Good morning Gooner grumblers. It’s another fucking International break, don’t you just hate them, but it gives bloggers a break from predicting team selection and results or doing a match post-mortem. Recently I saw a discussion somewhere about if Maureen had managed the Arsenal team over the past ten years he would have won nothing and probably wouldn’t have kept them in the top four as Arsene has done, ditto Pelligrini. And alternatively, if Wenger had the money available at Chelsea or City he would have swept the board of trophies. With enough money from a sugar daddy like Abramovitch or the oilers, would it be possible to put a team together like this:
That team is all personal preference and dreamland I know, I’ll apologise now for not including any Arsenal players, I was tempted to put Cech in goal though. I’m sure people will have different ideas, but you get the gist. If Wenger had the money and could put this team together, what would he achieve? If he had the money to get a third of those players he would win most or all trophies available. But then could you say any manager with that team could win everything? For example, if Pulis, Moyes or Fat Sam had that team, would they win trophies?
My point being is that Wenger, with the restrictions on budget over the last 10 seasons has managed to keep a fairly lightweight team punching above their weight and keeping them in the top four all that time and eventually winning two FA Cups back to back after being given a bit of cash to buy Ozil and Sanchez. No mean achievement. What could he have achieved if given a budget like City or Chelsea? and now United (although Van Gaal still needs to prove that he can do something with it on the pitch).
More and more premier league teams are now spending more cash on top flight players. West Brom splashed £12m on Rondon, so the Arsenal need to up the ante, £12m doesn’t get you much of a striker these days, Giroud and Welbeck were our last at that price. With City , Chelsea, Liverpool and United all spending heavily in the striker department the Arsenal now need to think in terms of £40 or £50 million for an up front man. Wenger always says he doesn’t spend money just because he has it and waits for the right player if available. All very commendable and probably the correct way of doing business but when you see the inability of our current team to score goals then it is a frustrating philosophy. He goes against the trend of short-termism but is that now hurting our prospects?
Alternatively, looking at the beginning of the current season we have seen all the big hitters (apart from City) start miserable campaigns, Chelsea are leaking goals all over the place, Liverpool had three clean sheets but with only two goals scored and then got thrashed by West Ham. United have done nothing despite the acquisition of Depay but they have just bought a 19 year old ‘wonderkid’ for £40m plus.
There have been an increasing number of quality players going from big European sides to lesser English clubs. The TV payoffs for the PL means that lower clubs are able to pull off transfers for players that seem capable of playing at a higher level. For example:-
Ayew to Swansea (Marsielle) that was a freeby?
Afellay to Stoke (Barcelona)
Shaqiri to Stoke (Inter Milan)
Rondon to West Brom (Zenit)
Wijnaldum to Newcastle (PSV)
Son to Tottenham (Bayer Leverkusen)
Ogbonna to West Ham (Juventus)
Deulofeu to Everton (Barcelona)
Lens to Sunderland (Dynamo Kiev)
Cabaye to Crystal Palace (PSG)
Inler to Leicester (Napoli)
Payet to West Ham (Marseille)
Wenger says that if a player he wants is not available then he will not rush off and spend money on a player just for the sake of it, he waits until a player suited to our style is available. However, if a player who was suitable for our style of play wasn’t available in the last window, the likelihood is that there won’t be one available in the next window. Van Gaal has shown what a manager will do at all costs to keep fans happy and spend over the top for an untried 19 year old.
The top four or five teams in the PL can now spend whatever they want and get the best players, whether these players then perform on the pitch is another matter entirely. Only time will tell if Liverpool with Benteke, Man United with Depay and Martial, City with Stirling and Kevin De Bryrne and Chelsea with Pedro will improve.
However, the mid table teams are also buying quality and maybe, just maybe, their managers are thinking more logically about who they buy and if that player will improve the team. This will have consequencies for the top teams, Crystal Palace and West Ham have already proved that to be the case.
So, ultimately, was Wenger right in not getting a new striker in the transfer window? We have to have some faith in our manager, he knew before the deadline that Welbeck needed an operation on his knee, he said he searched for new players but none of the appropriate quality were available, he said that he would only buy a player who would enhance the current squad and he said he will continue to search. We have to have faith that he knows what he is doing, because Maureen, Van Gaal and Pellegrini have spent fortunes on possibles, because they had the money to do it, Wenger had the money as well apparently, but he is much more cautious in todays market place, when quality melons are not available in the shop, he doesn’t want to spend over the odds for one that will not be worth eating in two days time. He knows how to keep a mid table team in the top four, that has to count for something. The quality signings will come, he just needs more time to find them…. he will.
Right, breakfast time, smoked ham, spicy chorizo, hard, old goats cheese and a glass of chilled muscadet. Happy Sunday my Gooner dildos…. can’t wait for next weeks game against the Orks.