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Will Wenger buy this summer: here’s the answer



Headline News:

Exclusive Vermaelen interview on this site Friday 30th April

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By Walter Broeckx

Sometimes you hear fans say that we haven’t won anything since 2005 and that it is all down to Wenger not wanting to buy players.

Wenger is according to those fans also to blame because he didn’t keep the invincibles longer but instead sold them.

Let’s just see if both of those statements are correct.

Let us start with the Invincibles and yes apart from Soll Campbell they have all gone in the last few years. But as someone pointed out a few days ago two seasons after the Invincibles we just ended 4th in the league after jumping over Tottenham on the last day of the season and with the last game played at Highbury.

So it was clear, for those who wanted to see, that the time of the Invincibles was over. The invincible season was somehow the last big trick those older players had pulled out of the hat before falling down. A great way to finish a career one could say.

So those players didn’t do the business anymore and were too old. Yes Wenger has sold the Invincibles or let them go but did he have any other choice? If he had held on to them until now our team would have an average age of some 35 years old. Well it could be a bit less but I think no fan will believe they still would be finishing in 4th place at this time in their career.

So blaming Wenger for the loss of the Invincibles is to ignore the facts that the players in that team were going downhill and it would have cost us probably a few seasons in the CL as the biggest part of the Invincibles could hardly manage to qualify only two years after their biggest season ever.

Wenger does not want to buy players. Is this statement true? For a big part: yes. Wenger has been working on the youth project, which will keep us in line with the new regulations with an ease that other top teams can only dream off. Now and in the future.

So yes Wenger wanted to raise young players to get them in the first team. If you look at the number of home grown players we have in our squad I think it is fair to say that we have done very well.

But just saying : Wenger never wants to buy or bring players in from other teams is not correct. I will give you the names and the moment of the players Wenger did buy in the last years and I have taken the summer of 2006 (the final invincible year one could say) as a starting point. It was also the year we went to the Emirates – and buying players and moving to the Emirates are two things that are very closely related.



In the season of 2006-2007 Wenger bought: Rosicky, Gallas and Denilson (£3,4m). That’s 3 players.

In the season of 2007-2008 Wenger brought in: Fabianski, Eduardo(£7,5m), Sagna(£7m) and Diarra. That’s 4 players.

In the season 2008-2009 Wenger went out to buy: Ramsey(£5m), Nasri (£11m), Silvestre, Bishoff and Arshavin (£10m). That’s 5 players. In that season we also had Vela coming to Arsenal but he was bought the year before but had to be loaned out. But I just left him out.

And in this season 2009-2010 Wenger has got us: Vermaelen (£10m) and Campbell. That is 2 players.

We can see that Wenger has bought players every year and he did indeed spend money. Yes most of those players were mostly unknown for the fans. But in those years Wenger did bring in players that were known as world class like Rosicky, Gallas, Nasri and Arshavin. And players that have turned out to really good players.

As we all can have different opinions on certain players I will not tell you who you should think have become good players or even world class players. But I think it is fair to say that players like Vermaelen, Sagna, Ramsey, Eduardo (before his leg was kicked to pieces) should be considered as good buys. That is my opinion but you can add names to that list or take them of your personal list.

People who also follow the worldwide news a bit could see that from the moment that the economic crisis started ( 2008) and the housing market fell apart he did sign fewer players in the following transfer windows and spent less money. I think the economic crisis has made Arsène Wenger and the board act more carefully as Arsenal was hit hard because they  were trying to sell a few hundred apartments at that time.

But if you look at our spending prior to that Wenger was buying players every year and more than one a year. And some of those players were known as world class players. Just after the crisis, (which is still going on if you only take a look at Greece and maybe Portugal and Spain in the next weeks), we actually were very careful with our dealings.

Now that the first signs of the house market getting better are appearing and the news that the Highbury flats seem to be sold, and the debt for building the flats is paid off it could mean that Arsenal and Wenger will start spending again, back in their usual rhythm of 3 or 4 players coming in every year.

