Why Arsene is right not to splash the cash! by DW
It is now January 8th 2013 and the transfer window has officially got underway. The gates to the overpriced and usually disruptive time of the season are open. An often overworked set of players in each team, reeling from the rigors of the Christmas and new year fixtures, are subjected to the media’s speculation of grandeur and the chance for them to apparently play for the potential top four teams, causing managers to squeeze their eyes shut in prayer that their star players show some loyalty over the stupidly high wages that are presented to them at the likes of Man City and Chelski.
For Arsenal, they have slipped into this category of late, with more and more stars feeling that Arsenal do not meet their ambitions and that warming the likes of Chelski and Man City’s Bench while being paid double their existing wages is more their style. In this transfer window it seems to be Theo, but we will wait and see what happens there. The other thing that happens is that those grumbles and low murmurs of disgruntlement during the Autumn and Christmas period from Arsenal Fans become a chorus of how much trouble Arsenal are in without a 30million pound signing.
Firstly, I do think that we are 3 quality players away from being a top, top side. Where I disagree with the general consensus is that players valued at 30 – 40 million equate automatically to a top draw player. Look at Santi Carzola. Arguably one of the best players in midfield this season and he only cost 16 million. But what really supports Arsene’s approach to the transfer market is if you type on the internet ‘what are the top ten most expensive players in the premier league’ the results are very interesting indeed. They are as follows;
1. Fernando Torres – A staggering 50 million pounds! The most expensive player to date. Many Chelski fans would tell you that his all round game has proved invaluable at times but for me if I had the most expensive striker ever to grace our league I would expect him to at least be in the top 2 goal scorers every season. He has now been at the club for two years as he was a January transfer and he has only just made the top goal scorers list for the first time at Chelski and that is at 7 league goals, which is 1 less than Walcott has.
2. Sergio Aguero – Top class player I would love to see this man in an Arsenal shirt but that is a thing of dreams. Scores goals, has pace and power. Is comfortable on the ball and can finish well.
3. Andy Carroll – Everyone was wondering what King Kenny was going to spend his Torres treasure on. The astounding 50 million pounds for an out of form Torres was bordering on insanity but Liverpool tried to compete by signing a struggling Andy Carroll for 35 million making him the third most expensive player in the premier league and the most expensive Englishman. The pressure may have been too much, or Liverpool’s style of play. Even the fact that Kenny was replaced with, firstly Roy Hodgson, and then Brendan Rodgers, but he was a flop at Liverpool and now resides at West Ham where the fact that West ham have taken on our very own Chamakh tells you that he could well be a West Ham flop as well. Hardly the form of a 35 million pound striker but he still rates slightly above Torres because he cost less.
4. Robinho – There is no disputing that Robinho was a talented player even if he did not know whether he was at Chelski or City half the time. However he was obviously an introduction to the tantrums of Mario and Tevez. Often sulking and causing problems behind the scenes (if reports are to be believed) He was also partial to a kebab or two. He never managed to provide enough sparkle to win Man City anything and left on bad terms for less than he cost.
5. Shevchenko – I have always felt sorry for Andrei. He was subject to circumstance to a certain degree. As the politics in Chelski heated up Shevchenko seemed to wilt. It was partially due to the fact that he had been used to running against 40 year old defenders in Italy, but he struggled with the faster and stronger defenses in the premiere league at first and with Chelski fans getting used to getting everything they wanted now, he was never given a real chance. However no-one should ever feel sorry for one of the most expensive players ever to play in premier league.
6. Berbatov – I quite like this player and, unlike Torres, he did score goals for United. However he was used sparingly by Ferguson due to the fact that he was often deemed as disconnected and disinterested, whilst often complaining of suffering from nerves at being at as big a club as United. Had he cost even 10 million less I would have felt he was a success.
7. Rio Ferdinand – He has been a loyal servant to United and can be deemed as a success as he has been at the heart of Man United’s defence during their record breaking premier league winning run.
8. Sebastion Veron – The Argentinian legend had all the ingredients to be a great United midfielder. The problem was that no-one on his team seemed to be on the same wave length as him. A Rolls Royce player in a Lamborghini dealership. Was a flop for the pure fact that he had no success during his time at United and repeated the same kind of situation during his spell at Chelski.
9. Dzeko – This player is a good player but with Aguero and Tevez being used in most games he has become a bit part player and impact sub that is not what you would expect from a player that costs slightly less than our top two signings put together.
10. Rooney – Although he has a pattern, lately, of being non-influential in the early stages of United’s season he always has a say in the important matches and especially in the second half of the season. Although there has been times where he has fallen out with Ferguson for one reason or the other he has consistently been more of a success than not. Any team around the world would love Rooney in their set up.
Of these ten top expensive players I would say only 3/10 have been real value for their money. (Aguero, Rooney & Rio) This shows that while it is frustrating to hear that we have lost out on (so called) top players at times, money doesn’t always get you the best players. I often hear fans grumble that we need players of Viera’s quality (Cost 3.5 million) or Henry (Cost 11 million), Cesc (Free), Pires (Cost 6 Million) or even RVP (cost 2.75 million) while this spans over a period of 10 – 15 years, and they may have cost a bit more these days.
The point remains the same, our legends cost nowhere near the kind of money spent on the players above and that Arsenal and Arsene moulded great players into world class players. This is why Arsene’s transfer policy, while sometimes appearing on the surface as non-progressive and lacking ambition, in more details it is not as simple as just splashing the cash. I feel that Wenger should look at what he has achieved in his career and then look across at the likes of Man City’s and Chelski’s wasteful spending and ask himself should I be listening to people saying that only the likes of Falcao and Benzema are good enough to show we have ambition?
Written By Darren Woolford.