122 Comments

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

bass guitar, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

122 comments on “A Bird In The Hand

  1. Draxler makes it 2-2

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  2. For fucks sake – 2-2,

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  3. bonucci penalty saved

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  4. bastian sweinsteiger thinks he is at twickenham

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  5. italy 3-2 in sudden death

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  6. hummells scores, it was a much better penalty than i thought it would be

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  7. kimmick with a fine penalty in only his 4th game for germany

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  8. this guy looks nervous

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  9. in off the bar, 6-5 italy

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  10. Boateng scores with a good penalty

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  11. Never in doubt

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  12. Hector the hero, germany win 6-5

    some of the worst penalties i’ve ever seen form either germany or italy

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  13. 40 years since Germany lost a penalty shootout

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  14. only 11 out of 18 penalties scored

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  15. Oh my goodness, that was tense – I really thought Italy would hold their nerve during the shoot out, but I’m pleased for Mesut that he is still in it.

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  16. remember when lvg was a genius for bringing on a keeper for a penalty shootout that holland went on to win, so what does that make conte who brought on zaza, who missed in the shootout and italy lost

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  17. “only 11 out of 18 penalties scored”

    Just goes to show how tough it is. I can’t even bear to watch never mind about how hard it must be to participate in it!

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  18. if france win tomorrow AFC will have players in 3 of the 4 semi final squad, Giroud, Koscielny, Ramsey and Ozil, meaning all four players would likely not return to AFC training till Monday August 8th, the day after our last pre-season game (v Man City), so we are very likely to not have any of the four in our starting 11 for our opening BPL game v Liverpool

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  19. How awful eddy – what a nightmare

    Lucky we have a decent squad

    Liked by 2 people

  20. anicol, even the best squad in the world would miss four players of that caliber, all normally first choice, and we have seen in the past that missing pre-season can have an adverse effect on the form of the players. And at this time we don’t know how long Alexis is out for either.

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  21. Woody ‏@woodysirish 14m14 minutes ago
    Sign a striker? Seriously?
    Just watched a Germany v Italy game, with Gomez and Pelle up front ffs

    Liked by 2 people

  22. If that does prove to be the case and in five to six weeks the players cannot rest sufficiently to play against Liverpool (?) then at least it gives the players who ready to step in ample warning.

    We certainly don’t want another West Ham

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  23. Defence and midfield can definitely cope, Giroud will be the biggest miss depending on our summer spending. With Ox and Danny also out it leaves us short of width as well. Maybe relying on Serge and Theo to find past form or using some of the youth lads who have done so well last year.

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  24. So it’s confirmed. Arteta will do his badges at City promising them his future and then soon enough he’ll scarper and be back at the Arsenal. I hope.

    Certainly the signing is a bit if a coup for Young Pep who’s going to need someone more familiar with the PL, the opponents etc. to hold his hand for a while at least.

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  25. If it were to prove impossible for Olivier to have a rest then I guess Theo would be up front against the Scousers, assuming he is still with us. I also wonder whether playing Alexis as a central striker would work. He would give Sakho Loveren a bad afternoon IMO.

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  26. ARSENAL AGREE DEAL FOR JAPAN FORWARD

    Arsenal have agreed a deal in principle to sign young Japanese forward Takuma Asano from Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
    Picture special: Takuma Asano
    The transfer of the 21-year-old Japan international is subject to the completion of a medical and regulatory processes.
    Takuma is a talented young striker and very much one for the future
    Arsène Wenger
    A number of clubs were after Takuma’s signature and Arsène Wenger said: “Takuma is a talented young striker and very much one for the future. He has had an impressive start to his career in Japan and we look forward to him developing over the next couple of years.”
    Making his full debut for the Japan national team in August 2015, Takuma has made five appearances for his country and is expected to be a part of their squad for the Rio Olympics in August.
    Takuma signed for Sanfrecce Hiroshima as an 18-year-old in January 2013 and enjoyed great success with the J-League side, making 56 appearances and scoring 11 goals.
    During this time, Takuma won the J1 League in 2013 and 2015, the Japanese Super Cup in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and was voted as the J-League ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2015.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160702/arsenal-agree-deal-for-japan-forward#x3PrjGZQrmm6XtQO.99

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  27. James@AFCboss
    Moan about Wenger not signing unknowns like Mahrez then moan about signing someone they don’t know, Arsenal fans really are something else

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  28. Spanish Gooner ‏@ElSpanishGooner 11m11 minutes ago
    People moan when we don’t try getting unknown players, and then moan when we do. It’s called one thing. Agenda.

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  29. some reports suggest that Asano is the first signing for AFC on the say so of new scout Ben Wigglesworth, who we pinched from LCFC mid season, he is credited with scouting Mahrez and Kante for LCFC.

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  30. seeing the reaction of so many Arsenal fans to the signing of Asano, its clear, as pointed out on here yesterday by someone, that now the transfer window, is viewed by too many fans, as a competition all of its own, and it judged on big names, and big fees, no time to wait and actually judge the player after we see him in our club shirt ten or twenty or thirty or more times. Its where a guy called Zlatan, who failed to register a shot at goal, during 3 Euro games is deemed a massive success, while a guy named Takuma who recently won young player of the year in his country and is expected to spearhead his nations olympic bid in a couple of months time, is deemed a massive failure.
    Well excuse me if I wait till I see how either does for their new clubs.

    I would also say that anyone who passes this signing off as only for shirt sales or commercial reasons, has absolutely no idea how either shirt sales or commercial deals work, and what they bring in. The lad would have to be a massive success just for us to get back a fraction of the cost of the deal.

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  31. I wonder did man city fans go into meltdown when they signed 25 yearl old Australia international midfielder Aaron Mooy from City’s sister club Melbourne City

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  32. Supree ‏@LadyGooner8 20m20 minutes ago
    I’m pretty sure Shinji Kagawa was a world famous name when playing in the Japanese 2nd division when Klopp signed him lol

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  33. Young Takuma is built like a tank. Welcome.

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  34. G’wan Oli G!

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  35. did a lamp post score again for France

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  36. the Iceland fairy tale is on the rocks 2-0

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  37. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 44s45 seconds ago
    Giroud has now scored 19 goals for #FRA, taking him above Raymond Kopa and just one short of Eric Cantona. #afc

    Liked by 1 person

  38. 3-0 to france coming up to half time

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  39. 4-0 now, very calm finish by griezmann

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  40. not sure if giroud flicked it on or dummied it for that 4th goal

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  41. Spanish Gooner ‏@ElSpanishGooner 6m6 minutes ago
    Giroud on a mad one today. Goal, assist and pre assist so far.

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  42. Richard Keys ‏@richardajkeys 13m13 minutes ago
    Hearing that Utd think they’ve got Pogba. He wanted Barca. Real can’t afford him – 100m + 250 grand a week. Watch this space #beINSports

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  43. Well I didn’t expect that! It really makes England’s limp defeat against Iceland look even worse. Might there be a risk that France have peaked too soon given the opposition to come?

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  44. the comeback is on 4-1

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  45. Giroud with a towering header, from a freekick he won

    giroud letting the french fans know what he thinks about their booing of him

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Giroud subbed off, and the crowd boo

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