We will see in the next weeks what will happen but don’t believe it when they say: “Wenger doesn’t buy players”. Because he did and he will do it when he thinks they are needed.

Note: After the name of some players mentioned above I added the price that is/was named by some journalists when the deal was done. These numbers could be wrong as only Arsenal, the selling club and the player know them. But I just wanted to add them so one can see that Wenger has paid money for transfers in the last years. For the players without a price tag no figures could be found immediately.

Vermaelen interview

39 comments to Will Wenger buy this summer: here’s the answer

  • ahmed

    good post.. for few the war is about winning and not about living to fight another day or for a long time… same fans will always moan until we win everything.

  • RedGun

    Will the 25 rule change how Wenger buys players ?
    How do you see it effecting who he buys with a quota of the squad having to be home grown and under 21 will it result in future transfers becomming more experienced to supplement the youth and change the ammount of youth players we buy in future or will it go another direction. 7 or 8 home grown young players is a lot in a squad of 25.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    He’ll definitely sign one as he wouldn’t run the story he ran today on arsenal.com that he will sign one before June 11th.

    He says he will bring in two or three in total.

    My hunch is that the one before June 11th is Chamakh. But I might be wrong.

    This year, so long as Arsenal finish 3rd, players know there will be Group Stage ECL. Which makes an early signing easier. If the player has genuine choices.

  • ytwokay

    Wenger will sign no one before 11 June, he is getting Maruoane for free and then he will wait till after the WC.Or maybe he will sign someone in January…what he will tell you after the WC is that the players comming back from their injuries will be like new signings…and remember the 25 players per squad?

  • Matthew B

    During the period that Wenger brought in the players outlined in this article, he also let go of (or they retired/out of contract):

    Pires
    Gilberto
    Henry
    Campbell
    Bergkamp
    Cole
    Ljundberg
    Flamini
    Hleb
    Diarra
    Reyes
    Lehmann
    Adebayor
    Toure

    To name but a very few.

    This article does not address quality in versus quality out; which seems to be the problem with the current squad and where Arsenal finds itself in terms of competing for silverware.

    In hindsight, we’ve probably put a little too much faith in our youth squad (most probably due to financial restrictions) and not brought in, or kept, enough of experience and known quality.

    I’d say Wenger feels the youth experiment is now over and will look to strengthen with known quality in the coming weeks/months – I suppose we’ll know for sure when our squad lines up in August!

    Interesting that Arsene mentioned in his programme notes that he’d be looking to buy before the world cup starts.

  • This site is too AKB-inspired. What will AW ever do that is wrong?! He’s always right cause he’s perfect.

  • walter

    Matthew B, you are right.
    But most of those players were over their best and most of them never played better after leaving us.
    But the quality of those players was so “good” that we almost missed a CL spot in 2006.

    Pires : had one good season at Villareal but after that wend downhill.
    Gilberto: was second choice in his last season
    Henry: down the hill
    Campbell: he’s back
    Bergkamp: retired
    Cole: he is the only one that you could say that he is still really good.
    Ljundberg: down the hill
    Flamini: down the hill at young age – one wonder season
    Hleb: down the hill
    Diarra: worst Real mad player
    Reyes: down the hill untill this season
    Lehmann: retiring this season
    Adebayor: aren’t we glad we got rid of him
    Toure: I think Vermaelen is much better than Toure (personal opinion)

    I think we had no option to let most of them go. How painfull it was to see all those great players leave or stop. But no one can play for ever, not even Arsenal players.

  • walter

    Aq187, just read the headlines on top.

    I can think of Wenger doing anything wrong: leaving us now. 😉

  • Dec

    People only say Le Boss is a genius because it’s true!!!!He’s followed te correct policy for the circumstances the club (and the industry) found themselves in. We’re now positioned in the ideal place to go forward. The populist muppets who can’t see beyond the latest gossip page or celebrity tittle-tattle will never understand the world of professional football like Arsene Wenger does. I’m glad he’s in charge.
    Roll on August.

