Who else wanted to leave Arsenal this summer: are ALL players mercenaries?

By Avenell Dave
I remember it well.
I was sitting with a mate at the AST meeting at the Emirates stadium when Ivan Gazidis walked in.
The Arsenal chief executive spoke in his typically compelling and articulate way about lessons being learned, ambitious transfer objectives and ensuring our top stars were tied down to long contracts.
Many in the audience were cynical about the optimism Gazidis showed and the drawn out transfer disasters that dominated the summer suggest they were right.
Arsene Wenger is correct when he says that it's impossible to replace a player like Cesc Fabregas and having been bullied into a one-bid auction, we were always on a hiding to nothing.
The fact that we're here, midway through October, and still talking about the last transfer window says it all about the shockwaves it caused.
Some blame the manager for being frugal, others the chief executive for acting slowly and allowing targets to be snapped up by rivals and others blame the board for not releasing sufficient funds to improve rather than weaken our squad.
But even with all the upheaval, it comes as a surprise to read Wenger suggest that half the squad wanted to leave in the summer.
Yes, players such as Almunia, Squillaci and maybe even Diaby or Rosicky may have wanted to join Cesc, Na$ri, Clichy, Denilson and Eboue and that is a significant number.
But I fear the boss is talking about others, perhaps players who we consider loyal and first choice names on the teamsheet and that is a concern.
There is so much speculation about RvP at present and we're in much the same situation as we were with Cesc, apart from it being more than a one-team auction if it comes to that.
Thomas Vermaelen and Theo Walcott are also in the last two years of their deals and action needs to be taken soon to ensure we never suffer the same transfer chaos again.
If they don't re-sign by the end of the season, sell them quickly and have world class replacements lined up.
For me, although I don't want to put too much pressure on them, the sooner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain establishes himself and Jack Wilshere comes back to full fitness, the better.
Both are players with great talent who the next great Arsenal team should be built around.
These are players who I believe will buy into the ethos of The Arsenal and with the addition of a striker, could turn our fortunes around. But we need to be competing for any player to be entirely settled.
With careers so short, I can see why players want to maximise their earnings although when he's sitting on the bench watching his team mates perform, I wonder if Na$ri wishes he stayed at Arsenal where he could be the superstar rather than simply just another player.
Money talks and so do trophies.
Even Tony Adams was tempted at one stage to join M*nure. But he stayed, as did Dennis Bergkamp.
Regaining that sort of world class continuity will determine whether this team will grow or wither away to the mediocrity of our neighbours down the Seven Sisters Road.