A good win over Manchester City yesterday, even though it was just a friendly. It is always a positive to win no matter what, so I would like to point this out first. Unfortunately this is where the positivity ends. If we believe that a pre-season win against Manchester City is proof of anything for the upcoming season, we are kidding ourselves. Once again I am left disillusioned at the lack of transfer activity and our chances of winning anything this season, without a ball having even being kicked yet.
A few days ago, respected Bundesliga journalist Rafael Honigstein had this to say:
“It is almost impossible to understand how Arsene Wenger’s mind works. This is the guy who last year didn’t sign a single outfield player, this is the guy who has a problem with player valuations. If you look at this market’s valuations, I don’t think he’ll find a single player who he feels is right, especially the strikers who now don’t start at €50-60m but start at €70-80-90m Euros when it comes to Higuain or Aubameyang theoretically. I don’t see Wenger spending that type of money and incidentally I don’t believe that Arsenal are 1 or 2 players away from being the finished article, they are always 1 or 2 players away from the finished article. I think they have much deeper issues which will only be addressed under new management.”
I could not agree with him more. The sheer arrogance of our transfer policy is mind blowing. This isn’t 2004 where, we bid low, but the player we are targeting only wants to come to us, so we have all the power and we will eventually get our man for a cheap price. No. this is 2016, we are Arsenal, a team that is always the bridesmaid, second rate, the also-rans. Not only will teams bid higher, the players themselves will want to go to those teams. There is no chance of us signing anyone of any quality, unless we spend some serious money on both transfer fees and wages.
Think about 2013, we did not want to pay the extra money to Napoli for Higuain, which incidentally was less than £40m. This year he ended up going for €94m Euros. It is only going to get more and more expensive.
Arsene, you have a degree in Economics, you understand basic supply and demand. What seems like a lot of money of money for a striker now is purely due to this basic principle. If you believe, like Honigstein says, that a world class striker is only worth €50-60m Euros, contrary to what the market tells you, well then, we won’t be signing anyone will we?
You will argue that you’ve signed Ozil, Sanchez and Cech and it is true that they are world class players and they were great signings that you were instrumental in, but this is where Honigstein’s second point comes to the fore. Even if we manage to sign 2-3 world class players by the end of this month, something which I highly doubt, it still won’t change the fundamental physical and mental issues at the club.
Gabriel was badly injured in yesterday’s match. I know you said he will miss the Liverpool match but it looks much worse than that. With Mertesacker already out we are in a situation where we need to start our 3rd choice CB and a youngster in Holding, who’s never played for us for such a big game.
People can argue that injuries are bad luck, that they are beyond your control, but are they?
Ozil hardly ever got injured at Real Madrid, yet he continues to get injuries here. Sanchez hardly ever got injured at Barcelona yet he continues to get injured here. Welbeck has had a shocking run, he had injuries at Manchester United but not like this. And the list goes on and on and on. I simply do not have time to go through the squad, you know it, I know it, everyone knows it, Arsenal players are simply more injury prone.
It cannot be coincidence that so many players have great injury records yet as soon as they come to Arsenal their bodies are as fragile as thin glass.
I don’t know if it is your training methods, or if you overwork them, the fact is you are the manager and you need to manage this.
It is a vicious cycle whereby players need to be rushed back from injury or certain players like Giroud are overworked because there’s nobody else to play striker and rotate with him, because of lack of squad depth and/or injuries.
Players lose form from burnout, more injuries happen and this leads to the next issue, our annual mental collapse in January/February.
Now this doesn’t happen every single year (some years we simply start the season poorly and are playing catch up), however, this is another thing which is hard to argue coincidence. Under your management our team is always somehow near the top of the Premier League only to drop points consistently towards the end of the season and throw away the title.
This is clearly a mental issue amongst the squad, something you haven’t instilled in them to really win the crunch games when the pressure is on, we simply have not had the bottle or fight for over a decade now. It is clearly not an issue of ability either, a squad with the talent we have should have no problems pipping Leicester City to the title with all due respect, but we fell well short.
When you say you won’t sign a player for the sake of it, guess what, it’s a long season. For a team like us who plays Champions League we could be playing upwards of 50 games. If player doesn’t get injured they surely need a rest, and this would go some way into solving half our issues, yet you refuse to invest in the squad especially in positions where we are desperately short.
So that’s it really. The rumour of you trying to pull off “madness” this month may or may not happen, but my point is even if you somehow can get Griezmann or Benzema or someone of that calibre in, it still won’t change the fundamental fact that they are more likely to get injured under your regime and are more likely to become mentally weak under your regime, both of which pretty much render that player useless.
We could sign Ronaldo or Messi and we would still fail to win the league.
This is all a product of seriously bad management and it is so sad that I am at the point where even if we do sign a world class player that I can hardly celebrate it knowing what will likely happen, and how the results by the end of the season will change very little.
Insanity is defined as doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
Arsene, you are insane. Thanks for the memories but it is time to go.
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