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Buzzcocks, Windows and Tripod Dogs

Jess High Speed Turn

These are happy days for many Arsenal fans. Excellent to beat a Spurs side who are on the one hand unable to score from open play right now and on the other bulging with exciting new talent thanks to the money they extorted from Real Madrid. Excellent to win back the Emirates crowd with a gutsy performance and of course excellent to have secured champions league football. Again. And since Monday night it seems happiness rains down from heaven’s limpid pools to refresh the parts other celestial downpours cannot reach. Even Arsene’s fiercest critics are forced to raise one eyebrow and sip their drinks in a thoughtful manner following his coup at the fag end of the worst and most hateful transfer window in living memory.

Everybody’s happy nowadays.

Except a few wet blankets of course. Those who wish our team to fail and transfers not to arrive in the belief that the board will be backed into a corner and jettison the hottest property in football management anywhere in the world today. Actually it isn’t only the masochistic self harming hate mob who find themselves conflicted right now. I am a bit of a conflicted wet blanket myself. Maybe bemused is more the word. Cards on the table upfront: I have been an admirer of bey Özil since the world cup of a few years back. Having given up on international football as a tedious waste of time where our players get injured for a cause in which I no longer believed and despising nationalism in all it’s petty small minded nastiness, I found myself able to watch the young and talented German national team in a whole new light. I confess I liked what I saw. I admired especially the close control and audacious inventive speed of thought and movement of the boy from Gelsenkirchen. I remember one breathtaking piece of skill caused me to turn to a friend and say “I haven’t seen that kind of thing since Bergkamp played for Arsenal” and I allowed myself a brief frisson of pleasure as I imagined the likes of Özil, Podolski and the elegant Mertesacker gracing the red and white. Then I shook my head clear of the thought knowing that such talent was these days merely cherries picked from the football tree by a few über rich sides to amuse their sugar daddies. I dared not dream that our great club, mired as it was in economic recession and paying for the daunting optimism of the Emirates Stadium, could ever hope to afford them and their genius.

Well. Here we are.

So why am I conflicted? Perhaps conflicted is too strong a word. I am of course delighted when our squad is enriched by great players be they purchased at either huge or minimal expense or when they have grown up at the club, nurtured from boyhood to blossom on the stage before us. Concerned is perhaps a better word. My delight and excitement are tempered with concern. Concern mainly at the way in which many people are reacting to the news. When they happily share links to news stories, the essential thrust of which is that at long, long last Arsene has spent some money can they not see that these hacks are using our record signing as an opportunity to continue perpetuating a myth, to simply beat our manager with the same stick they’ve used for years? When people say that now things will start to happen, now the dark days are behind us, they are simply hammering another false brick into the wall of denial that the haters and the media have been building around the very real achievements of the last decade. Above all I have an instinctive fear of too much hype, too many raised expectations and the idiotic adherence to the belief that the transfer fairy sprinkles her magic dust and the whole world is suddenly made of champagne and chocolate for ever and ever.

What will these people say or do if (Dennis forbid) the young man gets injured? Presumably they have failed to notice the stories of Van Persie, Rosicky and Diaby. Enormous talents who lost their best years on the treatment table. Hey – I hope he won’t and I know we should never assume he will. It’s like my three legged dog. When she lost her front leg I was too scared to walk her. My wife told me I had to. Dogs need to walk, they like to walk, it’s bad for them not to. But what if she hurts the remaining front leg? She’ll never walk again. Happily wise counsel prevailed and I do walk her and she runs and has a full life and of course my wife was right you cannot live in fear of bad shit happening or you might just as well give up on the whole boiling and hide under the covers. So I’m not doing the three legged dog thing where our new boy is concerned, not at all. He must play and face down the injury Goddess just like every other player. My point is that some people’s over reaction to his signing makes him sound like Jesus, Moses, Allah and Bill Hicks all rolled into one. They now seem to follow the original one man team and I fear for their sanity if anything happens to him. Football is a group endeavour and it is the whole squad will win us things and not one man.

You all know by now how I hate the ridiculous media circus that is the transfer window. I hate it because it causes a spate of crystal ball gazing and soothsaying and I can’t bear all that psychic fortune telling bullshit. If we sign player X then we will win trophy Y. That is the mathematics we are faced with and it sucks. The tedious, mundane truth is very few transfers tell us of their worth until an age after the ink dries on the contract and the journalists’ crisp and crinkly Kleenex has long since been flushed away. We can sign one of the world’s most significant players as we did with Andre Arshavin, he can look like the missing piece of the jigsaw for a while and then inexplicably fade away to a quiet, sad, ignominious exit from the club. Or we can sign an unknown centre back from the lower divisions of French football and he can, in a few seasons, effloresce into one of the best defenders on the planet. Or we can take a very good, solid player like Mikel Arteta from Everton and turn him into a maestro, the country’s leading midfielder by any measure. The future is unknown and I loathe people who claim to be able to see it.

