Arsene Wenger and the Problem With Belief

” I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic and apostolic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. “

Every Sunday morning, a young Capricorn Research was sent off by otherwise loving parents to the local village church to mouth these words along with a whole lot of other ones.

At the time I had no idea why they sent me to do this, but since having kids myself I recognise that it probably had more to do with getting a precious lie in than any strongly held ideology. And at sixpence in the collection plate, it was also very cheap.

But even at the age of 8 or 9, I knew that my parroting of the Apostles Creed had absolutely no impact on my performance on the pitch of life for the rest of the week.

This experience has proved to be invaluable in later life however, as I can now sympathise with Arsene Wenger every time he is prodded into a press conference to mutter vaguely about ” belief ” and how Arsenal have it in spades. While his ” Dad “, Stan Kroenke is having a nice cheap lie in over in the States.

Surely Wenger must have cottoned on to the fact that his weekly affirmations have no impact at all on his players, but has no doubt become conditioned to the so called power of his creed.

I feel this is a simple Jupiter / Saturn thing. Belief is the province of Jupiter, particularly through its sign Sagittarius. It is the ever optimistic scanning of the horizon of noble exploits. You only have to believe something, to have the vision of it and its done already. No need to bother with the details of playing the actual match.

Whereas Saturn looks at the league tables and says ” yeah, yeah, but what have you actually achieved.”

In this media age, pre and post match press conferences have taken on a life of their own and you will often find most of the newspaper report about a match has just been written around the manager’s quotes.

The astrological equivalent of these conferences must be Ascendant, the image you want to portray to the world out there. The actual state of the team must be the Sun.

So it would come as no surprise when we see Arsene Wenger’s chart. As a rule we don’t have access to football manager’s birth times, but Wenger is one of those clever foreign types and we all know they do things differently there.


Arsene Wenger


Wenger has Sagittarius rising which accounts for all the belief in press conferences and those exceptionally long legs.

The Ascendant probably has a lot to say about how managers stand in the technical area, particularly as its conveniently situated at the side of the chart. So with Venus conjunct the Ascendant, Wenger stands there with those long duvet like coats ( Sagittarius are never really that bothered with the essentials of fashion detail ).

Venus rising in Sagittarius suggests the smiling Wenger in front of the media, saying no worries, we have the belief. But the reality is the Sun in Libra, being indecisive and hesitating when it comes to making crucial tactical substitutions.

Wenger’s nickname is Le Professeur, a recognition of his impact on the English game that fits quite well with Mercury in Libra conjunct the Midheaven. This name while being generally admirable also contains within it a kind of innate English suspicion of all things cerebral, which is indicated by Mercury’s conjunction with Neptune.

Mercury / Neptune in Libra gives him an idealistic commitment to the beautiful game as played by a surfeit of tiny attacking midfielders tapping the ball backwards and forwards to each other, hoping to eventually walk it into the net. This conjunction is sextile his Venus / Ascendant in Sagittarius, hence the complete belief that it will work.

Unfortunately this Venus / Ascendant is also square to Saturn in Virgo. And if ever there was a placement hated by Sagittarians its Saturn in Virgo.

Saturn has no interest in vision and belief, only in results and in Virgo the exact details of how these results are going to be achieved.

It has always been fun to watch the season unravel for Arsenal fans. There’s usually a point where they get all Venus in Sagittarius and really believe that Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are going to win them the league. This state of affairs lasts usually for a few months until the dawning Saturn in Virgo realisation kicks in that they are not going anywhere and its just the same the previous season.

At the end of December 2015, Arsenal were top of the table and had also taken 9 points more than any other team in the calendar year.

Mesut Ozil was shoe in for player of the year and they were odds on favourites for the title.

As soon as the New Year began, Saturn transitted to conjunct Wenger’s Ascendant / Venus combination.

They are now 11 points behind leaders Leicester, and out of all the other competitions. And Wenger’s use of the ” B ” word has increased dramatically.

Call me an old Saturnian but belief in sport does not work. Does anyone honestly think that last Sunday afternoon at the precise moment when Troy Deeney placed the perfect lay off into his path, Adlene Guedioura was believing in Watford’s ability to get to Wembley ? Absolutely not, he just smashed it hard, true and straight.

Because belief always requires something of the future. Noone can believe in this moment. It just is. We can only believe in the hope of something yet to come.

There’s nothing that frustrates the watching media more than after match player speak like taking each game as it comes. But this is the very essence of it. As soon as the players start to look at the scoreboard, they see the pressure of the situation and wilt.

So the more they believe in their aims for the future, the less they are in the present and the more of a mess they make of it.

Arsenal’s annual disappointment does not arrive in spite of Arsene Wenger’s belief, it occurs because of it.

But this state of affairs is not just restricted to a small area of North London. It is everywhere.

Many people think that this world would be a lot more peaceful and safer place without religion. I don’t agree. Religion is not the problem – belief is. Noone was ever killed because of religious experience, all the bad things happen in the name of belief.

People believe that they will go to heaven, sometime in the future, after they’re dead, provided they live in a certain way now. So this allows them to add on all kinds of absurdities to their belief system. Once they’ve made the fatal mistake of thinking heaven can only occur in the future rather than the here and now, they can even convince themselves that in order to get there they have to blow up as many non believers as possible.

And fundamentally the real reason people watch football is because very occasionally it can give us a sense of the real thing, here and now.

And just as Guedioura’s piledriver hit the back of the Arsenal net, and Arsene Wenger witnessed his ” belief ” inevitably crumbling before his eyes, Capricorn Research experienced a glimpse of heaven.

It must have been payback for all that Creed muttering.


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