Arsenal decimating squad before adding to it?

//Arsenal decimating squad before adding to it?

Arsenal decimating squad before adding to it?

Arsenal’s transfer policy has been questionable for a number of years, but this January the club seem to be surpassing themselves with their ineptitude.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Arsenal are a club, who have so much ‘strength in depth’, that they managed to get knocked out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by a Championship side, Nottingham Forest. Going into today’s game against Bournemouth, Arsenal will remain 6th in the league table no matter what the result. A season of mid-table mediocrity looks likely with former Chelsea legend Dennis Wise predicting (not unreasonably) that Arsenal will finish between 6th and 10th. Wise claims that Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea are all better teams than Arsenal. Few people would argue with that assessment, although I don’t think Arsenal are getting the best out of the players they have got.

Surely in this situation, the worst thing that Arsenal can do is offload players just to get them off the wage bill. If Theo Walcott can do a job for Sam Allardyce at Everton, then why can’t he do a job anymore for Arsenal? Is it because Theo had the honesty to say that Arsenal weren’t up for it last season at Selhurst Park, after a disappointing defeat? Is it more about politics than ability nowadays? If so, it’s no wonder Arsenal seem devoid of spirit every other game and that the players are no longer able to give their best consistently.

In the circumstances, perhaps a major overhaul is needed. However, is it wise to wait until halfway through a transfer window to start offloading players before replacements are secured? So far, Arsenal have lost Francis Coquelin, albeit for a decent transfer fee and now seem poised to lose Walcott for another sizeable sum. Alexis Sanchez will probably join them, as even Wenger admits the Chilean is unlikely to sign a contract extension. With a potential bidding war ensuing between Manchester City (who are refusing to up the ante for now), mischief-makers Manchester United (who may be trying to upset City’s plans to sign Sanchez in the summer) and Liverpool (who are ready to spend money to match their ambitions), Arsenal may recoup around £35m for the want-away star. By all accounts, Arsenal could have banked more than double that if they had been prepared to sell to City this summer, but the financially-prudent club decided to keep an unhappy star and see how it panned out.

The season has virtually gone down the pan, as a result of the poor decision made on the transfer front in the summer not to significantly strengthen the squad. There were even rumours that Shkodran Mustafi was about to be sold, which would have taken the metaphorical biscuit, given he’s one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers. The only light at the end of the transfer tunnel  was the acquisitions of Alexander Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac. Over the summer, the club dithered over the re-signing or selling of Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, making Arsenal seem something of a laughing stock (compared to the ‘big five’) even before a ball was kicked in anger.

As we pass the halfway point in the season, Arsenal have only got two cups to play for and few would bank on them overcoming Chelsea and then Man City (who are already ahead of Bristol City in the other semi-final) in the League Cup. That leaves the Europa League, which Arsenal may be capable of winning. However, so poor are performances of late, it is hard to see the Gunners returning from the sub-zero temperatures and plastic pitch of Ostersunds with an advantage to take into the second leg. Arsenal have developed such an uncanny knack of shooting themselves in the foot that fans simply cannot take any result for granted, even if the players and the manager seem to.

Strengthening the squad appears to be the only answer, but Arsenal seem intent on flogging what talent exists at the club first before pushing youngsters (whether they are ready or not) up the pecking order to replace the outgoing stars.

By | 2018-01-23T19:46:09+00:00 January 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|3 Comments

About the Author:

The Loose Cannon (TLC) is a labour of love set up by the former FromTheTerrace managing editor and freelance Sky News football pundit, Joe Broadfoot. I know I'm opinionated and a bit left-field, but other contributors are most welcome to send in their opinions, news pieces and so on regarding Arsenal FC for potential publication. Don't forget, if you've got something to write about Arsenal, it would be great to hear from you!


  1. Dom January 14, 2018 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Get over yourself Joe.

    If Arsenal at threat of being a top 6 side, Theo Walcott is partly to blame. Can he do a job for a top 10 side? Yes. But he hasn’t been good enough for Arsenal for years.

    You need to be celebrating the clear out of dead wood. Green shoots start soon. Alexis as good as he is never had a winning mentality. So him going is great too. Time to rebuild with optimists and winners.

    • Joe January 14, 2018 at 6:18 am - Reply

      I think your points are valid, if you accept that the players themselves are not good enough.

      I saw Theo before he was an Arsenal player and this guy was outstanding. It was a major coup when Arsenal signed him. He was supposed to be the new Thierry Henry, but when did he get a run of games at centre forward to show he could do a job there? I can only remember him playing in that position twice consecutively. Anyone that’s played in that position will tell you that it takes time to adapt to playing as a striker, especially when you’ve been stuck out on the wing so long.

      The blame for Theo’s ‘failure’ to fully live up to his potential lies firmly at the door of the manager, in my book.

      The same applies to Sanchez, who was never going to be the same player once Man City turned his head. Why hang on to a player who doesn’t want to stay and who is out of contract so soon?

  2. Spectrum January 14, 2018 at 9:45 am - Reply

    I heard we’re about to sign Brazilian forward Malcolm. Malcolm – yet another saviour that will supposedly catapult Arsenal to the Premier League title and restore Wenger’s now dismal reputation from the depths it has sank to.

    Let’s look at the previous messiahs that were meant to take us to that ever elusive Promised Land as many deluded Gunners fans naively believed – Cazorla, Xhaka, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette – to name a few recent ones. Yet here we are worse off than ever. Twenty three points off the leaders Manchester City !!! Sure City are having a phenomenal run. But instead of bemoaning the fact they are so much better, why aren’t we able to match or at least ( genuinely ) compete with them with all the money and resources we have at our disposal ? Look to the board and the impostor they keep in charge of the club for the answer to that.

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