Sunday, August 03, 2008
Why Wenger will buy no one else
By 1970’s Gooner
We hear the same thing every year. Arsene Wenger promises to buy two may be three players and he insists that the money is there for him if he wants it.
Then his attention is diverted in trying to keep the young stars he created from departing to what they think are pastures new.
After that he signs a couple of under 20s from either the reserves or from a second division team and finally he comes up with a big, for Arsene Wenger standards, signing in the region of about £10m.
That’s just about it and I would not expect anything different this year.
There is method in his madness of course and if you subscribe to the Wenger model of developing a football club, as I do, then you should not crumble or complain. For if the boss decides to keep to his existing squad then there is a valid reason for it.
And the reason is that he feels that there are enough good players around to fill in the areas that the team needs strengthening in.
You must realise that the Wenger model relies on sourcing highly skilled and technically enhanced talent from all over the world (inclusive of England).
The beauty of it is that due to its impressionable age it is then easily tutored, instructed and moulded to develop its latent talent into an exciting football player and star.
That is the reason of course, as the jigsaw puzzle that Wenger tries to construct takes time to fall in place, some of the more advanced stars in the conveyor belt begin to worry about their trophy less future (or so they think).
Examples are plenty full with Henry and Vieira a few years ago and Hleb, Flamini and Adebayor recently. In the same vein if Arsenal is trophy less this season you might get Van Persie, Fabregas and Clichy showing similar signs of discontent.
The fact is that because there are so many talented players in the squad Wenger has always the option of switching players in different positions until he finds their rightful place in the team.
He may for example convert a full back into a midfielder or vice versa, like he did with Lauren a few years ago.
A winger into an out and out central striker like he did with Henry and as he may eventually do with Walcott and Vela.
There is another reason why, in the Wenger model, when there is a vacancy in the team or when a weakness is highlighted, new buys are not the first option.
And that is the high speed at which the talented young players will be learning their trade. They nearly won the premier league title last season!
So Wenger will be loath to curtail their rate of growth by buying in a more mature replacement and will want to give them every chance to reach their potential.
This is sometimes done at the detriment of the rest of the team and inevitably in loosing points. As for example in the case of Senderos and Eboue with whom he is persisting again this year. Who knows he may be proved right again.
So that is why I don’t see Wenger spending significant cash in buying in mature expensive players that will walk into the first team right away.
Take every position on the field and you will see what I mean.
Do you really think that he will buy another more experienced goalie? If he wanted to Brad Friedle at £3m would have been ideal for Arsenal, but no, he wants to give Almunia, Fabiansky and Mannone every chance to show what they can do.
Wenger pointed out last season that we lack the ability to defend the direct high ball into the middle of the defence.
He won’t buy another central defender mark my words.
What he will do is put emphasis in training for Gallas and Toure to be able to cope with it and at the same time expect that Senderos, Djourou and Song will have improved even further in their education as central defenders.
You don’t really expect Wenger to buy anybody to understudy Sagna and Clichy do you? He has Traore coming through on the left and for right back may persist with Hoyte or divert a central defender there, like Toure or Gallas or even bring Eboue back.
This is where a vacancy is wide open with Flamini’s and Gilberto’s exit.
But if you follow the Wenger model then surely Diaby will be the obvious candidate to fill in.
He bought him for this purpose, it is the player’s position after all and the young man has had a lot of first team experience last season.
This was at a different position but that is Wenger’s way to get a player first team experience and at the same time give him a taste of other positions on the field.
Then there is Song who is more than ready to play first team football.
If Wenger trusted him to play in that very crucial position of central defence (at Old Trafford of all places) then surely he is good enough to be trusted in the centre of midfield.
I for one have been singing his praises for a long time now and I don’t believe Wenger when he says that Song, although admitting that he is a very good player, cannot play 60 games a season as a central midfielder!
I don’t think Gareth Barry can do that either!
If you are interested, have a look at a previous article of mine on this very subject “Song’s Olympics could prove Wenger wrong”
And then there is the ever improving Denilson and Eboue who I thought did quite well in that position against Stuttgart.
You would not expect Wenger to scupper all these players’ chances to make it at the top would you?
Forwards and wide midfielders
Again there are plenty of choices open for Wenger in these positions as he can switch wingers to central positions and vice versa. Such is the versatility of the players he tends to bring into the club.
Van Persie can play as a central striker, behind the forward (in the Bergkamp role where I think he will excel) or on the left wing.
Nasri can play on the wing or behind the forward.
So can Walcott, Eduardo, Rosicky etc etc
With Adebayor staying and with Eduardo and Rosicky due to make it back in action in October (they will start proper training in September) you would not expect Wenger to go into the transfer market would you?
And he won’t. Not for more forwards or midfielders or defenders! That’s your lot.
“Song’s Olympics could prove Wenger wrong”
Is it all Wenger’s fault this transfer activity?
Arsene’s revised transfer plans?
The woman behind Nasri!