So June is almost over; without any doubt, the hardest month for those of us who are addicted to club football. Whilst still suffering from non-action cold turkey, we are straightaway bombarded with transfer gossip, both of players coming to us and some of our players wanting to leave.
The Terror/Torture Window officially opens on Monday 1st July, and let’s hope we will move from being ‘close’ to signing players to actually reading ‘signature announcements’ on Arsenal.com anytime soon.
Seldom or never does the word ‘close’ get abused more than during the Transfer Window. Whole armies of journalists and blog writers rely on it for producing endless articles that attract thousands of hits. However close Arsenal appear to be to signing a player, it is seldom or never close enough for comfort. Only a few weeks ago, we were ‘very close to signing Jovetic’…. I rest my case!
I wrote in the last post that the TW is not for the faint-hearted and there will be many more twists and turns. We could end up disappointed or ‘totally over the moon’, and I have no doubt that Gazidis and Wenger are feeling the pressure to deliver. Although Arsenal have, apparently, a war chest of £70m or more, it will still find it hard to compete with those who have limitless funds and don’t live by normal capitalist financial principles, or sporting morals.
The club will also need to demonstrate to their transfer targets real ambition to move things up now – that we are ready to win silverware again. It is one thing to convince the likes of Giroud, Mertesacker and Podolski to come to Arsenal, but once we start to target players already playing for top clubs the ‘sales pitch’ will have to change, especially if we don’t want to attract the typical mercenaries.
Looking back at June, we can pull a few conclusions:
- The club has made it clear it has entered a new phase now: there will be significant funds available for player purchases from now on: apparently as much as £70m every season;
- Despite the press trying their best to tell us some of our players want to leave Arsenal, our boys have remained loyal to the club and kept a low profile since the season has finished;
- We are continuously linked with a different, better calibre of players – so called Super Quality – this summer;
- The club is trying to make space in the squad, by letting go of those players who are deemed as ‘surplus to requirement’.
In more than one way, the month of June has been one of over-promise: bigger funds available, no core players will leave, and the targeting of big, established players; and all of this on the basis that we are now (financially) ready to compete for silverware again. This is a very good, but risky, thing to do.
What’s been interesting, is that Gazidis has done most if not all of the talking – of setting out the strategic lines of the club – and this includes announcing that Wenger is expected to sign a new contract any time soon.
Yet, Arsene has been very quiet recently. Of course, he is on holiday at the moment and will resume his duties for the club any time soon – with the first friendly in just over two weeks. But it will be interesting to see what Arsene has to say when he returns from his leave.
The problem with over-promising – something we are not used to from Arsenal in recent years – is that expectations will soar accordingly. Now, I reckon Gazidis is a clever man, who knows all about the risk of over-promising. So, it must be part of a well thought-out strategy to convince all stakeholders, including we the fans, as well as our transfer targets, that the club is ready to make the final step up now.
During the next month, we will see to a large extent whether Gazidis and Wenger can deliver on their promises. Let’s hope they will.
Written by: TotalArsenal.