Thursday, August 4, 2011

BLOG: Why the Arsenal Transfer Season is like the Debt Ceiling Debate

by Omar Shamout of the LA Gooners

Watching the debt ceiling debate unfold throughout the month of July, I was struck by a few things that seemed awfully familiar.  I think you’ll agree.
“You’re not fit to wear the shirt!” 
Like Americans, Arsenal fans are quite unhappy with the performance of our leaders who seem to ignore our quite vocal opinions about their stewardship.  Our manager appears unwilling to buy reinforcements, our team Captain wants to play for Barcelona, and our club Chairman seems to actually hate us.  Doesn’t anyone listen to their constituents anymore?
“Closing the Deal” 
The difficulty of hammering out an important deal in D.C. is matched only by that found in North London.  No one seems to know exactly what it will take to get Samir Nasri to sign a new contract, but I say we bring in Biden.  It worked in Congress, and it just might work here.  What have we got to lose?  After all, to quote the Veep himself, “This is a big f*cking deal.”
“Stickin’ to their Guns” 
The Tea Party stormed into Washington with a kettle full of big ideas.  No amount of logic or facts could dissuade them from their belief that a balanced budget filled with spending cuts is the only way to protect the future of our country.  Comparatively, Arsene Wenger spends less money during the transfer window than Sheikh Mansour spends on lunch.  Wenger is still convinced that Arsenal are in fact “not weak defensively.”  Comments like this, coupled with two blown-leads during the Emirates Cup, and that we don’t seem to be any closer to signing a new center-back before the start of a difficult August schedule do make me somewhat sympathetic with fans who choose to boo at the Emirates.  Is it fair to the players?  No.  I’m not sure that I would do it, but it’s probably the only chance a supporter will get to have the manager hear his voice. 
“Do they even want a deal?” 
Both Arsene Wenger, Ivan Gazidis, and the US Congress sought to continually reassure the public that deals were inevitable.  There was no need to worry they said, because even though things looked divisive between party and club leaders, they all claimed to understand that a new deal was in the best interests of the club and country, respectively.  Yet, the closer we got to the deadline, we began to wonder, do they really appreciate the gravity of the situation, or are they just telling us what they think we want to hear and in fact have their own secret agendas?  The politicians in Washington may have reached a deal, but they admit that many specifics are yet to be worked out.  Gervinho was brought in, and looks like a fantastic player, but he won’t help us in the areas that most need strengthening.  Is there really a plan in place to change things, or will we see more of the same from Arsenal and Washington?
As always, time will be the ultimate judge.  Don’t worry though, the only things hanging in the balance are the fates of civilization and Arsenal Football Club.  That’s your cue, Mr. Biden.

Omar Shamout is a founding member of the LA Gooners who clearly wants something to get done in Washington AND in the backrooms of Arsenal Football Club. We do too, Omar, we do too….