Apologies for the lack of anything resembling a blog post yesterday.
Truth be told, I was the victim of an unsavoury incident involving one of those funny brownies found in Amsterdam, and it drained me of all my enthusiasm and inclination to do anything at all. As far as experiences go, it wasn’t especially pleasant. I was so f*cking high I started to see things on the street and needed to sit down to gather my calm, which took a good half an hour of wondering what was happening to me. The remainder of the day was a blur of indolence and room service. And laughing. For reasons I’ll never fathom, everything was funny. Absolutely everything. I laughed for what must have been a solid 20 minutes because my girlfriend was drinking a can of Coke is a manner I deemed hilarious.
In short, kids, don’t eat weird brownies in Amsterdam. Don’t be like me. After one incident I now consider myself the Method Man/Redman of Arsenal blogging. Consider this post not only informative, but a public service message warning others not to be a f*cking idiotic lightweight, like me.
Couple all of that with travelling back to England last night, and I managed to miss all the hullabaloo and fanfare that’s gone with the signing of young Cohen Bramall from non-league football’s Hednesford Town. Arsenal officially announced the deal yesterday and since there has been a whirlwind of press regarding the way the deal came about.
I read this tweet yesterday and it changed the way I perceived the deal a bit:
Bit strange seeing the fanfare laid on for this young left back. Good luck to him n’all, but seems odd. We don’t normally, do we?
— SuburbanGöönerChris (@SuburbanGooner) January 10, 2017
Chris is absolutely right. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t create anywhere near as much fuss for a youth player signing a contract with the Club. More often than not, their arrivals will slip under the radar for the majority of the time and they’ll only become known after favourable scouting reports or a few good displays with the reserves/youth team. Cohen Bramall, you could argue, is already fairly well established as a name amongst Arsenal fans and he’s yet to kick a ball in anger for the club,
Now, I do understand why. It is a wonderfully romantic story. As clichéd as it might sound, from start to finish it’s the kind of narrative embraced by Hollywood – all that remains is for Bramall to repel a force of terrorists holding the Arsenal first team hostage, or score the winning goal in the Champions League final after a recovering from a series of injuries incurred fighting aliens on another planet.
Bramall’s description of how it all came about is fantastic:
“I went on trial at Sheffield [Wednesday]. I played a game at Birmingham City on a Monday.
Then on the Tuesday, I was made redundant from Bentley Motors and on the Wednesday, Arsenal came in.
I was gobsmacked and took the chance with both hands. I drove down on the Wednesday and trained with the first team on Thursday and Friday. Then they offered me a deal”
Pretty amazing stuff. One minute, you’re losing your job working in an industrial sector, presumably doing something menial. The next you’re having a kick around with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez whilst Arsene Wenger prepares to offer you a contract. Regardless of your disposition and current feelings towards Arsenal, it’s pretty difficult not to enjoy the romance of that story. There are some who’ve moaned about it insufferably, but they’re all dead inside. Granted, he didn’t cost £60m and come with the international pedigree to solve all our woes by presence alone, but he certainly serves a chance before the knives come out.
However, you have to wonder, as Chris said in his tweet, exactly why the fanfare is being laid on so thick for the guy. None of us have seen anything offer than the briefest of exerts on YouTube that displays his ability. I don’t doubt for a second he has something, otherwise he wouldn’t be here. My only concern is the club are placing far too much focus and pressure on his shoulders simply because he came form non-league football and it’s a great ‘rags to riches’ story. He comes across a confident and thoroughly pleasant young man from his interviews, but there’s no way a truly knowing how all the attention is impacting him.
I hope it all works out. I hope we’ve unearthed a real gem as our left-back position does look like it’ll need some reinforcing in the coming couple of years. I guess time will tell how all this pans out. Hollywood might just come calling…
That’s all for today, folks. I’ll be back soon with more stuff. In the meantime, why not leave me a comment below and discuss your thoughts on the signing.
As always: thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.