There is no better master at pulling the wool over your eyes in a press conference than our very own Arsene Wenger. As we move ever so closely to the closure of the January Transfer Window the signing of players at the club is a big fat zero and it’s now hard to envisage that changing.
As Arsenal fans we have to trust in the manager’s thinking and believe he has explored every option and has made the best choices to benefit the club. I still believe this season will be make or break for the manager and he will live or die based on the decisions he makes or fails to make during this window if at least 4th place isn’t achieved this season. The board won’t necessary sack him, he has their trust as he has taken position in the front line and used his earned respect from Arsenal fans to deflect all the negativity.
That respect has been chipped away over the years as the patience has run thin with many fans, this season especially has seen many question whether he is the man to turn our fortunes back around without the willingness to spend the money that is regularly touted as available to spend on players.
The problem for Arsene this season is this has been one of the most inconsistent campaigns competed by the Arsenal in recent years. There has been no sustained run of form to calm the disbelievers. Like a pot threatening to bubble over there has been no one to turn down the fire, the pot keeps on bubbling and refusing to go away, one way or the other it’s going to get messy.
For every one or two games we come away with a good result there follows an awful game that reinforces that the squad is maybe not good enough to compete for the title (or even 4th place). The further we fall behind in the title race the more the fans call for changes, the fact our best player last season is now sitting pretty at the top of the table for Manchester United stings the tails of all the passionate Gooners out there.
It seems with every defeat Wenger has talked to the media and claimed he is looking for the right players to improve the squad but with every victory he then champions the players we already have and pleads the case for not adding players.
He is content with the squad stating that he has able cover for every position and so the squad is satisfactory for him but one glance at the premier league table shows us more than 20 points behind the leaders. I refuse to condemn the manager but it doesn’t stop me from assessing where we are at right now and applying some logic to the situation.
If we accept that Arsene will only sign exceptional players that become available during the window we must also recognize exceptional players do not become available unless they have done something fundamentally wrong to force them into the situation. Once a player falls under that bracket then they rule themselves out of an Arsenal move because Wenger would not sign a disruptive or dirty player. The only way to sign an exceptional player is to actively seek out the talent, negotiate and make them and their club an offer they can’t refuse. That’s the only way it works, if we can’t guarantee titles we don’t have the bargaining chips to ensure an exceptional player would want to join us. So apart from players with release clauses in their contracts I don’t hold too much optimism to seeing a marquee signing to boost our season.
Emmanuel Frimpong yesterday sealed a loan move to Fulham for the rest of the season, could that signal the one in one out policy Arsene talked about? Who knows, in the grand scheme of things it’s a good move for Frimpong; another chance to prove himself in the premiership and overcome the injury sustained last year.
Beyond the talk of the transfer window we have a game coming up today against Brighton in the one competition we have a realistic chance of picking up silverware, the FA Cup. Maybe in the past this may have been looked upon as a fixture that shouldn’t pose too many problems, a draw as a worst case scenario. However the result against Bradford has put everything into perspective and Brighton cannot be taken for granted. Wenger’s pre-match talk has already been done for him; he only needs to hold up a newspaper clipping from that game to the players; they don’t need reminding of what complacency can give you.
Lets hope the boys approach the game focused and grind out a win with a good performance.
Enjoy your day people.
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