Is Wenger’s dithering about to cost us the title?

I had a nightmare last night. That nightmare has scared me stiff, and it could well come true. As I was having my usual dreams of chocolate rivers and ginger bread houses, in my dream world where diabetes and obesity does not exist enable myself to eat what I desire, the TV came on. It was an Arsenal press conference with Arsene Wenger and he said:

“Having bought Petr Cech to the club, we have decide that concludes our transfer activity for this summer. We believe that we have sufficient quality in the current players in our squad, and do not need to spend any more money.”

With that, I woke in a pool of sweats (and sweets, the bowl of jelly beans I took to bed for a midnight snack had tipped over).

Whilst it was just a dream, the real scary reality is that I could picture Arsene Wenger saying this in the real world. And his dithering over strengthening the squad could cost us a shot at the title.

At the end of last season, everyone agreed that we needed to sign at least 3 new players. A keeper, a defensive midfielder, and an attacking player (wide right forward or striker depending on your persuasion). We have the keeper in the bag nice and early. Result.

However, the other two, there is a realistic chance that Wenger’s dithering over the squad could result in us missing out on our main targets and, even worse, missing out on all targets, as Wenger decides to stick rather than twist.

This will be his rationale thinking.

At defensive midfield, we saw the development of Francis Coquelin last season. He was a real break through player, and showed tremendous discipline and ability. And his stats (we all know Wenger loves stats). The tackles, the interceptions, the duels won. They are amongst the best in the Premier League. Compare him to Morgan Schneiderlin. Coquelin outperformed him in nearly every key area last season.

Why buy Schneiderlin when Coquelin out performs him? No need. Let’s allow him to go to Manchester United, whilst we explore other players. Arturo Vidal maybe, or how about Javi Martinez over at Bayern Munich. At worst, that Carvhalo bloke at Portugual. Not the old balding centre back, the centre midfielder.

Worse case scenario though, we still have Coquelin. If they above are too expensive, even though we can afford them, we could stick with Coquelin. After all, we still have Mikel Arteta at back up. Might as well give him an extra year on his contract whilst we are at it. And let’s not forget that Jack Wilshere has done a job there for England.

Coquelin, Arteta & Wilshere. Why buy anyone? Might as well save the money.

Back in reality, it is a situation that mirror’s the summer of 2013. We needed a new striker. We started off at Steven Jovetic. A good young talent. Not quite the finished article. Then we heard Gonzalo Higuain was available. A proven striker. Available for only a few million more than Jovetic. Drop the interest in Jovetic, let him go to Manchester City, and chase the Madrid striker.

Then we get told about the Suarez release clause. With Napoli showing interest in Higuain, pushing the price up, a deal for Suarez is only a few million more than the new Higuain price. Drop the interest in Higuain, let him go to Napoli, chase Suarez.

Then Liverpool did not honour the release clause, basically telling Arsenal and Suarez to take them to court to enforce it. This was never going to happen. The result? Arsenal lose out on Suarez, allow their other two targets to go to other sides, and end up with Yaya Sanogo.

Back into Wenger’s mind we go.

Upfront we have Olivier Giroud. He proved last season that he is a very good striker. Despite a lean patch at the end of the season. Had he not got injured, he would have got 20 league goals. So who is out there who is better than Olivier Giroud?

Always fancied a bit of Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. He could be available. But Giroud keeps him out of the French national side. It would be hard to keep control of two ego’s, battling out for the same place in the starting 11 for their country, also battling it out for the same place for the club. Won’t be easy to keep them both happy. Not worth the hassle.

Same go’s for Alexandre Lacazette. Good player, scored a lot of goals last year in France. But so did Giroud when we signed him. Why splash the cash on a player who again, is behind Giroud for his country. Would these guys really improve us? Might as well stick with Giroud.

And let’s not forget Danny Welbeck. He has all the physical attributes to be a top striker. Just needs to learn how to finish. And it has always been said that Theo Walcott will be a striker. Maybe this will be the season he finally moves up front. And it is well known that Alexis Sanchez was signed as a striker. That is 4 we have.

Plus Yaya Sanogo (I kid, I Kid).

Looking around Europe, there are not too many strikers. No point spending £20-30m on someone who might improve us, might as well stick with what we have.

And suddenly my fear becomes a reality. The two scenarios above about a defensive midfielder and a striker are realistic.

It might not be as bad as this. We will buy players. But the dithering as he decides what to do could cost us. Whilst he makes up his mind on if Coquelin is good enough, Schneiderlin will be off to Manchester United. that is one less target on the market. And the same will happen upfront with Lacazette. Whilst Wenger dithers and assesses his options, he will go to Liverpool or A.N Other.

Yes, I full well know that it is the 8th of July. That the transfer window has only been officially open for 8 days. That is still has the good part of 8 weeks to go. That the lads are only just back in pre season training. That the season does not start for another month (month today infact). I know this. I know there is nothing to worry about. But even the most hardened Wengeritte would admit that the above scenario is possible. That it could happen.

We will buy the players we need to win the league, I am confident of that. I think Wenger has a plan, and that plan will be executed, and we will win the league next season. But there is a small part of me that is fearful that the dream could become a reality. That after Cech, Wenger could dither, and our title chances would be up in smoke before the season has started.

I am scared.


12 thoughts on “Is Wenger’s dithering about to cost us the title?

