Oh no you didn’t…
Arsene, you didn’t…
You did… you just busted out the supermarket analogy when talking about buying players?
“Why have we not signed a defender? We haven’t found one. We are not the only ones working on the case,” he said.
“It is not a supermarket where you go in and buy a defender. It is a market that is very restricted. The players who can strengthen the best 10 teams in Europe, you don’t find many and it is the same for everybody.
“We are a big attraction, of course we are. If it was easy we would do it.
“We have made enquiries but then you have the second handicap – who wants to sell their best player, especially a central defender, in the middle of the season? They say, ‘come back in June or July’.”
I mean… seriously. How weak is that?
Here are some basics to consider Arsene.
1) Sign your central defender BEFORE you sell your central defender captain in the summer. That’d be a smart thing to do. If you know it’s hard to replace players, sign the replacement before you ship talent out.
2) Start trying to sign your replacement centre back before the last week of the window. That’d be a change of tactics we haven’t seen in a while.
3) Improve your scouting network. If you always struggle to find defenders to replace a blank space in the squad, perhaps your chief scout is doing an appalling job at bringing names to you.
4) Stop getting caught up in this ‘it’s difficult to find the right quality’. We’re Arsenal. We have more cash in the bank than pretty much any club on the planet. If we want a player, we can generally have them. We have very little quality in our defence at the moment. If you can’t find ‘Arsenal quality’, you really aren’t looking in the right place.
5) Stop making excuses for being inept. It’s really boring. Buying players isn’t like buying bread in a supermarket. But buying bread in a supermarket isn’t like buying a car. It’s not like buying a house. It’s not like a lot of things. But all of those things happen. Point is, we’re a football club that struggles to do manage an important part of existing, other clubs don’t… so let’s address why buying players seems to be like the most impossible task in the world EVERY window. Is it the silly bids? Is it because we don’t work with the right fixers? Is it because we’re not as appealing as we like to think? Is it because we don’t do the groundwork to smooth the process?
I look at Chelsea and how they operate and think… wow, they make it look easy. Same with Atletico Madrid. There are so many clubs that don’t have the same trials and tribulations we do when we sign players. Why is that?
My guess is that buying a player isn’t as hard as we make out… we just make a mess of it.
Instead of running into the same problems every single time… why not have a frank assessment of what we’re doing and change something?
There is NO excuse for not having a centre back sorted this window. Absolutely none at all.
… and Arsene, why would a team sell their best player in January? Well, Winston Reid and Ron Vlaar are both out of contract in the summer. Pretty good reason to get onto the negotiation table.
Anyway, enough of that. City today. If we lose, you’ll see how easy it is to make transfers happen in the panic buy frenzy that’ll ensue.