DB’s Silly Season Diary- Are We Nearly There Yet?
I find myself in a strange situation writing this, as it will be the last piece I’ll be writing before the start of the season, as this time next week I’ll be sitting by the pool with beer in hand. In fact, being pretty much in full scale holiday mode now got me thinking about a few things this week.
Now, we all love our kids, but you know that point around four weeks or so into the summer holidays when the only thing you can think is “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GO BACK TO SCHOOL BEFORE I MURDER YOU!”?
You know how it is. Where lack of school work, rules and discipline lead their overactive little brains to look for something else to occupy them. Usually something annoying. Bless ’em.
Somewhere in between all this, you might take your kids on holiday. This could be the luxury holiday of a lifetime or a week in a caravan in Clacton with one bucket between four of you to use as a khazi, whatever it is, the journey there will always be the most tortuous few hours of your year…
“ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET???!!!”
If you’re either a parent or used to be a child (shut up, I’m analogising here, pedant) hopefully you’ll know exactly what I’m going on about, and no doubt you’re also wondering why I’m going on about it, and when the hell am I going to get to the bloody football. Well, that’s exactly what I’m getting at as, to me, that is the exact stage of the Silly Season we’ve reached.
The kids start getting on your nerves just before it’s time for them to go back to school, it’s not their fault, their brains have been trained to do sums and stuff. It’s the same with football fans, our brains are so focused on football that too much time without it makes us get fidgety and irritable.
The kids think “I’m bored, what can I do? Ah….I know…..I’ll pull my sisters hair……”
“MUUUUUUMMM TELL HIIIIIIMMMMM!!!”
Some of us think “I’m bored, what can I do? Ah….I know…..I’ll tweet something I know will wind people up….”
“How come all the signings have stopped since Wenger got back from Brazil…? *smarm smarm*”
“MUUUUMMMMM TELL HIIIIMMM! Arsene signed Sanchez while he was playing volleyball on the beach!!”
“We still have £60 million in the bank….blah, blah, blah…..DM…..”
“MUUUUUMMMM TELL HIMMMMM! HE WANTS TO SPEND ALL THE MONEY!!!'”
“I see Diaby’s back, been nicking a living for years he’ll never go a season without injury….any other manager would have binned him years ago….”
“MUUUMMMM TELL HIIIIMMMM!!!! It was Dan Smith that done it!!!”
“He wasn’t any good before the injury….I saw enough of him to know that….”
“WILL YOU KIDS JUST SHUT UP! IF YOU DON’T SHUT UP I’M TURNING BACK AND GOING HOME!!! YOU – STOP TORMENTING YOUR SISTER, AND YOU – JUST IGNORE HIM. DON’T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE!!!!”
That’s the journey through pre-season right there, in my eyes. Like I say, it’s not our fault, it’s just what happens when there’s a lack of football to focus on. And it’s just as bad on both sides, those that pull hair and those that react to it. This was noticeable after seeing a few mini meltdowns following a loss to New York Red Bulls. I found this was also noticeable towards the end of last season, when the amount of games we had slowed down a bit. We all just seem more argumentative and antsy without the football, which is really what we all have in common.
I’m not saying the same kind of arguments and debates don’t happen during the season, it’s just easier to ignore when the football’s there to focus on. Like sending the kids back to school. This year we had the early summer equivalent of stopping off at Little Chef that was the World Cup, compare that to last summer, which was more like six hours in the car after six pints, with no chance of stopping for a slash.
Add to that the added bonus of some decent, earlier signings (including Alexis Sanchez, no less!) and the journey up until now has been far more pleasant.
As I write, we have now completed the signing of David Ospina from Nice, which will keep Wojciech Szczesny on his toes to say the least, as well as Calum Chambers from Liverpool. Sorry, I mean Southampton. This means we now apparently go into the new season with 74 right backs, so you can’t say we don’t have depth at least.
The signing of Chambers went completely under the radar, so I think I’ll ignore people who mention “well placed sources”, or whatever, who are telling us our business is now over. Like we can sign a young English player such as Chambers without it getting a mention beforehand, but suddenly the information is there that we’re done spending….yeah, alright then.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a late deal, which will at least mean we get to watch Jim White’s nuts explode on deadline day….
I know what you did last summer
Anyway, there does seem to be a generally upbeat feeling out there at the moment, in complete contrast to last year. There will still be people chipping away, of course, but it’s up to you how you choose to react to any attention seeking nonsense.
Here’s hoping that next time you hear from me I’ll be writing about how much better our season has started compared to the end of days stuff that was Aston Villa last year.
Until then, play nicely eh?
Up The Arsenal
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.