The summer madness has started and it is only a matter of time before we are embroiled in trying to keep our best players.
Real Madrid are about to embark on €200 million transfer frenzy and the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona and Chelsea will not be far behind. Manchester United and Liverpool will splash out the customary £50 million on players. The likes of Tottenham under the tutelage of Harry Redknapp will be the biggest wheelers and dealers in the market with a net spend in excess of £20 million, even though ‘arry will deny spending more than £5 million.
That leaves our beloved Arsenal. Whilst everyone else in shopping in Harrods and Selfridges, we will be left once more looking for bargains in Aldi and Lidl! We are no longer able to compete neither with the big boys in Europe nor with half of the Premier League. We are stuck in a time warp as far as transfers and wages are concerned.
Not all that long ago the likes of Barry and Ribery would have been Arsenal candidates, we would have competed with Manchester City, even though we cannot afford the £100K a week wages, we would have offered Barry European football. Instead with a limited budget, we are focused on trying to secure contract extensions for van Persie and Bendtner. Our money is being used to keep the players we have rather than recruit new players.
When Real Madrid offer €65 million for Kaka, they know that they will recoup that money in terms of merchandise and playing high profile friendlies in the Middle East or the Far East. Perez is not an idiot.
Where is this type of entrepreneurial enterprise at Arsenal?
When Ferguson spends £50 million on summer transfers he does it to ensure Manchester United reach the Champions League final every year and win the league.
Where is our ambition? Finishing fourth and reaching a semi-final!
When we left Highbury we were told we would compete with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool in the transfer market. Well that is clearly not the case; we struggle to compete with Bolton for Miguel Velosso and are not even able to prise Hangeland away from Fulham.
It is early in the transfer window, and Wenger needs to be given time to play the market and make the purchases he needs, but what is clear is that we are not shopping for the finished articles, we are still scavenging for bargains in La Ligue with the likes of Matuidi and Mbia. We do not have the financial muscle to approach Barcelona and buy either Yaya Toure or Keita.
We will give Wenger time, but ultimately the board has a many questions to answer about our finances and at the moment they are hiding behind Arsene Wenger.