Arsenal: Do Supporters Share Mikel Arteta's Faith in Big-Name Arrivals?

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Mikel Arteta of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at Emirates Stadium on February 2, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

It is not just the Arsenal supporters that crave new signings. It's the players too.

Speaking to The Guardian, Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta said:

I think we are going to start the season with new faces. That is what we are all hoping for. That will give us a big boost and everyone is very positive. We need to close the gap with the teams that are trying to win the titles. We have been too far [behind] in the last few seasons.

If the club can target players who will improve the team they are going to be very welcome because that is what we want – a better team, better players to compete and win trophies. The club is working on that, it is in their hands and I am sure they are going to do it.

It's unusual to hear a player actively calling for competition. New signings threaten the established hierarchy and mean less opportunities for existing players.

However, at Arsenal, this rarely seen phenomena has become the norm. Supporters and staff are united in the belief that Arsenal need new players in order to compete for trophies.

Arteta's statement increases the pressure on Arsenal to spend some cash. When your own players are calling for new blood, it's clearly a sign that the squad is below par.

Publicly at least, Arteta seems confident that Arsenal will eventually secure the signings they need. Arsenal fans may not share his optimism.

The one man who holds the Gunners' purse strings is their omnipotent manager, Arsene Wenger. Distressingly, he has stated his confidence that the current squad is good enough to challenge for trophies. After Arsenal's 2-2 preseason draw with Napoli, Wenger told ESPN:

I am confident. Why should I sit here and say to you we can absolutely not win the title with the players we have?

Those words will have sent a cold chill down the spine of the Arsenal fans. They are horribly familiar.

All too often Wenger shows an undue amount of faith in players who do not meet the standards Arsenal supporters expect. He chooses to invest time in developing players who lack experience and occasionally quality. Arsenal supporters would prefer he invested his substantial transfer budget in a few ready-made solutions.

After losing out on Gonzalo Higuain, Arsenal are now embroiled in another complex transfer saga over Luis Suarez. According to The Daily Mail, Suarez is considering legal action in a bid to force the deal through.

The worry for Arsenal fans is that Wenger and the Arsenal board are not experienced in dealing with these kind of expensive elite transfers. Arsenal's transfer record is below the £20 million mark—do they have the savviness and the pluck to pull off a deal worth more than twice that?

Time will tell. There is still almost a month of the window to go. Arsenal's brinkmanship may yet pay off.

If it does and the Gunners are able to secure a clutch of shiny new signings, we could be looking at a squad with title credentials.

If, however, the Arsenal supporters' fears come to fruition and Arsene Wenger ends up empty-handed, another season of battling for fourth spot beckons.

The window is closing, little by little. Time for Wenger to show he means business by dragging a couple of signings in before it slams shut.