Every relationship, whether hellish or hospitable, has a leading-on period.
Firstly your wild side wants to charge in, Theo Walcott-esque, with little idea for the end product. I imagine the train of thought goes something likes this, “Do it. Do it. Kick it. Run. Run faster. Fetched!” But when the time comes to commit to the final ball, the doubts can be consuming. “But how could she possibly control the cross with those prison toothbrush toenails?” The drawbacks defer you and, in Walcott’s case, a blind get-out punt into the away stand follows.
Two men fell victim to such romantic hesitations this week.
The first was the North Korean leader, whose courtship became all too high-maintenance in its nuclear lustings and the banquet of ‘hostesses’ at an unnamed Singaporean suite was cancelled in lieu of the Donald’s break-up.
The second was none other than our scorned Spaniard.
It is easy to sympathise with Mikel Arteta, who’d practically half-Odemwingied in his desire for the position as journalists touted it as ‘basically a done deal’. But like a cruelly guarded affair, Ivan Gazidis was wooing his mistress before breaking off the marriage.
Many were so infatuated by Arteta’s mystery that there was no other option and it meant enthusiasm towards Unai Emery’s appointment was initially rather muted. However, the truth is, for the board at least, Arteta was too fresh and too unpredictable. It was one of love’s old clichés – ‘the right person at the wrong time’.
However, I have no doubts the Club came to the correct decision. Not necessarily in choosing Emery, but in appointing him over Arteta.
Arsenal are in an unstable period. Our leader and, to an extent, our philosophy has irreversibly changed and it’s essential we’re guided by someone proven in handling such a situation. Even with a heavy heart, it was right to second-guess the Spaniard.
Admittedly, Emery did somewhat lose his allure in France and the recent revelation that it was Neymar who was the boss in Paris is a slight cause for concern. However, his achievements at Sevilla indisputably showed that he’s a serial winner.
Emery’s approach is meticulous, hands-on, and he’ll work within the Club’s temperamental new structure. It may not quite be the new wife we supporters hoped for but it’s still the drastic change we desired.
It’s inevitable that after these years of repeated heartbreak, we’ll enter any new relationship with trepidation. But now the leading-on period is over and we’ve committed so there’s nothing to do but blindly charge in à la Theo.