The transfer has finally opened and we all wait with baited breath for the arrival of new players to invigorate our squad and bring home trophies. Could Wenger break with tradition and focus his transfer targets on the domestic market?
Wenger has rarely bought English players and those he has have not for one reason or another been successful. Jermaine Pennant, Matthew Upson, Richard Wright and Francis Jeffers make up the unfortunate English quartet.
This summer Wenger needs to put the past behind him and take a look at some English players. We have long been talked about lacking an English backbone; people have said we lack the fight that only English players can bring.
Arsene needs to look at Robert Green, Steve Taylor or David Wheater and Gareth Barry. Add these players to Theo Walcott and the emerging Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs and we have a large English nucleus.
Robert Green would be a good acquisition, he is a good goalkeeper at the right age and ready to launch hi England career. It is better to buy him now whilst the price is low and he is refusing to sign a new contract, rather than wait for a year and see the likes of Chelsea come in and offer silly money for him.
In Steve Taylor we could acquire a centre back that has the ability and acumen to become a leader, not just of his club but a potential England captain. Taylor is a solid player who will never let us down. Failing him, we can look down the road to David Wheater who has fast established himself as a rock and Middlesbrough. People will argue why buy players from relegated clubs, well these two are exceptions and both the North East clubs can postulate as much as they want, but they need to sell to survive and we need to pounce early.
The final English player is Gareth Barry. A long term target for Liverpool, but they look like keeping Alonso and have moved to other targets. Barry has made it clear he wants Champions League football, and this summer is probably his last opportunity to move to a top four club. He will fight and help us grind out results.
This summer Wenger needs to make it English and change the spine of the team. Purchasing Barry, Green and Taylor will completely changer the dynamics of the squad and it will be for the best.
Goalkeeper alert as Robert Green has refused to sign a new contract at West Ham. Green is 29 years old and will be looking to cement a place in Capello’s England squad over the next two internationals.
The position of goalkeeper is one that Wenger has never really filled since the departure of Seaman. We have tried Manninger, Taylor, Lehman and recently Almunia. Arsenal enjoyed success with Lehman, but the German was always one cross away from starting a punch-up.
Almunia has steeped into the breach for the last two seasons. He is a good shot stopper but does not fill his defence with confidence, nor does he frighten the opposition, he does not have that persona. Almunia is reluctant to come off his line and gather ball and is sometimes rooted to his line for corners. These actions or rather inactions cause doubt in the defenders minds as to what help they can expect from their goalkeeper.
Almunia’s understudy, Fabianski has been given plenty of exposure this season. Unfortunately, in the match that mattered, the FA Cup semi-final, he made horrendous errors of judgement. He is the opposite of Almunia and has a tendency to come out into no-mans land and leave the gaol exposed. Twice this season Gibbs has had to make goal-line clearances for him, whilst on the third occasion Drogba made us pay. Fabianski will develop into a great goalkeeper, but not fro two or three more years.
This leaves Arsenal making a move for Robert Green. Green has established himself as a top Premier League goalkeeper and it is only the fact that he does not play a top club that his international career has not kicked-off. He is a reliable goalkeeper, commands his area and is a good shot stopper and penalty stopper. He is 29 years old, the right age for a goalkeeper, his teething problems are behind him and he is now looking for success.
Wenger should take a serious look at Green and make a bid for the England goalkeeper. He could be the successor to Seaman that we have been searching for. Almunia has been a good servant, but we must now be looking to move to a higher level and Green is the goalkeeper for this level.