    Great article as usual by the way.

  • sammy

    mr TONY is it buying that is the problem the problem goes beyond that.i use to say our team is young but i realised somtin most of this players have been here for like 3yrs or more.now lets look @ mr walcott,diaby,denilson,vanpersie,vela and eduardo,they have one thing in common they are great players but have a plague called INJURY.Now its up to wenger and his team if doctor,trainess to search for how to stop this injuries cos buyin players wont stop it but a remedy to this pleague would be the atom to our first trphy

  • sammy

    PLS my fellow gunners let’s talk about stoping injuries than this buyin am tied of the rumour wenger will bu this or that lets talk about our medics,physical trainess bcos i saw a Vanpersie who has been out for months lookin sharper than most of our players wat kind of training is been administered to this boys is the type our rivals get this and lots more shoud b talked about transfers would bring trophies

  • sammy

    TONY pls do’ me a faavour can u spy on our rivals and tel us how they train wat makes those side more physical than our side.we need strength and this is not by buyin is by building let nasri diaby e.t.c build some muscle let song teach them the african thing i use to know one rayparlour who runs without stoping an agile veira and a spacey lungberg pls wenger shoud do somtin about there fitness.

  • SA Gunner

    Walter, I dont understand many of your justification for players leaving the club.

    Gilberto – how does Wenger let Gilberto, Flamini and Diarra leave in a space of a season, he messed up there.

    Flamini – was in fine form and still is in good nick for Milan. Another mistake letting him go by Wenger

    Hleb – Great form when he left, still is great for Stuttgart. Another mistake.

    Diarra – Worst Madrid player, but still very effective. Wenger fails to keep him again.

    Reyes – Down the hill this season? What sort of justification is that, is Wenger a fortune teller? A better argument would be he was unsettled then.

    Lehmann – Same argument as with Reyes, that isnt a justification at all.

    Id agree to the explanations of the others.

    So to conclude, you can see why we have stuggled with Wenger’s transfer policy. He has brought in players yes but at the same time he has not preserved the developed quality within the squad. He seems to have learnt this year if we look at how he has acted swiftly to secure new contracts.

    Another argument is him failing to address the squad makeup to deal with the physical English game. That means we need proper signings down the spine of the side especially.

    Lets hope we get the proper signings, Wenger has to be smarter this time around.

  • Marc

    Personally I think in the years to come it will become clear that the move to the Emirates has severely curtailed Wenger’s spending power over the last few years. Whilst Wenger has never been an extravagant spender he was always active in the transfer market. I believe that the board’s statements to he effect that funds have always been available have been to a degree a white lie, and one that certainly had to be told. Admitting that the club was short of money would have just added to the speculation and constant lies peddled by the media and encouraged other clubs to try and pick off our players. The real genius of Wenger has been his ability to not only cope with this but keep the club in the CL every season. The Youth system was already in place before the new stadium began to take an effect, after all it takes years for the production line to begin to produce players of the quality we now see. The position we are now in is enviable by all clubs with the exception of Man City and possibly Chelsea (depending what mood Abramovich is in) We have a stadium that produces incredibly high income for transfers and a youth system that is producing high quality young players. Those who aren’t good enough for Arsenal generate fees that help cover the costs of the youth system. All in all a very neat setup. I can’t wait for Spud supporters who claimed that we could never afford the new stadium to explain how they can build a new stadium without the income we maintained before, during and since the construction of the stadium.

  • Krang

    Didn’t Deins departure disrupt our handling of transfers and negotiations.

  • Paul C.

    Sammy – you need to get off this injury thing of yours. Yeah, sometimes you get 2 or 3 injury filled seasons in a row. That’s the way it goes. Then you get 2 or 3 ionjury-free seasons. That’s again just the way it goes.

