I have been in this country since 2001 and in common with anyone coming from India as I did during that time, I arrived having had limited exposure to football.
I was more or less used to names like Man Utd, Madrid so on and so forth but not many outside that group.
What I want to do here is talk about several different points: why I chose Arsenal, whether we should be deliberately buying players from countries where we want to increase Arsenal’s exposure, and the way early success can harm a leader.
How do you choose a team when you move?
One of the first things that attracted me to Arsenal was Arsène Wenger’s press conferences and his intelligence shown in them, and I have been a huge admirer since then.
But it raised the question: how does one pick a club when one moves from a different country. Some of my peers who came from the same background either picked United or Chelsea and it took me some time to figure it out.
I shared my thoughts with Dan Ariely and Tim Harford after reading their respective works on rationality and they seemed to concur on the aspects I had put forward. This was my take on the topic.
As far as the locals are concerned be they ones that support the team through generations or based on local affiliations, I am guessing the reasons to pick the team are straight forward. The love of a club can be passed over generations and hence not linked in any way to the success/failure of the team.
But what happens to a person moving into a new city? How does he choose if he doesn’t already have an affiliation? Since I live in Manchester I will use the clubs in the city as an example.
Do they always pick a more popular and successful team to help them gel into the local community and gain acceptance from a majority of the local population?
Is it because it gives them a sense of superiority by supporting a team that wins often (and overcomes any disappointments/failures of their own individual lives) which massages their ego on a regular basis?
Is it because you identify attributes in the team that you an relate and support it for the same?
Let me use my own example and my closest mate’s example. I support Arsenal for the manager’s philosophy,their playing style and the way they are going about achieving this with more emphasis on young talent rather than buying superstars (or at least I have deluded myself into believing this!) As an individual I normally prefer people taking their own decisions and feel that’s the way Arsenal’s Manager treats his player’s even though they are very much in their teens.
I somehow feel the reason my mate supports Manchester United is the way their manager deals with their players in a strict disciplinarian way much like a father from a traditional background takes care of his children. The reason I suspect my mate supports the team is because he unfortunately lost his father at a much younger age and hence the attachment to the club because he kind of has formed a mental bond based on that.
But having chosen Arsenal, last season threw open a lot of questions for me and would like to hear your views on them.
Reaching into new markets
Arsène had always spoken about German football during his formative years and the impact it had on his thinking and career but he has not signed many German players bar Lehmann considering he has been such a huge admirer of their technique.
Considering Arsenal (via Ivan Gazidis) are looking at markets to increase revenue streams for the club I would like to see Arsène pick players from countries from where we have had no representation as it gives the club a focal point to target the country’s market. For instance if Arsène has two players in mind for a position and if one of the players is from a country where we have not had a commercial market I would like Arsène to sign that player what do you reckon your point of view is on this one.
Also I would very much recommend (not that my recommendation counts for anything) the recent work by Micheal Lewis on the financial collapse “The Big Short” was a big eye opener as all through the story and the characters in the book I could find parallels with the state of finances in football.
The problem of early success
Micheal Burry in the book was chided by his own investors after he had bought them huge profits in the past and had asked the investors to be patient as he had bet long in the markets for future growth. He said he found there was no logic in the housing market and the way the financial institutions behaved. A majority of the investors were not happy and what they wanted has a striking resemblance to the situation Arsène is facing now. Maybe the problem is universal – if you get success early on, everyone expects it to continue, even if the environment changes.
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk
- The January transfer window moved few players around: but did any club benefit?
- Are Newcastle United really in financial difficulty? And what about Arsenal?
- Did Arsenal want Mudryk and Caicedo, and was it just luck that they didn’t sign them?
- Is the Premier League getting more exciting or simply ever more predictable?