It’s been a tough 24 hours to be an Arsenal fan. As soon as the transfer window slammed (because it never merely closes) shut, rival supporters started rolling out the vines, memes, pictures and gifs stored up specifically for goading Gooners.
The reaction has, of course, been all brought on by a disappointing summer of transfer activity, in which the Gunners only signed Petr Cech, while rivals such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City all invested heavily to bring in talented stars both from at home and abroad.
The particularly galling ‘stat’ for Arsenal supporters as the clock ticked on Tuesday was that their club were the only outfit in any of Europe’s top five leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A) to fail to bring in an outfield player during the ENTIRE window.
Alas, we still think there is plenty to positive about, and here are FIVE reasons ‘Deadline Day-gate’ is really not an issue in North London…
Why use a scattergun approach when a precision drill is needed? Arsenal have depth and options, but the goalkeeper dilemma was the biggest issue facing Wenger going into the summer. Not even the most stringent of Spurs fans can deny that Cech is a huge upgrade on Wojciech Szczesny, and it’s hard to argue against the Czech Republic international being among the top five, maybe even three, goalies in the Premier League.
Okay, up front Arsenal are a little light in terms of options, but in basically every other department the Gunners have quality and plenty of depth. Starting from the very back, Petr Cech and David Ospina are two good goalies, at centre-back Gabriel is a decent back-up option for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, while Calum Chambers can also fill in.
On both sides at full-back Wenger can call on plenty of players, while in central midfield Francis Coquelin and Mathieu Flamini offer defensive cover. In the attacking midfield three behind the main striker Arsenal have, perhaps, too many choices, although this ‘problem’ is a positive with the whole season ahead.
Did the Gunners really even need a deadline day signing? Probably not.
With close to 19 years under his belt at the helm of Arsenal, Wenger personifies the club. Although there has been criticism of late for a lack of silverware, the Frenchman has moulded the Gunners into what they are now, which is one of English football’s top clubs, while operating on somewhat restricted budget.
To put Wenger’s longevity into perspective, his closest ‘rival’ in the hunt for the timescale crown is Leicester City’s Nigel Person, who is yet to crack the four-year mark.
Time and time again Wenger has proven himself in North London, and he’s sure to come through again.
Arsenal have had 17 consecutive seasons of Champions League football, underlining their consistent presence at the top end of the Premier League. With Wenger having been present through this period, it’s clear that his influence has been considerable, and his efforts in more recent seasons have been, perhaps, the most impressive with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United having been able to spend heavily.
Wenger has pulled through in tougher circumstances than he looks to be facing now, which bodes well.
Although Arsenal’s opening game ended in a loss, seven points from the subsequent three matches is respectable, and the fact that Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs have all stuttered is encouraging.
Manchester City are very much the team to beat, but the door remains wide, wide open in the hunt for top four football, which is, ultimately, the aim for Arsenal.