Nearly men

Thank God the transfer window is shut. I’m sick of the damn thing. Daily linked to players. Daily we don’t get them. I’m bored of it. The Benzema situation put me over the edge, the window means nothing other than unnecessary stress as far as The Arsenal are concerned. The fact we did the Cech business so early in the window suggested a ruthlessness about the way we might approach the new season. Instead all its turned out to be is a right place right time scenario. In other words it smacks of yet another transfer window without rigorous planning. We are pretty well covered in every single position, however the one position we aren’t is a CF. Say what you will about Coq, Arteta and Flamini but we have 3 players for the DM role. We only really have 2 strikers though. Giroud is one and Wallbeck make up the other. Not one of the 3 would get into a Man City or Chelsea XI playing through the middle. Nor a Liverpool or United one for that matter. Sturridge (I know he’s injured) and Rooney are also better than what we have. That’s why it seemed as though bringing in a striker was of paramount importance. It was an opportunity to make a statement, fill the rest of the team with optimism and competitiveness yet we’re all left feeling a little bored, frustrated and nonplussed. That 100% transfers to the players. Even when the titles were rolling in in the early Wenger years we would always bring in one marquee signing to maintain continued progress. This was excusable due to lack of finance, however we’re now told it’s not an issue. Then FFP went all wrong allowing us a further excuse. But I’m just not sure it’s valid anymore.

The opportunity of this season’s optimism amongst the faithful is also being toyed with. But that’s not even the biggest gamble. We are potentially wasting some of the best years of players like Ozil, Sanchez, Koscielny & Cazorla because we lack that final jigsaw piece. It gives players like the above a reason to think twice about the club and its stagnation. Although our squad is looking as good as it has for the last 7/8 years we still find ourselves a little behind the curve. How will that be made up? It’s not even an interesting situation to see develop it’s one of repetition, we’ve seen this all before. Even though our squad is looking really good both City and Chelsea’s look better. We’re a little behind and in a market where the right players looked to be available we didn’t seem to do enough to get them and that’s what causes the frustration. Bookies even started making money of a last minute Zlatan rumour off the poor bastards who were silly enough to oblige. I think that the problem here is fairly clear and has been mooted by the club. FFP. It’s gone all Pete tong and something that we believed we’d planned brilliantly for has now become something we’ll be laughed at for. Silent Stan is now the problem, when we were doing all the right things by FFP he could get away with it. We’re now in a situation where there are 3 clubs who can offer more than we can. They can offer Champions League football as well as astronomical wages. The only way we are going to be able to compete is to have a change of the guard at the very top. Usmanov needs to now come in, but therein lies the problem. Stan Kronke has no reason to leave whilst things are seemingly going well at the club. Two trophies in two years and a healthy squad mean that Wenger is once again hamstrung by his ‘success’ in this situation. The only way that there may be change at the club is if we have an unsuccessful season and the board has pressure to change. Until then silent Stan will continue to milk the cash cow that we are. Now I don’t know about you but I for one don’t want to see us out of the Champions League or to have a terrible season, however the reality is that’s what it may take. We’ve got too good a squad to allow this to happen so we find ourselves in a perpetual cycle of being nearly men. It evokes the greatest of frustrations but there’s simply nothing that we can do about it.

People call for managerial change regularly when things don’t go right in the transfer market but there needs to be a bit of objectivity linked to it. What would Pep Guardiola do given the same financial constraints as we have? Yes we have a bit of money now (£60m they say) but how would he spend that? The biggest and best of names will like the idea of a big club like Arsenal however they will much prefer the salaries that the other big clubs can offer. It’s as simple as that. Until we are on a level playing field we won’t be able to accurately judge Wenger because he’s held back by the money. Now it’s not to say we couldn’t have planned better and brought someone in but the issue here is that and that alone so far as Wenger is concerned. It’s similar to our game was a few years ago – no plan B. I’m just not sure that any other manager could compete or perform differently in the transfer market. In addition we forget that a large portion of the squad are loyal to the manager and who knows as to how they might perform under a different leader? It’s all ifs and buts, the only certain thing is that we now know that Wenger is at the helm and we need to get behind both the team and him if we are to have a successful season.

So another transfer window goes by without the key issues fully addressed, and a season with the light of optimism and hope dims ever so slightly. We have an international break to boot and it’s going to take a monumental effort from the fans and the players to lift spirits when the Orcs come to town. We need to start the charge towards the top and stay as closely in touch with City as possible to give ourselves a chance when January comes by to make the additions for a final push to a title challenge. It all sounds a bit like last season but it won’t be long before Alexis Sanchez starts firing on all cylinders so we do have some reason for optimism.

Have a good week folks.

Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhank1

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