It hardly seems a moment since we were top of the league, but the negative blogs are at it again telling us that Juanfran turned down a move to Arsenal, that Ozil isn’t actually top of the passing list in the Premier League, that the next super star we want has already pledged himself to Juventus, that Arsenal will flop totally in the Champions League, that Arsenal are in panic mode over the number of injuries, that if only Wenger would wake up there are five ways in which he could make Arsenal so much better at a stroke…
And that lot came in just two hours on Gooner News.
It is, in fact, as if the summer transfer window never happened. As if everyone knew that we were going to sign just about the most gifted young player in Europe for £42m just as the transfer window ended, and that all those other stories and rumours were just stories and rumours.
We’re not helped of course by the fact that many newspapers continue to publish silly stories as if the transfer window had not closed. Indeed, if you looked at the BBC’s rumours column on the red button page 302, you might believe that it hadn’t closed. There was no pause, no summing up, but a continuation of the wild stories that Arsenal have been rejected by A, Tottenham are going to spend more of the Bale money on B (as if they haven’t spent it already), the Man U are buying C, D, and E, that Liverpool are…
Well you get the picture.
I’ve not done a complete statistical analysis on this, largely because to do so would be so depressing, but something like 99.5% of the rumours that we heard in the build up to the last transfer window turned out to be untrue.
Of course no writer ever admitted they were untrue. Rather we were told that Arsenal didn’t buy a player because he rejected the club in order to play with a middle order German team, or the Arsenal bid was 50p below the asking price. OK not 50p but you know what I mean. There is always, always, always a reason which puts the blame on Arsenal.
Take the case of Perez who played for Arsenal in the Manchester City friendly. After the match the story came out that the player couldn’t get a work permit, and there was massive amount of abuse aimed at Wenger’s supposed incompetence at bothering with a player he could not have signed even if he wanted the man.
In fact it was known from the start that Perez would not automatically be given a work permit since he had not played enough games for Colombia – the measure used to decide if a player is of the outstanding quality that qualifies for a work permit. But that is not the end of it. If it were decided that Perez were worth investing in, Arsenal had two ways forward.
First they could do a deal with Nacional such that once he had played enough internationals he would be transferred to Arsenal at an agreed fee, and that in the meanwhile Arsenal would part-fund the player’s salary. Another would be that he could be transferred to Arsenal like Joel Campbell and then loaned to a country with more liberal views about overseas players. Spain is the most obvious choice. That way he would pick up a Spanish passport after three years residency and so be able to play anywhere in the EU.
Now these approaches are not particularly way out – Arsenal have used the loan system over and over again, and have had multiple negotiations with South America, often with a myriad of complications (remember Edu, for example – he with the fake passport).
But my point in linking all these issues is that if someone is determined to find the bad things about Arsenal and their manager, then they will be found, and no facts or histories will get in the way.
The fact that Giroud can score goals, that we got Ozil, that Ramsey came good – all these are just accepted as last month’s targets for abuse (Giroud is not strong enough for the Premier League, we won’t sign anyone and Ramsey is not fit to wear the shirt) are set aside and new ones found.
And what I want to ask is, “what is the point?” Why bother with Arsenal when that support consists of nothing other than trawling the media, with its natural anti-Arsenal bias, and then wallowing in despair.
If Arsenal is so awful, why not go out and support the local team in non-league or League One or where ever they happen to be? They won’t be as good as Arsenal, but at least they get far less coverage in the press, so there are far fewer negative stories to throw around.
It is something like 16 weeks before the next transfer window, and already we are being told that Arsenal will fail to bring in the big names that the club so desperately needs. Did we honestly need such negativity?
It is as if somehow the last few weeks never happened.