Arsenal Fail To Spend

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.

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124 comments on “Arsenal Fail To Spend

  1. No problem Andrew,glad it got through as I still prefer the way you guys at PA stop the weasels getting through,especially after having been end the end of some persons insanity on UA earlier this week, kind of wish they weren’t so tolerant. Although its always a pleasure to see Fins swoop in and give them a razzing and leave again!
    Odd times at Arsenal, but for me I feel I just want to enjoy the matches more rather than get lured in loony tunes. I really don’t think Wenger or the lads deserve any of this hysteria.
    If I was an Arsenal player I would be insulted by much of our fan base, but glad to be supported and understood by the rest, and equally glad that Wenger totally believes in my abilities.
    Time to give Joke City a thrashing, then Chelsea too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes it is a somewhat strange situation Mills

    About three or four months ago the vast majority of Arsenal fans, including the Scarfists and the fence sitters were enthusiastic that we had the best squad in years, had quality players and back up in every position on the pitch, and just as importantly our players had not been suffering long term lay offs through injury anything like as much as previous seasons.

    Fast forward the button to the Community Shield, the optimism went up a notch. Jose vanquished, the quality of our football shining through, a new keeper and a couple of youngsters shining in pre season to further add to our already impressive resources.

    Four weeks later WE ARE FUCKING DOOMED.

    And why ?

    Because we did not join in the transfer hysteria and shell out tens of £££ millions for unnamed ‘world class players’ who may or may not have added to our ambitions to achieve well this season. That they are unnamed, entirely unknown as far as I understand, and may or may not have been available matters not a tinker’s cuss to the Scarfists, AST and the usual fickle fence sitters. They are too busy whining about their “rights” and their “demands” of the club.

    They should do themselves, and me, a favour and commit mass seppuku before the Stoke game on the concourse. That would get Stan’s/Arsene’s/Ivan/Uncle Tom Cobley’s attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dancing in the streets when the trophies are paraded and the tickets for the Wembley games are available.

    Dancing round the gallows desperate for a victim when a breath of possible disappointment wafts towards them.

    We at PA know them so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrew, what worries me is people being an emotional puppet to the ups and downs of AFC.I realise I’m pretty old fashioned but Im all for enjoyment of each match. The first game I ever saw AFC lost at home to Ipswich back in 1979, the curtain opener of the 78/79 season, the FAC was paraded around with pride and we lost 0-2-yet it was still great, the Arsenal fans accepted it. And that was a bastardos of a season, 75 games? I cant recall exactly but all that way to the FAC and CWC finals and coming away with nothing and then Brady leaving. Imagine the poop Terry Neil would have got for “not replacing” Brady. Well he couldn’t, because it wasnt possible.Same with Vieira and Wenger.Imagine our fan base after the 79/80 season, I think they couldn’t have coped! Ray Parlour is loved now but would this lot have supported him?
    Wengers been trying to get a group of lads together who can click personally off and on the field for a long time, and back to back FAC wins shows that. Of course they were cocky against WHU, in the same way we were in the FAC final against Ipswich in 78, Wenger knows if he can teach them to ride these storms then alls well. Its tough for a player when you go behind and the crowd is anxious and the other team know how to exploit that.
    To me( and I understand all criticisms against me here) but winning the league is a bit like the joke in Annie Hall.When Alvys in bed with the loony reporter and starts ridiculing her pseudo intellectual bs: ” I think there is so much emphasis on the orgasm as it makes up for other empty areas”, except I dont agree with Alvy, its actually winning that’s ultimately empty(or at least a short lived feeling of superiority) and its the journey along thats the fulfilling bit.But its not that I dont wont to win,of course I do but I no longer wish to be distracted from the whole experience.Either that go and hide in the Orgasmatron in the film Sleeper, and stay in there!!
    But Im on cloud 9, but I’d rather be there than cloud poop- head as many of our fan base are.
    I agree with you that many AFC fans swing with the wind emotionally. If they could control their negativity and fear and transmute that into really supporting Im sure the whole club would be lifted just that bit further…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Eds I had to look it up!

    Dat Guy is in second place a goal behind lewandowski having played a game less.

    Not too shabby is it?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 2008 options

    Ade = the big lump
    RVP = all rounder who has been developed at the club
    Eduardo = South American maverick genius who was a striker but often switched to the left in a defensive phase of a match (though many Rxperts apparently kept on missing these tactical changes over the long long years, hard to believe eh?)

    2015 options

    Giroud: the big lump
    Sanchez: South American genius forward who plays wide but can also play as a striker / forward type thing.
    Welbeck: all rounder who is being developed at the club.

    Walcott: = the Wiltord option

    And, yup, there’s more in the squad!

    Eddy is correct. We have witnessed a PR campaign this summer designed by self declared Experts in PR in order to attack AFC. Doesn’t matter why, I don’t think anyone can reasonably claim otherwise.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. And for any of you minded to raise a glass to absent friends this week;


    September 6, 2014 at 7:08 pm Edit
    Hi folks. I’m just writing to say hello. It is not clear whether or when I could post again. Long story, medical-related. I’ve been in intensive care unit for some weeks, now home.

