#15 – Stuck in the same old narrative – the curse of Glenn Hoddle

Watching my beloved Arsenal lose 3-2 at Chelsea was unpleasant.

In the heat of the moment, I’m an irrational, hyperbolic, noisy, incoherent mess…..

……I’m a football fan. 

80% of what I rant and rave about during the 90mins should probably be disregarded.

But what about the 20%? 

There’s an observation I made during the game that I’m happy to stand by 48rs later.

Step forward Glenn Hoddle and Steve Mcmanaman.

The BT Sport co-commentators were quick to point out Arsenal’s frailties, and to be fair there were plenty on show. 

“It’s the same old Arsenal.”

“Nothing’s changed.”

Hold on a minute….nothing’s changed?

I’ll give you 5 for starters:

  1. The manager
  2. The entire backroom staff
  3. Playing out from the back
  4. Pressing from the front
  5. 19yr French lad in midfield who was playing Ligue 2 football last season

It’s incredibly difficult to be impartial as a fan, and virtually impossible in the heat of the moment. 

That’s precisely why I hold commentators to a higher standard. I expect nuanced insight coupled with their previous experience to enhance my viewing pleasure. 

It was almost as if they had a script ready for when Arsenal went behind and a steadfast determination not to deviate no matter what played out in front of their eyes.

This became painfully obvious at 2-2 when after a truly shocking opening 20mins (for Arsenal) the momentum began to turn. Hoddle was positively baffled despite Arsenal missing 2 open goals before the equaliser.

Hey Glenn – it was coming!

We’re all guilty of this from time to time of course. 

We have our opinion or worldview, and when we see something contradictory we can’t always (or don’t want to) see it.

This is a dangerous rut to slip into and I’ve been guilty of it.

A classic example from my nutrition career:

I’m biased towards a long-term sustainable approach to weight loss. I’ve rubbished crash diets that overly restrict calories in the past.

But there’s a problem.

It turns out rapid weight loss (brought about from low calories) can be an incredibly motivating way to start a diet regime and actually helps adherence in the long-term.

Uh oh, that flies in the face of my rigid long-term sustainable model.

I’ve had to change in the face of contradictory evidence.

Did I want to?

Not really.

But it’s not a choice. It’s about being open to new evidence, contradictory opinions and endless possibilities.

If you tie yourself into a narrative you will ultimately miss out.

Embrace the change (I’m looking at you Glenn).