wenger..

My Arsenal Transfer Conundrum

As the transfer madness continues all around us, it seems the manager who never has been an advocate for making wholesale changes to his squad is yet again spewing the need to take a more internal look on the subject of improving the team with one eye on external solutions. With the current pensive nature of the fan base, most would assume the club has assumed a blind disposition towards external solutions to problems identified months ago.

Wenger, as expected, says we are still active till the last minute looking for improvements. Speaking a few days ago he stated:

“of course, we are looking to strengthen our squad,” he said. “We are in the transfer market, but we are focused on concentrating on our players – we have to get them ready for the season.”

To be honest, it’s difficult to rationalize the club’s handling of its transfer business. Wenger says football exists in a vacuum when it comes to the amount of money being spent on purchases. In my opinion, he also exists in a vacuum when it comes to managers and their sole rights to determine how, who and when a football club decides to sign a player.

With globalization and the influx of money, Wenger admits the Premier League has created a monster and now has to live with its gift or curse dependent on which side of the bargaining table you are on. This knowledge, however, has not translated into action that will see the club sign the players it desperately needs to compete.

Arsenal currently operates like a company with a track record of having a poor on-boarding process. Imagine being employed at a firm and on Day one , you are without essential items like ID, a computer, desk, login rights, etc. You certainly will get all these items in due course; however, your first impression of the organization and its human resource department would be one of a poor internal process.

Juxtapose that situation with Arsenal; we always seem unprepared for the first game of the season and it worse this year given it was public knowledge that players who go far in the Euros would return late. Even if we sign the striker today, a position we need to fill since the end of last season, he will be unprepared to start a game for us. Reinforcements have always been needed at center back and long-term injury to Per Mertesacker in what can be considered his last season at the club should have catalyzed the signing of a central defender, our snail-like approach to issues have left us in a situation where our pairing on Sunday is certainly makeshift.

I fell in love with Arsenal because of Ian Wright & Dennis Bergkamp, the love was further deepened because of our style of play and finally sealed due to the principles I learnt over time the club stood for. Values such as self-sustainability, promoting from within and its profound believe in value. I love that even now, in the midst of the craziness, we are somewhat alone in our refusal to join the sign anyone at any price bandwagon. However, none of these things equate to the kind of inactivity and confusing statements that come out of the club with regards its ability to compete.

I will continue to have a bias for talent that comes through our youth set up; it was one of my first attractions to Arsenal but the I wonder what the new reality is for Arsene Wenger especially when he talks about focus being on finding internal solutions to our problem and focusing on the squad he has. I have always wondered what perspective Wenger looks at his players individually and collectively. Does he walk into the training ground look at a player and ask these questions:

– Is this the best player I have in this position?
– Is this the best player I can find in this position?
– How does this player individually compare to players of his position is clubs I am competing with?

Or does Wenger work only with an internal metric in only his head that analyses abilities he thinks a player per position should have and once a player currently at Arsenal fits that bill, he blinds himself to any options that might exist outside his system.

How much should influence should quality of your competitors acquisitions have on your transfer activity? Should we reacting or set our standards and follow our paths and hope it takes us to victory. What do you think?

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