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Opinion

Perfecting the art of standing still

7 months ago
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“Standing still: a much-underrated habit. The best players know the value of staying where they are. No point in moving if you are unmarked in a good position….some get too excited, running around the penalty area like headless chickens. Others, however, prowl with a little more cold-blooded intent.”

Alan Smith – ex-Arsenal and England striker

Sometimes watching the play unfold and holding your position presents the best opportunities…

…it was all there in front of us.

Club after club spending bundles of TV money, and there stood Rafa starved of service, the tide of media slowly turned against Mike Ashley. His penny pinching becoming clearly apparent, presenting us with an open goal. Hold your position.

Rafa, having endured another niggly tussle with Ashley, understandably snapped and retaliated and straight away you saw it, a neck high challenge by The Mirror’s hatchet man, a sly elbow by serial offender Richard Keys. Hairy-handed cock-eyed logic now pointing the finger at the Spanish attacker.

So let’s fly flags, hand out leaflets, protest in his shops, boycott the games, make banners about fat cockneys, send online abuse to his family and colleagues….lets run around the area like headless chickens….or should we prowl with more cold blooded intent?

Trust me…like many my instinct is to take Ashley out with a neck high two footed challenge, but that will only see the focus turn on us, the media will take their eye off the ball, and Ashley will have won.

When our behaviour makes the headlines, it won’t be long before the same old pundits are rolled out to condemn our fans as greedy, entitled, cockney haters who haven’t given Ashley a fair chance since he saved us from bankruptcy, we should show him gratitude…”you’re not a big club…when was the last time you won anything…I remember your attendances being 11,000 in the eighties…”

….and the open goal is scuffed into row zed.

I don’t claim to know the answer, I don’t know if anything will move that man to support the manager and give us the chance to flourish, but I think history shows that dissenting against him will only make him more bloody minded and our position worse.

Our only hope is maybe that he is shown to be cheap in the media, maybe unanimous agreement in the press that he’s the worst owner in the Premier League is enough of an embarrassment to him for him to finally sell up and walk, or release substantial funds in January….I agree that’s still unlikely.

One thing is for sure, showing support for the manager – if Rafa goes we go (#IfRafaGoesWeGo) – shows us in the best light, and shows that the owner doesn’t deserve us or the manager. It reinforces the narrative in the media that we are a good group of fans being ill treated, not an angry cockney hating mob.

Let’s not run around like headless chickens.

None of us want the club to stand still, but holding our run may present our best opportunity for victory.
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