Sky are lost without this idiot
I said at the start of the week that I expected business to be done by Arsenal this week. I was more than encouraged by Arsene Wenger's unusually candid response about transfer dealings being in the offing. As I write we are approaching the final 10 hours of the transfer window and the press have even stopped making up stories about who we might sign! The obvious deficiencies within the Arsenal squad remain unfilled, as they have for the last six years. At the same time it would seem that the dead wood, if any of them do move on, will be only on loan deals and with wages heavily subsidised by Arsenal.
We have been told time and again that there is money to spend. We have not won a trophy for seven years. We finished miles behind Manchester City last season. Surely if there is money there then someone should be damn well spending it.
When we signed Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla I think most people were very encouraged. Since then we have sold Van Persie and Song, creating holes that were not there before. If Wenger is pinning his hopes on the return of Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky then we might as well give up. I know that at least one prominent blogger is ambivalent to the need for a "defensive midfielder" but to my mind that person is just plain wrong. Every successful side of the past 10-15 years has included an out and out defensive player in its midfield - even Barcelona had Busquets who never crossed the halfway line. On a day when Nigel De Jong has gone to AC Milan for as little as £4m Arsenal's inaction is really quite sickening.
Andy Carroll has gone on loan to West Ham - why weren't we in there trying to buy the man? You can be sure Liverpool would have rather made some money back, given the opportunity. What alternatives do we have to Giroud and Podolski? Surely even Wenger can see the weakness?
Wenger's comments yesterday should have had us worried. The minute he trots out his "if we can find a top, top player" line then you know he is prevaricating. I would have hoped by now that someone at Arsenal would have told Wenger to stop coming out with this rubbish. Surely someone at the Club has noticed that the reaction to it from the supporters is negative in the extreme. Frankly it is taking the p*** out of us to talk such nonsense. The fact is that there is plenty of "top, top quality" if you are on the ball and prepared to make them available to you by offering proper money. Still, I suppose it is a little reassuring to only be in for top players. Let's face it, if we were only in for second-rate performers we'd have people like Squillaci or Park in the Arsenal squad - how embarrassing would that be?
As you may have guessed from the tone of this piece I am angry and frustrated. Once again Arsenal have had our money and seem determined to do nothing with it to reward our support. There is little we can do about it, I'm afraid. I've no doubt some people will propose boycotts and protest marches and other such nonsense if things go wrong, and to show the Club we've had enough. Such actions would, of course, be inconsistent with "supporting" Arsenal. I may be annoyed, and I may want the Manager, the Chief Executive and the owner of Arsenal to leave very quickly, but the men on the pitch in red and white will still get my support week after week.
I suppose there is still time to bring in players, but the fact that even the rumour mill has ground to a halt indicates that nothing impressive is going to happen. As I say, even the dead wood is still here. We were told that lessons had been learned as a result of last year. I would like to hear exactly what Wenger and Gazidis think they learned, because it certainly hasn't been how to get business done in order to build a side capable of challenging. The "agreement" with Theo Walcott sums up the awful approach to business that is prevalent at Arsenal - Walcott will leave for nothing in May, and there is now nothing Arsenal can do about it. Shocking.
If we do some business then I might get a chance to write a piece late tonight in reaction to any signings. Otherwise I will do the usual preview for the Liverpool game tomorrow night, when I come home from work.