Today’s signings have reinforced my view that we will continue to lose ground on our rivals because of a flawed transfer strategy. How are we going to compete on the pitch if we aren’t prepared to compete off it? I’m not saying spend £50m each transfer window, but seriously, £1m on a League One rookie? If this is a sign of things to come over the next two months we can forget a top four spot next season.
As we all know 99% of transfer talk is unfounded rubbish. It’s no good getting excited about stories of Benzema, Gervinho, Hazard, Samba and Cahill because the only solid indication of a clubs’ transfer plans come when they actually sign someone. So let’s analyse today’s purchases:
- Liverpool have paid £20m for Jordan Henderson, a full England international who’s just had an impressive Premiership season for Sunderland.
- Man Utd have paid £17m for Phil Jones, an U21 England international who’s just had an impressive Premiership season for Blackburn.
- Arsenal have paid £1m in compensation for Carl Jenkinson, an U21 Finland international who’s made 9 career appearances in League One for Charlton.
What does that tell you about the strategy of Wenger and – even more worryingly – the strategy of our rivals?
It beggars belief that after a season of mistakes, panic and mental weakness from some of our youngsters which cost us dear, Wenger gives us… another youngster. Did you know Arsenal had 17 youngsters out on loan last season? That is so many there’s even a separate page on Arsenal.com for our loanees! Don’t you think we are alright for young squad members Arsene? We’re going to need to add a childminder to the backroom staff if this carries on.
So how long until this guy is good enough for the first team? Three, four years maybe?
Chelsea and Man Utd are ahead of us, Man City have now overtaken us and Liverpool have bought some great players this year and I think will be a real force next season. So while our rivals add proven Premiership quality to their squads we continue to buy only raw youngsters or over the hill geriatrics (yes Squillaci, I’m talking about you) and I am seriously worried about a top four finish next season.
I realise the transfer window is still open for a long time, but despite all the talk about a summer of spending and adding more experience to our ranks, this is more proof that nothing will change.
Does anybody seriously expect to turn on Sky Sports News this summer and see a smiling Wenger with his arm around Benzema as he holds up an Arsenal scarf in front of a bunch of photographers? Or Scott Parker? Or anybody we’ve heard of who’s any good?
Wenger is a stubborn man and will not do a U-turn on the philosophy he has so publicly backed time after time. He will continue to try to do it with kids while our rivals overtake us and we fans will have to sit and watch in anguish as the extra 6.5% we’ve just handed to the club is put straight into the club coffers while the good Premiership players join our rivals.
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