Latest News:

Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference

Transfers in?

By Eduardo
August 12 2010

With the start of the new season now only 2 days away Arsenal Times has asked three of its most consistent contributors to write about their hopes and fears for the new season. The first of these is probably the most optimistic of the viewpoints. So thanks to Eduardo for providing this thoughtful and comprehensive preview of the season.


I always look forward to the new season, regardless of how the previous season has ended, or no matter how well or poorly I believe Arsenal will do.  I only wish that the transfer window was shut before the big kick off, I like to know what our squad is for the season, and I want the daily disappointment of no new signings to end, well until the next window. 

Also I would dearly love that there were no more internationals till the New Year, for me its time clubs took a stand and demand a much better planned international calendar. Anyway I digress, so back to the new season, and more to the point back to a preview of Arsenal's forthcoming season. 


The summer has seen a number of departures, nearly all central defenders, Silvestre and Senderos will by the sound of things not be missed by many Gooners, but Campbell and Gallas will be, no matter what some are saying. I think Arsenal were right to not bow to the demands of Gallas for a two year deal and massive wages, Arsenal for me did what they could to keep both, by offering new contracts, that neither player took up those offers has more to do with their ego that poor offers.


Arrivals have been so far kept at just two players, Chamakh and Koscielny.  I have very high hopes for both, but have more faith in Chamakh having a major impact, but this is purely because I watched him many times last season for Bordeaux, if I was to liken him to a former Gooner, it would have to be Alan Smith for his selfless team play, and his fine heading ability, and while I'm at it Koscielny reminds me of David O'Leary, not the most powerful of central defenders but a close marker, good game reader and a bit of style about him. 

I am just hoping he settles in fast and is the real deal;  time will tell, but will Gooners give him that time?  Some have already decided that Koscielny will not make it either because they never seen him play or because he did not pull up trees in pre-season; amazingly some have also discounted Chamakh due to a lack of a transfer fee. 


For me three more signings of the right quality would complete the team and the squad, a goalkeeper, central defender and a very defensively minded midfielder with speed, and I think we could achieve great things.  I am of the belief that there is sufficient funds to buy these extra player of quality, now I do know that wanting someone (even someone who wants to join us) and actually buying him is not as easy as it sounds, if you don't believe me ask Barcelona about Francesc Fabregas. 

The fact that Arsenal do transfer business so secretly means we supporters are totally in the dark as to who if anyone Arsenal are trying to buy, or have failed in bids for, but I prefer this than to be like the tiny trotts and have twitchy talk all summer about being interested in tom, dick, and harry and how he is sure his chairman is doing everything he can to sign any one of a hundred name players and how they will be title and CL challengers this season.

No hiding place

All I will say about our lack of signings this summer is that only a fool of a manager would not be trying to add to the team, and no matter what you think of Wenger he is no fool, he has to know that if he fails to make a couple more signings and things go belly up, then he has tied the noose for his own neck, even us happy clappers have a breaking point. 

He has only kept so many onside due to the belief that he did not have major funds for new player purchases, but everything points to Arsenal finally having, what is for us, a massive transfer kitty of £30M-£40M.  If this goes unspent and the season does not deliver a trophy then Wenger can have no hiding place and should be replaced.  No new contract should be offered to him unless there is an obvious improvement in performance this season.


The team may be, just may be, weaker than last season - the goalkeepers are the same, and the defence has doubts about it.  Everything else is as good, if not better, but it is my belief that the squad is overall much stronger.  Arsenal supporters seem to totally dismiss the strengthening effect promoting talented youngster from within our own ranks can have on the squad. 

Added to the first team squad this season are Wilshere, Lansbury, Nordtveit, Szczseny and Emmanuel-Thomas who all had fine loan spells last season, all highly talented and eager to impress.  Frimpong and Eastmond have also been promoted, and Gibbs and Djourou are back from very long injury spells.  Wilshere and Gibbs are now full internationals. 

The fear I have for the young lads added to the squad is not that they will let us down or are not good enough, but that Wenger will not use them enough, that he will stick to picking his senior players no matter how poorly they play or no matter how well the replacements perform when they do get a game.

Nasri and Walcott both have something to prove having missed out on the world cup and I expect a lot from both of them this term.  Eboue will do all he can to impress so he either gets a big pay rise at Arsenal or a big move a la Flamini.



I do think we can win the league, and will think that way until I either see major things wrong with performances or until some other team pulls well away at the top.  I would feel very confident we can do it if those three extra players I mentioned earlier are signed, even two of them would suffice.  In fact I think the league may be our best chance of winning a trophy this season. Cups are all about the luck of the draw.

