Arsenal couldn’t have picked a better time to let the world know exactly how much money they had in their pockets. As Matt Law put it earlier this week, “the drinks are on you, Arsene.” The thing is, the club were never going to be in great danger by releasing it’s financial information at this time; Arsene Wenger was simply doing too well for sections of support to sharpen the knives. But is it enough?
I don’t think Arsene Wenger has a real problem this season unless he makes one for himself. Those situations where January rolls around and the club are in desperate need for a player but they decide to sit on that £50million for an even rainier day. The club are not beyond another real injury crisis and the need for some action. But right now, there really isn’t any reason for supporters to question the club.
The contract situation with a number of players is something that still grates many supports. How can the club find themselves in this situation once again? But there’s a real difference in Wenger’s stance over this Theo Walcott saga. Yes, the player is free to walk at the end of the season, but have we ever been made to believe that Walcott holds all the power in this ordeal? Wenger’s not having anymore of it, nor is the club. They’ve been ransacked and significantly weakened by clubs and want-away players in the past, but not this time around.
The other real point of action which has forced many of the boo-boys away is the business the club have done over the summer transfer window. The thing about Arsenal is that many supporters know the club won’t pay big money for players, and that’s fine. Fans do, however, want to see the club take a gamble and pull the trigger when there’s a good offer on the table, an offer that resembles a Spanish international available at a bargain price. How many fans would have been sweating on the deal for Santi Cazorla being called off at the last minute by the manager? That’s the real problem and the reason for much of the dissent. The club don’t need a £40million midfielder when there’s one just as good available for a third of the price, but the supporters need the club to make those deals and make the squad stronger.
It also bodes well that the team have scored 12 goals in their last two home games. The goals aren’t a massive problem for the Gunners, despite the calls from outsiders that Olivier Giroud would fail to step up. Patience is needed with him and fans understand that. The performances of the team also looks to be greatly improving on what we saw last season, but that’s a another plus for the manager. Wenger is acknowledging the shortcomings of certain areas on the pitch and is addressing them. Could the club really have gone into another battle with an army who had nothing to fight with? It becomes sickening and it’s hard to understand. But those fears have been laid to rest, at least for now.
There will continue to be supporters who are not entirely trusting of the modern Arsene Wenger and miss the partnership he had with David Dein. This new Arsenal is one that crumbles under pressure, has nothing left in the tank at the business end of the season, and at times has lacked real quality across the pitch. A fair assessment of the current squad? Absolutely not. The team have strengthened and are taking a no nonsense attitude against players who are attempting to hold the club to ransom.
But it only takes a string of bad results for the wounds to open up again. However, I’m not entirely convinced that the dissent will be spread throughout the fan base. To reiterate, the club have taken steps to move forward and adapt to the loss of their real attacking strengths of last season. That’s all that fans wanted to see, not the club sitting back telling everyone it’s ok and then revealing profits that would be applauded at any other club. Are they applauding because Arsenal are such a well run club, or because the team are no real threat to the big teams in England and Europe?