Which Transfer Policy Will Prevail?
The fallout (and fallings out) from the weekend continue unabated. Nerves are raw and more tension is in the air than on the morning of a cup final or title decider. Thus will it be for some time, I suspect.
Players such as Vermaelen, van Persie and Szczesny have all had their say. And to be honest, their words are correct but it is beyond that point for this season. Platitudes do not work anymore, time to win at Fulham to bring some small crumb of comfort, rest and then be back at work on time for next season.
I have a lot of time for the three of them and did not agree with the criticism of the young Pole for his observations post-Villa. For once Arsenal got the PR right in that they are three who have performed to a consistently high level or produced a mini-boost by returning to the team, even in defeat.
Elsewhere rumours of a Champions League qualifier against a top notch side were scotched when it emerged that the 4th Qualifying Round is seeded and as a club with one of the higher co-efficients, Arsenal will be amongst them. It means that Arsenal are likely to face Udinese/Lazio, Dinamo Kyiv rather than potentially of Villarreal or Bayern.
Nothing indicates more the fall from grace than we the certainty of finishing fourth is now accepted rather than fighting for third. Realism strikes.
Summer signings are dominant with the end of season collapse. Scott Parker is the media favourite with a transfer fee anywhere between £6m – £18m (no, seriously, according to the media that is how much West Ham want). Surprisingly, there seemed to some support for Arsenal’s lower valuation which must go against the grain somewhat.
It has been the chance that some have been waiting for. Reports are emerging that the Board this time around will be more involved in transfers and that Wenger is being told no more ‘foreign johnnies‘ by Peter Hill-Wood’s pet newspaper whilst they have sought to boost Britain’s ailing economy by suggesting that transfer business be conducted domestically.
So who is on this list of British-based players then? Well, there’s Scott Parker for starters. And…well, come on, we’re waiting. We haven’t got all day you know. Oh for God’s sake, if you’re going to come up with a fanciful transfer notion, at least have the names ready.
The question is whether KSE will interfere with Wenger’s transfer policy. Having been accepted into the Establishment and been viewed as the lesser of two evils – if you believe Alisher Usmanov’s Sunday Times interview – the Daily Star‘s belief that direction is being given by the board does not sit well with past events.
Are we really expected to believe that they are the wolf in sheep’s clothing? Not unbelievable but not likely.
KSE will not fund a massive spending spree this summer for two reasons. Firstly, it goes against the self-sustaining model. The two are mutually exclusive. Arsenal do not have the pot of gold that everyone seems to think, the most common manifestation being talk of money in the bank. That is not just for transfers and more importantly, with all of the activity being bandied around, is totally insufficient.
Secondly, they do not have a history of such interference in their US ventures immediately nor do they have the footballing expertise. Had they brought along a ‘football advisor’ or Director of Football, then such micro-management might well have been achievable although the question is how people involved in football could credibly carry out such a role with Wenger in charge.
As it is, the likelihood is of Wenger naming his targets and they either sign a new contract with their current employers or join. I doubt that a missed transfer because of £200k will arise this summer; KSE will not want to preside over inactivity, perceived as disastrous and displaying a lack of vision.
Yet there are contradictory messages. Calls for summer signings as well as investing in finding the next Cesc or Jack Wilshere. Ian Wright demands new signings today as well as giving youngsters a chance despite a lot of them not being good enough. All in the space of one paragraph which is as impressive as his scoring record was.
This summer is unlikely to see the huge volume of signings. Wenger’s previous record indicates this and there is a credible argument that too many – more than five or six – is as disruptive as it is refreshing. More likely two or three for contention in the starting line-up with the rest of the squad unchanged except for departures.
Whatever the plan is, decisive action quickly and early in the transfer window is going to be necessary. There is a full fixture list next season, internationals in the week preceding the Premier League kick-off on August 13th with the Champions League Qualifiers the following week. Integration with the squad is difficult when matches are in continuous flow. Let’s be done and dusted before pre-season please.
Posted on May 17, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 466 Comments.