Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Socks And Jocks

"Ive said it before, Only 1 person can take the blame for this circus at Arsenal and that is Mr Burns aka Wenger who was toothless in the transfer market in the summer. This is what you get for being so fcking tight, You only have yourself to blame Wenger."

- Attila, from the Gooner Forum.

I'm back in Istanbul, and I'm staying in the same hostel that I did when I first arrived. I'm even in the same room, and only two beds along from the one I slept in before. It's quite odd. They say you should never go back, and I'm starting to realise it applies to hostels as well. Everyone I knew from two weeks ago has left. The rooftop bar's been closed for winter. And the new people are, well, new. 

It's a shock to realise just how transient your experiences really are.

I suppose I should say something about the Villa game. I've been avoiding it because there isn't anything new to say. It's all pretty obvious. We played crap and deserved to lose. If we play like that again, we're not going to qualify for the Champions League next season. We need reinforcements in January because our current players aren't good enough. And if we don't get those players, Cesc Fabregas will leave at the end of the season.

It's all been said before, and I'm sick of saying it again.

I spent today exploring the streets between the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar. It's quite an interesting area. It's a maze of shops and malls and little side-alleys. You can buy virtually everything in there - baby turtles, Turkish Delight, cameras, power drills, designer clothes, weapons.... but I ended up just buying a bunch of socks and boxer shorts. It's tempting to buy something touristy, like a hand-woven carpet, but I've a limited budget and I'm running out of the essentials. I'm sick of wearing the same pair of underwear for days on end. 

And there's a lesson in that for Arsenal, maybe. It's exciting to consider the potential of our kids, and it's probably incredibly fun to try and unearth the next Zidane or Pele, but what we really need right now is a solid defensive midfielder and a gusty central defender. We've been shopping for the future for so long that we've run out of underwear. I know it's tempting to continue buying those baby turtles and 1 YTL lottery tickets, but we're hopelessly exposed at the moment, and we live in terror of our next de-pantsing. 

Time to buy some socks and jocks, Arsene. 

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