I am a big fan of Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team. He revolutionalised the game of football with his fancy science and then moved the side to a new stadium in 2006 The Emirates. Before the move from Highbury the previous home, every Arsenal fan or a gooner was used to winning trophies. Between 1998 and 2004 there were 3 premier league trophies and more silverware including the FA cup. Times were good.
Then the move and there had to be a change in priorities as the club came to terms with getting to moving to a new home. We have all been there. Try and remember when you first moved from your parents home. For a while life can be a bit weird as one has to buy new furniture and figure how to do things. This person whose main income would go to mainly buying beer and clothes suddenly realises that one has to spend that money on boring things like food and other basics like curtains. Of course your friends who you used to go out with will not be happy with you and will start yelling to you, “Get out and spend some f**king money!” Eventually you stabilise your life but by then your drinking buddies have moved on. Either that or they are still there and you have a nice new home and they are still living at their parents or now are living in a one room apartment. And you don’t want anything to do with those folk anymore to be honest.
This was the situation Ol’ Arsene found himself in as he tried to sort his teams finances with less at his disposal. It didn’t help that the other guys – Chelsea, Mancs, Citeh, Tiny Totts – were still living with their parents and didn’t have to worry about such things and continued partying like it was 1999 (does this expression still apply I wonder?).
Enter the 2013 transfer window. Now the club had its finances sorted and there were promises to buy and match the salaries of the biggest world stars. Just like Paul Ereng at the Seoul Olympics Arsenal waited until the very last minute to announce the biggest signing in the club’s history since one Dennis Bergkamp in 1995. A genuine world star called Mesut Ozil had accepted to sign for the once broke Arsenal at a club record UK pounds 42.5 million price.
The general feeling from the fan base is one of ecstasy. I am one of the many delirious fans walking around with a smile over the signing of the 24 year old German super star by the club. Ozil is a very good player. Don’t take it from me. Read Amy Lawrence. Or Arseblog. Or 7amKickoff and his awesome stats. Or anyone really. He is the real deal. Continuing with the home analogy this purchase is having been taking beans and Maziwa Mala (sour milk) and opting now to have the best champagne with a five course meal at the Seven restaurant to celebrate. Life is good.
And I have a feeling that this will be the first season since 2008 where we will be genuine title contenders. That was the challenge that ended when poor Eduardo had his leg broken at Birmingham leaving Gallas crying at the side and Clichy going Clichy. This side is a genuine contender for the premier league.
Which leads merrily to my Thursday evening when I was at the Norfolk hotel in Nairobi. I was here to see the official announcement of the new Arsenal partnership of the bank that we heard about a while back. It was nice to see so many gooners like Radio Jambo’s Joseph Ogidi, Oliver Mathenge, Tom Indimuli and others come to see what was the output of the deal. On the footballing side Arsenal coaches will be coming through to Kenya to coach for talent. Not announced officially but whispered is that Nairobi might be one of the destinations of the club on its pre-season world tour at the end of this season. I am hoping that when and if they do come they will be coming as champions. That would be rad.
On the banking side, now fans can get the Arsenal branded debit card with all the attendant things that go with these products. There you have it my Kenyan gooners. If you want to show your support get the Imperial Bank Arsenal card.