Week Fourteen – Holidays are coming, Holidays are coming….
You can tell that an international break is upon us just from the hot topics of conversation from around Tuesday onwards. The week began with heated debate over the huge controversy that was, at the end of the day, a footballer celebrating scoring a goal.
Such controversy needs analysing and breaking down, so I have done so and come to the following conclusions:
1 – I’m more bothered about the fact he scored than the fact he celebrated.
2 – Given the choice I would rather he did a knee slide in front of our bench, then proceeded to remove his shorts, stick them on Steve Bould’s head and wipe his willy on Arsene Wenger’s face, rather than that non-celebration faux respect bollocks from last season.
3 – Most importantly, Robin van Persie is a cunt. He would be a cunt if he celebrated, and a cunt if he didn’t. End of.
In all honesty, as irrelevant and as much of a non-story as that is, the fact this was even a talking point is a lot better than seeing a tidal wave of knee-jerk reactions to this defeat, so I can live with it.
Still, it was all forgotten about by Tuesday evening, when the big news story turned to Wayne “Gilfhunter” Rooney being banned from a brothel, or something. The dirty Granny shagging bastard.
I bet Nani gets nervous in the changing room…Mind you, have you seen Coleen?
You may have noticed a feeling in the air recently. That Coca Cola advert has crept onto our TV screens, and it’s that time of year for us to start making lists, letting all and sundry know what we want.
It’s fast approaching now, and pretty soon it will be all anyone can talk about. There are those that will be getting excited already, wondering what delights it will bring this year. Then there are those that think it just isn’t the same any more, it’s all about money, just an excuse to buy and sell a load of old crap that nobody really needs, and you never get what you want, despite hinting so heavily since September. There are even those who think it should be scrapped all together!
Yep, you guessed it, a week or so after Christmas the transfer window opens again.
That feeling in the air can be attributed to the fact that a number of forces have come together at the same time, set to collide and cause mayhem across the Goonerverse as they do. Scientifically speaking, this phenomenon can be described using the following formula:
International break = Boredom + defeat = transfer speculation
It’s amazing, not to mention somewhat disturbing, how warped some people’s sense of reality can become after a defeat such as the Manchester United one as it is, but when you add the tedium that generally comes with an international break into the mix, it can begin to border on ridiculous.
Thankfully, after a few days yearning for a bit of Arsenal, to either enjoy or moan about, this dies down a bit and is replaced by people moaning about internationals or how there are too many blogs and podcasts out there etc, etc.
Despite the lack of being able to “get back on the horse” as soon as possible after a defeat, I don’t mind the break coming at this time. Of course, there is the fact that players are travelling around the world to play in games that in some cases mean pretty much fuck all, and the worries about players getting injured that always come with it, but at least it gives those not involved, such as our injured and man-flu’d up players, a week extra to freshen up a bit.
None of that helps us as fans though of course, and the lack of football to focus on, unless you follow international friendlies of course which I’m sure some do, can do strange things to people.
As someone who wrote a Pre-Season Diary, which focused heavily on the transfer window – the Silly Season – I observed and witnessed this sort of thing going on throughout the summer, a fascinating study into the psyche of the modern football fan.
Actually, I could probably have saved myself weeks of writing and just watched One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, but you live and learn.
The fact that this one only lasts a month will probably not prevent some cramming a summers worth of meltdowns into it, but at least we will have football to take our minds off of it, eh?
However, as I do worry about you all, I will share with you some things I learned over the summer, and make sure you are all well prepared for what will soon be upon us…
DB’s Transfer Window Survival Guide – January 2014 Update
I was going to save this for you, and give it to you nearer the time, as a Christmas present. But as there is precious little else going on right now, and as that unmistakeable whiff of bullshit begins to waft gently through the air, now seems as good a time as any. Come Christmas you’ll just have to make do with socks, hankies or Quality Street for the ladies…
Dangerous as it can be to be taken in by talk of Smokescreens; you can avoid any problems by remembering this simple fact – THEY DO NOT FUCKING EXIST. This can be confirmed by considering the following scenario – One club, let’s call them Club S, let it leak out that they want to buy a player, who we will call player H, from another club, who for the sake of this example we will call club I. This is to alert yet another club, say, Club T, to take their attention away from the actual target, who turns out to be Player E.
