As we continue on in the silly season, there have been rumours that we should be patient when it comes to transfers as you are try to pull off some ‘madness’. It is true, particularly in the last three seasons, that you’ve seriously pulled rabbits out of the hat in the form of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech. We are all wondering what ‘madness’ awaits this year. Unfortunately with nothing more to go on I can only comment on the ‘madness’ that is occurring at the club currently, and nothing makes me more mad the moment than Theo Walcott and Ivan Gazidis.
Aah Theo Walcott. Where do we begin?
The youngster with such a bright future that we plucked from Southampton a decade ago (yes, it has been a decade). It is true that he’s shown some of that potential throughout the years, and has made an impact against big teams. Unfortunately these have been the exception and not the rule, and given how far he fell down the pecking order last season, it is almost as if we are back to square one. We may as well be in 2006, especially with quotes like this:
“I know I can do a job up front, as well as on the right. I want to make my position on the right – that’s where I know where I am now.”
Seriously? Is this a person who’s been with us for 10 years or a 16 year old giving his first press conference for the club?
The worst kept secret in the world is that Walcott has always wanted to be a striker. Early on his career he was deployed on the right and that was understandable, a lot of young pacy players do start out there, dare I say, Thierry Henry started there too? Unfortunately, unlike the number 14 shirt Walcott acquired, Walcott has not been able to make this transition.
The situation is farcical.
For his most recent contract negotiations stalled over this very issue. You then played him as striker for a few games, he signed the contract (which by the way was a bumper £140k a week deal), and almost immediately he stopped playing in that position. As time wore on he fell behind the likes of Campbell and Iwobi in the pecking order.
I do not even know where to begin. If you knew he wasn’t going to cut it as a striker why did you make him believe he would play there regularly? Why the increase in wage for a player who doesn’t have your full faith?
But here we are, one the highest paid players at our club, who struggles to even get a position on the bench. If he really is that bad, why don’t you sell him and/or why doesn’t he want to leave? If there is still potential there (even after 10 years of trying) then why isn’t he being given that chance? Whichever way you look at it, it is farcical, it is pure ‘madness’.
We complain about transfers, yet we keep players that we don’t use on high wages, high wages which could be used on new players, which brings me to my next point, your good mate Ivan Gazidis.
It is no secret that we weren’t competitive in the transfer market for a while, mainly due to the stadium debt and vast amounts of oil money both across London and all over Europe. All that changed on the 2nd of September 2013, when we signed Mesut Ozil, for £42.5m, annihilating our transfer record.
That year Gazidis went on the record to say:
“We should be able to compete at a level like a club such as Bayern Munich. This is an extraordinarily ambitious club. We can look at some options that weren’t really in our financial capability. We also have revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you”
It all made sense. The record signing of Ozil, and such a statement from the CEO with such conviction, there was reason to be optimistic. The proof was already there and we were pretty much promised more would come. Fast forward 3 years however, and Gazidis had this to say:
“We are making progress in what is a fiercely competitive world, against competitors that have the capability to spend far more money than we do. We have to be careful, very selective about how we do things. We can’t afford to outgun competitors that have far more money to splurge on transfer fees than we do”.
Wow. So we’ve gone from being a club with a “sky is the limit” type ambition to a club with limiting beliefs and a club full of excuses.
Regardless of what he said in 2013 and how true it was at the time, what he is saying now is far more believable purely because he is being so careful and conservative about everything he is saying.
As a lifelong fan of this great club I feel short changed. We pay the most expensive season ticket in the country, we spend on merchandise every year, but when it comes to you and Gazidis spending, we often only hear excuses.
It may be very true that you are trying to pull off some ‘madness’ late in this transfer window, but can you blame me for thinking that you won’t? The CEO has openly said that we cannot compete so even if you use your brilliant persuasive skills to attract some of the best players, we simply may not be to compete financially, so what’s the point? Like I said last week, why would Mahrez come to us?
Our inability to compete financially and our mediocre results every year, will make it difficult to attract any player.
Add to the madness that is Theo Walcott, probably one of the most expensive ‘deadwood’ player in the league’s history, making our already tough financial situation worse.
It is ‘madness’ at Arsenal of the worst kind at the moment, I just hope that, you can somehow pull off some of the more positive style of ‘madness’ by the time this transfer window ends.
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