Arsene Wenger’s latest comments, you know the ones, the ones where he said that this squad, which is now eight players lighter than the one which scraped fourth place last season, could be title challengers without any new additions, has, rightly, annoyed a lot of the Arsenal fan base. Ok, ok, maybe eight is overplaying it given a number of those players were already on loan, but you know what I mean.
While we know that Wenger can’t come out and be clear with a number of specifics regarding the transfer operations of the club, the comments,which also sat alongside ones about trying to reinforce, were unwelcome and have caused a great deal of angst amongst fans this morning.
When the summer started we all had high hopes. We knew that there was *actual* money there to be spent this summer not just supposed money. The club were not only forceful that they would spend, could spend, they were insistent. Arsenal fans began to envisage a window which was finally different than the last eight when we saw our team look as if they were scrambling around picking up bargains wherever could, deals which saw us pick up the brilliant Santi Cazorla and the inexplicable Park Ju Young. For all the great that came in there was, sadly, an equal amount of dross.
But as we come to the end of July the feelings of hope are starting to give way to ones of concern, even amongst the more rational of the fanbase. The Emirates Cup is next weekend and if Arsene is to be believed, the only new face in the squad will be Yaya Sanogo.
Of course there is a long way to go before the window closes but there isn’t before the season starts and questions have to be asked as to why we haven’t gotten players in and given them time to bed in with the squad.
It seems, from the outside, as if the club’s entire focus is on bringing Luis Suarez in. That is one mighty big egg to place in a very flimsy basket. What about the other areas of the team which need strengthened? Are we really going to go in to the season having loaned out one centreback, sold another with a third on the treatment table leaving us with only two recognised players in that position plus Ignasi Miquel? Sagna in that position, as well as he might play, is a band-aid not a long term treatment plan.
And what about in midfield where we keep shipping out the only defensive midfielders we have? Doesn’t that position, arguably, need strengthened ahead of up-top where we have Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott who can all play in that position?
Regular readers of this blog and followers on Twitter will know that I do often believe that Arsene knows best, or, at the very least, he knows better than us but I can’t help but find myself having moments of doubt laced with touches of fear and panic.
It’s the not knowing.
I am sure there are things going on behind the scenes which, if we knew what they were, would assuage any fears we have. But we don’t know. We only have the comments that Arsene and the club have made and our own eyes which see little happening in front of us.
To me, it is inconceivable that we would not buy any players in this window so I’m sure we will. Who they will be and when they will arrive, however, I could not say.
Perhaps his comments were meant to tell clubs that we aren’t desperate. If that’s true then it might work for the clubs, but for the fanbase it simply served to crank up the desperation levels a notch or two higher.
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