Wenger: Buy Buy… or Bye Bye

August 30, 2011

Today’s post was written before the late night news that we are in the process of signing Brazillian left back Andre Santos.

This is a huge two days for Arsène Wenger and Arsenal.

At the time of writing, no further signings have been announced despite speculation linking us with Leighton Baines, Alex, Kaka, Andre Santos, Yossi Benayoun and the usual suspects like Cahill and Samba.

So, here we sit, still in shock from the most humiliating thrashing of any Arsenal team in our lifetimes; anxiously hoping we sign somebody – anybody – to lift the spirits.

Regular readers will know I lean towards a generally optimistic view of Arsenal under the stewardship of Arsène Wenger.

Lately my optimism has taken a battering. It’s now as fragile as a Kieran Gibbs hamstring. It’s feeling a bit Traore (pulled all over the place) with a dose of Jenkinson thrown in (twisted inside out). And it’s even going all Arshavin (lumbering about pointlessly in a half-arsed way before having a little rest).

It needs to pick itself up and get back to being Vermaelen again (powerful and confident).

One thing that would help my optimism would be for Arsenal to finally, belatedly do what the manager promised us all at the end of last season: sign experienced players who can move our team to the next level.

Because right now the worry is that we have moved to the next level – but it’s the next level down, not up.

Today, with the 8-2 defeat still inflicting the sort of afterburn normally associated with a late-night vindaloo, it’s hard to avoid feeling that the two Manchesters, United and City, have moved significantly away from us in terms of playing quality. We may yet keep pace with Chelsea and Liverpool – time will tell – or we might find ourselves sucked down to the level of Aston Villa and (dare I say it) the Spuds.

Our results since the Carling Cup Final do not make pretty reading – we have won two out of our last 14 competitive games.

But we still have most of the players who were good enough to beat Manchester United and Barcelona last season (let’s not forget how heroic the likes of Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny were in the Barca game at the Emirates).

This can still be a good season – maybe even a trophy-winning season – but only if reinforcements are brought in. Never mind “super quality” – we just need solid, battle-hardened professionals who can provide a platform for our super quality youngsters to flourish on.

No matter how much Arsène believes in his young players, it’s clear that the whole squad needs a massive morale boost. There is a real fear that a drubbing like Sunday’s will harm the development of some of our talented young ‘uns.

They need older shoulders to lean on and they MUST be brought in.

Arsène promised he would do it early. Unfortunately he didn’t tell us that his idea of “early” was a bit like the Americans’ idea of “early” in helping us out “early” in the two world wars.

If he buys well, he can have the last laugh (and God, after the flack he has taken, how I would love to see him holding up some serious silverware at the end of this season).

If he does not, there is a real danger that no BUY BUY will mean BYE BYE – possibly sooner than any of his loyal supporters might like to think.