For such an intelligent and financially prudent man, Wenger’s recent reaction to poor refereeing decisions seems questionable. After bad-mouthing referee Mike Dean, Wenger has been hit with a £40,000 fine, which is more than he is likely to spend on rebuilding the first-team squad.
Everyone knows, the sixth-team in the league needs a major overhaul to compete nearer the top; that means new players or a new manager. The latter prospect is as likely as a transfer fee involving Arsenal that is not officially ‘undisclosed’. Even a Wenger substitution taking place on the ‘north side’ of the 70th minute has a greater probability. Rather than rolling the dice, you’d have to say that Arsenal need to grab the nettle and bring in quality players.
Although above Arsenal in the table, Liverpool have moved swiftly to land Van Dyke; he might be expensive, but I believe he will be a hit for the Reds.
Meanwhile, some Arsenal fans are somewhat unfairly directing their anger at Chambers, who’s been left out in the cold until recently. Personally, I think Chambers has done reasonably well and I believe he has enough talent to become a good squad player and perhaps more. However, he’s not likely to have as much impact as Van Dyke will at Liverpool.
Chambers is a typical Wenger signing: more able to offer potential than immediate value to the team. Despite his ability, Chambers may not really crack it at Arsenal. Why do I make that claim? There is so much pressure on youngsters to perform, in the absence of marquee signings. Therefore, the spotlight falls on Chambers and Holding, two top prospects who still haven’t established as regular first-teamers yet.
Arsenal have brought in a new Greek defender, who will be loaned out immediately. While that may be good planning for the long-term future, whatever happened to medium and shorter-term planning?
Unlike Arsenal, who still seem to feel no pressing need to address problems with the squad, Chelsea have moved swiftly to bring in Ross Barkley. What an amazing piece of business by the Blues who, need we remind ourselves, are higher up the table than Arsenal!
Therefore, I have to conclude that despite all the changes behind the scenes with transfer negotiators coming to the club, Arsenal seem set to carry on just as they were with all the urgency you’d expect to experience if you were playing in OAP lawn-bowling tournament. Come to think of it, you might find it competitive, but at least the retirees would usually have enough about them to keep their lips buttoned when decisions go against them.
Wenger should ask himself if he’s been a good role model by blasting referees the way he has. If his antics improve results, Arsenal fans will be happy to ignore Wenger’s faults (as he’s only human) but so far the inability to overcome WBA and Chelsea only makes the manager look like an excuse-maker.
Wenger always says: ‘judge me at the end of the season’, but will he leave his post if Arsenal finish trophyless and outside the top four? I suspect he won’t and he’ll blame the referees for his failure. You know what they say: ‘get your excuses in early’.