71 days.

That’s how long we’ve had to put up without Arsenal playing in a competitive fixture. SEVENTY-ONE DAYS! Life is hard enough as it is without having to go over two months without a main focus of our lives being removed for pretty much no reason.

What are we supposed to do without The Arsenal? Does the FA not know how hard it is to pretend to be interested in other people’s interests? There’s only so much caring I can do about cricket! Trying to make it look like I have a shared passion in my partner’s photography hobby may be a good idea now, but it’ll only make it more difficult for me to get back in her good books in September when I try to explain that I don’t want to spend a beautiful autumnal evening walking through a enchanting forest with her and her camera, only because it’s a Tuesday night and we’re on BT Sport 2 playing Shakhtar Donetsk away.

Donetsk away. Infinitely more appealing after 71 days without the Arsenal. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Donetsk away. Infinitely more appealing after 71 days without the Arsenal. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Yes, we’ve had ‘matches’ during the summer, but an Arsenal game isn’t the same if you’re not deathly petrified of losing it. As much as beating the man who shall not be mentioned last Sunday at Wembley was nice to accomplish, if the result went the other way, then we would have dismissed it as just a preseason game. If the loss doesn’t matter, then the victory can’t really mean much either.

(P.S – ‘The man who shall not be mentioned’ is a reference to a funny segment in our new weekly podcast. You can subscribe to it on iTunes here. It’s good. Scout’s honour. Ed.)

Luckily though, the torture is about to end. No more pretence, no more training sessions labeled as games even though they are no more than glorified advertisements for our sponsors, no more hours spent in front of a PC/Laptop screen trying to work out if Santi Cazorla or Mesut Özil will be the better player in fantasy football this year. (Note: They’re both £8.5m this year on the official Premier League fantasy game. Try to get them both in. Cech too. You can thank me in May with a share of your winnings.[Editors’s note: I’ll be plumping for Ox at £6m. Just saying.]

No longer will we have to blame the vagaries of international time zones for us being forced to watch Arsenal playing at a less than suitable viewing time, we’ll have the far more familiar feeling of blaming TV companies for pretty much the same thing. No longer will we have to feel alone in feeling like a bit of a mug for spending £50 on a home jersey that looks pretty similar to every other home jersey we’ve ever bought.

On Sunday afternoon, The Arsenal return to our lives, and it can’t come soon enough. 71 days without The Arsenal is nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment. I know it doesn’t seem like too long ago when we were lifting the FA Cup, but do you realise what can happen in 71 days?

  • Sepp Blatter can quit his job…….without actually quitting his job.
  • This.
  • Liverpool can spend £70m+ in transfer fees and wages on new players……..and still be no closer to catching Arsenal who spent just under £20m.
  • This.
  • Someone can finally find the stomach to watch all of Hulk Hogan’s sex tape……only to find out that he’s racist at the end of it.
  • Did I mention this?
  • Robin van Persie can get transferred to a team so that he can play regularly in the Champions League…….and also get eliminated from the Champions League.
  • Tottenham’s ‘strategic partners’ can find a way to screw up the start of Spurs’ season………again.
  • Meek Mill can become famous……and then wish he hadn’t.
  • Also, this.

That’s far too much to have happen without an Arsenal game in the middle of it. It’s not like we don’t possess the medical science needed to enable footballers to play twelve months a year, just put Alexis Sanchez in a cloning machine and work from there. Think of the all the extra TV money we would get, especially if all it would lead to was the man who can’t be named kicking up more of a fuss about his rivals having the same financial muscle that he’s had the luxury of having over the years.

Imagine how much happier the world would look if there were more of him. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
Imagine how much happier the world would look if there were more of him. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

Is it too much to ask for? Is wanting to have The Arsenal play throughout the calendar year an unreasonable request? There are only so many YouTube videos of all of Thierry Henry’s 228 goals with Dutch techno/hip-hop music playing in the background that one man can watch!

I’ve had enough of all this fake football. 71 days of having no Arsenal football to watch doesn’t mean that the world needs more unrealistic and unsuccessful attempts at producing quality football. The only reason Tottenham Hotspur exists is to fill the universe with unrealistic and unsuccessful attempts at quality football and they’re doing pretty well by themselves without our help!

On Sunday, real football starts again. The rollercoaster that is Arsenal Football Club will once again pick us up, send us for a spin, make us want to shout with joy at one moment, then throw up the next, all before dropping us off next May, back where we started.