Champions League

A bit of luck with the draw and in a vital game or two and of course we can win it, but four other sides are more likely to.


A run of home games against lesser FAPL or lower league teams could easily see us get to the final and once there of course we can win it.  Its time we got some luck of the draw, both Chelsea and Utd has had mighty easy runs to the final in recent years, indeed even in the final (yes like beaten us on the way. Editor).

Carling Cup

This is a trophy we might actually win, but only if again we get the luck of the draw and more importantly the youths are let loose in major numbers.  Play Szczseny in goal, use who ever is our back up defenders, let Lansbury, Frimpong, Wilshere and Emmanuel-Thomas recreate the midfield of our 09 youth league and cup double winners and play our back up strikers and we have a team that could very well win it for us.


I have a very odd feeling going into the first game, partly due to the world cup, the late return of Cesc and RVP, the transfer window still being open, in fact the transfer window not really in full swing, so little buying makes it more like mid June than mid August, and probably the biggest reason for the strange feeling is the disrupted build up to the big kick off due to the International fixtures, FIFA you are idiots, FAPL you are fools for standing for it. 

Anyway I am optimistic that we will win on Sunday, but that feeling could change either way when I actually see the team or who is actually fit to take their place in the squad.  Liverpool could be hyper for it on Sunday and we could really be in for it, but they could be to hyper and let it get to them; and if we score first we could do the business, and we might see Fabianski keep a clean sheet and surprise all with a Man of the Match performance and the start of a glittering season, or I might wake up and realise it was just wishful thinking.


View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Arsenal Times (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 09:12
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2010:08:13:10:45:04 by Padre Pio.

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Thetruthisback (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 10:11
I always enjoy this dudes articles - who is he? This is defo WENGER'S last chance saloon; I'd like him to prove me wrong.

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Bergmars (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 10:55
For me this is a defining season in the reign of the man I consider our best manager ever. His succeses are in danger of being overshadowed for many by his seemingly stubborn refusal to strenghten the squad.
Fans by enlarge have been patient,mainly because we have been told the budget was tight due to the ground move,most understood this.
Now we are told the cash is available,but with several departures,we have so far bought a CB and gained a striker for no fee.
To me we have reached the tipping point,it is now in AWs own hands and he goes into this season with no excuses.

Under new managment

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Ian_Wright (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 12:33
Would most people stick by wenger if he had brought in a new CB, a defensive midfielder and a established goal keeper...AND FINISHED 5TH in the league?

Everyone here assumes that by getting these 3 players (positions) in would automatically equal success..

I understand that the CB situation is glaringly obvious....but def midfield and goal keeping are both areas which we "should" be ok.

I agree with bergmars, any successors would be overshadowed and would be measured against wenger's level of success. I can imagine a lot of people saying...."Wenger didnt win anything in 5 years, but atleast he didnt squander millions..unlike this guy...get rid"

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 12:55
It is obvious we have only one reasonable quality keeper, and no real quality back up at the CBs position. Fabianski is a disaster.

If Wenger does it and fails I will be more sympathetic than if he didnt.

He must have more chance if he does something as opposed to nothing.

- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Ian_Wright (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 13:12
I believe wengers stubborness is not about him not wanting to sign players, but wanting to sign them on his terms. This is praiseworthy I think, Chamakh's transfer was done on wenger's terms, we didnt let ourselves be dictated by bordeux.
I believe we are looking to strengthen our squad beyond the 2 signings so far, but on terms which best suit the club.

This notion that wenger "hates" spending money is a myth...also seems to be suggestions that wenger would rather experiment with youth, knowingly compromising on the success of our football club.

And its not bullsh*t if wenger says we're in the market for the "right players, at the right prices".....its what any sensible manager would do (unless backed by billionnaires).

Saying all that, I really hope we somehow manage to sign a quality CB. Schwarzer/given are no improvements on almunia....and Ive not noticed us being linked with any other keeper (sebastian frey aside)

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Rockstaar (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 14:21
Its do or die for Wenger..end of story. He has been given enough time to rebuild the team...and to be fair he's almost been vindicated a couple of seasons..operative word 'almost'

Almost doesn't cut it in the big leagues..thats fine for the clubs with lesser expectations and ambitions..but not for Arsenal

Arsenal has a world wide appeal, but that comes with order to maintain that need trophies...trophies at the end of the day is the only thing that keeps BIG clubs afloat in this modern era..since its such a global sport that is more connected than ever

Arsene needs to be successful or like any big corporation would do...he will be replaced

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Ian_Wright (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 14:48
Its easy to say "wenger will be replaced". Theres no guarantees that his replacement will bring success....atleast even without success in terms of trophies, the club has been succesful in keeping its head above water financially, and a lot of credit goes to wenger.

