“Arsenal ‘ready to sacrifice Hector Bellerin for £50m'” rang the headline. Of course, they are. Most billionaires would sell their grannies for 50p so £50m for an employee is a done deal.
And then like a fool, you read the story which basically says that Manchester City wanted Bellerin last summer but signed Kyle Walker so are no longer interested. And Juventus, they want Bellerin but not at £50m so really, no-one is interested. Not even Barcelona.
Or Hector Bellerin. There’s no hint that he’s off or has asked to leave and lord knows, he has most reason to want to go after the abuse he receives. It’s not hard to see why players outsource their social media accounts. Bellerin genuinely runs his and my godfathers, some parents would be embarrassed by their progeny.
Two players who are likely to leave this summer are Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson, who are both being touted as loanees for next season. Oh, come on, not even Arsenal are that daft to sell them although reading the criticism of the latter for venting his frustration at the weekend…it’s just as well we don’t impose a morality code on the players because the hypocrisy ran knee-deep.
He threw his bib down. Tsk, tsk. Such petulance. Oooh, you bad boy. No wonder he was frustrated. Warming up when we’re comfortably in the lead, in his position, I’d think it was the ideal occasion for a ten-minute runout. Nope, a senior pro went on instead. Not sure what we gained from Jack playing ten minutes but that’s Arsène’s call.
But aren’t supporters tetchy about it? It wasn’t Jay Boothroyd throwing the shirt at his then-manager, was it? Arguably, Mathieu Flamini cutting the sleeves off was more disrespectful. It didn’t do him any harm, did it? Yes, it was frustration but does it really matter? No, not one jot.
I Went to Law School and Took a Law Degree
The silly season never ends, does it? If it isn’t on the back pages, it’s on social media. There’s an alphabet of acronyms denoting who is what, most of which spell either S-O-C-I-O-P-A-T-H or…you get the drift.
The biggest myth is that because we’re Arsenal fans, we are all bestest buddies in the whole wide world. That’s never been the case and I don’t need social media to tell me that. It’s like any walk of life; you find people you like, whether or not you share their views. The world is a boring place when it is just an echo chamber and Arsenal is no different.
Yesterday saw Kevin Campbell pull at the seam of criticism because he mingled with a certain set of fans at the weekend. Judgements flew in quicker than at the Bloody Assizes. Campbell, to his credit, calmly took apart the arguments. Not one person gave a proper answer to the questions asked for definitions of supporters or backing up their claims to be in a position to judge others.
Everyone supports the club in their own way. The majority through a broad channel called ‘the norm’ – “Hey, Norm!” – which is looking at the club and talking about it over an electronic pint. Except for Jonny, he’s not allowed in the bar because he breaks everything.
Anyway, Campbell took the criticism on the chin and having made a few people’s arguments look foolish, went about his day.
And the fact that a former player had taken time before a match to have a few drinks with fans flew completely over people’s heads.
Counseled All My Clients to Plead Insanity
Then you have those who slag off Arsène’s critics. Gilles Grimandi is now their flag-bearer because he criticised the critics among his former team-mates. Emboldened, the cheerleaders slagged off former players which will be really awkward when any of them turn up as coaches or managers in the future. Really awkward as someone somewhere probably took pictures of the tweets.
This isn’t a plea for people to get along. Mankind has never lived in perfect harmony and no amount of gaseous soft drinks will ever change that. If you can’t get along after a beer, you’ll never get along sober. A bit of thought before you speak might make a difference though.
A recognition that people don’t like all your mates, and you don’t like all theirs, but it doesn’t give you the right to judge them. And more importantly, you’re no better a supporter because you think you are. Sanctimony? You probably can’t even spell it. Well, you can now you’ve read it.
The government is talking about limiting children’s time spent on the internet. To be honest, there’s a fair number of adults they could do with the same restrictions.
Anyway, tomorrow is the eve of a season-defining match. Or not, it could be the match which defines the week. Milan thoughts will abound like spring lambs gambolling through a meadow.