Saturday, December 3, 2022

This is what it sounds like

Having been so forthright yesterday about the departure of Samir Nasri to Manchester City, I expected The Sun and The Mail to be full of confirmation of the deal.

I think my eyes must be deceiving me because I cannot find it. I’m sure it’s there though. I mean, you hardly make a pronouncement like that one day and completely ignore it the next. The best The Sun can do is some outrage from Ian Wright who says enough is enough because a fan asked him what was going on. Yep, that would be the tipping point for me, being asked a question.

The Sun, having probably found the information on the answering machine of a dead baby, then tells us that ‘wantaway’ Cesc Fabregas, who wants away from the club, in case you didn’t know, has told teammates he’ll ‘never play for the Gunners again’. This is, of course, backed up with quotes, sources and comes from a reliable journalist who has no track record of talking absolute horseshit. Oh.

And yesterday had started so well too. There was all kinds of talk about Gervinho. If Cesc is wantaway can we refer to Gervinho, or any other potential signing, as Wannacome? So, Wannacome Gervinho arrived for his fifth or sixth medical, as far as I can make out, we’re obviously being very thorough. As of yet however, there are no official announcements, no photos him standing there smiling holding up the number 9 shirt, nothing.

As each minute passes without a transfer the very life and soul is being sucked out of Arsenal fans. As Ian Wright says in his column other teams mean business already, citing Liverpool’s signing of Jordan Henderson and the imminent, £15m+ arrival of Stewart Downing as evidence. I would respectfully suggest by simply not buying Downing we’re ahead of the Mugsmashers, but I guess I can see where he’s coming from.

*checks for Gervinho confirmation. None found. Life and soul meter – 58%*

Where was I? Oh yeah. Man City buying Nasri. That’s where we started. Looking for confirmation. Finding none. And then The Guardian tells us that United made a £20m bid a couple of weeks ago. Obviously that was rejected, or else Nasri would be a United player now, and Arsenal are believed to be holding out for £25m. You know the drill – Nasri, final year of contract, leave on free next summer, sell now and make some money or keep and try convince to stay blah blah blah blah blah.

Nasri is due back at the club today having been given a few extra days off for some reason. The situation is still very much up in the air and with the players leaving for the trip to Malaysia and China on Sunday I suspect the manager will be keen to sort things out as quickly as possible.

*checks for signing. None. Life and soul – 43%*

I would hope that now that the players are back, the manager isn’t sliding backwards off a yacht into the Med (he clearly took an ultra fast sea-skidoo back home or those pics were from some time ago), and the season approaches that ‘problems’, such as they are, get sorted and the mood lifts somewhat. At the moment things really aren’t pleasant. I know much of it is summer madness, and not the Kool and the Gang type.

The frustration that comes with seeing all our best players constantly linked with moves away and none of the players we want to be Wantaways going anywhere is palpable. Arsenal’s PR, famously found wanting in times past, doesn’t seem to have improved any at all. That said, as Tim points out in his latest column, if there’s nothing to say it’s probably best to say nothing (except he quotes some former Greek international or something).

*checks. no signing. life/soul – 21%*

All the same, there is a sense that we could improve on this. Would a reassuring word from the manager be too much (even if most people now take what he says about buying players with a barrow full of salt)? What about our friend Ivan? He always tells us what we want to hear. We don’t need the fine details, they don’t have to tell us anything that will compromise any deals, just something, anything, that makes us feel a tiny bit better.

Perhaps we might liken it to when people demand we have a captain like Tony Adams, demonstrative, shouty, leaderiffic, the epitome of captain, and instead we have the kind of captain who ‘does his talking on the pitch’. Which is fine. I’m cool with that. And maybe that’s the club philosophy now. We won’t talk about what we’re going to do, we’ll just do what we’re going to do and then stand back and go ‘See? Eh? EH?! Not bad, what? Wasn’t all that silence worth it?’, and we go ‘Yeah’, before lapsing into a post-traumatic stress coma.

Problem is that we haven’t done anything yet. Well, apart from Leeroy Jenkins and with all due respect to the young man it’s not the kind of signing that would moisten anyone’s gusset.

*checks. zilch. li/so – 8%*

Maybe, like Prince, I’m just too demanding. There are many out there like Prince’s mother, they’re never satisfied. And how can any institution, even one as august as Arsenal, compete against millions of Prince’s mothers? That’s a tough gig let me tell you.

But I hope that those who have the power, those who put up the prices by 6.5%, understand why there’s such sentiment out there and beyond those who take everything the club does personally, as if it were some kind of affront to them and them alone, it’s because we just want to see the team improved, ready and competitive for the new season.

Rounding up the news this morning – The Express says we’re serious about Valencia’s Juan Mata, which is heartening and restores some of my ever-dwindling life and soul. If our silence is to ensure we get deals like this done, then that kind of silence is golden. Unlike the silence over Ricky Alvarez which wasn’t effective silence at all, was it? Not that I’m crying over Micky Vasquez, or whatever his name is.

In The Mirror a story about Denilson interesting Villarreal. Sorry, Wantaway Denilson interesting Villarreal. I suspect there might actually be something to that if the information is new. If not it’s recycled from a good few weeks back.

And The Mail, having announced Man City’s signing of Nasri reveal we’re about to spunk £27m on Karim Benzema. That should keep Prince’s ma happy for a few hours, at least.

Have a good one.

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