As a neutral, I dearly hope that Arsene Wenger spends liberally this summer. Amidst the fog of a covert infrastucture at Arsenal it’s always been difficult to discern who makes the decisions about transfer budgets. Some think that Wenger, the idealist, is genuinely loathe to spend over £10m on a player. Others think that the board are corporate tightarses and Wenger is just too noble to blow the whistle on them.
If it’s the latter then we simply hope that the brilliant but flawed Frenchman finally gets the money he deserves in order to improve the squad before he’s carted away to an uber posh funny farm to talk football with Maggie Thatcher..
The Guardian reports that Arsenal plan to spend big this summer but the first bit of business could be to offload defender Bacary Sagna. The France right back has been blighted by two serious leg injuries, which have taken their toll. He can still do a job down the right but Arsneal are said to be looking for long term replacements after offering the 30 year old just a one year extension to his current contract (which expires next year).
As reported on soccersweep this week, the rumoured short list of arrivals includes Pepe Reina, David Villa, Celtic powerhouse Victor Wanyama and Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue.
We say ‘good’. Wenger has stood by the Arsenal policy for years and, if I had a penny for every time The Frenchman has come out after defeat and said something along the lines of him still trusting this group then I would be at least a thousand-penny-aire.
But this squad patently isn’t good enough to win things. Otherwise it would have won things. Football is a results business and Wenger needs to better balance his desire for cosmetic perfection with a pragmatic approach to success.
I don’t want to hear excuses about not being able to compete with the Citys and PSGs of this world. London is one of the most attractive cities on the planet for a footballer and Tottenham, Chelsea and even Fulham, do just fine attracting high profile players thank you very much.
We aren’t asking for a remortgage of The Emirates. Just for a decent percentage of gate receipts, from the inordinately priced tickets, to be spent on improving the squad that the loyal fans pay so much to watch.
One carefully chosen £30m player plus a couple of high quality young players in the £15m bracket would do the trick. Falcao, Wanyama and Mats Hummels of Dortmund shouldn’t be names beyond the realm of the Arsenal recruitment policy. Not when Bergkamp, Henry and Viera have previously said yes to this great club.