Arsenal finally showing some ambition

Date: 1st September 2011 at 11:30 am
Written by: | Comments (3)

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All hope for this season is not lost. It’s a shame it took an 8-2 defeat to provoke this, but at last we have spent some money on some new players, with a transfer window deadline day to remember.

First to be confirmed was Andre Santos from Fenerbache. A Brazilian left-back who will presumably be first choice following Gaël Clichy’s departure and Kieran Gibbs’ persistent injury problens.

Later in the afternoon Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen was the next to be paraded on the official site. Amazingly, Wenger fulfilled his promise of signing a tall centre-back, by signing one of the tallest of the lot.

Late in the day the loan signing of Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea was confirmed, with the Israel captain choosing us over Spurs.

And even later in the day, perhaps the most exciting of them all, Everton’s Mikel Arteta was announced as Arsenal’s final signing of the summer.

I could, as I always do, complain a little. I could say I would’ve gone for Baines and Cahill over Santos and Mertesacker. Sure, we would’ve paid more for them, but I could say that, with that, you get the assurance that they’ve played in this league and won’t have too much trouble settling in. But I won’t complain too much.

I could also look at the recent fitness records of Arteta and Benayoun and say they’re not great, which is a concern in an already injury-prone squad, but I won’t go there for the moment.

Above all, I could say that with Wenger’s recent record in the transfer market and this worrying trend of exciting players like Arshavin, Rosicky and Chamakh all degressing massively under Wenger, that it doesn’t matter a great deal who we sign, and while that is a genuine concern, I’m still very glad that we did sign them.

I’m very glad, mostly, because for a change we’re signing players at the peak of the game. Just look at the ages – 28, 26, 29, 31; no messing around with untested teenagers or unwanted veterans. Finally we’ve seen a step in the right direction and a change in our transfer policy; we’re signing players to come in and do a job NOW.

As I said, it’s a shame it took the 8-2 defeat to really spark us into life, and it’s a shame we couldn’t have avoided this humiliation by getting our business done earlier in the summer, but there’s still January to come and maybe this won’t be the last of the spending. There is, after all, still work that needs doing on this squad, but at least now we look like a top four finish might not be so out of the question.

It’s worth noting from the reactions on Twitter, of Jack Wilshere in particular, just how excited the players get about these signings as well as us. Hopefully the ambition shown by the manager and the board can lift the spirits at the club a bit. It seems to be working at Liverpool, that’s for sure.

The burning question is: Are we better now than we were last season?

Defensively I’d say yes. Of course you never know how players from other leagues will adapt, but at the same time here we’re talking about experienced internationals who haven’t been coached by Wenger all their careers, which can only be a good thing. Clichy was a liability at the back and provided zero attacking threat, which certainly can’t be said of Santos, who has impressive stats in goals and assists. He is Brazilian, after all.

Sadly, attacking-wise we are inevitably looking weaker. Arteta is no Fabregas, but Jack Wilshere is a year older now and could grow into that role, while Arteta might give us something a little different, and perhaps more direct. He has a good long range strike and free kick on him and hopefully won’t have that Arsène’d out of him too soon.

As for Benayoun, it all depends on his fitness, but he is arguably an improvement on Nasri, who had a few good months last year, having consistently provided goals and assists at Liverpool. The reassuring thing as well, of course, is that if he flops we can just send him back to Stamford Bridge next season, whereas if he impresses we will surely have first option to sign him permanently. As a lover of saving money, I am surprised Wenger doesn’t go for loans more often.

Anyway, the fans have chanted for the club to ‘spend some f*cking money’, and finally we have our wish. The official site was down earlier, presumably from visitor overload, and there’s a buzz about being a Gooner again. At last.

