Few would deny that Arsenal require new players, and sharpish. Even before the Gunners’ humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday, most were saying that Arsene Wenger’s squad was neither big enough or strong enough to compete at the very top. But while it is crucial that there are additions to the Arsenal squad before the transfer window slams shut on Wednesday night, it is also important that Wenger is not bullied into making the wrong kind of signings by the media or the Arsenal faithful.
When it comes to signing players, the Frenchman is better than most football coaches. Could you really imagine Wenger blowing £30million odd on Andriy Shevchenko or Juan Sebastian Veron? He never signed Marco Boogers or wasted money in the same way the inept and moronic David Platt managed to during his time at the City Ground. In fact, you could probably count on one hand, better still, one finger the number of transfer flops at Arsenal under Wenger’s watch (Francis Jeffers).
This is why folk need to be careful when throwing names into the mix willy nilly. The Arsenal boss is being told daily by the fans and pundits that he must sign Phil Jagielka, Scott Dann, Christopher Samba or Gary Cahill as if that would solve all their problems. While these lads are all useful players, especially Bolton’s Cahill, there’s no guarantee that that they would fix Arsenal. The Gunners need leaders to organise their defence and players who have experience of playing and winning at the top level. If Wenger believes one of these players will improve his team, he will look to complete a deal without having his pants pulled down over the price. But the Arsenal manager must be careful not to make signings simply to appease the supporters. Unfortunately, most football fans actually believe they are more capable of managing their teams than the professionals after one pint, when this is only really true of the supporters of teams managed by directors. And directors’ wives. And hangers on!
But the Arsenal fans need not worry like it’s the end of the world. Or like they support Nottingham Forest. There will be additions to the squad before Wednesday night and you can be sure that those who rock up at the Emirates will be quality players. Let Arsene Wenger use his own judgement on the incomings. Like it or not, he does know more than you about this type of thing. There are too many out there who are just lazy and ignorant and therefore only want to bring in players they’ve heard of on Match of the Day. They forget this does not guarantee silverware. And how many Arsenal fans were truly aware of the existence and potential of the likes of Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Thomas Vermaelen or Cesc Fabregas (the list is endless) before Wenger did his homework and brought them to Arsenal?
The only shame is that they have left it so late. It is difficult to argue with fellow contributor TO that the deals for Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas should have been wrapped up and completed a long time ago, while you also have to take your hat off to Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United for the speed at which they conducted the majority of their transfer business this summer.
Most fans would love to see their chairman signing £50million cheques for the likes of Carlos Tevez, Andres Iniesta or Wayne Rooney, but you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this is a business as well as entertainment. I’d love a Christmas card from Cameron Diaz, but unfortunately life has its little disappointments. And besides, the Chelsea/Manchester City way is just cheating, no? Just ask Harry.