Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lies, damned lies and Wengerisms

"I would spend £30m on one player, but I have the quality."

- Arsene Wenger, with the depth-perception of a cyclops.

Like Wenger, there are a few things I'd do, if only I wanted to:
  • I would bend iron bars with the power of my mind, but I like them straight.
  • I would wear brightly-coloured tights and fight crime, but I get sleepy at night.
  • I would find a solution to the impeding Energy War that's going to be fought between Russia, America, the EU and China, but I'm too pre-occupied with Arsenal's lack of depth and with Australia's chances at the Olympics.
In short, there are a lot of things I would do, if only I could.

Wenger can't spend that 30 million pounds. He might have that quality hiding in the reserves, and he might be able to spot an equivalent player for 5 million pounds, but he can't spend that kind of money on one player. Wenger has NEVER spent that much, and he's not about to start.

What Wenger can and should do, though, is to stop lying about it.

Gooners don't care that we don't have the funds. We really don't. We're actually proud that we're punching above our weight. What we can't stand is when we're lied too. It's like telling your eighteen-year-old kid that you could've bought him a Bugatti, but you felt that giving him a battered Datsun was better. Your kid ends up pissed off about the Bugatti when he should be ecstatic about getting a car.

Anyway, here's Wenger counting our Datsuns:

I have [Robin] Van Persie, [Emmanuel] Adebayor, [Nicklas] Bendtner – who I have been patiently building up to be at the level I want him to be. I have Carlos Vela, Eduardo Da Silva."

And here's Wenger telling us why we can't buy a Bugatti:

"I am able to make signings at very high prices but you have to have the cohesion in the way you buy. Man United is in the bracket of £20m-£30m, Chelsea is in the unlimited bracket. We have to be in our bracket, we have to be very shrewd. I have the money available to buy the players but we go into the competition with the target of balancing the budget, which I think every manager should do."

Thing is, I agree with Wenger. I don't want us plunging into debt at such a precipitous moment. We're chugging along nicely in 3rd or 4th, and there's no need to tempt fate. If we delve into the transfer facility, we're not just playing with one or two season's worth of success; we're playing with a 100 years of financial stability. We don't do that. We are Arsenal, we are the Bank of England club.

But I really wish Wenger would treat us with respect.

There's a test given to toddlers measuring EQ (emotional intelligence). You give the kid a lolly and tell them that if they don't eat it while you're out of the room, you'll give them a lot more. Then you step out of the room and watch Arsenal. After cursing the day Adebayor was born, you walk back into the room and see if the kid's been able to withstand temptation.

I think most of us realise that good things will happen if we stay the course. We're not emotional-stunted toddlers who have to eat every tasty thing in their paws. We're not Chelsea supporters. We're gooners. We know that we're going through a bit of pain now to ensure our club will be awesome in the future.

And we'll endure it because we love the club. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love will wait forever and a day because nothing else matters.

P.S. This isn't to say that we don't need an experienced midfielder. Shit, we need one like a mad dog needs a bullet in the head on a lazy Alabama afternoon.

9 comments:

fran said...

hey, if we don't buy a dm at the very least save that bullet for me. if we've got 30 mil to spend without damaging our financial condition we should spend half of it to strengthen. inler, annan and hayden would cost in total no more than around 15? if these types of players are out there at these prices we should go with it, we need strength in depth. and a comprehensive analysis of cost should include the downside of a prolonged barren spell with the attendant consequences on player recruitment and club finances. that said, i think we'll be ok this year, top four shouldn't be an issue, and though a squad can always be strengthened it is vital that our finances always be sound to ensure that we stick around for a good long time.

fran said...

hey, if we don't buy a dm at the very least save that bullet for me. if we've got 30 mil to spend without damaging our financial condition we should spend half of it to strengthen. inler, annan and hayden would cost in total no more than around 15? if these types of players are out there at these prices we should go with it, we need strength in depth. and a comprehensive analysis of cost should include the downside of a prolonged barren spell with the attendant consequences on player recruitment and club finances. that said, i think we'll be ok this year, top four shouldn't be an issue, and though a squad can always be strengthened it is vital that our finances always be sound to ensure that we stick around for a good long time.

Darren said...

1.) Toddlers aren't stunted. You're suppose to be immature when you are two.
2.) I don't think the mad dog needed the bullet.
3.) Why do the literary references need to be so cute?

Darren said...

1.) Toddlers aren't stunted. You're suppose to be immature when you are two.
2.) I don't think the mad dog needed the bullet.
3.) Why do the literary references need to be so cute?

Connolly's agent said...

I don't doubt we're okay for a Top 4 place. And I don't doubt we're going to buy another midfielder. What I do doubt is us spending +15million on one player. From what we've seen over the years, it looks like 10-12 is the maximum. There are good players in that range, and Wenger's shown that he can spot great players in that bracket.

I'm just sick of the lies. It's okay if we can't compete with Chelski and Utd. Just don't try and deny it.

Connolly's agent said...

Because, Darren, I'm a cute person. To Kill A Mockingbird was staring at me on the shelf when I was typing, and I remembered that last paragraph, when Scout's on Boo's verandah and she sees things from his point of view. Loved that paragraph. And I've always considered Arsene Wenger to be the footballing equivalent of Atticus Finch; and it's reassuring to know everything's in the hands of someone who's smarter, more skillful and more decent than you'll ever be. Anyway, Wenger's got a bunch of homespun philosophies that are every bit as cute as Atticus'.

fran said...

to clarify, i meant 15 mil total for all three players together: inler, annan, hayden. agreed, it is way out of character for wenger to splash more than 12 on one player alone. though, i have read that years ago while at everton he bid 20 for rooney and i have a sneaky suspicion that he bid the same for aguero a few weeks ago(the mystery english bid).

a balanced budget is sacrosanct and one cannot live beyond one's means ultimately, but given the current state of the squad a 30 mil surplus that wenger says he has would be burning a huge hole in my pocket.

all eyes on denilson. exactly how well does he work with cesc and do his performances warrant a starting berth in midfield for the campaign? the answer to this question spells in part i believe our reticence in the tranfer market. perhaps the other part is wenger angling to drive down xabi's price to our preferred price range.

fran said...

great blog, but you already know that.

Connolly's agent said...

Sorry, I misread your comment. 15 million for the three is doable, and certainly players like Annan and Inler are affordable.

Do you think we're that tight that we'll delay a transfer and have a cup-tied player? It's depressing if we are. And yeah, I really hope Denilson lives up to his potential. Whoever we buy, we'll need him over the course of the season.

And thanks, especially for commenting. It's nice having someone to chat to.