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A Transfer Policy Related Rant

As of the time of writing: Manchester United have signed Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, Manchester City have acquired Fernando and Bacary Sagna *deep sigh*, Liverpool have wrapped up deals for Emre Can and Rickie Lambert whilst Chelsea have got Diego Costa and *stifles tear* Cesc Fabregas. The transfer window is almost a third of the way through and with teams starting to drop out of the World Cup, business looks set to really hot up. Radamel Falcao, Alexis Sanchez, Adam Lallana and Alberto Moreno are all supposedly on the edge of moves (depending on what you believe, of course). Meanwhile, our manager is pictured wearing pyjamas and playing beach football.

Now I’m not going to start complaining about Wenger working as a World Cup pundit, or whatever the hell he is doing at TF1. It’s stupid to suggest that he can’t be doing that whilst also working on transfers, especially considering most of the nitty gritty negotiations have nothing to do with him. What does annoy me though, is watching all our rivals acting early whilst we are dormant until pretty much halfway through August. It happened last year with failed moves for Suarez and Higuain apparently taking up 90% of the window, before Cabaye, Draxler, Viviano and Özil emerged as potential targets with about two weeks to go, the latter two joining the club. But last summer we needed a striker, another centre back, a holding midfielder and a goalkeeper and with all of that sorted - Özil should have been a deadline day luxury buy. Instead, he was all we got. We left it far too late, had to force through an emergency loan move for Viviano and were left wanting in many positions. As a result, we suffered in the mid season when our defensive fragilities and laughably predictable injury troubles returned, derailing our title challenge and shaming the club in the process with embarrassing defeats to Everton, Chelsea and Liverpool all partly attributable to the ineptness of our negotiators. 

Remarkably, the club actually managed to stay intact with Giroud (think what you will of him) admirably leading the line single handedly in both the Champions League and the Premier League. Wenger was given a second chance. But for whatever reason, be it a lack of availability or unwillingness to pay over the odds, he failed (again) to deliver what we needed in the market. If you’re one of the people who staunchly believes that the January transfer window is far too short and inflated to get any reasonable business done then fine, but why were we left so wanting in January when we had the whole summer to act with what Gazidis boasted as a ‘transfer war chest’.

The point is, in the last three transfer windows we have only spent money on two players. Mesut Özil and Nacho Monreal. On top of that we’ve brought in Mathieu Flamini, Emiliano Viviano, Kim Källstrom, Yaya Sanogo on free transfers and loans. Four of these six deals went through in the final 48 hours of the window. Whilst Arsenal fans may fantasise about a ‘big summer’ and the return of Arsenal’s status as a major footballing force, the lack of activity is rightly beginning to worry some.


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