It never used to be like that, 12 years ago around this time we were unveiling a proper superstar, Sol Campbell.
What was so amazing about that was he was the Spuds captain, the best player they had and we signed him, unbelievable! I only knew we’d signed him because he was unveiled at another press conference, those were the days before Wenger liked to keep us waiting, he does that so we are grateful, by the time they finally arrive we are so happy we’d welcome anyone, remember Santos?
Back to Campbell, it was the semi final of the FA Cup at Old Trafford, Glen Hoddle wasn’t sure if he was going to play him against us, when he trotted out for the warm up the entire Spud end erupted, that’s how good he was, he was a game changer and he was just a centre back.
Shortly into the game Ray Parlour did a job on him and he went off, we won that game and the rest is history.
Sol said we were a formidable side and joining us was special, for the first time he was surrounded by truly great players.
We won the double that year, that was what happened in those days, we bought world class players and won loads of trophies.
Here’s the interesting thing, we did that with players like Bergkamp, Seaman, Adams, Pires, Henry and Vieira, we did that with just one academy player, Ashley Cole, and funny enough he wasn’t recruited by Wenger, he was from another era. And if it wasn’t for the fact that we had a player without a passport, Cole would have been sold to Palace.
So the myth about our manager being a great discoverer of young talent gets a battering there doesn’t it? Especially as we exchanged him for a sulky French twat and a Spirograph and young Ashley went on to become the best left back in the world. Probably still is.
Since then, and that makes 12 years, how many players have we had that came through from our academy? One, Jack Wilshere, not a great record is it? 17 years and one product from our world famous academy.
Before you say Anelka, Fabregas or Gibbs, please don’t, they were all bought and none of them came through the Academy.
Point is that great players are attracted by other great players, Campbell didn’t come because he heard Wenger gave kids a chance, he came to play with world class players and win trophies under a manager considered to be the best.
When Wenger was winning all that silverware, he spent proper money, the recruiting youth policy hasn’t worked boss, so please revert to what you were doing before, you were good at that.
So making your first acquisition a French kid with a history of injuries, isn’t quite what we all had in mind.
Now I’m not saying he won’t be the next Henry, but I think we are all a little fed up with waiting, they rarely make it.
Theo has only last season looked the player we spent large on, and he’s now our longest serving player, so how many years did we have to wait? He’s not a young player anymore boss, yet he’s been in our team for 7 years. And only now has he come good.
Don’t even mention we could have bought Gareth Bale at the same time…
In an ideal world, we should go out and sign Higuain, Fellaini, Begovic and Williams.
Now as we speak I understand Higuain is undergoing a medical and will soon be an Arsenal player, if that’s true, I am delighted, he was my number one target up front and is just what we need to win games, a true Fox in the box.
Once we have him, the rest would come, the bonus ball for me would be Rooney or Lewandowski.
And guess what, £70 odd million would cover it, as for the wages being part of that figure, they are but only the first year, I would say we have enough money coming back from players that have left to more than cover that.
Wenger screwing about looking for a pat on the back for saving money is a gamble that will backfire, a gamble that will spell another year where we don’t challenge.
Someone needs to take away negotiations from him and tell him to coach, if we go another season without seriously threatening, we will lose all our best players and a lot of our fans.
I wrote a post years ago about the Emperor having no clothes, after the Wigan game and booingebouegate.
I still think he has no clothes but most of the board think he has, this really is a perfect opportunity to make us great again, blow it on kids and Wenger will lose his legacy, buy from the above list and he will go down as our greatest ever manager, the ball is in the Emperors court.
A big well done to Pedro writing all those posts on his own, although I haven’t been around I have been reading, hopefully I can occasionally offer an opinion that is from the dark side, so enjoy!
Finally as for signing Suarez, that rumour is as daft as us signing Barry, he wants to leave because of the press, so what London has no press? Anyway, he looks like a Llama. An ugly one.
I think the confusion came when someone said if Higuain offered to join us they would bite his arm off, then the Suarez story started…
Have a great day Grovers, this could be our season!