3 thoughts on “Arsenal finally showing some ambition

  • Recep
    1 month ago

    , well more than any other seaosn this one is an up and down seaosn. But I’ve changed my mind watching Man U, Chelsea, and Liverpool destroy their opposition week in and week out will do that to you. Chelsea have allowed a stingy 4 goals this seaosn, their goal differential is an insane 28 while Arsenal have allowed a whopping 15 (10 of which were at home). Far from the idea that there has been a contraction in talent this seaosn, rather, more than any other seaosn Arsenal are the ones who look ordinary.For me, this plainness in the squad comes down to the one position: Fabregas’ water carrier. I have watched Denilson and he is not good enough Barry showed the gulf in class in that position yesterday. I don’t care what Wenger says, Denilson cannot cope with the most crucial position on this Arsenal team. He’s a good kid and all, he means well, but he’s not able to do it. I have to wonder if Wenger doesn’t already know all you have to do is look at the fact that Wenger is playing 5 men in the midfield at home games to see that he doesn’t think Denilson can do it.Put someone in there with Cesc who has fire in his belly, someone who will help control the tempo, someone strong, commanding, and someone who can provide some leadership and this is a very different Arsenal team. Basically, it would be the Arsenal team of last year minus the pointless dribbling of Hleb and plus the goalscoring of Nasri.So, if I was Wenger, I would sign someone like Appiah, now. Then, I might also change my game plan a bit and play a little less open. Have the defenders not get so far forward. Maybe ask the keeper to come and claim some balls off set pieces. Reign in the radical experiment just a little, because what they are doing right now, just isn’t working. Every team in the EPL has to look at what Hull, Fulham, Sunderland, Stoke, and now Aston Villa has done and be excited to play Arsenal that has to be seen as love’s labour lost.

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  • Alice
    4 weeks ago

    Mr anonymous (18:21) I think all the peploe that comment on this blog and other realtive blogs do support and care about the gunners and mr wenger, but what arsene seems to be forgetting is that the peploe that go to watch them every home game are paying alot of money for the privelage and making sacrifices to do so,to coin an american phrase if they don’t put a good “product” on the field, supporters will stop making those sacrifice and financially arsenal will be in worse trouble.if we go on like this being mediocre we eill be fighting for 5th or 6th place and cesc wil be gone in the summer(I thingk he is already 3/4 of the ay the already,you would not see mr ferguson fall in love with his players as arsene does if they don’t play well they are dropped or sold. he has a really great team and stocks it with 1or 2 extremely good players each year even if they are very expensive, buy 3-7 million poundplayers and get a 3-7 mill team rather than a very good team, as my dad used to tell me don’t be penny wise and pund foolish as weseem to be at the moment.and to reply to the peploe who say we have great younsters coming through yes we may do but how manyhave left before they given us there talents flamini, anelka, bently to name just three.so mr wenger you owe the supportersa great team for now and the future with maybe a mixture of bought experience and nurtured players otherwise instead of 57-60000 attendance you may have 25-40000, I wish us all the best for now andthe future …thanks

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  • Fredy
    2 weeks ago

    Il have to disagree with that. beentndr is not awesome. iv never seen anything that will tell me otherwise.everytime i see him play he brings nothing to the table. iv seen him do 1 good pass against westham, and one good header against spurs. in about 30 games iv watched him in hes done nothing else.its the same with song, he looks like hes stoned all the time, slow and lazy.players like ramsey, vela, JD fabianski, wilshire, they show promise, you see it when they play bendnter and song are just shit.i dont blame wenger, hes put his faith in this shower of shit and look how theyve repaid the greatest manager in the clubs history.i feel now though, that wenger has seen sense, hes stood by them long enough, he cant defend tham anymore and until xmas he can do nothing, but we will see signings.he’ll rebuild now for next year, hes got no choice, we are fighting for fouth spot this season and our rivals for that position have just beaten us at home. the emirates was supposed to be a fortress, that was highlighted at the AGM, and weve lost twice already.the reserves are tearing it up and the 1st team are punching above their weight. the future holds much promise but the present leaves much to be desired. the future is important to the club, but the present is essential for the future to succeed.

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