We are living in unprecedented times, that much is true, but even I did not know just how much the equilibrium had been knocked out of balance when I read the headlines and distress in some quarters that Arsenal have allowed £160m of talent out the door without recouping a single penny.
I am somewhat surprised.
In the preceding decade the criticism was from the opposite end of the spectrum, and the club’s Board and management were implored to ‘Spend Some F’ing Money’ by all and sundry.
They did, maybe not wisely but they followed the demands to stop taking gambles on young players and start instead to pay big money for established experienced players.
This very rarely ends in anything other than the club taking a loss when the club parts ways with those players bought at 25-28 years old, so why on earth are people getting so upset?
Like anything else in public debate you have the reasoned observer and the lunatics. Last night I read that QAnon supporters and followers were left bereft, dejected and even grieving that what they believed would happen (Trump launching National Guard/Military/Police to mass arrest everyone at Biden’s inauguration in the ultimate arrest of Deep State participants… I kid you not), didn’t happen.
Now I am not putting the ‘SSFM’ brigade in the same boat but it does feel that they have had their beliefs dragged from under them in the same way: they were convinced by media pundits, fellow fans and influencers that the money spent would turn us into some unstoppable force, every million spent was cheered – the bigger the better, we are putting together a title challenge etc etc.
As those dreams faded and died (to borrow a line from those over in the east end of London) they are forced to reflect, some insist that the only way to rebuild will be to spend big again, others have turned their ire at mismanaged contracts and players departing for nothing.
Ignore the noise, we have seen in the last few weeks what is possible placing a bit of trust in the players from the academy and adding one or two competent individuals. I dare say we have a few more financial losses to come. Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe will surely all see a loss when they eventually depart, but are we really going to be churlish and say the club should never have bought Aubameyang when the time comes that he leaves on a free?
Gooner in Exile