From the outlook, you could say this was written by a rather angry man. While that may hold some truth, it’s the manner of the issues that have got me to this stage. I’m not here to be soft with my thoughts, but I don’t need to be at the level of Michael Owen to get my points across.
I’ve taken the title from one of my favorite stand up comedians of all time, George Carlin. I’ve seen some criticize him as an angry old man in his later years, but I think if you understood and agreed with his world view, you wouldn’t be a cheerful Johnny either. I may not be old exactly, but I’m unhappy about a number of things. So I’ve chosen this platform to share my discontent with you, my fellow Gooners.
Let’s obviously start with Arsenal on the whole, and right now specifically, things are fine. Even the “trophy drought” didn’t bother me as I understood that the stadium would put us 2 steps back before we take 3 steps forward – but there is an issue right there. Too many pundits prefer to take a proverbial shit on us for not winning things often enough since the move.
I know we have built and moved into a new stadium, which I believe does grant us a small excuse for a short matter of time, yes; but tell me, what the hell have Liverpool, Spurs or Everton done in the last 8 plus years? Two league cups between them. I don’t see any talk of trophy drought for those three clubs. Maybe the media need to admit they expect us to be a level above them, and idiots like Michael Owen, (who I’ll tear in to next,) need to accept that bar once in 5 years, Liverpool, like Tottenham, AREN’T a Champions League club right now. They are clubs fighting for a Champions League spot – let’s get that right.
As for Michael Owen? He’s making his coin alright – don’t worry about that. But I don’t think he’s managed to keep a shred of dignity since he retired and went in to punditry. The only way anyone wants to hear his bland opinions, are when he says something utterly ridiculous and embarrassing. To even suggest that Raheem Sterling is in the same textbook, let alone better than Mesut Özil, is something I’d expect to see a mental patient write in blood on a wall in an insane asylum. Maybe Mesut hasn’t had the best 12 months, but to suggest Sterling is better than him at this stage of his career shows how he needs to feel important and seem knowledgeable. He’s just another lousy pundit who makes money from saying incredibly stupid things – a footballing Alex Jones in my opinion.
But more than him, his employers should be seriously looked at for letting the intellectual level of football fans plummet after hearing his flabbergasting statements. Think for a moment how often managers get the sack in football yet he can keep his job for constantly being wrong about almost everything he says? No similarity really – maybe I’m just bitter and want smarter, hard working pundits with valid and intellectual points to make.
It’s gotten to the point that given a survival situation of diving in a river and swimming to safety or jumping into a 100 foot canyon and facing certain injury, Owen would pick the canyon jump: “definitely jumping 100 feet to the ground floor we would have a better chance of surviving, water is overrated in the jumping to survival aspect compared to hard ground.”
Maybe I’ve gone off the boil already, but bear with me – I’m not done yet. I felt about having a go at Cesc Fàbregas, but it’s a pointless debate now. Some will be ok with him being a Chelsea maggot simply cos “he was our best player for a time.” So was Robin Van Persie. Don’t give me the “it’s the manner of how he left debate” either. I’m rather sure Fàbregas went on strike to force a move. I don’t like him anymore, I appreciate what he did do, but we move on.
I’m a little perplexed by the Diaby pay as you play deal he’s apparently going to get next season. Are you telling me the man will literally only see a paycheck should he set foot on a football pitch? If so, I’d hope the under 21’s and all of that count then. It’s beyond crazy that he has stayed at the club all this time. I understand the guy isn’t at fault for these injuries for all these years, but unless the man is a genius of medical science, I think the concept of him playing a valuable role at the football club from here on out is far beyond possible. I think it best he soon retire, and no joke, maybe join the medical team. We have all seen those Diaby career injury lists floating around on the net, and the only person I’ve ever seen who can rival his injury record is former WWE wrestler Mick Foley, also known as Mankind.
If you think that’s a joke because wrestling isn’t real, then look it up. Mick Foley’s injuries were real. The funny thing is, Abou Diaby didn’t sustain his extensive list of injuries by being smashed through a table that was on fire; or even being dropped on a pile of thumbtacks – these are footballing injuries. Since his injury all those years ago against Sunderland he hasn’t lasted three games without being out for the majority of the season afterward. So pay as you play confuses me to the point of laughter rather than anger.
Finally, boring, boring Chelsea. It pisses me off that I knew as soon as they won the league the whole “they’ve won four Premier League titles now, one more than Arsenal” would start. As if that matters considering they’re still nine behind us in total. Wasn’t worth a mention that part was it? Consider that they’ve spent near on a billion pounds to be where they are, and their world class manager, who in his career has spent around 830 million pounds to be as successful as he has been. While playing the most boring anti football on earth in doing so, I’d like to see some of these pundits (who drive me insane by the way) ask the question – would Chelsea have ever rose to prominence without the influx of money? Would José Mourinho be so special without being handed a blank cheque book? The answer to both is a unanimous no!
Maybe José would have been a good manager without the ludicrous spending he’s done. But in a football world where people say money doesn’t guarantee success, I say bullshit to that. Maybe it can’t actually buy you the ability to walk up and take a trophy from the stands, but it gets you a level above 95 percent of clubs in the world instantly. And if you aren’t too sure about the level of success it brings, you only need to see the increase in silverware since Manchester City, or even PSG were purchased by oil tycoon families.
This leads me to financial farce play. Maybe it will “curb spending” but it seems since Chelsea were the first ones to do it years ago, they’ve escaped prior punishment and now can only “spend what they make.” Basically football has gone to shit. And if you’re not in the rich elite, you’re never going to be until some oil baron decides to buy you and promise FIFA a nice little pay day if they don’t ban them from the Champions League. In a world where the wage gap between the rich and the poor has never been greater, it’s a sad indictment that football too has taken a similar turn. The governing bodies take bribes from the richest clubs, and similar things go on in society.
As complaints and grievances go, I think I’ve covered myself in nothing but an agitated cloud today, but I think some of these issues we all agree with. We’re luckily in a position at Arsenal where we can actually be “proud of our history” and know we don’t have that asterisk next to our club badge saying “proudly bought to compete” as Chelsea and City do. We do things the right way, and we have earned the right to financially compete, because we do things the fair way. No shortcuts. I hope someday those clubs have to go to the back of the line again. If only in the interest of fairness.
Cheers for staying the length.
Jake also writes about Arsenal on his own site, The Loaded Cannon – go check it out!