Is it the game that’s funny, the fans or Arsenal’s cash flow?
I was chatting to someone during the game last night who made the point that in the 1960’s and ’70’s we hardly knew who was running the club beyond the Manager. Relatively little was really known about Bertie Mee, even, let alone the Assistant Manager, Physio, the Board, majority or minority shareholders. Attention was fixed on the players pretty much exclusively and, happily, on the wider stage, the ‘culture’ of the game was sufficiently slow and violent to exclude most referees from too much scrutiny. Probably helped that there was next to no football on tv compared to the modern game.
The idea that the ordinary, unbriefed fan might be making judgements about the cash flow of the club in that era would have been completely laughable.
As many are aware, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
But this has been one of the biggest gifts of the online age; it’s ability to throw up wave after wave of those willing to be exposed as having noticeably thin scraps of expertise loosely dressed up as ‘knowledge’ propagated on a platform with almost infinite reach. This indiscriminate dissemination of half-formed views is as efficient as the ability it offers the unwary to dash their own personal reputation on the rock of flimsy logic and foolish conjecture. Sharing their views, fleetingly presented as ‘the facts’ until the white horse of truth gallops in from the wings to save us all.
So, another very decent article from Trader Chris on PA yesterday highlighted that few habits are as potentially risky to one’s credibility as making wild and largely unsubstantiated claims about the club’s accounts whilst possessing next to no understanding of the mechanics of cash flow or the importance of budgeting.
Such people – and this probably applies to 99% of fans – really should just concentrate on the football.
Especially those at the back.
Talking of the football, a decent result last night against a magnificently supported German outfit, none of whose supporters, to my knowledge, appeared to be discussing depreciating assets or waving hi-end A4 “Klopp Out” banners. Someone tweeted me that this is linked to the price of their tickets although I don’t recall seeing similar scenes on the terraces in the lower and presumably cheaper echelons of the English league. But, we are told, the downward pressure on morale caused by having to pay for the ‘most expensive tickets in the game’ is now one of the keys to understanding the mindset of the typical Arsenal supporter.
To me, Arsenal’s German Quarter just looked like 3,000 fans taking pride in themselves as much as their team and they are a credit to their club, regardless of any debate on ticketing prices.
Give yourselves a hand …
For Arsenal, the result was pleasing both in the score and in the manner of the way a team that is still badly fractured by injury went about it’s business.
Some have heralded the significance of the return to form of Aaron Ramsey who has himself recently alluded to the fine-tuning going on at squad-level in training and on the pitch.
The loss to any side of players with the outstanding form of midfielder Aaron Ramsey alongside the injuries to key contributors in attack and defence such as Theo and Kos would have had huge consequences.
That the winner of our Champions’ League group is still in the balance not to mention our place in the English league, is little short of a miracle given the vital importance of these three players alone. Factor in the rest of the injuries and we can see that actually, although not all results have gone our way and in-game finishing and defending errors have clearly been made, what we have here could yet prove to be our strongest squad in many, many years.
That the three of Kos, Theo and Ramsey are about to be reunited is of huge significance both for the Premier League and our future progress in the Champions’ League.
Now if people were to stop wrestling with transfer budgets and get to grips with the realities of the season, they might just begin to appreciate all this.
Sadly, as evidenced last night at least, the joy of an Arsenal win is rarely as heartily celebrated on Twitter or the Blogosphere as are the setbacks, so in certain quarters I suspect the ‘expert’ focus of some may lie elsewhere, for now, at least.
Funny old things, fans.