Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Transfer window favourites

Transfer window is in full effect. Nothing’s happened yet from an Arsenal perspective, but we took some time this week to ask people what their favourite thing about this so-called ‘silly season’ actually is.

Steve (34), Brixton

Personally, in my own opinion, I have to say, for me at least, I’m a big fan of the stories that emerge about a player that Arsenal are interested in, but then all of a sudden lots of other clubs are interested in that player despite the fact they hadn’t been mentioned previously.

There I am, minding my own business, fantasising about what this guy is going to do in a red and white shirt (hate the collar though, what’s that about?), then I check Twitter and @RandomBigClubStuff or @MegaRichClubXtra are reporting that they’re set to hijack the deal and that the player has always dreamed of playing for them.

Why don’t they just invent a machine that can enter my dreams and ruin them too? Bastards. I can’t get a minute’s peace.

Corey (41), Cincinatti

There are so many, but nothing tops the rumour about a player that would be great for us but whose signing is completely unrealistic and in whom we’re probably not interested. Well, we would be interested if it was realistic but it’s not so we aren’t, but so many people start talking about it there’s almost like a collective mind-melt where they somehow speak it out loud so often that people become convinced it’s real and basically done and dusted.

It’s not real. It can’t possibly be real. And then we don’t sign the player or the player signs for someone else and then everyone goes mental.

Love that.

Sheena (27), London

I like it when fans of some other club become convinced they’re going to sign an Arsenal player who they have no chance of signing. They talk themselves into the idea it could happen, making up all kinds of weird reasons as to why the player would want to come to them.

“We’re on the up and up having finished 15th last season but with an xG versus xTC divided by xPP that is 1.3% better than the previous year!”

“We won the Milk Cup semi-final against Arsenal in 1986 and the streets don’t forget!”

“London is overrated and full of weird types who go to the theatre and stuff. He’d love it in this provincial backwater town where we have some of the best town-centre paving anyone has ever seen.”

Then, when it doesn’t happen, they act like they didn’t want them in the first place and convince themselves the player they signed instead is much better, even though we all know he’s not.

Chris (29), Herts

I am a fan of the language of transfers. Is there anything better than visualising a football club literally ‘swooping’ over another football club to ‘snatch’ a ‘highly rated starlet’?

In this time of conflict, isn’t it wonderful to read of deals being ‘hijacked’ via the power of a ‘war chest’, or for there to be a ‘tug of war’ between two clubs over the future of a ‘want-away’ star from some other?

Clubs can have a player ‘on their radar’ as they look to ramp up their ‘spending spree’ but it’s not about what you shell out, it’s all about ‘net spend’, remember?

The vagueness of the ITKs, using words like ‘weighing up’, ‘sounding out’, ‘monitoring’ and ‘considering’ as they vomit rumours into the ether.

The magical lexicon of football transfers really is something to behold. The window never ‘bursts open’ for some reason, but it will ‘slam shut’ on deadline day.

Here we go!

Francois (39), Toulouse

I have to say that for me it’s the ranking of journalists that I enjoy the most. Who is the most accurate? Whose information is consistently good? Whose is regularly off the mark? How much have they got right?

I think it’s only right that we put them in some kind of class-based hierarchy based on previous performance in an industry which is notoriously unstable and in which things can change in the blink of an eye. Placing those reporters into a tier-based system is surely the first step towards the inevitable genesis of the transfer market / reality TV crossover we’re all waiting for.

Every week a football hack faces a close rival in series of challenges, each more difficult than the last, until there is only one man or woman left standing. Ultimately, I think this will develop over time into a literal fight to to death, a sort of football transfer Hunger Games/Running Man style show, and the ratings would be incredible as it’s streamed live on social media platforms sponsored by an investment fund owned by a nation state with a terrible human rights record but by this point sportswashing will be so prevalent even your toothpaste will be a product they own and Premier League footballers will do press conferences where they say ‘Yes, it’s unfortunate that they annihilated another country last week … but at the end of the day we all have teeth.’

Who wouldn’t watch that? Over to you, Netflixamon Prime+.

Thanks to our contributors. Till tomorrow.

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