Arsenal’s Smaller Squad in 2011/12?

May 4, 2011

We always say we support any player who dons the prestigious Red & White shirt, but is this really true? In all honesty, what were your thoughts when Mr. Wenger took off Theo on Sunday to replace him with Eboue?  Come on – be honest!

I can tell you my reaction, it was dismay. Not purely as a response to AW’s frustrating habit of trying to defend a lead (more of that another time) but because I really thought I had seen the last of Mr. Eboue in an Arsenal shirt. Following his almost unbelievable gifting of two points to Liverpool and single-handedly derailing our PL chances (OK that is an exaggeration!), I firmly believed his AFC career was over. Clearly Mr Wenger disagrees.

This post is not specifically anti-Eboue, who has given sterling service to the club but sadly is out of his depth, rather it is a glance at why Mr Wenger persists with players who are  not good enough to win us the title.

We have players in the squad who are on huge wages and are clearly not value for money. You know who I mean; there are players on loan who will not make the grade, we have a mass of youngsters who will never earn the kind of wages they are being paid on their current Arsenal contracts and we have established stars who are not earning their daily bread.

Last week Arseblog highlighted the difficulties of selling players who earn wages that lesser clubs cannot match, thus we have to wait until their contracts expire and allow them to leave without a transfer fee – how does this help our situation? All Arsenal’s investment in time, coaching and wages goes to another club for nothing.

Yet this situation has been created by Mr Wenger’s Project Youth and his understandable fear that the quality players will move on if not bound by contract. The Flamini fiasco gave him clear evidence of player power when running down a contract.

Our squad is bottom heavy with too few real world class players and too many players with “potential.” Most AFC fans know the stats, we have one of the cheapest squads yet one of the highest paid. This has to change.

How will AW respond? Will he swallow the losses and sell players in the manner of Man City  i.e. we continue to pay a percentage of their wages. It would stick in the craw but at least they would not be available for selection.

So, will my hopes be dashed by seeing Eboue in our Anniversary shirt or will some kind (and blind) Coach sign him in summer? What has become clear is that AW will not win another PL title with players like Eboue and Denilson in the squad. We need some extensive pruning, and there will be many worried (but rich) players in summer.

Written by BigRaddy