Wenger transfer gamble suggests the Arsenal bank is empty

By Avenell Dave

In years gone by, I have watched the transfer window with excitement, wondering who Arsenal will buy and what sort of player they will be.

I remember being shocked when Davor Suker arrived, excited by Patrick Vieira's arrival and thrilled by Thierry Henry.

Arsenal have never been huge spenders but we've always bought quality.

It says much for the current regime that no one watched with expectation yesterday in the hope that Arsene Wenger would sign anyone - we had all given up on that long ago.

In sport as in business, you have to balance the books or even try and make a profit. That I understand.

But when sponsorship deals and endorsements and prize money come for the lifting of trophies, you have to think about the worst case scenarios.

There were rumours that Lukasz Fabianski will be out for the season but with Wojciech Szczesny looking impressive and Manuel Almunia expected to remain as his deputy, we can probably cope.

But at the heart of the defence, it's another matter entirely.

Sebastien Squillaci is only good enough to be a fourth choice centre-back and with Thomas Vermaelen injured since the start of the season, we are relying on just three in two positions and that's not enough when the games are coming thick and fast.

One more red card or unexpected injury and we have no cover and the prospect of Alex Song moving to the back four, where he is less proficient, and with no quality defensive midfielder in his place in midfield.

Of course, the prices Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres went for yesterday underlines how inflated the English transfer market really is and I fully understand Wenger's reticence to getting involved in crazy deals.

He talked of bringing Kyle Bartley back from Sheffield United but is the young defender ready if we have a big game and no one else is available? That, as it turned out, was a moot point as Bartley was loaned out to Rangers for the remainder of the season.

It seems like a gamble too far to me, and I hope it doesn't come back to haunt us.

Yes, Wenger will have a more experienced Bartley plus hopefully JET, Henri Lansbury and Emmanuel Frimpong to call upon next season and I have a feeling some of those we saw on Sunday may not be at the club next season.

Arsenal's nickname is the bank of England club - but does that really mean that we have little money to spend to cover ourselves, even if it's just loans of out-of favour quality players, of whom there are a few?

Tonight sees Arsenal face Everton, who are never an easy side to beat, despite their indifferent performances this season.

Thankfully Tim Cahill is recovering from international duty and Steven Pienaar is gone. Those two caused us all sorts of problems last season.

We need a win. We have to keep up the pressure on M*nure and hope that they have a blip somewhere along the way.

The team picks itself - let's just hope it's enough to keep our fine run going before the weekend trip to Geordieland.

Addict XI


Sagna Djourou Koscielny Clichy

Song Fabregas Wilshere

Walcott RvP Arshavin

Let us know your thoughts - who would you pick to face Everton this evening?