Sign players or we're doomed!

By Avenell Dave

Reading comments and reports following the Everton draw has left me fuming.

It's so easy to get frustrated when you don't win a football match.

Arsenal play the most delightful football in the world apart from Barcelona but it hasn't won us much in recent years.

Since the Champions League final in Paris four years ago, we've lost a hell of a lot of decent players.

Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Dennis Bergkamp, Theirry Henry and dare I say it even C*shley C*le.

All of them would walk into the current team if they were at their peak.

We can make excuses or give explanations about balancing the books following the stadium move and to a certain degree, they're justifiable.

But in truth, Arsene Wenger has never spent big money year after year and when he does pay out big fees, he does it mindful not to waste his employer's funds.

Much has been said lately about the signing of more than a dozen players to extended contracts, many of which are either not top class or not likely to remain until their agreements expire.

But that masks a smarter policy, the absence of which has frustrated many of us Addicts in the past.

Edu, Pires, Sylvain Wiltord and others have been allowed to leave on free transfers because their contracts were not extended when the club had the chance. All but Wiltord, who had his fair share of great games, were players we should have kept.

Ivan Gazidis and Wenger have made a concerted effort to ensure we don't lose players who could still offer value or provide sell-on funds in future. 

The fact that Fran Merida is the only player not yet signed up says it all - a loss, possibly but hardly earth shattering.
Regardless of funds available, if you or I were in Arsene Wenger's shoes, would we do anything markedly differently?

Would we play down the potential of young players we have nurtured who could well progress to form the backbone of the side for years to come, just as Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song have done?

Whether the manager wants top notch replacements or not, he is hardly likely to undermine the confidence of current incumbents until new faces have signed, is he?

In the past 18 months, despite notable departures, the costly new faces (Ramsey, Vermaelen, Nasri and Arshavin - total cost £45m+) have all become established members of the squad.

If Wenger does want a new forward or midfielder, how desperate or keen should he show himself to be?

Won't that simply ramp up the price with Wenger already on tight margins?

Le Boss doesn't just want good players, he wants good boys. He doesn't want fancy dans who are snapped outside nightclubs all the time or start being disruptive.

That narrows an already competitive market, a market in which Ch@vski or Citeh can pay whatever they're asked to get whoever they want.

No one disputes the fact that Saturday was disappointing - not even Wenger.

But we cannot expect teams to simply roll over when they face us just as we cannot expect every player to put in 5* performances week in, week out.

All players are human, hell even Henry had off days.

Yes, new faces may ease the strain on the squad and Manuel Almunia is a liability who Wenger should put out of his misery.

But we're third in the table and in a perfect position to mount a serious title challenge.

The title race will ebb and flow and we may well find ourselves with something to celebrate come May.

What I do know is that I wouldn't swap Wenger for anyone, however much I disagree with some of his decisions.

I can think of a hell of a lot of clubs who would dream to swap places with Arsenal now or in the future.

Be careful what you wish for, Addicts.

The naysayers will someday get their way and it could be downhill from then on.