Arsenal Con by DS
This time last year Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil. I asked the question “was this a sign of the club’s new found ambition” or merely a crowd pleasing signing, a realisation that Gooners were no longer listening to Arsene Wenger’s excuses, and were ready to vote with their feet? Of course once our board thought there was a chance of not selling shirts, and more importantly season tickets, they were happy to splash the cash.
I thought I would get my answer this summer and believed there was a positive one when we brought Alexis Sanchez for 35 million. At the same time newspaper reports were saying that Mario Ballotelli and Sami Khedira were going to follow.
But as I write this 2 days before the transfer window closes the Gunners have so far spent approx 10 million on Debuchy (a direct replacement for Sagna), 4 million on Ospina ( who takes Fabianski’s place) while the Vermaelen money was used to bring in Chambers. In other words apart from the arrival of Sanchez, Arsenal’s squad remains the same size as last season (not including the deadwood we have got off the wage bill).
The Chilean is without question a world class addition but without sounding like a spoilt fan, it leaves over 50 million left in the 100 million kitty Ivan Gazidis was boasting about.
Arsene Wenger has often admitted he spends the club’s money like it’s his own, such is his love for where he works. While it is admirable he cares so much it’s up to his bosses to persuade him to show they care more then just us qualifying for the Champions League. Wenger has earned the right to call the shots, the day he doesn’t he will walk away, but there is nothing wrong with his bosses insisting on, for example, purchasing Falcao (especially now the stadium is paid off and with our new deal with Puma).
Compare our board with say Roman Abramovich. That’s one owner who hates to lose and when he had a rare 12 months that didn’t bring a trophy he wasted no time in acting. He simply asked Jose Mourinho the reason he thought Chelsea finished 4 points off the title and gave him what he needed even before the World Cup started.
Compare that with our owner’s ambition. Now I’m not suggesting we have to start paying inflated money like Manchester City – but for our manager to try and suggest that the squad doesn’t need strengthening is an insult to all of our fans.
Even football supporters/pundits who have no affinity towards our club can easily address where are weak areas are.
I’m not saying those people have better knowledge of the game then Wenger but the Frenchmen’s criteria can be questioned. Does he truly believe that there are no players on the market for a reasonable price or is he once again trying to protect our finances to keep his employers happy?
Does he really believe that Sonogo can cover for Giroud instead on activating the 8 million buy-out clause in Loic Remy’s contract?
What has made him believe that we possess the physical midfielder which cost us in so many of the big games to the point he wouldn’t take Alex Song on loan or talk to Newcastle about Tiote? Hand on heart how many of us can say our manager’s logic is based on football reasons – not because of matters off the field.
With 48 hours to go before Mondays cut off point some Arsenal fans are keeping their fingers crossed that new faces will come in which could be the difference between us being champions or falling short again.
The speed in which Chelsea spoke to QPR as soon as they realised Torres was leaving once again highlighted our lack of urgency compared to a championship rival. Some believe it’s because Arsenal have a surprise up their sleeve, a big name where the deal would naturally be complicated and long winded in it’s completion. That’s wishful thinking.
Sanchez was the marquee signing, timed perfectly where it was announced on the same day of Puma’s kit launch. Bear in mind that Sanchez while no doubt making our attack better does not play in a area of the pitch which was our weakness. Arsenal didn’t finish 7 points off City because of a lack of offensive players. What his signature did do was ensure we avoided months of fans complaining like last summer. Signing Sanchez early meant customers rushed out to fill the company’s pockets with money believing that more big names were following. Only recently have the club tried to downplay that hope. They didn’t bother to do that when selling tickets and shirts of course, they were happy for us to believe this was an new era.
In Wenger’s defence is it is hard to buy players who will better what he currently has, that he will not spend for the sake of spending, clearly when it comes to money he has the welfare of the club in his heart. When it comes to what the board spend he clearly is in charge. It’s funny how he has never used that influence to persuade them not to charge us more then any other fan in the country to watch our team. I guess it’s important to save as much money as possible so they will be so grateful they will keep him in a high paid job, being paid more then anyone else in the UK, doesn’t seem to have the same moral high ground, does it?