  1. eoin2211

    Only a small part of you thinks this? Really Arsenal were in a similar position last year. Had a good squad, added Sanchez and looked like with just another defender and another top player they would challenge for the title. Unfortunately Wenger did not oblige…….. I can see this discussion being had next year as well……..

  2. pnk.gooner

    For we need to rush? The squad showed there was no gaps. We need back up players for when the injuries come. If these come in preseason or start of season and we have spent our budget reduces what we buy. I feel that Wenger is looking for real quality which isn’t on the market yet. Ignore the paper talk it is a load of rubbish at the minute.

  3. zTOMz

    “The squad showed there was no gaps. We need back up players for when the injuries come.”
    I completely agree with that. With a world class keeper now between the posts, we already have a title challenging squad BUT are still slighlty at risk if Coqueling (or Giroud) picks up a long term injury.
    We could get by quite well without them with the current alternative options but since the team’s level needs to be taken up a notch if we’re to actually go for the Premier League title, an extra signing or 2 in those areas would make the difference.
    I’d say the defensive midfield is where the next signing should be made as we’ve never been shy scorers anyway and it’s defense that wins leagues. If Schneiderlin can’t be brought in, Carvalho could be very good, especially because he’s young enough to be fine with not being a dead cert starter and compete with Coquelin for that defensive role and he has already some experience playing anywhere on the back 4 so would also be a great utility player for the squad.

  4. LP

    Wenger dithers, whilst the rest of league have their targets and go for them hard and fast. Cech will be our only major signing.

    Arsenal will finish top 4, some things just do not change, unless you want them to change.

  5. thewira

    playing the number games is always tricky, do we have enough, do we have too many? quantity wise we do have many in almost every position. quality wise wenger also got it covered. however, history do tells us that injury is such a bitch. imagine if we have walcott and giroud fit the whole last season.. or at least in turn. we do have welbeck and sanchez in the beginning but it wasnt enough as both are in the their first season for arsenal. imagine if it was sanchez and giroud playing at the first half of the season, then wallcott and wellbeck in the second half. we would have given chelsea a run for their money. not to mention ozil and wilshere. but it wasnt that way because of long term injury.
    on DM i do think we have enough. on striker, i think 1 proven player (that didnot play in the copa america) could be the final piece only because sachez had a long cup. and we do need to learn from last season how 3 world cup winners performed at the beginning of last season.
    the best wish we can have is not to have 1 or 2 more players, but have our current players fit for most of the season, avoiding any long term injuries.

  6. Blake

    I don’t look at DM as replacing Coq. I think he is clear first choice and it would be rather expensive to add someone better than him. However, at 2nd choice DM, Flamini needs to be replaced. Arteta is the better third choice. That’s a roster spot in need of a serious upgrade, and besides Bielik, who is clearly green, there are no youngsters that could emerge.

    Anyone else curious what we get from Gnabry this season?

    1. carbonbasedvessel

      I take it all back. After *actually reading your post*, i see what you’re saying now, brother. Well (and agonizingly) reasoned. Cheers.

      We’ll be a real force next year, you watch: full strength, new physio, Petr fucking Cech. We’ll make run other teams through hell right from the beginning.. starting with Chelsea.

  7. Richard

    I’m extremely confident for the upcoming season. Especially with Cech in between the posts hopefully Ospina stays because he is miles above Sechz at the moment. We do need additional signings but who? Benzem?, I reckon if he moves from real Madrid (highly unlikely) he will end up at Juventis or PSG. I personally think a new CB and CF are needed to make sure we are injury proof all season. The four full backs are among the best in the leauge whilst midfield is already overflowing so I wouldn’t expect any movment there unless Carzola returns to Spain(let’s hope that never happens) CB wise I would reckon it will be another youngster like Chambers. One with enough talent to play against early stage FA Cup/low league teams, I don’t expect to see a world class defender on the way. Nor do I think we need one. Upfront is an issue but only in Girouds position.Giroud needs competition however arsenal don’t need another CF built like Giroud, we need one built like drogba,Costa,tevez. But I don’t know of anyone like that on the market or rumoured in the press. Hopefull Wenger has a trick or two up his insanely long jacket.

  8. Nonny

    Just a few questions for the Dithering writer.

    1.Suppose Coq was not an Arsenal player but was bought for maybe £20m in January, will you still be asking for a new DM?

    2.If you are managing a team, would you buy a new player for £25m-£30m to be a back up for any position.

    3. Are you aware that every team has a limited number of players they can register for both UCL and EPL?

    4. Are you aware that not every player can fit into the pattern a manager wants to use?

    5. Are you aware that having too many players playing the same position can disrupt team harmony

    6. Are you aware that not every problem a team encounters need to be fixed by going to the transfer market.

    7. Do you know that AFC has an academy with young exciting players trying to break into the 1st team.

    8. Finally and the most important question. Are you aware that buying players in the transfer market is not like your regular shopping where you make a list with prizes and can easily make a purchase at the mall. What if the club refuses to sell (Suarez)? What if the player has a preference club (Sanchez to AFC instead of Liverpool)? What if his wages will disrupt your team’s wage structure?

    One thing is for sure. Wenger has better knowledge of how to win the EPL, the current weaknesses AFC has and how to address them as well as how the transfer market works and the player he want. Imagine signing Balotteli early last season only for Welbeck to be available late on. I know Welbeck is not Messi but he is miles better than Balotteli currently.

    In conclusion, if managing a team was that easy, Totts and Liverpool would be finishing above Arsenal based on transfer spending alone and Managers will not be paid Millions as there will be too many managers available


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