Let me start by saying I am not a Wenger apologist nor am I calling for anyone’s head at Arsenal. I am what I like to call a positive realist and those who know me would probably agree, or at least with the positive part.
The reason I think I am a realist is because I don’t think everything at the club is all sunshine and rainbows, nor do I “excuse” the club for their “ineptitude” or “acceptance of mediocrity”.
I don’t point it out either and that for some is as bad as excusing it. The reason I don’t excuse or accept it is simply because I do not know the truth. The vast majority, and I’m talking 99%+, of Arsenal supporters do not know for sure exactly what they attack or protect the club for.
For example, Juan Mata, did we miss out because Wenger is tight or was it an astronomical signing on fee that we couldn’t afford at the time? What actual proof is their either way? What physical evidence?
Higuain, did we miss out because Wenger is a ditherer or because we believed we had an actual shot of securing a superior player? We don’t know.
Getting angry over your perception of a situation is exactly what caused my negative period. Look through my old blogs, the early stuff, you’ll see plenty of criticism against the club and manager, most of it based on nothing.
The only criticism I have levied against the club/manager that had “proof” was my blog about paying The Ox a big salary too early. And even then, that was written in a “if reports are true” kind of way.
If people want to get angry and say “if it’s true the club did this then….” that’s fine but don’t burst an artery working yourself up over unsubstantiated reports just because that is what everyone on twitter is talking about.
The thing most people are annoyed about this summer is transfers and yesterday’s announcement of Flamini’s re-signing only caused to divide the house further.
I still plan to give my opinion on the summer as a whole when September 3rd rolls around as I have said I will do all summer but here’s a little view on Flamini.
Signing Mathieu is a good thing regardless of who else we buy. The talent of a player is not determined by the players bought in the same window but by their own ability and how they fit in to the existing squad of players.
If we do not make significant purchases before the window closes then on the whole we have had an extremely poor summer (which I will elucidate further on when the window has closed). However that should not reflect poorly on Flamini or Sanogo who have been signed on their own merit and not the merit of players we may or may not buy before Monday’s deadline.
Some have said to me that there would be less anger if we had made other signings first. I agree with that but also think it is misguided anger. Just because Wenger said it takes three agreements doesn’t mean it’s wrong (I know many refuse to be swayed by anything the man says regardless of how true it is). You need the selling clubs agreement, the player and the price.
Free agents are easier to sign because there is only one agreement, the contract. Imagine if Wenger said “I want to sign Flamini again but I want to wait until I have paid for some players” but those players don’t sign in time for the NLD and we lose because we don’t have a DM.
People would lose their shit. The world would drown in a wave of contradictory bullshit as Gooners the world over screamed in the clubs direction for not signing Flamini sooner.
“He was available on a free FFS you clueless, incompetent wankers!”.
Contradiction is one of my biggest pet hates. It’s up there with needless stupidity and the two are combined far too often when it comes to Arsenal.
I’ve seen hundreds of tweets flow through my TL on twitter for the past 6 weeks about depth and the need to sign more players for the squad as well as players for the starting eleven. When I challenged some of these tweets by posing the question “Would you rather we tried until the last minute to sign better players or do you just want numbers?” the overwhelming majority of responses, to my surprise, was “We are thin, we need a bigger squad”.
I like to clarify before I judge so I asked these people if they cared who the players were and most said “I don’t care what their name is, we just need numbers”.
Most of those people complained like hell on twitter yesterday when we signed Flamini. They complained because he didn’t cost anything and because he wasn’t the player they wanted the club to sign.
I had someone tell me that “One free signing is okay but when they’re all free it isn’t good”. I asked them if price correlated with ability and that by that logic if we signed Ronaldo and Messi on free transfers tomorrow that one of them would be a bad signing. Their reply was to compare Sanogo and Flamini to Ronaldo and Messi. Weak.
The logic and reasoning one chooses to use is the same regardless of the players involved. It could have been Cabaye and Tiote and if anyone thinks that either of those players is better for Arsenal than Flamini then they clearly didn’t watch Flamini in 2007/08. Wenger believes that he is the same player who left and seriously, who are we to argue? He saw the guy in training everyday.
I’m sure people would have been happy if Flamini cost £15m. Sol Campbell didn’t cost a penny and he was one of our best ever players under Wenger.
Some will say the comparison is unfair but what Sol did is exactly what Flamini is going to do but from the other side of the mirror. Both came to make up numbers. Sol became first choice and thus made other players the backup players. Flamini is mostly here to back up Arteta. It would be preferable to buy better players and allow what we have to become the backup but in the absence of better players, and lets face it, it’s hard to find someone significantly better for our set up than Arteta, you go for similar quality to become the back up.
I’m glad we got Flamini on a free because that’s £17-20m saved on Cabaye that we will hopefully use to sign someone else.
The window isn’t over yet and there is a lot we probably could have done better, although without knowing exactly what happened for sure I am just saying this as a personal interpretation but one thing is for sure and that is, re-signing Flamini was a good thing regardless of who we sign or don’t sign next.
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