Arsenal FC Déjà Vu: Where Are Quality Signings That Wenger Promised?

Robin SAnalyst IJuly 5, 2011

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger heads for the dressing room at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 13, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The ambitious section of Arsenal fanbase, including myself, has pleaded for new signings over the last few years.

Last summer, everyone thought Arsenal were two or three top-notch signings—including a goalkeeper—away from a trophy.

Frustratingly, those signings never arrived and Wenger kept his faith in perennial underachievers and overrated millionaires.

Now we are at a stage where even two or three signings won't suffice.

Arsenal need at least four quality signings to compete with the elites of the game and mount a realistic title challenge in the domestic league. With that, I don't mean withering away by March or April but to compete till the final game week.

If the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leave, make it six.

Not the ideal scenario to be in for any manager and most manager would have got the sack by now, but this is Wenger.

In Wenger everyone trusts. Wenger trusts his players. The Board trusts in Wenger to deliver massive profits season after season.

But the fans never trust him when it comes to transfer dealings. When he says he's about to sign players, you just have to take it with a pinch of salt.

Usually, that's a premeditated attempt to pacify the disgruntled fans, but when he said he would sign players early on this summer, I thought he would actually be making the right moves at the right time.

How wrong can I be. As of now, Wenger hasn't addressed any of the issues and even the straightforward deal for Gervinho seems to be stretching on for eternity.

The sad reality is Arsenal simply don't have any clue about how to approach their targets. Generally, clubs draw up their transfer wish list and fight tooth and nail to sign their top targets.

Arsenal, on the other hand, wait for other clubs to bid for their targets and attempts to hijack the move in the last minute, and not so surprisingly, Wenger ends up with egg on his face.

The scenario is quite similar this summer as well. Arsenal are being linked with every available player from Diego to Lavezzi to Gary Cahill to Juan Mata and so on, but hardly anyone seems to be close to signing for Arsenal except of course a certain Gervinho.

Don't be surprised if he moves on from Arsenal growing disillusioned at the club's inability to close out the deal in due time.

This is exactly how a club in a bid to end their ridiculous trophy drought should operate in the make-or-break transfer window!

All the good players at the club are tired of playing with average basement players, and they want out because the club is no longer ambitious. Who can blame them?

The players Arsenal deemed surplus to requirement are struggling to find buyers. Why? Those players are simply not good enough for top clubs and the rest can't afford their wages.

That's what happens when a club overpays their players for under-performing consistently.

The likes of Manuel Almunia earning as much as Jack Wilshere. Seriously, this is self-sustaining model? Paying massive fee for teenagers and offering extortionate wages for awful players?

At the same time, when some of the quality players ask for a pay raise, the club and the fans claim those players are disloyal and are holding the club to ransom. Isn't this what you call hypocrisy?

I am not saying Wenger is hypocritical, but seriously this derisive trend has to stop at some point.

The club must keep hold of their best players and should pay them reasonably well, while the basement players should be disposed off at the earliest.

The practice of offering pay raises to those on the bench has to stop. If the ones warming the bench regularly want to leave for not getting a pay raise, then so be it.

At the same time, Wenger must also show some common sense when dealing with the sale of his unhappy star players. The Cesc to Barcelona saga is tediously protracted, and that must be settled once and for all.

You can't expect a hypocritical club like Barcelona to pay the fee of Cesc Fabregas in one installment, knowing the past trades between the two clubs.

Arsenal initially demanded in excess of £50 million, but now the general acceptance is that Arsenal are ready to sell for £40 million. And even if they sell him for that sum, will they get the money outright? Probably not.

Barcelona being Barcelona, they will draw out at least another month to even get anywhere near that £40 million mark. Should Arsenal go through all the monotonous speculation for that long?

This is where the manager has to be sensible and demand one of the peripheral figures as part of the Cesc deal.

Ibrahim Afellay plus £30 million would be a good deal for Arsenal, and at least you can expect a deal to be agreed rather than expecting Barelona to add on to their derisory bids substantially.

That would give Arsenal a good player and would give more time to make their moves with the money from the sale provided Barcelona indeed pay that sum.

Also what is the guarantee that Arsenal would use the cash that would be made available from the Cesc departure? So a player exchange would be perfect as the fans will at least have some reason to cheer about rather than watch Arsenal dump the money in their cellar.

Nasri, envious of the infamous Cesc saga, seems to have managed one of his own. But what is the all the fuss about? If he wants out let him quit. But why taking this long to come to a conclusion?

Give him an ultimatum and if he doesn't accede, sell him to the highest bidder. Delaying it further would take us all into a panic stage where Arsenal would be forced to accept a lower bid, with little to no time for replacements.

Ideally, all the transfers must happen before the season starts, preferably by Aug. 1.

The more time you get the better your chances of acclimatising to the new league by the time the season starts.

Make no mistake, Arsenal's early season fixtures are not easy at all, so it's baffling that the obstinate manager is taking his own time to maneuver on the market.

By this time Arsenal should have at least completed two or three signings including that of Gary Cahill.

However, Wenger seems to be waiting for other clubs to make a bid first and then will rival them dramatically with last-minute bids, only to miss out on the player.

But that's enough to hoodwink the fans into believing that he tried his best to sign players. Tried to sign Chris Smalling. Tried to sign Mark Schwarzer. Tried to sign Phil Jones. Nice try, Wenger.

You've already tried so much but now the fans want some real action-bearing fruits.

Ruthless business to revive the club called Arsenal before it collapses under the might of the big guns and the super-rich teams.

You can't expect to attract the fans with below-par performances season after season. And, dare I say, once you go out of the Champions League qualification, even the sponsors would start alienating the club.

That plight is the sad reality looming over if Wenger plays another summer of try-and-miss game.

Here's not predicting doom and gloom. Instead urging Wenger to make the moves because it's already late.

Need to sort out the Fabregas saga and Nasri contract situation. Need to get rid of the peripheral figures thereby freeing space on the payroll.

Need to sign a replacement for Gael Clichy. Need a top-class CB; probably one more. Need a left winger. Need a strong, prolific CF. Last but not the least, replacements for Fabregas and Nasri if needed.

Show us some statement of intent, Wenger. If you can't, then resign and do us a massive favour.