    Marc – spot on. I have studied the accounts meticulously for the past 7 seasons and we toed the absolute line through the stadium building years. We had absolutely no more money. The reason AW let all the Invincibles go so quickly was to lower wages. We could never have maintained the high wages some of those guys were on. That allowed AW to be able to bring in the young guys.

    Walter – good article. I have always maintained that not all of these kids in the side now will make it. But AW had to find out which ones wree going to make it and which ones weren’t. Along the way he has sprinkled in top-class talent (Arshavin, Nasri, Vermaelen) and that will continue (Chamakh, Who else?). I agree that people are not seeing the financial climate in which Arsenal are operating. In the next 2 or 3 years, as economies fall apart (Spain might be approaching D-Day), the football clubs within those countries will suffer accordingly. Chelsea saw their revenue fall last year. Utd are expecting a massive drop due to slower executive box sales (and not making the CL Semi-Finals or Final). Goodness knows what will happen now with Liverpool. They could still finish 4th but they could just as easily finish 8th and miss out on any European Football at all next season.

    Now is not the time to go on spending sprees. There will be bargains galore in the next few years as clubs see their financial mismanagement catch up with them. Teams are still trying to get top dollar for their players, but that will change, especially as more and more start understanding the true power that the Bosman ruling really gives them.

  • Giuseppe

    Morning all..

    I have to agree with Mat B the article does lack a balanced view in regards to the quality that arrived to replace the legends that left..Fair enough players of the ilk of
    Pires and Lungberg are not cheap to replace but unfortunately thats the road we took, the cheap option. Another thing frustrates is the so called resources Arsenal has its disposal? Of the formentioned names that have been brought in to the list that has left Arsenal have profited to the tune of 60-80 million pounds over the last 5 seasons which has not been reinvested in the team, Why? The only successful recruit so far has been Vermaelen who we payed 10 mill for which is fair enough, Arshavin was a relative unknown prior to the Euros and could have been anything but now its obvious he cannot deal with the week in week out tough tackling premier league so i really cant see him taking the next step up his age so on and so forth for the rest of the list barring Rambo and Nasri who were purchased for the future promise not immediate performance. Wenger has come out saying he will buy 2-3 players this year, really. Maybe i have the blinkers on but surely this will once again leave us short of quality and cover because every team gets injuries and you can tell me RVP will play a full season. Most fans would agree not our starting Xl but our squad needs about double the promised ins and outs from the 25, so 6 departures of shoulda coulda wouldas to 6 newbloods to breath some life into the dressing room(4 established players 2 potential stars). Everyones got thier favs heres the direction i think we should follow:

    Outs:

    -Almunia(4mill)(wont play no.2)
    -Gallas(bosman)(chelsea reject questionable fitness)
    -Rosicky(5mill)(fitness? and had plenty of chances)
    -Sagna(8mill)(cannot cross ball and wont play back up off bench)Eboue can fill his boots
    -Sivestre(bosman)(no comment)
    -Eduardo (7mill)(wasnt exactly settin the world on fire prior to injury)

    Ins:

    -Hagelaand (8mill)(Experienced,massive presence in the box/set pieces)
    -Chamahk(Free)(Done deal and certain goal scorer)
    -Samir Handanovic(7-8)mill (Slovenia)GK 6.5ft beast available as contract ending 2012 with Udinese,keep Fabianski as no.2 for now
    -David Silva(18mill):Left sided we havnt had real quality since super bob left
    -Edin Dzeko(20mill):Enough said he is our 20-30 goal machine we lack
    -Gary Cahill(10mill) premiership proven and ready to take the step to bigger club

    That would be just under 40 million of investment which Arsene reputes to have in a warchest ready to unleash.
    This would be perfect to allow our squad to rotate as Wenger likes and keeping our quality first teamers fresh and apt cover for when the niggly injuries appear over the seasons course

