As 2008 comes to a close, Arsenal find themselves in a worrying position: They are outside of the top four. Currently, the Champions League positions are occupied by Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Aston Villa.
Today, Villa met Arsenal and, in a match considered by many to be pivotal in the race for fourth place, Arsenal were unable to win thanks to a late goal from Zat Knight to make it 2-2.
The result means that Villa remain three points clear of the Gunners in the race for Champions League football next season.
This gap, coupled with some poor performances, a long list of injuries, and dropped points to teams like Fulham, Hull, and Middlesbrough, has led to most Arsenal fans pleading, and at times demanding, for the chequebook to be opened in the upcoming January transfer window.
Another spell of Arsene Wenger opting for youth and money-saving instead of splashing out is likely to be met with the fury of the Arsenal faithful. More dropped points today saw them fall further behind the top three, after they all recorded wins. Arsenal do need some more players, and some better ones.
If saving money is Wenger's top priority then, in my view, the only way to do that is to spend a fair amount this January.
You see, if Arsenal miss out on the Champions League position at the end of the season, then they will lose out on an awful lot of money. If Arsenal miss out on the Champions League spot as a result of players not being brought in then, in attempting to save money, he would have inadvertently cost Arsenal millions.
Therefore, the most effective way to almost ensure profit is to bring in one or two big players in January, which will help their chances to reach the Champions League next season.
If indeed that is the way Wenger chooses to go, then everybody wins. The fans see money being spent and, if it is spent on the right people, they see results start to go their way. Wenger and Arsenal win because they reach the Champions League and save money in the process.
That's the plan, anyway...
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