Posted by Andre The Giant
I am not Arsene Wenger. I share very little in common with the great man. I have never, to my knowledge, managed a premier league football team, I am not a millionaire and I am most certainly not French. I do, however, share two things in common with le prof. I have an economics degree for starters and I am tight as a duck’s arse for seconds. It is these two attributes that allow me to have some perspective on the lack of action that has occurred this summer during the transfer window and potentially put Arsenal in it’s most vulnerable position since George Graham slipped that brown envelope in to his coat pocket.
Let me elaborate. For the past year I have been trying to buy a house. I understand the theory of markets and I believe that, primarily, an equilibrium market price exists for a good. This is the point at which the supply curve crosses the demand curve. Yes, there are other competing theories that involve themselves in different ways but this is the primary driver. So, to my mind, when there is no one buying houses because they can’t get credit and have no cash reserves because, ultimately, they can’t actually afford to buy a house, the market price should be driven down. For some reason, however, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Sellers persist with outrageously inflated prices and houses sit on the market for months without being sold. It is against my personal nature to just bite the bullet and pay what is being asked because I don’t feel like I will be getting value for money. And, I believe, it is this concept that overwhelms Arsene in the transfer market and has prevented him making the signings that everyone thinks we so desperately need and I’m sure he agrees with.
To transpose the concept to the football transfer market, you have a handful of clubs able to pay top dollar for players. I don’t need to name them but they’re the clubs who had their deals done early because money was no object and they cared little what the market price should be (how much did Citeh pay for Nasri when they could have him for free in 12 months is the perfect example). But these teams don’t want to buy every player available so do not dictate the market. But the selling clubs think they do. They’re all massively in debt because no one is able to run a football club in profit these days (well almost no one) so they want what they think Citeh or Chelsea will pay, even if these clubs don’t want the player. Rightfully, Arsene offers what he thinks the player is worth and the selling club tells him to do one because they want twice that amount. So we have two options, pay the going rate like everyone else or try and be clever and play the market a bit, find a bargain and prove everyone else to be idiots.
So the situation that you’re in is, you have a bunch of people continuing to pay over the odds for something (the idiots) driving the market higher and higher and creating a new economic theory in the process (dumb ass price theory I like to call it). This is what happens in the property market and it is the reason I don’t want to be involved in it. The consequence is that people tend to tell you again and again, “you just have to get on the ladder, pay the asking price like everyone else does”. If you don’t do that then people actually wish failure on you. They’re jealous that you haven’t bowed to peer pressure like they have and therefore hope you get bitten in the arse. The same goes for football. For years now, people have been jealous of Arsenal and their ability to create a competitive team whilst maintaining a positive bank balance and playing attractive football. 15 years of Champions League qualification whilst making nearly £80m profit on transfers. It’s certainly a big fuck you to teams like Tottenham who have spent something like £350m for one lucky season of Champions League football. So people have been desperate for a crisis at Arsenal. If you can’t see that from the tabloid coverage then you are mole eyed bat. And finally, they have what they want, or what they assume to be what they want. I don’t buy it myself but there you go.
I didn’t see yesterday’s game due to being on a very lovely holiday in Italy. I tell you what, it does wonders for the stress levels and your ability to care about the transfer window. Anyway, I gather it was a shambles, players not deserving to wear the shirt, complete capitulation. But that’s nothing new, it happened last season several times before we sold our two best players. The fact that, this time, we were without our next 7 best players should really shed some light on to the problem. It was a Carling Cup team, with a Carling Cup result. The fact that we could have been 3-3 had RVP scored his pelanty and Arshavin scored his one on one shows that it wasn’t the second to worst game in our history even if it was the second to worst result.
So where do we go from here? If the consequence is that Arsene is sacked (and that could well be the case as I haven’t checked the news yet today) then I will find it deeply hard to watch Arsenal for a long time. If it means that we can wait a few games until we get out first team fit and win a few games and realise that we’re not in crisis after all that would suit me. I don’t think we’ll buy any more expensive players though, much like I won’t go out tomorrow and buy a house for a million quid that I think is worth half that. Me and Arsene know what’s what you see.