Arsenal’s transfer window – The enigma that is Arsene Wenger


Hello everyone. Long time. Hope you are all great, despite our typically miserable transfer window. You know who Arsene Wenger reminds me of at this time of the year? He is like that grumpy old lady that refuses to hand over bags of candy to little kids trick-or-treating on Halloween. Instead he chooses to give the occasional candy bar to that rare deserving kid, by her standards. That old lady will tell you that too much sugar is not good for the kids and that diabetes is no laughing matter. Guess what? She is kind of right, even though she remains a party pooper. 72 million pounds for a 29 year old Higuain? 100 million pounds for Paul Pogba? That is lunacy. I am with Wenger on this one. The man does make a point when it comes to current player valuations but he never does enough when he needs to. If Leicester could do it without blowing millions, what is his excuse?

But strange enough, Wenger remains a success story of sorts. He is truly an enigma. He is that guy that never does the obvious things that need to be done but often ends up making folks look stupid at the end of the day. We have been here before too many times. The demise of Arsenal has been predicted a billion times and for the billionth time, Arsene Wenger’s team is still playing Champions league football while spending next to nothing. How did Asrenal spend only 10 million pounds on a goal keeper last summer and still finish second in the league? That is the mystery that is Arsene Wenger. When Arsenal is in a crisis, we finish in fourth place at worst. When Chelsea and Man U are in a crisis, they totally capitulate and no amount of money they throw at the problem is able to rescue them for good. You have got to admit that for a guy who refuses to spend money, Wenger is overperforming in a way. Champions league qualification may not be enough for most fans but for the kind of money we are spending, you can also argue that we don’t deserve the success we have had. That is why Wenger is an enigma.

But fast forward to this transfer window and this is the way I see our current team. We have a bloody good team. All that transfer noise wouldn’t let you realize how good our moderately priced stars are until out of the blue, we play a full strength Man City side that is currently managed by the demi god, Pep Guardiola. And what happens? Not only did we outplay them, we beat them fair and square while missing a host of chances. And we were without Ozil, Koscielny and Giroud, the three first team players that have formed the modern arsenal spine. Do we need to buy more players? Absolutely, but just two players at the most. A mobile striker and an experienced defender will do. Numbers wise, we actually have a lot of players. Before writing this article, I was counting the number of central defenders we have and I suddenly realized that if and when Wenger does bring in Mustafi or whoever his real defensive target is, we will have six central defenders for two positions. Koscielny, Per, Gabriel, Chambers, Holding and possibly Mustafi. So really, if not for these injuries, we are stacked in central defence.

And how do I feel about us not getting Mahrez or Draxler? Well, if their clubs decide not to sell, kidnapping them is not an option we can explore, is it? It is not always Wenger’s fault. I personally will not throw a 100 million pounds at Mahrez in the name of making them an offer they cannot refuse. Not when we have very promising youngsters like Iwobi and the Ox anyway. And let us not forget Takamu Asano, our Japanese striker that is kicking ass in Rio.

By the way, Wenger tried to buy Vardy. He made the effort this time. Everything was set. He triggered the release clause, thrashed out personal terms and set up the medical room. Vardy had a change of heart was a no show. I cannot blame Wenger here either.

In conclusion, Wenger is a guy that has found a formula for success that his employers seem to like. He generally lowers the bar by not spending enough and gets his critics predicting doom and gloom. And then out of nowhere, he over performs by qualifying for the Champions league and winning the occasional FA cup. That is the Wenger code. Mystery solved. It took me a while to figure this man out but I finally nailed it. Follow the pattern. However you analyze it, this is what has been happening to us in a nut shell. With so much money in football and our stadium debt giving him nightmares, Wenger cannot guarantee a trophy anymore so he redefined success all by himself. He used to win things until the influx of big money pushed him to the edge. Today he spends his days setting very low expectations that will enable him over perform. And that is why he still has a job. Check mate. Kroenke and the board cannot beat Wenger in this intricate game of chess. He owns them. He is a master in this football game of what success entails. And he makes them money too in a field that nobody seems to make money. Who will fire a guy like that? Not a profit loving Stan Kroenke for sure.

So where does this leave us? I say to hell with transfers. I have chosen to play the long game so I can cope with disappointment. Wenger will not change but he will leave someday and then we might get the opportunity to try something different. I think we may still buy one or two players before this window closes. That is the good news. The bad news is that no matter who we buy, we will not win the league. Why? Because the competition is fiercer than ever and Wenger has set the bar way too low to inspire his players to go for the biggest prize in the land. Success is in the mind they say. That is how Leicester won it when their opponents were spending tens of millions. But splashing out on the right players also makes a difference and inspires a team in a manner that makes them win trophies. That is the success model of the Madrids, the Chelseas and Barcelonas. Wenger can neither inspire his team nor spend the money. And this is why the ultimate prize will forever elude him. Peace.

Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria


  1. Hellloooooooooooooo!

    Somebody is awake at Arsenal? Do they know, the EPL starts on sunday against Pool??? Then against Leicester? Or everbody is sleeping? It’s absolutely pathetic. Is it really worth the extra few million pounds, to screw up EVERY season opening?? We tend to buy the players on august 31, until then we lose at least 4 points. Because we dont have a 1st choice CB. And the 5th richest club in the world begins the season with no CB, and a lightweight striker???? WHY????

    Then IF, (And its a very big IF) we sign the needed players, we also lose 6-10 points, while they are integrating into the team. We can now buy for example Lacazette now for 40M. Then, on august 31, we maybe get him for 36M, but until then we lose points. Is it WORTH IT????? And anyways, if they say no, we go with absoulte empty hand into the new season???

    IS-IT-WORTH-IT???? Every one except Wenger knows:


  2. Arsene is playing is with his favorite dolls:

    Wenger doll: Hey baby, you ever been to dinner with someone on £8m a year?

    Barbie doll: Oh Arsene, you are so handsome

    Wenger doll: Why don’t you step into my Merc *makes car noise and drives up in his Ken mobile*

    Barbie doll: Hehe, where are we going *doll gets into car*

    Wenger picks up a third doll and drags it across the table as if it is running

    Mourinho doll: Baby, don’t go with him. I’m the real winner

    Wenger doll: WTF you doing here punk?

    Mourinho doll: zippit specialist in failure. I took your title over 10 years ago and now I’m going to take your girl

    Wenger doll: *gets out of car* Yeah? *Wenger doll clothes lines Mourinho doll* Take that mother******

    Barbie doll: You are so strong Arsene

    Wenger doll: Watch this baby. This is for the finish *Wenger doll tombstones Mourinho doll*

    Barbie doll: *gets out of the car and runs towards Wenger doll* Take me right here

    At this point Wenger bends over the babrbie doll. Gazidis now weighs in

    Gazidis: ARSENE!!!!!!!!!!! This is a Board meeting! Care to join the rest of us? Put your dolls away

    Wenger: Oh yeah. Completely forgot that. Whats been going on? *takes dolls off Boardroom table and puts them in his laptop case*

    Gazidis: We are going around the table and seeing how many players each of us believes we need to sign to win the league. You go first

    Wenger: zero

    Gazidis: OK obviously not true but I’ll go next. Three players

    Boardmember 1: 9

    Boardmember 2: 6

    Boardmember 3: 4

    Boardmember 4: 7

    Wenger: *interupts* Woah there! Who is going to do all the paperwork for these fancy plans you have?

    Gazidis: It is your job!

    Wenger: My job is to manage my squad and I believe we have enough. Anyway this paperwork malarky is too much. Put it this way, the manager of Barcelona at the time did less paperwork for Messi than I did for Gervinho because Messi came through the youth ranks. Therefore I believe in promoting academy players

    Gazidis: Well there is the elephant in the room

    Wenger: That is no way to talk about Dick Law. Sure he is a bit overweight and looks like a bagel but really?

    Gazidis: No not that! Your unwavering faith in Giroud and refusal to sign any other strikers.

    Wenger: Giroud is my talisman. Everything goes through him!

    Boardmember 1: Dude is wack.

    Wenger: What did you say fool?

    Boardmember 2: Giroud is quite rubbish to be honest

    Wenger: How dare you?

    Boardmember 1: You have stunted his development by not buying another striker. He has regressed

    Wenger: OK that is taking it too far *walks over and tries to punch Boardmember 1 but misses and falls on the floor*

    Gazidis: OK so another meeting that Arsene has turned into a farce. Anyone for KFC?

  3. We have a good team but to win the league you need a consistent team with a winning mentality… A strong character and the desire to win..

    I am sorry to say that we miss that in the team. We ain’t hungry enough. Well, some players don’t have that fighting spirit. .. That happens when the manager and board targets top 4. It rubs on the players…

    Another problem in Arsenal is injury. … Its gonna be a long season and I bet some players will be out injured in the course of the season.. .infact, we have already lost two defenders and the season is yet to start..

    We are a good team that always fall short of one or two players to compete….we can be better if we add two players in the team, then if we are consistent enough with winning mentality. The mentality has to change.. .

    If we take Leicester as a case study last season, we will realise their players are hardly injured. Even when they do, anyone coming in gives his best and has that winning mentality…

    We need to manage our players properly and anyone coming in when players are injured must step up..

  4. I’m not saying Arsenal should buy a player for £150m before the fans will be happy that we are showing intent.
    Most fans are frustrated and disappointed with our transfer activity.
    Fair enough, we hear that a replacement for Mustafi is expected before he is released to Arsenal. But I believe we should be more aggressive as a team during the transfers. Why do other teams make it look so easy?
    Reality check…we face Liverpool on Saturday… Akpom and Walcott (strikers), don’t even get me started on the defence (no disrespect to them)
    Oh to be a Gooner.

  5. I enjoyed this article. A different perspective…
    The old man is not going to change. The more we moan about transfers, the more miserable we get. Instead sit back, enjoy and support our players.

  6. Seriously, I feel Wenger will sign a CB for cover.

    The question is…….. does he come up with a last minute surprise like the Ozil signing or will he again make he usual nonsense claims.

