Written by Loh
Finally, after days of reading various rumours and tabloid stories on Arsenal’s potential transfer targets and the continuous never-ending Cesc and Nasri sagas, we at last, get to hear from Wenger himself on what is exactly happening and to be bluntly honest, it doesn’t sound too promising….
Well the good thing is Wenger has confirmed that he will be fighting hard to keep both Cesc and Nasri. How successful he is remains to be seen.
In the case of Nasri, if what he says is true, and his main motivation is to win honours, then I struggle to see how Wenger can convince him to stay especially with what he had said now on his planned transfer activities (which I’ll talk more later). If Nasri wants money, if rumour is again to be believed, we are offering him up to £110,000 per week now which is probably what he can earn elsewhere. Only difference is he is probably thinking he can earn as much elsewhere, but has a better chance of winning honours and hence, potentially further inflate his wage demand the next time he negotiates a new deal (assuming he will be a key player in his new team)! So the only chance I see of Wenger convincing him to stay will be down to 1 word:- LOYALTY! And sadly, loyalty is a rare virtue in modern football.
As for Fabregas, based on the current situation, I see him as the more likely one of the two to be in an Arsenal jersey come next season mainly because of his long term contract. All indications show that he will not want to tarnish his reputation and relationship with the fans and he will probably not publicly force a move to Barcelona (unlike Dani Alves who I now rank jointly top of my hate list with Evra). However, how the long running soap opera will affect the performance of our captain again remains to be seen. We all know his heart is probably by now, firmly set on returning to Barca although I really can’t see why he wants to move so quickly considering he will more likely than not, end up behind Xavi and Iniesta on the midfield pecking order. So perhaps Wenger can use this again as a reason to convince Cesc to perhaps give Arsenal 1 more year (again).
As I said at the beginning, how successful Wenger will be in trying to convince his 2 star players to stay remains to be seen. And I do agree with the pundits and fellow fans that a statement of intent will need to be made to prove to these players that we mean business! And what better way to do this then to really strengthen the squad and bring in some big name signings. Now unless the Board is telling us a whole load of bull c**p and Wenger is happily playing along with it, there is money available. However, we are not seeing anyone walking in through the door!
We are led to believe that the Gervinho deal is very very close to finalisation but due to the Alvarez case, I will only believe it when it’s officially announced. Wenger’s statement doesn’t seems to sound too convincing either saying he doesn’t want to give too much details as it usually complicates the deal – a somewhat contradictory statement.
What really annoys me however is the fact that Wenger says that he is now only looking at 1 or 2 more signings!! Counting Gervinho, this means we would have signed only 2 or 3 “big name” players (assuming the next 1 or 2 signings are indeed big names). This again contradicts with the statement he made earlier where he said he will be “extremely active” in the transfer market. Is his earlier statement then misunderstood and being “extremely busy” means all we are doing is identifying players but not tabling a bid to actually get the player in?
Anyway, how is the signing of 1 or 2 more players going to help in trying to convince Cesc and Nasri to stay? All of us know that we are probably 3 players short as of last season to give us a chance of challenging for honours. With Clichy gone, to me, that makes at least 4 as I am really not convinced that Gibbs is even remotely ready to be our first choice leftback. Many agree that he should be given a loan stint first to get more experience before he is deemed ready. But Wenger seems to see Gibbs as ready and is now unlikely to go for a replacement which means the £7 million we get will probably end up as profits on the balance sheet and not reinvested! This to me is a major risk that Wenger is taking but he may see something in Gibbs that I don’t.
Back to the issue of “1 or 2 signings”, we know we seriously need a new centreback so that’s probably 1 of the signings Wenger is referring to. Question now is who? The Cahill story seems to be getting a little stale now with Coyle stating that no bids have been received (how the tabloids is getting info on us offering Lansbury, Vela or Bendtner as part of the deal and how close are we in geting Cahill to me is a mystery unless you can buy a player without putting in a bid or you can do it without the team’s manager knowing it). There’s really not much news at all on the Samba end apart from Blackburn bidding for a new defender. Dann seems to be heading to Stoke now so who are we expecting to see in an Arsenal shirt? Hopefully it’s not another unknown French player as that really doesn’t make any statement of intent at all!
So, excluding a CB that we definitely need (assuming Wenger also sees things our way, which he has a tendency not to), is our other “possible” signing someone that we have been linked to? A player like Mata or Vidal or Benzema or perhaps it’s just Oxlade Chambelain? The first 3 names will probably makes us happier rather than the signing of yet again another untested youngster but knowing Wenger, a youngster might well be the favourite here!
But is 2 new signings really enough? Wenger had said 1 or 2, so we might even end up with 1! In my opinion, it’s NOT enough. Where is the DM that we so crave? Where is another proven striker that will complement or cover for RVP? And I haven’t even mentioned the need to find some quality squad players to replace those that are definitely not performing although our inability to offload these players now is fast becoming a major stumbling block.
How is Wenger going to convince Cesc and Nasri even if he said he is going to fight hard to keep them with a plan that sounds something like “we are buying players to strengthen but the core of the team will still be the same as management has complete faith in the existing team to finally wake up and deliver when it matters!”
I am sorry Mr. Wenger, if this is your transfer plan and your plan to keep your 2 big players, I am afraid you are going into a nuclear war with just your bare fists and a broken sword.
I have been trying very hard to be positive. I have been telling myself that things will change and Wenger knows what he is doing. I have been hoping that behind all these rumours, Wenger and Ivan are doing something preparing for some major surprises for us and one fine day, I’ll get to read the announcement that we have signed some top top quality players.
However, when I read Wenger’s statement, I just couldn’t help but to write this long post to express my frustration and air my opinion.
Lastly, in Wenger, I probably still place my trust (after all he has led us to glory), but please Mr. Wenger, heed the advice of us fans. You might be great, you may have revolutionalised English football when you first arrived and you have unearthed many rough diamonds and turned them into precious stones, but the world is changing.
Things are not the same now. Many teams are cherry picking our young talents and it’s no longer so easy to find rough diamonds … So please BUY SOME F***ING PLAYERS!! And I do mean big name players!!!