Is Mr. Wenger building a squad for his successor or as a squad to see him through his next contract?
Arsenal have spent over €100m this year, it is unprecedented; add to this the signings of Ozil, Sanchez and Gabriel and you can see that the squad is very different from that we had just a few seasons ago.
Mr. Wenger has regularly built squads over his 20+ years, often assembled around a player (Fabregas) or a style of play (Invincibles). This one reminds me of the early days of Petit and Vieira.
It remains to be seen whether Xhaka and his fellow midfielders can have the influence of the PV/EP axis but I have a good feeling about it. Whether it will be Xhaka, Elneny and Ramsey or Xhaka, Coquelin and Cazorla or another combination, it is the midfield where the power of the new Arsenal will crystallise.
For many years the fans (AA’ers included) have begged for three signings – a CB, a DM and a striker with pace. We have them. The next question is whether the signings are good enough. As usual, they are not from the current top-drawer – no Pogba or Higuain for us – but Mr. Wenger has a history of signing good players and making them great.
There is much to discuss about the transfer window; why were Campbell , Wilshire and Chambers allowed to leave? It is clear that Arsene has made some tough decisions on players who have stalled in their progress. Perhaps the alarming improvement in Walcott’s attitude is due to a new fear factor within the club. If so, this is a necessary development as some players have not had enough competition for their places and become complacent.
Today we have a squad where no-one apart from Ozil, Bellerin, Sanchez and Koscielny is an automatic starter. This has to be of benefit to Arsenal over the coming years.
Then there is the age of the squad. We have a number of players approaching 30 and AW has managed to buy in youth (apart from Perez). In my opinion, we have some very exciting times ahead as Mr Wenger moulds what could be his final squad. Let us hope he has as much success as SAF’s last hurrah.
The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring
written by Big Raddy