After missing out on yet another summer transfer target, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger made some comments to the Daily Mirror that most fans did not want to hear.
“With or without additions we can be title challengers next season … Of course we want to do as many top players as we can. But we also have to focus on the players we have and develop them.” These comments could be interpreted in many ways, and the pessimist in me believes that it is a sign of things to come.
In this situation, however, it would most likely be a sign of things not to come.
Wenger is known for meaning what he says, and this comment leads many to believe that there might not be any big signings this summer. With Gonzalo Higuain going to Napoli, Arsenal is left with Luis Suarez as the main target as far as striking options go. Wenger has also commented that that they are not close to an agreement with Liverpool over the Uruguayan, which could lead to yet another late-summer transfer saga.
This comment is a tactical move by Wenger to give himself an out should the Gunners not make any big signings. Although they performed well in the last 11 games of last season, Arsenal cannot sustain that kind of form for a full campaign. They must acquire some players to add depth in order to make any kind of run.
It isn’t all negative, as Wenger’s comments could be a lift to the players on the team. The players could look at the comment as a vote of confidence from their manager. This is kind of a stretch, however, because there have been numerous players to come out and call for the club to make signings. It’s one thing for the fans to want signings, but something else entirely when the star players of the club publicly request them.
After failing to placate the fans, Wenger is making a statement that gives him an excuse at the end of the summer in case the club doesn’t make any satisfying signings. It is a bad sign of things to come for Arsenal fans who were so optimistic at the beginning of the transfer window.
Let’s hope that Wenger was just trying to boost the confidence of the squad. If Arsenal does not sign anyone before the season and the team performs poorly, there will be a lot of unhappy fans.
Arsene will find himself on the hot seat at the beginning of the season yet again if he doesn’t get busy soon. A coach’s comments will always be dissected, especially at a club as big as Arsenal, but it’s hard to ignore the possible implications that Wenger’s comments could have.