This morning, Arsène Wenger remarked in a hard-hitting, tell-all interview with Arsenal.com that, on deadline day, his “phone is red-hot most of the time.”
Presumably, that’s as a result of having to constantly field calls from his players’ agents demanding they be allowed to leave for Chelsea, Barcelona or Man City.
Or from Stan Kroenke demanding why [Insert Name of Wantaway Arsenal Star] has not yet been sold to Chelsea, Barcelona or Man City in order to finance his new chain of moustache-trimming emporiums.
Or from the sporting directors of Chelsea, Barcelona and Man City demanding why Wenger’s holding out for £2.5m on their double-swoop for [Insert Name of Wantaway Arsenal Star] and [Insert Name of Wantaway Arsenal Star II]. Oh and while I have you, Arsène, are you still interested in that £20m purchase of our Lithuanian youth team goalkeeper?
By contrast to the busy bee that Wenger claims to be on Deadline Day, for fans of his team the final 24 hours of a transfer window are generally a time for soul-searching, deep spiritual reflection and, more commonly, fits of anger so raw they’d inspire Lee Bowyer to immediately whatsapp Kieron Dyer a series of love-heart emojis followed by a message reading:
“You wer rite not 2 pass me the ball, luv you m9 x.”
And so, as part of our extensive research on the subject, we asked a random Arsenal supporter to bring us through the average Gooner’s Deadline Day experience. Here’s what he told us.
The night before, 23:00 – Time to set the alarm
On Deadline Eve, I like to set my alarm for 8am, despite the fact I’ll have taken the big day off work in order to spend every waking moment in front of my laptop and phone.
In my fugue state of weary pre-grief, I usually try to title the alarm something like ‘This Year It’ll be Different’ or ‘Look Good, Feel Good, Stay Positive’.
But these days I’m finding it hard to feel anything other than aching numbness, so on this occasion I just went with ‘Remember Kim Kallstrom’ in the vain hope it will remind me that things could always be worse.
Deadline Day, 08:00 – Wake up. Get hit almost immediately with a creeping sense of existential dread
As anticipated, the pithy alarm name fails to start the day off on a good footing.
Within seconds of my eyelids reluctantly separating from one another, a cloud of misery descends and I consider simply turning on every single electric appliance in my home in order to blow all the fuses and thus be unable to access either Twitter or Sky Sports News for the entire day.
Somehow I resist the temptation to do so, and instead take a shower, allowing the shampoo to flow in waves into my eyes, simply in order to feel something.
I brush my teeth, but my heart’s not in it and I give up half-way through.
No time for breakfast either, I’ve already wasted enough valuable minutes that ought to have been spent furiously refreshing Arseblog’s Live Deadline Day page.
08:15 – Twitter. Hope of retaining our best player is already fading away
It’s time for the first major Twitter session of the day. Straight away I hit up all the old #ITK favourites – David Ornstein, Kaveh Solhekol, indykaila, and John Cross.
Sadly, things are worse than I expected, as I’m assaulted with an early barrage of ‘BREAKING’ posts.
08:16 – “BREAKING – Hearing reports that [Insert Name of Wantaway Arsenal Star] is being smuggled into Manchester in a Peugeot minivan driven by Nicky Summerbee. More when I have it.”
08:21 – “BREAKING – Sources close to [Insert Name of Wantaway Arsenal Star] have confirmed his presence in the Peugeot minivan. Mentioned he stopped for a chicken tikka roll at the Wythenshawe Asda.”
No mention of any incoming deals though.
Still, nothing’s done and dusted. And after all, that lad only scored 24 goals and made 22 assists for us last year. He’s replaceable.
10:07 – Hope on the horizon as contradictory reports begin to appear
There may be a god after all. I’ve noticed that some lad with the name of the club and about eight digits in his handle is Tweeting that the minivan reports are nonsense.
