Despite the influx of money that is becoming prevalent in the Premier League, we are seeing the nation’s best teams finding it increasingly difficult to compete with Europe’s elite.
Teams have more resources than ever to buy “top quality” players but if anything, the standard of the Premier League seems to be declining.
With more money in the league than ever and their stadium paid for, Arsenal fans are crying out for the club to splash the cash and buy a world class striker and defensive midfield player. However, they seem to be increasingly frustrated at the lack of signings and this was evident when, according to the Daily Mail, the Gunners had an optimistic enquiry for Robert Lewandowski rejected.
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So what is holding Arsene Wenger back?
Is he reluctant to sign top quality players or is it that the right players are not available for an affordable price?
Fans were calling for Karim Benzema, but they may have forgotten one tiny little detail, he is playing first team football for one of the best clubs in the world.
So is it realistic to think that he would sign for the Gunners? Wenger has managed to bring two superstars in Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the last two seasons, but they have failed to bring Arsenal any closer to winning the league title or challenge in Europe.
However, when it comes to the best players in the world, at the biggest clubs, playing first team football, convincing them to make the trip to London seems to be more than an uphill challenge for Arsene Wenger.
Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy players who are already making ridiculous amounts playing at a higher standard. This being the case, the top players who are playing for the best clubs in the world regularly, are not being persuaded to take a step down for a few extra pounds in their pocket.
Here lies the biggest flaw with the cash splash formula that is becoming increasingly popular in England. The top teams may have the money to afford the best players but are not competitive enough to attract the world stars to the league. As a result, we are seeing good players being sold for world class prices.
So how can Arsenal solve their lack of a world class ball winning midfielder player and top draw striker? As things stand, breaking the bank will most likely lead to paying over the odds for a decent striker.
The striker they buy may not hit the ground running which will only frustrate the understandably impatient Gunner supporters further. However, an article in the Express may highlight Wenger’s attitude towards big money spending.
In the article, the Arsenal manager was shocked at what appeared to be an obscene amount of money to bring in 19-year-old Anthony Martial. That being said, despite the price tag, the young striker has netted four goals in as many games with composure beyond his years.
Whilst United spent big on a gamble, it looks to be a good bet thus far. Wenger’s disapproval to overspend in a market that is based on a desire to bring in players rather than market value, may ultimately be his downfall.
If he thinks he is going to bring in the calibre of player he needs at the price he believes the player is worth, well that’s how you end up without signing any outfield players in the first window. Meanwhile, teams such as City and United have spent big on players who seem to be improving their squad, even though they are almost certainly overpriced. But can you put a price on Premier League success?
This lack of spending leaves Wenger with two other choices in my view, buy for the future or trust the players he has. We are yet to see the real potential of players like Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Neither player has managed to hold down regular places in the side and maybe this is because of injuries, but these players could be the answer with their blistering pace and willingness to be direct. This offers Arsenal with something different to the, as Paul Scholes calls it, “tippy tappy” football that has left Arsenal wanting at times going forward.
We have seen the revelation of Francis Coquelin, so who knows what other players Wenger has in that are waiting to become a regular fixture in the team.
The bottom line is this, while I’m sure Arsenal fans would love to see the addition of some world class players to transform their team, the likelihood of this happening is another matter.
This leaves Wenger’s final option, to be better tactically with the players he has at the club already. We have seen that when Arsenal can discipline themselves and keep their shape defensively how impressive they can be; most notably against Man City last season. But far too often their attacking six bomb forward with no intent to fulfil their defensive duties; a couple of new players won’t be able to fix this lack of discipline.
Arsenal need more discipline because of Wenger’s reluctance to pay over the odds and the lack of world class players that are available to purchase at the right price. So Arsene Wenger is going to have to be smarter and think outside the box if he wants to contend for the Premier League. However, I feel that the teams around him will only continue to invest in their squads.