Here’s why. Oh and by the way here’s also why I am emphatically not being a killjoy about this wonderful player coming to play for us. The greatest excitement, the most pleasure you can hope to derive as a football fan when a player is signed or breaks through from the youth or reserve teams is this. It’s the journey we travel with them as their careers unfold. It’s seeing hints of what might be and then being wholly surprised when something else happens. It’s wondering if they’ll ever be good enough only to be confounded by them suddenly playing to their potential because they are teamed up with the perfect on field partner. Or it’s agonising with them after a bad injury and willing them to prove their detractors wrong then being moved to tears as they burst through mental and physical barriers to realise their true potential. I don’t want to be told how this player or that signing will affect my club any more than I want you to tell me what will happen in the last episode of Breaking Bad or who is going to die in the Christmas Eastenders. I want to enjoy it as it actually happens. Also I want our new boys to come to the club and be given time to adapt to their new surroundings, their new team mates, and not to suffer the boo boys when the media inevitably tell them that the wunderkind is a flop. Which they will. They will build him up based purely on his price tag and then try to demolish him. Don’t believe me? They did it with the greatest of them all. They told us Bergkamp was a failure after a few games so don’t believe they won’t do it with our new number 11.

So I say rub your hands together with anticipation at the prospect of a truly skilled and proven talent adding yet more mouthwatering ability to our already great squad. Look forward to his début, his first assist, the first piece of trickery to bring a simultaneous gasp from 60,000 throats but for God’s sake give the boy time and enjoy the journey with him, don’t be in too much of a rush to get to the end. Hopefully we will have many years together to admire the scenery and maybe, just maybe he can become one of the greats. I for one am more than happy to wait and see.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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133 comments on “Buzzcocks, Windows and Tripod Dogs

  1. Who’s Frankie?

    Like

  2. Frank,

    This Mesut Özil. Is he any good?

    All I know is he is better than Gareth Bale!

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  3. Shame for Aaron and Tomas. Odd that Bale didn’t play, is he injured?

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  4. Will we ever know, Hawkeye? He may never play again.

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  5. You OK, Natty Bumpo?

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  6. Jack and Theo looking good, though England always find it difficult to accommodate Arsenal players. Yet again the referee’s bank accounts need to be checked after the game…he deliberately wiped Welbeck out of the next game. Just like with the bloke who went to the Mancs when we played Barcelona Stanley that time.

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  7. This from Philip McNulty on BBC stream of England match:

    “Not sure whether Jack Wilshere is just unlucky but he seems to get a good kicking in an awful lot of games.”
    And phil is no arsenal fan. Far from it.
    Take him off, Woy! The game is won.

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  8. I agree with double canister

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  9. Jeez,
    Ollie has had some good chances for France but nothing in the net.
    Thy are 0-0 and might not being joking to the World Cup now.

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  10. double canister,

    Instead of Philip McNulty talking about ‘luck’, how about he talks about the officials not doing their freaking jobs? Not having a go at you pal, I just loath this hand-wringing from the media about players being kicked instead of calling on referees to flash the cards.

    And what’s up with Roy? He pulled out Cashley because of a yellow card but left Wilshere. Maybe he should get a yellow card too 🙂

    Oh, it’s 4-0. Wellbeck again.

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  11. *they might not be in the next World Cup now.

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  12. Hi bootonee,
    Good to see you here.
    Is there any chance the Know’Nothing trolls on Untold have packed their bags and fucked off yet? I haven’t been reading it for a few weeks.
    Unbelievable belief.

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  13. Thank goodness! Jack is off.

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  14. Frank
    Even McNulty can see the obvious:

    “Must admit would have been tempted to take Jack Wilshere off here to spare him further punishment.”
    Woy is a dipstick. He is going to destroy Jack, just to advance his own career.

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  15. Missed that boo, thank goodness indeed.

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  16. I see Kyle Walker’s shooting hasn’t improved since Sunday.

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  17. Looking at Jack tonight, he really does need to hold back a bit. Everything is full on with that lad. Look after yourself, Jack. No-one else is going to look after you.

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  18. double canister,

    That’s why I’m here as well.

    To be fair, things have improved the last couple of weeks. There are still too many pseudo-philosophers in the negative commenters’ rank for my liking though.

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  19. Looks as though Per and mersut had full games in their win over Austria…no injuries

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  20. Hah, ARSH 23 you beat me to it. I don’t know to be sad for the USA team or happy for Campbell’s goal.
    I’m happy that there hasn’t been any major injuries. Hope to see Campbell in the RED&WHITE . SOOON

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  21. G69:

    “No football man would have ever handed Arsene Wenger such a player on a silver platter”
    Heh. Wasn’t Perez the fellow who sold Makelele?

