It appears the transfer window is going to close with Arsenal making just the one signing, that of Petr Cech.
The disappointment of the majority of fans is clear. They wanted more.
They see what they think are weaknesses and can’t understand why these weaknesses have not be addressed. Which is fair enough really because every fan wants to see the team getting stronger and more competitive. Every fan, all of us. To dismiss this feeling of being let down is stupidity. It exists and as such it can’t be ignored.
I read things like this all the time:
“You are not telling me with £70 million we can’t buy someone better than Flamini.”
Well actually no one is telling them that – because we could.
Then you get:
“If you can’t get world class, you strengthen the squad.”
Now this is when it gets tricky, because this is logic that is undeniable.
It’s a fact that if you replace any player in the squad with a better player, then the chances of winning are increased. The only possible argument against this is that squad harmony could be upset and the famous “cohesion” might be weakened. But that’s a very flimsy argument to say the least. So why not give ourselves the best possible chance of winning?
It’s simple right?
Unfortunately, it’s anything but simple. It never is.
Let’s run with the £70 million figure that seems to be doing the rounds.
If we had used that to buy – let’s say Benzema – that might have given us a 25% (ok, I know I’m pulling figures out of thin air, but bear with me) better chance of winning the league. That’s decent value and money that might be well spent. However, we couldn’t get him. Or Lewandowski or Cavani or Aguero. In fact no one who would increase the chances of winning by that sort of margin.
So let’s say instead we bought Schneiderlin, he is better than Flamini.
But he is not a DM and so would he be better than Coquelin?
So would he play? Yes he would have been cover, but he might have increased our chances of winning by 1% or 2%. So the outlay must be compared to how much of a better chance it gives us.
Whether we like it or not, football is a business and has to adhere to the basic rules of business and ‘value for money’ is one of those rules.
Someone, be that Arsene, Stan, Ivan or anyone, has to decide how the money is best used.
With transfer inflation it might just be that we can only buy one world class player every other year.
The only thing I know for sure is that I don’t know all the facts and so I can’t really draw any worthwhle conclusions as to why we have not spent more in this particular window.
It looks like we were willing to, but couldn’t find the player or players that would meaningfully increase our chances.
We march on as we are.