Wotcher Gooners… it’s been a weird few weeks since my last ‘back from the grave’ post gave me the verve and vigour to write again. Thank you all for the outpouring of love… it shocked me how much I missed the interaction with Goonerdom via my particular brand of mindless drivel… and I must say a special thank you to Tim the Enchanter – he who IS 7amkickoff – for his patience with me during my dry spell(s). There are not many who would put up with a part timer like myself so if you like my fluff – make sure you give props to the man himself… thanks Tim.
I’m now just a few weeks away from wrapping up my company here and after the initial shock my mind is now starting to look at its demise as an opportunity which may at first seem; a) weird b) fucking irrelevant to an Arsenal blog such as this…. however as always dear reader, bare with me and let me explain: This season as the last post outlined was a very testing time for me due to that Dutch bloke that left us to play for ManU… my ire at him is, this week at least, tempered by my joviality that he has jumped into the same damned boat that old Cescy did a few seasons ago; i.e. the scenario he left us for only lasting one season. With Cesc it was for his home club and childhood hero Pep, who promptly fucked off after that season… the laughter still echoes in my mind whenever I picture the Barca team sitting being told, the tears welling up… hohoho. With vanSkunkie it was the little boy inside that took SAF at his word that he wasn’t going anywhere, because you DO know that was mentioned in the contract negotiations right? With SAF ManU’s credentials were that with the Red Nosed wonder they were guaranteed to be fighting for silver every season, that’s why vanSkunkie left no; for ‘titles’? Without SAF that guarantee has been flushed like a mid morning turd. Sure Moyes is a sound manager that’s done a great job at a mid-table club… but ManU is a different beast entirely and if he CAN cut it, it will I think take a few seasons first which takes vanSkunkie to the end of his shelf life.
It famously took SAF a good chunk of time to get going after his appointment, time that Moyes is NOT going to have, in addition ManU’s dressing room is full of the sort of prima donnas that I’m pretty sure Moyes wouldn’t have employed at Everton so he’s got an interesting challenge ahead of him balancing that many egos and as of this writing Rooney’s the first to hand in a transfer request. SAF commanded the respect of the squad, but a new manager like Moyes with exactly Zero on his CV and regardless of reputation, may not. Look at how the Chav players treated AVB or failing that just watch The Damned United for clarification of how it can go very, very wrong. My guffawing at this scenario is based upon a simple precedent: Disruption for them is opportunity for us. Think of disruption as a Ninja that’s stalking you. Miss it and it’ll fill you full of shuriken or spider venom. Catch it and… erm, well you won’t be dead. Actually that was a really crap analogy; my point is that the summers main disruptive talking points are OTHER PEOPLES for the first time in a long time.
I’ve written before about the 5+ years of summers marred by players wanting to go home, flashing their tits at other clubs for more money, disagreeing with the ‘direction of the club’ and the ongoing gnashing of teeth about our finances which I suspect were never as rosy as was suggested by many in the ‘spend it now’ side of Goonerdom. The state of AFC finances has always seemed to me to be indefinable because all the figures are out there but we don’t have the minutiae of detail needed to predict the true net worth… Plus, we all know Wenger is about as open with his plans as the CIA is with a Drone Strike program. We also all know that the future of the club was mortgaged to long term deals to fund the building of the Emirate Stadium and that now those deals have run their course. The fruits of the switch, in addition to the end of those old agreements, will see an injection of cash into the club of steroidal proportions. This was all part of the ‘plan’ I’ve eluded too in many a post over the years which is only really visible with ‘20-20 hindsight glasses’ (patent pending).
