Friday, January 15, 2010

The Fatal Flaw of the Idealist

There's a lot of smugness amongst Arsenal fans at the moment, what with the doomsday scenarios trotted out over United's malaise, the ongoing crisis at Liverpool, Manchester city probing new depths of classlessness. Arsenal it seems are the sole carriers of the fire, holding to the principle that if football has, sadly but inevitably, become a business, then this club will be run as a responsible one.

And it's admirable. Nobody denies that. It often seems that when clubs get an injection of cash, they see it as a green light to treat that money with wanton disregard, fling it around with impunity. Look at Man city, offering a huge contract to a man who, despite my obvious respect for him, has been washed up for years. The way their pursuit of Kaka last year screamed, "look, we know you have no respect for us as a club, that a few months ago this is the last place you would have wanted to be, but forget all that, come here, and you'll have more money than a sane man could spend". It's sick, and football's glamour has descended to something tacky and, at times, disgusting to behold.

So, hurrah for our holier-than-thou attitude at Arsenal. But wait. Does one not get the sense that Wenger is so disgusted by one extreme, that he lurches needlessly to the other. Does anyone really think, for instance, that we can win the league without perhaps paying over the odds for a good striker this month? Or, for instance, that our midfield would not be strengthened immeasurably if Wenger swallowed his pride and attempted to bring Flamini back from his Milan nightmare?

Maybe all idealists are hampered by that same fatal flaw. Inflexibility will cost us. I can't help thinking that inactivity in the last two weeks of the transfer window will equate to a forfeit in the race for the big titles.

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