Saturday, December 3, 2022

Talking (and Tweeting) balls


Well, it’s Thursday and you have to think preparations for this weekend’s game against Stoke are well and truly underway on the training ground. With that in mind, those anxiously awaiting the arrival of Nuri Sahin, or indeed anyone else, might need to consider the fact that should anything go through it’s happening so late that their participation on Sunday would have to be in doubt.

A look at the Spanish dailies this morning tells us nothing new about the deal. It’s been ‘done’ and ‘official’ and ‘all agreed’ so many times that I think they’ve just given up. Let’s remember it was over four weeks ago when Marca quite confidently declared that ‘Sahin will play for Arsenal next season’, yet still the deal has not been completed. Jose Mourinho says he couldn’t care less where Sahin plays next season, suggesting interest from other Premier League clubs, but feels the player will learn a lot from English football.

And here’s the thing, as soon as the deal is 100% it will be announced. Until then, like any other transfer, there are snags, complications, and countless other things which can delay it or prevent it from happening at all. The frustration comes from the feeling that a potential new player is like a beautifully wrapped present, just out of reach, that we’re not allowed open. Many will say that Arsenal transfers are always slow, drawn out, tedious affairs, and there have been a couple which have dragged on for quite some time. No doubt about it.

But as far as I can make out the club’s policy hasn’t really changed, they’ve always said that once a transfer is complete it’ll be announced. Jumping the gun doesn’t make any sense for them at all (although long-time web watchers will remember Jerzy Dudek’s player profile appearing on the official website just before we bought Richard Wright!). What has changed is the amount of information available to us with regard to potential transfers.

We know all about social media and Twitter in particular. There are people who have genuine information and are good enough to share it, but I think it’s reasonable to suggest that they are few and far between. Then there are people who want people to think they have genuine information and make declarations which get people excited but which are phrased in such a way that the person in question can (most of the time anyway) explain away its inaccuracy by citing the vagaries of the transfer market. They’ll just move on to the next story and the law of averages says they’ll get something right sooner or later.

There are those who have a certain reputation because of their profession, for example, who find themselves the ‘victim’, and I use that word very loosely indeed, of those for whom spreading false information is all part of the game they’re playing. Agents, perhaps, will leak a bit of info through a journalist and it has more credibility because of that but might not really be true. It’s simply a tactic, the same way they leak information to newspapers about club’s supposed interest in players to raise that player’s profile. Established reporters have made confident declarations, for some reason or another, and been left with egg on their faces and Twitter accounts dormant in the wake of them.

Then you have those who simply invent things in order to gain followers. Are we really supposed to believe that a football agent, involved in sensitive deals worth anything from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of pounds, will take to Twitter to provide complete strangers with updates about said negotiations? Please. If your user name contains the word ‘agent’ or ‘ITK’ then I can’t be alone in hoping that your balls come into repeated contact with somebody’s steel-toed boot.

If you’re involved in high profile transfer talks between two clubs it’d be pretty easy for the clubs to find out which idiot is giving TEH INTERNETS details about how it’s going down. In which case said idiot would be removed from the deal at once. I think there’s a complete skewing of how people view money in football. We’ve become desensitised to it, to the point where people think a million here, ten million there, is just Monopoly money, that it’s not quite real. The reality is that football is business and any business that writes off millions of pounds on a whim or because of supporters emotions is being run by morons. And while there are plenty of dim people in football they mostly wear shorts and kick a ball.

This last group of people are like those who set up accounts pretending to be players. There’s something wrong with them. Seriously. They have an insatiable need for attention. Arsenal players have ‘suffered’ this plenty of times, the number of fake Twitter accounts is incredible. Maybe it’s not just an Arsenal thing, it’s something we notice because that’s where our focus is, but when people create accounts pretending to be the cousin or the brother of a player simply to give a fake update about their future then you have to worry about their mental health. Or wish for the balls/boot scenario as above.

When you add to all this the fact that Google translate has opened up the world of the foreign press to everyone – and don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing – as well as the voracious appetite for transfer news, it’s a heady mix which leads to misinformation, misunderstanding and frustration. And in the end Arsenal, who have said nothing about any potential deal, are accused of dragging their feet and not being serious about doing said transaction.

Perhaps there is some truth in that but I think a large part of that is because of how inward looking we are. It’s the same with injuries. I read somebody (on Facebook I think) giving out stink because of our ‘shit injury record’ when Koscielny and Ox missed the first game of the season. As if we’re the only club that suffers injuries. I know our record is sketchy but Manchester United went into their first game of the season with almost all their centre-halves out and had to play Michael Carrick there. We’re not alone. The same applies to transfers. If we feel we make things difficult then look at Sp*rs, they’ve had the Modric thing going on all summer and it’s taken them since May to sign Adebayor. We’re not unique.

In the end when a deal happens and a player is pictured wearing/holding/French kissing an Arsenal shirt then I’m happy. Until then it’s pretty much all talk and while there are people whose information has proved trustworthy and as such I follow, it’s incumbent on everyone else to filter out the crap and the nonsense from the people whose only interest is gaining followers for their fake accounts and for their lies. They might say it’s a social experiment of sorts, I say their balls need to meet my boot. And most of these people wouldn’t know a social experiment if they were strapped to a table and rectally probed by Mark Zuckerberg. So, until it’s done, relax, don’t stress, there’s nothing you or I can do about it anyway.

Right, we should start getting team news etc ahead of the Stoke game so we can turn our attention to the thing that really matters – TRANSFERS!

Dammit, I mean football. Till tomorrow.

PS – A quick update regarding the mailing list. If you’re a Hotmail or MSN user, you won’t be getting the email at the moment. This is entirely down to Hotmail. We’ve made some changes which we hope will fix things but if you don’t start receiving them in a couple of days, please direct your complaints to them.

If you’re a Gmail user and not receiving the email, log into the web interface, go into the ‘Spam’ folder, and if the Arseblog email is in there select it and mark it as ‘not Spam’, and from them on all will be good. Cheers.

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