Put all those factors together and what do you get? SHITE. Exactly.
If you believe any of this crap, go and buy a box set of the X Files, or try and padlock yourself in a holdall…
Ah, the dreaded ITK. Firstly, I do believe there are probably a small number of people who are fed information that they share, whether anything comes of this information is another matter. However, let’s use a bit of common sense here. There are a couple of simple rules you can follow to prevent yourself drowning in a sea of bullshit.
The first rule is this:
If the display pic on their Twitter profile looks like this
Then they probably actually look like this
If they call themselves “Agent….something” then their name is probably Malcolm or Barry (apologies to any Malcolm’s or Barry’s out there).
There really is no need to get wound up by these people, they are clearly fucking special.
Getting involved in any sort of argument with these people can lead to a meltdown of your own.
Anyway, we all know agents actually look like this…
Best advice? Ignore everybody, believe nobody. You’re welcome.
Remember the days before the Internet took over the world, and the only place we could find transfer speculation was on the back page of the tabloids? Remember how most of it was rubbish?
Did we ever sign Frank McAvennie or Kerry Dixon? Are online versions of papers, or Tweets from journalists any different? No. Just because you can’t wipe your arse with it, doesn’t make it smell any better…
As above, ignore.
People Who Make Lists…
Yeah, people actually do this, you know.
While children are writing their lists for Santa, there are grown adults scouring the Internet listing every single player on every single website from every single country in the whole wide world that has been in the slightest bit tenuously linked with us, and compiling a list.
They then proceed to convert this list into one or more Tweets, add a box with a cross next to each player (that we never had the slightest interest in) as they either sign for another club, commit to their current club, or it becomes apparent we are not interested in said player, and never have been.
Now, I would suggest that in the last case the player should be deleted from the list, rather than have a box with a cross placed next to his name. This would then, in pretty much all cases, result in an empty Tweet. As empty as the life of people who compile such lists.
The Release Clause
Nobody usually really knows do they? Of course these things exist, but what the fuck do we know?
One thing you can be certain of is that it is quite likely Agent Soppy Bollocks (see above) doesn’t know. So, try not to ask Twitter “has such and such got a release clause” every five minutes because TWITTER DOESN’T KNOW.
Some of The Words Of The Window
(and what they really mean…)
“Done” = “Not done, never likely to be done”
“I’ve been told / I understand” = “I’ve made up / I’ve
read somewhere / I have no girlfriend”
“We try hard to sign players” = “Stop asking me the same fucking questions every single press conference”
“I will only sign players who will improve the squad” = “You’ve asked me the same question again, while answering you I am also thinking about what I’m having for dinner tonight…”
How to Avoid Meltdown
The Expectation Level and the Meltdown-o-Meter
Two essential tools to help you avoid ending January rocking back and forth Tweeting senseless drivel, covered in your own excrement. There is a direct correlation between your expectation level and your position on the Meltdown-o-Meter. Start the window with your expectation level too high, and you could end up too close to meltdown before you’ve even digested the last of the Christmas turkey.
Try to maintain a healthy balance wherever possible.
The expectation level works on a scale of one to ten, where ten is Luis Suarez, and one is that bloke who pretended to be George Weah’s cousin.
The Meltdown-O-Meter can only be described visually, so here it is
So, there you have it. Everything you need to stand you in good stead for the upcoming transfer window.
Study this guide now, be prepared.
Thank me in February.
Until next week then, when there will be some Arsenal stuff to talk about after the top of the table clash with high flying Southampton.
A sentence nobody ever expected to say. Ever.
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.