Arsenal's Transfer Window Debacle and the Audacity of Hope
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Ivan Gazidis, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal's string-pullers have pulled off what few thought was possible: they've pushed an already-fragile fanbase from a state of cautious optimism to let's-all-storm-the-Emirates-with-torches status.
Not well played, you guys.
But how could they accomplish such a treacherous feat? By now, Arsenal supporters have long-since been seasoned to the decision-makers becoming noodle armed when it comes to reaching for their wallet to bring on fresh talent.
Plain and simple: hope. Gazidis now-famously—as reported by The Mirror's John Cross—decided to tell the world of Arsenal's Scrooge McDuck-like amounts of cash and their desire to flex their proverbial financial muscles.
So while Arsenal supporters were busy licking their chops and cynically dreaming of names of the Higuain, Fellaini or Rooney variety, what since has exactly happened?
Barely. A damn. Thing.
In a move so Wenger-like it should be cliche, Arsenal signed a largely unknown (free!) French prospect in Yaya Sanogo. Sure, Sanogo may become a fantastic signing and make for a great deal of business when he's inevitably sold to insert Chelsea/Manchester City/cash-rich team here once he develops.
Here's the audacious part: hope.
Gazidis puffed his chest out in the aforementioned Mirror piece and pledged that Arsenal would again be a power player in the transfer market:
I know what my messaging has been every year and I've been very careful about it. The fact is this year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower. And that's going to happen partly into next season—it's part way available now in the summer but the following season as well. It's a progression over the next two seasons. It's quite significant for the club.
Then Wenger, according to Sky Sports, said that Arsenal could afford the wages of a Rooney-like player.
And yet, the transfer tumbleweeds continue to roll aimlessly through north London. Well, at least the red half of it.
Then Wenger flirted with Real Madrid hitman Gonzolo Higuain and allegedly even agreed to terms, via The Mirror, with the Argentine. When the newly cash-heavy Napoli showed up to the table with an improved bid to Arsenal's reported £22 million bid, the so-set-in-his-ways Le Professeur balked in spite of cash burning holes through his pockets.
Rooney was never going to happen, but The Telegraph can link the two together, anyway.
The Suarez-to-Arsenal saga continues to be drawn out, but a disappointing conclusion seems to be inevitable like a failed marriage's 27th shot at making things work. It's just never going to end well.
Hell, even Arsenal's golden boy Jack Wilshere has confirmed what every fist-clenching Arsenal supporter has believed this summer:
Wilshere on setting aside club issues when playing for your country: "There's not much going on at Arsenal at the moment." #afc— James Olley (@JamesOlley) August 13, 2013
So thanks for the hope, dudes.
At the Emirates, Andy Dufrense is just a false prophet because transfer-related hope is not a good thing.
Instead, we'll side with Bane's theory on despair that it can't truly exist without hope. And Gooners now know despair well.
Go ahead, Scrooge McWenger, prove the vitriol being flung at your regime wrong.
Really no two ways to slice this, Wenger botched the transfer window. Horribly.— Tom Kinslow (@TomKinslow) August 13, 2013
But until then, feel free to use Gooners' hope-related tears to clean the dust off the well-documented barren trophy case at the Emirates.
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