What I’ve never alluded too and what I couldn’t foresee (nee – did any of us?) was the absolute cluster bomb of WTFedness that’s going to happen in the Summer of 2013. We all knew that the Chavs were going to sack Benitez as he was always a stop gap. Citeh have also just chopped the charming and modest Mancini for being a complete and utter failure by only providing two trophies in three seasons just 12 months after handing him a 5 year contract. Of course this all pales into insignificance next to the laughter fest that is Fergie stepping down. We all have Manc friends (don’t we?) and I have several from whom I’ve had to take gloating from since the invincible season and the huge swathe of disruption since that heady season, worst of all last Summer. For the last 8 years we’ve all taken it on the chin but the one conversation stopper with them ALL has always been; “Oh yeah, what are you going to do when Fergie goes?” Some try to laugh it off with mutterings of “we’re bigger then Fergie” but the fear in their eyes tells a different story. Pure, unadulterated, dread! I would say with some justification…loathe him or merely hate him even this scribe, who has the misfortune to share a birthday with him, has always had to respect his impact on ManU and the game in general. To stay at the top for that long is a massive, massive achievement and now we know Moyes is taking over the pressure is palpable, almost crushing, in the manner of an elephant deciding to park itself on your toes.
Moyes may or may not be the man to take the club forward but with SAF staying at the club in a director position, the ghost of his legacy will always cast a shadow over Moyes’ reign… will he hover like Busby did? Will he hang in the background messing up perceptions when things don’t go to plan as Dalglish did to the Scouse managers, namely Woy? The addition of such mass disruption at most of our direct competitors is at odds to the relative stability we’re looking to have in the summer, plus the big boost to the coffers seems to make 2013/14 a really big opportunity for the squad that has perpetually needed one or two signings. Of course as I type this I’m crossing my fingers whilst gripping wood, throwing salt over my shoulder, dodging all ladders & pavement cracks and heartily stomping repetitively in all the dog shit I can find and, as I live in Marin which has the highest level of dogs-per-capita of ANY county in the US there is PLENTY of that going around which does beg the question; “why do I have such shite luck?” This is not to mention any black cats thinking about coming anywhere NEAR my path over the coming weeks; take note I’ll be carrying a spray bottle and a LASER pointer with me at all times.
Simply put, I might actually be right in being optimistic for once. For where there is disruption amongst ones competition there’s opportunity for one (us). This very circumstance is something that the Chav’s, Spuds, Mancs and Citeh have all taken advantage of in their own ways in the last 8 years. Not even counting the poisonous fuck Cashley, for years the Chav’s transfer policy seems to have basically been to watch whoever we’re linked with and then buy ‘em for 3x the price. The Spuds have been working in relative stability* compared to their own recent past and finally might have a manager that suits them. Up until last summer ManUre had been relatively quiet to be honest with regards to destabilizing our squad, but certainly they’re the main contributors to our downfall this season by taking advantage of the fact all of our Capt’s have left for the last 5 years and that our wage structure is so rigid it makes North Korea look positively cosmopolitan. They waved a guarantee of trophies and a fat stack of cash under his nose and he took a massive dump on his legacy. That of course is not to forget Citeh… we don’t need to go there do we? If you haven’t noticed how many have they taken off us in recent years then you’ve probably just returned from the Bermuda triangle…or something.
Now the boot may well be on the other foot, which is pretty stupid because why would you wear a left sided boot on your right foot? Ridiculous phrases aside** my point is that we’re facing the most stable summer in recent memory with regards to players… in the core everyone’s signed up (please re-sign Sagna!) and are seemingly pretty happy. Buckets of cash will be coming through the door in the not too distant future with sponsorships being renewed and barring the Cocks on Balls there’s massive disruption at all the other clubs we mainly compete with. So while I realise I’m a diehard optimist and my rosy view is not shared by many in the days of “Stan’s robbing us blind” is this not at least some sign for Gooners having a cheerier outlook? Well as someone who’s staring at both the unemployment roster and a very uncertain future after fourteen years as a nerdy publisher I see what many many view as misfortune as simply a step into the new; an opportunity to go and do something different.
STILL not optimistic? Tsk… there’s no pleasing some people.
*How stable can a cock standing on a ball EVER be?
**I’ve never understood “Sweet as a nut” either… because they aren’t.