The perils of panic buying

With the panic buy transfer window just over a month away, supporters will begin to put pressure on their manager to improve their squad after the festive period. Without fail, clubs will end up purchasing players for excessive prices that will attempt to satisfy demanding sections of the board and supporters.

After Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll were both left on the bench in last weekend’s clash at Stamford Bridge; two ridiculously expensive signings that have failed to make an impact; it’s a prime example of managers attempting to please the supporters with signings that just should not have been done. It does appear that if a club does not make any signings in the transfer window then it seen as a failure in the fan’s eyes. This is a worrying fact and one that begs the question, is the grass always greener?

Arsene Wenger is often criticised by Arsenal supporters for not spending money that is clearly available to him in the transfer windows. However, after the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, the pressure on Wenger became too much and he conceded in buying five players close to deadline day. The long term Gunners boss has prided himself on nurturing youngsters and finding bargain signings to constantly improve the North London side and keep them in the hunt for the UEFA Champions League places in the Premier League.

After just three months of the season, it is fair to say that Wenger has proven his point to Arsenal fans with new signings failing to make much of an impact and the side once again relying on red hot striker Robin Van Persie; who coincidently was bought for under £3million; a stunning figure in today’s market. The constant pleas for Wenger to buy in the summer resulted in Per Mertesacker arriving for £11.3million, Mikel Arteta signing for £12million and Andre Santos joining the club for £7million amongst others.

After clearly lacking pace, awareness and composure along with basic defending deficiencies, Mertesacker is now third choice centre back and looking like a relative waste of funds. Similar comparisons can be made for Santos, a left back that can’t defend. With the odd pinpoint cross to an empty penalty area about the best we have come to expect from the Brazilian, the sooner Kieran Gibbs returns, the better for Arsenal fans. Arteta was brought in to fill the hole left by Fabregas, but there is no way you can compare the two players, why did Wenger not wait until January and prepare a thought out, shrewd deal to bring in a world class midfielder? Because of the supporters pressure!

Even if supporters sometimes can’t see it, clubs’ owners and chairmen want the best for the club in the long run. After all it is their business and they want it to succeed, so gambling £20million here and there is not always an option, let alone a good idea.

Another club that appear to be demanding new signings are Everton, the Toffees have been the overachievers of the Premier League over the past ten years and after small signs of falling from grace, the supporters are demanding change. David Moyes has worked wonders on a small budget at Goodison Park and will continue to do so, but it appears he is becoming the victim of his own success. Evertonians now feel the club need more signings to replace departed players such as Arteta. Moyes has built a team without spending a great deal of money so why can’t he reciprocate that again?

New signings do not always have a positive reaction in a squad and buying players for the sake of satisfying a few narrow minded supporters should always be restricted. Clubs will spend needlessly in January and managers will be judged on their transfer dealings, as well as results, so it is time to stop this fascination with transfers and look at the players currently at the club and developing youngsters through to the first team squad.


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