So, welcome to week
two of the silly season diaries. After getting caught up a bit in the
excitement/madness myself for a couple of weeks or so, I’m now feeling rather
detached from the whole transfer speculation shenanigans.
It feels like I’m having some kind of out of body experience
when on Twitter at the moment. I can see everything that’s going on, but it’s as though I’m not actually in
the virtual room. I feel that’s the best way to be with it all really, as most of what’s “going
on” isn’t actually going on anyway.
I was trying to think of what this time of year was like
before the internet took over our lives, and the only feeling I can remember is
the emptiness of knowing there would be no Arsenal for a couple of months, and
I don’t think even that lasted too long, as we found other things to keep us
occupied like, you know, life and stuff. The only thing we had then were the
rumours in the tabloids, but we all knew they couldn’t be trusted then – “Ah,
you can’t believe anything you read in the papers” we would say, which makes it
even stranger that people will even entertain this crap now. It’s the same
crap, just in digital form. We never did sign Kerry Dixon in the end either…..
Nowadays, we fill this period, where there is so little actually
happening, refreshing Twitter, scouring the internet and finding as many
gossip columns you can to find the smallest hint of a hint of a hint of a
rumour to cling onto, while deep down knowing that none of these people really
have the slightest idea of what is going to happen. Not that knowing this stops
you, of course. You still torture yourself, can’t bring yourself to stop
checking your timeline, just in case. Or, worse than that, there are the people
that fill this time making stuff up to prey on our fragile state of mind. I
never thought of myself as having masochistic tendencies, but I’m now only
following some people on Twitter just to observe their behaviour.
Could be worse though, imagine if this happened……
Staying with South
Park, there is an episode where it turns out that Earth is just one big reality
TV show created by aliens. Looking at behaviour during the transfer window,
this could quite easily be true. You can imagine some extra-terrestrial super
being sitting there saying “Let’s spice this up a bit and throw in something
called a transfer window, and see which one of these suckers has a mental
It could be titled
“Big Bollocks” or “I’m an ITK, Get Me Out of Here….”
Don’t do it to yourselves people! Trust me, no signings will be done in such secret
that you won’t hear about it, the club will let us all know, I promise.
Take anything else you hear with a pinch of salt until you
see it confirmed on the official website. Look what happens when someone gets
wind of something and the word spreads – you could end up looking like this……
Try staying away from the internet for a couple of weeks if
you can, I guarantee if we sign someone you will still find out, you won’t turn
up for the first game of the season and say “Who the fuck is that up front
today?” Probably because it will still be Olivier Giroud anyway. Ha!
“Dad! Are we
nearly there yet?”
It’s a kind of limbo period now, where the first few weeks
of excitement over alleged transfer targets and hopes of “marquee” signings –
“Retweet for Stevan Jovetic, favourite for Gonzalo Higuain” – are slowly being
replaced with thoughts of “Hmm, I think we may sign two or three players, but
not necessarily big names.” Or in some cases “Spend some money – NOW!”
This is the limbo between the end of the football season and
the holiday season. The holiday season being when you (hopefully) realise there
is more to life than football, transfers and everything that goes with them,
and relax by a pool somewhere.
Isn’t it annoying how long this drags on for, only for the
nine months of the football season to fly by in no time at all? When it seems
like five minutes between saying you couldn’t care less who wins the Community
Shield and January, when you’re saying you couldn’t care less who wins the
It reminds me a bit of going on holiday down the coast as a
kid, the car journey there seemingly taking a couple of days (not like I Spy
lasts very long in a car is it?) and the journey back seemingly taking five
minutes. It’s only now I have kids that I realise how long that journey seemed
to my Dad. The analogy applies there too, him being a Tottenham Hotspur fan and
all that. Imagine that long journey when all you have at the end of it is
watching everybody else enjoying themselves…
“I spy with
my little eye, something beginning with ‘C’…”
Right, so moving on to something that actually DID happen
this week then…..
If the weeks without football can be compared to the car
journey down to the seaside as a kid, then the media frenzy/love in/jizzfest
that greeted the return of Jose Mourinho to Chelsea is the equivalent of drinking
one too many pints in the departure lounge and needing a pee as soon as the
seat belt signs are turned on – it’s annoying, uncomfortable, and there is a strong
chance someone will end up getting wet.
I avoided the press conference, but when popping home for a
late lunch I had the misfortune of catching Tony Cascarino on Sky Sports News,
clearly in a state of arousal, bouncing around like a five-year-old hyped up on
smarties, spouting I can’t remember what, mainly because I wasn’t
listening (but it was definitely bollocks).
Thankfully he was stopped before he got
himself worked up beyond the point of no return.
Yeah, yeah, Mourinho’s a “character” and all that. No, he’s
not. To me he’s a “character” in the same way that bloke who’s mates refer to
him as a “character” is something else beginning with “C”. You know, the one in
the pub who will swallow the contents of an ashtray in a desperate plea for
attention, because he was clearly starved of it as a child.
Don’t go on about his record either, I could win trophies
with a bottomless pocket of someone else’s dosh. Give him the managerial
equivalent of “Ah, but can he do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke though?” Yeah, give him the Stoke City job.
At least the Arsenal fans on Twitter were for once pretty
much in harmony with disdain for the “Special One”, or “Happy One”, or whatever
he’s calling himself this week, and I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking
there’s some unfinished business there….
annual Q&A speed tweeting extravaganza
Last Monday evening saw Ivan Gazidis Q&A session,
usually the sort of thing I try to steer clear of commenting on if I’m honest.
It did make me realise a something though (apart again from how much some
Arsenal fans like a good moan of course!) – if there was ever some sort of
tweeting championship or something, Arsenal fans would certainly not be
battling for fourth place every year. Kudos to all those tweeting live from the
event, impressive work!
related pun here……
Finally this week, Peter Hill-Wood stepped down as chairman
after 300 years, and was replaced by the man with surely the greatest name in
the history of the world – Sir Chips Keswick. A fantastic move from the club,
as it resulted in Arsenal fans taking at least half an hour to start moaning
about it, due to the fact there were far too many potato based jokes to get
I am dubious about
the appointment myself to be honest, but only because I believe Chips was once
Seriously though, all the best to PHW, whatever you may
think about him recently, the man is Arsenal through and through, and it cannot
be overstated how much him and his family have done to make The Arsenal the
proud club it is today.
Right, that’s yer lot for this week.
Islington born and bred, Arsenal through and through. Supported the Gunners for all of my 46 years (so far!) through thick and thin.
Clickbait: Life as a Modern Football Fan – released 2019
Currently working on my next book – Over Land and Sea (and Lockdown), Arsenal 20/21 – A Diary of a Season – due for release Summer 2021.
I will back the club I have in my blood to the hilt and I don’t care what you think about that. UTA.
AGAINST MODERN FOOTBALL.