WTTGT Writer: Jay James Waller
Let’s be honest, in more ways than one the sun never really turned up in North London this summer. And for Arsene Wenger, the disappointments of the last few months have seen his decisions come under very close inspection from the media and fans alike. So what should Mr. Wenger really have done?
5. Given Samir Nasri a new contract:
He was happy in North London; he was playing well (albeit inconsistently), and he was without a doubt one of our most instrumental players. But, no matter whether you believe Arsene Wenger was right or not to cash in on Samir, letting a player of his quality run into the last year of his contract was ultimately a poor decision, and one which could have easily been avoided. Having him sign a new contract would have given Arsene the freedom of being able to hang on to him, and not lose out financially next summer should he have wanted to. Now, however, Arsenal are left with 31-year-old Yossi Benayoun to fill his void. But with all due respect to the Israeli international, it would be difficult for anyone to justify that being much of a step forward.
4. Signed Marek Hamšík:
With the loss of Cesc Fabregas in August, Arsenal were left with just over two weeks to find a player capable of filling the Catalonian’s boots in the middle of the field. However, weeks turned to days, and days turned to hours before Arsene eventually captured a capable yet rather modest replacement in fellow Spaniard, Mikel Arteta. But ,as good a signing as Mikel may turn out to be, there was already a player more fitting for the role in the shape of Marek Hamšik. If you aren’t already familiar with the Slovak, a quick glance over his Wikipedia page will tell you that he has scored 42 league goals in 140 appearances for Napoli, was top scorer for the team in his first two campaigns and is already captain of his national team. As well as goals however, Hamsik brings a style of play that would look right at home in Ashburton Grove. Arsene Wenger may live to regret not following up his interest once the big boys start flashing the cash.
3. Signed Eden Hazard:
If you were one of the many football fans who logged onto Twitter throughout this summer to try and get a piece of the latest transfer news, then you would have been forgiven for thinking that we had actually signed Belgian starlet Eden Hazard. Rumours were rife about him ‘agreeing a deal in principle’ and being ‘on a plane to Heathrow’, and it seemed as if Arsenal.com would soon be displaying a picture of him holding up an Arsenal shirt at London Colney. Bu,t as it turns out, nothing came of the speculation and Eden remains at Lille having scored 7 goals in his last campaign and assisting a further 9. But, as the 20-year-old prepares for his maiden Champions League season, the chance may well have been lost to sign a player that has already been likened to none other than a Mr. Lionel Messi himself.
2. Sell off the old stock:
For a while now you could ask any Arsenal fan who they wanted Arsene Wenger to push out the door this summer and they would give you the usual suspects; Manuel Almunia, Sebastien Squillaci, Emmanuel Eboue and the list could easily go on. Despite this, though, the transfer window has well and truly slammed shut and the likes of Almunia, Squillaci and Diaby all remaining as Arsenal players, collecting more than generous pay packets week-in-week-out in the meantime. Not to mention the 9 players currently out on loan of which Arsenal are still paying a part in footing their bills. Maybe Arsene just wants strength in depth, or perhaps he even believes that these players are still good enough for the Arsenal. But, the truth is, that if Arsenal are to begin a new winning era then the players which remind us all so much of what has been fatally wrong with the current crop needed to have left this summer.
1. Signed Gary Cahill:
For the past few seasons now Arsenal have had the same summer objective; bring in a strong, assertive new centre-back. But, it won’t have gone unnoticed that Arsene Wenger has always been annoyingly hit and miss when it comes to defensive signings. Previous with incomings include the likes of Mikael Silvestre and Sebastien Squillaci, but this summer, Arsene had the opportunity to sign a 25-year-old England international with a vast amount of Premier League experience and a positive lack of injuries on his record. This, as well as having just one year left on his contract, should have been enough to tempt the Frenchman into making a bid that would have given Bolton Wanderers something to think about. However, £6m was all that was reportedly offered – so the cheaper option of Per Mertesacker became this seasons new recruitment. Time will only tell whether or not this decision was the right one.
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