03 June 2014

Transfer-tidbits: Fàbregas to Chelsea, Ramsey to Barça? Sigh...

Here we are, with no matches to speak of (if you mention "international friendlies", I'll...I'll...I don't know that I'll do as it would almost certainly involve hiring some kind of private investigator to find where you live, taking a crash-course in some hard-to-pronounce martial art, buying a plane-ticket, renting a car or hiring a taxi, and showing up at your door to eventually mumble something about how international friendlies are a waste of time) until the World Cup, and we're left with the the tawdriest talk of players going here and there and which club's made what kind of bid for this or that player. Madness. All the back-and-forth has a beloved former player either returning or betraying or staying and another, newly talismanic player being tempted away by bigger, brassier clubs. All of it amounts to folderol—lucrative, lucrative folderol.

Fair warning: what follows is some self-pitying, emo-ish, navel-gazing. You'll find nothing here about the likelihood or desirability or dire consequences of certain players leaving or joining Arsenal. This post is all about your loyal correspondent and his desperate need for affirmation. Those of you with little appetite with such fare should—what's that? They're already gone? Fine. Here's the dilemma I wrestle with. On one hand, keep my head down and do my level-best to learn, to grow, to analyze and explain and get a modest amount of visitors. On the other, splash a tawdry "exclusive" update on who's about to join the club or who's about to leave and get an embarrassing amount of visitors. I've flirted with it, even did the morning-after walk of shame here and there, but what's a boy to do?

Today, for example, I could offer my own version of the "Cazorla says Fàbregas should re-join Arsenal" bit along with a host of other sites and get all sorts of traffic—ten or twenty times what I usually experience. Along the way, I might attract a few more regular readers, but I might get lumped in with tabloids and other traffic-whores. By contrast, I could conduct a bit of research to explain why, for example, we should hold on to Vermaelen and rotate him more frequently with Koscielny in order to build Vermaelen's rapport with Mertesacker and keep Koscielny fresh and less-prone to injury, culling stats from whoscored, squawka, and opta, only to get a fraction of the traffic that the "Fàbregas should re-join Arsenal" piece would garner—after ten times the effort, no less.

I'm not usually given to this kind of whingeing. I'm the kind of footballer, writer, and whatever else who grits his teeth and puts his shoulder to the wheel. However, I resent the faster, furiouser crowd for how often and easily they rack up the hits and the revenue. Many of them leech off of us, suckling at our emotional and psychological strength for the sake of a greasy buck (pound..euro..shilling...). It's enough to make me wish that there was some kind of loyalty-test, some way of filtering out the riff-raff, so that only those loyal and true could cover the comings and goings. Bleacher Report wants to talk about our top-five targets to replace Sagna? Okay. Here Is The City wants us to consider Khedira as the "perfect" upgrade over Arteta or Flamin.  Sure. All they and others should have to do is swear an oath to Arsenal, forswearing coverage of any other club, and commit themselves to this one with the dedication, devotion, and delirium that I and so many others share.

I apologize to those who might have come here looking for a 100-word regurgitation of what they might have found at a teeming host of other sites. Heck, I apologize to those who might have come here expecting something worth their while. I promise to be back next time with something a little less self-indulgent, a little more enlightening...

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