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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Idealist Wenger must admit bad summer gamble and buy in January

It was clear from his comments at the end of last season and then again during the summer that Arsene Wenger was looking for an experienced midfielder to bring into the team.

In addition he made guarded comments about an interest in Aston Villa and England's Gareth Barry and there were huge rumuors about Xavi Alonso coming to Arsenal. Both are in the mid-twenties with years of big-match experience who can play holding CM roles. Both also have the footballing ability and intelligence to slot nicely into the Arsenal playing style. Either of these players would have been a great complement to Cesc in the Arsenal midfield and would have enhanced the maturity of the team.

But Wenger didn't sign these players - nor anyone else of this stature - despite having seen Flamini walk away and then allowing Gilberto to leave for Greece. What's the explanation?

My feeling substantiated from press rumours is that Wenger may have looked seriously at Barry or Alonso but ultimately was deterred by their valuation. Instead he decided to follow the logic of his massive project of relying on own-produced young players to form the basis of his third-generation team - and opted to rely on a combination of Song, Denilson and Diaby to fill the gap next to Fabregas.

It was a risk based on idealism - and according to the evidence it is a risk that has not worked. Defeats to Hull, Stoke and Fulham and a capitulation to Tottenham demonstrate this.

Wenger must admit this to himself and make a serious attempt to spend money on a couple of good, experienced players in a couple of key positions. I believe the benefits to the morale of this squad and the fans would be enormous if he did this during the next transfer window.

This Arsenal squad has fantastic talent. It is very close, tantalisingly close, to being a force. For me it simply needs an addition of a Barry/Alonso type in the CM and a dominating centre-back in the mould of a Martin Laursen/Vidic to be a squad that has the mark of being a complete package. I also think Arsenal can benefit from buying a hyper-experienced Gilles Grimandi type who can be utilised off the bench to defend narrow leads with a cool head and the defensive mentality to keep the team organsised and focused.

Wenger knew and let the fans know last summer that the squad needed a couple of high quality, experienced players but then let idealism take over his expressed better instincts. He can't repeat this bad gamble again during the next transfer window.


Anonymous P-M said...

great articl mate! couldnt agree more with all the points mentionned.

11/06/2008 7:17 pm

Blogger Fab 4 said...

I would have agreed with you except for the fact that Wenger didn't decide not to sign the mentioned players, he was unable to sign them. Numerous reports indicate he tried to sign the players you mentioned, so Arsene does know that change is needed and we need a new central midfielder and I have a feeling he'll sign one when the January Transfer Window comes around.

Fab 4 Arsenal

11/06/2008 8:59 pm

Anonymous adebayour's accountant said...

yep, will will av to agree with fab.... arsene wanted to buy...but he couldnt. partly cause teams wanted to rip us off..and partly cause arsene is too stingy with money. i mean, yes he is known for unearthinh great players...and its soo good to buy brilliant players for close to nothing..but he has to realise that no one really cares how much he spends. it who ever he buys helps us win trophies..that will take care of the transfer fee.

great article...i jus hope no arsenal fans will come here and post a lot of "arsene knows best" rubbish....cause lets all admit..he has overdone it a bit.

11/06/2008 9:04 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last summer was a massive blunder that is only becoming more evident with each game. From my research Wenger would not go over 14 mil for Alonso and Rafa couldn't see that as fair. Also, we could have had Yaya but Wenger refused to pay him market rate wages(ala' Flamini), so, to my view, Arsene couldn't sign because he wouldn't sign. We could have signed and should have signed.

This youth policy is clearly overdone. I think what most fans want fundamentally is a side that has a chance to win, our current side has no chance. We may do well in the cl as we're better designed for that competition but we're hopeless in the epl - any physical team that's well organised we're going to have trouble with.

11/06/2008 11:35 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was a risk based on idealism - and according to the evidence it is a risk that has worked. Defeats to Hull, Stoke and Fulham and a capitulation to Tottenham demonstrate this."

A risk that DIDNT work, pleb!! The defeats showed it didnt work, as well as the other games where you battled for a win and shouldnt have to. Let's face it, we should have manhandled Everton but let them score. Let Spurs score straight away when we would score first, then thought we had it in the bag at 4-2. Sorry sack of shite. £14m for Alonso too much? Dont think so, he was bought for £10m, extra £4m he's going on about, should have done it, even £16m.

I'll tell you what it is and it has something to do with your central midfield as you lot said. We dont have a leader out there. Gallas is too cry-baby when it goes tough, whats up with him? Why give him the armband to keep him happy? He's a good defender, he;s no captain. Forget Fabregas, he's too orientated on playing the ball around and joining up to be a skipper, and Toure is more a back up man than a leader cos he wasnt leading on Saturday.

We've got no one to lead. Gilberto and Flamini would have sweet but they're gone, havent replaced them. We are not anywhere near a complete team with little experience heads and a suckling of a skipper, we have lost our togetherness because our father figure has gone and right now we can go ahead but cant hold still in defence. Nothing for four balsted years, whats that about?

What are we going to have for tomorrow? Toure and Silvestre at the back, Sagna and Clichy fullbacks, Ramsay, Fabregas, Diaby, Nasri, with Bendtner and Vela upfront. Bollocks to the dirty mancs, we will show them what football is about at the Emirates.

11/07/2008 3:28 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks for the comments!

11/10/2008 10:57 am


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