I’ll tell you something you’d probably never believe: in a way, Twitter ruined me. Yes, I got the sense of not being alone by joining it and I’m happy I did. But there’s a downside (isn’t there always?): I now find it really hard to formulate a definitive opinion on something.
I like to call that phenomenon information overload: there are too many voices, facts, rumours on Twitter. Everyone has his own opinion, sometimes even his own agenda. Because of the excessive amount of information thrown at me, I (like everyone else on here, I guess) have two ways out: either change my opinion quite often, or stand firm whatever. Both aren’t ideal options.
You’d be amazed, but there are a lot of things I haven’t given much thought prior to joining Twitter. For example, I have never doubted that Wenger is the man to lead us forward. Funny thing is, if someone asked me why, I’d struggle for an answer. Maybe because I haven’t known Arsenal without Arsene and was scared of change. Most likely I’d say I had an inner feeling that Arsene is the best man for job.
But I’m getting sidetracked here. The reason I’m writing this article is not to wax lyrical on some rhetorical question: rather, I wanted to discuss the concept of buying players. Fear not, I won’t wander into the transfer rumours territory. Rather, I’ll try to explain why all Arsenal fans shouldn’t do it and why we shouldn’t clamour for players only to subsequently be disappointed at the fact they signed for someone else.
There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when a new rumour surfaces. However likely it seems, however you want to believe it, take it with a gigantic piece of salt. With a few notable exceptions, you’ve been duped, lured by clickbait.
Don’t believe the press (part 1)
It’s the first rule. With not much to chew on in the summer, the press (sometimes spoon-fed by agents), prints transfer stories, 95% of which have zero credulity. For me, only the following sources are credible sources of information:
If these have confirmed the transfer, start enjoying the fact. Write articles, make videos, tweet about it. It’s as good as done. You can also believe these guys on rumours.
Don’t believe the ITKs
It’s a temptation, I know. When you see a fellow blogger claim a transfer is close, it’s hard not to get excited. However, the more I watch such accounts, the more I come to the conclusion what they do is pure guesswork. They are just a little better at guessing than everyone else.
I highly doubt any of those have an “inside source at the Club”, unless it’s the bus driver or the photographer. People who deal with multi-million transfers sign confidentiality agreements. I doubt they’ll risk their place by informing someone on Twitter. So ignore the ITKs I suggest as why would those that truly know necessarily feel the impulse to share when they could be quietly placing their own cash on the transfer. If you are thinking about placing a bet on the transfer, you can get some helpful information by using this guide for betting on sports
Don’t believe the press (part 2)
You shouldn’t only ignore the press when they run the rumour story or claim for the deal to have been completed. You should also do likewise when sentences like “Arsenal miss out on” and “Liverpool (or United, or City) beat Arsenal to the signing of”. Especially if the Club that “has beaten us to the signing of” is way less prestigious/competitive at the moment. Just look at the recent transfers.
We were accused of “missing out on” Dybala, who joined Juventus “instead”. You know how much Juve paid for the Italian? 32 million euros + 8 million in add-ons. Almost 30 million pounds for a player who had one successful season. Now, it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have blossomed in PL, players far less successful at their previous clubs did (Henry & Bergkamp being the most prominent examples), but I’ve seen nothing to suggest we were in for him. Apart from clamouring from fans and some articles in Mirror/Metro/Sun (pick any).
Another player who “slipped from our grasp”. The accusations flying around with him were almost hilarious, simply because Arsenal fans accused Arsene, Ivan, the board and whatnot on the basis of one good game in the CL. Kondogbia cost Inter around 25 million pounds. Whatever anyone says, you don’t buy a player like that to bench him and chances are we would have done just that after Coquelin’s renaissance. Moreover, I have once again seen no respectable sources confirming our interest.
“Gunners target Jackson Martinez joins Atletico”. What? Who said the guy was ever our target? Him and his agent? These people are talkers. Any player can say “Arsenal are interested in me”, it doesn’t mean we are. Remember Zigic? Anyway, I forgot to cite his transfer fee – 25 million pounds. For a 28-year-old (or is he 29?) You telling me we should have flushed 25 million down the drain when we have Giroud and Welbeck, who fit the same mould? At a time when we have other areas to strengthen?
Wrapping it up
You know what all these rumours have in common? The clubs where these players have ended up. Unless you are planning to tell me Juventus, Inter and Atletico are bigger than Arsenal and offered these players something we cannot, then it means we were never in for any of those players. Martinez himself said he fancies Arsenal, so why didn’t we buy him? That’s right, we were not interested. The other two haven’t (if I recall correctly) at any point said they wanted to join Arsenal or have already received offers from the Club.
Do you think they would have refused to go and work with Arsene Wenger, who’s a renowned specialist in developing young talent? Look at what Vlad Dragomir (our first actual signing this window, a 16-year-old Romanian player) said:
“The Arsenal offer seemed the best to me, I felt that this is my place.”
He then went on to say he couldn’t miss the opportunity to work under Arsene Wenger for the reason I mentioned above: because Arsene knows how to nurture young talent.
So don’t believe the rumours. Don’t shed bitter tears when we “miss out” on players. No point getting yourself down when we weren’t even in the mix. Trust me, we will sign the players we need (Cech *cough* Cech). They just don’t have to be the ones hyped up by the press.