“This is all rubbish. My mate’s nan’s second cousin was outside the Wythenshawe Asda and saw the minivan. Says it wasn’t [Insert Name of Wantaway Arsenal Star] in there, it was H from Steps.”
Ok, so he has 12 followers and joined about two weeks ago, but in my current state of despair, that’s good enough for me.
My mood lifts.
Moreover, I’ve just had a whatsapp from a colleague that we’re apparently in for Diego Costa, Arda Turan and Steven N’zonzi. Things are looking up.
13:15 – Oh what a joyous world we live in
The club have released a statement saying that [Insert Name of Wantaway Arsenal Star] is going nowhere. They’re ‘happy to announce he’ll see out his contract and refute any speculation that’s he been spotted in a French-made SUV anywhere near the north-west’.
It turns out @Bazza_Gooner2680230 was right after all.
Nothing more on the Costa, N’zonzi or Arda rumours yet though. But Claude Arsenal is saying that the deals are as good as done for all three, so I’m hopeful that we’ll have those wrapped up by 2.30. Can’t remember for the life of me why I was so down about things!
To top it off, the manager has just come out and said, “we don’t need to sell in order to buy. I don’t expect anyone to leave.”
We’re back in the game, boys. Fourth place here we come!
13:20 – Our best player signs for Manchester City
Hello darkness my old friend.
I’ve come to talk with you again.
14:06 – Our second-best player signs for Chelsea
Because a vision softly creeping.
Left its seeds while I was sleeping.
14:57 – Two of our starting centre-backs sign for FC Astana and West Brom, respectively
And the vision that was planted in my brain.
Within the sound of silence.
18:36 – Having retired to my purpose-built panic-room with a plate of chips and some KP brown sauce, my mind is now focused only on the great vacuum that is the never-ending universe
Still, it’s not all bad.
We’ve been linked with a 15-year-old winger from the Polish second division who Maciej Szczęsny once said was “not as shit as everyone thinks he is.” And a 6’5, 34-year-old Equatorial Guinean defensive midfielder who everyone is already saying will be the solution to our leaky defence and that troublesome ‘regista-zone’.
At long last a replacement for Vieira!
If we can somehow fend off VfL Bochum’s interest in this duo and get the deals over the line, we can definitely consolidate our position in the league this year, and maybe even push on into the latter stages of the Carabao.
21:02 – The deal for the Equatorial Guinean is off
He preferred to join Raith Rovers on loan instead.
21:09 – The 15-year-old winger failed his medical and will remain in Poland
And I’d just learned how to pronounce Damijan Plzjekanjewski.
The many thousands of intrepid fans who’d been Tweeting the club with #AnnouncePlzjekanjewski were left bitterly disappointed.
Meanwile, the dozens of Eurotrance enthusiasts who’d been whipping up YouTube videos titled ‘5 Best Plzjekanjewski Cruyff Turns!!!’ put their fist through their computers.
22:13 – A helicopter lands in the middle of the Emirates pitch
Gooners on Twitter had been following its progress on a tracker for over an hour. A theory had emerged that, based on the chopper’s origin in Paris, Edinson Cavani and Marco Verratti were on board and on their way to London to finalise a major deal.
A crowd, led by a pitchfork-wielding phalanx including Troopz, Claude and DT, had gathered outside the ground, expectantly awaiting the good news.
Sadly, as it turns out, Nasser Al-Khelaifi had simply flown in to pick up our head groundsman and his entire staff, who he’d poached from the club for £2m in order to improve the surface at the Parc des Princes.
As the chopper took off and soared over the stadium, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey were spotted clinging determinedly to the underside.
22:59 – DONE DEAL!
Finally, we’ve managed to sign someone.
Ok, so it’s an Aston Villa assistant goalkeeping coach who retired from the game last year due to a slipped disc, but we’re confident that he’ll provide Petr Cech with the cover he needs now that Ospina’s retired from the sport due to boredom.
This is it, lads. We’re back in the big time.