Tomorrow marks the start of the new Premier League season. We all know about all of the players we’ve released in this transfer window and that we’ve only brought in Yaya Sanogo, who will forever be remembered as the only signing we made in the summer of 2013.
Mikel Arteta, one of our most important and experienced players looks to be out for 4 to 6 weeks with a thigh problem. Added to that, Vermaelen, Monreal, Sagna, Ramsey, Diaby, Miyaichi and Sanogo are already on the injury table, Cazorla has a 10,000 flight from Ecuador and Bendtner, Park and Frimpong have minimal involvement in years gone by.
That means that we roughly have twelve “fit” players for the seasons opener against Aston Villa, and two of those are goalkeepers.
To say the squad is threadbare would be a massive understatement.
And if clubs came in for Bendtner, Park and Frimpong then they would have been allowed to leave. So our squad could have been even more “light” on numbers.
So what is going on?
We are well past the point of making a marquee signing to appease the fans. Now Arsenal fans just want some mediocre signings to make up numbers in our increasingly depleted squad.
Most teams aim to have two players per position but we are well below that. Injuries happen all the time and God forbid we had an injury to Koscielny, Mertesacker, Szczesny or Walcott. The concern isn’t so much tomorrow’s game against Aston Villa, it’s the two Champions League qualifiers against Fenerbahce.
You do wonder what Arsene Wenger is thinking. And what does he need to do to get the sack, because completely ignoring a £70 million war chest against the wishes of Ivan Gazidis, Stan Kroenke and the rest of the board is a good way to go about it. I’ve heard from various sources now that Gazidis and Kroenke are keen on Arsenal to stay competitive and have urged Arsene to spend, while the manager has dithered in the transfer market and made some very poor decisions – including dropping interest in Gonzalo Higuain for Luis Suarez. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it was obvious from the start that Suarez is a mercenary who would jump ship from Arsenal if Real Madrid came in for him.
The strange thing is well is that Arsene hasn’t even done his bare minimum of buying cut price players from the French league. We’ve got Sanogo but no-one else. We haven’t even recruited many young Frenchmen this summer.
Many senior players such as Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Podolski and Ramsey have talked about how Arsenal need to spent to compete. But why is Arsene being so stubborn? Has he had enough and wants to get the sack? Has he lost the plot and thinks we can win the league with twelve fit players?
Or has Arsene filled his swimming pool with £50 notes? Who knows what’s going on.
There is a small part of me that still believes that the longest transfer window that ever was will end in a few signings before the hammer comes down on the 2nd of September.
Maybe, just maybe, Arsene is playing a poker game and waiting until the last days of August to swoop in to make the 4/5 new signings we need. Then again, maybe not.