We’re told fans love them because they’re what the game is all about. Banter. A bit of bantz. Here come the lads with the latest GIF in tow. Did a game break out? That’s beside the point. Look at Wojciech Szczesny’s making a HILARIOUS WANKING gesture on his way down the tunnel for being sent off. Did you hear Robben spat on Bacary Sagna as he lay prone on the Emirates pitch? Two missed pens, LOL, and both taken by foreigners! And look at Kroos! Proof positive in a single performance United should have nabbed him when they had the chance. Arsenal are terrible. English football is terrible. Pep is a genius.
Superlatives, let’s be havin’ you!
Banter. Talking points. They litter the Football Internet post match because none of us in the content creation business have a choice. We’re held hostage by an economy of scale that demands media extrapolation from the sometimes banal reality of a single game to a fun house of endless representation. This isn’t new of course. Brazilian radio announcers have been credited for sparking interest in football in their native country through the exuberance and artistry of their play by play, which didn’t always match the spectacle itself. But we’ve hit new heights in the race to blow up the inconsequential.
So what did Arsenal vs Bayern look like in the flesh (or on TV even)? Chances are you saw the game. Arsenal were positive in the early going, and had Mesut Oezil taken a better penalty, chances are we wouldn’t be reading about the brilliance of Guardiola in Europe. After that, Woj came out when he should have stayed in. One nil and ten men. A brillant shot from Kroos. Sustained confident pressure from Bayern splaying their geometric shapes and exploiting a weak Arsenal right flank. These things happen.
I don’t have a cure for it all, but maybe just breathe after a game. Let it sit with you for a bit before running off to the Daily Mail. Realize that Arsenal once nearly came back from a four nil deficit, and also beat Bayern not too long ago. Don’t fall for any old narrative that flashes before you. Life is too short for talking points.