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One grew up in a Black Forest village in Baden-Württemberg, another in the seaside Basque cultural hub of San Sebastián. One had a mediocre playing career in Bundesliga 2 albeit with a bit of cult following among the supporters of the only club he played for, another played top level football for some of the most decorated and supported teams in Europe. One carries himself with the bonhomie – part authentic, part practiced – of a regular patron of the local pub after his first few drinks, the other dons a signature armor of inwardness and unapproachability under the well-tailored suit of charm.  

But both are ferocious competitors. Singularly driven, passionate, uncompromising, completely dedicated to their profession, and with more than a hint of madness in their eyes. The kind of madness that is mostly indistinguishable from genius, especially when it brings what others like to think of as success. The kind of madness that doesn’t handle failure very well, in themselves or in others.

Even before he brought Liverpool back to the kind of successful years that their fans have been missing and craving for nearly three decades, Jürgen Klopp had become one of the most admired and analyzed coaches in football. He got Mainz promoted to first tier football for the very first time in their history, eventually even achieving an unthinkable UEFA cup qualification. The blueprint for his signature gegenpressing was born here, and he perfected the execution of that template in an exhilarating Borussia Dortmund side that for a few years broke the permanent supremacy of the Bavarian superclub in German football.

Compared to the illustrious career of his opposition manager in this weekend’s marquee match, Mikel Arteta has merely started his managerial journey. Always a football savant, and a master of meticulous details, he is now at that early stage of his career where he is still in the process of learning to live with the inevitable gap between the territory of the land and the map he drew in his mind, and to make his creative ideas flourish within that domain of uncertainty and chaos.

Since Messieurs Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, Pauli, Schrödinger et al. shook the foundation of physics – and consequently, the epistemology of science itself – with the formulations of quantum mechanics, the gap between the microscopic world of indeterministic observations and the everyday life of macroscopic solidity has been screaming to be explained in terms that satisfy mankind’s unquenchable thirst for a knowable, explicable world. Of all the postulates that have been put forward – from many-worlds theories to statistical interpretation – the Copenhagen interpretation, named after the Danish capital (and the hometown of Niels Bohr) where over many a spirited discussions spread over a stretch of years – especially between Bohr and Heisenberg, but also Pauli and Dirac – an intellectual framework that can accommodate the startling counterintuitiveness of quantum world was established, remains the most widely accepted paradigm. Far from established on the Popperian pedestals of falsifiability, and not even a robustly defined set of principles, but more of a what Heisenberg had liked to call “Copenhagen spirit” – maybe more accurately it can be called the Copenhagen school of thought – it encompasses multiple, even contradictory, perspectives all of which accept the intrinsic indeterminability of quantum mechanics, and the fact that as we approach macroscopic dimensions the quantum theories start to predict a world that resembles the ones depicted by classical physics. While this doesn’t quite satisfy our need for a solid metaphysical ground beneath our feet, the Copenhagen interpretation – with its almost Kantian combination of rigor and humility – allows us to proceed and progress in creating more and more sophisticated mathematical models of the universe, understand and explore the world, and invent technologies that by now ought to have obliterated human sufferings if not for our propensity for destructions, of self and of others. It is a framework that is remarkably resilient in its functionalism.

No matter how meticulously the team prepares for all eventualities, and no matter how much insight and foresight the men on the sideline possess, a football match is inherently chaotic. One can create a loosely defined framework of principles to form enough awareness of the proceedings to ensure one’s overall aim of forward looking movement and progress. While that framework will be successful if it has a recognizable spirit, it should also be able to accommodate contradictions and malleability, and not to be fixated on predefined immutable ideas.   

I myself would love to see Arsenal play with a higher degree of creative freedom, with an unscripted, joyful unpredictability where players express themselves with moments of inspired courage. A little less orchestrated sight reading, a little more harmonic and melodic improvisations. I have no doubts that our young squad – and their young manager – will evolve towards a lesser knowingness but greater wisdom, and I think once that happens we will see a collective that is significantly greater than the sum of all its parts.     

