The man from Eastlower once told me it's best not to blog when you're cross. Avoid the 'straight after defeat' rant. A more considered approach is appreciated. So this is probably a mistake (and I didn't want to start the season this way!) However, tonight's news has left me annoyed to put it mildly.
We all knew it was coming after one great season. The Arsenal just can't keep hold of their stars. It's obviously not our thing. There is a stupid T-shirt in the club shop declaring, 'We don't buy superstars, we make them' as if that's a proud boast. Maybe tomorrow it will be available with 'and we flog them to a rival in Manchester' tagged on the bottom.
I know it's great business. We got him for less than £3 million and sold him for £24 m but to me that's not the point. The message this sends out is that we can't hold on to our players if one of our so called rivals want one. Barcelona (rivals?!) knock every summer and now it's the impoverished mancs who plunder us. Today it feels as if we are the nursery club for the bigger boys. We were supposed to be challenging Man U but we are miles off it. 19 points behind last season was only half the story. There is no way on earth we could go to them and buy their best player. This is a one way street. People have pointed out RVP is injury prone and won't last. What odds on the bugger staying fit for the next 2 years just to piss us off?
I'm old enough to remember actually crying when Stapleton went there. I was always Stapleton in the back garden and he broke my young heart. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to play for The Arsenal. I didn't, at that age, understand the adult world of cash.
Over 30 years later I'm still surprised at why a player would leave us. I have this misty eyed view that the players love the club as much as we do. Well they don't. They don't give a shit and why should they. It's their job. Any of us would go to another company for twice the money. Yet football, in our eyes, should be different. All that badge kissing and fist pumping is now bollocks. There are no more Tony Adams' in any clubs.
So a decent summer ends like this. I'm sure Song will follow the captain (a childhood Gooner who's happy to play for that lot?) to balance the books as we take a few steps forward and a few steps back.
Sorry to blog this but a man I thought was decent has gone to a club I despise. I don't care about the money as I don't own the place. I care about how this looks and it looks shit.
Up The Gunners.