Arsène Wenger, What You Up To?
“Le Professeur” at Arsenal holds a degree in Economics. And he also happens to be their miserly Manager. He is widely credited for revolutionizing English football and has gone on to become the longest serving manger at the North London club. But patience is running thin at Arsenal and time is running out for the Frenchman.
Arsène Wenger is one of the finest mangers to have graced the shores of England. In 1996, he arrived as an unknown quantity. Not only did he turn around the fortunes of Arsenal Football Club, he made them “The Invincibles”, kept them in every season of the Champions League and in 2006, he almost took the Gunners to continental glory. The Frenchman has spoiled us to the talents of Thiery Henry, Patrick Viera, Robin Van Persie and Robert Pires. He has excited all with the Arsenal brand of football. Arsène Wenger has never craved into the transfer madness around him. He has his guiding principles. And that's hurting Arsenal. More than anything.
If the money ain’t right, I ain’t gonna dip in
When you are running a company, the Board expects minimal costs, good returns and strong performance every year. Arsène Wenger ticks all the boxes for his bosses. But the customers, well that’s a different story. Plug this into a footballing perspective and what you have is unhappy fans. And rightfully so. Top 4 finish might just not cut it anymore. Times are changing at North London. Bitter rivals Tottenham and West Ham challenging for braggin’ rights. Times are changing indeed.
True, Arsenal has faced economic crunches in moving into their new home at the Emirates Stadium. For years, this has restricted Wenger on the transfer market. A long trail of talented youngsters left for pastures greener. Players who knew that they were not complimented with world class talents around them, players who knew Arsenal’s chances for the tile was diminishing each year. Cesc Fabregas, Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy, Robin Van Persie and Samir Nasri were all wooed away from North London.
But now the coffers at Arsenal are full. It’s no secret that the manger has the cash to splash. Occasionally Wenger has uncharacteristically teased the Arsenal faithfuls and spent big on the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Big money on big names. Look at what happened last season. Arsenal jumped early to rope in Petr Cech. I was like, Man, this is the guy who will give Arsenal the edge. Wenger is finally chillin’. And then he only signed Cech. Not a single out-field player. Not one! Now that is not footballing philosophy. That is madness. Absolute madness. You can even call it a transfer shocker. I still wonder what went through the minds of all those poor Arsenal fans who were excited to see Cech only to have the adrenaline crash dive by the time the transfer window closed. Then Arsenal had their mandatory share of injuries. Arsène Wenger faced the heat from left, right, center, above and beyond. The fans even protested by walking out. This is Arsenal faithful we are talking about. Despite all the gloom, the Gunners finished second and more importantly, above Tottenham Hotspurs (Sigh, you poor poor Spurs) But it was a bitter sweet finish for the Gunners. Perhaps Wenger would never get a better chance at the title than last season, when the Premier League went absolute bonkers. For Wenger and Arsenal, it was an opportunity lost.
Arsenal needs a striker. Period.
This season, Wenger has acquired a promising holding midfielder in Granit Xhaka. The Swiss looks like a brute who can easily fit into the demands of Premier League football. But what the Arsenal faithful and the football fraternity is looking forward to is which striker will Wenger go for. Will he go for a striker at all? Ever? Surely, the Ex-Monaco manager must have learnt by now that unless he signs a talented striker he will not get his hands on that Premier league trophy again. And no Arsène, Olivier Giroud is just not good enough. Danny Welbeck has had terrible luck with injurires. And then there is Theo Walcot, well, let’s not go there. Wenger needs to be flexible. Look at Sir Alex Ferguson. When the Scot lost the title in 2011 on goal difference to Manchester City, he splashed the cash and bought in a world class striker in Robin Van Persie (Ironically, from Arsenal). And the Dutchman took the Red Devils to Premier League glory that season.
For the sake of Arsenal fans, I do hope that Wenger will buy a world class striker. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Antonie Griezmann, Marco Reus, Alvaro Moratta and even Alexandre Lacazette will fit the role at Arsenal. None of them will come cheap. And thus none of them fits the profile for Wenger. There is a good 30 days to the transfer deadline. And Arsenal faithful will have their fingers crossed. This season might just be make or break for “Le Professeur”. Patience at the Emirates is running thin at Arsenal and time is running out for Arsène Wenger.