Arsenal’s official website is carrying several snippets of an interview conducted with Ivan Gazidis after the pre-season tour of Asia. The Arsenal website and the presentation of interviews and comments of players are often scripted for a purpose, not just to inform. Over several months the Club has been stung by criticism, and these articles are not so much intended to fight back, but I see them as being posted for reassurance. There appears to be a note of anxiety in the presentation of these reminders that Arsenal still have business to conduct, and the fans should be excited by that prospect. Increasing frustration is being aired on the social networks and the blogosphere. Arsenal are being regarded by their fans as complacent and content to risk dropping out of the top four. There appears to be a trend of increasing anti-Wenger sentiment and this tactical shift by the Club seems designed to head off this discontent, and for good reason.
Ivan Gazidis knows that the entire club is on trial this season, and in the media not a day goes by without commentators wondering why Arsenal’s rivals seem so busy to conduct business and tie down players, yet Arsenal seem incredibly laid back by comparison. Take Manchester United, not just content with being Champions and still hurting after the humiliation by Barcelona in the Champions league final, they have already made several signings and the move for a big name in Wesley Sneijder seems certain to be their transfer window masterpiece. Manchester City are rumoured to be after Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero. Liverpool have captured Stewart Downing, Charlie Adams and is homing in on Scott Dann and Sylvian Marveaux. Chelsea seem intent on reinforcing the young players and still have designs on Neymar despite his club locking down the hatches and as a consequence of Essien’s severe knee injury, they could yet snatch Luka Modric from Spurs, if that fails, then the Kaka interest could be revived.
Now look at Arsenal, the transfer of Carl Jenkinson and Gervinho are shrewd if not understated acquisitions which are solid. It is expected that youngsters Oxlade-Chamberlain and Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell of Deportivo will be next in line if bids are made and accepted, with central defender Gary Cahill expected to be signed once the on-off saga of Cesc Fabregas is sorted. In my view it is the situation regarding Fabregas and Nasri that is holding up further moves. Arsenal are correct to hold out for a decent price from Barcelona for their world class captain. It is a question of whether Arsenal really need those funds for the rest of their transfer funds. Ivan Gazidis is keen to state
“We understand where the weaknesses have been… We have resources to spend. We’re certainly not sitting there saying ‘let’s hold back on our resources’ for some reason. Why would we?”
A very good question Ivan, what about the fact the resources referred to include the anticipated £38 million for Fabregas? So is it logical to assume that No Fabregas transfer, then no funds…?
However this is countered by his next points.
“The resources are there. We’ve got a substantial amount of money that we can invest. The important thing for us, which can be frustrating, is not doing it only in response to a public clamour but in a way that can positively impact our performance next year. That’s the focus now.”
Ok, so more patience is called for, I can live with that, but Stan Kroenke, Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis are all on trial this season after such a disappointing finish. Arsenal fans will not understand why the defensive errors so prominent and basic continue to plague the team. No changes to the coaching staff will mean that there will be more anxiety even if we score one or two goals. As for the team’s prospects for next season, well if nothing changes and we keep Fabregas and Nasri the current additions with a fit Vermaelen will mean that we can challenge for fourth spot and no higher in my view. I believe that Arsene Wenger has demonstrated that financial prudence is more important that winning the Championship. Failure to address the cause of our defensive lapses will not be forgiven this season. So we will all hold Ivan to his words.
Article courtesy of FTK from the excellent Arsenal Insider