Suarez,Rooney,Gustavo,Higuain,Bender,Benzema,di Maria and that’s just the list from the current transfer window. Some have moved on,others have stayed put. Tellingly,not one of them has moved to Arsenal yet.
Arsenal are being failed by (one of) their own. Their travails in the market have been well-documented and Arsene Wenger,their beleaguered manager,has to make calls he may intensely dislike. The proud club,who have qualified for the Champions League for 16 consecutive seasons,face serious implications of leaving it too late in the transfer market and risk being left behind in the race for Champions League qualification,let alone being league champions.
For a team that just nine years ago went undefeated for a whole season and were crowned champions,it must sting not to be called league contenders anymore.Wenger is a perfectionist who refuses to pay over the odds as decided by him. He has let Arsenal down,especially this season when the board wanted to create waves in the market with a kitty of 70mn pounds. Every Arsenal fan’s head must have spun faster than most bits of magic Henry or Bergkamp ever conjured while playing.
After transfer fiend David Dein’s departure,for every Ramsey and Cazorla,there have been Gervinho,Mannone,Chamakh,Squillaci,Santos,Denilson,Arshavin among others with the jury undecided on the rest. Despite having the resources this season,Arsene’s penchant for youth has seen Arsenal lost out on world-class players a definite upgrade from their own who could have given their squad a backbone. What they really need is a reliable goalkeeper,a defender to lead the line,a midfield enforcer why he/they let Gustavo,a Brazilian national team starter who won everything with Bayern last year,slip is a mystery and a forward like Higuain a current Argentina international,now at Napoli,who was just the kind of penalty box striker they needed to finish off moves from their silky,if defensively frail,midfield. They have only bought Yaya Sanogo yet.
As the results from Arsenal’s competitive fixtures prove,they have the players to carry them past most opposition. What they lack though,are players who win the kind of games that win titles tough matches against organised opponents.
A month ago,the Gunners gloated about an ‘escalation in financial firepower’ but all the inactivity at the Emirates has done,is resulted in an escalation of tensions.
(Hormazd is a senior sub-editor based in New Delhi)
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