- Arsenal’s 25 man squad – is it already full?
- Arsenal Transfers: 329 reports covering 62 players all coming to AFC (allegedly)
- How spending a fortune on transfers is not always a good idea.
By Tony Attwood
So now we know. A largely reserve side including Matt Turner, Rob Holding, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney, Fabio Vieira and Leandro Trossard can hold Manchester City to one goal. Which, when one comes to think of it, is quite amazing, given that Pep Guardiola joined Manchester City in 2016 with the club having won five major trophies in the previous seven seasons and having had with six consecutive years in the top four.
Arteta you might remember joined Arsenal in December 2019, with Arsenal having won just three trophies in the previous seven seasons but having dropped out of the top four for the last two seasons before he came along. The rebuild Arteta has done has been much greater than that of Guardiola.
So Arsenal are out of both of the domestic cups but still sailing forth in the Europa, and for the last four days of this month we have the rest of the transfer window. The strength of the Manchester City squad is such that they have only bought one player – for £8m.
As for Arsenal probably the biggest news is that Gabriel Martinelli has agreed a new contract with Arsenal until the summer of 2027, at least according to The Athletic. Elsewhere we are told that bids for Caicedo at Brighton and Martin Zubimendi at Real Sociedad have been rejected – but that is just what the papers say.
However whichever way you look at it, everything points to the huge difference between the clubs – Manchester City are there with a complete squad, Arsenal are still building the squad.
So how much are other clubs spending this month in an effort to catch Arsenal in the league or avoid relegation? Using data from Transfermarkt for the 2022/23 season we get this chart…
|3||West Ham United||€194.00m||€21.55m||€-172.45m||16|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||€51.73m||€137.90m||€86.17m||6|
The top ten spenders include five teams from the top ten in the league, and five from the lower reaches. On the other hand, Brighton and Hove are sixth in the league and 16th in the expenditure list. Fulham are seventh in the league and 15th in the spending rankings. Brentford are eighth in the league and 17th in terms of spending. Money does not always equal position.
But perhaps more than anything else we can notice the spending gap between Chelsea and the rest. Of course, these figures are now a day or so out of date, and they can have changed by the time you read them, but as things stand Chelsea are looking to have a net spend this season of about double everyone else. It might over time bring them league success, but this season is not going well with them lying 10th. Indeed in terms of points Chelsea are much closer to the bottom of the league than the top.
In fact in terms of points, every club from sixth place down is closer to the bottom of the league in terms of points, than they are to the top. So maybe we should be talking now of the Big Five: Arsenal, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool and Chelsea are both 21 points from Arsenal at the top of the league. But they are both only 14 points off the bottom of the league.
Of course, that is not to say that these clubs are about to get relegated, but it does show how far they have sunk, and why Chelsea is currently spending so much money.
West Ham’s spending is also interesting, as they are 16th in the league, just one point above relegation.
Indeed looking at the foot of the table, in realistic terms any of these clubs mentioned could go down; it only takes a poor run of a few games. And this is why West Ham, being the third biggest spender, is of so much interest. If spending money can allow a club always to buy its way out of a mess, then West Ham won’t finish in this bottom group. On the other hand if Leicester (the only club to have made a profit on its transfers so far) survive, that will confirm that while spending is often helpful, it is not always necessary.
- Arsenal has let in one more goal than at this stage last season, and that’s a disaster
- Arsenal continue to make more progress than the rest of the big seven
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t