    Amidst those who gave the matter prolonged thought who did not expect AFC to shake a leg only after the CL qualifiers? If not, why not?

    I say that not because my crystal footballs told me what was going on at the time, but because of the pattern we have seen of guerilla transfers as once described by Big Al/Birdkamp. Carzola and Monreal nabbed from Malaga two recent and obvious examples. Although the recent transfer was in different league it was still opportunistic, had to be to avoid the likes of PSG in the background. Arsene Vulture spent a while this summer hovering over Real Mad and he swooped at the right time.

    The gas clubs and sovereign wealth funds are still out there. And therefore the deadline day daredevils* ( as described here sometime during July I think, whilst most experts were in full meltdown mode ) are not going to hang their boots up just yet.

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  22. An excellent and logical piece that would be lost on most wobs and journos. To be honest ARSENE can’t win with the neysayers I even heard he was lucky in 2004. The Ozil signing is not just the skill the player possesses but the cascading effect on younger players the likes of Gideon and Olsson and many others will be dramatic

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  23. What a finish…… Joel Campbell is going to be an awesome player. I hope Arsene brings him into the fold next season so he can learn from Poldi and Theo. I really, really rate that kid.

    Fin, I’d love to know what players Wenger had in the pipeline this summer. In fact, I would love to read a detailed account of how he chooses players and goes after them.

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  24. Gains, we will probably know that when he retires and writes a book (which i think he will) about his management experience and philosophy.

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  25. this guy is a perfect match for arsenal

    arsene knows..

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  26. ramsey wilshere rosicky cazorla ozil diaby arteta flamini

    ofcourse we have the best midfield now..

    not just in england not just in europe

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  27. Our passing is going to be hallucinogenic. I can’t wait to see Ozil surrounded by Santi, Olive, Aaron, Jack, Rosicky and Arteta. This season is gong to be sick.

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  28. SPOT ON
    not even parking the bus is going to save their ass. The main beneficiaries will be our forwards. Part of me wishes GRAVIS was still with us to enjoy some of the service.. Can you fathom playing in front of TOMAS, OZZI AND SANTI. Them diagonals and through balls and dinks behind the defenders. THE , OG AND POLDI are indeed very lucky to be playing in front of one of best ( if not the best ) midfields in the world. It will be like shooting fish in a barrel. OG will certainly bag between 20 to 30 for himself. With the goal contributions from our midfielders and arguably the best defensive line in the league we should be in contention for first or second if lady luck serves is fairly this year. No matter what, the football will be exquisite..

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  29. 14th sunderland – PL

    18th marseilles – CL

    22nd stoke – PL

    25th wba – CC

    28th swansea – PL

    1st napoli – CL

    6th wba – PL

    7 matches in 3 weeks 🙂

    cant wait anymore!

    Like

  30. http://footballbeyondborders.blogspot.nl/2013/07/whose-tottenham.html
    I suppose that when people say that Levy is a good businessman this is what they must mean – demolishing local lo-cost/ social housing for the benefit of far away developers. Easy money I suppose. How admirable.

    Well, I wasn’t the only one who has said that the stadium project for Tottnum was not going to be pretty when it happens. Chatting to some malcontents after the villa game, I reminded them that they hadn’t seen the worst of corporatism in football, not by a long way…I also told them that there were indeed going to be signings ( lucky,erm, guess?).
    Of course at that time, a few weeks ago, as the bin dippers and successful part time coaches have been reliably informing us AFC represented all that was bad in Sport, because they hadn’t spent £100M big ones.
    Fun will remember me being critical of the lo-cost housing built in N5 by AFC (lucky I reigned that criticism in!) but, well, at least they made the effort to build it. As opposed to demolition. As i’ve always said, it could’ve been worse. Much much, much, worse. In Arsenal’s case i give credit to the local council, the local MP and of course the club.

    UTA.

    Gains @ 4.54
    This scoop, promised by Untold a week ago (on the Saturday as the Özil deal was pushed through) is as good as we are going to get, I think. Unfortunately the first part is just a tease, heh.
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/

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  31. that is a rather interesting piece of article mate.

    wonder what it was when arsenal moved to ashburton grove..

    never looked at it this way..can somebody throw some light.

    arsenal must have dealt with it in a classy way.

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  32. make no mistake about it, ramsey was clearly the player of the month

    giroud was not so far behind though

    take a look..this is a very good site

    http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/694930/player-stats/44346/3_DEFENCE_06#tabs-wrapper-anchor

    Like

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