Kids have dreams. And we all dream of being a star. When I was about eight years old, I opened my first ever Excel spreadsheet. It blew me away. The charts. The formulas. The numbers. From that day on, I dreamed of someday being an adult and spending all day looking at Excel Spreadsheets and trying to maximize EBITDA for high revenue but low profit multinational corporate entities. I also foolishly hoped to someday create elaborate PowerPoints to disseminate this knowledge to half-interested executives and lower-level management.
And my name is Arsene Wenger.
Seriously, though, trophies are for the weak and titles for the vain. Everybody knows that the true measure of any club's success is its daily checkbook. Do you have to float some worthless shares in Singapore to be able to afford a teenage Eastern European central defender? Oh. Too bad. Is some Middle Eastern oligarch trying to work some backdoor sponsorships to get around Financial Fair Play? Ah. Poor baby. We all know that the Gunners are the greatest team of the last decade. The "Invincibles era" was their last hiccup of non-profitability, but the club soon straightened out their finances.
Which is why they must and will sell Robin Van Persie to Barcelona.
Like a pint of Guinness on a rainy day, transfer rumors make us warm & fuzzy inside. Yet, for us experienced bloggers, we know that true transfers operate like hurricanes - ominous silence before the storm. David Villa is injured. Barcelona could use a striker. Robin Van Persie is a striker. Henry blossomed at Barcelona after an extended trial run with the Gunners. The clock is ticking on Van Persie's contract. The cards add up too nicely. And.....nobody has said anything. Silence is the telltale sign. Then comes the Wenger claims of "not for sale", then comes the briefcases of cash.
But I am breaking that silence. And I am starting this soccer transfer rumor. And unlike ESPN, I will credit my sources. Me (pats on back). Based on uncorroborated reports from the award-winning Futfanatico, Van Persie to Barcelona is a done deal. In fact, the deal is so done that there's no point in other outlets reporting it. It's like saying that the sun will rise or the Earth will rotate or Lady Gaga will get drunk and embarrass herself in public. Fait accompli.
I remember a time when Brian and Fredo and I were somewhat surprised at the British Press getting duped by a fake footballer. We were so innocent then. Now, I assume all players mentioned in the British Press are fake, especially when they have preposterous names like "David Silva" or "Robinho", or come from obviously invented countries like "Japan." Where do they come up with this crap?
But only a cold and stark reality stands behind the Van Persie to Barcelona trade. I feel sorry for Gunners and disgust for Cules. As for me, I'll just batter down the hatches and get ready for a wave of hurricane-level traffic. I expect the Daily Mail to pick up this story at any moment......
Digital Image Impressions by the wildly talented Erik Ebeling. Check out his own website Erik Ebeling Art. He also did the original illustrations for "An Illustrated Guide to Soccer & Spanish", available on the Kindle for $5.99. Check out a free preview here. The UK version is available here.