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How January will speak volumes on Arsene Wenger’s ambition

Arsene Wenger

Surely Arsene Wenger is going to make a signing this transfer window? Surely he is open enough to the blindingly obvious truth that the squad is not good enough to sustain our title challenge? Surely he is neck-deep into negotiations with a carefully chosen target by now, looking to bolster his forward area?

I don’t think so. It seems to me that Wenger isn’t active in the transfer window at all, contrary to reports from various sources. I’m almost certain that he hasn’t enquired about the potential signings of Dimitar Berbatov, Alvaro Morata or Diego Costa. To me, I’m getting the sinking feeling that Wenger is going to leave it late this transfer window, just like he did with Viviano and Ozil.

It seems to me that Wenger is not really serious about adding to his squad. If he was, he would’ve chosen a proper target by now and been into negotiations with him. There wouldn’t be any vague references to “special players” and “opportunities” had Wenger been serious about adding. This is the same old Wenger to me – the one content with a top four spot.

The club has two very clear options – either buy a temporary striker for 6 months to support Olivier Giroud or get world-class right now. Even though it may not seem so, both of these options are well within our reach. Alvaro Morata and Dimitar Berbatov represent short term signings, and very clever ones, I might add.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Morata, and would make him my first preference. I’m positive that Morata would be eager to join Arsenal on a short term loan deal – the player has almost said so himself. For him, it’s an opportunity to get recognition in the world’s most viewed football league. It’s a chance to play alongside his Spanish teammates Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, a factor more important than others think. Most importantly, it’s a personal chance for him to show Real Madrid and Spain what he can offer by being a key role of our title challenge. I’m sure that the player is more than open to joining Arsenal, and getting a £2 million loan deal done with Real for him is little sacrifice to boost our title challenge. Financially, it makes sense – footballistically it makes sense, I don’t see any factor that can hamper this deal, really.

I am also certain that we can secure world-class players in this month itself, and I’ll tell you why. Players like Diego Costa and Jackson Martinez have around a £33 million release clause, one that Arsenal can afford now. Jackson Martinez would join Arsenal in the blink of an eye, as he has said so himself. He is a player well within our reach, and one that can win us the Premier League.

While I’m dubious as to whether Costa will be open to joining Arsenal, I think that Wenger can convince him to switch boats. After all, he convinced Ozil to join Arsenal from Real Madrid on the final day of the transfer window, why can’t he do the same with Costa? Ozil is a player with bigger stardom than Costa, yet he moved to North London when we were significantly weaker. Currently, the fact that we’re on top of the table and can attract big names means that Arsene Wenger certainly has more convincing power to lure Costa to the Emirates. He just needs the willpower to get the deal done.

But that’s my concern. DOES he have the willpower to get a striker? He’s making it seem as if it’s really difficult to get a striker this month, while I have proved above that we can buy either Dimitar Berbatov, Alvaro Morata, Jackson Martinez or Diego Costa given the right effort. Why is he already making excuses beforehand when instead we could be sitting with a striker right now? There are only 2 conclusions that I can draw from this peculiar behaviour, which are:

1. He is content with his squad, and ultimately contented with a top four spot which he will doubtless achieve with this team. His habits of not spending extra to go that further mile seem to be at it again.

2. He’ll make a late dash in the window, possibly bag Dimitar Berbatov on 31st January. The logic behind this must be to avoid losses (clubs tend to bend the rules late in the transfer window due to lack of time) and bring the mentality of Arsenal supporters to, “We didn’t get a world-class striker, but meh, something is better than nothing”.

While I’d be much happier with the second scenario, both of these cases say a lot on Arsene Wenger. It says clearly that he puts money over football, and that he’d risk not getting in a striker at all for getting in a striker on the cheap. Whenever Arsenal’s top four hopes are on the line, Arsene will no doubt get quality – witness the £15 million Arshavin signing. However, if our title hopes are on the line, why would Wenger stall over getting a striker the whole footballing world knows that Arsenal need?

Arsenal supporters may not want to admit it, but this undoubtedly showcases a losers mentality. It shows that as long as our Champions League hopes are secure, Wenger will not get in a player. The fact remains that if Wenger wants to win the league, we would be in negotiations with a striker right now. Even after Bendtner and Walcott getting injured, we aren’t seeing serious activity from Arsene in the transfer window. It’s ridiculous, really.

If we end up with no players on 1st February, I shall have no shred of doubt left in my mind that it was because of Wenger, and the fact that he refused to spend when he had the chance. I shall have no doubt that he still prefers the club making a profit from Champions League qualification than winning the title. While the players and the fans badly want to win the title, Arsene Wenger is resembling more of an obstacle rather than a guide to that path.

If he does not get a striker, then he does not deserve a new contract by the board. In the end, the fact remains that we are Arsenal FC, a club that should be challenging for 1st rather than 4th. A club that won’t put money over trophies, and a club that has the cojones to sack a constantly underachieving manager, however popular he might be. SPEND.

-Santi [Follow my blog “Gunning From India“, and my twitter account “@ArsenalBlogz“]

About ArsenalBlogz

A Mumbai teenager and a die-hard Gooner since 2006, I am one of the pessimist Arsenal fans, with a dream of chanting in the Emirates Stadium one day. I also have an Arsenal blog of my own:

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