All Guns Blazing: Arsenal’s dearth of signings leaves Wenger with no excuses
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
In our Arsenal fan’s column, Uche Amako says the current crop of Gunners have to step up to the plate this season.
There can be no excuses.
If in May 2016 after 38 games, Arsene Wenger rues the fact Arsenal had problems in midfield and attack, he will deserve every bit of criticism which comes his way.
After signing only Petr Cech from Chelsea, Wenger has made the bold decision not to sign an outfield player in the transfer window.
The Frenchman is well known for his unwavering trust and belief in his players but he will now be under the heaviest scrutiny he’s faced in his time at Arsenal.
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The money was seemingly there but Wenger opted not to use it. His nearest rivals have spent close to £400m strengthing their squads.
Arsenal finished 12 points behind Champions Chelsea in the Premier League last season. Is Cech enough to overcome that points difference? Time will tell but if the unconvincing performances from the opening four matches of season continue, the Gunners could be out of the title race by winter.
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Despite everything he’s done for Arsenal, Wenger’s relationship with the fans is currently on a precipice. Should his decision not to sign any players fail, the already fragile atmosphere at the Emirates would turn poisonous regardless of his achievements.
Players like Francis Coquelin, who this time last season appeared highly unlikely to play again for Arsenal, must repay Wenger’s confidence. Had the French midfielder been signed in January for £25m, he would have been lauded for his performances. He was a major factor in Arsenal’s revival in the second half of the season but he has to maintain that level week in, week out.
The same applies to Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.
Ozil’s languid body language at times does him no favours but if Arsenal are to achieve their ambitions, he has to take more responsibility and dominate matches.
By not signing a striker, Wenger is reliant on Giroud proving his considerable sceptics wrong. There is a significant dearth of genuine world class forwards in the modern game currently.
Given the lack of proven alternatives available to buy, you can see why Wenger was unconvinced about spending a huge sum of cash. No player comes with a cast iron guarantee but with so much at stake, big money purchases have to deliver.
There aren’t many better judges of players than Wenger. He’s made mistakes sure, but more often than not he has got it right. Let’s hope for Arsenal’s sake, his faith in this current crop had not been misplaced.
Follow me @Uche Amako