Aug 28

‘Arsenal’s summer of intransigence and top strikers’


The reasons for this summers lack of movement so far in the transfer market could be down to any, or a combination of, several factors. Which you choose to believe or discount may well reflect your own ideology, or your partiality to rhetoric of our Mr Wenger. Could it Dick Law’s lack of talent at the negotiating table, the fact that Arsenal are no longer a big draw, or Wenger’s sheer intransigence to spend?

For my own part, I find the idea simply irresistible that Wenger (despite Gazidis’ denials) retains a nagging attachment to a utopia where he achieves something incredible – whilst spending so much less than his competitors. He is patient (well, you can afford to be on a £7m a year salary), and my view is the ultimate end-goal of success will be his to savour and so much more beautifully pure when it happens.

How does this translate with a summer of several big transfer offers? I feel there was a moment to close the Higuaín transfer – albeit at a higher price (which he was worth by current market standards anyway); the chance to get Bayer Leverkusen to sell Lars Bender was greater before they sold André Schürrle and Daniel Carvajal; Luiz Gustavo has only ever appeared to be interest and now appears highly unlikely; whilst Suárez and Rooney are both flawed characters, destined to be difficult and confrontational transfers. Several of these deals could arguably have been sealed with the necessary commitment to doing so.


Last year Giroud and Podolski were earmarked as key transfer targets at very early stages. This summer it feels as though Arsenal are loosely working within the confines of a slack, general idea of what they would like. Could the club answer who was their first choice striker transfer at the start of the summer? Possibly not.

I do believe that a bid was submitted for Stephan El Shaarawy (rejected when the player wanted to stay in Milan.) Higuaín and Suárez are different players but would both have electrified the front line, given it the ‘teeth’ to close games, and dragged defences to make space for our creative midfielders. Suárez is the better forward (in my view) with his spinning runs wide onto the weaker fullback, his great close control, sturdy body strength and frenzied desire to win. That desire has sometimes manifested itself in the ugly elements of the game, as have been widely reported.

Where Arsenal go from here before the end of the window cannot be predicted, but there are still options available. Swansea’s long-legged forward Michu can drop deep and win a game with his first chance. Edin Džeko, a strong target man with a silky touch like Berbatov, might be considered too similar to Giroud and too lacking in speed. The Džeko options falls down more when you add that Sanogo occupies the same positions he does, as well as Giroud. Looking abroad, Jackson Martinez is a goal-facing finisher built like a wide receiver. He scored 29 in 38 last season for Porto. Porto, regrettably in this case, are notoriously difficult to negotiate with and have no wish to sell at a sensible price – but he does have a £35m release clause. Luis Muriel, a young Rooney-shaped Colombian striker at Udinese, will be a house-hold name within 5 years.

I hope there is a plan. I hope Arsenal somehow manage to secure a Suárez, a Chicharito, or an Alexis Sánchez-type that can spin wide fast into space and sell shirts. I think they also need the versatility of a clever forward that drops into space to suck in defenders and outnumber stubborn opposition midfielders. If Arsenal can shake off their ideological restraints and other factors hindering the closing of key deals, the basis for a strong season is already in place.

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8 Responses to “‘Arsenal’s summer of intransigence and top strikers’”

  1. Paul says:

    Just not sure what way he is going to go I’d add your comment about martinez and like Sanchez Its getting beyond a joke just spend the money in the bank and what has been saved on wages…. Mutcu 14-17mil edko 15 mil both or one in which case fellini 24mil or capour 9.5 mil Lichtsteiner 10 mil. If job done. If bentner is also shipped out to Malaga I’d take Jesus rb as part of the deal.

  2. Jesper says:

    Spot on!

    Dont listen to what everybody thinks of Big Per, this team had a better defensive record than United last season, which also comes from a good team spirit. I think Arsenal has some intelligent players who go along well. Therefore I can understand Wenger having trust in his squad. But it must be a letdown for the players to see other teams strenghten and Wenger doing nothing.

    He’s making the same mistake every year, If you look at all Arsenal squads in the Emirates-years, they were all very talented but lacked that bit extra class or experience or..
    We’d have Cesc, Flamini, Hleb and Rosicky in midfield but Almunia in goal or Bendtner up front (with of course RVP injured)

    As you said; what this team does lack is pure individual class up font, which we lost in RVP.. I remember Arsenal dominating posession against Chelsea, Spurs, but not having a single shot at goal..

    Lets pray for some Cazorla-like signings.. Some real quality. Or we’ll be fearing the exit of key players again next summer.. Jack would fit in nicely at United, right…?

  3. kel says:

    Every one seems to be looking for excuses for the manager, And i think are arsenal fans are the most gullible i have ever come across in my life, some of the excuses that have been made have been absolutely ridiculous. I have one word for wenger and that is “IDIOT”

  4. Orla says:

    I dont believe in arsenal anymore

  5. Orla says:

    I would prefer to join spurs over arsenal this season,
    I mean it

  6. Adam says:

    It is obvious the plan will be different from previous summers because the stakes are higher. There is no room for error with a £30m plus player for a club trying to buy within their means (regardless of their current bank balance). Therefore it is naive to say, “This summer we’ll buy xxxx.” For what if that player isn’t available? What if, like Suarez, the club don’t want to sell? Therefore you have to take each opportunity as it comes. Higuain was presumably passed up because Gardiola gave hints that Suarez could have been purchased for £40m. If at the time you think you might be spending £40m on said 1st choice player, backup choices are being sold for £15-£20m, what would you do? Buy them all and blow rest of the budget earmarked for strengthening other areas of the squad?

    Like it or lump it, Wenger knows what best for the club and fans and that means getting the best value for money he can, even it means conducting a staring match with other clubs until the end of the window. Mark my words, as the deadline beckons club will falter and the transfers will come in. It’s painful I know, but unless you fancy paying more for tickets and merchandise, you’ll have to put up with it.

  7. Andy Mack says:

    I think most of us are hoping the Orla is now a 5pur2 supporter and that Kel realises that he in not very clever!

  8. Charles99 says:

    Arsenal signed Semi Ajayi on a free this week. He is physically well built, technically gifted and could be the next Sol Campbell. This is a shrewd signing by Arsene.
    Check him out here-


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