While there have been plenty of former Arsenal players, including the TV pundits Paul Merson and Thierry Henry, as well as every man and his dog with an opinion about Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, ready to jump on the bosses back and bemoan his failure or refusal to use the summer transfer window to sign another striker, there are a few that have come out in support of the under fire Frenchman.
And the fact that two of Wenger´s backers are former strikers who know what it takes to be a success up front is perhaps significant. Last week it was John Hartson who explained in a Daily Star report why he agreed with the decision not to sign a new striker just for the sake of it or to bow to the pressure of the fans.
The Welshman said, “Why would he just add numbers to give himself a problem and put players on the bench and pay them astronomical wages?
“I totally understand why Wenger has not bought. The Danny Welbeck situation is unfortunate now he has to go in for a knee operation. You look at Liverpool, and how much did they need Danny Ings? They signed him for a free, but what’s the point, Danny Ings has hardly kicked a ball for Liverpool.
“That’s not the way Wenger works. He protects the club’s money, he doesn’t just go out and buy bang-average players. If you’re going to get into his team, you’ve got to improve it and you’ve got to be better than what he’s got.
“We’ve all criticised Arsenal and would like to see them be a bit more active in the transfer market – he hasn’t been. He’s won two FA Cups on the bounce and they keep finishing in the top four. They’re not as strong as Man City or Chelsea, but Arsene Wenger keeps producing and keeps building teams.
“He’s not going to buy players just to add the group. You’ve got to bring in players that are going to enhance the team.”
And Hartson has now been joined by one of Wenger´s big success stories, Nicholas Anelka. The Frenchman was brought to Arsenal as an unknown 17-year old and he gives the prof a lot of credit for helping him to achieve what he did. So as reported by the Evening Standard, Anelka thinks Wenger should show the same faith in Olivier Giroud, declaring that Arsenal have much more creativity and fire power in our squad than people seem to realise.
He said, “You can always say they need to buy someone up front, but previously they have bought Mesut Ozil, who’s a good player, Alexis Sanchez is a good player. They can score goals and give good assists. People just want big names in attack, but Giroud is good enough to score goals. And behind him there are big players who can supply him so he can score a lot of goals.
“Arsenal have a strong squad – people don’t see it, but they do.
“Arsene did the same with me – when Ian Wright was there, he didn’t buy anyone and I had to do the job up front,” Anelka said. “He believed in me and in the end I played regularly and played well. He made the same choice with Giroud.
“Arsene believes in his team, that’s why he hasn’t spent money. He believes in Giroud because he thinks he will score a lot of goals, which he already has done. When you look at the statistics he’s not so bad. Arsenal won something last season, won something the season before, so why not again?
“But people have to wait and see and then speak at the end of the season. If they don’t win anything, then you can say something.
“However, people have to trust Arsene. He knows what he is doing.”
We do not have a lot of choice really, so is time for Arsenal fans to stop moaning, hope that these two former Gunners are right, and maybe support our lads instead of slating them?