THE MECHANICS OF ARSENAL TRANSFERS…..Don McMahon
Like most of my Gooner compatriots, I have been following the transfer shenanigans and misadventures of EPL and European Clubs with what one can best describe as educated disinterest combined with bemused incredulity. That said, I also was negatively impressed with the barrage of whining and angst far too many naive and gullible supporters are displaying at the moment because of Wenger’s so-called ‘failure’ to bring in some new signings (specifically strikers).
Tony and Walter have very efficiently dealt with the nuances of the transfer process but there are a few aspects to consider that are rarely mentioned in this mishmash of emotional and often irrational finger pointing the media, aaa and even some respectable Arsenal websites are wallowing in.
Here is my take on what the crucial issues for Wenger and Arsenal were during the last transfer window and how this fits into the bigger picture of AFC’s plans for the future:
- A number of recent media reports have supported Wenger’s claim that there is penury of first-class transfers available and a pronounced willingness for other Clubs to spend major amounts to obtain what could be considered as risky and marginal improvements for their teams.
- It has been an oft repeated and ubiquitous theme on UA that big money spent does NOT necessarily guarantee big results in the short, medium OR long-term. There are exceptions to this rule of course, but they are few and far between. Big investments signal big risks. Liverpool knows this all too well.
- Arsenal’s decision not to bring in anyone other than Cech and 2 youth players over the summer transfer window could be seen as a missed opportunity to strengthen the squad in areas so-called expert pundits claim are absolutely necessary to win something significant this season or in the future, IF the Club was patently short in many areas or in specific positions. This particular fantasy is based on 4 games and a less than impressive goal-scoring efficiency in these games. According to this ‘logic’, Arsenal has failed to take their chances and therefore, based on 4 games, we will never be able to meet these pundits’ expectations for the rest of the season. With 34 games yet to go, the sheer blindness of this claim is evident to every rational Gooner.
- Had Wenger bought the toys our fickle plastic fanboys were screaming for, the message he would have given his current players is as follows; Our current squad is not good enough and I don’t have confidence in its ability to win anything, so I’m hedging my bets by adding what the media claims I need without regard to your abilities and commitment to the Arsenal. What he did say by not adding anyone just yet is: Our current squad has the potential and the togetherness to achieve great things and work out our scoring issues with full commitment and confidence, so let’s get to it.
- I have done an analysis for every position in the starting 11 and have come to the inescapable conclusion that we have first class players available to start every game, with very sound backups and with the eventual return of Wilshere, Wellbeck, Rosicky and Arteta, our squad has the depth and cohesiveness, chemistry and motivation to achieve something special this season. What that special achievement(s) might be is yet to be seen but the addition of 1-2 players of the same calibre as our backups would NOT guarantee anything and as Wenger has repeatedly said, he would only STRENGTHEN the team not just add numbers.
- It became very apparent in the transfer window that he intended to prepare younger and backup players for first team places by farming them out to other clubs in order to ensure they got the experience and confidence needed to break into the first team eventually or regain their place there. He was astute enough to realize that sitting Szcesny, Zalelem, Akpom and others on the bench all season would do more damage than good. Following our loanees to date, I am impressed how much they add to their new clubs and how likely they will come back highly motivated and better prepared to fight for a first team place. IF he had felt that these players could step into the first team he would, no doubt, have kept them here. With so many going out on loan, why would he then go and diminish their motivation by bringing in 3-4 new faces?
- The media, and to some extent their aaa sycophants, have really enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame (to quote Andy Warhol) while at the same time taking not so subtle swipes at Wenger and the Arsenal, for a perceived failure to fill the ‘ obvious’ gaps in the team. This fits their double-standard and hypocritical value system to a tee. Shit all over Wenger and AFC when they don’t transfer in anyone BUT mock and demean the players like Ozil and Cech, when they don’t meet or exceed the media’s lofty expectations. Far too many so-called supporters fall for this bait and switch technique, but that is to be expected when dealing with short-term gratification syndrome they suffer from.
Wenger is NOT one to suffer from regrets and self doubt. He knows what he has and what he wants and the least likely people to understand his reasoning are the media, pundits, the aaa and many supporters. As someone once said, don’t confuse Wenger with someone who cares about your opinions. The post-mortems are usually reserved for the end of May each year and it is certainly a good idea to wait until then before drawing ANY conclusions.
Untold Anniversaries – the full list of today’s anniversaries is here – just scroll down the home page
- 2 September 1964: Johnny MacLeod sold to Aston Villa after 130 league games for Arsenal. He continued playing until 1975 although the last three years were on a part-time basis.
- 2 September 1976: Eddie Kelly sold to QPR. He had played 222 times for Arsenal including 175 in the first division and stayed one year at QPR and then was signed by Frank McLintock at Leicester, leaving after three seasons as they were relegated and then promoted as champions.
Latest from the Pre-season files
- 1903: The most exciting season opener ever
- 1980: The pre-season after trying to win nearly everything
- 1893: The first Woolwich Arsenal pre-season
- Latest news on the Untold Banner (as of 25 August)
- A Memorial to the founders of Arsenal’s Highbury dynasty.
- The petition to raise a Parliamentary Debate about State Aid for the new WHU stadium is running. If you feel that there should be an investigation and you are resident in the UK, please do sign the petition.