Anyone checking Arsenal forums and blogs in the last few weeks cannot have failed to sense the feelings being shared by all Arsenal fans this summer.
These feelings are causing different outpourings of emotion in different fans; some are full of vitriol at the manager and the board, others are adopting a back to the wall mentality of supporting the establishment in the face of clear evidence that things are going wrong.
All these comments are stemmed from the shared emotion of fear. Fear that for another transfer window we are going to see our best players leave and either not be replaced at all or only by players of an inferior quality.
We all make mistakes in our jobs from the prime minister down to a humble road sweeper. The ability to learn from our mistakes is a reflection of our intelligence and our character, the latter being able to accept that not all our decisions are correct and that next time we will do things differently.
What worries me most this transfer window is the fact the Arsenal heirachy do not seem to be showing they have learnt from their mistakes.
Whatever our personal feelings we cannot make players sign a new contract, if they wish to leave it is better we take a transfer fee and move on, the performance of Cesq this season just gone reflects the fact you do not get the best from a player who is unhappy. So much as I want Nasri, Cesq and Clichy to stay if they want to go we should let them but make sure we get the best possible price for them, we cannot allow another Flamini situation to arise.
However, the fact we seem to allowing time to pass and show no sign of being proactive in the transfer market worries me greatly. In recent years we let Gilberto leave without having signed a replacement first, I suspect Wenger thought we could sign Alonso from Liverpool, but that transfer never happened and we started the season without a recognised defensive midfielder, a situation we have never really solved, Song does well in the position but he has no adequate cover, Denilson is at best a reserve quality player.
At the end of the season it was widely accepted, and Gazidis’ comments at the AST forum confirms this, that we needed new players, especially in central defence, attack, wide and, in my opinion defensive midfield. What have we done so far? Well we have signed an inexperienced full back in his teens from a championship club, he may be a brilliant long term signing but he will not feature in the majority of premier league games next season.
Apart from that there are endless stories linking us with a wealth of international talent with just as many stories saying that the clubs involved have not received a formal bid from Arsneal.
As much as I hate Man U and their unintelligible Glaswegian manager that same manager is, probably rightly, considered the best manager in the game for the last 20 years. How have they been behaving this transfer window? They have identified several players they wanted and they have signed them before other clubs could interfere.
Our manager and board seem unable to learn from their mistakes or from the example set by other acclaimed managers, we seem content to let things bumble along in the hope of a better deal at the end of July or in August. I hope they are proved right. however, wouldn’t it be better to get new blood in at the start of preseason so they are fully integrated into our style of play by the start of the season?
In the last few years I have sat in my seat at the Emirates on the opening day of the season knowing in my heart of hearts that the squad we were starting with was not good enough to compete with Man U and Chelsea, I do not want that same feeling next season.
Please Arsene Wenger. Please Ivan Gazidis. Please Stan Kronke – learn from past mistakes and sign the players we need this week not when it may be too late in August.
by Paul Williams