    First X1

    Handanovic GK

    Clichy – Haageland – Verminator – Eboue

    Silva – Fabregas – Song(Cahill?) – Arshavin(1 last chance)or Nasri

    RVP – Dzeko

    Bench:

    Fabianski(last chance)
    Bendtner/Chamahk
    Walcott/Nasri
    Cahill/Djourou(gibbs maybe)

    Others 3 players on thier last chance saloon.
    Diaby,Denilson,Vela…

    Rambo out for the season and Campbell coaching
    utility role as his legs are shot unfortunatley

    Merida(AthM) is gone, traore(PSG) loaned or gone

    Anyways thats my threepence worth! Arsenal will probabley
    end up with Craig Bellamy after all that!! ha ha NOOOOOOO!!!!

  • SA I really think there are some further issues that need to be explored. I won’t go through each one, but Flamini as we all know was offered a contract, but demanded more. There were two reasons for not giving one – first, he wanted a salary that was equal to the Milan salary offer, and that would have made everyone else demand more. We are already the 3rd highest payer in the EPL, that would have taken us up higher.

    Second, Flamini had one good season after two average seasons. He went to Milan and reverted to the average – playing as a sub in the 90th minute, and even with injuries in the side, making few appearances. He has not, in my view, been in fine form this season – but it has been better. But we would have been carrying him for 2 years on a huge salary, to get one good season again. I think letting him go was a great call.

    As for Hleb – he could hardly get a game at Barca, and himself said leaving was a terrible error.

    But at the end, if a player wants to go, and another club offers crazy money, you can’t stop him. I know at the time we all said it was criminal to let Brady go, but he wanted to play in Italy where he was wonderful, and there was no way we could keep him.

  • Article on this coming up soon Sammy

  • The Swiss Rambler

    Another good, thought-provoking article.

    You may be interested in a blog I wrote yesterday, asking exactly how big Arsenal’s transfer budget is this summer, first reviewing the accounts in detail and then comparing the figures with the public statements. You can find this at:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/385895-how-big-is-arsenals-transfer-budget

    PS. The “answer” is £50m, but, as always, there are caveats …

  • Limpar11

    I think the fact that Arsenal hasn´t spend as much on transfers as many supporters would like, is due to the fact that AFC built a giant staduim which cost £390 million.

    That´s simple economics. Arsenal FC built a stadium to secure the future of the club, while the opportunity cost was that they could not buy all the players they (or the fans) wanted.

  • Good to be a GOONAH!!

    Why does everyone forget about signing Wellington?

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/blogs/football-spy/Arsenal-new-boy-Wellington-da-Silva-has-already-scored-at-Old-Trafford-watch-how-he-did-it-here-video-article273025.html

    Had United ‘snapped him up’ we would already be hearing Sly Sports and BBC Hotsp*r talk about him as a future United legend.

  • Good to be a GOONAH!!

    The only reason Flamini started ‘that’ season with Cesc in midfield is that Diaby was injured. Flamini was always only a squad player. And could not break into the side BEFORE the final season of his contract. Worth considering why Arsenal chose NOT to offer Flamini a new contract prior to that season.

    You would be shocked to know how much Flamini is on at AC Milan too.

  • Gooneraside

    Money comes into this problem a lot.
    Yes, some of those transferred out were only looking for the big pay day and weren’t interested in The Arsenal.
    Give me one player who wouldn’t leave The Arsenal even if Hell froze over, as opposed to those who only listen to their manager and the ching of the cash register. You know which type most of the invincibles were.

  • I don’t think the figures show that at all Limpar. Arsenal earn more per match day in the Ems, than they did at Highbury. So much more that even after the monthly mortgage fee is taken into account, Arsenal still are way up on income and profit.

  • Sam

    I believe your argument is fundamentally flawed. Wenger was buying these players just to replace the ones those left us. In that sense he was standing still. Also not every player that he bought were of the same quality as those who left.

