When the final whistle blew across the country to mark the end of the Barclays Premier League season back in May, managers had over 100 days to get their squads in shape for the new season.
Fast forward 108 days and the sight of managers frantically attempting to secure last gasp reinforcements - as they were on Wednesday night - smacked of both desperation and seriously poor management.
Sensible football betting punters will do their homework well in advance by studying the stats and getting their football tips placed down early. Seldom do they blow a considerable kitty to bet on football matches with just seconds to go until kick off.
Yet one such manager caught drinking in the last chance transfer saloon was a man who was lauded in the early 2000’s for his insightful and profitable transfer policy; Arsene Wenger.
With just minutes to go until Big Ben struck 11pm, the once unflappable Frenchman brought in an unflappable Spanish midfielder to replace an agitated Spaniard who had already departed to the feisty Catalan capital.
New boy Mikel Arteta should slot straight into an Arsenal side - who have looked a shadow of their former selves so far this season - thanks to his six seasons in England.
But it’ll be another week at least before the former Everton, Rangers and one-time Barcelona trainee will be able to compete for his new club given the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers this weekend and early next week.
Partnering Jack Wilshere in Arsenal’s midfield, Arteta should be able to take his own game to new heights and hep Arsenal rediscover their form. The Spaniard is by no means a gamble give his pedigree at England’s highest level, yet with the transfer window now closed, it’s now or never for Wenger and his new man.
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