Arsene Wenger must be getting accustomed to being pilloried during transfer windows, due to his refusal to spend the money allocated to strengthening the squad. He will certainly enjoy being right to stick to his guns, if this thinning Arsenal squad manage to win something significant. Personally, I can’t see it happening. Not with this squad.
The first team have already won the Saitama Cup and enjoyed an excellent pre-season. The bonds between the players appear to have strengthened and certain young-ish players, like Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Jenkinson, are likely to be more effective in the next campaign. Increasing maturity should ensure that.
Even Giroud will improve. A year’s previous experience in the Premiership will ensure that! The same could be said of Cazorla and Poldi.
However, even if all those improvements happen, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t splash out on top players. Wenger must realise football’s a squad game nowadays. Of course, team spirit is important and we can only assume that Wenger thinks there’s a chance of it being disrupted by a top performer. I mean Andrey Arshavin was a big name when he arrived, and went on to question his manager with the inevitable end-result: a stunted Arsenal career.
You have to wonder if the same thing would happen if the outspoken and controversial Luis Suarez arrived. Maybe if the Uruguayan went off the rails, Wenger would try him out in goal! After all, he can’t seriously think Fabianski is going to be good enough to be our first-choice keeper. My worry is that Wenger will start the season with the rick-prone Pole, who reminded us of his propensity to drop the ball under a modicum of pressure against Urawa Reds.
I can’t tell Wenger his job, but he needs another keeper. I had more confidence in Mannone than Fabianski, although he was clearly our third-choice. Martinez will now spell ‘M’ for ‘Might be used in emergencies’, and he’s probably decent enough to fulfill that role. But I can’t feel confident about that position after some of the performances we had to endure from all of our keepers last season.
The naturally-talented Szczesny might soon prove to be as reliable as he is load-mouthed, but I think it’s more likely that will happen if he’s pushed by a more experienced keeper like Julio Cesar. I don’t believe Szczesny thinks Fabianski is superior in any way to him. Why would he? Being dropped for Fabianski must feel insulting for Szczesny, no matter how well he does or does not get on with him.
Having said that, Fabianski had his best Arsenal season in the campaign just gone. Let us not forget, even Almunia had his good spells in the team. The fact he’s now playing in the division below says it all. Wenger misjudged the keeping situation then, when Amunia became number one at Arsenal, and I fear he’s doing the same.
Please get Cesar, Wenger! Also, a punt on Suarez would be nice!