Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holy. Shit.

Well, that happened. And I'm not just talking about the super gay fan art some United supporter has already photoshopped on the internet, although that clearly happened too. Robin Van Persie is on his way to Manchester United. Every United fan in the world right now must feel like every Manchester City fan in the world last year at this time and I'd venture to guess that maybe they're each just a little bit fonder of the Glazers than they were yesterday.

Although the Manchester clubs are clearly in an arms race (feet race?) for the Premier League title this year, I don't quite believe that the league is down to a two team fight. Depending on how Arsene Wenger invests the $44 million dollars he's reportedly getting from the RVP deal, Arsenal could make a  run at some silverware this season. A deal for Fernando Llorente is already rumored to be in the works.

It's going to take me a while to wrap my mind around what exactly this means for the league and United and City and Arsenal, but I do have some initial thoughts.

1. Someone please put Dimitar Berbatov on suicide watch. Seriously. The vampiric Bulgarian is still on the books at United and now even his Capital One Cup starts have been snatched from his cigarette stained hands. Rooney, Chicharito, Welbeck, and Van Persie?! Jesus.

2. Nicklas Bendtner is probably over the moon right now because Nicklas Bendtner is Nicklas Bendtner's biggest fan and Nicklas Bendtner probably thinks this is a great chance for Nicklas Bendtner  to finally take the reins at The Emirates.

3. How do United line up this season? You pay $44 million for a guy, that guy is going to play (unless that guy is Dimitar Berbatov). Does Rooney finally shed his last semblance as a striker and operate in midfield behind a front three? I can't see United playing a 4-3-3 all season, especially without a proven destroyer in the middle of the park. And if Rooney does play a midfield role, where the hell does Kagawa play?

4. Arsene Wenger is either incredibly shrewd and that Llorente deal is going to get done as soon as the ink dries on RVP's sale, or he's essentially ceded this year's title challenge to one of the Manchester clubs and will invest his recently acquired truckloads of cash in talented youth players who most likely speak French. If it's the latter, Arsenal fans are going to have to do some serious self delusion (they're good at this) to convince themselves they're anything but a really, really good feeder team. Why else sell your best player to someone you once called a rival?

5. What must it be like living in Manchester right now if you're not a supporter of either City or United? Fuck. My. Life. This would be like the Red Sox and the Yankees both calling the same city home, both with real life fantasy squads, and both at the beginning of the season when expectations haven't yet been muted by injury or results...but in a city with the population of Austin.

6. Andre Villas-Boas is throwing a hissy fit. He has one recognized striker on the books at the moment. City and United both have multiple strikers better than Jermain Defoe who can't get a game.

7. None of this matters and will go down as one of the biggest gaffs in transfer history if RVP succumbs to the injury bug that has plagued him every year of his career, save for last year, and misses huge chunks of time.

8. Lastly, what happens when City and United play one another for the first time and one of them loses? I think that first match is in early December? Can you imagine? It's Manchester in December. If you've never been to Manchester, it isn't exactly a beautiful, sunny city. Did I mention it's December? You wake up with a massive hangover. Your team, a team you've supported since you were a little boy, has just lost to a team and a group of supporters you hate with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Despite spending Scrooge McDuck volumes of cash, you're second best. Did I mention you still live in Manchester? You feel helpless, alone, listless, and defeated. Next week's fixture against Who Gives a Shit FC means nothing to you even if your team wins by twenty goals. You roll out of bed and mutter something to the wife. You find a stale scone in the kitchen and sit at the breakfast table. You chew dispassionately and contemplate your erectile dysfunction as you stare out the window into the dreary, winter sky. You've felt low before, but never this low; never this defeated....aaaaaaaand scene.

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