Arsene Wenger has come under major scrutiny for his dormant transfer policy in recent times.
Let me remind you this is the very same individual that orchestrated an entire undefeated season with the Arsenal squad known in Premier League folklore as 'The Invincibles'.
After the retirement of Sir Alex Furgueson last year, Wenger is now the longest serving manager in the Premier League era. Should not his past laurels and accolades with the club sheath him from such harsh criticism after so many years of service to the club?
The fact of the matter is that, in retrospect, Wenger was on the cusp of realising something very few individuals do in their professional careers, something truly avant-garde. The Arsenal manager was well on his way to achieving Billy Beane status in revolutionizing the footballing outlook just as Beane had while inspiring the storied 'Moneyball' revolution in baseball. He had then found a way to subvert conventional football management grounded in the lens if Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira and the lot instead of simply outbidding them.
The reality remains that Arsene has not adapted to how the transfer market works today. Arsenal do not have the same drawing potential that they once had. Failure to clinch any sort of silverware in recent years has in fact demoted Arsenal to the status of one of the world's most glorified 'feeder clubs' with most of the elite players plying their trade in places such as Barcelona (Henry, Hleb, Fabregas, Song) and the Manchester clubs (Nasri, Clichy, Toure, RVP, Adebayor).
Arsenal with this exodus in the past few years seem in a particularly precarious position. With performances such as the defeat on the opening weekend of this years season, impatient fans are slowly starting to vent their frustrations. Maybe understandably so.
Gone are the days when clubs were run on a prudent budget under the leash of a stern businessman. With clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester City, PSG and Monaco, the oneupmanship in soccer has never been more apparent. I do feel however that people are way too fixated on activity within the window as measured by marquee signings.
Only last year Arsenal fans saw the captures of Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud. Anyway, I digress. My point is that within our myopic stance no one cares to remember the amount of stick Wenger received for his failed signings in the years prior.
Credit to him for negotiating deals for Denilson, Bendtner, Arshavin, Andre Santos and Chamakh all of whom only provided nominal participation in Premier league fixtures. Granted, the failure to capture Suarez and Higuain are hard to stomach. However, at least the Suarez failure cannot be attributed as a case of lack of effort. Arsenal were relentless in their pursuit only to be shot down by apparent misappropriation of information on behalf of Suarez's agent.
In light of the recent series of events, fans should be sweating more on the sustained health of franchise players such as Arteta, Wilshere and Rosicky. Fans have already started throwing in the towel on a transfer season that firstly, isn't over yet and secondly, never even began. The three players in the league about whom the most transfer noise was made - Rooney, Suarez and Bale all are very much still with their original clubs. In fact, competitors such as United and Chelsea have faced similar recruitment problems this summer.
In summation, all is not lost yet. Wenger no doubt should realise that his fans are expecting more than consecutive years in the top four.
In fact, as a Liverpool supporter at this point that is reason enough to celebrate. He should embrace the lack of marquee signings at the club and trophies with some sort of initiative to address these blemishes on an otherwise great managing career.
However, Arsenal fans must simply stand behind their manager and team. Not to sound patronising, but transfer windows are made and broken on deadline day. In fact, there is much reason to believe that Arsene makes Arsense this year around.
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