Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Owl Has Landed

"Thank you, I am happy to be in Arsenal. It was my dream."

- Andrei Arshavin, twice voted Russia's "Owliest Player", and now a Gunner

Finally, we've signed Andrei Arshavin. 

It's been over a month since the transfer window opened. A lot of us expected to wrap Arshavin up in the first couple of weeks, and then move on to the next target, and then the next. A creative midfielder was needed, but of greater importance was an experienced defensive midfielder; and a central defender; and a new goalkeeper. Actually, a creative midfielder probably wasn't that high on most people's wish-list. However, in these dire times, any buy's a good buy. 

But in January, we waited. 

I remember walking around Barcelona at the time, trying to liken Arsenal's impeding shopping spree with my own. I needed a new coat; and a new sweater; possibly even a scarf. And anything else that would keep the cold out. In my mind, I envisaged dumping my existing clothes en masse at the Oxfam shop and then stocking up on a whole new set. 

But just as Arsenal dithered over the transfer fee for Arshavin, I dithered over my shopping spree. Everything is so damn expensive in Spain that even the 50% discounts were above my intended price range. I hesitated at clothes that would've kept me toasty, just because the price meant I'd be eating nothing but bread for a week. 

And I kept an eye out on the Arshavin deal. As the transfer window dwindled down, I started getting really pissed off that Arshavin wasn't signed. Zenit were holding out for an extra £2.5 million, and we weren't budging. It didn't make sense to risk losing Arshavin because of such a small figure (it's less than the gate receipts for a home game). 

Finally, the evening before I flew out, during the last few days of the post-Jan sales, I spied a coat, reduced from 99€ to 20€. And I'm reasonably happy with it. It's warm enough to fend off pneumonia, without ever giving me the comfort of being hot. And it's still a bit odd wearing something that doesn't stink of sweat, but I'll get used to it.

There's a moral in there somewhere. I think it's called opportunity-cost. I spent four weeks wandering around Barcelona and Madrid shopping for clothes and freezing my arse off, just to save 50€. And Arsenal spent four weeks dithering over Arshavin just to save £2.5 million. Both of us could've just paid that little bit more and used the time for other pursuits, but neither of us did. 

All to save a couple of fucking bob. 


Anonymous said...

Just hoping you are well and not too cold. It will be 45 degrees tomorrow in Melbourne.

See you in a fortnight.

Your brother.

Connolly's agent said...

Hey Darren, I'm fine. It was snowing today.