Recently, I was involved in some friendly banter with a mate of mine who happens to support Liverpool.
Weird, I know.
I was mocking him for the abundant plethora of midfielders they have acquired, adding to the already deep midfield already on their books. Stating that it seemed rather gluttonous.
With Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson coming alongside Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole, Lucas Leiva, Raul Meireles, Dirk Kuyt, Alberto Aquilani and Maxi Rodriguez. Combined with up-and-comers Jay Spearing, Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling.
My mate explained to me that Liverpool needed to add to the their already large midfield for a few reasons.
One being to add competition. Leiva was most improved last season, but will now have to perform even better if he wants to keep Adam and Henderson out. Kuyt and Rodriguez were at times guaranteed wide spots, but now Downing will surely be a top contender for playing out wide.
The second, and most important being, to add depth.
With Steven Gerrard struggling to regain his form, and Joe Cole unable to reproduce his form from Chelsea, Liverpool need depth in midfield.
"Better safe than sorry," he said.
This "better safe than sorry" attitude contrasts greatly with Arsenal, and their whole philosophy as well as their transfer policy.
Where as teams like Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City have strengthened areas that need attention, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal continue to insist that their squad is strong enough to compete for silverware.
If some one were to turn on a match featuring Arsenal, and had never watched football, the issue would be clear as day. Arsenal cannot compete without a true center half.
Coupled with making little progress in the transfer market, and some rather poor showings against teams below Arsenal's standards, Arsenal have heard boo's coming from their own fans during preseason. I can't imagine what fans plan on doing once the real season starts.
The frustration boils down to the fact that Wenger is either A) Too arrogant to sign a center half, or B) Too ignorant.
Gooners will be quick to point out that Arsenal do not have the funds to secure an adequate center half.
Reports suggest that Arsenal have around £35 million to spend on new players. A rather substantial amount to get started, which will then be buffered by the sale of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, should the pair depart.
It is almost unforgivable for Arsenal to not sign a center half, and how Wenger still finds himself employed is beyond me.
At only £12 million, Christopher Samba could be the signing Arsenal need to turn themselves from half-season challengers, to a team that can last the whole season.
For around £17 million, Gary Cahill would send Sebastien Squillaci far away from the Emirates.
Those two signings would still allow Wenger £6 million to spend on unproven 15-year-olds.
With a few more weeks remaining in the transfer window, this may be a bit premature. And Arsenal fans may still have a little faith remaining in their manager, but au contraire, mon frere, what is taking Wenger so long?
Is he merely trying to save £2-3 million by waiting to the last minute and actually a mastermind, or his he really that arrogant to believe his squad is good enough?
Or is he just plain ignorant, and thinks that his defense is in fine shape?
Whatever it is, it is killing the team. And if I was a Gooner, I would have had enough by now.
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