Following another poor start to a Premier League campaign, Arsenal senior officials met with the Arsenal Supporters Trust on Wednesday evening in effort to resolve fractious issues between the board and fans.
The main topic on the agenda, rather unsurprisingly, was the clubs transfer policy and how much money Arsene Wenger will be given to play with come January. It seems the AST got the answer they were looking for, with ‘considerable resources’ reportedly available to the boss this new year.
According to AST spokesman Tim Payton, the finances are in place to invest in the squad next month:
“I specifically raised this with the finance director and his colleague and they were in no doubt there is considerable resources available to the manager ready to spend when he has identified the players he wants to sign.”
This is all good and well, but unfortunately there is a growing feeling among Arsenal supporters that Wenger is not the man to be trusted with such large amounts of cash. For over the past few years, although the Gunners have not spent the obscene amounts their Premier League and European rivals have, they still have made some dud buys, and they appear further away than ever from the title, with punters on Betfair wary of even backing them for a top four place.
Gervinho cost £10.6m, Andre Santos £6.2m and Olivier Giroud £13m. Two years ago Wenger parted with £4m for defensive failure Sebastian Squillaci, while £15m went to acquire Andrei Arshavin. Wenger actually considered Denilson, at £3.4m, a competent holding midfielder.
Granted, Wenger has made inspired signings in Robin van Persie, Mathieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas. Yet over the past two seasons he has spent £97m on players – only balancing the books with major sales like Van Persie and Fabregas.
The players he has brought in are not good enough to challenge for the title, though if that disastrous night at Valley Parade is anything to go by, even the league cup is beyind them, while the FA Cup betting is not favourable with a tricky tie at Swansea to come.
Yet their stadium, training facilities income streams are unrivalled by but a few. January will be a make-or-break period for Wenger. He must sign quality to ensure the survival not only of this club’s status in football, but also his job.