Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Aren't Transfer Circuses Supposed To Be Fun?

I don't understand why people call the summer transfer season a "circus", as if it was a bad thing. Circuses are usually quite fun for the audience. You get to see acrobats and clowns, eat fairly floss, and clap delightedly as men in top hats whip lions in a cage. It's probably not that great for the animals involved, but from an audience point of view, a night at the circus can be quite entertaining.

Similarly, a transfer season is usually the nicest part of a football fan's year. You get to dream of all the great players your side will sign. On the downside, you worry about the players who are coming out of contract, but then you get to feel all that relief when they commit to a few more years to the club. For a couple of months, you can dream of success in the upcoming season. Sure, like a circus, it's all make-believe - when the transfer season ends and the clown wipes away his heavy makeup, you're left with a wrinkled old man with fluorescent hair who didn't sign anyone because it might kill his existing players - but it's still fun while it lasts.

So while in all probability, we're not going to sign a new 'keeper, we can still dream about signing Hugo Lloris or Andriy Pyatov(?). We can dream about the perfect defender / defensive midfielder who will offer strength, determination, presence, leadership, experience, youth, tactical discipline, aerial presence, a clean medical history and be an EU national to boot. We can dream about an Arsenal that we know we deserve, and for a couple of months, there's no one around to tell us anything different.

Hope springs eternal, you know.

Then there's the flip-side. And while it's a bit distressing to hear another "Cesc to Barca" story, you can always appreciate their creativity. Like this comment from Barcelona vice-president, Rafael Yuste, about Barcelona's interest in David Villa and Cesc Fabregas:

The thing I love about this comment is how Yuste simultaneously claims that Barcelona is honouring Arsenal's contract with Cesc ("it is very important to talk to his club") and yet admits that they're tapping Cesc up like crazy ("what makes it easier is that both players want to come to Barca"). It's breath-taking in its audacity, and it rivals anything that Dennis Lachter can come up with. Although, why Barcelona are so intent on Cesc this season is a bit puzzling.

Personally, I don't think it's the right time for Cesc to move to Barcelona. He's not going to push Xavi out of the side, and Guardiola's too pragmatic to go for Cesc - Xavi - Ineista in the midfield. He'd be an expensive super-sub, and frankly, that's a luxury that Barcelona can't afford. They've other positions to worry about (left back and left wing, for example). I'm sure Cesc is tempted by the thought of playing under Guardiola and with his mates from La Masia, but he's always been a sensible kid and the sensible thing is to wait for another couple of years and then join Barcelona when Xavi's starting to decline.

So on the 340th last day of my 20s, I went for a jog and then went to work, thought about resigning but decided to wait another week, went out for dinner with my family to celebrate Dad's 60th. My brother's got a toothache, and if he's in bad pain tomorrow I'll have to do it. Had a talk with my sister-in-law about the girl of my dreams - came to the conclusion I should suck it up and just ask her out. I mean, what's the worst that could happen, other than rejection, humiliation and massive emotional distress? And how would that be different from any other day of my life?

Listened to a bit of Indigo Girls in the car today. The CD buyer at the local library has similar tastes to me (indie folk-punk, 90s electro-rock-pop with a slice of mainstream hip hop), and she appears to be quite a fan of Indigo Girls. So I thought I'd give it a go. It's not bad, but I have the same problem with this band as I do with Ani DiFranco - I feel out-of-place listening to it with a penis.

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