    2006/07 season. Gallas was in return for Ashley and Denilson was not first team player.

    2007/08 season. Fabianski was not , and still is not, first team player and Diarra was let go in the end.

    2008/09 season. Ramsey was not first team player, Silvester was free and too old, and Bishoff was free, injured and hardly played for us and left. He was not that good either. Arshavin was bought on the last day of January transfer window and did not contribute much that season.

    2009/2010 season. Sol Campbell was free, bought in January and clearly not the player that he was. We needed a good young defender.
    Now please me how did the squad improved every year.

  • johan

    comments from legrove:
    – I don’t want us to sign any players unless they are English, i hate all immigrants, especially frenchies.

    – where is my money gone?
    oh, i know – we pay stupid money to bunch of useless kids and paedo scouts..

    aaah to be an arsenal fan…

  • scythe

    What is this old nut talking about? I’ve said for the last two years or more (ever since I began to really lose patience with Arsene’s miopic view that the likes of Eboue, Denilson, Almunia, Bendtner, Denilson, Walcott, Flappyanski, Denilson, etc etc were good enough) that I would support his “project” to build the perfect team of smaller lighter more skilful tappy tappy passy passy players until May 2010.May 2010 is tomorrow and unless I’m much mistaken we forge forth into another May potless and with fuck all chance of winning anything, pot or otherwise.I said I wouldn’t agree with the Wenger-out brigade until that time to see if he could bring the project to fruition. By fruition I mean a trophy and/or HUGE steps forward on all fronts. He has failed to deliver. Again. That’s 5 seasons without a trophy. That’s half a decade people. It’s the mid 70’s again! The mid 80’s again! Great…And yet we pay the highest ticket prices around and yet we have the huge new stadium that was supposed to make us “competitive” in the transfer market, a transfer market that we seem to have totally lost the location of, unfortunately…Yes people will say we nearly won the CL in 2006 and nearly won the league in 2008 and we nearly challenged this year but it’s always “nearly” with this current squad, isn’t it? And that is the cut. We will always be the nearly-club with these players.We have made no great progress since May 2005, no matter what Wenger says. If anything we have regressed and slipped out of what was effectively a “Big 2” (us and Manure) at the time to now be hanging onto the shirt tails of the “Big 3” of Manure, Chavs and us.And let’s be honest here, as sickening a thought as it is, we now have the likes of the Scum sniffing around that 4th place/3rd place slot that we have relied on as our failsafe into Europe for the last 5 or so seasons. And not just the Scum; Liverpool and Citeh and Villa too – all clubs that are addressing their playing staff issues each and every transfer window by (shock! Horror!) SPENDING MONEY.It saddens me to see the great man (our club’s most successful and greatest manager by a long shot) fall from grace like this but he has had his time. Everything ends. Arsene’s time with us (in the manager’s role anyway) has come to an end for me.I will support the club, the team and even shit individual players like Eboue and Denilson while they wear our colours and I will not partake in any Wenger-Out campaign but I do now believe he should step down. In my heart I love him for what he has brought to our great club, but in my head I now feel he is in real danger of dragging us down to a point lower than where he picked us up. And what a terrible end to a fine legacy that would be for him…Unless he sells all the shite this summer and brings in some decent players… sorry, went off into fantasy land there at the end…

  • Gf60

    “Many” seem to agree that the current squad of the past three years simply cannot hold a candle to the Invincibles (2001-4), [let alone the side which preceded the Invincibles (1998-2001)or that that took over from them (2004-2007)].

    How strange it is then, that when measured against the best of Europe (CL) on the basis of points (1 point for getting to group stage, 2 for last 16, 4 for quarter final, 8 for semi final and 10 for losing finalist)it is the current squad that has achieved more than twice as much as both the Invincibles and their predecessors.
    1998-01 six points;
    2001-04 six points
    2004-07 fourteen points
    2007-10 sixteen points…with cripples, has beens, never was’s/will be’s, kids and OAPs.

