Signing up to be a football fan is signing up to have other people play a major role in your emotions. To have your feelings thrown to and fro, tossed about, highs and lows. It’s inevitable. But there’s a rush to it, an addiction. To see your side, the side you put everything into, the side you have nothing to offer but your heart and love, come out successful is a feeling like none other. How do I know it’s like none other? Because even at it’s worst, it always keeps you coming back for more.
The chase for the next moment, the next goal, the next worldie, the next win, the next triumph, the next moment where you feel like you have toppled Goliath and defied odds. The moments you win silverware, the moments cups are lifted. The moments you feel a connection to your club.
These moments aren’t even always happy. Moments you defend your club, find consolation in fellow fans, commiserate after a loss, empathize with a gutting response in a post-game interview that elicits a emotion and tugs at your heartstrings. But you always come back. You need to come back. Because the rally for the next day, the next match, the next challenge is sometimes as satisfying as the win.
Some days are simply harder than others, while some days are better than the best of them. Losses couldn’t bring you down, pandemics couldn’t knock the fire out of you, and that’s the way it’s going to stay. You’re a supporter for life.
Yesterday, was one of those days where emotions were high, then emotions were a bit sad. And on the other side, interests peaked. Players come, stay, and go – but you will be there always.
The day started with the signature and announcement of star-striker, captain, and goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. According to David Ornstein, and multiple other sources, the deal comes in the form of a new 3-year deal that will see Aubameyang’s future lie in north London and enable him to become the highest paid player at the club.
As many people quickly picked up, the word “enable” is a key part. By all accounts, this new deal will see Aubameyang’s base salary rise to £250,000 per-week with adds ons and performance bonuses that enable that statement to be true. It’s an important qualification. If it weren’t there it would suggest Arsenal have agreed to pay the Gabonese star more than Ozil’s £350,000 per-week. I’m not saying the man isn’t worth it right now, especially if he keeps tucking away goals like he did against Fulham and Liverpool, but the clubs finances hardly seem capable of handling two players on such substantial fees.
Whatever the cost may be, Aubameyang will certainly be the most important signature Arsenal could have sealed this summer. His ability to finish at such an effective and efficient rate allows Arteta and Arsenal to patiently overhaul their team, rather than rushing to put together a band-aided side of potentially expensive pieces. It would run the risk of Arsenal winding up, almost exactly where they were feeling 9 months ago when Arteta took over – aimless with a hefty burden of wages.
Every Gooner will breath a little easier today, with relief in the pit of their stomach. They will have slept soundly as they put their head on the pillow. But when the window is tight, with time ticking, things move fast.
Just hours after jubilation, a return to earth. Arsenal said goodbye to a longterm member of the club – Emi Martinez. Despite the battle that raged between Arsenal fans over the internet since the day news broke of Emi’s potential sale, in recent days it had become apparent the deal was done.
Leno was given the start at Fulham, Martinez didn’t travel with the squad to sit on the bench, and reports of him having a medical surfaced shortly after the match. With a strong, powerful, and kind goodbye, Martinez confirmed his departure and fans were there to give him a fond farewell.
He is off to Aston Villa, and in return, Arsenal will be getting roughly £20m. For many it won’t feel enough, for some it’s 10x what he was worth just a few months ago, but for all it peaks interest in what comes next. As I said, the window moves fast, and with it – more sales are likely to come.
We have heard PSG interested in Bellerin, links for Kolasinac and Sokratis, and another impending, larger deal for Torreira that could net the Gunners ~£22m. It’s not the massive fees that open up the wide-world of football purchases, allowing Arteta to pick his assortment like a child in a sweets shoppe, but it begins to move the needle in completing at least one of Arsenal’s two top targets – Aouar and Partey.
It may feel a bit “no love lost” to handover Emi’s fees before London Colney’s doors have closed behind him, but Arsenal have a small window of time to get some players in, acclimate them, and shoot to have them making a debut sooner rather than after deadline day.
It will be impossible to get them in before West Ham, naturally, and may be a big ask to have them make a debut against Liverpool on September 28th, leaving Arsenal with two small opportunities – Leicester City in a slightly more relaxed Carabao Cup match on September 22nd – although I don’t believe Arteta has ever relaxed for a match – or a home debut against Sheffield United on October 3rd.
Whoever Arsenal bring in will have been part of another side’s training and matches meaning they qualify to not need a period of quarantine, similar to Ceballos, nor as much work to become fit. But they will need time to get up and running within Arteta’s system. October 3rd feels like their best chance, and it would mean at least one game before they travel to The Ethiad to play Man City – another game you hardly want new players debuting in, if it can be avoided.
Arsenal fans will again split their attention between the Transfer Window rumor mill and their upcoming match – this time against West Ham. Arsenal will need to replace Emi as well meaning there is plenty of business to be done in order to give Arteta the tools he needs for the upcoming campaign. So sit back, keep your nerves in tact, and try to enjoy the ride.
After all, this what being a football fan is all about.