Written by Harry
Last week that fine gent and upstanding journo, Martin Samuel, claimed that Arsenal can no longer attract genuine world stars, is this right?
For a start lets be honest have we actually ever signed someone at the top of their game?
Bergkamp was a truly world class player, but when we signed him, he was in a massive dip, the top teams at the time AC Milan, Madrid just were not interested……..
Vieira was unheard of in the reserves at AC Milan, Henry similar to Bergkamp hadn’t quite made it in Italy leaving the Old Lady in Turin without making his mark (needs to give Rooney lessons there).
The best ever……..
Overmar’s was a massive risk with his knees, no one else wanted to take the risk. Reyes was still very raw, as was Van Persie and Nasri. Rosicky was grabbed before he made his name at the world cup in 2006……..Unfortunately injury has stalled his career……..
Fabregas was taken under the cover of night from the Barca Creche, sneaked out in a laundry trolley…..which has been wheeled in and out again twice this summer with Bellerin and Toral-Harper been snaffled away………
So who and what is a genuine world star?
Messi, Ronaldo (Both), Buffon, Del Piero, Rivaldo, Maldini, Carlos and Zizou all of these are or were world stars, could we have ever signed one of these? Maybe if they were in the youth sides of their teams, but not at their peaks. Realistically there are not that many world stars that move to clubs of our standing (got be honest with ourselves), they move between the big powers in Europe, the Milans, Juve, Barca and Madrid. Now we have the wannabees who have muscled in with their oil enriched wallets, money talks and ours generally just whispers at best….
In the late 80’s and into the 90’s it was Serie A, that had the money and no one really could compete, Ruud Gullit, Van Basten, Cafu, Baresi, all went where the money and weather was better…….
Even as the Premier league gained power, not many world stars at their peak came until the real money was thrown in the ring by Roman, but even then, still the world stars were seen going to the galacticos of Madrid, Barca but not the premiership household names…..
Even Man United and Liverpool haven’t signed that many world stars at their peak, have they? Veron at 26million, Berbatov at 30million, the price doesn’t make them world class stars………Rooney was snatched at 16 from Everton. Liverpool snared Torres from Athletico Madrid, but at the time he wasn’t truly world class, he still had a bit to go………Ok they have spent more money than us on players, but when have we been in awe of their signings?
If United get Sneijder I would for once be jealous, he is a world class player…….Liverpool have spent 20million on Henderson…………say no more on that one…..
Samuel was in essence just trying to make headlines and as usual by the press, having a dig at Arsenal and Wenger, success breads contempt and people are swayed by the human trait of envy, which sees them seeking to bring people down. We do it so successfully in this country, build people up and then enjoy knocking them down, the “sandcastle affect”, what was more fun building it or knocking it down?
So I personally don’t expect any real marquee signing any time soon, Juan Mata would a big signing, Benzema would a massive signing, are either genuine world stars, not sure, Karim is close to be but has struggled at the Bernabeu, similar to Bergkamp or Henry , but I don’t expect them anyway……
Karim, in? Unlikely……..
Anyhow back to the here and now as the lads board the plane today to Asia, minus Bendtner and Almunia who are in talks with unnamed clubs. There was a shock boarder after his end of season outburst, with Denilson sneaking on through the luggage conveyor. Nasri is on board so Wenger has a week to talk with him away from the UK, hopefully his team mates will convince him to stay, but Cesc was left behind whilst he is having his hamstrings fine tuned……..
Gervinho, missed the plane due to visa issues with his signing, but will eventually find his pen and sign, protracted and annoyingly too public, lets keep things under wraps better, until signed. Let the press fabricate the dross…that leads to, too much line dancing and knee jerking………
So who else will come in?
After Wenger finally spoke on Friday, don’t expect too many more, I expect maybe a centre back and then another if we are lucky. There is a lot of youth getting promoted this season I feel……Gibbs will be the No 1 LB, Lansbury, Bartley, Miquel and Frimpong amongst others, expect to see a lot more of them in the Emirates Cup…..That’s where our answers will come from……..
Cahill, one of just a few coming in?
If at least Nasri stays, then Gervinho, one of Cahill or Samba (or maybe another CB) and perhaps a midfielder will be it, we weren’t that far away, so I don’t think we need that much, nor does Wenger…….
If we do lose Nasri and Fabregas, then we would need one big signing, perhaps that might be a world star, unlikely though, that’s not and has never been our style.
Wenger has a big big big summer, I for one will wait and see what unfolds, allow for a settling period for the team and then at December, see just where we are at……
Quietly optimistic, realistically restrained, but a Gooner to the core forever……