The most worrying sentence for Gunners around the world was Arsène Wenger’s “learn from what?” line after being asked if he’ll learn from last summer. Back then, Arsenal had to sign four players — Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta, André Santos and on-loan Yossi Benayoun — in the final days of the transfer window, after dealing mainly with the Cesc-Nasri saga.
When Arsenal announced the signing of Lukas Podolski earlier this month it seemed that Arsenal did learn, but then Wenger went back to his “there is no value in the transfer market” method of self-convincing he does so well.
“I believe that the summer will be quiet for many reasons” he said, then explained: “First of all in England you have a 25-man limited squad number. Secondly the financial situation all over Europe is really bad, and in some countries they have other worries than football.”
That is pure bullshit. Manchester United will sign at least 3 players, Manchester City will also be on the market, while Tottenham and Chelsea are sure to spend big in order to get better. Teams will get rid of mediocre players and try to sign world-class players. Like every summer.
Meanwhile, Wenger loves playing poker, waiting for the end of July so some of the players will be a bit cheaper.
In many ways Wenger carries himself in the transfer market like his team does on the pitch – with a lot of elegance yet pointless passing that is basically a mobile, sometimes sterile, search for an opening (“a bargain” in transfer market talk).
If a club is playing/negotiating too hard, Wenger usually loses the player he wants, then finds an excuse – “we are not going to pay crazy money”.
But Arsenal have to act quickly. Get at least 3 new world-class players – a defender, a central midfielder and an attacker – even if they cost a premium that Wenger is not always willing to pay.
If Arsenal wasn’t a one man show, if it had hands-on directors, then the club would have already made the important signings.
However, Wenger continues to control the club, and even though I’m hoping that it won’t be the case again – Gunners are looking to face another agonizing summer.