Arsene Wenger loves nothing more in the world than to tell you his club can’t compete.
“Once a country controls a club, everything is possible.
“It becomes impossible to respect financial fair play. That’s why I always did plead for football to live on its own resources.
“We are not in a period anymore where you invest and expect to get the investment back. The numbers involve a lot of passion and pride.
“The numbers looks just like the inflation is accelerating.”
In this case, he’s absolutely correct. We can’t compete with Qatar. However, it must be noted, that we don’t need to compete with the mega elite to be successful. No one at Arsenal has ever asked for us to sign Neymar’s in their prime. We’d just like the club to sign some players so they can compete like a top 10 club in Europe. Atleti, Dortmund and Monaco are not signing £100m players. Juventus only did because someone paid them £100m for one of their players.
There’s absolutely nothing stopping us addressing a centre midfielder. There’s nothing to stop us moving for players early in the transfer window. There aren’t many signings that have happened in the Premier League that would be beyond us financially.
Wenger is an awful excuse maker. There’s always a reason we can’t. He never says things like…
‘We can’t compete with the big boys on the mega deals, so our strategy for dealing with that is to sign the Neymar’s before they’re on the radar of Barcelona. We take expensive risks for young players, but if 1 in 10 pay off, we’ll be selling £20m player for £150m in 3 years.’
Truth is, there’s no real thinking behind our approach to signing players. We’ve moved from unearthing gems at the beginning, to project youth, to kind of middling expensive players that are just a bit off the mark. There’s no market we’re particularly good at, there’s no type of player we’re targeting, and there’s no succession planning in the work we do.
We sold Chezzer because he had a contract issue. We can’t sell Ospina because he’s useless and expensive. We’ve loaned out Martinez. We’re lumped with Petr Cech who is a very good keeper, but his distribution isn’t fit for this age, and he’s been very suspect since he joined us. Why aren’t we going big for a young kid with bags of potential?
I keep harping on about Santi Cazorla, because he’s cost us big by being injured two years running. We seem to have made zero effort in replacing him despite there being a glut of clever creative footballers all over Europe. We should have had a replacement for the Spaniard at the club 2 years ago. Sniffing around Seri now he’s playing the Champions League qualifiers is pretty dim.
We have a leadership issue in the squad, and an accountability issue. Where are our big personalities? I know the Xhaka once told his brother what to do with a spare key, but my gut feel says we can do better.
On the Alexis issue, which was pretty damn clear all year, we don’t have a plan. Wenger has gone from caring too hard about the money to not caring at all. Wenger blamed last year on contract indecision, this year his promoting 6 contract rebels issues as a motivational tool for success. £150m worth of talent leaving on a free is literally fine these days. Mental.
I find Arsenal a very hard pill to swallow at the moment. It’s not a football club, it’s the personal fiefdom of a rich old man whose standing in the game is deteriorating at a frightening pace.
But hey… Community Shield on Sunday will be fabulous. Sun beers.