Now that they beat Man City, will Chelsea win the League this year? Are they title contenders? Did you watch Jose Mourinho’s post match presser? Isn’t his claim that Chelsea aren’t title contenders just the latest in a long line of hilarious things he says?
But seriously, can Chelsea win the League taking the majority of their shots from outside the 18 yard box? Can they keep converting at a 6% rate? How is that even sustainable over 24 matches much less over 38 matches? What happens if Chelsea’s conversion rate drops back down to a much more reasonable 4% or 3%? Will they rely even more on defense than they already do? Do you think that perhaps teams with a high conversion rate from outside the box have a more technically adept squad than teams with a low conversion rate from distance? Would it convince you more if I told you that Man City have an 8% conversion rate from distance? What if I told you that Stoke has an 8% conversion rate from distance? What if I told you that Begovich scored a goal? Or that 3 of their 9 goals from distance came from Charlie Adam?
Did it upset you that Arsenal didn’t buy any big name players this January? Did you like the addition of Kim Kallstrom to Arsenal’s midfield? Have you ever seen him play? Did you groan when you heard that he was already injured? Did you want a fourth center back? Or maybe a guy who can play both center half and defensive midfield? Did you think that a forward was necessary for Arsenal to be “serious title challengers”? Did you note that Arsenal are top of the table and have been nearly every week since the start of the season? Wouldn’t that, by definition, make them title challengers?
Did you watch Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-0? Did you laugh at Tony Pulis moaning like a drain when one of his players took a tackle? Did you get nervous for a minute there in the first half when Arsenal hadn’t scored yet and Chamakh had a one on one with Szczesny? Were you worried that Chamakh, the Arsenal reject, would score? Did it fill you with joy to watch Szczesny race out and smother the chance after Chamakh took a heavy touch and punted the ball 10 yards in front of him? Do really long questions, where the questioner describes the problem in minute detail taking you down a path before finally getting to the question, does that bother you?
Did you revel in The Ox’s backheel pass to Giroud? Did you love the way he turns up field and takes on the opposition every single time he gets the ball? Did you see his tackle early in the game? Did you notice how he was playing box to box? How about that thumping volleyed pass, should he patent that? Non sequitur: but what about Cazorla taking that rocket down out of the air side footed? That was ridiculous, right? Did you think Ox played a lot like Ramsey? Or was he more Rosicky? Did it make your heart flutter when he smiled at the crowd and touched the Arsenal crest?
Did you watch the Super Bowl? Were you drunk? Stoned? Droned? Which commercial was your favorite? Did you notice that the Ford, the Kia, and the Maserati all look the same? Do all the cars these days look the same? Did you know that the Kia is $60,000? Would you buy a $60,000 Kia? Oh I’m sorry I didn’t mention the game, does the commercialism of the Super Bowl turn you off? Does the commercialism of a Premier League match turn you off? How many advertisements do you notice in every Premier League match? Did you know that the Allianz Arena doesn’t have the team’s name, “Bayern Munich” on the exterior? How long before the Premier League becomes fully commercialized, like the NFL? Is it already there?
Are you one who eagerly agrees to this Faustian bargain, to trade corporate sponsorship for better players? Do you know that doing so makes you the actual product? That your eyes seeing their ads are what feeds the whole deal? While you were beating the commercialism drum, did the thought cross your mind that maybe they don’t care if the current generation of Arsenal fans are priced out of attending matches because you don’t fit the target market demographic? Are you still ready to sell your soul to the devil for a slightly better Giroud? Is that “just the way it is”?
Do you find it funny that the same people who complain about ticket prices are the ones who complain that Arsenal don’t buy players? Did you notice that they are also the same people who complain about corporate greed but who want Arsenal to cash in on that corporate greed by selling more lucrative sponsorships? Or how about those who lauded the new Puma deal one day and then complained that Puma is now going to have a new Arsenal kit every year? With iPads as cash registers now, will anyone from the next generation even know what “kerching!” means?
Or is it that the people who attend matches have more right to complain about everything because they are paying so much to see Arsenal play? Is it then more ironic for someone who watches Arsenal from afar to complain about ticket prices? What if the people watching from afar are the target market demographic? Who has more right to complain then?
Are you enjoying the season?
Have we made progress as a club? Do you go to bed at night and dream of Aaron Ramsey lifting the Premier League trophy while red and white ticker tape rains down on him? Do you say things like “I don’t think we will win the League this year but I’m happy with the team’s progress” because secretly you do think we could win the League but you want to be cautiously optimistic?
Are you enjoying the football this season?
Apologies to the brilliant Padget Powell for the use of the interrogative form for today’s post. If you’re looking for a great read that will make your head spin with questions of your own like “does he ever stop asking questions?” or “is this really a novel? Who are the main characters?” and “who is this author and why is he such a genius?” Check out The Interrogative Mood: a novel? by Padgett Powell.