Cesc, Rooney and the Loyalty Myth

July 20, 2010

We have all become used to players “Kissing the Badge”, and assuring the fans of their undying love for their Club by uttering facile mantras, such as “Once a Blue, always a Blue”, and many other similar clichés.

We have recently heard, more and more frequently, particularly in the case of Cesc Fabregas, that a player possesses this or that “DNA” in their blood.
This “possessive identifier” does not only refer to players who have been born overseas, such as Cesc, but British players, such as Gerrard, Neville and Shearer, born in the vicinity of their clubs, who are inextricably linked to their geographical heritage.

On the other hand, fans become emotionally involved with their Clubs, out of choice, and once they become Gooners, Dippers or Spuds they will remain loyal supporters for the rest of their lives.
Whether a fan is born or lives within a stone’s throw of their club, or is born many thousands of miles away, makes no difference. Their love of their Club, their team and its football is what unites them all.

Gooners all over the world love to get together, either in the Pubs or on the internet, and talk, discuss or argue about their beloved Gunners; to discuss the latest rumours; to worry about who will be bought; who will be sold; and how successful the team will be in the coming season. And this is true for fans of all the other teams too.

The loyalty of the fans is absolute and unquestioned but what then about the “loyalty” of the players, with or without DNA.

Fans because of their identity with the Club extend this loyalty and love to the players.
In return, they expect the players to respond in kind and give their love and loyalty back to both their devoted fans and the Club itself. Sadly, this emotional link is very often misplaced. At root, players are professional sportsmen who in their relatively short careers want to make as much money and win as many trophies as possible.

When Arsenal develops young players through their youth system, a very important milestone is passed when they reach 17 years of age. The Club and the player now engage in a purely business transaction which can often be brutal. Love and loyalty play no part in these discussions.

Firstly the Club will decide in a hard-headed businesslike manner, whether, or not, a young player is good enough for a professional career with them. For those who are unsuccessful there are broken dreams and broken hearts! No love or loyalty there then.
For the successful ones a contract is awarded with plenty of dosh, dependent on the deemed ability of individual players. No love or loyalty is evident there either; just haggling over money and security!

Immediately, from that moment, the dye is cast and the fans’ love and loyalty is divorced from the business of the financial contractual relationship of the Club and Player.
When Arsenal, Manchester City or whoever buy a player, they are in fact buying the player’s contract and the hard-headed business negotiations kick in again. No mention of love or loyalty! No siree Bob.

No matter how much fans would wish it to be different, it is this contractual relationship which governs Club and Player until the end of that contract or the end of the player’s career.  Consider the statements we continually hear from players and what they really mean;

“Once a Blue always a Blue”? Sod that, if more money and trophies are there for the taking.

“I love Arsenal”? Well until I am offered more money elsewhere, by Citeh.

“I am proud to be an Arsenal player”? Well until my DNA kicks in and I can go to a Club likely to win trophies and pay me a salary beyond my wildest dreams. Don’t cry for me Barcelona, the truth is I never left you £££££.

“I can only say it is in the hands of the manager”? If I say I want to go, it may cost me a big payout.
This is not to be overly cynical. It is reality! In truth, the players are not the only ones to blame for this state of affairs. From the age of 17 onwards, the legal business entity which is the Club, under the FIFA and UEFA guidelines, negotiates and dictates the financial relationship of the player to the Club.

The fans have no say in any of this, other than to provide the emotional and financial support without which the Club/Players would not exist. Cough up, pay more and watch the game!

Players’ Loyalty? Players’ Love?

Pahh! Don’t be naive, it’s just a MYTH!

Written by Red Arse


It all begins just how it ended!!

July 17, 2010

Well shiver me old timbers, the new season kicks off today and I’m really disappointed that both Almunia and Fabianski are the two goal keepers travelling to Barnet!

I think I speak for every fan here when I say I’d much rather seen Chesney and Mannone in the twenty-two man squad….

What can be made of that, is it last chance saloon for both Almunia and Fabianski? Is it their own sudden death penalty shootout to see who stays with us next season as number 2, or is it going to be same old fight between the two of them to play each week??

There have been plenty of rumours surrounding Arsenal and goal keepers which is a good sign, so we could still see a new No1 this coming season. I sure as heck don’t want us to start the new season with either of those muppets in goal!!

The Daily Express have picked up on the Handanovic reports, as have Wikipedia. The latter suggest he is due to sign after a medical. 

