Let me sink my teeth in to the saga that surrounds Luis Suarez (sorry). First of all though, I will mention that if you are an Arsenal supporter reading this and you are looking for some delusional transfer gossip, save your eyes, click off this page and type ‘Suarez Arsenal’ into your Twitter search bar.
Now, as refreshing as it is being linked with top, top talent I can’t help but be skeptical about news of Luis Suarez’s supposed transfer to Arsenal. It strikes me as odd that Arsenal – renowned for their secret transfer dealings- have been the subject of every newspaper back page since the 1st of July. Not only this, but the fact that we are bidding for a player that is
1. Unhappy living in England
2. A member of a rival team (subsequently increasing the price)
3. Sick of the English media
4. Still to serve six games of a 10 match ban
5. Guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra
6. Guilty of biting two players in his professional career (to earn a move away from his current club/s)
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to acknowledge the fact that this is not your usual Arsene Wenger transfer target. “Well Arsenal have just bid £40,000,001 for him” you may say. Yes, we did offer that strange bid for him, but why?
Lets go back to Ivan Gazidis’s public announcement that Arsenal have spending power like never before, how we will challenge with the likes of Bayern Munich, how we can now push to be one of the best teams in the world. Have a think about when this announcement was made…. season ticket renewal time.
After embarrassing exits in the FA Cup and Capital One cup last season, the Emirates had a lingering sense of ‘Highbury the library’. Not because the fans are too posh to sing and chant their team on, because supporters were so disappointed and embarrassed.
This combined with the struggle to cement our homely fourth spot saw Arsenal’s lowest point in a long, long time. At this point supporters had already paid for their season tickets and were under no obligation to renew. At the end of the season they probably looked back in hindsight and thought “I’m not going through that again, another year of failure”. That is where Gazidis comes in to play with his superlatives and promises so easy to latch on to. It worked.
“He can’t come out and say we’re going to spend big, not deliver and still expect support” – well actually he can.The offer for Suarez is official. It has happened. It’s true. Therefore, this allows the board, Gazidis and Wenger to come out in August/September and say “We said we would spend big, you can see that we’ve tried.” And unfortunate as it is, that will be believable enough for most Arsenal fans to deal with.
I have no doubt that Arsenal will spend more than we have in the previous 10 seasons or so, I believe that we were fully engaged in bringing Higuain to the Emirates. Personal terms were agreed, the fee wasn’t. Probably down to our inexperience in big name signings as it allowed Madrid to do what they have done, and, quite frankly fuck us over with the asking price.
After missing out on Higuain, we have to look like we are doing something about it whilst frantically searching every blade of grass in France to replace the gaping hole that Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira left us.
Whilst I remain optimistic that our transfer policy really is changing, I await Gazidis’ September announcement claiming “We tried”. I can’t help but expect I’ll be feeling like the most over indulgent child at year four sports day being told “It’s not about the winning, it’s the taking part that counts”.
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