Microwaveable footballers, they’re all the rage don’tcha know? If you’re not on this bandwagon, you are simply missing out. In the day of super-speedy Internet (except when you need it the most and it decides to die on you) and extra-fast momentum in almost every facet of world living, it makes sense that the land of football would follow suit. We don’t want to slow-cook our new additions in wine and rosemary. We want to whack them in the microwave and wrench the door open upon the ‘ping,’ when his plastic lid is still settling down.
There was a time when news was slow and when Teletext provided your gateway to 3pm kick offs and beyond. I have a friend who ‘watched’ Arsenal beat Manchester United 0-1 at Old Trafford in 2002, thus clinching the Premier League trophy (and the Double) via this means, watching and waiting for that little zero to straighten up and change shape by the next page refresh. He claims it was the most exciting match he’s ever seen.
Today, a page refresh means dragging your little tweeting timeline down in the hope one of the many thousands of knowledgeable – and in some cases ‘knowledgeable’ – tiny people living in your phone will bring you the news you’ve been wanting so badly. This may be a goal in a match you’re unable to see. Incidentally, I have done this many times before. A little note to the people providing the Twitter commentary: ‘Oooooooohhhhh myyyyyyy Gooddddddd’ does NOT help those of us not watching. If you’re going to share your thoughts while watching, please ensure they are informative at all times. So, for example, ‘Ooooooohhhhhh myyyyyy Goodddddddd, it’s still 0-0 but was VERY close to being 1-0 moments ago, what a run by Lukas’ (Lukas Podolski), is absolutely welcome. ‘FFS!’ is not. Limited characters? Tough, limited is the world in which we live.
Anyway, digression to the left. Now, it’s most normally the official news outlets that bring you the news you crave the least. But just because official word can be late to the party, doesn’t mean the party won’t start without them. Santi Cazorla seemed to have been rumored as an Arsenal player since about 1997, the amount of time it took for him to finally be confirmed. Ironically, I heard about Robin van Persie’s transfer to Manchester United from SkyNewsBreak on Twitter. I have since unfollowed them, as that stung me too badly. But mostly, you’ll know the details almost as soon as the people who arranged the details know them themselves. I’m just about old enough to remember the days when a new player only came to your attention when they went to the two minute sports section on the tail end of the News at Ten and you saw your new man on the pitch with the manager holding up his newly numbered shirt and looking like a brand new birthday present, just for you. New, new, new. Ooh, the excitement of the unknown. These days, you know his stats and goals and disciplinary record and hometown and middle name almost as soon as he’s first linked. It’s really rather tiring.
A sad side effect of the immediacy of the ‘news’ today is the immediacy we expect from our brand spanking new birthday presents. He’s wearing the shirt now, he should have settled. He’s had ten training sessions, why isn’t he slotting in seamlessly into this well-established side? We’ve known about this transfer since June, WHY hasn’t he been preparing himself for a new life in a new city, with new team-mates and a new responsibility!?
Clearly in terms of Arsenal, I am speaking of Olivier Giroud (21 goals last season, 6 yellows, no reds, born Chambery, no middle name), and his lack of microwave-ability. He’s French, what do you expect? Those guys spit in the general direction of the microwave and all the culinary sins it has brought to the table. It simply seems to me that Giroud is suffering not only from being considered the replacement for a captain, a player who was with us for eight years, and the PFA Player of the Season last season. But, also from the concentrated expectation of fans who want results as speedily as they want their news.
Much has been made of his movement and his aerial success and his filling out of the shirt rather nicely, but when all’s said and done, no goals have come. It’s a worry. Except that it really isn’t at all, you big plonkers. We’re three games in. He’s two and a bit games in. And, as a number of our players have noted if you read really closely between the lines (you have to squint a bit), it took his predecessor seven years to reach the heights of scoring success poor old Giroud is expected to be at already.
Calm yourselves. I really think it’s far too early to be making ‘Wheeeeyyyyy missed again, lolz!’ jokes. It is certainly too early to be calling him ‘Arsenal flop Olivier Giroud’ yeah looking at you, Daily Star. It will come, and when it does, you’ll laugh in the face of immediate gratification. Besides, microwaves can go wrong. And when they do, stuff explodes. No one wants that.
The mood which was in the gutter by 11pm on transfer deadline day may seem artificially lifted in light of our victory at Liverpool and amplified by the fact we’ve had two weeks to bask in it thanks to internationals, but I am still really excited for this season. It’s quite a new look side when you look back at two seasons ago, but given the endless mentions of how much we’re supposed to miss them since then (just shut UP), they’re not really all that missed. Times change, and we’ve changed with them. Enjoy Saturday, whether you’re at the match or watching Soccer Saturday (really only a half step up from Teletext, no?) or watching on a stream that will no doubt die on its arse as soon as we get anywhere near goal.