12 May 2014

Transfer Round-up: Arsenal to move for marquee signings?

With the Prem season over and only the FA Cup final standing between Arsenal and the transfer-window, the rumors have begun to fly. After a season that might disappoint many of the Arsenal faithful who had hoped for a Prem title, and for whom winning the FA Cup might feel like a bit of a consolation prize, the calls for Arsène to spend lavishly this summer are only going to increase in volume, frequency, and intensity. Win the Cup, and some will see it as a springboard for action. Lose the Cup, and others will see it as a clarion-call for action. Either way, Arsène must surely feel the pressure after the squad spent so much time in first place only to falter down the stretch. If he fails to do so, fan-frustration may very well boil over.

Even before the final Prem matches had been played, the lurid headlines and vapid articles proliferated like teeming insects. Depending on whom you believe, we've made offers for Josip Drmić, Serge Aurier, Alexis Sanchez, Lars Bender, Javi Martinez, and just about any other play you can name. Truth be told, it might be just as easy to track who we're not swooping for and who isn't a "shock" transfer-target. I look at the headlines from sources like The Sun, The Mirror, Bleacher Report, and so on, and I get frustrated. I'll admit it. I slave away, pouring blood, sweat, coffee, and tears into what I hope are heart-felt articles about a club I love. Then, along comes some half-baked warmed-over, reserved mush about somewant-away/starlet/flavor-of-the-month whom we're apparently about to splash. As Calvin puts it, once you've read the headline, you've basically read all you need to know—unless the headline is one of the cagier ones about the player's position, current club, or nationality.

Still, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Click the link and feed the beast. I've experienced it enough to understand the powerful lure of those articles. A site can probably quadruple its traffic, if not its earnings, by puking out some transfer-tripe and at a fraction of the time, research, or other efforts involved in creating something more original or insightful. I'm sure that most of us click through with a sense of bemused detachment or perhaps morbid curiosity, skeptically expecting to come across 300 words of nothingness. Still, there are worse ways to waste a few minutes of one's life. Anyone looking for actual insight or accuracy might have better luck tossing darts at bulletin-board. For all we know, that's the actual process for creating the articles in the first place.   At its worst, it plays on our hopes and fears. Who wouldn't want to see us sign Diego Costa? For one, it would catapult us towards the top of the Prem. For another, it would stick a knife to Mourinho's own ambitions.

However, the reality is much more elusive and complex. Even if we've qualified for Champions League play, signing players is a tricky business full of as many twists and turns as it is plagued by shady characters. Sit back, relax, and enjoy it for what it is. It's going to be a long summer. It ain't the heat that'll get you. It's the inspidity.

If you're interested in sharing your views on whom we should target, will sign, and more, check out the reader's poll by clicking here. It only takes a minute or so, and I'm that the legally-binding nature of the results will compel Arsène to act.