30 May 2014

Arsène: he's like a new signing!

This is it. This is the season. Finally, with the silver-backed silverware monkey off of our backs, we can finally stop dwelling in the past and start preparing for the future. With news of a new contract for Arsène made official on Friday, it's time for him to put his freshly-minted money where his mouth is. Well, first correction: Silverbacks can only be gorillas, which are not monkeys, but the point remains. Second one: Arsène won't be putting any of his own money where his mouth is; it'll be the club's. Having sorted all that, it's time for Arsène "he's like a new signing" Wenger to make a few, new, actual signings, or his contract won't be worth the paper it's printed on. Unless they got the paper for free. And it's French. And they borrowed it from Ligue 2.

More seriously, Arsène's new contract, the glory of winning the FA Cup and slaying the 800-pound gorilla (362.874kg gorilla?) will amount to little if we can't build on it going forward. With news Łukasz Fabiański's move to Swansea officially confirmed, and with rumors of Bacary Sagna's move to Man City proceeding apace, we'll be all but forced to do some kind of business, if only to shore up those positions. Arsène has admitted as much, promising while hedging at the same time:
We know we have to… have a successful June and July, that's where you strengthen the team. It's very important that we are good now in the next two months until the end of August, that we can give to the team some more quality and go into next season with the belief we got from [the FA Cup] win...What I can promise is that we work very hard on a market that is very, very congested with many people who have a lot of money. But we have a big advantage, players want to join us and if we find the right quality I'm sure we can strengthen the team....The fact that the Financial Fair Play rule comes in hopefully will stop [the] craziness that happened on this [transfer] market. With these two [things] together, I think we can fight on a more even level than before.
There may enough loopholes in that statement to drive several trucks through, but at some level, even Arsène seems to acknowledge that we have to do some business. This isn't Gazidis talking. It's Arsène. Even through the media-filter, the cagey, wiley manager has admitted that he has to seize the momentum that the FA Cup win has generated and take advantage of the wiggle-room that FFP has created in order to add some quality. Then again, there are quite a few if's and other conditionals attached to the statement, so, in classic Arsènian fashion, it says quite a lot without saying much. It's a little bit...niggle, if I may say so.

After a season that offered so much promise, that flirted so flirtatiously with glory, only to snatch it away, only to once again claim it in another form, Gooners can hardly be blamed for feeling the hunger even more than ever before. Whereas Real Madrid might suffer la Decima with the bloated satiety of a Jabba the Hut-like torpor, our FA Cup win should have the effect of a Ritz cracker tossed to a starving man. In other words, whatever hunger or desire we've nursed over most of the last decade has only sharpened; it's been whetted against the grindstone until it's achieved a razor-thin edge.

With the World Cup but two weeks away (less, even), the time to do business is now. Sure, we may not be able to land the biggest names right off, but we must strike while the iron is hot. Aurier. Schweinsteiger. Welbeck. Further afield, Cavani. Di Maria. Casillas. Why not? Dare to dream. The past nine years or so have demanded that we exercise patience, judiciousness, calm. We've crossed a Rubicon of sorts, and there should be no turning back now.

submit to reddit


  1. sigh, sad to say that this will the only major contract Arsenal announce. I'm sure we'll get a raft of bargain-bin French cast-offs at some point in late February followed by one "marquee" signing on deadline day, but it'll be Morata or Mandzukic. Dream on.

  2. Under Wenger, Arsenal was among the first major teams to stop playing first team in FA Cup.

    It is ironic that the same cup is now served as a reason to overlook his decade of failures.

  3. Arsenal's first and only signing

  4. Arsenal always took fa cup serious,first team injuries could have been the reason for fielding a weak side

  5. The only cup arsenal could be accused of not taking seriously was the carling cup .we always took the fa cup seriously .always

  6. Arsenal has very little time to act. Rumors aside, there are good players available and he needs to act. For all the talk of the FFP, the other big clubs seem to feel they can spend lots of money with only a slap on the wrist from FIFA. Already we read of potential acquisitions denying they are leaving, going elsewhere, being tracked by other clubs, or that Arsenal is to be or is being outbid. We also do read of players, mostly older, wanting to come, but no move on Aren't part to add them, even as backups when injuries might deplete the squad. Come August we will be scrambling once more to find a RB, a striker, etc.

  7. Jon

    Instead of dreaming, can we switch topics and begin some serious discussions about:
    1) What do Arsenal need to be more than a 4th place team in the PL
    2) Who needs to go or be relegated to the 2nd or 3rd tier only needed in emergencies
    3) Who is availabl that would help or improve the team more than it was this season
    4) Who is available that might only replace the departing players, e.g., Sagna not Bender, etc
    5) Who might we realistically expect to get or sign given that others are looking at many of the same players and because AW is the slowest "gun in the West" and might never pull the trigger because he believes the market price is too high or that he can always swing a better deal by waiting

  8. Remember when we didn't need Ozil and instead should have signed, wait for it, Maroune Fellaini as he 'is strong and can win headers and what not'. Of course Fellaini is also immobile, technically lacking and cannot pass the football with purpose. Now we are going through it again, apparently we don't need Cesc, rather we need a 'tough tackling midfielder'. For starters, there is so much wrong with that argument. Im hearing already from the likes of Hansen and Shearer, that 'Gareth Barry would be better for Arsenal than Cesc". I actually cringe at the suggestion the midfielder in the anchoring role needs to be aggressive. It seems a very outdated and simple thought. Its a tactic adopted by the likes of Stoke City and Sam Allardyce teams. Clearly Arsenal would be better having Cesc in the deep role, spraying passes with the entire game in front of him. Getting Ozil and Ramsey goal side of their marker, and finding forward space for Walcott. You think our rivals wouldn't brick it if we showed up with Cesc-Ramsey-Ozil in midfield? They want us to pass on Cesc, so they have a chance to buy him. Wenger actually does prefer a passing midfield in the anchoring role, the problem however is what player was Arteta. So I don't doubt Wenger isn't thinking he doesn't need Cesc. Therefore, I am very confident Cesc will return. As I cant for the life of me see Cesc wanting to play at either of the Manchester clubs, Chelsea or Liverpool, over Arsenal.


Log in with Google, comment anonymously, or link your social media. If you go anonymous, consider "signing" off with a name/nickname in case others want to reply.