Still just 25, the Udinese No1 is Slovenia’s undisputed first-choice keeper. That status has been earned over several years, but most notably during a South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign that witnessed Handanovic marshal, arguably, the meanest defence in the entire European Zone.  He conceded just three goals in eight group matches, which included an all-important clean sheet in a decisive victory over Russia.

Gianluigi Buffon has hailed him as “one of the best goalkeepers in Italy”, while Slovenian fans consider him to be among the finest in the world…

Did he impress enough at the World Cup to convince you that he is better than what we have already??

Here he is in action…


Could this man be our next new signing??

On to today, here’s the squad in full for the Barnet game..

Manuel Almunia (GK)
Andrey Arshavin
Nacer Barazite
Marouane Chamakh
Johan Djourou
Craig Eastmond
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
Emmanuel Frimpong
Kieran Gibbs
Conor Henderson
Laurent Koscielny
Henri Lansbury
Ignasi Miquel
Samir Nasri
Havard Nordtveit
Tomas Rosicky
Armand Traore
Thomas Vermaelen
Theo Walcott
Jack Wilshere

I’ve paid my £3, and I really hope I and all fans get to see the two new boys and the likes of Lansbury, Nordtveit, Wilshere, Frimpong and Djourou play – I still believe they have a role to perform this coming season, especially if the cheque book stays closed….

Oh well, that’s about it, enjoy the game, the good thing is that football and Arsenal are back for another long and no doubt painful season ahead…

Finally, Arsene Wenger needs to step up in his chase for a new defender but we all know that. Now though it seems that Vidic is desperate to leave Manchester United and move to Real Madrid. Should that move take place, you can bet your bottom dollar and rumour is we have a few, that Fergie won’t hang around in the transfer market to find his replacement. So come on Arsene, if you really want Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka, best you get on with it!

Better news on Aaron….. Good luck Theo!!

March 1, 2010

What a day yesterday was, I don’t know about you guys and gals, but seeing all the replays of the horrid injury to Aaron Ramsey was just sickening and hard on the eyes.

So much so, it didn’t take long for me to close the newspaper and not look at any more videos or pictures, all I waited for and was despearte to hear was Arsenal make a statement, so yesterday afternoon it was good to read that Aaron’s operation was a success after surgery on a fractured fibula and tibia.

For anyone who hasn’t seen, there is a message board on AFC.com where you can send your well wishes to Aaron Ramsey, a nice touch for the fans I think.

I honestly believe that Ramsey will heal quickly, he’s a young very fit man who could very well be back for the beginning of the new season, I guess we will know more when Arsene speaks.

So this morning Aaron should be back in London, and the bay boy Shawcross will be training with the England squad! Doesn’t seem quite fair really does it? The tackle was awful and even Graham Poll suggests it was no accident.

This is what he said in The Daily Mail – ‘There are very few genuine accidents in football. I accept that Shawcross did not intend any harm but his tackle was no accident’.

Life has to go on though and the team has to carry on with the same commitment they showed in the last ten minutes against Stoke. Take that in to the remaining fixtures and come the end of the season we will be lifting the Pemier League Trophy.

Talking of trophies, I watched the League Cup yesterday, what a boring game, Mancs should have had Vidic sent off when Villa had their penalty, same old rubbish refereeing in the Premier League, you know, the man in black with the Manchester United Badge on his shirt!!

Oh how I wish we had been playing in the final, watching the game neither side really shone, well, not until Rooney came on and stole the show. I think we could have won that game though with the attitude of the Stoke game – just imagine, it could have been you sat at Wembley cheering the team on.
You could have been sat watching on television, either way wouldn’t it have been great just sat watching Arsenal playing in a final, and at Wembley…….

The way Man UTD celebrated, you would have thought they had won the Champions League – you know what, I don’t balme them either. A trophy is a trophy and we need one badly!!

A strange piece of news from Saturday – Theo Walcott was included in the England big boys squad for the up and coming friendly against Eygpt – lucky old him, in fact very lucky because I can’t for love nor money see why he has been included. He probably wouldn’t had Lennon been fit. Good luck Theo, not only with the England bit, but staying calm around Ryan Shawcross!!

Another snippet from yesterdays news, Lardybayor wants a televised ‘honesty session’ with Arsene Wenger, he wants to prove to the world that he never asked to leave Arsenal!!

Two things Lardy,

1) If you were happy you wouldn’t need to shout about Arsenal or Arsene Wenger

2) You need to apply to the Jeremy Kyle Show, they sort lives out – alledgely!!

Thats about it really, a dull day yesterday in the world of Arsenal news, but the priority was finding out how Aaron Ramsey was – we now know he should be ok – thank goodness for that!