    “We had the money but there were no special players available. But Ox and Theo are just like new signings and our defensive midfield is stronger than ever so we are in good shape.”

  7. Wenger can’t afford to sign
    any more players.
    We are carrying too much
    expensive deadwood.
    Walcott 140 k p/w
    Wilshere 94k p/w will be injured 45 games again this season.
    Gabriel 16 mill flop now injury prone.
    Chambers 16 mill flop.
    Wellbeck 16 mill flop and injury prone.
    Cazorla unfortunately now injury prone.
    Mertz too slow and injured.
    Chamberlain 4 years and no production.
    Gibbs marginal and injury prone.
    Jenkinson marginal and injured.
    Debuchy old and injury prone.
    Campbell. Tries hard but not really up to it.
    Asano? Shirt salesman.
    14 dead or dying expensive mistakes.
    Once more Arsenal are set to rely on
    Bellerin Koz Coquelin Monreal
    Xhaka Elneny .
    Ramsey Ozil Sanchez
    Bench. Adelaide Iwobi Holding Bielik.
    Last resort. Deadwood.

  8. I think Wenger will sign a CB (more “hope” than “think” actually)
    He will either spend money and buy one (tears in his eyes as he does it) OR
    Loan one

    BUT don’t expect Mustafi, Hummels, Howedes, Godin, or even Dijk, Williams etc

    Wenger said recently the good players are in the Championship league (im not kidding)
    That’s where he got Holding

    So I will be shocked if he gets a good experienced defender. I will pass out if he gets a WC one

    I am just hoping the signing will not be a Squillaci or Silvestre

  9. Tired listening to wengers lies and false promises. For the last 7 years I have maintained he has lost it and instead of being a manager he has become a dictatorship. League is starting and we do not have a team. Well done wenger another season of nothing. Another season of fan abuse. Well done wenger and the board.

  10. I had fallen for the Mustafi thing after it was revealed that he is a German international. However following Budd’s analysis I am less inclined to the transfer. Per injury was the greatest loss to us than the Gabriel injury, because of his calming presence and organizational ability. In Holding and Bielik we have two very good centre backs who need game time alongside a player like Per. His injury might have put back their progression by some 6 months, unless we buy a CB with qualities similar to Per. Going by the ages of Evans and Mustafi I do not think they will be able to play alongside in experienced centre backs. This brings into contention the injury prone Dortmund player who was once linked with a move to EPL. If he is still available and fit, I think we should consider him.

  11. I see Wenger as an underachiever. I think he might be one of the most capable managers in PL. In the hypothetical situation that all managers had identical squads Wenger would be up there every year.

    He has done very well in the years we had no money to invest yet keeping us in the top 4.

    However those days are over and we have had money to invest. over the last years. I personally think if we had bought Elneny last summer and a solid striker that we would have won the PL. We had the money. Yes we got 2nd, but let’s be fair, it was given to us more than that we took it.

    Wenger is underperforming because he doesn’t have the ability to assemble the squad needed. Personally, I think it is a function of his stubbornness, stinginess, and self-doubt. He simply can not be decisive in the transfer market and he no longer has
    David Dein to manage him and to protect him against himself.

    Having this weakness prevents him from optimizing his skills IMO and that’s why he is underperforming. Never mind he got 2nd last season, with his abilities there was no excuse for it not to be 1st.

    We don’t have a CL winning squad, for him to win the CL would be an over achievement IMO.

  12. Holy christ. WINGER is saint and all others are fraud. This article is the reason why our fans are the most delusional. We finished 2nd by default. Funny Leicester won the title at the expense of Totten ham and not us. This whole delusional idea that we do well each season is a big joke. Yes chelsea finished 10th, yes city scrapped for 4th place, yes united have been ordinary for past 3 years but let me tell you a true fact , when Manchester United were at their best they dominated the world football. When was the last time we dominated English football. We just look and laugh at others failure and each season some other teams goes onto win the title. Leicester freaking won the title, while we were laughing at spurs. We were a big joke last season. It was our title and we were celebrating finishing 2nd by default. I don’t understand who are a small club us or spurs because the way we have been behaving seems we are the small time club.

    Wenger is just living on his past glories. He never could match the likes of sir Alex, Jose mourinho and pep. One sEason of invinoble is what he has been living on. It is getting beyond joke and articles like this makes us look like even a big joke.

  13. The article states that wenger has been a success story
    Well not for ten years he hasn’t
    Not winning goal the league through lack of transfer activity is NOT anywhere close to a success story
    yet again my question is this ??? Where has the BTW sports money gone ???
    Each club in the employer is getting a reputed 150 million so where has that money gone for us ?
    If we were already running gear a solid financial planning then surely this extra cash should be allocated to yransfers yet we are claiming poverty yet again
    It’s a fiddle and wenger is as much to blame as gazidis so why is it being allowed to happen ?

    1. I’m watching the Germany Fiji game on BBC red button and theres no comentary, weird! Serge still looks a solid bet, just as worthy as a few of Wengers prefered prospects

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