many times have you said or heard other Gooners say something like this:
“Don’t settle for second best!”
“Spend some fucking money!”
Countless times, right? I thought so. These
sort of statements are examples of ‘war cries’ (if you will) of the frustrated
Arsenal fan base aimed at the higher powers at Arsenal that are often portrayed
as being greedy, evil enemies of the common man.
Now, if I am not mistaken,
these statements clearly demonstrate a desire for Arsenal to actually try to
sign the best players out there and ultimately compete at the very top level
(silverware). So, with that in mind, can someone please explain to me why so
many of these very fans, who have called for ambition in the not so distant
past, are now saying:
“Oh, maybe we should’ve gone for Gonzalo
Higuain instead of pursuing the likes of Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney. What if
we fail to attract those targets?! We’re left with bugger all.”
Now, I’ve been pretty damn fair with that
made up para-quote. It seems like a decent argument. However, doesn’t it amount
to effectively settling for second best in itself? The exact thing that these
same fans had called for us NOT to do?! Hmm. Don’t get me wrong, I understand
the fact that it also depends on the target (whether he bites people or not,
for instance) and also the likelihood of getting our man. I would agree that
one has to weigh up these things when making such an important decision,
however I would be inclined to believe that the people in charge of doing the
business are much better placed to judge both the target and our chances of
getting said target. If the club appears to be confident that they can strike a
deal, I’m definitely happier that we’re going all out for a better player. But
at points it actually seems like some fans are more scared of Arsenal spending
than the club itself is, which bamboozles me. Transfers all have an element of
risk, especially big-money deals. When chasing a top target, sometimes you have
to let other targets fall by the wayside (Higuain)… C’est la vie! Of course,
some risks are more obvious than others i.e. I bet Chelsea thought that £50m for
Fernando Torres, a well-mannered and extremely talented striker, would have
been £50m well spent. However, it turned out that once in a Chelsea shirt,
Torres could barely kick a ball. Funny old game, isn’t it?
Oh, and that whole “Showing ambition
means nothing if we end up signing no one” line… Do me and yourself a
favour and save it for September. You mightn’t even need it by then, in fact I
bet you won’t.
I won’t dwell on this subject, because it’s
one that people are so divided upon that another, one-sided argument from a
blogger won’t do anyone any good and will probably end up getting lost amongst
the great plethora of debates going on across cyberspace at the moment.
Instead, I want to outline the debate, give my little reason as to why I trust
the club’s judgement and then bugger off!
As I said on Twitter a couple of days ago,
the Suarez dilemma is split into two arguments: the footballing argument and
the moral argument.
The footballing argument is pretty one sided.
I would say Suarez is one of the best strikers in the world and already has
plenty of Premier League experience, thus making him an ideal candidate for
Arsenal and one that, based on footballing reasons (hardy har!) alone, is well
worth going after with a purpose.
But it is the moral argument that really
divides opinion. No one can deny that Suarez has a nasty streak and makes
stupid mistakes in the heat of the moment, which unfortunately makes him a
liability. At £40+m, he’s a pretty costly liability too. But, if you are
seeking something to put your trust in, or at least partially so, let it be the
fact that Arsene Wenger (a long-term admirer of Suarez) seems to be confident
enough in his managerial ability to want to take the risk. I am by no means
saying that Wenger will single handedly transform Suarez into the angelic
poster boy of the footballing world (the Uruguayan couldn’t manage that on
looks, let alone attitude, anyway!), but I find it comforting that the man who
makes the decisions when it comes to spending on players (and rarely spends
very much!) seems so eager. To an extent, the same can be said for Rooney too.
Don’t forget about Rooney just yet, either!
worry, be happy!
Just a little reminder to finish on as the
transfer activity really starts hotting up…
Don’t waste your time and energy getting your
knickers in a twist over transfer-related news, no matter how worrying it may
sound! The fact is that some of Wenger’s favourite players are on the market at
the moment and Arsenal have money to burn (more than most think!). The media
don’t know everything and even if they know a lot, sometimes they aren’t
allowed to report it! So stay calm, be patient (Tim Payton would be so proud!),
let Arsenal get on with it and let’s hope that the outcome will do a lot more
talking than I ever could!
‘Till next week!