Today is a guest post from Naill @tuwituwo
There’s been a lot said, written and vented about Arsenal and AW in the last couple of weeks. All of which is negative. It seems that those who have fallen out of love with AW are finally getting their chance to explode this season. Within this I thought I would add my thoughts into the frame, whilst I am also hoping to use this as a chance to debate with myself about where I am.
So what is my take on the main point from either side:
1 – money in the bank and didn’t spend –
the debate goes along the lines that we had money to spend and if we had we would have a improve chance of winning the league. Now whilst it’s impossible to know for sure, we can look to see what others have done. Man city spent a net spend of £124m, United spent £108m (although net spend was only £30m following sale of Di Maria). Spending money hasn’t brought them the success they both craved. Both teams still have big gaps. Just for comparison arsenal’s net spend was £8m. Clearly though it’s not an all or nothing debate and there might have been a chance to add someone else……
2 – players available who would have improved the squad – lists have been banned around including:
Yarmalenko (don’t know much about), Isco (at Madrid, with a new manager and finding his feet) Goetze (Playing at was arguably the best team in the world) Draxler (yes moved but was coming back from injury and hasn’t really set the world alight) Reus (turned Madrid down).
Essentially then yes they are good players but for very valid reasons weren’t realistic transfers. The only one that I keep reflecting on is Dybala who moved from Palermo to juventus. He cost them €32m but is now tearing it up and looks good. We were linked and I assume we (wrongly now I believe) bulked at the price.
Although as I have just demonstrated its easy to look back and said what should have been. It’s also easy to skip over the fact that every summer for the last three years AW has brought in a world class player.
3 – due to new tv money coming this year, not spending has weakened the position – the argument goes that a strength over last couple of years has been the “war chest” and this significance of drops as the new TVs money rolls in.
This is clearly true, although you have to argue how much was it a strength in the first place. The below table is taken from transferleague.co.uk:
As it shows our war chest (assuming it’s £70m) could just about fund the purchasing of west brom for the last five years. It also would have meant our spending could have matched liverpools, and that’s not gone great.
4 – wenger has lost it
Whilst Arsenal are struggling at the moment, 2 wins from last 11, and would be storming ahead if they could have done better, the above argument appears to ignore that no major team has done well in the premier league this year. Everyone is tripping up. If you had said to any Arsenal fan that at the beginning of March, will be 8 points behind top with only city left to play out of the big 4. They would have taken. In a heart beat. It could have been better (should have been) but it’s not over yet.
I do believe though that there is some learning from this year. I think the area that has legitimacy is not having a suitable replacement for santi. It should be said that two years ago I thought his legs had gone and he was to slow to play on the wing, unlike aw I didn’t think of playing him through the middle. What a master stroke. His ability to be a deep laying play maker is sorely missed. JW can do it, AR can’t. The Spurs game demonstrates this. Did AW expect JW back sooner, I don’t know but this role is key to making us tick.
Whilst the last two or three months have been highly frustrating and damaging, there are some key questions that I now want to answer:
- Is this season over? no.
- Can Arsenal still win the league? yes
- Will they win the league? No idea but this is what makes the league so interesting!
5 – better managers available
Finally there are blogs appearing which are rating likely replacements http://shewore.com/2016/03/04/rating-le-groves-future-arsenal-managers/
Whilst reviewing the list the only one who jumps out is Simeone. The same Simeone who turned down Chelsea to stay at A.madrid. The rest don’t appear to have the experience or track record to justify a major club. Plus United (likely), Chelsea and city are all changing managers and will go through a period of change then stability becomes a strength. Before deciding whether putting our club at the risk of significant change (and we can all see what that lead to at United, who have the financial resources to survive it) then let’s see how the season does unfold. Let’s do the review in the cold light of day as we could still do the domestic double!!