Thursday, 9 June 2011

What Will Make Arsenal's Fans Happy?

The general consensus among Arsenal fans is that the club needs to sign two or three top class experienced players this summer. So far the only player to be signed has been Carl Jenkinson from Charlton Athletic, but he is seen as one for the future. He was signed for a reasonable price and hopefully he can learn his trade from Bacary Sagna who is one of the best right backs in the game.

Obviously some Arsenal fans are far from happy with the purchase of Jenkinson because they want to see the experienced players signed. Manchester United signed Phil Jones from Blackburn Rivers yesterday for a fee believed to be in the region of £16 million which is an awful lot of money for a 19 year old with less than 40 league games to his name. Amazingly some Arsenal fans are of the opinion that Arsenal have missed out on a player that they should have signed.

It would seem Arsene Wenger may well have offered more money and better wages than United, but the player chose to play for United instead. In my opinion Arsenal have enough players with potential and to pay that much money for Jones is a huge gamble the club should not be taking. If the problems Arsenal are suffering in defence are to be rectified they need to buy the finished article, and Jones is far from that.

If Arsenal are going to spend that sort of money on a centre back I want him to be ready to walk straight into the team and be the player to make the difference to the defence as a whole. Jones might well be the player to play that role in a few years time, but at the moment he has potential and little else. His purchase would have prevented the purchase of the player Arsenal really need more than likely, and it certainly would not have added the experienced head needed.

There have been rumours of Christopher Samba being a target for Arsenal, but if Blackburn have sold Jones to United they are hardly likely to sell their other first choice centre back too. I'm not sure if Samba would be the answer to Arsenal's problems, but he's a lot closer to what they need than Jones is at the moment. If Arsenal are really going to buy a defender for that sort of money there are bound to be many other players to fit the bill.

The general consensus among Arsenal fans would also seem to be that the central defender they need should have plenty of Premier League experience. That would rule Jones out again, but both Samba and Bolton's Gary Cahill would fit the bill nicely. Cahill has only one year left on his contract like Arsenal's Samir Nasri, and I doubt if Bolton can afford to let him go on a free transfer next summer.

I'm not utterly convinced by Cahill either, but I think Arsenal could possibly get him for a more reasonable fee due to his contract situation. At the very worst he could be purchased for a similar price to the one Jones went for, and surely he is a better bet to step straight into the team. If Arsenal were to sign Cahill they could certainly play him against some of the more agricultural Premier League teams, but they would also have Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, and Johan Djourou available as well.

Arsenal's fans have to decide if they want to sign the players needed, or if they just want to sign any player their rivals attempt to sign. Jones would be a huge gamble, and the time for gambles is over. Arsenal cannot afford to spend a large part of their transfer budget on a player who would probably be behind the other three centre backs in the pecking order.

I think Arsenal have had a lucky escape, and hopefully the manager has signaled his intent by offering so much for Jones. He now needs to go out and find the players who will make a real difference, and sign them as soon as possible. In an ideal world those players would be signed before the players return for pre-season training in little more than a month from now.

Of course Arsenal's transfer budget could be greatly enhanced if certain players were to leave the club. Both Denilson and Nicklas Bendtner have signaled their intention to do so, and Nasri still has not signed a new contract with only 12 months remaining on his. I hope he stays, but he cannot be allowed to string the club along and if he doesn't declare his intentions before pre-season he should be sold.

There is also talk that Barcelona claim to have agreed terms with Cesc Fabregas, and if that is the case it's only a matter of the two clubs agreeing a fee. Arsene Wenger said he will do all he can to keep Cesc again this summer, and I would be surprised if he has given up the fight already. Barcelona will have to pay at least £50 million to get Cesc, and I don't think they will pay that sort of money.

It's impossible to tell whether Cesc wants to leave or not, but if he does he must also know that Barcelona have to pay the going rate. He will have seen the fees which Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Phil Jones, and Jordan Henderson have been sold for, and he will know Barcelona cannot expect to sign him unless they make a realistic offer. I sincerely hope Cesc stays at Arsenal for another couple of seasons to win the trophies both he and the fans want, but if he does go it will not be on the cheap.

If Barcelona have agreed terms with Cesc without the permission of Arsenal I think it's time for UEFA to step in and take some action, but I don't think for a second that they will. Barcelona have received favourable decisions from referees for far too long, and UEFA constantly turn a blind eye to their off field antics too. I have absolutely no faith in their ability to stand up to the darlings of football, and until they do Barcelona will ride rough shot over the rights of other teams. 

That's it for today.

Here's a look at exactly how good Cesc is.

See You Tomorrow.

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  1. Great article, Michael..

    The reason probably why AW wanted to sign Jones is his versatility bec Arsenal probably need a new DM and a CB.. Jones solves both probs and Koscielny can certainly do the job for Arsenal as he proved last season.. I think it is good though that we missed him like you said but now, AW needs to find a proper CB preferably versatile..

  2. You're probably right that the versatility was a big factor but I'm glad we didn't get him. We need to sign that CB as soon as possible just to show that we mean business.

  3. It is kind of funny, and sad, that the ones complaining most about us not signing Jones are the ones that complain we only sign young players with potential, which is exactly what Jones is. I think the other reason is that he chose Man U over us, and to some that's a huge slap in the face. Well guess what, not every player is going to want to join Arsenal. There is more than just the wages and fee that go in to transfers. Fans need to think about it the same way they would if they were being offered a new job.
    Job #1: Internationally known company offers you a significant raise and better opportunities for career advancement than your current job, BUT would require you to move to an area that you don't know and are pretty sure you wouldn't like.
    Job #2: Very similar to Job #1, but with a smaller salary and is in your current area, that you have lived in your whole life and like.

    Both jobs would make you have to work through the ranks and pay your dues before you get to the same status, a key employee, as you have in your current job.

    Some people just see the $$$ and would take that job no questions asked. Others would have a harder choice as it isn't just about the money to them. They could make all the money in the world, but know they wouldn't be happy being away from friends and family in a strange place.

    I'd expand on this, but feel it might be too long for a comment. haha

  4. I'm glad you kept it short.
    Seriously though as it stands the comparison is a little off because in recent history one company has outstripped the other one for quite a while now. The one offering slightly less wages looks to be more attractive in terms of professional success. I hope that is proven wrong but it's only a skim hope at this stage.

  5. That was the part I was going to expand on. But also you're more likely to be promoted quicker in company #1 than you are in the more successful company. It was more to highlight the point that its not just about the money, which everyone seems to forget.

  6. Ask Nasri if it's all about the money?