About ten days ago, I had somewhat of a minor Arsenal-induced breakdown. I guess this summer just got the better of me; two and a half months of broken promises, of repeatedly having my hopes raised then categorically dashed, and of fear we’ll fall away from the higher echelons of Premiership football.
After Ivan Gazidis’s statements about the club’s ambition and available funds, I think I speak on behalf of the entire Arsenal fan base in saying I was expecting a summer of proactive and decisive business. I really thought it would be different this time round; two years of scraping Champions League football would surely have given the manager and the board a kick up the backside - or so I thought.
First it was Stefan Jovetic we were heavily linked with. “Finally!”, I said, a marquee signing, and it’s not even deadline day!”. Yeah, that didn’t work out.
Then it was Gonzalo Higuain. Personal terms agreed, they said. “There’s our ambition!” I exclaimed. “Who will start, him or Giroud?” we gleefully debated. It was great seeing him at the Grove for the first time during the Emirates Cup. Shame he was playing for Napoli.
Then came Bernard. He was meant to replace Goetze at Dortmund, so when it was reported he was due for a medical at Arsenal we were all very excited. “Just a feeder club? Yeah, right, we’ve just beaten Germany’s second biggest team to a signing!”. Not the player we needed, but oh well, we’ll take him I guess. Maybe he was waiting behind Yann M’Vila, but that medical never happened.
Oh well. Didn’t need him anyway. Up next was Luis Suarez. £40,000, 0001, oh how we laughed! “Wenger you joker!”, “same old Arsenal, taking the mick!” Blogs were written, views discussed, arguments instigated. Did we want a person like that representing our club? What kind of message would that be sending? Some said who cares, some said absolutely not. Deep down, though, we all fantasized about the prospect of Suarez leading the line for the Arsenal. If wanting him was wrong, then I didn’t want to be right. But just when it looked like we might actually do it, we might actually sign one of the world’s best players, all of a sudden the deal was off, in the biggest anti-climax since it was revealed The Secret Footballer was Dave Kitson.
When we thought a proper defensive midfielder was on the way, well that was particularly hard to cope with. “Arsenal near £14 million deal for Luis Gustavo” read the headlines. Come on Reuben, we know where this is going. Don’t get excited. Don’t get excited. Don’t get excited. Don’t get ex - ah, sod it, we’re signing a Brazilian international from the best club in the world!
Or not then.
And the most recent transfer link to take a hit at my insanity was when BBC reporter David Ornstein tweeted: “Arsenal working on deals for Benzema and Di Maria. Also pursuing a goalkeeper and a defender, could spend £100 million”. Nonsense, I replied. And then, all of a sudden, that was that. I was finished. Done. Had enough. I’ve been beaten.
So, to answer the question of this piece, it takes about seven failed transfer negotiations to drive a man to insanity. One week of the transfer window left, tick tock, tick tock, Mr Wenger.
See more from Reuben Lewis @rlewisafc