Morning. I bought a Tardis at the weekend, so this is Mondays blog, but today, instead of yesterday, about stuff that happened over the weekend but also yesterday and probably this summer. Confused? I’ve not even started yet.
Football is at an all time low. Manchester United are on the verge of winning the title by default, by being the least shit of a bad bunch this year despite dropping some pretty funny points throughout the season. The irritation is that Arsenal have been there, neck and neck, but have been marginally more shit towards the end of the campaign. Don’t forget, we beat them making us temporarily less shit than them, but then we lost to Stoke, making us massively shit for the day. It’s enough to make a grown man cry.
And now, even the last vestiges of footballing satisfaction have been corroded by King Kenny. 606 used to be the highlight of the week, mad scousers ringing up “sack de manager doh yeah, brrring back King Kennnnnny lad” – it was HILARIOUS. So they did, and they did and it’s actually worked out quite well. He’s got Maxi playing football for fucks sake. The man is either a conjurer, an illusionist, as lucky as a horsehoe tied to a black cat in a field of four leaf clovers… or a pretty good manager. It’s difficult to take.
Now I’ve read, on here and elsewhere, people giving Kenny all the credit. Using that as the stick to try and argue a change of manager would do us a similar service. Firstly, it’s rare that a manager steps in and turns a team of shite into world beaters. Rarer still that they do it more than once. Liverpool are the proof to that themselves. Roy Hodgson is a good manager, and did a fantastic job at Fulham with a team of journeymen and Dickson Etuhu. He had that team punching well above it’s weight. When provided with an arguably better squad he just couldn’t get them playing. Who’s to say that Arsenal replacing Wenger wouldn’t end in the same scenario, with a new Roy Hodgson struggling to motivate a bored and lifeless Andrei Arshavin?
Secondly, it’s not just the manager – the back room staff have changed, the players are no longer mutinous (none of them apparently considered lovely Roy a worthy leader) and the fans are 100% behind the new manager, a ready made legend. It’s about as emotive a mix as you could hope for. What could Arsenal do to match that? Bring back George Graham?
Arsene Wenger has his faults, not least the recent refusal to buy players to bolster his array of youth talent. But people forget, if Arsenal had of bought a big centre midfield player in the summer, Jack Wilshere would not have played anywhere near the number of games he has.
Other positions to – the number of comments, even just on the WOA, suggesting the manager should have been sacked for not buying Schwarzer – did you watch him last night? He must have been smoking Kolo Toure’s crack pipe before the match. He was literally dogshit awful. How many gooners wiped their brow in relief last night? We could have had that awful, old lunatic playing for us. Instead we’ve got Chezza, one of the best goalkeepers in the league.
So it’s not as easy as saying “buy him, or him, or him or even him”. It’s about balancing what you have, with your potential with what’s available. Let’s face it, buying a big name footballer doesn’t solve all your problems all the time. The people demanding purchases must have small memories – you only need to look at Manchester United. What about Veron, the most expensive English transfer at the time. £28m of pure flop. Kleberson, a great player at the 2002 World Cup for Brazil, managed just 20 appearances for United. Even Forlan who was fantastic before arriving at Old Trafford and is now fantastic again, was shit in England.
Buying a player is a gamble that won’t necessarily pay off. Arsenal have had their fair share of Aliadiere’s and Fanny Jeffers’. It’s a gamble that is further complicated by those players waiting in the wings, who could (and will) move on if they don’t get their chances.
This season football is over for me – I watched the Stoke match with a sense of sinking hope. When it got to 2-1 I assumed Stoke would score again and they did. But changing the manager, or buying 6 players won’t necessarily change Arsenal for the better.