WTTGT Writer: John Montanye – Follow me
Sometimes the football transfer window can be enjoyable. For Arsenal supporters the window brings about loads of expectation, more speculation and in the end this leads to frustration. The reason is not the club or the lack of movement. The reason for the frustration is the inability for the average supporter to filter the utter nonsense served up by the various magazines and programs that want your attention for advertising dollars.
Let’s face it. We had a monumental collapse last year. If we were Chelsea, Man City or Man United, that collapse would have been followed by a spending spree of hundreds of millions of pounds. But we’re not, we are Arsenal. The sooner the supporters realise that, the easier these transfer windows will be.
Arsène Wenger has been criticised the last few years for his lack of initiative. The criticism has to be leveled elsewhere. Managers, even those with the power Wenger does, answer to the board. The board sets goals for the squad and sets the spending limits. Wenger has done well to add to the squad within those limits given the current transfer environment and has obviously up until now met the goals set by the board.
Until last year it is obvious the board’s goals included staying in the top four while the small task of building a new stadium, new training facilities and updating the youth setup were the actual priorities. That does not seem fair to the supporters, but the future stability and success of the club was being assured at the expense of the here and now. Wenger has done a masterful job of coaching in that time. We broke up arguably one of the best teams in the history of the modern game, the ‘Invincibles,’ and replaced them with teenagers and little known players. The result of this gamble was Champions League football every year when many expected a huge collapse, and we came very close of winning the league on a few occasions, a League Cup final, a few semi-finals and quarters, all the while becoming the third richest club in the world. Not bad.
Many forget that we started last season with Almunia in goal, without Césc and only had RVP and TV5 for a couple of games before their respective injuries. Take into account also that Arshavin had a down year by his standards and Nasri might as well have been injured the second half because he was nowhere to be found. Everyone has fond memories of Clichy now that he is gone but he was a gaping hole in the back and the loss of TV5 left two first year starters to fend for themselves at the back.
All of this surely should have added up to us finishing out of the top four and barely halt top of the table right? No. We made a final, were 30 minutes, a negligible red card and a Bendtner miss away from upsetting Barcelona in the Champions League, and maintained the top four status the supporters have been spoiled to expect.
This transfer window comes and everyone wants more and more additions. Some are warranted, like the need for one or two centre-backs. Some are not. The problem is, going back to the beginning, that we have no way of knowing the internal situation at Arsenal. We can rely on the media that tell their version according to unnamed sources, but we should rely more on the word of the coach that has won us so much and brought us so far.
An example of Arsène telling you exactly what is happening is the Mata situation. When asked about the player ,Wenger clearly stated he liked the player, but added, just because he likes him, does not mean that Arsenal will buy him. Wenger told EVERYONE straight out the situation and everyone blew up the blogosphere with ridiculous assertions of, “But when he said it, did you see him smile after? Surely we will sign him!” It was absurd to read the trash being passed off as real news on this matter.
The Césc saga is a sad situation, but why should Wenger sell the captain of the club to the only team he wants to go to for mere scraps in comparison to the other transfers being completed? Arsène can’t. He must either convince Césc to stay or Barcelona must pay what he is worth. Simples.
Nasri wants to go elsewhere for trophies. In mercenary speak trophies means money, but if Arsène can convince Nasri to stay and a happy Nasri can put together a full season to match the first half of last year, is that not worth more than bringing in someone that may or may not fit in our system?
Wenger added Jenkinson to the team for a very small fee. This looks to be an absolute steal, but no one mentions that. Arsène has also added Gervinho for £11m. Another coup in my opinion for the type of player he is, but there is also little mention of that. We have managed to add a few young players among them Toral and Bellerin from the Barcelona’s youth ranks; both surely will make a contribution in the future. So we have not been as still as you may want you to think. Don’t even get me started on what a good addition Miyaichi may be to the team.
We need additions surely, but we don’t need to overhaul the squad. Hopefully some of the lingering issues will be resolved soon and the squad can go on about the business of the season. One thing we cannot do is second guess without having all the facts on hand. Don’t let biased reporting sway you in your support of Arsenal. In the end, that support can make all the difference in the world, whether you believe it or not. Let’s leave the transfer movements, player ratings and personnel decisions to the professionals and let’s start cheering our boys instead of booing them for a meaningless pre-season result.