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Season 9 of Trophyless Arsenal Begins....

August 28, 2013

It's official; season 9 of the series called Trophyless Arsenal is back on our screens, with the first episode having been aired on 17th of August 2013. It's hard to believe that 8 seasons have gone without any silverware to show for all those seasons. As an arsenal fan, I've already given up even before the season starts properly. I mean how do you expect a team that can’t defend it's own cup (Emirates Cup) go anywhere this season, a season that already looks so competitive? 

As if that's not enough, we lost, sorry, I mean Arsenal lost the first match of the season, and get this, they just didn't lose the match, but they lost it at home! Can it get more embarrassing than this? You know, all these negatives put together make me wonder whether there really is hope for this team. In fact, things have gotten so bad that now Arsene Wenger is receiving death threats from Fans. I tell you, this is how personal the silverware draught has become to some fans. Well, I wouldn’t go that far myself but if I had a chance to come close to this Frenchman, I’d shake all the French out of him.

Anyway, it’s still early to speculate but things don’t look so good, especially when coaches from other teams start expressing disbelief that Arsenal was beaten on day one at home…Sigh! Only time will tell but in the meantime, I urge all Arsenal Fans to have their doctors’ numbers on speed dial because seriously, we need it, I mean you need it. Alternatively, you can do what I've decided to do; take a liking to a new sport, even if it’s bull-fighting, darts or drafts. I think those are safer for health reasons.

Thankfully though, while Arsenal's behind was busy being whooped, Moscow 2013 was happening and fortunately, Kenya represented the region in an amazing way.  Of course the Ethiopians were there to keep the Kenyans on their toes, especially with Mo-Farah in the picture, and as we know, he ended up taking the 5000M men’s title. You know, for a very long time the long distance races used to be a Kenyan specialty but as things stand today, Ethiopia is edging closer and closer to taking that glory from Kenya. So, why is this the case?

One of Kenya's Stars in Moscow: Eunice Jepkoech Sum

Sometime back I did say in a post on my blog that complacency is very dangerous. When someone is used to winning all the time, you let your guard down and stop trying to push or try as hard as you used to when you were trying to hit the top spot in the league. In short, you stop looking for new ways of doing things; you become comfortable and somehow your mind lies to you that you are untouchable and unshakable. At that point you are so deep in the hole of complacency that you can’t even hear or listen to the voice of reason. Until you start losing then you wake up from your slumber and start looking for ways to regain your position.

Question is, why wait until you are overthrown from your position, for you to start looking for ways to recapture it? Unless you took a shortcut to get to your position, how do you forget all the struggles, all the dedication, all the work it took you to get to that position? Why allow the complacency bug to infect you?

Like I said in last week’s article, times have changed, things are different now. Strategies and practices that used to work for us a few short years ago have been overtaken by events. While you are busy using the same tactics, tools and ideas, others are busy working hard to come up with newer and better ways of beating you. While you are busy being complacent, others are busy making sure they make you irrelevant, redundant and obsolete in your field.

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, an Irish American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature, so correctly put it when he said, “A man's work is in danger of deteriorating when he thinks he has found the one best formula for doing it. If he thinks that, he is likely to feel that all he needs is merely to go on repeating himself . . . so long as a person is searching for better ways of doing his work, he is fairly safe”

In my view, I think this is the problem our athletes are having. They need to do more than just practice; they need to look at their opponents critically, study them and their habits, from how they eat, their daily activities, training times and tactics, etc. Basically, they need to change the “formula” they have been using to one that will take them back to where they used to be before. Please don’t get me wrong. I salute them for what they have so far done. I’m just concerned that they are still using old tactics in a very new arena.

As for my beloved Arsenal, I join the rest of the fans in the world who are supporting “Operation Wenger Out”. I think we need a new and fresh vision for the club if we are to start acquiring silverware, other than the bling worn by the players’ wives, girlfriends and mistresses. Wenger can take a new job at the club as the Finance Director since he seems to be having a great strategy for keeping the club profitable. If I am to go by Forbes soccer team values calculated in April this year, Arsenal is number four (4) with a value of $1,326 M (£846 M), after Real Madrid, (infamous) Manchester United and Barcelona. As for Manchester, I’m not sure they didn’t “buy” the auditors like they do referees. Anyway, I digress.

Forbes: Soccer Team Values 2013

As we start a new week, think about the areas in your life that could have suffered, or are suffering currently as a result of your complacency. For instance, if you have been in the same position for the last ten years and you are not climbing your career ladder, then you need to check whether your stagnation is complacency related. If you haven’t attempted to engage yourself in any personal development activities, then you need to wake up and smell the coffee; some new-bee is soon coming to oust you out of your position legitimately.

Relationships are not spared either. Find new ways of keeping them fresh and affair-proof. What you used to do when you married your wife ten years ago may not work now; taking her out to the same restaurant year in year out can be monotonous... unless you own the restaurant and even if you do, it can get very boring. How about your appearance, did you by any chance let yourself go after you got married, and now you probably carry around a big pot-belly that makes you look like you are seventeen months pregnant? That’s a major turn off! If you really want to know whether you have become complacent in your relationship or not, think back to the things you used to do for each other when you first met…that should give you your answer.

In conclusion, if you want to progress, if you want to achieve different results, if you want to maintain you position as the leader of the pack, if you don’t want your spouse to stray, then you need to stop being complacent.

I leave you with the words of Dave Stutman: “Complacency is the enemy of progress…”

Wishing you all a non-complacent week!

PS: Article published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 25th August, 2013, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words" 

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