After finishing fourth in the EPL last season, hopes are high for Arsenal to make a run for the league title in 2013-14. But the Gunners need to make a splash on the transfer market. That hasn't happened yet, and Arsenal fans are starting to wonder if it will happen at all.
According to John Cross of the Mirror, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has downplayed the Gunners' failure to add to their squad thus far. While it may have just been manager speak as the Gunners explore their options, Wenger truly seems to believe that Arsenal can get better without being active in transfer terms.
We are still working on improving our squad, but we have a basis of young players who are getting a chance here, who started in the Premier League.
I believe all of those players have a special bond and are on the way up - they are not over the hill. They will be better next season and that’s why I’m confident we will be stronger.
The notion of natural progression is a sound one as Arsenal's up-and-coming players figure to improve as they gain experience. But it's difficult to imagine natural progression making up for 16 points in the standings, the margin between first-place Manchester United and the Gunners last season.
Arsenal haven't won an EPL title since 2003-04, but they have a chance to reach that level this season provided they make some shrewd maneuvers. But all has been quiet on that front as they take a wait-and-see approach rather than being aggressive like some of their competitors.
There is something to be said for weighing options and not diving in headfirst. However, Arsenal have a ton of resources at their disposal. According to Cross, Wenger can spend as much as £70 million on transfer fees thanks to deals with Emirates and Puma, as well as the EPL's new television deal.
Despite that, Arsenal have been playing the waiting game.
The transfer window hasn't closed yet, and there is still time for Arsenal to make some noise. But it already seems like Wenger is making excuses to cushion the blow if nothing happens. Wenger talked a lot about continuity, and how other top teams having changed managers will give the Gunners a leg up next season.
It gives me a slight advantage, because I know the squad at my disposal and it will take them some time to know every single player.
Certainly not Jose Mourinho [at Chelsea, though], because he knows already the players; but on the other hand most of those teams have lost their manager but have the stability within the squad - the players know each other.
Wenger again makes a sound point, but it's unlikely Arsenal fans want to hear it. They have been dealing with rationalization and excuses for the past decade, and it is unquestionably time for the Arsenal brass to put up or shut up.
To Arsenal's credit, they have been trying their hardest to acquire striker Luis Suarez from Liverpool. According to Cross, Emirates Stadium is Suarez's most likely landing spot if the Reds ultimately decide to move him, but the ball is in Liverpool's court at this point.
Bringing in Suarez could make Arsenal true contenders, but they could be in a bad way if they whiff.
That is why Arsenal should be signing, or at least exploring, other options at this point. They need a contingency plan, but right now it seems all their eggs are in the Suarez basket. His situation is extremely volatile, and there is no telling how it will end. Arsenal are far from a lock to get him, and Gunners fans could again be left wondering what could have been.
Arsenal have a decent nucleus of players, including the likes of Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski, but they don't have quite enough to compete with the upper echelon teams.
Even if Wenger truly believes the media spin he has put out there, he has to know that sitting on £70 million would be a massive failure on his part and the club as a whole.
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