Written by FatGingerGooner
With so much grief given out to our esteemed manager during pre season, and with another transfer window just around the corner, I thought it might be a good time to see how Wenger’s apparent ‘panic buys’ have compared to the big money signings of some of our closest league rivals.
There were many comments written on this blog, and loads of others, slating Arsene’s dealings during the last window. Fans were worried that he had lost his touch and that the likes of Nasri, Fabregas and Clichy were not being sufficiently replaced. But with a good chunk of the season passed, what do we think of these signings now?
First up we have the defenders. Mertersacker, Santos and Jenkinson were drafted in by AW as replacement for the outgoing Clichy and the mistake ridden Squillaci, all for the price of £17m.
In contrast, Chelsea paid £24m for Luiz in January, Man Utd went for Jones for a princely sum of £17m, Liverpool snapped up Coates for £7m and Man City threw £9m the way of Savic.
If we look at the centre backs, none of the above have really set the premier league alight. Mertersacker has been a calming influence for Arsenal but prone to the odd mistake, whilst Jones, Coates and Savic have all been used sparingly by their managers. David Luiz has however become a bit of a joke figure at Chelsea due to his awful defensive displays and his ability to start a fight in an empty room.
On the other hand, Santos and Jenkinson have both proved real bargains for the Gunners. If you think that AW paid just £7m for the pair, compared to the £17m Man City forked out for the inconsistent Kolarov last year, you can see that Arsene’s touch in the market is very much in tact.
For defenders, Wenger has definitely done better than his rival managers.
Moving on to midfield, Arsène had a massive job to fill the huge hole left by Fabregas and the even fatter, I mean bigger, hole left by Nasri. In the end he opted to draft in Arteta for £10m, Gervinho for £10m, Oxlaide-Chamberlain for £12.5m and Benayoun on loan. His rivals on the other hand splashed out on the likes of Nasri (Man City) £22m, Mata (Chelsea) £23.5m, Downing (Liverpool) £20m, Henderson (Liverpool) £16m, Mereiles (Chelsea) £12m and Young (Man U) £16m.
For Arsenal, Arteta and Gervinho started relatively slowly, but after finding their feet they have started to show the quality they possess. Arteta espescially has grown into a real force, oozing class and running games from start to finish. Ox has shown glimpses of the star that he is no doubt going to become, but Benayoun has so far struggled to get playing time.
The stand out players for our rivals have been Mata at Chelsea and Young at United, though neither has yet to live up to their hype. Nasri, Henderson and Mereiles on the other hand have all failed so far at their new homes, espescially the fat Frenchman, whos arse must have more splinters than a joiners finger!
I have no doubt that Mata and Young will prove successful purchases, but I reckon the £20m for Downing and £22m for Nasri just goes to show the value AW has found in his purchases.
For midfielders, I think AW loses points for missing out on Mata, but overall, his signings look like value for money. Espescially Ox, who looks like a future star.
Finally it’s the strikers. With Chamakh misfiring and RvP still prone to injuries, AW needed to strengthen. In the end he paid out £3m for Park and just £1m for Campbell. Other clubs were relatively quiet in the striking department so we have to look back at January for comparison. City paid £38m for Aguero, Liverpool spent £30m on Carroll and £23m on Suarez, whilst Chelsea blew £50m (yes, that’s right, £50m) on Torres.
Wenger opted to send Campbell straight out on loan to earn his stripes and his visa, whilst Park has only really been seen in the Carling Cup. It’s difficult to compare these to the others mentioned as they are not first choice, big money signings.
Looking at our rivals additions, Torres and Carroll have so far been very expensive flops, between them they have been firing £80m worth of blanks. On the other hand, Suarez and Aguero have both lived up to their huge fees. Suarez, though, has been the pick of the bunch. He may be a cheating prick, but the kid can play!
I think the real comparison may be made in January as Arsene needs to dive into the market to find a replacement for Chamakh. Watch this space.
I’m sure you will all have your own view on Arsène’s dealings this season, but for me, he has once again proved his doubters wrong. If you look at the price tags attached to some of the rival players mentioned, you can see that Arsene has lost none of his ability to spot a bargain. Let’s just hope that he doesn’t fall into his old habit of hanging onto sub standard players for too long. If Chamakh and Arshavin can be moved on in January and then adequately replaced, this new look Arsenal squad could be a real force heading into next year.