    I just wanted to say what a lovely experience it has always been, on PA and the earlier vintage, meeting you, chatting and engaging. I consider a number of people here my very good friends, over many years.

    Wellbeck was always going to be controversial, AW and Co settled on 16m, a tidy amount so rest assured AW rates him extremely highly already. I doubt, like a few deals it was any kind of a short term damage control idea, but an idea AW has been mooting for a while, fast-forwarded by the injury. As usual, shrewd.

    We haven’t played to potential, and yet, with a tricky start, we have not lost. Now a testing run to come! We look good. Theo to come, a few fitness issues here and there.

    Otherwise, a team to truly admire; balanced, fast, exciting, bold. I have to say I have been impressed with Jack too, even though he has been criticized. His work rate is good, his passing and movement is better then one thinks (he makes it look easy). He is a star, and he will get better as he gets playing time.

    Chambers is probably the best buy and most important decision we have made, all things considered, exceptional, immaculate, controlled (player) and clever (the manager). I tip my old hat to AW! I never heard of him. I am so impressed at his game.

    Bye Arsenal friends!
    Love you lots!

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Thanks for that reminder, Andy: a wonderful man. And thanks too to Mills for your comments: no criticisms of you here at all. I remain convinced we are in for one heck of a ride this season, although of course we now know that whatever is achieved on the pitch will no longer be good enough.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Danny Welbeck eh?, bloody hell.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yes, as has been said before, some people aren’t happy without something to have a good ol’ moan about – for them, it’s like eating, drinking and breathing is for the rest of us. Sad bastards.
    I have this fantasy of us winning the PL, the CL and the FA Cup and some mad bugger will STILL come along and say, “Yeah, but think what we coulda done with xxxxx in the team.”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for that link, andrew – a very interesting and well-written piece, which also happens to reflect my views on the issue. Never was one for conspiracy theories.
    Who killed JR?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Brought a few tears there, anicoll. Miss that gentleman dearly, anicoll. I looked up to ZP and all of you as a very young man new to Arsenal and the world at large and he had a huge hand in molding me into the man I have become today. He was a fantastic spirit and his ability to cut through the hysteria and stay level headed in the most trying of times was the stuff of legend. He was a top man and his kindness will never be forgotten.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. FH, thanks for the nod, not sure I bring much to the party though,yet for all Ive waffled on about I do understand the young kids wanting to win at all cost,but at “all cost” may never be Arsenal, but grown men wanting to win at all cost(and I mean people who continue to be irrational and hysterical after the 90mins have finished) all seems a bit potty. But theres nothing I can do. Even if we did spend! spend! spend! there’s still no guarantee of becoming champions. I worry though that Özil and Sánchez will get deliberately booted about in the next couple of games.
    Im just glad I dont support City or Chelsea, cheque book clubs, hollow victories, like those idiots that shoot lions in cages and say they are hunters.I’d rather support the O’s than City or Chelsea.I really respect people that follow teams like that.Somehow even we are spoilt at Arsenal.Certainly my perspective of Wenger is a man who transformed our club, and still believes in nurturing talent and watching it blossom over cheque book remedies.And at least he doesnt play the playground games like José.What an insecure bloke José is.And really dislikeable, but Im sure hes conceited enought to like being unlikeable and thnks it makes him a hero.
    But you guys are lucky you have a community of smart people who can have a good discussion amongst yourselves not this endless debating everywhere with anger abusive people.I think many people from UA would like it here and others further a-field who might not know you exist.
    In a week when a good friend of mine died, all thoughts to you guys at PA and your friend ZimPaul, looks like he was a super intelligent man.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. such bad news w.r.t to welbeck.

    we do look little thin up front. i hope walcott/giroud/sanchez keep fit because we are going to need all three of them to play to their potential.

    common Arsene, work your magic…i really do not like the timing of the injury..adds more pressure on us 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Our Zimpaul… Sorely missed…..

    Once in a while please bring out these tiny reminders of how eloquently the capabilities in our players was described by him… gladly he witness the beginnings for many of these and was able to eloquently describe them before his sad departure!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I’m with Fins and Mandy as far as that UA piece goes. Things do seem to be changing but that stat that shows we had more pens given against us five years running is shocking considering our typical domination of games. I think back to pens like the one given on Koscielny at Stoke for that ridiculous handball and its hard to say those happen to everyone. On the other side of the coin you’ve got Cahill sliding through our lads from behind studs up in crucial games with absolutely no repercussions. Its a joke and I can’t agree with that article for the life of me. I’m no conspiracy theorist just calling it like I see it. Ferguson alone ought to prove there was/is something fishy going on.


  17. I think my recognition of the two separate species of Arsenal supporters came four/five years back following a 5-1 win at home against admittedly quite modest opposition Mills. A mid to lower end PL side.

    Admittedly it was a side we should have beaten, but they defended hard and we genuinely played well, scored four special goals and it was a very satisfactory results, enjoyable.

