January signings sound depressingly boring

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Ok, so this whole.. ‘I’m gonna write the night before’… stuff hasn’t kicked in yet.

If I write something yesterday, then it might not work or I might wake up and everything has changed… like someone has died, and I spent the evening slating them. Then the article goes viral. Then I wake up and I’m fired and destitute.

I don’t deserve that.

So my new Gooner room mate showed me through the wonders of American sport TV yesterday.


All La Liga. All the Bundesliga. All MLS (HAHA). All Serie A. Most international football.

The price is obscenely low compared to the UK as well. You could sit in a chair, all day, not move and see every single game going. It’s unbelievable who easy they make football addiction in these parts.

The package also comes with super fast broadband.

… I do like the unwritten cryptic ‘knowing’ guys have when they talk about that.

‘We have super fast broadband’

‘Oh yeah?’

‘Yeah man, so fast. Like. Really fast’

‘I honestly can’t wait to try it out’

‘Do, like, zero buffering’

‘In HD?’

‘In anything’

We all know what’s going on here. It doesn’t need to be said. I mean, I can’t wait to have MoTD streaming in one window, MnF in the other, BT Sports European round up in the other… it’s gonna be superb. So much HD.

Anyway, what do we have in the news? Well, so far, a lot of down time to be honest. Stupid international breaks. We have to suffer England vs Estonia. A game so low on action, it’s headline news that Wayne Rooney might not make it. Imagine thinking that’s an issue!

Mesut Ozil has been speaking to the media about his lack of fear when it comes to Bayern.

“We have a lot of respect for Bayern, but we are not afraid of them. We are playing at home and we know how to score goals and be successful against Bayern.

They just destroyed Dortmund 5-1 at the weekend. I think they’re in pretty scary form. But, as my old man pointed out, we’ve done them a couple of times recently. So it really wouldn’t surprise me if we beat them. The German league, whilst enjoyable, is grossly weighted towards one team. It’s very hard to get a good idea of how strong the league is when Bayern can mostly have whoever they want and they’re managed by the best in the business.

It’ll be a very tough game and as was pointed out the other day, it’d be just like Wenger to pull something out the bag when the pressure is off. It kind of happens all the time. Things never quite get bad enough to give him the full wrath of a supporters trust funded banner.

In other news, the Daily Fail, who I write for on occasion, have dropped an article saying the actual attendances recorded, don’t match up with the real attendances the police take.

Ok, we kind of got to the bottom of this about 5 years ago. The stadium announcer announces total tickets sold, which 9 times out of 10 means a packed house. Not exactly a shocker.

On the stadium front, I think it’ll be quite fascinating when all the London clubs have mega stadiums. Will they all sell out?

My pal was telling me the other day that he’d just bought the equivalent of a club level ticket at West Ham. I think back in the day, when my dad had a pair, the minimum cost at Arsenal was £2650. My West Ham chum was paying that for 2 in the Olympic stadium. Staggering difference!

Will West Ham fill that many seats week in week out? Will Chelsea? Will Spurs?

I mean, if you have Champions League, sure, you’ll be ok. But we’re now in a situation where there are many clubs that think they’re big, but not enough Champions League spots for them all.

I’m also interested to know whether 4 Champions League spots impacts the TV revenue pot. I mean, in the sense that it brings the league more prestige. If Arsenal bomb at the group stages, and we lose that 3rd spot. Does it take a bit of sheen off the Premier League?

Who knows. But it’s an interesting point to note because our league is fat on greed right now. What happens when the golden goose stops laying £60m eggs every season?

There’s talk in the press about Arsenal going in hard for Barca DM Samper in January. Plus Nolito from Celta Vigo, because he’s scored a bunch of goals this season. I mean, Arsenal going hard in January is as boring as Arsene to splash the cash in the summer. It’s too little too late. Why doesn’t Wenger just sort things when they need to be sorted?

It’s amazing how slow Wenger’s plans are to come to fruition. You almost wonder if he does it on purpose to keep his job going. I used to have a guy who worked for me in a transport office. He had a piss easy job that he used to make last exactly his 8 hour shift. He did an ok job, and you could never fire him because he did the bare minimum that was required. But he never took our transport to the next level. He never innovated. He just did enough to avoid doing anything extra.

Kind of like Wenger. He could sign all he needed in one summer, but if he did that, he’d be asked to win things. By being just short, he crafts an excuse. Takes the pressure of winning the Premier League and doesn’t even get put in the melting pot for the Champions League.

I mean, look. 3 years without a striker. We didn’t replace Alex Song until there was an accident in our midfield. It took 10 years to figure out that having a tall defender might help from set plays. We wasted 3 years of not having a striker to sign Chamakh. Now we have a DM, we’ve wasted a summer not signing some competition. 4 years to get rid of Almunia. 3 to get rid of Chezzer. 8 years to sign a Cech.


Right, that’s me done for the day. Tonight, I have to go to work drink and not be like I was in England. I might pretend I don’t drink that much because I’m into triathlons (sexy). Or that I once saw a friend fall on the pavement when they’d had three beers and it shook me so bad I can’t drink (broken sexy). I mean, I can be whatever I want and there’s no one to call me a filthy liar.



303 Responses to “January signings sound depressingly boring”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    Alex James

    I must confess that I am rather the same as you.

    When my father died I gave Arsenal most of the old programmes that my father collected and I disposed also of most of the old programmes that I had accumulated when I moved house.

    Frankly I don’t keep the modern programmes, because I suspect that they don’t have any collectable value.

    Interestingly I discovered a small quantity of programmes which I had overlooked which covered the period 1952-5 AND ALSO a wartime international
    programme for England v Wales in 1940. These were games that my father
    had gone to.

  2. tom

    I have a ton of programmes from 70s and 80s.
    They are in cardboard box at my mum’s in London. At least, I hope they are.

  3. tom

    When I was a young Arsenal fanatic, living in North London, I had the
    privilege and pleasure to be a temporary editor of Gunflash magazine.

    Anyway, I think it was in 1986, as I remember writing a piece on the
    sacking of Don Howe.

    I may have been a little heavy handed in my critique of manner in which the
    Club handled that particular episode.
    The end was near for Howe and the Club was caught making public overtures to Terry Venebles.
    It was disrespectful and unlike Arsenal and I wrote as much.

    In those days the magazine was made on a Gastetner printing press.
    It was very low tech.

    I remember writing a couple of bits, then assembling layout, incorporating
    photos from the Club photog ( a smashing old bloke who’s name escapes me),
    and a cartoon and whatever. Paperclip the whole thing together, and of to
    the hand- crank press.

    As it happened, I got a single edition out , but after the stink it caused, we all agreed, it would be my lone contribution.

    Apparently the Club was unhappy with my criticism and as a result withdrew access for the magazine for sometime after as punishment.

    I ran into Barry Baker a few years back and reminded him about it.
    He said that he remembered being quite miffed at me for the trouble I caused, but had agreed with the sentiments that drew the ire.

    I wish I had kept a copy of that.