Skip to main content

armchair centre back :: relationship woes


although i did stick my head out of my gopher hole on new year's eve, the last several days have been occupied with one thing: watching gorgeous men kick a ball around for 90-100 minutes at a time.

with the avalanche of holiday fixtures, we've officially passed the halfway point of the premier league season. i haven't written much about it because... swansea... goddamn... they struggled last year, but that was nothing compared to the sour river of suck we've been treated to lately. i mean, they're painful to even watch right now. it's a hard blow from a team that used to be as silky as the big guns of the league when they were on their game. now, it's like...





that's me on the sofa, by the way.

so, yes, it's been a hard half season for me, although not as hard a season as it has been for the swansea coaching staff, who are shortly to be moving onto their third boss in sixteen weeks. with the team languishing at the very bottom of the bottom three and showing no sign of ambition to do anything else [other than icelandic superman gylfi sigurdsson, who is always a class act and who i'm going to miss terribly when the team gets consigned to the championship at the end of the year], it seemed clear that what was needed was a manager with experience in the premier league and who was something of an expert in pulling a team together to avoid being relegated.

or not.

excuse my skepticism, but every manager they've brought in since firing garry monk has been a different level of terrible, so my hopes aren't particularly high, even if the man does have a pretty impressive resume. of course, this is the year of european imports in england, so maybe i'll end up eating my words. mmmmm... tasty, tasty words that i wouldn't mind eating at all.

amidst all this misery, i have to admit that my eye is once again falling to my first footie love, the one i originally started with, then got angry with because of a certain arrogant, histrionic striker with a big attitude, who was obviously just cutting his teeth in the premier league, while waiting for a move to one of the two exalted clubs in spain. even before he made that transfer, though, i have to admit that i was warming to them again. i remembered loving their fair city, which usually elicits laughs from people who've been there, but, on my very first visit to england, i remember it being friendly and fun and full of cheap liquor. [as a consequence, there are some things about it that i don't remember very well at all.]

it's a happy place

living with an arsenal fan- and having cheered them as well among the top teams- admitting this information is both difficult and dangerous. i'm lucky that dom is a very understanding man. that first game of the season was a little tricky, though.

it just seems to be the way of these things. your current beau starts disappointing you terribly, and, all of a sudden, there are all these feelings about your ex. [and it doesn't hurt that they have seriously upped their man candy quotient, having previously been the buttiest of butt ugly for several years.]

emre can :: not butt ugly


loris karius :: not butt ugly

on top of my increasing defection, dom's in an equally rough situation, with his soccer relationship having once again fallen into something that i'll call the "arsenal rut". some people, or some teams, no matter how brightly they start and how much they promised they've changed, just fall into bad routines. i hope for his sake that they overcome this malaise, because i don't know if he can take more disappointment.

there are still lots of things to love about arsenal

of course, arsenal can take some pride in being one of the only teams to beat mighty chelsea, which is something they hadn't done in many, many years. so that's something. but chelsea could beat arsenal's stretch of 14 consecutive wins in the premier league on wednesday, which sucks. what sucks worse, if you're an arsenal fan, is that the one thing standing in your way is your much-hated rival tottenham.

and some new things to love about arsenal

except that neither dom nor i actually does hate tottenham. i maintain it is physically impossible to hate their cherubic manager, mauricio pochettino, and none of their players are as despicable as they should be. damn that's uncooperative.

both of us have been surprised at how little there is to hate in the premier league this year. it's leaving us feeling a little empty inside. yes, there's jose mourinho, because there's always jose mourinho with his grossly overpriced mancunian army, and i still hope that one of diego costa's teammates sticks a cleated boot in his face [it couldn't make things worse, after all], but that's two people. in a whole league. we're currently trying to build up a healthy hatred of some of the teams we don't care about, except that we can't bring ourselves to care about them enough to hate. a couple of weeks ago, as we watched manchester city take the field, we had this conversation:

dom: there's not one person there that i really dislike.

me: not even raheem sterling?

dom: nah, he's just... raheem sterling. it's like he's too silly to hate.

me: fair enough.

kelechi iheanacho :: not despicable [also 19, so stop staring, pervert.]

sighs all around. it used to be so easy to hate manchester city, with their meretricious flaunting and random collection of egos. i was honestly ready to write off pep guardiola as an arrogant little prick before i even saw him, but as it turns out, he seems kind of humble. he seems to have a serious mutual appreciation society going on with jurgen klopp, and jose mourinho apparently called him the most arrogant manager in the world. those things have to speak well of him.


dom was all prepared to hate antonio conte, since hating anything to do with chelsea is usually a walk in the park, but his bright-eyed psychopathy is actually quite entertaining. plus, he got jose mourinho so worked up by enthusiastically celebrating as his team pounded jose's manchester united into the ground and stomped on their grave, that the portuguese ponce felt it necessary to come over and chew the man out at the end of the game. i so can't wait for their rematch in the second half of the season.

so to all those who are struggling with your love affairs, know that dom and i are with you in spirit. even though our relationship with each other is wonderful, we our hearts are all twisted up [like my back today- ouch!]. and we're only halfway there...

photos in this post were mostly taken from the soccer players in underwear blog, which has been reborn on tumblr, now with the full monty. [absolutely nsfw!] 

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…