The system would not allow me to use a picture of Harry Kane celebrating his goal on Sunday, but was totally fine with Mauricio Pochettino frowning.
Now, let’s ramble.
Ramble of the Day
As many of you, if not all of you, are aware, Alexis Sánchez is now a Manchester United player and Henrikh Mkhitaryan is now headed to Arsenal. With the big deals now done, we must discuss the player reveals.
This time, I am not chatting about the reveal videos and photographs. Instead, I will address the first interviews these players gave as members of their new teams. Usually done with club staff, the interviews are hardly noteworthy at any club. There was something rather fascinating about these interviews, though.
Here are some excerpts, courtesy of people on that Twitter website:
Alexis Sanchez: "Since I was a boy I've always said my dream was to play for #mufc. I'm not saying that because I'm here now - I always said as a kid that I'd like to play for United, and I once spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson about it." #mulive [mutv]— utdreport (@utdreport) January 22, 2018
Overjoyed and honoured to sign for the club I supported as a boy @Arsenal #WeAreTheArsenal pic.twitter.com/si7cm0mojh— Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) January 22, 2018
Enter the “boyhood club” phenomenon! That’s right, players are back to demonstrating that they have loved their newest club since the day of their birth. That date and number in parentheses on a player’s Wikipedia page, unknown to many, is not a calculation of just age; it is a count for how long players have supported the club they now play for.
Also known as the “dream club” or “dream come true” phenomenon, clubs and players decide that sharing the childhood affection is a mandatory part of getting supporters excited about a new signing. Just being a talented player would obviously not be enough, and it would obviously make no sense for a player to move to a new club for more money, greater opportunity, or a desire for a new challenge.
You may remember that Gareth Bale called his move to Real Madrid a “dream.” (Sorry to bring it up, for those of you that may not want to be reminded.) No one, though, has mastered the technique more than former Tottenham player Robbie Keane.
Keane’s go-to phrase was “dream come true,” which can be found in almost every statement the Irishman has given after signing for a club. He has come so well known for this tactic that there is even a Facebook page called “Robbie Keane - The Only Player to Play for all 8 of his Childhood Teams.” As the Evening Standard put it back in 2011, Keane is “the footballer who has had several ‘dreams’ come true.”
Some of us are lucky enough to have one dream come true in a lifetime. Keane, clearly, is the most fortunate of us all.
tl;dr: Read the embedded tweets and remember that Robbie Keane also does this thing. Feel free to laugh.
I’m guessing you would all like your links now.
Links of the Day
Speaking of Alexis Sánchez, ESPN did him a service by telling him about the best places to walk his dogs in Manchester.
And speaking of transfers, Barcelona’s Rafinha is headed on loan to Inter Milan for the remainder of the season and Crystal Palace have added midfielder Erdal Rakip from Benfica.
VAR is headed to the World Cup.
Blackpool and England player Jimmy Armfield has died at age 82. Here is an obituary, courtesy of The Guardian’s Brian Glanville.
USWNT star Julie Ertz cried when she found out the Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl after the team’s defeat of Denmark, leading Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, her husband, to cry after seeing her cry.
The day’s longer read: A story about the time Diego Maradona almost signed for Dundee.