“If we find the right player to strengthen the squad, we will buy”
“We want to improve our team but we need to find players of better quality then those who are already here and that is difficult”
This is Arsène Wenger, very easy guess.
It’s much harder to get the exact date each of these statements was given as it could be any day since summer 2008, basically.
I am not comfortable with that, at all.
I usually don’t talk about transfers and speculations because we – I mean fans – only get 0.000002% of information about what is really going on behind closed doors, hence I find it quite pointless to discuss (more or less) educated guesses.
This blog doesn’t mean to be just another tedious tirade about how good I would be if in charge of transfers at Arsenal.
I’m not even that good at Football Manager, to be honest, so I miss the very basic knowledge of players’ qualities, skills, prices, availability etc… and I don’t want to compare myself to the mighty ITKs out there.
I am more interested in questions raised by our recent struggles when it’s about strengthening our team: I reckon it was an impossible task to replace Thierry Henry, Gilberto Silva, Robert Pirès or Dennis Bergkamp, but not finding a player good enough to complete our defensive unit?
We didn’t expect any Franz Beckenbauer; we wanted to avoid watching Nacho Monreal at centre-half in a Premier League or Champions League game!
No offence to the Spaniard, who is an excellent left-back and offers great cover (and competition) for Kieran Gibbs, but a Club like the Arsenal should not be forced to transform a left-back into an emergency centre-half overnight.
It sounds wrong and it also sounds silly.
The idea that Arsène Wenger and his scouts are unable to find a player good enough to provide cover to our defenders is impossible to take – for me, at least.
I agree we should always aim to improve our team and not buy for buying’s sake, but we are taking the concept beyond any logic, here.
We should definitely aim to improve the quality of our squad but that should be secondary to our need to have a complete squad.
We went into the current season with only four senior defenders available: seeing our slight tendency to overpopulate our treatment room, going through the first three months of this season without any injury or suspension would have been a pure miracle. Surprise, surprise – it didn’t happen.
We’ve been caught by Mathieu Debuchy’s injury but none involved with the Club could have been surprised by the sudden emergency situation we found ourselves in: we all knew it could happen; we all hoped it wouldn’t happen but that it was a real possibility.
Arsène Wenger decided to take a gamble and postpone any new defensive recruitment ’til next January, unfortunately it didn’t pay off.
In recent years I used to think that financial restrictions were the reason behind some failed transfers; I thought we were unable to compete with rival Clubs for this or that player and we had to find some young, unknown guy and ask Arsène Wenger to turn them into class player, but today?
It seems that the issue lies elsewhere; it seems we are actually unable to find players good enough to improve this team – not in terms of quality, which would be somehow understandable – but in terms of numbers.
Arsène Wenger said as much during the last AGM, loud and clear:
“I believe we have done remarkably well on the transfer market. I agree we could have bought one more player, (but) we did not find.”
I would like to hear someone asking the next question:
“What prevented you to find that one more player?”
Thirty-something Italian, currently in Switzerland. Gooner since mid-ninties, when the Gunners defeated my hometown team, in Copenhagen. Twelve years ago I started my own blog (www.clockenditalia.com) after after some experiences with Italian websites and football magazines. Debate, don’t insult or you’re out.