Hello there Ladies & Gents! It’s good to see you all hale and hearty with those lovely summer tans, or in case of those of you who live in my part of the world where there’s absolutely no risk of sun-stroke, just the risk of being roasted to nice crisp and gobbled up by giant salamander with a scraggly brown moustache rocking a limited edition ‘Richard Mille’**. Yeah, my dreams are more than a bit weird. And NO, I don’t see a shrink. But hey ho, the shawarmas in this part of the world are far more satisfying than following our transfer window, so I guess it all evens out in life…. Karmic balance and what not.
I do apologize for the extended break, I intended to re-start my blogging as soon as the season started but work has been keeping my plate full and Arsenal’s activities during the transfer window was…. eh, let’s talk about for a bit, shall we? Oh, to be linked to every player and watch in suspended agony as they sign with other clubs…. The bliss of the last two summers almost made me forget what it was to be a goner. Almost, but Ivan and Arsene so kindly took it upon themselves to remind us all. A sweet gesture, don’t you think?
I was flying back into town a few days back and naturally there was a bawling child a few seats down (there’s at least one EVERY flight, it’s a conspiracy I tell you!) so I lost myself in the blissful string work of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray . Funnily enough as the next song came up, I found myself pulling uncanny parallels between Arsenal’s transfer ‘strategy’ (or lack thereof, depending on your point of view) and the lyrics of the song (Yes, Steve Harris might just be god). Unsurprisingly the song is aptly titled ‘Caught Somewhere in Time’.
If you had the time to lose,
An open mind and time to choose,
Would you care to take a look,
Or can you read me like a book?
This almost speaks to Arsene, eh? The boss has all the time in the world and is but two signings away from a potentially title winning squad. We can have the pick of the lot as Morgan waggles his eyebrows seductively from across the room while Pedro drops his handkerchief and as a flashes a coy grin.
Can I tempt you, come with me,
Be Devil may care, fulfill your dream,
If I said I’d take you there,
Would you go, would you be scared?
Well, this verse speaks to the gooning faithful; the transfer window slides opens and we are still lost in the bliss of the FA cup triumph. Ivan & Arsene move forth quickly and Cech signs up as things look rosy. The £10 million seems a hefty fee for a player certainly past his best, but our goal keeping woes are at an end so why bother at all?! The summer promises to be full of butterflies and dandelions.
Don’t be afraid, you’re safe with me,
Safe as any soul can be … honestly,
Just let yourself go.
Lord Harris airs his views to the press not unlike the chap at the office party whose boasts simply serve to annoy and amuse the onlookers in equal measure, as they idly wonder when the man would shut his flapping jaws. Van Gaal drives past us in his convertible with a puzzled Schniderlin in the backseat while Wenger continues to make the right noises and ‘intent’ is the buzzword around the club.
“Pah, who needed him anyway? We have the ever potent Coq shielding our glorious defense! Alle’ Francis!!” we cooed while nervously twiddling our thumbs as our bitter rivals bolstered their ranks.
Caught somewhere in time
Caught somewhere in time
Caught somewhere in time … oh oh
Most certainly screams of Wenger! The boss casually strolls along the aisles glancing at all those new toys stacked up on those tall shelves.
Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing,
You try to hide your deepest sins,
Of all the things that you’ve done wrong,
And I know where you belong.
This verse seems a tad harsh, but perhaps, it alludes to Arsenal’s transfer team as a whole or maybe just Gazidis… Who knows?!
Time is always on my side,
Time is always on my side.
Wenger seems unconcerned, looking for that ineffable magic of ‘quality’ that seems to elude only our scouting department. Meanwhile, Pedro has scurried away from the red half of Manchester and allies himself with Jose and his crew of violent mouth-breathing Neanderthals.
“Bah. He isn’t a real striker anyway!” we mutter “He could never do it on a rainy night in Stoke”
Time passes as clubs hoover up the talent in the market. Money is tossed around like sand on a playground, the English coffers are full from Sky’s almost obscene TV deal. There’s plenty for everyone. Line up, nice and slowly, wont you? There’s a good lad.
The transfer deadline is fast approaching and the mild nervousness has turned into a full blown panic attack. The uncomfortable memories of Park Chu-Young and Kim Kallstorm are resurfacing once more in the minds of the gooning faithful. The transfer gods (or is it about time just start calling him Mr. Mendes?) seem to be intent on testing our faith. We must remain strong!
Make you an offer you can’t refuse,
You’ve only got your soul to lose…
Eternally…Just let yourself go!
By the touch of Bergkamp! The dreaded transfer deadline day is upon us and we have naught to show for it. Social media is churning the gooners into frenzy as the various websites are abuzz with the talk of Wenger at Paris.
“Cavani is a gooner” declare the most confident few while the rest of us make a futile attempt to lose ourselves in work in the vain hope that it would distract us from the chaos of the transfers. Every toll of the bell is met with an increase in unease. The all too familiar of hopelessness is back and the inevitable closure of the window looms ahead.
Elsewhere Real Madrid and the distasteful devils of Manchester conspire to provide us comic relief after much noise about extra ordinary deals. But the humor is an measly balm on an open wound, once again as we cradle our broken appendages as the transfer window has shut itself yet again on our collective willies. Cavani is still at Paris and the supposed ‘deal’ was little more than smoke and mirrors.
Caught somewhere in time
Caught somewhere in time
Caught now in two minds!
Was it incompetence or arrogance? Did Arsene feel that our squad was fine or was Ivan dozing away in the backyard instead of making deals happen? Was Wenger happy to pull the wool over our eyes or did circumstances simply conspire against us?
Oh, and by the way Danny boy has gotten himself into a spot of bother and will be away for a bit.
As the international break rolls in like an unwelcome guest, it provides a hollow respite of silence from the infuriatingly meaningless racket of the transfer window. We pick up the pieces of our crushed hopes and shattered dreams of a glorious title challenge and all we are left with is a miasma of unanswerable questions. We peer out of the haze and the only fact that is apparent is that a chance has been squandered; a golden opportunity to complete a title-worthy team is all but lost. At least until the January transfer window… Until next week laddies, stay strong and Up the Arsenal!!!
This post is a tribute to Iron Maiden in honor of their latest album that I absolutely will not be downloading off the internet. Yes, I do know that Steve Harris is a die-hard Hammer.
**If you didn’t get the reference, then you my friend need to employ google until you do