    I assumed therefore the discussion would be relaxed, complimentary of our efforts, the goals, focussing of the quality we had shown.

    Not a bit of it – the BIG issue for at least 50% of the group was Almunia and that the opposition put a goal past him.

    ” No clean sheet again” “He isn’t fit to wear the shirt blah blah”, “Sign a decent keeper, spend some farkin money” etc.

    These people could not enjoy themselves if their lives depended on it.

    Another species as far as I am concerned, their DNA infected with chronic dysphoria

    Liked by 1 person

  18. the news that Welbeck will be out for months after having knee surgery will no doubt have AAA/WOB in full meltdown/revolt, and to be honest I don’t think anyone can argue that this news gives them more ammunition. I’m sure all those who called for Charlie Austin to be signed will feel vindicated big time now. The timing of the news would have you believe that AFC is trolling the mob.

    I’m sure our medical staff’s ability will have by now been called into question, as Welbeck has had this injury since early May, and now 4 months later he has an op that will keep him out for months. If he had undergone the op in May he would likely be back fit now. Well that would be their reasoning, never mind what is actually the best medical practice for a bruised bone.


  19. Paul Merson – “just put in a bid of £75M for Benzema and if Real say he is not for sale, then so be it, but anything else is cheating the Arsenal fans”

    now if proof was ever needed of the harm drugs do to the brain, then this from Merson is all the evidence ever needed.
    With financial advice like that its no wonder Merson squandered the many millions he earned as a player.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. I certainly understand your point of view Andrew. About a year ago wrote something on UA, which went into depth about how these people will never be satisfied, its a black hole that can never be filled. But articles are sadly soon forgotten, and the same old counter-arguments come drifting around.Moaning about a 5-1 just goes to show how sad things are/have been for a long time.I don’t agree with their attitude at all.But I do look around and amongst all the fighting on the internet there are many people who are feel really confined by the capitalism /attitude of the world at the moment,and want to do something about it, not necessarily in an aggressive way either.
    Strange how we all thought capitalism in the 80s was bad, it wasn’t anything like this.OT, but for me the biggest victim of capitalism is culture, and then the lack of sportsmanship,I just dont see why football culture has to become so insane .But football certain soaks up energies that would otherwise be aimed at other things, and perhaps its a good service it does.Some of my favourite games I ever played in the team lost such was the passion but joy for just simply playing.losing to York City,Swindon, Bradford and Oxford was horrible but I was really pleased for those fans.Well maybe not Swindon, but certainly the others.
    Its funny that many fans think they have a “right to win”, ie. WHU have just as much right to win as we do.To me the loss versus WHU was psychological based not really being outplayed.They grabbed a few chances and the confidence of the CF and CS soon crumbled away. It can easily happen, I played in sides to whom it happen and inflicted it on others.Strange how a team can go a bit chicken brained and panics and the other team rises to it.But many fans forget these are world class players, fully fit and mentally agile and know well the laws of physics.They couldnt ever do what theyre doing.
    I have a fond memory of going to the CWC( oh no not another drift down memory lane!)qrt.F match v Götenburg at Highbury. Soon on we went one nil down, but sitting next to me was some old guy whose heyday must have been the 30s/40s who just said”that will wake them up!” And it did we won 5-1.But I liked his cool attitude, >lets just wait and see and not panic< and he was right. he was the kind of bloke that applauded when the opposition scored a great goal. I would love to see a bit more of that again…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Very disappointing news on Welbeck. If the club had a good idea about it in advance, it makes me think it’s even more likely we put in immense efforts to bring in a striker and that, yep, the market really is that bad.

    Can’t help thinking almost any manager in the world would have taken the easy option in this situation. A signing, any signing almost, just to half-placate the unhappier masses. On the face of it, there is little to lose, for Wenger especially, and maybe something to gain in spending 10-15 million on a bit of a gamble, like Njie.

    Short term, it’d take the edge of the criticism and might even, if there’s any truth in players tending to get a boost from new arrivals, give the squad a quick initial lift.

    But…if you didn’t have any strong feeling said player was likely to add much to what you have, and if time proved you correct in that assessment, you’d have committed maybe twenty million pounds of the club’s money badly, and messed with another person’s (short) career.

    All the same, I believe that temptation would prove irresistible to most managers. After all, they wouldn’t have bought someone they were certain wouldn’t prove a good signing, and that’s normally enough for people to square it with their conscience.

    Impossible as it is to get far with the old ‘what would i have done?’, I think I’d have taken the easy option. It’s a bad policy for life, but what about the next few weeks, what about today?

    All upside : less criticism, little boost for squad ( though maybe only for a week if the player isn’t all that good), extra body and just maybe some extra quality. Rodgers would do it, Redknapp would do it, most of them would do it.

    That’s how most managers would play it and most managers don’t make it to two years.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. “Arsenal were the only club from the top five European leagues not to sign an outfield player during the summer.”

    So what of the youngsters? they are not outfield players, cos they did not cost a fortune? reine, fortune and a few others i think even up to 5 new players besides cech!

    Liked by 1 person

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