I have not seen Arsenal this menacing in its transfer dealings ever before, but this probably is the new normal in today’s crazy world of football.
Arsenal, the so called purist football club that for seasons past always insisted on doing things the Arsenal way, in the right time and manner, have suddenly taken their gloves off, put on the brass knuckles and got onto the street corner with their audacious, and I will say it again, menacing bid to bring Liverpool’s Luis Suarez to the Emirates stadium.
Arsenal’s reputation in transfer matters, while not perfect although they try to create that impression, makes this current deal for Suarez look all the more evil.
In a summer where Ivan Gazidis made his “we could sign Rooney” revelations about Arsenal’s new financial firepower, most Arsenal fans were more than happy to see Higuain and a few other quality players quietly signed and sealed, in the bag with no fanfare.
But the ghosts of Vieira, Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie must have haunted Wenger so badly that he and Gazidis are now taking those past lessons and throwing them straight at their opponents. Yes, most of us and me included, are arm-chair pundits who over analyse and read too much into news that for all we know is truth stretched very thin, but there are no coincidences with the Arsenal.
So the deer in the headlights is Liverpool Football Club. Rodgers must have choked on his Pavlova when news of Arsenal’s £40 million plus one pound bid reached his ears during the Australian leg of Liverpool’s summer tour.
The menacing intent behind that one pound, if true, was for all to see. It was Arsenal’s signal to Suarez to spit out the last bit of Ivanovic’s flesh and personally request to leave Liverpool. We all suspect Arsenal has more money to throw at Liverpool and they are not done yet. But why not throw it down all at once if they are serious with the bid for Suarez? Some call it strategy, I see it as an act of a menacing potential footballing power flexing their muscles.
It is not so much the amounts being quoted but the timing and delivery of it. Summer recruitment does saunter along for a few months, but it is a relatively short period considering the dearth of players with Suarez’s Premier League-ready caliber and the prices being floated for such prized assets.
Liverpool have few quality options if Suarez does force the exit. And if Arsenal pull off this summer’s wildest transfer, they would have put a dent into one of their main opponent’s plans for next season’s Champions League spot and boosted their own plans at the very least. If not, Arsenal may just force Liverpool into shipping their star to Madrid for less if Suarez had his way.
Suarez may be a world-class talent, but all this drama for a player who has such a poor reputation in eyes of the public and may become a risk in their own dressing room.
We have not even started on the possibility of Arsenal missing out on all their transfer targets if this grand plan fails. But such menace cares little for reputation in this contest of who blinks first. Arsenal are tired of using the velvet glove.
They are passing the lighter and smoking up over at the Emirates. If they can get their man, then their cunning plan will have been to full effect. Arsenal, welcome to the dark side. All they need now is a bite - step forward notorious gnasher Luis Suarez - to match their bark.