By Tony Attwood
I see that Arsenal Fan TV won an award at the Football Blogging Awards, which I suppose might just tell us something about where we are.
I suppose for me it is a bit like giving an advertising award to a company that make daily, “hello I believe you were involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault” calls, or worse, robocalls (where all you get is a recorded message) while knowing that the calls come from a non-existent number and that there are 8.5 billion robocalls are made each month in the USA alone.
And so, being interested in history I want to ask, “How did we get here?” How can it be that Sky Sports News is putting out the message that Arsenal Fan TV has won an award, and they, and I guess the judges, think this is a good thing?
So next I went searching to find out who these judges were, and although I went through several web sites that are reporting on the event at Alexandra Palace I couldn’t find a list of judges anywhere. I guess they must have been the people who keep outmoded phone networks running, along with assorted criminals, debt collectors, Footsie 100 companies, Virgin Trains, Stage Coach, and directors of Carillion, Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Grant Thornton, the people who invented Windows and had the absolute nerve to call it an “operating system”, and similar upstanding and righteous individuals.
But then it struck me, it was ever thus. For as one of our readers reminded us recently, the opening of Fever Pitch comments that Highbury was full of people who clearly didn’t want to be there, watching this most awful team play terrible football and saying so loudly.
Slowly on contemplating this I realised that I too had fallen into a hell that could not possibly be real.
I guess I have coped (to a point) before now by making fun of some of the greater levels of insanity – like having the media tell us about over 100 transfers into Arsenal that are about to happen during the course of the summer when in fact only three will happen and no one but no one will apologise for all this false news, and the someone writing a comment in after this article saying “if you think Arsenal only need three players you are a moron” as if that were the point.
Like the fact that TalkSport are currently quoting that Arsenal are trying to sign Dries Mertens and are “battling to fight off” Tottenham Hotspur.
Now there are two things you need to know (and I really do mean “need to know” about this guy). These are that is a) he is a forward, playing either a centre forward or a winger and b) he is 31 years old.
If we can throw into the occasion the fact that Arsenal have just spent loadsofmoney on assembling a forward line of Mkhitaryan, Aubamayang and Lacazette and that to the best of my knowledge none of these fine players will be getting themselves crippled in the World Cup this summer, and thus are likely to be fully fighting fit from the off, why the giblets would we need to buy another forward?
We have Danny Welbeck as a back up, can play Ozil as a forward winger… and we have various youngsters coming through, so do we really, really, really need to buy a 31 year old? And come to that would he come in order to be a reserve?
I was thus getting to the point where none of the world makes any sense at all (to which many would reply well, that’s what you get from writing Untold Arsenal all the time) when I discovered that Gazetta Dello Sport, which TalkSprout cites as the source for the story about this undoubtedly fine player coming to Arsenal, actually cites an English sports radio station as the source of the story, and suddenly everything made sense in the sense that nothing is ever supposed to make sense.
It’s a bit like touting Thierry Henry as manager of Arsenal. What exactly is the sense in that? Or the “fact” as it is portrayed in loads of places that Arsenal have learned their lesson from the Alexis “fiasco” and will not let Aaron Ramsey run down his contract in the way Alexis did, but will sell him sooner.
And I thought, hang on a minute. Thierry has never managed a club, and the Alexis deal worked out rather well for us, given that Alexis we were told was endlessly causing problems for Arsenal in the dressing room and his skills were fading, so we cleverly got rid of him to Manchester United for whom he has not been scoring goals while making a fuss, and in his stead we got Mkhitaryan who seems a jolly decent sort of chap and is a pal of Aubamayang and plays jolly good football.
So where was the mistake?
And yet it must be all a mistake. Otherwise, if it is not a mistake, Arsenal Fan TV winning an award must be a Good Thing, a bit like Northern Rock giving mortgages of 120% of the value of a house to people who couldn’t afford to make the repayments, or… well it goes on and on.
In the end I was taken back to the statement by the UK government minister Nicholas Ridley, who when asked what working class people should do if they couldn’t pay their bills or afford food, said words to the effect, “They should do what my family always did – sell a picture.”
It was only later that I realised he actually was the son of a Viscount, and that this was exactly what his family used to do, and that he meant it in all seriousness.
Arsenal Fan TV have won an award. My only response at the moment is, “Can we open another bottle?”
- The curious cases of match fixing in the world cup, Champs League, and, well, generally
- Mikel Arteta resigns as Arsenal manager
- Five great players, six great reserves and Arsenal win the league