It was a window that due to outrageous transfer speculation had began with much hope, a window that had almost promised a much needed change in transfer policy. Were Arsenal, the board and Arsene Wenger all going to invest heavily in the squad? for all intents and purposes Arsenal have had possibly the least eventful window of all premier league clubs, this is highlighted by only one notable signing in the form of Petr Cech for £10 million.
When it comes to Arsene Wenger and the transfer market things had appeared to have changed, Mesut Ozil for £42.4 million, followed by Alexis Sanchez for £32 million would add weight to the claim that as Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis once said “we can now challenge the likes of Bayern Munich”, while the potential to financially compete is there, the mindset clearly is still lacking.
As every fan and his dog now knows, thanks to the oh so enlightening Sky Sports deadline day coverage “Arsenal need a world class striker and holding midfielder”, once again they and Wenger has fallen short. It remains to be seen whether he ever intended to add to his roster of outfield players but that is now not even the point, we now have to get on with the squad we have been left with which is one of the thinnest in the league.
The argument for not adding to the squad is a bit of a hollow one, “we are close to being contenders”, in truth yes we were but when you see the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City still adding quality to their ranks, would it be a ridiculous notion to think that we are now further away than we were before the first game of the season? I don’t think so. Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho realise the importance of evolving the squad and this is something that Wenger has ALWAYS been unable to grasp.
It is all very well to play the victim and stick to your stubborn principles, but to do so will only see the club become even more stale than it already has which is saying something. Wenger supporters will have you believe that people that oppose “the oh-so great one” are just trying to get rid of Wenger and that is all, that they do not have the club at heart- this is pure fantasy. One signing doesn’t make a successful window much like one swallow doesn’t make a summer and for anyone to be happy with the transfer activity leading up to the deadline day shows a distinct lack of football intelligence.
The striker situation has been one that many have been following closely it almost resembles the need for a defender in last season’s summer window. I remember when speculation of Thomas Vermaelen’s possible departure was reported Wenger stated ” if he leaves we will replace him” and it took him until January to act, leaving the squad short and having to make do with Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal as central cover.
Following an impressive pre-season tour of Malaysia for Chuba Akpom Wenger uttered those immortal words “he will be part of my plans this season”, low and behold he was loaned out to Hull City in the championship and has hit the ground running. Many thought this signaled the arrival of a big name but once more nothing materialised and this now leaves Arsenal with Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Joel Campbell who in all truth are nowhere near the calibre required to win the premier league.
What is done is done and now Arsenal have to plod on with what they have, Wenger and his players have a big September which starts on the 12th with a home game against Stoke City following the international break. There is also the start of the Champions League with a trip to Dynamo Zagreb followed by a trip to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. If Arsene Wenger truly believes he has a good enough squad to challenge for the premier league title, now is the time for them to prove it.