What Else Should Wenger Have Done?
Arsene Wenger can’t win at the moment. Literally. Having seen through the financing of one of the finest stadiums in football with no oligarch or sheikh in site, and continued his fine work with the Arsenal Academy to bring through the likes of Wilshere, Gibbs and Szczesny, no sooner than a few disappointments and Gooners are up in arms.
There is always going to be a knee-jerk reaction from fans after a disappointing defeat, but for some Arsenal ‘supporters’ to want Wenger out is ludicrous. Think about it for a moment. The man transformed the club upon arrival in 1996, transforming turgid mid-table football to Double winners with style and substance in 18 months. The rest is history – something Chelsea and Man City wouldn’t know about.
Wenger has run the club in a frugal manner that was required during the transition from Highbury to the Emirates. Commentators and fans alike have suggested that Wenger should spend more on players to compete with United, Chelsea, Man City et al, but my question is this: spend money on who? Who could Wenger have signed within a distorted and inflated market (Andy Carroll!) that would have benefited the squad immediately? (Please add your thoughts as a comment below).
Let’s be objective here; if Wenger had bought in a new midfielder and Goalkeeper as fans were crying out for in the summer, Szczesny wouldn’t have had a look in and Jack’s opportunities would have been limited. And therein lies Arsene’s problem: there’s an abundance of talented youngsters coming through from the Academy.
Look at the players we have out on loan: Lansbury, Afobe, Sanchez-Watt, Bartley, Miyaichi, Wellington, Emmanuel-Thomas, Coquelin (not to mention the injured Frimpong). Players of real talent. Connor Henderson who played against Leyton Orient as if he’s been in the first team for years. This is what Arsenal have that other big clubs don’t; a production line of talent. Even United don’t produce talent like they used to.
Now I for one would have preferred Wenger to have kept hold of Gilberto for longer than he did, but aside from that I feel he has sold at the right time and for the right reasons.
There is some dead wood in this squad now – I’m looking at Rosicky, Diaby, Denilson (although I believe he merits his place as a squad player) maybe even Arshavin – but at the start of the season, had Wenger sold either of those maybe an eyebrow would’ve been raised? Certainly from some fans anyhow.
Looking ahead to next season, we’ll have (hopefully) a fit Ramsey and Vermaelen, plus more young talent stepping up; Lansbury, Frimpong, Henderson, possibly JET, Sanchez-Watt and Afobe too.
Signing ‘big-name players’ would hinder their development, as Wenger has said all along. Wenger’s policy may be stubborn, but it makes sense. It’s ethical. It’s how football clubs should be run, by integrating the good work done in the community – I’m looking at Tottenham Hale and Islington especially.
Would you rather have a couple of tin pots in return for some of the values of the club? It’s likely that Chelsea and Man City won’t win a thing this season and look how much money they’ve thrown at ‘world-class’ players. And they’re just two of the many Premier League clubs operating in the red by the way.
Let’s leave all the inquests until the end of the season, a season that could see us as Champions.
Keep the faith, In Wenger we trust.