It’s time for Arsene Wenger to toughen up


As we pass the halfway mark in June, the World Cup is in full swing and we have been treated some brilliant football with goal aplenty.

It’s been close to a month since Arsenal lifted the FA Cup at Wembley but surgery is already required for the first team squad after some players decided it was time for a change.

Bacary Sagna ended his seven year affiliation with the club and moved north to bathe in the riches of Manchester City while Lukas Fabianski hopped across the Severn Bridge to join Swansea.

In happier news, Nicklas Bendtner was also released by the club after his contract expired at the end of last season.

The latest player to be linked with a move away from the Emirates is Thomas Vermaelen, who according to some media outlets has ‘agreed a deal in principal’ to join Manchester United.

Now I’m no mind reader but I image that selling our club captain to one of our most bitter rivals again will not go down that well.

The Belgian is entering the final year of his contract and is in exactly the same position as Robin van Persie was when he decided to ditch the club and manager who gave him so much in search of money.

While Vermaelen is not in the same class bracket as van Persie, it would send the wrong message to the fans by selling another of our players to strengthen our title rivals.

What Wenger should be doing is making the centre-half see out the remainder of his contract and then letting him leave if that’s what he really wants.

Forget that Utd finished seventh last season, they will come again under Louis van Gaal and Arsenal should certainly not be helping them back off the canvas.

Under Sir Alex, Utd would rather stamp on our throats and keep us on the floor instead of giving us an opportunity to recover and compete again.

It’s understandable that Vermaelen wants to play football and that is not likely as long as Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker stay fit but he is an important member of the squad and should be pushing them for a starting place.


It’s time for Wenger to get tough with these sorts of players and lose the selling club title that has haunted us over the last eight years.

Samir Nasri, van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song have all held the club to ransom and got their big money moves in recent seasons and it has to stop.

The likes of Liverpool and Man Utd have shown that if you get tough with players and show them who is boss then they will eventually fall back into line as Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney prove.

Wenger already needs to replace Sagna, Fabianski and Bendtner as well as adding another defender and a midfielder so it would be a suicidal decision to sell a centre-half and leave us needing to buy half a team this summer.

Keeping the core of the squad together was a key part of the club’s improvement last season and fans know we are just a few signings away from becoming genuine challengers.

The club claim they have millions to spend and reports say they have cash reserves of close to £150m so the transfer money is not needed.

Wenger has already made a bold decision to pass-up on the chance to bring Fabregas back to North London and left the door open for him to go west and join Chelsea.

So he needs to get moving in the transfer market to strengthen the squad and hopefully he is doing that whilst commentating and watching the football out in Brazil.

But he also needs to ensure his current squad remains untouched.

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