A lot has been said this summer, when you consider how little has happened. The transfer window is a time for liars and their prey to come to the fore. While it is largely irrelevant what is said by would-be “ITKs”, it does create anticipation among fans. Anticipating something which may not happen usually only brings disappointment. When we talk about football fans, we can safely assume that the disappointment will be promptly followed by anger and petulance. Some of these swill merchants have been kind enough to identify themselves with ridiculous handles like Agent1324 or JohnTheAgent, but there are others. Others who believe things they are told and pass it on as fact. The recipient, mindful of just how confidential this “information” is, instantly passes it on to his pal – In the strictest of confidence. Before you know it, everyone is certain that something is happening, except it’s probably not. Knowing just how fragile fans are, I feel a little more responsibility is needed.
I don’t really have much more to say on that issue, so here’s this…
A moral dilemma has befallen the club and it is causing a lot of debate among the Arsenal faithful. Three players who have been linked with the club have caused outrage among certain sections and it is hard to blame any of them. Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas are all top names in football and two of the three, I believe, play the game to the highest standard. But it is not their ability to play which has caused such a kerfuffle. Suarez’s various offences are well known, Cesc, allegedly, went on strike in his last season with Arsenal and almost certainly left the club under a cloud of acrimony, while Wayne Rooney is widely known as one of English football’s knobheads. So should a club of Arsenal’s standing be entertaining the idea of signing such divisive players?
I believe that most people who object to our former skipper rejoining could be appeased by a carefully put together statement from the player and manager. Fans pour their hearts into the club and expect the players to do the same. Fabregas could reiterate his never-ending love for the club and, I believe, most objectors would come around pretty quickly. Of course, some will feel that you should never go back and “once a cheater always a cheater” but they will be the minority who will only be swayed by a lengthy display of loyalty – A completely understandable position to take. There will also be some who seem to believe that any error of judgement should be punished and never forgiven. Theirs is the position I can relate to the least. These are people who have never made a mistake and, therefore, don’t know what it feels like to need forgiveness.
Rooney is a notorious cheat, ref-abuser and, most heinously of all, unbeaten-run-ender. To go along with all of this, Rooney presents another problem. No matter how good you believe him to be, one cannot deny the deterioration of his form. He hasn’t become the player that I personally expected to see by now – Instead he is a temperamental sort who, on his day, can cause serious problems for opponents, but is often found to be frustrated and angry during games. For these reasons, for me anyway, the Rooney dilemma isn’t one at all. I would rather we didn’t sign him.
The Suarez situation is far more complex than that of Rooney. His football is better and his offences are worse. Diving is unwelcome in the sport, let alone our club, but it is forgivable to most people, I suspect. A few of our players have done it and I haven’t seen calls for them to be sold. All a diver needs to do to be forgiven is stop diving. The biting incidents show an angry and dangerous side to the player but this is not something for which, I believe, a guy should be very heavily punished. Angry people need help, for their own sake’s as well as those around them.
Then there’s the big one. RACISM! Discrimination is, sadly, a daily occurrence for many people. In all its forms, discrimination is disgusting. Be it a casual comment or the systematic oppression of a group, discrimination is affecting the lives of billions. So how could anybody be OK with what Suarez has done? The truth is, very few people are OK with it. However, we must also recognise that people are products of their environment. I’m not going to suggest that what he said is a term of endearment in South America or any such rubbish, but it is clear that Luis Suarez has somehow come to the belief that he is entitled to speak to people like that. That makes him wrong, not evil. From a moralistic point of view, it’s his apparent lack of remorse which causes me the most concern. ‘Footballistically’, £40,000,000 is a lot of money for a guy who spends chunks of time suspended.
An enquiry concluded that Luis Suarez had used racist language to abuse Patrice Evra but that Suarez was not a racist. Anyone citing either of these findings to support their U-turn is, in my view, disingenuous. If you believe every ruling from the courts, you’re a fool. If you know that justice is handed out to those who can afford it, or fit the correct ethnic profile, and you still use the findings of the enquiry to support your flip-flop, you’re a joke. What won’t you say to better yourself?
It is nothing new in such debates to have extreme views on either side, with the majority lying somewhere in between. I believe that most Arsenal fans enjoy the fact that our players are not inclined to be in trouble with the authorities, and generally don’t bring the game into disrepute. I also believe that every Arsenal fan would like to see us compete for the two big trophies. So, is there a compromise to be made? Can we find it in our hearts to forgive? If one of these players arrives, will the fans support them and allow a fresh start? I do hope so.
Of course, we could always sign Higuain and please everyone.
Thanks for reading,
Up the Arsenal!