    Hell Arsene. How do you put up with the “many”?

  • Gunner4ever

    Good work you guys. I have been following the conversations for the past year but htis is my first post.
    I believe one of the challenges we faced for the past 5 years is adequately replcing the players thathave left. My first major disappointment ( which I blame the club for) is the departure of Edu ( remember him). He was at the fulcrum of his career. The arguemnt about how well they do after leaving is irrelevant, they were and would continue towell for us ( in my opinion. Subsequent to that when players leave we replace them with younger players who were not totally ready. From memory Patrick vieira left in 2005, who replced him? Flamini was not ready. Eventually when Flamini stepped up and then subsequently leave who replaced him? Song was not completely ready until this season where he has really stepped up to the plate. You can look at the team since 2005 and make the same comparisons for persons who left and who replaced them. Were they at the same level. Again whether the players were down hill or not is irrelevant because I am not syaing we should have kept them on ly that the replacement being young were not at the same level. For the future YES the strategy is sound, I agree. But we struggled because the team transitioned and maybe, just maybe we let players leave too early who were playing full season and expect a younger replacement to come and fill the void immediately. Then again football is a business and as with everything else timing is key including how to maximise the value of a player you are letting go.

  • scythe

    What a shit formula. Doesn’t take into account relative quality of rest of Europe or the luck of the draw for a start. And on what criteria did whoever you copied this from come to decide how points should be allocated in their formula? Most of all though, what about the respective performances in the league?

  • Chris66

    Gf60 – that is a ridiculous point! Top level sport, is, was and always will be about winning. History does not remember who came third in this or eighth in that. If we lose sight of that, especially with the resources that this club has it’s disposal going forward, then we will not succeed.

    Before you all jump on me as usual this does not mean bankrupting the club. As the Swiss Rambler points out in his excellent blog, money is available. The only question is whether it will be spent in a way that delivers results. If you look at what Van Gaal has done at Bayern you will see our route forward. A handful of great talents ( Robben, Ribery) to supplement a core of home grown players. Bayern are in great shape financially and on the verge of winning things, not being nearly men.

    The real issue is not about arguing about the past and what should have been done. I will give the club (not just AW as he is not really the one who controls the finances) the benefit of the doubt on the money not being there debate, but it clearly is now. So the real question is whether we have the right man in place to deal with our financial reality now, not 2006 to 2009. If he can emerge from the bunker of the last few years, it would be hard to argue with that being anyone other than AW. I think this summer, we will finally be able to see if he has been being pragmatic (as most on this site believe) or dogmatic (as other sites believe).

    Between now and August 31 I believe we will find out for sure. If AW does not measurably improve the squad it will also probably give us as clear a signal as any about his intention to stay beyond 2012.

  • Gf60

    @scythe. I actually went and found it out for myself after reading your post. Formula seemed fair to me. Got a better one?
    @chris66. Consider yourself jumped on. “A handful of great talents”…?? Ces, RvP, TV? Don’t they qualify?

  • Paul C.

    If people are expecting AW to buy 4 or more players this summer then they should just start crying now because it isnt going to happen. AW feels this squad is close, and it is. The last thing he is going to do now is blow up the squad or change it sustantially.

    We are already sure to have Wilshire and Chamakh next season, it seems now. That provides the additional attacking depth we lacked at times this season. JET, Lansbury and Barazite should also push for places.

    In midfield we probably need another body, although I am sure AW will wait and monitor Ramsey’s recovery. I would be quite happy to go into next season with the guys we had this year, given Ramsey having a full recovery and playing relatively early in the season.

    Our full-backs are fine.

    We all know where the problem lies: central defense and goalkeeper. Does anyone actually think AW does not see that?

    How many central defenders AW buys depends on whether Djourou has made a 100% recovery (he is in full training right now and could play if needed) and whether Gallas or Campbell return. Silvestre is gone, I’m sure.