I suppose the real question is that are we as fans content with a successfully managed club, or a winning club....not too many managers would be able to maintain that balance.
If ultimately, all wenger is doing is filling the shareholders pockets at the expense of fans (delivering trophies) then we are getting screwed.

Also, its an individual preference....I for one am happy for wenger to continue, even if we dont win anything this year...but then again, I dont pay thousands in season tickets or hundreds on merchandise. I just love seeing arsenal play under arsene wenger.

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
SandyB (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 14:51
Ok..get real..Eduardo knows that Arsene Wenger will not be replaced by the one can replace Arsene Wenger except Wenger himself if he doesn't want to continue.

This absolute truth has made Wenger to take every possible risk and although fans might want a trophy every orgaization has a mile stone and the mile stone set to Wenger by club management is not winning trophy but staying in top 4 which Wenger does very well every year. So nothing special, as long as Wenger could hold on to top 4, he will sign new contract and he is untouchable..

What I could read from Wenger's statement that Wenger will sign a 4 years deal till he is 65 years and that's just nice till 2014. He will take up France national team job on 2014 but only there are two big buts..
1) He has to hold on to top 4
2) If France reaches in 2014 final the current manager might hang on and Wenger's chance is gone..

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Rockstaar (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 15:19
Arsenal 'minimum' requirement is to stay in the top four...'minimum'..its NOT their milestone..its the worst case scenario for them

Being in the top four doesn't mean anything without WINNING..and Wenger isn't bigger than Arsenal..believe me if Wenger goes it won't have the slightest effect on whether I will continue supporting Arsenal or not

Big clubs 'have' to win..simple or clubs like Chelsea who few people had heard of beyond England (pre-russian rich guy) suddenly begin to dent the global presence of clubs that aren't winning, but used to be seen as 'thee' marquee club

In reality by Wenger only being able to stay in the top four (which is his minimum requirement) he's not really doing that great of a job

If we came in 5th..that would be just an absolute failure of his job..

Only at Arsenal could someone get away with this...I don't think there is another 'big' club in the world that would or could afford to allow this

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
SandyB (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 15:35
Only at Arsenal could someone get away with this...I don't think there is another 'big' club in the world that would or could afford to allow this

That's the point you said it..and it proves beyond doubt that he has the support and no matter how strong that support is from the Wenger's supporters the support is much more stronger from the club management...

believe me if Wenger goes it won't have the slightest effect on whether I will continue supporting Arsenal or not

All the true supporters of any club or country or team in any sports think the same way...that's the fact, do you think people like Tom for eg. who supports Denilson with his heart out will continue supporting him when he's gone..

I used to be a great fan of Dunga to be honest as a I care when he is fired..answer is I give a damn.. and I carry on supporting the new man..

I started supporting Arsenal coz of Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team @ early part of the decade..Do I really think the same way..answer is fact to be honest I believe now even with the current players we have, someone could develop and grow them as a winning team better..things change with time...but I still respect him as he is still better than lots and lots of others..

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
karsene16 (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 15:53
amazingly some have also discounted Chamakh due to a lack of a transfer fee.

ha ha ha ha.

Being in the champions league means nothing unless you have a chance of winning it or you use the massive amount of money earned on new players.

With our net spend this summer equal to Wigans and West ham and the wage bill freed up due to departures, what is going on? We've been in the CL for ten seasons not one.

Re: Wenger No Hiding Place - Youngsters Could Make Difference
Thetruthisback (IP Logged)
12/08/2010 19:19
I think WENGER is totally overrated. Jose took a weak INTER team to the CL final ad won it - that is great managerial skills. As long as WENGER keeps the directors happy,by putting money in their wallets every time the club quelifys for the CL, he is untouchable, and to hell with what the fans think; however, if he fails this season to get top 4, it will hit the directors in the pocket, something they are not used to. Be an interesting season. One has to ask, where are the signings? It looks dodgy now if there will be anymore with kick off this Sunday I'm stunned at the GK situation, he had all summer to sort that - God's teeth, how hard can it be to sign a half decent GK, and 2 CBs and a decent holding Mid?

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing

Arsenal Poll

Can Unai Emery get Arsenal into the top four this season 2018/19?

See results > Submit >>