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Close, but no cigar. Ivory tower has spoken.

February 6, 2010

Having spent an unusually quiet Friday evening at home, I had the opportunity to watch OGL’s press conference as well as his pre-Chelsea exclusive. Whilst it’s nice to see him in good mood and all that, the fact that he said that he has already ‘forgotten’ about the last Sunday’s fiasco and gave us the usual dose of Wengerisms about team spirit and the like makes you wonder: was his sincere moment a few days ago just a result of being shell shocked or is he just doing his best to put on a brave face? I hope it’s the latter, as I liked him better when he looked as if he has finally seen the light and understood the position we are in. If he really meant all this stuff that came out of his mouth and saw nothing wrong in saying it, then God help us all.

Quite a few fans – myself included – were left particularly unimpressed by the ‘nearly signing’ bit. Now correct me if I am wrong: being Arsene Wenger, if you are in for a player, then you must have felt there was the need to add to the squad, as it’s not like we are buying the senior players by the batches just in case and for the sake of it, right? Now bear with me: if you have identified the need to sign a player, have the money and everyone is crying out for reinforcements, why can’t you complete the bloody deal? As far as I am concerned, if a player is allowed to speak to you, then both him and his club  must be considering the offer, simple as – failure to secure his signature usually stems from going for it a bit late or trying to violate the other club financially. Either way, it’s a poor show and an embarrassment – in the real world, no one is paid millions to fail, it just seems to be reserved for bankers, hedge funds managers, politicians and one certain Frenchman.

Another worrying signal came in the shape of statement that finishing third in the league is much harder than winning a domestic cup. Read the article here. ‘It’s very important that we win something, we’re here to win trophies, but it depends on what you call trophies’, he says – Arsene, we love you, but please, if you need a reminder what a trophy is, look no further than my Wednesday’s post. Those of you who worked in the customer service jobs must know what ‘managing expectations’ is – it’s usually aimed at the part of your customers who demand more than the service provider has to offer and are itching to unleash hell when not satisfied. There is also a PR element in it: how to take failure, wrap it up nicely and sell it as success? Well, here’s your example, and believe me, I know what I am talking about, being the graduate in the subject.

Problem is that it works on some – when we finish yet another season empty handed, the unrest amongst fans will grow, but there will be some claiming that people like me are ‘throwing their toys out of the pram’. Believe me, it is not the case – I do fully understand certain constraints and limitations imposed by the move to the splendid new stadium, but it’s not like we needed to spend silly amounts of money to be competitive, is it? It is the refusal to spend a little over your own valuation that may prove to be the difference between the success and the failure and that is not good in my book. I am all for taking gambles, but it is sometimes all about choosing the right ones. Don’t get me wrong here – I would love nothing more than being proven wrong, made to eat my words and forced to admit publicly that the sun shines out of AW’s backside. You can consider the latter a pledge 😉

Thank you for reading, I will be back tomorrow with the Chelsea game preview. Cheerio!

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