    Goalkeeper is the toughest call. Has Fabianski just suffered from lack of matches and nerves? Is he going to cut out the disasters given a few games to work the kinks out? We dont know what this kid looks like in training. What about Chesney? It isnt always as easy as throwing money at some other player.

  • Chris66

    GF60

    The evidence of the past seasons is clear “NO”. Close but clearly not enough to jump from 3rd/4th to 1st. We can claim injuries, but unless we can come up with some rocket science to avoid them then it is clear that we need to plan more around them better.

    Wenger himself said today that conceding 40 goals is to many. Look over the highlights from this season
    and a great goalkeeper cuts that down by at least 5 if not more. Yes he will make mistakes but not with the regularity of these clowns.

    Paul C – please for all of our sanity please don’t start the Fabianski just needs more time revisionism!

    My argument is to bring in 2 great players (gk and cb) rather than 4 or 5 mediocre ones. This will allow the other talents to flourish. Again, before the usual rally of who are these people and will they come to Arsenal, one thing is clear. A lot of clubs need cash and our negotiating position is stronger than ever, so it is time for all of these highly paid people on the scouting side to get them, including AW and Gazidis.

    It is the defeatism of not demanding the best that most depressing about the “no other way” crowd. As I said in my post, it really is time to stop fighting over the past and adjust to today’s reality.

  • well-endowed gooner

    The question is whether we’re a club with the resources to win things. If we are, we owe it to ourselves to pursue trophies. If we aren’t, we’re doing a good job maintaining 3rd/4th place.

  • Paul C.

    Chris66 – completely agree, and dont worry I have been as vocal as anyone in criticism of Fabianski. I just think it is almost impossible to judge Fabianski correctly based on the small sample size we have seen. Mannone was lucky, his first game was blinder but after that he made a lot of mistakes, but everyone has more pleasant memories of him simply because that first game he played was so impressive.

    I am just going to watch Fabianski very closely over the next two matches. I want to study him closely. I still think a loan deal would be best for him, just to try and build some confidence. But if there is no one out there that is available and affordable then it may be that no ‘keeper is brought in.

    My biggest desire is strength and depth in central defense. That was the area we all knew could fall apart as soon as we got the news that Djourou would miss the season. That was hard, especially as it came right at the end of the transfer window.

  • Magnus

    Let’s buy the five players having best stats in fifa2010 and chuck them into the starting 11 – that seems to be what most teeny boppers wish for. I mean this is not real life where players have to be integrated into the team and one can readily change half the players in the squad without this having a negative impact. *sighs*

  • goonergerry

    The thing that stands out for me is that we have a team of 11 that when fit can beat anyone home or away with the notable exception of Chelsea, United and now City.We have made some progress this season, but lets get real please- No we are not close to beating 2 of those 3 with our current midfield-and I don’t see that changing with the introduction of a centre back or 2 and or a new keeper. Is it an accident or chance that we have lost the last 10 games against the top 2?
    I dont expect Arsene to say we need a new midfield, when his job is to get the maximum out of the players he has-and he is right to insist on a higher standard of defending from some players than was apparent in those games. Is the midfield going to be strong enough to beat Chelsea and Man U next season? Where is the evidence that it is?
    If we get clobbered again by United and Chelsea next season home and away- particularly at home-it will seriously put a dent in the credibility of this whole project. Forget the media-our own players need to experience victory against these guys-its becoming a distant memory.
    My view is that we do need defensive reinforcements- a keeper to improve our solidity- but we don’t need to break the bank -lets try to keep Gallas-I see another world class forward- as being necessary to help push us on to the next level-a man like Ribery and Silva-yes they want silly money-but we find it when we need to-Cesc/ Thierry? We should not underestimate the worldwide commercial potential of the Arsenal brand- something this site has been noticeably silent about.
    This does not mean going mad and abandoning project youth- it means strengthening it.