Wenger needs to remove his head from his Arsenal and take a leaf from Sir Alex’s book. Ferguson decided he needed a goalkeeper, defender and winger this summer. By the end of June he’d signed Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David de Gea. They can now join up with their teammates for pre-season training and get to know them in plenty of time for the big kick off.
That’s how to do it – be decisive. Astonishingly though, Man Utd’s spending spree seems to have escaped dithering Arsene’s notice. He said this week:
“Currently, everyone is standing still. Everyone expects everyone else to make the first move. Everyone holds on to their cards, hoping for the major transfer. Nobody blinks until late July, early August. Then we will analyse the gaps in each team.”
Utter rubbish. Nobody is standing still – Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City have bought already. The real reason he waits is because he’s too tight to pay market value for someone. He waits until August because by then Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea will have done their business and then he chooses from whatever’s left, hoping to get players on the cheap knowing he’s the only bidder.
Get an offer in before someone else buys him Wenger
This is what he’s doing with Gary Cahill. Owen Coyle today revealed that we haven’t even put in a bid for the centre-half and is furious that his player is being unsettled. Wenger’s plan is to wait and let the big boys buy first, crossing his fingers that nobody bids for Cahill. Then he can go to Bolton with an offer in August well below their asking price and try to force them to sell because he’s the only buyer. It’s what he did to Zenit over Arshavin, waiting for Barcelona to rule themselves out before haggling so much with Zenit that he nearly missed the transfer deadline.
I fear in the case of Cahill he will either lose out to another club or annoy Bolton so much that they refuse to let him go. That’s what happened with the tedious Schwarzer scenario of 12 months ago. Wenger danced around the issue all summer, playing stupid mind games in the press and lodging bids well below Fulham’s asking price until he angered Mark Hughes so much that he refused to let Schwarzer leave and we had to play the humiliated and dejected Almunia between the posts. We all know how many points he went on to cost us because his confidence was shot by Wenger’s mis-management of the situation.
Even when he does make an offer for someone, it always seems to be too low. Reports are emerging today that Ricky Alvarez will join Inter for £10.7m after Wenger refused to go beyond £9m. How long has he been chasing this guy? It seems like months and finally he’s been gazumped by a club prepared to get close enough to the seller’s valuation of £11m.
We have millions in the bank and millions more to follow when Fabregas leaves, so what’s an extra £1.7m if he’s the right guy Wenger?
If he wants Alvarez and Cahill, why can’t he just go and get them? Here’s £10.7m for Alvarez, here’s £15m for Cahill. You want them, you buy them. Simple. That has the added benefit of reassuring Nasri, Fabregas and any of our other star players who are growing disillusioned that we actually mean business and are spending money to improve the side in order to win trophies.
But Wenger won’t do that because he’s a miser playing a dangerous waiting game, so let’s hope Ferguson, Mancini and Dalglish have left some scraps for Wenger to feed on in August.
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