Much has been made of Arsenal’s lack of trophies since winning the FA Cup in a penalty shoot-out against Manchester United in 2005. Much has also been made of Arsenal’s inability to compete with the so-called “Big Clubs” in the transfer market, due to financial restraints simultaneously imposed by 1) our move to the Emirates Stadium, and 2) the overly-inflated player market – (no) thanks in large part to mega-rich Clubs, like Chelsea and Manchester City, and most recently, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco.
Against this backdrop, Arsenal fans all over the world have become disillusioned and disenchanted about the state of affairs at their Club while still passionately, or in some instances, reluctantly supporting the Club. Arsene Wenger, the much-maligned long-term Arsenal Manager, and the Board of Directors (B.o.D), have in the past few years been berated and castigated for being negligent toward the Club and showing an utter lack of ambition by some section of the fans.
The 2012-2013 season saw Arsenal bravely claw their way back to nick 4th place away from bitter rivals Tottenham on the last day of the season, by a solitary point. This fierce battle for 4th Place was enough to give most Gooners Hypertension during the run-in to end the season. Upon further analysis, Arsenal actually lost only 3 games and drew 4 more games out of 23 since Match Day 16 (in December). That statistic in itself is quite amazing if you think about it. And yes, things definitely could have been much better had Arsenal started the season strongly. We all know that. So does Arsene Wenger and so does the B.o.D.
If that is the case, then what are they doing about it?
Well, to prevent history from repeating itself, and armed with a stronger financial position, Arsenal are seemingly determined to bring in a Super Quality Striker who likes to score goals for fun. And having fallen asleep at the Gate and missed the “Higuain Flight” (if they were even supposed to be on that “flight” in the first place), Arsene Wenger and the B.o.D. have set out to kill two birds – demonstrate financial ability to compete in the transfer market, and show the fans that we are very ambitious this time around and mean business – with one stone: “the Luis Suarez” stone.
Except this is one very expensive and very controversial “stone”.
Luis Suarez, as we all know, is without a doubt a world class talent, a technically skilled athlete, and a passionate, success-hungry footballer who can change a game by himself and make a huge difference for any side ‘whenever he is on the pitch’. A sure loss can instantly be converted into a draw, or a win, in one sweeping magical moment by the Uruguayan Striker. Inversely, a hundred magical moments can easily be undone with one unpredictable and insane moment from the same player.
And that is the big £40-55m gamble, isn’t it…?
As the debate continues to rage over the possible transfer of the controversial striker, I would like to play the devil’s advocate for a moment, and suggest that Liverpool and Arsenal ask themselves the following questions before proceeding any further.
Questions for Liverpool Management/Ownership:
1.) What exactly is Suarez’s valuation in today’s market, taking into account all the negativity (including the current 10-match ban, with six still remaining)?
2.) Can we achieve a Champions League spot with our current squad this upcoming season?
3.) Can we honestly expect Suarez to stay out of trouble throughout the entire season?
4.) How long can we realistically expect the next ban to be? 15-20 matches, perhaps more?
5.) How much would Suarez be worth after the next potential incident?
6.) Based on the above, can we afford to turn down an Arsenal offer of say £45 millions plus add-ons, for an unhappy and such an unpredictable player?
Questions for Arsenal Management/Ownership:
1.) Do we really need a Super Quality striker like Suarez?
2.) How much are we actually willing to pay for him?
3.) Can we keep his “inner demons” under good control throughout the entire length (not just this season) of his contract?
4.) If we were to fork out say £50 millions for him, what would be his approximate re-sale value once his “inner demons” got bored and decided to come out and play too?
5.) Based on the above, can we seriously afford to “gamble” an unprecedented sum of £50 millions on Suarez?
6.) Finally, is Luis Suarez really worth that “gamble”? If not, what are some of the alternatives we could/should instead be considering?
I invite you all, to please put your managerial thinking-hat on for a moment and answer these questions as honestly as you can, and draw your own conclusion about this potential transfer.
Also, as this is my maiden post in the blogosphere, any constructive criticism that you might have for me is very welcome. Thank you.
Written by: Gino92