After the collapse of the latest Arsenal Premier League title challenge made it 12 years since the invincibles squad was the last Arsenal side to be crowned champions of England, Arsenal fans will be lining up to tell you all of the mistakes that have been made by Arsene Wenger.
The list of options is pretty long and includes his tactics, his substitutions and his ability to motivate the players properly for the really important games. But right at the top of most Gooners’ list will be something to do with the transfers he has made, or more importantly the ones he has not made.
And it is one of these in particular that former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher reckons is the Frenchman’s biggest mistake in his time in charge of the Gunners. And it is a transfer that we know that Wenger wanted to make because his offer of £40 million and a pound to Liverpool for their striker Luis Suarez back in 2013 was well publicised as well as being highly ridiculed by the scousers and the football media both.
Carragher wrote in his Daily Mail column that the nature of the bid from Arsenal, instead of triggering the release clause that Wenger was under the impression it would, actually made Liverpool so cheesed off that the chances of us getting him for any money was then gone. Carragher reckons that Arsenal would have won the title that year with Suarez leading our attack, as Liverpool so nearly did themselves.
He wrote, “If you look back at Wenger’s 20 years in English football, there are so many highlights, but that day in July 2013, with the bid that enraged Liverpool, cannot be ignored. Not signing Suarez is the biggest mistake of Wenger’s reign.
“Had Arsenal pushed the boundaries for Suarez, perhaps with an offer of £50m, I believe they would have won the Barclays Premier League in two of the last three seasons. That’s the thing about Suarez: whichever team he plays for, he drags them to a higher level.”
I do agree that we probably would have won the title, at least once, with Suarez in the side, but I am not so sure we can really blame Wenger. As Carragher himself admits, Arsenal were led to believe that the amount we offered would trigger a clause and then it was just down to whether the player wanted to come, which he did. What do you think Gooners?