The Hundred Million Warchest
FA Cup Win - Catalyst for More Success?
Arsenal Football Club's FA cup trophy win, last weekend (May 17th, 2014), will be common knowledge among not only gooners(Arsenal fans), but premier league fans across the nation. In fact most of the English general population will know as well, along with many others abroad.
Arsenal's first trophy for nine years. The cup final win against underdogs Hull City was not only expected, but necessary. Finally a reason to shut up all the critics who constantly brought up the fact that Arsenal hadn't won a major trophy in the aforementioned several years, seemingly every chance they got over the last few years. Also a deserved reward for long-standing manager Arsene Wenger, who often is not given the respect he deserves. One of his most impressive records is the sixteen successive qualifications for the UEFA Champions League he has now managed.
The FA Cup Win is now behind us, and this should serve as a great experience and motivator for the clubs young squad that previously hasn't lifted any trophies. It will also hopefully serve as an emotional bond that will keep our young players, like Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and this seasons shining starlight and FA Cup Winning goal scorer Aaron Ramsey at the club. At least for long enough to build around them and produce more trophies before other clubs swoop in and buy them for large fees like we have seen all too often in the past.
The Hundred Million War Chest - Will He Spend?
The media have widely been reporting that Arsene Wenger has 100 million Great British Pounds to spend in this summers transfer market. This could be the media speculating, and none of it could be true. I however expect this is not far from the truth, with the FA Cup win in the bag, other clubs around us spending large amounts, the Emirates stadium finally being paid off and our new lucrative kit deal with Puma, 100 million doesn't seem like such an unrealsitic figure.
Arsene Wenger has a long history of hit and miss transfer business, I for one can't wait for Nicklas Bendtner to finally be off the books this summer. The question is will he spend big this summer? and will he spend soon enough? I am going to give you my opinions on where I belive the 100 million should go, assuming the current squad doesn't see any major departures. I feel Arsene needs to spend quickly, preferably before the start of this years world cup in brazil. Everyone knows that players who perform on the world stage, suddenly rise in value by a couple million or even more. So spending soon would hopefully avoid this pitfall, not to mention it hard to get players to sign a deal when they are not in the country.
Super Mario - 1up Arsenal's Attacking Game?
I feel Arsenal still need to improve their striking options. It was obvious to everyone this season, despite Giroud performing well and netting an impressive 16 goals in just his second season at Arsenal(Only one less than Arsenal legend Thierry Henry), he was tired at the end of the season and can't carry the burden by himself. Giroud also doesn't appear to harbor the conviction or ability to put away a single chance in an all important Champions League game, for every good move, he seems to balance it out with a poor one.
Mario Balotelli is now valued at around 27 million pounds, and plays at AC Milan, in the Italian Serie A. Scoring 14 goals this season, a strong tall all round player who could easily play in the lone striker role that Arsenal often require. He is sponsored by Puma, so rumour has it that Puma would put money towards his transfer to Arsenal. AC Milan also finished an underwhelming 8th place this season, resulting in them not qualifying for the Champions League. That is even more reason for a player of Mario's ability to want to play at Arsenal, and makes this a plausible deal.
Some people question his attitude on the pitch, in the past being a little hot-headed and getting sent off quite a bit. I believe he has calmed down and matured enough, and is ready to shine... hopefully at Arsenal.
Midfield Madness - Fabregas, One to Many?
The second deal is also a plausible yet possibly mad one. Cesc Fabregas, a player many Arsenal players loved when he played for us in the pasted, could he return to glory?
Reports say he may be ready to leave FC Barcelona, his move back to his child hood club from Arsenal hasn't quite been what he probably hoped when he left us for them a few years back. Sitting on the bench a bit more than he would probably like. He is still a midfield genius, and if anyone has forgotten, you should just look at any of the many youtube compilation videos. He is and was a game changer, and can be for Arsenal again. The reported cost would be about 45 million, Arsenal has a first offer buy back clause, from when the club sold him a few years back. We would be crazy not to take him for that price.
He could link up with our new pass master Ozil, and offer great assists for our new star Aaron Ramsey, and maybe even help us win the trophies he blamed as part of the reason he left in the first place. Some may argue that he would be one midfielder too many, I would disagree, It's almost worth spending that amount of money just to make sure we don't have to play against him in another team, god forbid Manchester City or United.
Defense Is the Best Defense - Look at Liverpool
Any one who watched Liverpool play football in the Premier League this season, was more often than not treated to some beautiful attacking play from Suarez and Sturridge. However they also demonstrated that in a League of this high quality, one cannot simply rely on offense as the best form of defense. You DO need a defense.
Thomas Vermaelen is the Arsenal captain who spent most of the season on the bench. He fell out of favor with the manager Wenger and hasn't had much chance to play since, mainly due to Koscielny and Mertesackers great partnership. All Arsenal fans will begrudgingly tell you tell you about the Arsenal plague of injuries. Just look up Diaby's injury list if you don't believe me. Arsenal players always seem to get injured, a lot and for long periods at crucial times in the season. I therefore conclude that one of our first choice centre backs will get injured this coming season, and we might not want Vermaelen being the one to replace them, especially if we are challenging for the Champions League. I suggest we kill two birds with one stone. Hopefully our right back Sagna will sign a new 1 year contract, but we also need cover for his position.
That is why I suggested we spend a mere 11 million on out of favour Manchester City right back Micah Richards. Wenger can do his magic and help him find his form again, he could provide cover at right back if Sagna gets injured, or maybe even challenge him for his place, with his youth and pace. Then if we have troubles in the central positions he can move infield and Sagna can return to right back. When Sagna leaves at the end of next season, he should be ready to fill his boots as our first choice right back.
Loose Change - Other Options?
So if all the money was spent as per suggested above, that would leave Arsenal 17 million left to spend. What should they do with that money? Well if they could somehow invest it in making the players less susceptible to injury, that would be the best 17 million ever spent.
Realistically they could look to spend up to 44 million for a more proven goal scorer in Karim Benzema, instead of going for Mario Balotelli. They could also add more depth in the forward position by buying both Balotelli and Newcastle's impressive striker Loic Remy for 11 million. That would then allow Wenger to play a 4-4-2 instead of his favored 4-3-3. He took off Podolski and brought on youngster Yaya Sanogo to do just that for the majority of the FA Cup Final, and that worked out well, so maybe its something he is considering.
Investing in another solid centre back would also be a safe bet. I am lacking ideas for who to buy in this position, but im sure Wenger already has a handful of options scouted out, this could prove to be his surprise signing that works out better than expected.
Only time will tell as me and all the other Arsenal fans look forward to the new Premier League season of 2014/2015 with optimistic hope and excitement. Have a nice summer, show your colors, and be sure to watch Arsenal players shine in the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
The Bill - 100 Million Pounds
- Mario Balotelli - 27 million
- Cesc Fabregas - 45 million
- Micah Richards - 11 million
- Others - 17 million
Grand Total: 100 million
P.S Wages not included