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Tuesday cannon fodder: enjoyment

In which I think about being happy watching Arsenal.

Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

I’ve touched on this a lot during Arsenal’s 4-match winning streak as well as in the past, and I wanted to expand on it a little bit. Football and our fandom is supposed to be fun. We have a limited amount of free time and energy to spend, and we all choose to direct some of that Arsenal’s way. We should also choose to enjoy that time and energy.

The winning streak could end today — Leicester are a tough opponent that has bedeviled Arsenal the past few seasons. But that shouldn’t matter. We should try to enjoy our Arsenal fandom independent of whether the team is winning or losing (usual caveats about not telling people how to fan still apply).

Yes, the winning definitely makes it easier. But today’s match should be a fun one regardless. Arsenal are in it again! They are playing well, they seem to have a plan heading into games, and they’re competitive. I expect that even if they lose today, they will have put up a good fight.

Without that competitiveness, I think it’s okay to enjoy Arsenal a bit less. There’s not much fun about a team that stinks and looks to be treading water or headed in the wrong direction. Which brings me to my second point — it’s okay to take a break from Arsenal or whatever you enjoy if it’s not fun for you anymore. You’re not under any obligation to watch, you don’t owe them anything, and most of us won’t think any less of you for taking that break.

The takeaway here is do what you want with your fandom, which includes taking a break. I hope that you chose to frame it in a way that let’s you have fun, regardless of whether the club is winning or losing.