I was feeling fairly optimistic that at least two new additions would soon be arriving at the Emirates in the January transfer window. It felt it was prudent, necessary, even crucial and would assist Emery to lock down a top four slot.
Then, my bubble of fantasy, containing a host of famous and emerging prospects was burst by Arsenal’s head of football,Raul Sanllehi when he was quoted as saying
“I don’t believe much in the winter window,”
He might as well have put the ticket prices up at the same time, cancelled the entire season and Christmas too.
He continued to pour lemon onto an open wound
“There are exceptions, but if you have the right plan in the summer and the team are performing at the level you expect, you should not go to that window or try to avoid it.
“It’s there for emergencies, a big injury or if something is really not working and you need to recover there.”
So, the brave new World behind the scenes at Arsenal is exactly the same as the one before.
The ambition of the club was a flickering candle light that was snuffed out when they opened the door to let Gazidis out.
Instead of a speculate to accumulate philosophy, Arsenal have decided on a make do and stack the cash strategy.
They have just secured a lucrative shirt deal worth millions but Sanllehi’s statement appears to suggest that it wont be used to bolster the squad.
After years of scrimping and scrapping to finance a stadium and years of selling their best players, those in power still don’t understand what the fans want.
The hierarchy have employed an excellent manager but are virtually telling him then to work with what’s available, even if that results in failure.
Fans love Emery’s energy , squeezing out every last drop of effort.
Emery is doing an excellent job and has exceeded my own expectations.
After the opening two matches of the season, one could be forgiven for thinking that the mid table was beckoning, such was the size of the task at hand.
Yet, what he has achieved so far will quickly be undermined by the lack of a decent central defender, creative midfielder or winger.
In fact there may be more outgoings than incomings and Emery and the fans will have to look toward the summer for that injection of additional quality.
Perhaps Sanllehi just wanted to dampen fan expectations. Perhaps he was being media savvy and what he says and does are two different things.
I personally, find it hard to believe that they have employed Sven Mislintat to merely watch over Arsenal’s academy.
I would have thought he was bought to reconstruct an Arsenal side that were light years behind Manchester City and some considerable distance from winning anything meaningful.
Despite clearing out the old farts and old duffers from the boardroom, it appears that the mentality lives on.
Owner, Stan Kroenke, seems content with ruling the roost and using the club as a commercial asset.
He has simply bought a business in a prestigious league which sits and nicely in a portfolio with other less glamorous acquisitions.
Fans generally don’t give a shit about that stuff, they want to be entertained and believe that their club can achieve success but to do this, it requires occasional investment.
Emery needs the support to take Arsenal forward and he only requires a maximum of three or four players, after which he can blood academy players in the premiership.
Many may respond to my accusation about a lack of investment by saying that Arsenal have secured the likes of Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang but that was after a significant period of stagnation and lack of available funds.
Danny Welbeck’s injury may prompt a rethink but I’m pretty sure that had that not occurred, Arsenal May have rolled the dice until the end of the season, chancing their luck.
The majority of fans accepted that it would take at least two further transfer windows to get back on terms but this will be seen as a major blow.
The AST (Arsenal supporters trust) had reservations regarding Kroenke’s purchase of the club and the impact on the club, including its transfer policy
‘The AST have forecast that, after all their spending in 2018, Arsenal will have a transfer budget next summer of around £40 million. The situation will then improve following new shirt sponsorship and kit deals that begin next year.’
- The Telegraph Oct 2018.
Arsenal’s wage bill is at an all time high and it would seem that the departure of Aaron Ramsey is partly to reduce the running costs. That doesn’t exactly bode well for a January or summer transfer window.
What’s the point of having a fantastic stadium but not being able to perform to the required standards. The aim was to win trophies and if the purchase of the Emirates has made that a secondary consideration, they should have stayed at Highbury.
The day that Kroenke took control at Arsenal was a move in the wrong direction, he knows as much about football as I know about Justin Bieber.
How he decides to pay that massive sum off (£600m) is debatable but it could have a lasting impact on the club, far greater than the sideways move to the Emirates.