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Sunday 18 August 2013

Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.

(Somewhat outdated by yesterday's anti-climactic opener but thought I might as well post it before going into depressed, rant mode!)

After successive summers of frustrating transfer window torment I’ve grown increasingly cynical, to the point where I’ve spent the past couple of months doing my utmost to ignore the entire media merry-go-round of groundless rumours.
And yet like every other footie fan, I increasingly crave the slightest opportunity to grasp at those few crumbs of encouragement, which might proffer a brief sojourn in that Premiership fool’s paradise, where anything is possible, before this perennial bout of intoxicating optimism is invariably quashed by the sobering ravages of our first dodgy result.
To avoid the disappointment of being wound up (and subsequently let down!) by the wall-to-wall media canards, I tend to hold in contempt all the close season coverage of the beautiful game, in the belief that it's nothing but “white noise”, until such time as we are privy to the incontrovertible evidence of the press conference, with the player standing there wearing the shirt. But it’s impossible to maintain such stoicism, the moment one succumbs to the incessant barrage of social media.
So as the new season draws ever more nigh, my insouciance goes out the window and as ever, I find myself being sucked in. Along with every other Gooner, I've ended up anxiously wringing out every snippet of transfer gossip for the vaguest hint of some Arsenal relevance. 
Some of my Twitter addicted mates remain so certain of the credibility of their “insider” info that they refuse to waver in their conviction regarding the imminent arrival of Suarez and/or Rooney. But then it was only a few weekends back that their bogus informants left my naïve mates glued to their laptops all day Monday, eagerly awaiting an implausible scoop concerning the signing of a unlikely triumvirate of both these two and Cesc Fabregas to boot!
Previously we’ve suffered Arsène’s transfer window inertia and (in contrast to Man Utd’s supposed point blank refusal to do likewise, at any price) the sale of our best player to our rivals, albeit hardly in good grace. However with Gazides having put paid to Gooner patience and raising expectation levels beyond anything we’ve known in the recent past, by having made such a major hoo-ha about the Gunners long-awaited arrival in the financial Promised Land, there are bound to be serious terrace tantrums, should we fail to manage a single marquee signing this time around. Then again, based on the anecdotal evidence of his lieutenant, Dick Law’s laughable incompetence, I wouldn’t put money on this nincompoop’s ability to sign his own name!
Despite all the ugly baggage that has so many high-minded fans cringing at the prospect of this cretin darkening Highbury's doors, I certainly wouldn’t kick Luis Suarez out of the Gooner bed. Aside from the prolific Uruguayan goalscorer's impressive strike rate (in such a mediocre Scouse side), I fancy that our somewhat pacific squad might profit, should they be forced to rally around the unseemly antics of such a nasty creature, thereby fostering the sort of "us against the world" spirit evident in so many successful squads.
            Moreover there can be no argument that an additional 20+ goals per season would assist us in outscoring our opponents and that judging by pre-season performances, the threat of some serious competition appears to have had a positive impact on the likes of Giroud. Yet from my point of view, it’s not so important who we sign, but that the Gunners go out and invest the sort of sums, which might reassure those such as Jack Wilshere that the Arsenal are no longer content merely to tread water and count the wonga.

             Although as thrilled as I'd be by the arrival of a proven Premiership goalscorer and as delighted as I might be that we’ve somehow managed to offload so much deadwood, I remain concerned about Wenger’s failure to deal with our obvious defensive inadequacies. Our backline is beginning to look quite settled and solid, but the limitations of our shallow squad are likely to be shown up, as soon as injuries and suspension begin to bite.

            My worry is that Arsene’s obsession with value for money and his fear of clubs attempting to take advantage of the fact that we are cash rich, has le Gaffer waiting for the likes of Liverpool to blink first. But the risk being that the top shelves will end up bare, with the Gunners left signing “bubkas” (that well know Russian striker) yet again!

            Not for the first time we’ll be kicking off a new season with a relatively unknown French youngster as our only new addition, in the hope that he and some promising youngsters (eg. Zelalem) might make a name for themselves. But such trifles won’t prevent me from bowling around to my Highbury temple this weekend, in the customary buoyant mood that is every fan’s prerogative on football’s high holy day.
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