The conventional wisdom suggests that Arteta will rotate his starting eleven just a little bit to best suit the occasion, and I won’t be surprised to see Jorginho at the base and Rice as the left sided number 8, or even Havertz returning to that role, but I think Arteta will start the same eleven as against Nottingham Forest in the midweek, with Martinelli and ESR combining to put pressure on Liverpool’s adventurous right side. 


White – Saliba – Gabriel – Zinchenko

Ødegaard – Rice – ESR

Saka – Jesus – Martinelli    

Enjoy the game everyone! Let this be the day when the mantle of the manager for the legitimate best team in contemporary English football is passed onto the young man from San Sebastián, from the hands of the veteran from the Black Forest. Jürgen Klopp deserves every bit of respect and admiration that he has earned fairly with his impressive managerial career, and let us Arsenal supporters bid him a respectful auf Wiedersehen, but only after we sing our very own super Mikel Arteta and his wonderful red-and-white squad to a dominating victory.

Come on Arsenal!

37 Drinks to “The Copenhagen Interpretation”

  1. 1
    Esso says:

    Cheers Doc!

  2. 2
    Sancho Panza says:

    Many thanks Doctor.
    I imagine it will be another game where we dominate and create chances and they will be happy to make dangerous breaks.
    It’s time to piss or get off the pot in front of goal.
    If we score early we should win but if we don’t I hope it doesn’t follow the pattern of the cup game. We can’t afford to lose this one.

  3. 3
    bt8 says:

    Cheers, Doc. We could use a quantum effort from the players to achieve a marker for the rest of the season. COYG

  4. 4
    Ollie says:

    Cheers, Dr. F.
    Scott Bakula for the win. 2-1.

  5. 5
    TTG says:

    Very interesting insight into the game Dr.F ! Some very elegant descriptions of the two managers .
    I always try to call it as I see it and I don’t have good vibes about this game. When we beat Brighton we were the best team in the country. I think we’ve slipped to third now but today is another day and we must at least not lose . I’m feeling that the two clubs have slipped back to where we were two seasons ago when they played at twice at our place around this time, knocking us out of the Carabao and then winning in the League . My fear is the same will happen today. It has much more to do with their excellence. There is much right with our side and if we can win we reach a set of fixtures we can really do well in. My sense is our real glory this season will come in the Champions League. I think Jorginho will come into midfield and ESR will miss out. I’d switch our front three with Jesus on the right, Martinelli in the middle and Bukayo on the left .
    We need a monumental performance to beat this lot. Let’s hope we get it .
    Sadly the cumulative effect of my radiotherapy has left me too tired to travel today and I’m also missing a lunch with the Countrymen. I will return soon hopefully to sweep us to glory !

  6. 6
    BtM says:

    I think the team you list is the one that will start. If things go well, Jorginho and Havertz will likely be introduced to see out the win. If less well, Trossard for Martinelli is probable and Nketiah for Jesus possible.

    In terms of ability to create chaos, in Nunez and Diaz, Liverpool have the nuclear options with our disruptor Jesus coming in as a worthy third in the category.

  7. 7
    Las says:

    Cheers, Doc.
    Long live the improbalbility.

  8. 8
    Trev says:

    Thanks Dr F !
    I have to admit to getting a little bogged down in the physics at one point but your opening two paragraphs described the two managers in a style that would fit with any top sports writer. Superb.
    It’s a cliche but any win will do, while an attacking flourish and hatful of goals would be just marvellous – if too much to hope for.

  9. 9
    Ollie says:

    Trev knows. On all accounts.

  10. 10
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bravo, Dr F. You may have hit upon some insight that a football is the hitherto unknown megastructure of quantum physics in the same way that the newly discovered ring of galaxies is to cosmology.

    In which case, may the instrumentalism of the Gooners at the ground today carry the team on a wave of glorious victory.

    However, I share TTG’s sense of foreboding about this game. The Scousers are in a rare vein of form. The Young Master will need to be at the top of his game to staunch that.

