04 February 2014

Arsène's shock-signing: Ümläüt

Even thought the January window closed on 31 January, Arsenal manager Arsène "the club is not named after me" Wenger proved that he has more than one more trick up his sleeve. After failing to secure Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler despite a highly publicized bid that would have matched the player's £37m release clause, supporters of the club were further disappointed by the underwhelming deadline-day signing of Swedish national and Spartak Moscow midfielder Kim Källström.

In the maelstrom of discontent that followed, with honorary club spokesman Piers Morgan, speaking on behalf of all Gooners everywhere, all of whom are simply blinded by the depth and breadth of Morgan's footballing bona fides, said via twitter, "NO new striker????? You've just thrown away the League. Disgraceful management. Enjoy your new deal. #AFC." It was a sentiment shared by all, such is the sagacity and always well-thought-through nature of the tweet, the twat who sent it, and twitter itself.

It was into this fray that the manager stepped in order to explain just how and why he was able to secure the services of this heretofore unheard of—not to mention difficult to pronounce—striker. As always, the ratio of questions from reporters to questions from Arsène approached 1:1. "Am I excited? Yes. Is it too early to talk of winning a championship. Probably a little bit. He is a player of exceptional quality, I believe."

When pressed for how such a signing was possible after the close of the January transfer window, Arsène explained, "was it a closed? Maybe. Was it a little bit open? Yes. The point is, I coach in this league 17 years, I think, so I deserve a little bit respect. The point is it is still too early to talk about the transfer-window closing. It is closed, so we must move on. I will not comment on speculation. Is it you who provides wrong informations? Yes. Okay. Thank you."

Wenger smirked a bit when asked why Ümläüt, or as he's known in his home-region of Västergötland, the Gallopin' Geat. "Is he a play of top, top quality? I don't know. We sign him and he plays, so you will be the ones to tell us of his sharpness, I am sure. Does he have more umlauts in his name? I think this is true, I don't know. I am convinced he has several. I think there is a little bit niggle in the pronuncation, but he will be fit soon. I don't know. I'm sure we have all spoken with an umlaut of a vowel without knowing you had it. You don't even notice it."

Coming on the heels of the wildly popular signing of Mesut Özil, it was perhaps a logical move to sign a player who brings to the squad three times as much quality as the German midfielder. Though a virtual known outside of the wider Götaland, Wenger was confident that he would be ready to contribute. “Ümläüt is one of the best in Allvenskan, without any speculations. He has the combination of qualities. A good reading of game, great commitment, a little bit speed and quick on the turn. Will he play right away? Maybe a little bit."

When it came time to introduce the man to the press, there was some temporary confusion over how to pronounce Ümläüt's name. It was then that Kim Källström took to the stage to assist the press corps in how to pronounce his compatriot's name. "With each of the umlauts, please take a moment to train your tonuge in the proper formation. Please say after me, 'EE-yoom law-UT.'"

In unison, reporters from The Indendepent, The Guardian, The Mirror, The Sun, and The Daily Mail replied "UR-zimlit." And so began a new Arsenal legend in the making.