; ideally we’d love fourth again, The Arsenal simply had to beat Hull. And they did. Like really, really well. And that is when the feelings got more worse, er, profound.”

“And what do these feelings – for want of a better expression – feel like?”

“Well, you see, like butterflies, in my stomach to start off with…”

“…And you’re not, er, pregnant..?”

“I don’t think so, we take precautions you know…”

“Contraceptives?”

“No… anal. And the fact that I’m a man.”

“Ahh. Of course. Do carry on.”

“Right, so, I get these butterflies, and they build and build – like Arsenal do when they’re on the attack, pass, pass, pass, move, move, move…this is like flutter, flutter. FLUTTER!”

“What happens next?”

FA Cup

“I get excited. Like, proper excited. It makes me feel giddy. Sick almost.”

“And this happens at the start, middle, end of a game?”

“At the end. When you see the players clap the fans, hug each other, you know? Arsene Wenger, he’s smiling, and you’re like; ‘Wow, he does smile then!’ And the world feels great again, the butterflies have gone and you’re just, like, happy and stuff. You know?”

“I do. Continue.”

“You see players like Per Mertesacker, it means so much to him, big bloke, diamond. He’s so happy, it’s like he can feel it too.”

Per Mertesacker 08

“Why do you think you are here then, concerned?”

“Well, I’m worried that this feeling isn’t right, it’s just come out of nowhere after months. Before Christmas last year, I last had this feeling years ago – 2006 it was, Paris. Barcelona game. What if it is bad, what if it goes?”

“I think, what you’re talking about, is something we in the medical profession label as ‘hope.’ Now, it is serious, and in rare cases, it is the hope that kills you.”

“So I’m gonna die? It is serious then?”

“We’re all dying, but don’t let that unduly worry you. What you need to do is take control of the hope. These butterflies are the pre-emptive symptom of the euphoria you said that you feel later on. All of these are indicators of hope being present. Hope perhaps of the FA Cup Final that you mentioned?”

“Maybe. Perhaps. What can I do about it then?”

“I would relax. Take each game as it comes. Yes, the West Ham fight back, the Hull City away win were excellent results for your team, but they won’t matter one jot unless Arsenal finish in fourth or above. As for the final, if Arsenal can call on the services of Mr Ramsey and Mr Ozil, then allow yourself some hope. The butterflies will come, then perhaps, the euphoria, the giddiness. Subdue this with a nice pint of Guinness, or similar. Be prepared, however, for crushing failure. Don’t rule that out.”

Giroud Podolski Sagna Hull

“That sounds awful, what do I do then?”

“As a Tottenham supporter, I can reliably inform you that you should consider drinking. A lot. Through the whole summer. Hope will briefly return before the end of the transfer window, then will probably disappear as soon as it shuts and reality rears its ugly head.”

“Or?”

“Well, if you do win the cup, and get fourth or better, then your hope will go. It will mutate into expectation. Now, while hope can be terminal, expectation is terminal and can make you bitter if something fails to live up to it as well. Look North, over at the red half of Manchester if you have time, you can easily recognise the symptoms. Expectation must be balanced. Treat it as a fleeting mistress. Embrace hope and try to ease off of expectation, would be my advice.”

“I see. Thank you, I hope I haven’t wasted your time, I feel daft now.”

“Not at all. Enjoy your weekend. Newcastle at home, no?”

“Yes, three points I reckon – oh, there it is again, the butterflies!”

“Yes, yes, remember, embrace them. Better than not having hope. You have a nice day.”

“Thanks! Cheers, that has really helped. You too, have a good one.”

Greg Cross


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