Are Arsenal just playing cute by pleading poverty?

The current transfer window is one of opportunity

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Raul Sanllehi: Let’s hope he’s a busy man this month

This winter transfer window will tell us more about Arsenal and what the real ambition of the club is. The club have plenty of form in telling porkies about the reality of that ambition. The latter days of Wenger’s reign were peppered with statements from Ivan about the club’s ambition when the truth was we were in freefall. Emery has done a wonderful job so far making the whole team greater than the sum of its parts but it’s been obvious from day one that we are an accident waiting to happen in defence. A combination of injuries and hapless defending resulted in being beaten by Southampton, thereby ending a terrific unbeaten run. But in truth it could have happened a long while ago. The run has been a joy but boy have we rode our luck at times.

The harsh reality is that we are desperately short of class defenders and carrying expensive deadweight in midfield.  It’s my view that we will end up 5th/6th unless we invest. Some might argue that this isn’t bad for a first season and that we just need to give Emery time. I agree in part but the idea that he is going to be at Arsenal for 10+ years or more is fanciful. Those days of Wenger style contracts are over. He is a top manager and I am sure that if he doesn’t see a substantial improvement in playing resources and results by the end of 2020 he might be looking at other clubs. Why would you want to be competing in the Europa League and fighting for 5th every year? How long will the likes of Torriera hang around once the bigger clubs start sniffing?

This is where it gets complicated because the mood music around the club is that Arsenal don’t have much money and the January window is not viewed as good value, or so we keep being told.  We have lost Welbeck and Holding to season long injuries so something needs to be done. I am hoping that the ‘not interested’ strategy is so the club can work under the radar. But I imagine that Emery will be watching this window with huge interest. Are the club serious about their ambition or has he been sold a pup?  



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  1. peter wain

    Jan 10, 2019, 15:32 #112866

    It is quite unbelievable for the manager to have to say we have no money for transfers. Only free transfers are possible now. Where has all our money gone? To pay interest on the owners loan no doubt. We have the highest priced season tickets in the world, are not the top payers by some distance and have one of the wealthiest owners in the world. If we have no money it up to Kroenke to provide it and if he is not going to then sell up and we will get some one who will invest if the future. We have not one decent centre half in the club and not one decent defender. We need to spend in excess of £250 million on defenders and for a club of Arsenal's size and stature for us to say we have no money is a total disgrace and a lie.

  2. Jason

    Jan 8, 2019, 18:16 #112856

    I'm not sure of the actual figures so i'm putting it out there. What is the net difference in income between reaching the latter stages of the Europa League and say going out of the early stages of the Champions League and then back in to the Europa?? If its less than the amount that is needed to be spent on transfers to get in to the Champions League in the first place, why would Kroenke invest the money required. He's not worried from a footballing point of view.

  3. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Jan 4, 2019, 11:16 #112833

    Good piece Bard, I think the question that Emery will be asked will be something like "if we spend £50 million on a couple of players do you think we will get 4th place?" It is a bit of a rhetorical question, we will not make fourth place with or without purchases so a few loan deals may be all we can expect. The club has been run like this since we left Highbury.

  4. Made Up Stat

    Jan 4, 2019, 01:19 #112832

    Yes! No bin dippin Invincibles for youse!

  5. mbg

    Jan 3, 2019, 23:11 #112831

    It would be nice to think that but it's hard to know with Kroenke, with the players (plus a keeper) we're being linked with at the minute, and i know it's the usual rumours, but if true we have plenty of dough, one things for sure we badly need top players and no doubt Emery knows that too, time will tell lets hope we're all pleasently surprised.

  6. markymark

    Jan 3, 2019, 22:01 #112830

    Despite the hammering last week the premiership is still proving that any team on any one day can be beaten. Liverpool were going to crown their title before the new year and then fate lends a hand. Similarly Chelsea held to a miserable 0-0 and Spuds beaten 3-1 by Wolves. Gleefully celebrating the unbeaten record lasting another season . Well written article Bard. My view is a solid Jan window could see us 4th. A poor window and we’ll be 5th. The summer window is where the fun begins, I reckon!

  7. KC38

    Jan 3, 2019, 21:22 #112829

    Very good article with interesting questions. Indeed if the manager is set goals without a budget he won’t be the fall guy. The club has to appreciate the defensive structure of the squad requires a massive overhaul. They also have to understand Wenger has drained patient out of the fan base and treading water is a recipe for further decline.

  8. John F

    Jan 3, 2019, 20:42 #112828

    I wouldn't be surprised if very little business will be done this window.The club will probably wait for the end of contracts of Welbeck,Cech and Ramsey in the summer.The Ozil contract saga looks like it will carry on with him declaring himself happy.Why would he move as he can continue on his part time role,stay in London and carry on his business venture with Flamini.