There is a scene in Guy Richie’s classic British gangster film; Snatch, where Jason Statham’s character explains the concept of causality. With a little help from Brad Pitt’s character and a few gratuitous expletives, he essentially boils it down to “every action having a reaction”.
Nowhere does this concept manifest itself more clearly than in the tabloid’s football press.
After the crushing defeat at home to Watford in the FA Cup, the seemingly annual collapse in league form and the arduous task of overturning a 2-0 Champions League deficit in the Nou Camp, Arsenal look destined to endure a trophy-less season. In the face of such a disastrous run of form the press has engineered a number of stories designed to ignite hope in a sea of fans on the brink of a civil war, the most bombastic of which has been the linking of Juventus striker Alvaro Morata to North London to the tune of £50million.
I would be less surprised if Mel Gibson managed to turn his acting career around than if Morata were to rock up at the Emirates for such an exalted fee. I like Morata, he is a competent striker, who has proved in Juventus’ run the last season’s Champions League final, that he is capable of scoring against Europe’s elite but £50million?
What has he done to justify that price tag?
Morata is a Spain striker who has just a solitary International goal to his name, and one who can no longer call himself his club’s first choice striker after falling down the pecking order to Mario Mandzukic and new wonder-kid, Paulo Dybala.
A league record in Turin reads as 12goals in 56games, a poor return considering “The Old Lady” have dominated Serie A in the time Morata has called it home. His movement and intelligence are aspects of his game that are strong, yet it just smacks of a more glamorous version of the maligned Olivier Giroud.
In the last couple of years, with the signings of Alexis Sanchez (£35million) and Mesut Ozil (£42.5million), Wenger has proved that he is not averse to writing big checks, however he is still a pragmatic man who strives to keep his club on an even keel financially.
The footballing world has long been accused of losing its connection to reality, Arsenal’s £50million capture of Morata would all but confirm this.