I’m trying to see the positives of keeping costs as low as possible at Arsenal, but it’s hard to be optimistic, especially when even former Gooner Robert Pires thinks that the club’s transfer budget is too tiny to compete at the top level.
Of course, £40m is a laughable amount to spend to improve a squad that imploded at the end of last season.
If only Mesut Ozil were sold, but whoever gave the German such a lucrative deal has made sure that Arsenal are saddled with the indolent one for another two years. As gifted as Ozil is, nobody wants a player, especially one who’s so expensive, who struts around on the green stage only when he’s in the mood.
That brings us back to the unsolvable problem: what should be done with him?
I’d be tempted to try to give him a different role at the club. Maybe he could be a coach. I’d attempt to give him a longer term contract on lower wages. One thing is sure: Arsenal (particularly as they’re so parsomonious) cannot afford to haemorage £350k per week on a bit-part player.
Meanwhile, it seems that the club are content to watch other clubs strengthening. Perhaps the idea is to emulate Spurs, who did nothing in the last summer transfer window yet still achieved better results than Arsenal.
In fact, it may be possible for Arsenal to improve marginally on last season’s performances with the same personnel. Most of the squad should improve over time, with the possible exceptions of: Ozil, Koscielny and Monreal.
With Ljungberg being promoted to first-team coaching duties, we may see more young talent like Joe Willock getting a chance.
I have to say though, unfortunately, I’m not that impressed with most of the players coming through.
It seems to me that Arsenal let too many good ones go, like Bramall. How is it that this full back didn’t get more first-team chances? I thought he had something to offer and now he’s available on a free transfer. It doesn’t make sense to me.
No doubt one youngster will impress during the pre-season and then be left out of the starting XI for the opening game against Newcastle in the Premier League. The same happens every year. It’s all false dawns and nothing more than that.
Arsenal fans are right to worry as, although the 1st team may be marginally stronger next season, there is less tried and tested depth in the squad.
The biggest problem is how to replace Ramsey, who offered goals from midfield. There are hopes that Willock can do the same and I guess it’s possible.
Then the next problem is who will be the supplier of chances? Arsenal have quite a few ‘number 10s’ but none of them can be relied upon to always deliver.
Arsenal need to find a new Cesc Fabregas from somewhere, but this kind of player is hard to find, especially without a head of recruitment.
That’s why I’m advising fans to strap themselves in and brace for a turbulent season.