August is an exhilarating month for English Football supporters; the transfer window is coming to a close, and fans alike are looking forward to a hectic nine months ahead of them. However, for one set of supporters, the dream of holding up silverware this season is very likely to remain just that, a mere dream. Arsenal supporters, yes, that’s you.
Although the red side of London will be there or there about, come the end of the season, I am yet to be convinced that they have the players to achieve any form of success.
I have had a long term admiration for Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger’s vision and tactical abilities. However, over the past few seasons, his position as manager has been called into question more often than not. And I believe his decisions in the current transfer window will leave many scratching their heads.
The only big name he has brought into the club, this season, has been former Lille forward, Gervinho, who carried a price tag of £11 million; a move which was surely aimed to find a suitable partner for Robin van Persie upfront. Gervinho has proven himself, in France, as a champion as he helped Lille achieve French League glory in 2011, but time will tell whether he is able to have a similar effect with the Gunners. In addition to this, with the acquisitions of teenagers Joel Campbell, Alex Chamberlain, and Carl Jenkinson, it is clear that Wenger’s policy in breeding talent rather than buying it is still in full-swing.
The club has not raised any trophies since defeating the Manchester United in the 2005 FA Cup Final, but Wenger has adamantly stuck to a policy which has yet to prove itself. Although his idea of creating bright young talent is an admirable one, most of his squad is made of talent who have yet to prove themselves. And without players who know how to win, and have felt silverware in their grasp, a club will never succeed.
The concern, for supporters, is the fact that Wenger’s long term vision will bring no success for the club in the near future. Also, as his future plans have no guarantee of success, why not bring in players who have proven themselves on the world stage? This could ensure that between now and the time when his youngsters are ready to step up, the team will be able to achieve success, as they did back in 2004, when the club went through a whole Premier League season undefeated. And this sort of action may well ensure his own long-term future at the club.
Another one of Wenger’s decisions, during the summer, which would have set off alarm bells in supporters’ ears was when news of Cesc Fabregas’ return to Barcelona was made official. Most people would have expected Wenger’s response to be the commencement of a manhunt for a suitable replacement. However, he has yet to voice any strong intention of doing so. This is a decision which has baffled much of the footballing world.
Who is he expecting to replace the brilliance of the former captain? Wilshere? Ramsey? All of the players he has at his disposal are talented; however, they have yet to prove that they are capable of seeing a season through, with the exception of Samir Nasri. However, even Nasri’s Arsenal future is continually being called into question, especially with news of approaches from Manchester City, along with the long-term interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively. Yes, I realise that this claim might anger some Arsenal supporters, but if Wenger truly believes he is able to win trophies without bringing in an experienced replacement in his midfield, his judgement could be called into question once more.
Arsene Wenger may have created a reputation of being a footballing mastermind, but unless he can prove his policy to be successful, he might find himself out of a job sooner rather than later. Football has become all about results, and all he has given the Arsenal supporters and the board, has been promise, nothing more.
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