  11. 11
    Bathgooner says:

    An interesting analogy, Dr F. As the bard said, “The bast laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley!”

    This game will tell us where we stand.

    A win would be nice.

  12. 12
    Countryman 100 says:

    Today is the Scruzgooner and Osaka Matt memorial game!

  13. 13
    bathgooner says:

    Well remembered, C100. And what a great day it was.

  14. 14
    Esso says:

  15. 15
    Sancho Panza says:

    Jesus out ffs

  16. 16
    Esso says:

    No Jesus

  17. 17
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thanks everyone for the kind words!

    Maybe the day Havertz finally becomes a fan favorite?

    Come on Arsenal!

  18. 18
    Countryman100 says:

    Ramsdale looks so unhappy.

  19. 19
    bathgooner says:


  20. 20
    TTG says:

    White booked for delaying the taking of a free kick with two Liverpool players within five yards . Awful refereeing

  21. 21
    TTG says:

    Raya was the guilty one for the goal. Saliba is waiting for him to come and Raya gets caught in no- man’s land .

  22. 22
    OsakaMatt says:

    Same result I hope C100 @12
    Frustrating for them to be 1-1 but same performance 2nd half will take this game

  23. 23
    OsakaMatt says:

    But 2-1 will do just as well as 3-2

  24. 24
    OsakaMatt says:

    3-1 will do best. Big win

  25. 25
    Las says:

    Thank you Mr. Schrödringer!

  26. 26
    North Bank Ned says:

    The Young Master was at the top of his game. Klopp out-thought, and the Scoucers blunted. Swapping Kiwior for Zinchenko at halftime proved such a smart move. Rice was superb, as were Jorghinho and Ødegaard. Raya deserves a shout-out for his assured handling of some testing crosses, but everyone played really, really well. The naysayers will say all our goals came from mistakes by Alisson, but that was a thoroughly deserved win for the better of the two sides.

  27. 27
    bathgooner says:

    An excellent performance by every player. Dug in when Lady Luck deserted us at the end of the first half. Jorginho more than deserved his MotM award. We are right back in the race – if we can produce that performance consistently – we might just win the silverware, though I still think Abou Dhabi Cheaty remain favourites due to their ill gotten depth of talent.

  28. 28
    Countryman100 says:


    What a Game! What a win!

  29. 29
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    We destroyed them. They were lucky to get a goal, we created chances for more than 3. (Xg is no-one’s favourite stat but Sky reckon Poo were about 0.4 and we were about 3.5)

    Such a good performance and result.

    Well done everyone.


  30. 30
    North Bank Ned says:

    Liverpool averages six and a half shots on target in league games this season. We allowed them one. They allow opponents three and a quarter shots on target on average; we had seven. That is tactical superiority, from set-up to execution.

  31. 31
    Countryman100 says:

    Havertz was outstanding as a target man. Rice was just outstanding.

  32. 32
    TTG says:

    Our midfield won us the game . Jorginho and Rice were brilliant and Martinelli had a fine game. Ned is right about Kiwior’s impact . Zinchenko is not a great left back even if he is a fine footballer .
    Great effort in a very tense game . Liverpool were off today but mainly that was because of us .

  33. 33
    BtM says:

    MA8’s team selection and tactics were spot in today as were the substitution decisions. Excellent performance all round (despite Saliba’s error for that goal). Great three points keeping us in the race. Jorginho was a very deserved MoTM – I was surprised to see him start, but I’d be very happy to see an encore in TP5’s absence.

  34. 34
    Countryman100 says:

    Home. What a day. Bloody hell, football.

    Cold beer loading. I may be more coherent tomorrow.

  35. 35
    Ollie says:

    That was fucking great.
    Also I think my last alcohol-free live match as I’m not doing Newcastle.
    Great atmosphere, fabulous win, and Jorginho+Rice were just immense.

  36. 36
    North Bank Ned says:

    An upset win by Brentford on Monday would round off an excellent Sunday.

  37. 37
    scruzgooner says: