It has never been a more stressful time to be a football fan. With an unprecedented amount of comment and opinion being available with a single click of a mouse, many fans are being driven to insanity with the lack of transfer activity from the club this summer. Well, inward transfer activity anyway. But pinpointing the exact reason as to why we’re all getting riled up over this is tougher than first appears…..
(YOU IDIOT!!! WE’RE ANNOYED BECAUSE IVAN SAID WE WERE LOADED BUT WE HAVEN’T SPENT ANY MONEY ALL SUMMER AND NOW THE VILLA GAME IS ONLY 3 DAYS AWAY AND THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFIER IS A WEEK AWAY AND WE HAVE MORE MONEY THAN APPLE BUT NO NEW PLAYERS!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! #ARGH)
Sorry. I left Twitter on by accident. My bad. Although to be fair, Twitter does make a fair point. After going to the trouble of telling anyone who would listen that Arsenal could afford to spend over £20million on a player and pay them over £200,000 a week, to be in the middle of August and still not have spent a solitary pound on new recruits is incredibly galling. It’s like having your parents tell you that you can have just about anything you want for Christmas that year, yet on December 22nd there aren’t any decorations in the house, not even a tree. And they’ve sold all the toys you don’t play with any more as well. Yet you still trust that they’ve got things under control, primarily because they’re your parents and you can’t help but love them, but you just can’t help worrying about them screwing everything up.
And that’s where we are with Arsenal at the moment. We know that we need players to strengthen the squad, and after a summer purge of the unwanted that rivalled an episode of The Waking Dead in terms of extras disposed of with supreme disdain, only the merest hint of one of our yearly injury plagues would leave us in massive trouble. And if we, the most optimistic of people concerning the future of Arsenal, can see that this needs attention, then it stands to reason that those working at the club have also seen this and have acted accordingly. Or, at least, have tried to.
It’s pretty clear that during the summer, we’ve been working on getting a striker, and that we had decided on Gonzalo Higuain as the best person we could buy. But just before we finished that deal, we were told that for an extra £10million, we could get Luis Suarez instead. If you’re willing to put aside his………….erm……..character issues, then Suarez for £40m is a far better option than Higuain for £30m. It was a gamble, but it was decided that it was a gamble worth taking. And so far, it hasn’t paid off. Whether it will get done is anybody’s guess at the moment, and we can’t really judge on its success until the end of the transfer window.
But apart from that…………………erm……………that can’t be it, can it?
The problem, is that apart from the dozens of spurious articles designed solely to either gather web hits or fill a space in a newspaper, and the constant stream of “informed” sources on Twitter claiming to have heard “news”……………….excuse me for a minute, but…….
Here’s a quick Twitter tip; when you see someone saying that they have new information, ask yourself one question: “Why are they telling me this?”. If it’s just to let folks know what they know, then it’s probably worth taking notice of. But if it’s for any other reason, whether it’s to come across as an “ITK”, or they tweet both sides of a potential deal just so they can point to the correct tweet at a later date to show they were “right”, then ignore them in the same manner you would if someone came up to you looking to discuss the joys of living in Tottenham.
Right, where were we? Ah yes, all we’ve heard about all summer is how we’ve tried to get a striker, when it’s been plain to see that we need additions throughout the squad. We’ve all become accustomed to seeing the club try to do its business as anonymously as possible (Exhibit A: the “undisclosed fee”) but this summer has been nothing short of clandestine. Even the players themselves have spoken about the need for additions during the Asia tour. And if THEY don’t know about who’s coming in, who the hell does????
So with everybody guessing as to what, if any, activity is going on behind the scenes at the moment, is it any wonder that some are dismayed at the current state of affairs? At best, our work during the summer has been cautious but focused, but if we still haven’t got anyone in of sufficient quality by the end of the transfer window, then there’s going to have to be some serious explaining to do to justify the lack of activity. But given the secretive nature of our club, would such an explanation be forthcoming? I doubt it.
So all we can do at the moment is wait until September and hope for the best. It is a horrible, helpless position to be in, yet we have no choice but to hope that the club will come through. Yes, in an ideal world, we should have had our business completed by now, but with 3 weeks of the transfer window left, we can, in theory, still bring in the players we need. If we don’t, then the recriminations should be numerous and vocal, but until we know for sure, then all we’re doing is filling the void that the lack of actual news has created.
Just like this column has done. Sigh.
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