by Stephen Bradley

Us Arsenal fans are in a bit of a muddle at the moment.

On the one hand, we have the fantastic news that Petr Cech is a Gooner and that for the first time in almost a decade, our goalkeeper isn’t an anxiety-inducing ball of hands and hair. On the other hand… nothing. No bad news, no good news, just nothing.

It’s easy to react to positive news, and it’s even easier to react to negative news. But as of this moment, Arsenal have signed a goalkeeper and only a goalkeeper. It’s a bit like Schrodinger’s Transfer Window, where Jim Whyte is both alive and dead at the same time, but nobody knows for sure.

Because of this, fans are in the weird position of being delighted that a top-class player has joined the club, yet also worried that he might be the only one coming. It’s like getting home from work on ‘Steak and BJ Day‘ and discovering that your partner has cooked you a fantastic steak, only for them to leave immediately after dinner, leaving you both full up and full of questions that you want IMMEDIATE¬†answers to.

However, as anyone in a long-term relationship will tell you, asking someone ‘Is that all?‘ after they do something nice for you is an absolute no-no. Not only do you sound ungrateful, but it’s a cast-iron way of guaranteeing that it will be indeed all that you will get. So all you can do is wait and hope that things go your way.

The exact same premise applies to Arsenal

We can’t know for sure whether Cech will be the only major signing of the summer until either the summer ends or we sign someone else, just like we won’t know whether our partner knew it was Steak and BJ day until they get back. All we do know is that there’s no-one who can tell us for sure what’s going to happen, and that we’ll only know for sure after it happens.

Until then, all we can do is sit and wait. In regards with your partner, that’s easy to do. With Arsenal however, it’s anything but.

Every day, we’re drip-fed new and exciting information concerning possible incoming transfers that may or may not be in the works. It’s the equivalent of your neighbours calling round to tell you that your partner can’t stop saying how much she likes you, filling you with hope.

Then you hear about contracts being given to fringe members of the squad, causing you to ponder whether Arsenal are done with making you happy, just like you would when you go on Facebook and you see your partner tagged in 19 separate photos on a night out with the same bloke putting his arm around them in each one.

The football club we love and support is responsible for turning us into the most jealous, irrational, emotional human beings alive. Every single piece of positive news is greeted with fanfare that a king would be embarrassed by, whilst every negative story is treated with the disdain we reserve only for when someone truly disrespects us.

Here’s a classic example that is occurring as you read this: how would you define ‘professionalism’ in a footballer?¬†The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘professionalism’ as ‘the high standard that you expect from a person who is well trained in a particular job‘. So if a footballer has great ‘professionalism‘, we should want him to stay at the club, right?

Now do two things:

  1. Google ‘Petr Cech professionalism‘ and see how it’s used as a reason as to why he absolutely will be great at Arsenal.
  2. Google ‘Mikel Arteta professionalism‘ and see how it’s dismissed as if it were nothing.

Two players. Same trait. Totally different interpretations. Why? A lot of it will be down to the fact that Petr Cech’s value to the club right now is immense and Mikel Arteta’s value is rather smaller. However,Arteta is captain of the club for a reason, and that reason isn’t luck. If how he approaches his career is how he gained the respect of everyone at the club, then having that man around the place can never be a bad thing, even in a back-up capacity.

But re-signing Arteta isn’t the problem here, it’s the potential of him being the only signing that is worrying fans. It’s amazing that a mere contract renewal will initiate the five stages of grief, yet it happens to every fan base at every club. Look at what’s happening at Liverpool right now, as fans deride Raheem Sterling for trying to manufacture a move from the club, whilst simultaneously hoping that Christian Benteke tries to manufacture a move to the club. It’s nothing short of chaos.

That’s why there’s no point in worrying about what Arsenal might or might not do at the moment. We have nothing to base our arguments on, other than rumours, hearsay and irrational fear. At this moment, every fan is a Laina Morris clone worrying about every minute detail that might ruin our happiness. Because of this, I’m changing my profile picture on my Twitter account to one of Ms. Morris until the transfer window ends, because I’m just as worried as all of you that Petr Cech will be as good as this summer gets.

If you feel the same way, feel free to join me in becoming Arsenal’s irrational partner for the summer.

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Gooner and below-average blogger who writes what he thinks, but sometimes doesn't think as he writes. Very occasionally makes a sensible point. Can be found on Twitter rambling away under the username @bradley08. May contain nuts.