Today we have a brand new guest poster Tim Head (@foreverheady, should you want to follow him on twitter,I suggest you do just that)
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”
Or so said Brutus towards the end of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, suggesting that at key moments in a life the onus is on us to see when is the time to actively determine our own fortune and then to act swiftly and decisively. Is it that time for The Arsenal? Is this Transfer Window the moment to strike and seize success, taking Fate into our own hands and bending the whims of the footballing Gods to our promptings.
It is certainly tempting to answer in the affirmative, as the tide has certainly turned for The Arsenal this season (or to be more accurate since last March) and, injuries aside things do seem to be going our way. There is a sense of irresistible momentum engendered by harmony, confidence, skill and hard work. The Emirates is beginning not just to rock but to be a rock too, and even the pundits are starting to change their tune. The TV companies certainly are: witness the constant rearranging of games so that Arsenal’s matches are beamed round the UK at prime time, and the subsequent widening of the fan base, compelled at first by results and success but latterly and more importantly by the beauty of watching The Arsenal play the Arsenal way.
And yet, despite all of this, despite the league position and the Champions League success, the nagging doubt remains in some minds that man for man our squad is not quite as strong as Manchester City’s or Chelsea’s, and that we will once again founder against the might of Bayern. That, in short, new players are needed, and in particular two talismanic figures must be bought: a Henreysque striker and a Vierra like midfielder. Costa or Cavani, Pogba or Gundogan should do the trick, for no leagues will be confidently won without them. It is a tempting dream, and one that has no doubt passed fleetingly across most of our minds, and perhaps too the minds of Stan, Ivan, and AW. And surely now is the time to make that dream a reality, continues that narrative. January is not a good time to buy may be the accepted wisdom, but a World Cup summer isn’t great either: not only may prices be inflated, but pre-season is affected too. There is definitely an argument to suggest that a positive start to the 2014/15 season would be best achieved by players who have been bedding in since February. We have the money, and not only should we spend it, we should borrow against our earnings for the rest of this giddy season and spend double: what a position we would be in with £120 Million’s worth of new players come the First of February, what a message that would send to the footballing world.
It certainly could be done, and it wouldn’t altogether surprise me if something like that were attempted. After all Ozil’s recent video on the official website is like a prospectus aimed at attracting top, top world players, and if anyone doubted Arsenal’s ambition, or the reason the move to the Emirates was made, they certainly should not be doubting it now. I would just point out though that it is always dangerous to think that only one thing is lacking, that if only we had player x or player y everything would be alright. We probably already have all we need to succeed given reasonable luck and reliable refereeing, and given the scarcity of players on the market who are better than the excellent ones we already have, I think it unlikely that any significant signings will be made. One thing I do know though is that Arsene Wenger knows exactly what he is trying to do, and that if he thinks anything is possible he will work harder than anyone to make it happen. But he will also remember that although Brutus was an honorable man, he misjudged things horribly and ended up falling on his own sword. Perhaps after all we must count the blessings we already have, enjoy what is in front of us, and stop wishing our life away. But then again, it’s good to dream…..