Usually I don’t charge my phone twice a day. Usually I don’t stay up till 5am. Usually I don’t wake up with a headache without much drinking. Its all appears unusual, because usually Arsene is a man of his words. When he says we’re not buying you can be sure he meant it. When he says we are not interested in ‘x’ player he means it.
So after the the huff-n-puff aka our low fat Cameroonian’s depature, boss mentioned we’d get someone. And of course we all believed him. Its not because we want to call Song and tell him “Up yours” and “I never really loved you anyway” or that kinda rubbish, but because we really need another player in the middle. The almost-done-now-dead Sahin deal is evidence enough that the need was felt. It’s good to be an optimist, but if we believe that the matchstick frenchman, and Arteta can do the job for 38 games, then we really need that psychiatrist appointment, because lie all you like to one and all. But not to yourself. Arteta made to sit deep is a talent wasted for me. With his almost 30 legs he’s doing the best he can in that role, but Cazorla is bound to have the I don’t have anyone to play with 😦 face.
And this is a big problem for me, what’s the point of buying Cazorla if we can’t use him. Even Messi would look ordinary in a Stoke. If he doesn’t have Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc to do 1-2s and move forward. Its all pretty much useless. you are then left with a luck, and probability. The probability of a creative dribbling run down the middle. How many in a game can you think of? 2… 3? When Wilshere comes, things might change a little in that partnership. Arteta, wilshere & Cazorla could be a great centre midfield. Creative, and exciting. But allow me to poke this warm fluffiness with the sharp possibility of Balotelli, Tevez & Yaya running at Mertesacker. You get the picture.
2 seasons back this day I told myself, at least we have Cesc & Nasri. Last season I told myself at least we have RVP & Song. This season I have no such feeling. No offence to the new signings but this sadness I feel today is real. If there is such a man in the squad who can win a game for us alone, on his own, I definitely don’t see him yet.
In Arsene’s defence this wage structure is motherfuckin tricky. When he says “We want a top-top player”, he is actually saying we’re looking for someone as good as Dzeko or Mata ) who will ‘work’ on Diaby’s wages. Because bringing in a new player is a 2 edged sword, you want someone who is so good, that if he starts Diaby would not moan. And if he is about just as good as Barry than you can’t pay him more than Diaby. (I want to write a simile about keeping cubs in a cage and them finally tasting blood, but I won’t. )
In another argument to defend Arsene, he realised its now too late to get good players for money he thinks they are worth. And even if does bring in an M’villa from Rennes (if he’s so good why’s he still at Rennes?) what’s the guarantee he’d light up the league. Or a Dempsey at 29 who is almost a desperate attempt to buy ‘someone’ in that position, which our talented neighbours did do finally. We would then have 5 new players in this squad, who have almost had no game time together. A better bet perhaps is to infuse 3 now. And leave the remaining clean-up & strengthening to Jan.
Let’s now see it from the Jersey-buyers point of view. Most Arsenal fans know what (not) to expect. (hey, they are still around aren’t they. Still.) They don’t want the stars, they completely get the logic of not buying 30mn players. They love the Arsen-al philosophy. They take pride in beating a side who spend twice, thrice. They love making the “Song bought for x , sold for 300x, Arsene = genius” kinda comments. These fans have seen battle, and bad days and these fans surely have a big heart. Tell me another lot of fans who’d sing “we love you … ” for their team till 10 mins after the 8-2 humbling. Last night these fans were not moaning emptily. Their demands were not unjust. The word we’re looking for here is depth which we currently don’t have. The fans are not crying because we are weak or small. They want to fight. And they want to enjoy this battle fully. They want to take a punch and hit back with 2. The bigger the upset the tastier it gets. But my dear Sir, to face the charging battery of countless mercenaries, you want to send a small battalion of 5-6 men. HEY! its not even a battalion, its a fucking search-party! That’s how shallow this is.
Being honest to ourselves our ambitions this year are limited again to finishing in top 4 and above Spurs. This year more than ever I have my doubts on Wenger magic to make it happen. At the very least we are walking that delicate line (aka the glorious Gibbs’ slide) of CL probability. Which after 7 years of empty drawers is nothing short of cheating the highest paying ST holders in Europe. I am aware of how some of them are feeling right now, and they definitely don’t deserve this half hearted fight. They don’t deserve defeat in a fight we never intended to win. It’s just cruel. Plain and simple.
Let me take your mind away for a second. Think of kids. The new fans. The chant writers of tomorrow. Which team do they choose when they want to play online football today Barca>RM>City>Bayern>Brazil>Chelsea>…..Utd…….>Arsenal. This order was not the same 6 years ago. And this order will not be same next year. Or the year after. It is going to get worse. It sounds like a stupid meaningless observation. But we ladies and gents are witnessing the weakening of the Brand, Arsenal.
Squeezed between the above 2 are the fans like me who are disappointed for a different reason altogether. With each shiny spit polished bling sale we made, we also have chipped away at our silky brand of football. It’s not attractive to look at post Cesc. Those beautiful through balls, 1-2s, and one-touch seem like a thing of the past. (If you really want to argue this point. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now think of Ramsey. Ok, I rest my case.)
Something that has taken decades to build is melting faster than those Ice Caps. Perhaps the AFC board don’t care for the dropping temperatures around them. Or perhaps that’s exactly why they are stashing the millions in cash. To burn them one day to keep warm. And that’s exactly what those piddly millions are worth. To burn.