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A Bird In The Hand

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There’s a priceless piece of dialogue from the pen of the wonderful David Nobbs on a subject which has, just this morning, provided the sand in my emotional Vaseline. His character, known to us only by his initials CJ, is expounding upon the theme of trite, stereotyped phraseology of the kind employed by lazy minds to express popular or common thoughts and ideas. Phrases entirely lacking in originality, ingenuity, and, thanks to their chronic overexposure, expressions which are so devoid of impact as to be utterly pointless.

The speech went something like this:

“Mrs C.J. and I have always avoided clichés like the plague. A cliché to me is like a red rag to a bull. However, it’s the exception that proves the rule, as they say, and there is one cliché that fits my situation like a glove: Necessity is the mother of intention.”

All writers slide into cliché, even humble part time amateur bloggers such as myself are no exception. The trick isn’t never to fall foul of the hackneyed phrase, it is rather to do one’s darnedest to avoid it wherever one can. Where the use of cliché is utterly beyond the pale isn’t when it is used as seasoning in an otherwise ordinary piece of prose. It seems to me to achieve its nadir of useless, shallow emptiness when employed as the central thrust of somebody’s argument.

Today, like birdsong, flowers and late sunsets, that hardy annual of the Transfer window has arrived right on cue to ruffle my feathers and send me running for the Anderson Shelter. Today for the first time this summer, I read the expression ‘to show intent’ in regard to the buying of players to augment our squad.

Arsène (or Wenger as he is invariably and rudely referred to by his own supporters. Or at least people who claim to support the club and therefore ought to be his supporters) needs to spend a lot of money or buy a lot of players or less players but players of the highest calibre because then he will be showing intent.

Now I’m no saint. Like you, I suspect, I’ve typed more than a few shallow, ill conceived lines and bunged them up on the internet in a thoughtless moment. So I don’t condemn everyone who uses this ridiculous phrase. Maybe they intended something else and didn’t get up today with the single intention of driving a splintered length of four by two up my backside.

But come on. Expend upon it the briefest moment of thought and really, what on earth is it supposed to mean? Transfers are complex and difficult to conclude. Expensive, drawn out and fraught with any number of complexities, of which you and I can know very little. What we can know with great certainty is that they serve one of two very simple purposes. To replace players who have left the club and to improve upon those already in the squad. That’s it. You do not engage the services of a highly paid professional footballer to send out a message of intent.

Arsène Wenger’s intentions are crystal clear. He wants to win as many games and competitions as he can. There is no doubt about this, it isn’t up for debate. Were he to buy someone simply to convey some sort of message, I ask you, who would this message be for? His rivals? The media? The fans?

His rivals already know he is serious about his job, if they don’t they’re idiots and need to look for alternative employment. The media have their own agenda and will stick slavishly to it regardless of what he does or doesn’t do. As a fan I don’t want him to spend a fortune of the club’s hard earned just to send me a message. That would be ridiculous.

So please do not repeat this awful phrase. Arsène doesn’t need to show anyone ‘intent’. His intentions are not and have never been in question. Why not watch the remaining matches of the European championships, then when they’re over have a little rest from football. Leave the professionals to do their jobs and buy the players they are able to buy and when the new season starts just try to enjoy it regardless of who did and didn’t sign in  this wretched window.

Oh, and leave the clichés to those without your wit and imagination. You know you can do better.

 

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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122 comments on “A Bird In The Hand

  1. He got a standing ovation Eddy, wtf are you watching?

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  2. Tim Stillman ‏@Stillberto 15m15 minutes ago
    The key difference between #Eng and #Fra is the sink fittings. All the French players buy their parents modest bathroom furniture.

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  3. george, i was saying the crowed booed the decision to take him off,

    after he scored his second goal, giroud did his hands to his ears gesture towards the crowd, he done the same in a pre-tournament game that he scored in after he had been booed by the crowd in.

    it really shows how fickle fans are, a player that only a couple of weeks ago they were booing and chanting benzema’s name at, now gets a standing ovation and the decsion to take him off is booed. The french fans must all be arsenal fans, as it is like something many of them would do.

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  4. Get French Football ‏@GFFN 4m4 minutes ago
    Olivier Giroud’s last 9 starts for France: 10 goals.

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  5. France just spursed it up in a kind of a way 5-2

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Double Exit ‏@double_canister 4m4 minutes ago
    France with no Giroud is like Happy Days without the Fonze.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. semi finals

    Portugal v Wales
    Germany v France

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  8. Giroud missed the chance for a hat-trick, but I guess they needed to save him for the semi-final

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  9. likely missing KOS.

    SO WALES V FRANCE FINAL

    1, FRANCE. 2. WALES. 3. GERMANY. 4. PORTUGAL

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  10. UEFA EURO 2016 ‏@UEFAEURO 49m49 minutes ago Ile-de-France, France
    France have never lost when Olivier Giroud has scored for Les Bleus (W11, D4). #FRA #EURO2016

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  11. FourFourTweet ‏@FourFourTweet 2h2 hours ago
    Liverpool have signed every Southampton player to score at Anfield since their promotion in 2012.

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  12. What a good week for Arsenal fans in the Euros;

    Both semi finals with an Arsenal interest, albeit Aaron wont be an active participant against the Portuguese. I hope the Welsh manage it and I reckon they will be disappointed if they don’t reach the final.

    The Germany v France game a great game in prospect from the two sides who have tried to play the most football over the past three weeks. Both sides packed with quality all over the park.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ro-sický ‏@Brosicky7 21h21 hours ago
    He’s Japanese so you doubt his quality?
    I know you wanted Vardy but you don’t need to be him.

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  14. the first of the arsenal senior squad are back in training today.

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  15. Paul Anderson ‏@PaulAndo1987 16h16 hours ago
    Ryan Giggs making out he’s Mr Wales. Remember when he used to feign injury and pull out of squads on Ferguson’s demand

    64 apps in 16 years

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  16. Stefan O’Connor played for MVV Maastricht on Saturday in their 10-0 friendly win

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  17. so Portugal’s Renato Sanches might actually be 23, and not the 18 he claims to be.

    http://www.balls.ie/football/renato-sanches-centre-bizarre-controversy-portugal-age/338702

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  18. New post is up thanks to Eddy

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  19. Blaise Matuidi is reported to be in england to tie up a transfer, as he is a Raiola player, its likely its to man utd

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